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

I've already read the books, but I am tagging this to see how you first timers react to plot points as they happen. You all are in for a treat.

I think that's just a casualty of swapping media. Bran may not know what's going on, but everyone in the TV audience does, so the mystery would be lost.

Once the grunting was clear, I knew exactly what he'd find, but the shove was still damn shocking, even though I figured that's what would happen too.

BadKen wrote:
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 highly recommend using the HBO Go (www.hbogo.com) stream for watching with "newbies" as its special features are really implemented well and allow for an immediate pause to consult the "guide" (my term) along the right hand margin. Even though I am a big fan of the book series, I plan to watch the series through the streaming implementation just so that when my "newbie" wife has questions, we can quickly consult the "guide". Would have been perfect for your dad.

I actually thought the nudity worked very well, especially for Daenerys (though it made me feel a bit lecherous, given her age. :p) The thing about these books is that they strip away any semblance of stateliness from the medieval era. There's no reality behind the prim, proper facade of the noble houses. Everything is entirely utilitarian, including the body. I think the nudity in this show is as relevant and necessary as the gore. Far from being Heavy Metal-esque pandering, I think this is one of the ways the Song of Ice and Fire series has always distinguished itself, in its cynicism about the time period, or its Earth analogue.

I loved this first ep. I did NOT have high hopes AT ALL, but even if I had, I think this would have exceeded them. Casting is nearly perfect, directing very good, acting great. The score could be better, more iconic, though I did very much like the opening titles and the accompanying song. In the end, it's a better pilot for a SoIF show than I would have thought possible.

I also have enjoyed the casting, and especially the sets and clothing and the little background details. When Ned and his men are dealing with the condemned brother near the start, in the long shots, there are men standing watch on the ridges in the distance, a tactical detail that makes perfect sense, but which isn't commonly seen in this type of story and must have taken some extra effort to set up. Likewise, we see servants preparing a hall for feasting, rather than just the end result, and even Ned's clothes are dirty and worn. Courtyards are cluttered, subordinates are argumentative, the world seems lived-in. It's got the same sort of impact that Alien had, with it's dirty and tired future compared to the shinier Star Wars and Star Trek.

I have to say that my favorites right now are Tyrion and Khal Drogo and Denerys, and of course Ned as the headliner. (I admit to being happy with all the cast, there are none yet that I'd say are poorly suited to their roles.)

It's an excellent start.

I don't know about Khal Drogo. In the book, Khal Drogo's character has been afforded some subtlety from very early on, while in the movie he's been reduced to a single dimension.

Poor doggy.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Poor doggy. :(
That's not fair, Danerys turned around this time.

Atras wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
Poor doggy. :(
That's not fair, Danerys turned around this time.

Nice.

Even though we knew it was coming, my wife still teared up.

Yeah, we'll be watching it tonight, but that's the point where my wife had to stop reading the book.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Poor doggy. :(

Yeah. Now I hate that daughter. Rrrrrrr....

This is my first exposure to the material as well. My wife and I decided to "try it out" tonight and watch the pilot which I'd recorded last week. We ended up going through both episodes and to my surprise my wife loved it. So far, so good.

It reminds me a lot of "The Wire" in so far as there are a bunch of characters that are so well acted that they feel completely real and I hang on every word they say because it tells me more about who they are. I especially like Tyrion. What a great character to conceive of.

DSGamer wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
Poor doggy. :(

Yeah. Now I hate that daughter. Rrrrrrr....

Which?

One thing that the show isn't really doing a very good job of is explaining how tragically naive that Sansa is at this part of the story. She so wants to be in the fairy tale, when Westros is definitely far from that type of reality. They try to show it, but to me it doesn't seem nearly as obvious to new viewers what's she's really like.

She hang's Arya out to dry, and the end result is her own wolf dies because she didn't tell the truth. Of course, she blames Arya.

Arya's always been my favorite character of these books.

MannishBoy wrote:
Sansa ... hangs Arya out to dry, and the end result is her own wolf dies because she didn't tell the truth. Of course, she blames Arya.

Arya's always been my favorite character of these books.


Well, Arya is totally awesome. The actress they got to play her couldn't be better, either. She has the "feel" of Arya down perfectly, and the writers have done well getting across what she is about, too.

I agree with you Mannish, Sansa so far has been a missed opportunity by the writers. The actress seems fine, but they haven't spent much time showing how immature she really is, yet. I suspect there will be plenty of chances for it in King's Landing, though. As much as I dislike Sansa, and it is her lie that ends up with her wolf punished for it, I still can't feel smug about it.

How cool was Summer (Bran's wolf)? Damn savage, and totally awesome.

Sansa is who I'm talking about. I think I'm really going to like Arya. Once again I have no idea who the story goes, but I'm already envisioning her growing up to be this type-breaking badass if the story goes on that long. Her sister is naive and got that poor wolf killed.

