So, some of you have been asking me to put up my impressions of the show now that I've watched the first two episodes. Seeing, after all, as I've been its cheerleader on this here blog now for going on two years. And to that I say: well, I could do the standard boring review . . . by which I'd be forced to think of something witty and erudite to dazzle my readers with.
But then I thought -- nah! I'm too lazy for all that. Instead, I thought I'd try something different. What I'm going to give you is my gut reactions "live" as each scene plays out. So, in other words, this is going to be a written blow-by-blow account as the episode is playing out on my tv screen. You'll get to hear my unadulterated thoughts on the plot, dialog, and acting of the show exactly as it first enters into my skull.
Yes it's going to be THAT visceral, folks!
Or, in actuality, it'll just be plain and straight-forward. I simply don't know! And that's the beauty of this. You may think that because I'm such a huge fan of the books that I might be predisposed toward loving each episode even if the end result is a steaming pile of polar bear turds wafting gently in the icy cold winds of the Far North. But, nah-ah. Not on my watch, mister (and mistresses). Let me tell it to you straight right now: if something about this show stinks, you best believe I will call it out. I can do it no other way.
That being said, I have confidence that this show is going to live up to my expectations because the reviews have been, by and large, extremely positive so far.
So while I will call it like I see it, I don't expect that there will be any egregious mistakes for me to get all huffy over.
One more caveat, however, before I go on and start this puppy up: I am indeed a super fan of the book series, with near encyclopedic recall of most of the major (and some of the minor) threads being woven at any given time throughout all present 4 novels. As such, I probably won't--but most likely still will--make any n00b-like mistakes like calling Eddard Stark "Eddy" for short, or not knowing which pale-faced, clean-shaven adolescent boy is Jon or Robb. No, such things I leave to those less familiar with the books.
What I can promise, though, is that I won't spoil anything for future episodes. When I point out any divergences from the books, I won't then blab away about how this chicken deflowering scene doesn't work because in book 3, chapter 53 we learn that Tyrion the dwarf does not, in fact, enjoy poultry in either its plucked or feathered state, and would thus never be caught dead in a chicken coop at some ungodly hour of the morning. No matter, I say, no matter how many barrels of ale he's consumed!
So we cool, ese, we cool?
Cool, I thought so! And now, without further ado . . .
WINTER IS COMING.
Oooh, HBO kicks it in to super glorious HD with DD 5.1 surround sound the minute the episode begins. Cranking up the master volume until I can no longer hear the neighbors cursing my name . . .
Damn! That's some loud shit, yo! The creaking of this huge gate winding upward sounds ridiculously AWESOME coming out of my surrounds. God bless home theater technology! *weeps manfully*
Three men on horseback, dressed all in black. Hope you got your thermal adult diapers on, boys. I know where this is going . . .
Oooh, the Wall is fooking BEAUTIFUL. My gawd!!! I remember watching the raw cut of this scene many many moons ago. Beyond the Wall did NOT look this damn good back then. I'm suitably impressed.
Hmm, grisly half-naked bodies in the snow. Or should I say, naked half-bodies in the snow? Heh, heh, get it?
I'm guessing skinny dude with the fucktard face is supposed to be Will. Other dude with the even fuckiest fucktard face and high-fallutin accent must be Ser Waymar. I hope you get it GOOD, fucktard!
Whoops! He sure did get it good -- Highlander style! There can be only one, bitches!
Hmm, not quite the way it happened in the book. But no biggie. Still cool as fuck!
Will's running through the woods. Don't run dude . . . it never ends well when they run.
Creepy little girl with glowing blue eyes -- chilling!
Oops, there goes another one! Headhunter 2 - Cops 0. Poor Gared. Alas, we never knew him.
Will looking especially fucktardish now. Told ya , boy! Ye shoulda packed yer Depends disposables . . .
Damn, the title sequence for this show is OFF DA HOOK! I wasn't a big fan when I first saw this, but seeing it now in glorious HD and hearing those stirring, bombastic chords in surround sound plus the woofer . . . OMFG!!!
Wide shot of Winterfell looks like this ancient fortress I want to visit someday in Belgrade, by way of Scottish countryside. Noice!
LOL! Arya is like: fuck this needlepoint bullshit -- I hear my bros shooting arrows! God I love the little girl actress they chose to play Arya. She is abso-fucking-lutely PERFECT!
All the Stark children are perfect, actually. Wow. I sound like such a gibbering fanboy.
This show is made 100 times better just by having Sean Bean in it. Both he and the actress playing Cat are also perfect. Jeez, big ups to the casting department so far.
So they're calling The Others "white walkers" now? Guess because that dumb-ass ABC show, Lost, already coined that phrase or something. Whatever. White Walkers will do.
