I finally caved.
I was holding out hope for the release of The Winds of Winter (at the very least) but the show’s going to end long before the book comes out and with the final season on the horizon, I need to know how this thing is going to end. So I’m watching. One episode a day and, with the amount of time left for the release of the last season at the time of this writing, I should wrap up all of the old stuff just in time.
This isn’t a review by the way. These are my thoughts. Just things that I felt like writing about after the episode was done. Let’s begin.
That first view of the wall
It’s breathtaking. I’ve only ever seen the wall in my head so to actually see it was just … yeah. It’s hard to remember to breathe when staring down the length of something that enormous and imposing. (And yes, I’m aware of how that second sentence sounds, but the wall is massive, goddamn.)
That arrogant Night’s Watch dude
Never liked him in the prologue of the book either. Dude was an ass. Deserved everything he got. I do love that they captured the essence of arrogant, relatively green noble so accurately. It set the tone for things to come. The wall was a damned impressive sight, but the fact that they nailed the prologue characters so well spoke to a tremendous commitment to detail. I was very pleased.
The White Walker(s)
Main walker dude wasn’t quite the way I pictured the Walkers, but I’ve seen those faces in promo materials enough to not be upset by it. He wasn’t quite as terror inducing as the books made him out to be, but his little undead girl pal more than compensated. Admittedly, I should have seen that bit coming but I didn’t and it freaked me the hell out.
I love Sean Bean as Eddard Stark. I know what’s going to happen to him and it makes me sad.
Now that is a greatsword.
Does he ever smile? I don’t think he ever smiles. Someone seems to have locked his face’s setting on ‘brood’ and he can’t seem to get out of it. Besides Ned himself and one other (who I’ll talk about next) the entirety of the Stark family seemed largely forgettable in the first episode.
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark is so terribly, terribly adorable. First the bit with the arrow and her little bow after she made the shot, then watching the King’s arrival with the little helmet on, Arya is exactly how I pictured her. Wonderful casting choice. I am pleased. However, I am vastly less pleased with …
Funny thing is, it isn’t technically Sophie Turner’s fault. Early on in the books – and for a fair length of the series if memory serves – Sansa was always made to sound largely vapid and empty-headed. Sophie Turner looks far too sharp to pull that off convincingly. That bit during which she asks Catelyn to convince Ned to take up the post of Hand so she can marry Joffery was … eurgh. And, before that, when she said she was thirteen years old, I actually snorted. I’m looking forward to the evolution of Sansa, but this certainly isn’t the character I disliked profoundly from the books.
So blonde and arrogant and handsome. Most excellent. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau isn’t quite what I pictured, but he’s definitely more than enough.
GODDAMN. GOD. DAMN. They could dub over every piece of dialogue in Game of Thrones with Peter Dinklage just saying random words and I would watch the ever-loving crap out of it anyway. His conversation in particular was so masterfully done. The minute-or-so of needling followed by a lesson immediately after was masterfully delivered and I. cannot. wait. to hear that man talking again. Tyrion is my first and greatest love from the books and to see him translated so expertly onto the screen brings me such joy.
“The things I do for love.”
That was. It was. Yeah. Wow. It was rough to read but even rougher to watch. I think what made it so much worse was actually seeing the casual, unthinking callousness with which Bran gets shoved. That was, in a lot of ways, the first domino and precisely zero punches were pulled in translating it from page to screen. I’m quite thrilled – because a lot of terrible things happen in the books and now I get to watch them. But I’m also unsettled and vaguely horrified – because a lot of terrible things happen in the books and now I’m going to watch them.
Oh dear. This is going to be a ride, isn’t it?
Oh well. Onward to episode 2!