HBO's Game of Thrones—Shame. Shame. Shame.—NO SPOILERS

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Since I haven't read all the Song of Ice and Fire books, I thought I'd start this thread to discuss the series without spoiling the later books. If you want to discuss spoilers without spoiler tags, please use the other thread.

Here are some suggestions from contributors to this thread:

1. Please do not post anything about the story beyond what has aired at all, in spoiler tags or not.

2. If you would like to make comments informed by or in reference to the books regarding content that has aired, please enclose it in a spoiler tag.

3. If you wish to discuss anything about the story beyond what has aired in any way, shape, or form, do so in the full spoiler thread, but beware that unmarked spoilers regarding all published books will be present.

By doing so, folks who want to discuss the show without any outside influence can simply ignore spoiler content, while folks who have read part of the novels or who are curious about context that the books can provide about what they have seen can do so via spoiler tags in this thread without the risk of significantly spoiling what is to come later in the show or the books, a risk which is incredibly present in the full spoiler thread.

Before it becomes an issue in this thread too, some of us consider anything other than actual air time to be spoilers, even including sneak peek montage clips. Podcasts, show titles, quotes from cast interviews, etc. definitely fall into the spoiler category. So please spoiler tag anything if you're not sure as it only takes a second to do so and it lets us extreme anti-spoiler people read and participate. Thanks for your courtesy!

I'm glad to see this thread. I'm just about to finish the first book, so I'm excited for a safe place to read and discuss comparisons between the first book and the first (of hopefully many) seasons without spoiling the reading to come

Really enjoyed the first episode. Captured the feel of the books for me while still fitting well in the one hour block of television time. Really liking both Jon and Dany. Sean Bean as Eddard Stark is his usual brilliant self.

So I thought I'd start off with my spoiler-free impressions from the series premiere.

I originally thought that I might enjoy watching this series with my mom and dad... but I don't think that'll be happening. Not just that watching all the sexing with my parents would be uncomfortable, but my mom would probably be put off by all the boobies, and my dad, who watched most of the first episode, couldn't keep up with what was going on. He kept asking me for background from the book so he could keep up. Although at one point that became rather amusing after I paused playback and told him "okay, that guy is Tyrion Lannister, the Queen's brother, and that guy is Jon Snow, Ned Stark's Bastard" only to resume playback and have that be the next two lines spoken on screen.

I love all the casting, and I even enjoyed what acting there was, though in some cases I hope these actors get longer scenes to give us more insight into their characters. The only character that really bothered me was Dany, because she is a much more complex character in the book. Even from the start, she's not entirely a doe-eyed naif as portrayed on video. She has a lot of longing drawing her "home," and even has trouble figuring out what home really is, and all of that got condensed down to one line.

Arya is my favorite character from the books, and I thought her casting was perfect. I loved the bit in the lineup for the king, where she keeps asking about the Imp and Sansa keeps telling her to shut up. At least we got a little insight into their relationship, unlike Rob and Rickon, who are complete question marks at this point. As I mentioned in the other thread, I wasn't really a fan of the revision of Bran's wall-climbing adventure at the end of the episode.

If they continue with the same pace that they did in the first episode, I may end up disappointed with the series. Although it has the flavor of the books, it is seriously lacking many of the subtleties. It plays like the book played in fast-forward, which is not my favorite way to see a book adapated. I'd rather see longer TV scenes with more meat and see some minor plotlines from the book removed altogether. For example, I'm one of those people who didn't mind Tom Bombadil being left out of Jackson's LOTR movies, because it made room for more meaningful scenes with other characters.

I'm enjoying it so far, and looking forward to seeing what they do with the rest of it.

Just for clarification, when I hear "unrecognized" I think more along the lines of the father won't admit it's his. Given that definition, Jon isn't unrecognized; it's known he's Ned Stark's bastard, he's just not given any status in the house.

bnpederson wrote:

Just for clarification, when I hear "unrecognized" I think more along the lines of the father won't admit it's his. Given that definition, Jon isn't unrecognized; it's known he's Ned Stark's bastard, he's just not given any status in the house.

Yeah, I meant politically unrecognized. Eddard Stark has openly admitted Jon is his son.