I was curious that they haven't shown Ghost at all (except initially as a pup). I'm wondering if they will have difficulty showing a large white wolf.

The production values so far are through the roof. The attention to detail, the sets, the locations. If they stick to this and don't cheap out soon we eventually could see a large wolf. I thought the same thing myself even not knowing the source material. I wondered if we'd get to see a giant wolf amongst them regularly and what that would cost in CGI, I assume. I wonder what have these episodes cost so far.

I also wondered a bit about why there wasn't more Ghost shown yet, or Grey Wind for that matter.

I suspect we'll be seeing more of both soon.

Tyrion felt much more alive and real in this episode. His conversation with Snow on the trail was excellent. Contemptuous but still very interested in developing Snow; this was the Tyrion I've been hoping to see.

Nevin73 wrote:
I was curious that they haven't shown Ghost at all (except initially as a pup). I'm wondering if they will have difficulty showing a large white wolf.

Ya, I was a little surprised he wasn't trotting next to Jon and his horse when they were leaving Winterfell. He was briefly shown in the scene with Jon and Tyrion sitting in camp talking. In the wide setup shot, before they actually show them talking, you can see Ghost laying next to Jon by the water. I'm sure we'll get more of Ghost now that they have arrived at the Wall.

-edit-

DSGamer wrote:
I wondered if we'd get to see a giant wolf amongst them regularly and what that would cost in CGI, I assume. I wonder what have these episodes cost so far.

Unfortunately, I think one concession they made was no CGI wolves. They didn't have the budget to make it look convinving so opted to not try at all. I believe they are going to try to use camera tricks (like this) to make them appear larger.

Well I feel much more "into" the second episode, and re-watched the first. It wasn't that the first episode was bad, I thought it was great but the first watch introduced so many characters, and I haven't read the books that it was overwhelming. Now with more story to feed off, I can finally start mapping all the characters together.

I do not like that little douchey prince though, I know that.

Tyrion slapping Joffery was great.

My wife knows nothing beyond what I tell her. Once the scene with Lady popped up I essentially had to spoil the rest of the series for her -- at her urgent request -- to keep her in it. That's just how she rolls.

I'm loving it so far. Bran falling from the window set part of the tone. This episode pretty much set the course and Lady's demise sealed it. Very powerful episode.

EDIT: I've been surprised at how little the wolves are shown as well. I was getting worried that they were going to change the scene in Bran's room somehow and was pleased when Summer came achompin'.

Sansa's "fairytale" wishes and how they're not as apparent as in the book is a good observation. Having my wife next to me brings these things out. She's not quite getting a lot of the finer points that are perhaps hinted at but don't come across in this medium at the speed they have to move. Sansa was one as was the wolves crying for Bran. She had a big "a-ha" moment when Summer came to the rescue and I connected her back to Cat complaining about the noise.

One thing bugging me is that Dinklage's accent is not believable to me. I know it's fake and I can tell it's fake. That rarely happens in productions this large and it grates on me.

The one actor who I'm really digging so far is the guy playing Jorah Mormont. Very little screen time so far but he's done a good job.

So is every episode going to end on a cliff hangar involving Bran? It's also interesting that this episode seemed toned down compared to the pilot. I like the interactions between Jon and Tyrion since they both seem to be in similar positions in their respective families.

I liked the pacing much more this time around. I agree about Dinklage's faux accent, it's pretty bad. It's probably more noticeable since other actors seem to be using their own voices. Anyone else notice how the introduction changed this time around? Last time it ended on Pentos, this time on the Dothraki lands. Nice touch.

NathanialG wrote:
Tyrion slapping Joffery was great.

Tyrion won my dying affection there--wake up in the dog pen after a night of drunken whoring, bitch-slap a little puke a foot taller, and he still has his priorities straight--Breakfast.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
NathanialG wrote:
Tyrion slapping Joffery was great.

Tyrion won my dying affection there--wake up in the dog pen after a night of drunken whoring, bitch-slap a little puke a foot taller, and he still has his priorities straight--Breakfast.

His breakfast order was quite good as well, I recall blackened bacon and a large mug of ale to wash it down.

Reaper81 wrote:
Tyrion felt much more alive and real in this episode.

I liked Tyrion a lot more this episode as well. I'm still a bit uncertain about Cersei--she's not as animated as I would have expected. Arya is killing it.

Happytime Harry wrote:
SpacePPoliceman wrote:
NathanialG wrote:
Tyrion slapping Joffery was great.

Tyrion won my dying affection there--wake up in the dog pen after a night of drunken whoring, bitch-slap a little puke a foot taller, and he still has his priorities straight--Breakfast.

His breakfast order was quite good as well, I recall blackened bacon and a large mug of ale to wash it down.

2 little fish, some bread, a large mug of dark beer to wash it down and a rasher of bacon, blackened.