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Game of Thrones s1e1 recap

REVIEWS - TV

HBO's fantasy epic begins...

[Spoilers]


Game of Thrones

"Winter Is Coming"

Summary: The beheading of a deserter of the Night's Watch introduces the audience to Lord Eddard 'Ned' Stark and his family. A childhood friend of the King, Lord Ned is offered the position of King's Hand when the current King's Hand is murdered by the Queen and her lover ... her twin brother. Ew. The exiled Tarageryn family is also weirdly incestuous, with the brother marrying off the sister in order to gain an army; one with which he intends to use to recapture the Throne. To conclude this rather debaucherous introduction, Lord Ned's son Bran climbs a wall and, rather unfortunately, looks through a window showcasing the Queen and her twin having special naked family time; so, to conceal this revelation, poor Bran is immediately pushed to his death.

Three men of the Night's Watch exit the Wall; two are beheaded at the camp-site of Unspeakable Carnage, the third runs for the hills. He chooses poorly, though, as the hills where he ends up are part of Winterfell, land which ultimately belongs to the Stark family. Lord Eddard 'Ned' Stark sentences the man to beheading for desertion, paying little attention to his claims that he saw White Walkers. There is a lot of blood spurting in the beheadings; it's like HBO took a lesson in gore from AMC.

Game of ThronesAccording to Lord Ned, the White Walkers have been gone from their lands for thousands of years. Then again, it hasn't been winter for a really, really long time either and as previously (and repeatedly) stated, winter is coming. Maybe he ought to think about the White Walkers? Plus, they just found a direwolf. I can't imagine something that starts with the word 'dire' is a good omen. One pup for each of the Stark children, and one for the bastard Jon Snow.

The King's Hand has died, and in a creepy, Eyes Wide Shut funeral sequence it comes to light that the Queen and her twin brother probably murdered the Hand; partially because he possessed information that would have caused the King to murder the both of them; and partially because the Queen believes that her brother should be the King's Hand. The King and Queen are heading to Winterfell to ask Lord Ned to take the position of King's Hand. Not only that, he intends for his son to marry Lord Ned's daughter - good thing too, as Sansa was making all kinds of googly eyes at him.

The Queen - Cersei Lannister - her twin brother Jaime, and her additional sibling Tyrion are in Winterfell with the King's entourage. Tyrion, a dwarf, insists that he does not like the nickname "Imp". I wait anxiously for him to say "Call me 'imp' again!" in a weird Elf recall joke. Still waiting. There's a weird presentiment of conflict between Jaime and Lord Ned; Lord Ned refuses to joust because when he fights a man for real, he doesn't want them to know what he's capable of. Love Lord Ned.

Game of ThronesFlash to the exiled, incestuous and overly-blonde Targaryen family. Brother Viserys intends to marry his sister, Daenerys, to the savage Khal Drogo in exchange for an army to retake the Iron Throne. When Daenerys protests, her brother makes it very clear that she is a spoil of war. At the wedding, the sex is interrupted only by the murder; oh, and the presentation of books and dragon's eggs to the unhappy couple.

Jon Snow wants to go to work on the Wall. Lord Ned goes out hunting, and 10-year-old Bran climbs the wall to watch the hunters go; instead he sees the Queen and her twin brother in flagrante. Jaime pushes Bran off the wall to his death.

Game of Thrones represents HBO at its finest: sparing no expense to bring to life an epic story. As The Tudors was to historical romance, so Game of Thrones is to high fantasy: intricately detailed and epic in scope. The best part about an HBO series is that there is little sense of dumbing down the story for  the audience. An expectation that the audience is smart enough, and interested enough, to follow a complicated story with adult themes.


Related:
Game Of Thrones: Winter Is Coming

Game Of Thrones s1e1 review


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