Game of Thrones: Overview
H.B.O’s Game of Thrones is based upon the much loved and lauded fantasy series, 'Song of Ice and Fire' by American author George R.R. Martin. It is set within a world in which seasons can last for years at a time, and spans a period of several months as summer draws to a close and the much dreaded winter is about to begin. The series takes place upon the great western continent known as Westeros, which is ruled by a single political entity known as the ‘Seven Kingdoms’, which holds fealty to the King on the Iron Throne in the capital of King’s Landing.
Three major storylines occur within the first season; In the North, Lord Eddard Stark receives a visit from his lifelong friend, King Robert Baratheon, who asks him to serve as the Hand of the King following the death of the previous Hand, Eddard and Robert’s mentor, Jon Arryn. Eddard is reluctant to leave for the South, but is ultimately convinced when he receives news that Arryn was murdered. He plans to use his new found power to uncover the truth about Arryn’s death.
On the eastern continent of Essos, the exiled children of House Targaryen, which Robert destroyed to claim the throne, are plotting to return to Westeros and claim the throne for themselves. Viserys Targaryen arranges the marriage of his sister, Daenerys to Khal Drogo, the leader of 40,000 Dothraki warriors; in a bid to secure an army to destroy the ‘usurper’ and take back his crown. For her part, Daenerys just wants to be safe, away from King Robert’s assassins and her brother’s calculating ambitions.
On the northern-most border of the Seven Kingdoms, the sworn brothers of the Night’s Watch guard the Wall, a 300-mile-long fortification of ice which has stood for thousands of years. Jon Snow, the bastard son of Eddard joins this watch and learns the hard way of the prices he must pay to become a brother. The Watch defend the Walls against the lawless wildlings who live beyond, but rumours of a new threat, thought only to live in legend, threaten the lands of everlasting winter.
Phew, sounds a lot to take in doesn’t it? But be rest assured, this series is absolutely phenomenal and well worth attention. First and foremost, the cast is wonderful particularly, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister (who won a Golden Globe for his performance) and of course veteran fantasy actor, Sean Bean as Eddard Stark. The rest of the cast is predominantly British, some known, some not but each of them play their parts with such gusto, one would be forgiven if one thought this is the way they are off-screen- The cast is that good.
It is easy to tell that H.B.O. has let the producers of GoT run riot with visual production; Put simply, the sets are gorgeous. The long shot of the Eyrie in episode five, is an awe-inspiring sight for a TV show and the opening title sequence is one of the most intricate and beautiful designed sequences in TV history.
Fault can hardly be found within Game of Thrones, fans of the novels will be pleased to learn that George R.R. Martin works closely with the writers, guiding them to interpret his vision as clear as possible. With that in mind, and a further six novels ahead, long live Game of Thrones! Unlike its characters- But that’s a different story!