I've previously read the novels, but since this thread was my idea, I decided I'd throw in something I'd think would be useful. Who's who so far! I will just mention who I considered to be principle characters in the first episode. I thought the episode was good, but it could be deeply confusing for people who have not read the novel. So, without further ado...

[u]Who's who so far![/u]

IMAGE(http://i53.tinypic.com/2ltkn00.jpg)
Eddard Stark -- Sean Bean
Eddard Stark is the current lord of Winterfell. His wife is Catelyn, of the noble house Tully. Stark is a good friend of the current king, and was an important warrior in the civil war which helped to seat the current king. In the first episode, he was asked by the king to become the King's Hand, the most important title in the kingdom aside from the king himself.

His children are:
* Robb, the eldest. He is the heir to Winterfell, the ancestral castle and lands of the Starks.
* Sansa, his first daughter. The king has offered a marriage between his heir Joffrey and Sansa, meaning that someday, Sansa will be queen.
* Bran, his middle son.
* Arya, his younger daughter. A precocious tomboy who is often quite mischievous.
* Rickon, his youngest son. Only a toddler, hasn't actually been seen in the show yet.
* Jon Snow. His surname is Snow, indicating he's a bastard son of a northerner. He is Robb's age.

IMAGE(http://i51.tinypic.com/15ev8t4.jpg)
Catelyn Stark -- Michelle Fairley
Catelyn Stark, formerly Catelyn Tully, was engaged to Eddard Stark's elder brother, the original heir to Winterfell. When the elder Stark died and Eddard became the lord of Winterfell, she was married to him, as per the political arrangement. She has a younger sister, Lysa, who is the widow of the previous Hand of the King. She is protective of her children, yet despises Jon Snow because he is a reminder of her husband's infidelity, and the potential threat he could be to her son's claim on Winterfell.

IMAGE(http://i52.tinypic.com/a2t7p3.png)
Brandon Stark -- Isaac Hempstead-Wright
Eddard and Catelyn's middle son, he's ten years old. After watching his father passing execution on a deserter, he found five direwolf pups, and with Jon Snow was able to convince his father to let them live to be the Stark children's pets. Curious and an avid climber, he accidentally spotted queen Cersei Lannister and her brother the knight Jamie Lannister buttf*cking in an abandoned tower. Jamie pushed Bran out of the five story window after he was caught.

IMAGE(http://i56.tinypic.com/25rp7p4.jpg)
Jon Snow -- Kit Harington
Jon is the unrecognized son of Eddard Stark, conceived during the civil war. He's of Robb's age, but not a Stark, although he lives in Winterfell and was raised by Eddard Stark. He looks up to his uncle Benjen, a member of the Night's Watch, which defends the northern border of the kingdom. He was with Bran when they found the direwolf pups. He's kind of a pouty whiner with anger issues so far, haha.

IMAGE(http://i52.tinypic.com/1zg5edf.png)
Cersei Baratheon -- Lena Headey
Cersei is the twin sister of the knight Jamie Lannister, and queen of the Seven Kingdoms. She's also totally having twincest with him. She resents her husband's blatant infidelity, and the fact he's still hung up on his childhood love, Eddard Stark's dead sister. Cersei is super hot, mmmmm. She has three children:
* Prince Joffrey Baratheon, her eldest and the heir to the throne.
* Myrcella Baratheon, but she hasn't even appeared in the show.
* Tommen Baratheon, the younger son.
* Jon Connor, prophecized by men from the future to be the one to destroy SkyNet.

IMAGE(http://i55.tinypic.com/4l2cjm.jpg)
Tyrion "The Imp" Lannister -- Peter Dinklage
Born a dwarf, he's the younger brother of queen Cersei and Jamie Lannister. He's sarcastic, a complete hedonist and exceptionally intelligent.

I will edit and finish this when I feel like it. Still, I figured this would help the new folks who may be confused. Has it? I know they throw a ton of names and faces at you in the first episode. I'm not going to go in to info about Jamie, Arya, etc. because sh*t hasn't really been said about them. I'll probably do Dany and Drogo to round out who *I* feel were important/received some exposition in the first episode.

