Finally got back to the show – that’s how hectic my life has gotten. Watched episodes 3-5 Monday, then 6 to 8 on Thursday and 9 & 10 today. At first, after episode 1, I went ahead to re-read Game of Thrones because I didn’t really remember the detail or the lesser characters or smaller plot points. Then I watched the 2nd episode and fell in the same rut as the rest of you did: comparing and complaining. I realized that I was doing the show a disservice so I lucked out by missing the weekly showing and read other books to kinda bury the re-read deep.
That let me enjoy the show more – erode the silly expectations or some of my more fanciful imagination — and allow myself to ride the dramatic beats better. Give the show a fair shot and shut up my inner critic.
Most of the complaints I’ve read elsewhere are valid (too much time spent on prostitutes — who the hell is Ros? — or not enough focus on battles or the awesome Vale castle — budget problems?) but at the same time I grew to like the acting, the small changes (Shae is a hell lot more blunt and strong-minded than I remember) and i felt the show found its footing as the episodes rolled on.
The final scene worked well – I felt this was the most important cliffhanger – and I’m grateful the show succeeded as an adaptation. It wasn’t perfect, no doubt, but I’m glad it was a great viewing experience all around.
What they did right:
- art direction was near perfect.
- Peter Dinklage killed as Tyrion.
- Intrigue was preserved rather well. This is the strength of the series. This alone saves the adaptation from any lapse of judgment in directing or casting.
What they did wrong:
- not enough time demonstrating Daenerys’ growth. They skipped too many points and ended up with a contrived heroine.
- Where were the motherfucking battles? All that buildup between house Lannister & Stark was wasted. Gregor Cleagane goes on a killing spree entirely off-screen. Budgetary reasons is the culprit but come on. More gore, less tits & asses. Too lazy, HBO!
- Crappy casting between Rickon and Bran. They seemed twins except one was muddy and the other seemed to enjoy riding people a lot.
Regardless of the criticisms, I feel the creators did a good job their first time around. A show this terrific will learn from the mistakes and tighten up the scripts, add better talent as it goes forward. I look forward to the next season!