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Friday, July 24, 2015

TV Series Adaptation Review: Game of Thrones Season 1

image source: here. edited by me.
I finally watched the first season of Game of Thrones by the end of last month! I know I'm four seasons behind, but I don't really care because I watched this just to refresh my memory before I started reading the second book in A Song of Ice and Fire series: which is A Clash of Kings. I must say, that my experience watching the TV series after having read the book is completely different from those who only watched the TV series. I already know all the major plot points and twists that will happen in the story, so there's barely anything that surprised me. But I will have to say that I still thoroughly enjoyed it nevertheless. I love watching the world along with all the characters in it come to life. There are 10 episodes in this first season; and in this review I will briefly mention the overall plot and discuss my thoughts on this TV series adaptation as well :) *There might be some minor spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.

☆ Plot Summary ☆

The first episode starts off by introducing the realm and three different settings in which the story takes place. The first one, is Winterfell—Kingdom in the North, ruled by Lord Eddard Stark (Ned) and Lady Catelyn. They have five chidren: Robb Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Brandon Stark, Rickon Stark; and lastly, Ned's bastard son: Jon Snow. And then there's King's Landing, where King Roberth Baratheon ruled the Seven Kingdoms with his wife, Queen Cersei Lannister. The King rides North to Winterfell after the death of Jon Arryn—the King's Hand. And King Robert wants to appoint Ned as the next Hand of the King. A while later, Lady Catelyn received a letter from her sister, Lysa (Jon Arryn's wife) declaring that Jon Arryn was murdered by the Lannisters. And even though Ned doesn't want to take on the job as the King's Hand, he finds it necessary to unveil the mystery behind Jon Arryn's death and what the Lannisters are up to.

On the other side of the Narrow Sea, Viserys Targaryen and his sister, Daenerys Targaryen lives in exile in the continent of Essos after King Robert Baratheon defeated their father, the late King Aerys Targaryen. Viserys plans on regaining the Iron Throne by selling his sister to Khal Drogo, the leader of the Dothraki tribe. Khal Drogo promised him an army that will help Viserys return to Westeros and take the throne.

If you've read my review on the book, my summary is pretty much the same. Because I'd say that this first season really stayed true to the original story in the book. No doubt there are some minor details that are left out in the TV show or maybe some side characters that are not shown; but story-wise, everything is exactly as I remembered. I'm really satisfied with how the TV show introduced the world of Westeros; starting from Winterfell, King's Landing, Pentos, and the Wall. The differentiation between each places is done extremely well; and I think it's really important to set this foundation because the story jumps from one place to another over time. And even though the story is told in a quite different way compared to the book, it still serves the same purpose and relayed the whole story to the audience really well.

Another thing that I want to applaud for this TV series is the astounding casts! I will talk later about my favorite and least favorite characters in this TV show, but let me just say these actors/actresses did such an amazing job portraying the characters. And I'm not only talking about the main casts, but also those who played the minor/side characters—I think every single one of them are brilliant. Kudos to those who took part in the casting :))

☆ Favorite Characters & Favorite Scenes ☆

  • Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams) : My love for Arya's character multiplied after watching the TV series. She's not princess-like, loves to wield a weapon, and will potentially be a badass character later on in the story. Just like in the book, I love her relationship with Jon Snow—unfortunately we don't get to see them together for long :(
  • Jon Snow (played by Kit Harrington) : Oh, Jon. He's also one of my favorite characters from the book and his exquisite British accent made me love him even  more ♥ I think Kit Harrington did a marvelous job portraying Jon Snow's character—who has a lot of wounds because he's Ned Stark's bastard. I love his interaction with Samwell Tarly (played by John Bradley) in the Wall. Jon shared his feelings about being a bastard, which is really sad :( But thankfully Sam quickly lightens up the mood.
"Honor made you leave, and honor brought you back."
  • Syrio Forel (played by Miltos Yeromelou) : I didn't really mention his character much in my book review, but I absolutely love Syrio in the TV series! I always love the scenes where he teaches Arya swordplay; and my most favorite scene is when Syrio fights off the Lannister guards with only a wooden sword. Below is one of my favorite quotes by Syrio Forel :))))
There is only one god, and his name is Death.
And there is only one thing we say to Death: ‘Not today.’
  • Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) : No doubt, Tyrion is still my most favorite characters in both the book and TV series. I'm so so satisfied with how Peter Dinklage portrayed this amazing character. He's exactly like how I imagined him in the book. All his dialogues are so on point, full of wisdom and truth. My favourite scene involving Tyrion will be his moments with Jon Snow, when he personally designed the saddle for Bran, and when he decided to 'confess his crimes' in front of Lady Arryn as well as asking for trial by combat. Needless to say, he's one amazing character despite the half-man that he is. Probably because of his love of reading ;)
"I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards and broken things."
Let me give you some advice bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you. 
  • Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) : Here's another character that I also loved from the book. But first of all, let me say how gorgeous Emilia Clarke is as Daenerys. Stunning is probably a more fitting description for her. Anyways, I absolutely love her character development; which is exactly like how her character is in the book, and I'm thoroughly satisfied with the portrayal in this TV series. My favourite moments in the TV series that includes Daenerys will be the time when she declared that her brother, Viserys, was no dragon. And of course, that scene in the last episode !! Epic scene ! I already knew it'll happen since I've read the book, but it's still amazing to watch nevertheless. Absolutely love her character; she's overflowing with the charisma of a queen.
"I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki! I am the wife of the great Khal and I carry his son inside me! The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands."

