coaldustcanary: (ASOIAF - Tyrion - Is Better Than You)
[personal profile] coaldustcanary
I watched the premiere of Game of Thrones on Sunday night with [ profile] wagemage and, overall, I feel very positively about the show, albeit with a few reservations.

My review comments will spoil the episode AND some elements of the novel that parallel the first episode.

Things I liked:

The casting was, overall, excellent. I had my doubts about a number of choices, but the quality of the cast ranged from workmanlike to excellent. Standouts for me in episode one were Peter Dinklage as Tyrion (of course, because PETER DINKLAGE), Harry Lloyd as Viserys (the Doctor Who fan in me knew he'd come through as Mr. Crazypants), Mark Addy as Robert (he brought the Stark crypt scene from the books to life for me), and Nicolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey as Jaime and Cersei. The Stark kids and Jon were all very good, too, though I'll need to see them more. Sean Bean is, as always, a fine actor, but he's just so far off from my mental image of Ned that it's hard. The actor playing his brother Benjen, on the other hand, was exactly my mental image of him. I'm very sad that we're going to lose him soon when Benjen disappears on his ranging...

The majority of "new" scenes felt good to me - Bran's archery practice, for instance. Even the scenes that changed - Jon being cast out of the great hall entirely rather than just sitting with the pages - worked just fine.

Visually, the series is impressive. Though Winterfell was a bit Generic Medieval, the Wall is stunning, and the scenes beyond the Wall and in the open parts of the North were great. I like the look of the clothes and armor, though I think some of the Starks looked a tad more rustic than I would like. Pentos is lush and gorgeous, and the coastline scene of Dany and Drogo's wedding was also lovely.

My criticisms:

The T&A feels largely tacked on. ("It's not TV, it's HBO.") I didn't mind the scene with Dany bathing, because that's basically straight from the novel. However, the four-whore orgy with Tyrion was ridiculous and comic in an offputting way for me. If they'd kept it just to the conversation with the red-headed whore he was with initially, it might have been less annoying for me, I dunno.

Worst of all, though, was the "wedding night" scene between Dany and Drogo. Bad enough that Dany is robbed of her scene in which she rides her wedding gift horse around the camp, even jumping a firepit in her way, telling Drogo he has "given her the wind" and generally feeling some moments of empowerment. But then to have their sexual encounter turn from one with explicit consent (in the novel, despite the obvious power imbalance and the fact that he considers her property of a sort, they essentially engage in lengthy, gentle foreplay, and he asks her for permission before they have sex) to one that was basically rape as he throws her down on her hands and knees and prepares to fuck her while she cries.

Some people have pointed out, accurately, that Drogo is not that nice of a guy, and in the very next chapter of the book he *is* having sex with her while she's crying from pain (between the sex and her saddle sores) and he generally ignores her for the next few months of their marriage. Point taken. But to have that scene changed bothers me, because I think it was instrumental in understanding how Dany *does* come to love this guy, and have him love her in return. I'm assuming they want Dany's story from totally blank, cowed victim to empowered queen to be more clear, still bothers me.

Still, besides the "OMG SEX SEX SEX LOOK TITTIES SEX" element, there wasn't a lot I disliked. I'm certainly going to keep watching, and hope that things even out a little with time and the good continues to outweigh the bad.

Date: 2011-04-20 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've got zero problems with nudity in TV/Movies when it's done well, but I was totally not expecting the premiere to be a T&A festival. It felt okay with Dany for the most part, but halfway through I felt like I was watching a female dog and pony show. It was way too much!

I don't know if it was just me but hello sex positions, also. I know that's the Dothraki thing but I wasn't expecting Jaime and Cersei to be so...something, too. I was really disappointed with Dany/Drogo's wedding scene but I think the other people from WS are right, they're probably doing it in reverse because they can't/didn't show Dany's internal dialogue while all that was playing out so they have to start with the bad and work up. POOR DANY THOUGH.

IDK IDK IDK. I kind of hope they tone down the unnecessary stuff? There's already enough canon sex and canon nudity that I think adding more is a bit overkill. (Still seething at the one reviewer saying that this is why women are watching, argh.)


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