And, whoops! There goes another head. Jeez, only 17 minutes in and there has already been three decapitations in Westeros. Guess they never heeded my man Connor MacLeod when he said to Duncan: heh heh . . . don't loose your head.
Oooh, direwolf puppies! I want one! Awww . . .
Ew, Theon Greyjoy looks like he enjoys it up the wrong end. Strike one against casting. Although, Theon is a douche in the books, soo . . .
"While he's out fucking boars and hunting whores . . . or is it the other way around?"
LOL! Line of the episode so far! And delivered by the badass himself, Jaime fucking Lannister! Yeah, boy! One of my fave characters. I didn't like this actor in that Fox show, New Amsterdam, but he's almost PERFECT for Jaime.
Ooh, Cersei is hommina-hommina hot, all sulky and scheming like that! I'd shag her, too, if I were . . . oh wait, I'm getting ahead of things. My bad.
Oh my, the Godswood is frackin amazing! I almost want to cry! Sean Bean cleaning Ice under the heart tree. I need this as my background poster PRONTO!
Cat knows Tyrion is coming to visit along with everyone else. Better order some more ale from the storeroom, Maester Luwin. Damn effing STRAIGHT, milady! The Imp knows how to throw them down!
Oh, I love Bran! This little boy is going to sell this show, methinks. Along with Arya.
Crappy CGI green screen glow on the rooftops of Winterfell. Looks like a PS2 video game cutscene. Blech!
Wow, that puppy's got BIG! Michael Scott came into the scene to say: "That's what she said!" before running off. Cat ordered him run down and sent to the Wall.
LOL! at Bran looking contrite when he's caught in his lie by momma. Awesome moment!
Arya is so dang CUTE in her oversize helmet and cape. Love this little girl's facial expressions. She's so properly mischievous. Oh, they're doing the book proud!
Oh my lawd! The Hound's helmet looks like ass. It looks like a bunch of kindergärtners made it out of some Elmer's glue and construction paper. Why is the upper mandible flopping like a rubber dick when he rides? (eww, sorry for that mental image, folks).
LOL @ Arya: MOVE! she yells at Bran. And Bran wisely steps aside. Gotta love little kids who are close siblings in age.
Wow, the actress playing Sansa is absolutely beautiful. I know she's only 15 . . . but dayum! (uh-oh, Internet police knocking on my door . . .)
Ick. Joffrey just pranced in on his high horse. Already want to smash the little fucker's face in. Great casting!
Damn, Mark Addy looks awesome as King Robert. Go, you! You're always playing the fat, comic relief in other movies. Now you get to play pathetic and tragic, too! It's been a long road since The Full Monty, eh?
Arya: Where's the Imp?
Sansa: Shut UP!
There's the Imp! DOOD! Pinter Dinklage *is* Tyrion Lannister! My god, this is absolute BRILLIANT casting! Exactly as I imagined him from the books.
Heh, heh . . . I knew there was a reason he was enjoying that mug of ale a little too heartily. There was a whore's mouth on the other side of his pee-pee! Sean Connery hobbled into the scene to point and say: "You da man now, dawg!" before heading to his own room on the other side of the whore house.
Halfway through the first ep and . . . boobies flying EVERYWHERE! Yup, I'm watching HBO in case we didn't already know.
Hmm, am I sick for being disappointed that Viserys didn't do the nipple twist? Oh well, he still slipped in a "you don't want to wake the dragon, do you?" so all is well in novel-to-screen land.
Harry Lloyd is strangely fascinating as Viserys. Wow.
Daenerys is so damn smoking hot! I kinda feel ashamed for already getting to see her in her birthday suit without proper introductions first. Kinda.
Ick! Yo, bro, stop handling the bewbs! This is worst than kissing cousins! Yeah, but I hear it's all the rage in Westeros these days . . .
Oh, my bad. We're still not up to that part yet, huh?
Uh, no. 'Tis a secret, milord. *Shhhhhhh!*
LOL! Khal Drogo wearing more eye makeup than the girl he's supposed to be marrying. No wonder he's pissed!
Viserys and Illyrio stop and turn to stare at Daenerys like she's a petunia that suddenly started reciting limericks. Who asked for your opinion on who you want to marry? Mens be talking, bitch. LOL, priceless!
"I would let his whole tribe fuck you . . . all 40,000 men and their horses, too, if that's what it took." Dang! Cold-blooded, bro. That must be why your hair and eyebrows are bleached, eh?
Very good dialog in this ep. Sometimes straight off the pages, sometimes not. Always effective, tho.
Damn, Jon gave that practice mannequin a what's-for, that's fer sure! Anger issues much?
Oooh, Uncle Benjen also looks just like I imagined him to be. First Ranger of the Watch, yeah YEAH!!!
"All dwarves are bastards in their father's eyes."
