Showrunners – David Benioff & DB Weiss
Staring – Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Harry Lloyd, Jason Momoa, Aiden Gillen, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Richard Madden, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Kit Harrington, Jack Gleeson, Rory McCann and many many more…
Summers span decades, winters can last a lifetime, the great houses of Westeros like nothing better than playing their games. And the biggest game of the all has begun, the battle for the Iron Throne itself. From the south where the heat breeds plots and can cook a man alive, to the far north where a 800 foot wall protects the Seven Kingdoms from the dark that lies beyond.
Kings, Queens, Knights and Lords, liars, renegades and honest men, all have a part to play in the game of thrones.
I’d read the books by the time the first episode of season one of Game Of Thrones aired. It’s an ambitious undertaking, turning a series of – so far – five books into a series for TV. It would be ambitious turning what many view as the modern generations Lord Of The Rings into a film series, but TV, and only ten episodes per season?
Whatever David Benioff and DB Weiss are taking I hope they never run out. They’ve managed to condense an epic book into a ten, sixty minute episodes, and not only have they managed it but they managed to do it so it appeals to fans and newcomers alike.
With a main cast that would swamp most films, brilliantly backed up by a supporting cast that seemed at some stages to employ every notable character actor in England, the series unfolds excellently, introducing the viewer to Westeros and its people without missing a beat.
Wit a cast this size it could be easy to overdo things meaning the actors become swamped and disappear into the scenery. But they don’t, everyone has their moment to shine. Characters jump full blown and expertly visualised from the page.
Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) is suitably slimy, Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) is the Hound, King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) is larger than life and twice as loud, Lord Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) is as cold as the North and loyal to the end.
Added to these there was standout performances from Maisie Williams as feisty Arya Stark and Peter Dinklage as the Imp, Tyrion Lannister.
As a fantasy series it delivers, there are mysteries, legends and dragons. As a serious piece of drama it excels on multiple levels, drawing in people who would not normally go anywhere near anything with fantasy in the description.
Season 1 was the best drama on TV in 2011, adapting the first book to perfection.