☆ Least Favorite Characters ☆

  • Joffrey Baratheon (played by Jack Gleeson) : I've hated Joffrey since I've read the book and I think Jack Gleeson successfully made his character ten times more annoying. Even just looking at his sly expression makes me want to slap him. Ugh. No hard feelings on the actor though, because I watched some interviews and he's a pretty decent guy. Have to admit that he's a great actor.
  • Sansa Stark (played by Sophie Turner) : I didn't mention Sansa in my book review, but I'd have to say that I hated her character in the TV series. She's whiny and selfish; and quite ambitious to become a queen as well. There are several moments when I almost cursed because Sansa is so rude and annoying. But I think after what happened to her family, Sansa's character might change over time. Who knows.
  • Eddard 'Ned' Stark (played by Sean Bean) : Well, I don't actually hate Ned, but his character definitely frustrates me—which I also felt when I read the book. I feel like his character is too innocent for this 'game of thrones'. And why couldn't he figured things out sooner? It's like all the clues are laid out in front of him, but he just doesn't get it. Anyways, I liked Sean Bean's portrayal of Ned's character. And I just realised that he's actually Boromir from the LOTR movies! 
  • Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (played by Aidan Gillen) : In my opinion, the casting for this character is perfect. Because the very first moment Petyr Baelish showed up on screen, I can instantly see that he's not the kind of man who can be trusted. He has this sneaky look on his face and it seems like we can never know what he's planning in his head. 
  • Lord Varys (played by Conleth Hill) : I didn't pay much attention to his character when I read the book, but he's just as sneaky as Littlefinger is. I don't know exactly who he's siding with, and it's still mysterious to me how he's able to know everything. I'm eager to find out more about him; I'll pay more attention to Varys when I'm reading the second book.
There are other characters like Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey) and her twin brother, Jaime Lannister (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), but I still don't hate them that much—despite what they've done so far in the series. But I think the portrayal for both of these characters are brilliant as well, especially Cersei.

Literally me when I see Ned Stark's decisions.... *sigh*

☆ Overall Thoughts ☆

As I've said earlier, the first season of Game of Thrones really stayed true to the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire series. Of course there are some characters or scenes that are left out, but all the major plot points and character developments are nicely done. This first season successfully sets the foundation for the whole series; it's all about the battle of conquering the Seven Kingdoms and claiming the Iron Throne. I am most satisfied with the settings and how culturally different each country is. And even though I've read the book, I caught some smaller details from the TV show that I seem to miss before; and that's definitely a plus. I also paid better attention to the side characters who seems like they'll play some bigger roles later in the story :)

Overall, I think David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did an amazing job making the story of A Song of Ice and Fire come to life. Perfect casting, awesome wardrobe, incredible world-building. All the episodes kind of ended on a very intense scene, which always makes me eager to watch the next episode right at that moment. It's no surprise that so many people loved this TV show because it's full of unexpected twists and just pure epicness. I do have to warn you that there are several explicit sexual scenes and nudity involved in the TV show—so please watch it only if you're age appropriate. The book does have those kinds of scenes as well but they're not as explicit. I'm currently in the process of reading the second book and of course I will continue watching the second season when I'm planning to read the third book (which I'm not sure when that'll be). And I do hope that George R.R. Martin will finish the series soon, so I'll have a reason to marathon all the books.

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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