That's it. I'm done! This is officially the best show EVAR! That right there is the SHIT! That's my line of the night! Straight out of the book, no fucking around. Ahhh -- I want to punch something, I'm so happy!
Tyrion is da man! This scene between him and Jon should be Emmy nominated. For realz.
Googly eyes between Sansa and Joffrey. Gag me now, why don't you? Have I mentioned before I want something large and preferably glaciatic to lodge itself halfway through this kid's face? Because I do. I so do. Once again, great casting tho.
"I don't fight in tournaments, because when I fight a man for real . . . I don't want him to know what I can do."
Yeah, Ned -- you tell him! Show him you're a badass, too! This scene isn't anywhere to be found in the books, but damn I wish it were now. Samuel L. Jackson wandered into the scene just then to tell Jaime: "If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions."
True dat, Jules. True dat.
LOL! Sansa got a spoonful of either goose shit or pâté (is there a difference?) to the face courtesy of her little sis, Arya. Aww, sibling love!
LOL! Arya sent packing to bed early. Good call, Cat. You know your daughter only too well.
Oh man, I'm loving this scene! Cat on one side behind Ned's right shoulder, Maester Luwin behind the left one. One argues for why Ned shouldn't go to King's Landing, the other why he should. Beautiful framing in this shot!
This show is effing AWESOME!!! Oh wait, I said this before, didn't I? Well, it bears repeating!
Okay, tell me . . .
Who the fuck brings a box of snakes as a wedding gift? How did this man not get his head chopped off for proffering up such a suck-tacular gift to the future Khaleesi?
Eh? This entire wedding scene is much different than it's presented in the books. It looks rather amateur hour and hokey here on the tv screen. Do not like.
Next up . . . a box of dragon's eggs. Now that's what the fuck I'm talking about! That shit is DOPE!!! This man is a fucking genius for picking exactly the right gift to show proper respect to the Khal's new wife.
Uh-oh, big man Drogo is standing up. Music stops. Everyone knows what this means: time for the FUCKENING! Poor Dany. She looks like a white woman who just got off the wrong subway stop smack dab in the middle of Harlem!
Um, eww? This is not the way Drogo and Dany consummate in the book. There, it was very tasteful if maybe a tad unbelievable. But at least you got the sense she *wanted* this in the end. Here, it's directed like a goddamn rape scene! WTF is up with that?
Steaming mad . . .
LOL! Tyrion and the Hound, Sandor Clegane, sitting side by side. Sandor has a lip on him towards someone who's family pays his purse. He better watch himself.
Still, I say: more Hound!
Aww, Bran's direwolf puppy's got huge dopey ears. So cute!!!
He's looking up thinking: No, Bran -- don't go climbing today! For all that's fucking holy, lad!!!
Hmm, hot twin on twin action . . . just not the way you pervs are thinking. I'll say this for the Lannisters, though, they sure know how to keep it in the family! *groan*
Hmm, I would have enjoyed that shot a lot more if I hadn't heard on Colin Ferguson's show a few night's before that this was not Lena Headey's real ass. She was pregnant at the time of shooting this pilot episode so . . . STUNT ASS!
"The things I do for love" *shoves*
My jaw's dropped wide open. Even though this is taken straight from the book, it still shocks the fuck out of me to actually see it! When I first read the book, this was the very scene that sold me as a true die-hard fan from this moment on. I knew the author was not bullshitting around with this one.
But, awww . . . poor little Bran.
Is it just me, or did anyone just hoped he didn't land on the poor puppy? I know, I know . . . I've read the book, I know better. But still!
Ahhh, now that . . . that was just too fantastic for words. I'm speechless!
No I'm not. That was mother-EFFING AWESOME!!! It was all I wanted, and then MORE! In some ways the visuals were better than I imagined them. The Wall, Winterfell wide shot, the Godswood, Tyrion's lecherous, drunken strut . . . Sean Bean's every scene! All of these things and more were straight up perfect!
Have very big issues with the Pentos scenes. Feel a little off, and the wedding was atrocious. But, you know what? This was the pilot episode. It was shot months before the rest of the episodes in order to drum up support and get greenlit by the HBO execs. So I can't blame the Moroccan crew for not exactly getting everything perfect. They were under enormous pressures.
I'll have to wait and watch the next episode to see if they rectify the relationship between Dany and Khal Drogo. Cuz right now it's just plain wrong.
But, yes, overall I'm pleased as punch. I must apologize for all the profanity, but when you're as excited--not to mention, just a tad ale-drunk--as I was, you tend to throw proper decorum out the privy chamber. Also, I was writing on the fly, so I didn't have time for the nice-nice.
Then, also, writing fucktard is simply way too funny to pass up! :) So sue me.
Damn, if this is just the first episode I daresay I have quite a lot to look forward to.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
Next up: my scene-by-scene impressions of episode 2, "The Kingsroad."