Oreo_Speedwagon wrote:

IMAGE(http://i52.tinypic.com/1zg5edf.png)
Cersei Baratheon -- Lena Headey
Cersei is the twin sister of the knight Jamie Lannister, and queen of the Seven Kingdoms. She's also totally having twincest with him. She resents her husband's blatant infidelity, and the fact he's still hung up on his childhood love, Eddard Stark's dead sister. Cersei is super hot, mmmmm. She has three children:
* Prince Joffrey Baratheon, her eldest and the heir to the throne.
* Myrcella Baratheon, but she hasn't even appeared in the show.
* Tommen Baratheon, the younger son.
* Jon Connor, prophecized by men from the future to be the one to destroy SkyNet.

I love you, man.

I enjoyed the ever-loving snot out of episode one. While I fully concede I'm a freak, I love the gargantuan cast--there's a rush of discovery and exploration, and no small satisfaction when everything becomes clear. The Wire, the greatest show ever, works the same way. Time will tell in Game of Thrones even comes close to that pinnacle, but it's using similar principles, so it earns my respect. I didn't come out of episode 1 of The Wire knowing Wee-Bey from Bird, but it didn't matter, I'd grow into it.

Because such will amuse me, here is my new-guy character guide, a record of a time before I had a grasp of everything:

Ned "Boromir" Stark rules hard but fair with His Wife. They have 5 children, Heir, Girl, Aya the Tomboy, Bran the Climber and one I don't think was seen, as well as Bastard the Bastard. There's also Uncle, who I think is a Grey Warden (I laughed when he arrived, and said "sh*t, this family doesn't end!"). Ned is also assisted by a dude rocking some sweet muttonchops.

Ned is close to King Robert, who is married to Circe (pretty sure that's spelled wrong), who has two brothers--Jamie the Slimeball Toolbag, and whore and advice aficionado Tyrion. Robert and Circe have a son, Prince, who looks like a nasty little f*ck and if I were a betting man, I'd bet he's not actually Robert's son.

Across the sea are the Creepy Whitehairs, the Targareans, exiled children of the previous king, and based on the two of them, I don't expect he was of the wise or just flavor. Brother, eager to retake the throne has traded sister Danaereis (I wager it has a Y somewhere) to a fearsome Dothraki warlord in exchange for their services in retaking the throne.

I have to say, the names are pretty awesome, which is no mean feat in fantasy.

I never thought I'd say this, but there were too many boobies. It was quite the boob-a-thon. Boobies were literally plumping out my screen. Just saying, as anyone not familiar with the source material might be left a little confused - and that's not even counting trying to keep track of the characters.

Otherwise, all good! Some truly spectacular cinematography and the slow, building pace I was hoping for. Can't wait for the next one.

all the boobies didn't bother me. Or the violence. Its HBO and I fully expected it.

Liked the Winterfell scenes and acting but felt like the other scenes outside were disjointed. Not sure if it was the CG, acting, costumes/makeup. I'm sure this will be tidied up in later episodes besides maybe the acting. Not sure how I feel about the Targaryen's acting.

I was going to recommend a new thread. Good job.

I keep expecting Cersei to start shouting lines from 300.

jowner wrote:

Not sure how I feel about the Targaryen's acting.

I thought Dany was good and her brother was spot on as a petulant and entitled jerk. I just want to see someone punch him in the face.

I had a few friends over to watch the premiere, and only 2 of us had read the book. Joffrey was immediately referred to as douche-face, one guy was getting adrenaline pumping for wanting to hurt Viserys for selling his sister off, both of the series novices literally shouted (and one jumped up in outrage) when Bran (dubbed Ezio Jr.) got shoved out the window.

We all loved it, though.

Atras wrote:

I had a few friends over to watch the premiere, and only 2 of us had read the book. Joffrey was immediately referred to as douche-face, one guy was getting adrenaline pumping for wanting to hurt Viserys for selling his sister off, both of the series novices literally shouted (and one jumped up in outrage) when Bran (dubbed Ezio Jr.) got shoved out the window.

We all loved it, though.

That was a great moment. The guy who plays Jaime nailed it.

Ok, am I the only one who felt the sex scenes weren't all that sexy? There's plenty of gratuitious T&A action, but I wasn't feeling the same heat as say watching some of the True Blood scenes. Heck, some of my favorite series on AMC or TNT are able to accomplish a lot more sexiness with half the nudity. Or maybe I'm just turned off by all the brother on sister action.

thejustinbot wrote:
jowner wrote:

Not sure how I feel about the Targaryen's acting.

