I don't watch Game of Thrones and have no desire to watch Game of Thrones, but given how this fandom has permeated all things pop culture, I feel like I have to actually consume this show so I can understand what people are talking about.
Obviously, through pop culture, I am very vaguely aware of some series spoilers (although believe it or not, I did not know of the ones occurring specifically in this episode), so I can't pretend I am watching this show with completely unknown eyes.
Right now, I don't know if I'll be watching the episodes every day, five days a week, once a week, or even if I'll be back at all, but I'll definitely be taking it episode by episode and sharing my thoughts on each episode.
No, I don't have a pithy title for this series. If you have not seen this show before, beware, there are spoilers.
Episode 1: "Winter Is Coming"
This episode opens up with a highly effective, memorable, and suspenseful scene, one with interesting characters (even if they are stock figures), gruesome deaths, and corpses coming to life and killing people.
If I were to judge this episode by the first five minutes alone, I would say it was amazing.
Unfortunately...this energy is not kept.
After the attack, one guy reports it and is immediately dealt with in a dismissive, disposing fashion, and soon the drama completely abandons this gripping scenario in favor of some medieval-style political drama that doesn't make much sense because we're dropped in the middle of it and everyone does the "mumble dialogue" that is so commonplace on dramas these days. I know the show creators were going for a very grounded feel to this fantasy, but with all of the butchery shots and the grim style, this is very off-putting and boring. Oh, there's still violence, gruesome, and shocking moments, as well as plenty of fan-service and sex (people complaining about True Blood are crazy). In fact, if every episode from here on out is like this, I can see why people complain about this show's treatment of women. In the very first episode women are just here to screw the guys or get screwed by them, and the girl who would be a Merida-like figure instead wants to get married.
Worse than boring, though, is confusing. If I didn't already know the names "Ned Stark," "Sansa Stark," "Joffrey," and "Daenerys" from pop culture, I would not have been able to keep track of who is who. I still found it hard to keep track of who is who. In fact, after watching the episode, this is all I can gleam that happened.
- Some old king died and they put coins on his eyes.
- Some other king came into the small town of Winterfell to give Ned Stark a job offer as well as arranging a marriage between her daugher (Sansa) and the young blonde boy (Joffrey). He accepts after his wife gets a letter about someone else we don't know getting killed.
- There's a blonde lady who is the sister to two blonde adults. These royals are all of the Lannister Clan, and clearly all of these adults like having sex.
- I still can't figure out how these people are related. Peter Dinklage is one brother to the other blonde adult, but whose kid is Joffrey? And if the blonde lady is the queen, does this mean she's just a consort and her brothers are like Pippa Middleton, or they the actual royals and the king just a consort? Is she any relation to the other blonde lady (Daenerys)?
- Dannerys is sold by her brother as a bride to Aquaman so that he can rape her in exchange for an army.
- One of the Stark boys wants to go and work at the wall, but his uncle says no.
- Bran gets defenstrated after unwittinlgly watching some incest action. This was legitimately the only surprise as I thought Bran Stark was one of the main characters of this thing and only know of one Stark death that is to come.
To think, I only gleaned this much because I know these characters have larger roles later on. If I have never even heard these names, between that and the combination of the hushed dialogue, the gratuitious volence and sex, and the hyper "realistic" vibe, I'd have turned this show off and never returned. I'm really debating about continuing this show.
Maybe this gets better by the second episode, but I can't figure out who is making alliances for what and why, but instead of being a mystery, it comes across as murky and clouded in comparison to that very first scene, where the designated roles are abundantly clear.