I thought Dany was good and her brother was spot on as a petulant and entitled jerk. I just want to see someone punch him in the face.

His whiney "Did he like her?" was high-larious.

No, they weren't that sexy. But then I don't get the feeling they were supposed to be.

Well, Tyrion's orgy was.

jdzappa wrote:

Ok, am I the only one who felt the sex scenes weren't all that sexy?

Hmm... essentially rape, incest and prostitution? I don't think you need to be worried about those sex acts not seeming sexy. It's a pretty brutal world, and there is precious little true sweet emotion to be found. There is some, and I suspect it will turn up at some point, but yeah, not much in the way of making love for all the sex in the pilot.

Actually, I was annoyed by (some of) boobs. There's something cheap and embarassing about combination of naked women and fantasy that I resent. Probably because I will always presume that it's there just for titilation and therefore doing a bit of disservice for the genre.
But hey, that might not be the case here, we'll see.

Really, the boobs are annoying, but Brandon (thanks for the pseudo wiki) getting the Dead Island treatment isn't?

Amazingly enough, Viserys and Joffrey are even more douchey at this point in the books.

BadKen wrote:

As I mentioned in the other thread, I wasn't really a fan of the revision of Bran's wall-climbing adventure at the end of the episode.

Been a while. A looong while, since I've read the books. So I'm mostly avoiding the other thread and coming at this as if I'd not read the books. Can you clarify on this? When it got to that point I remembered Bran taking an involuntary swan dive after seeing and hearing what he shouldn't, so I wasn't surprised when that happened. What revision from the book am I missing?

Teneman wrote:
BadKen wrote:

As I mentioned in the other thread, I wasn't really a fan of the revision of Bran's wall-climbing adventure at the end of the episode.

Been a while. A looong while, since I've read the books. So I'm mostly avoiding the other thread and coming at this as if I'd not read the books. Can you clarify on this? When it got to that point I remembered Bran taking an involuntary swan dive after seeing and hearing what he shouldn't, so I wasn't surprised when that happened. What revision from the book am I missing?

Sexual position

Actually, tossing Bran was much more abrupt in the book.

The difference was in what exactly he saw and how he got there.

In the book he overheard a little more discussion about his father and the sex position was different. I also think that Jamie threw him out a little quicker.

Kier wrote:

The difference was in what exactly he saw and how he got there.

In the book he overheard a little more discussion about his father and the sex position was different. I also think that Jamie threw him out a little quicker.

Some of the discussion was moved to the earlier (not-in-book) scene between Jaime and Cersei at King's Landing.

I'm amazed at how many people, who haven't read the books, missed that Jaime and Cersei were twins. I think their brains blocked that little piece of info when they saw them getting it on.

Nevin73 wrote:

I'm amazed at how many people, who haven't read the books, missed that Jaime and Cersei were twins. I think their brains blocked that little piece of info when they saw them getting it on.

Nothing like a little twincest to derail mental functions.

Teneman wrote:
BadKen wrote:

As I mentioned in the other thread, I wasn't really a fan of the revision of Bran's wall-climbing adventure at the end of the episode.

Been a while. A looong while, since I've read the books. So I'm mostly avoiding the other thread and coming at this as if I'd not read the books. Can you clarify on this? When it got to that point I remembered Bran taking an involuntary swan dive after seeing and hearing what he shouldn't, so I wasn't surprised when that happened. What revision from the book am I missing?

I guess what bothered me was that that was a big tension-building scene in the book. At first Bran didn't know whose conversation he was overhearing, then he very carefully edged his way up to the window, and hung upside-down from a gargoyle to peer in the window. He spotted Jamie and Cersei up against the wall, still couldn't see who it was, and couldn't really tell what was going on. Then Cersei spotted him and it got very tense.

In the show, he climbed up to the ledge (without much difficulty, it seemed), overheard some grunting, then saw the twins going at it doggy-style. Not exactly subtle, and hardly any tension at all. The only real tension was the few seconds with Bran in the window and Jamie deciding what to do.

The result of the scene was much more powerful in the book because of the buildup. Of course they couldn't use such a lengthy scene because of time constraints, but the scene could have been better constructed.

Spoiler:

This also ruins some dramatic tension later on, where Bran is tortured by his memories, and scared to death to remember what really happened. It's going to be hard to flash back to the humping with any sort of meaningful flashes of memory.

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