Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, is dead. King Robert Baratheon plans to ask his oldest friend, Eddard Stark, to take Jon's place. Across the sea, Viserys Targaryen plans to wed his sister to a nomadic warlord in exchange for an army.
In the land of Winterfell, Lord Ned Stark begins to believe that something is amiss. A deserter from the Night Watch, the guardians of the giant ice wall at the northern boundary of their territory, says he's seen the white walkers. Later, Ned and his sons find animals slain in the woods, including a she-wolf whose six pups they keep, one for each of Ned's children. They also welcome the arrival of Ned's good friend King Robert who was once betrothed to Ned's sister. She was killed before they could marry and he wed Cersei Lannister who has given him a son, Joffrey. Along with them are Cersei's two brothers, the handsome Jaime and Tyrion, a dwarf with very large appetites. The King wants Ned to return with him to his capital, King's Landing, and become the King's Hand. Ned accepts but his young son Bran accidentally sees something he should not have and suffers a serious fall as a result. Meanwhile, in the land across the narrow sea, Viserys Targaryen needs an army to attack King's ... Written by
When King Robert Baratheon greets the Starks in Winterfell, he tells Bran Stark to "show him his muscles" and that he'll be a soldier, but this is in error. Because Bran is of noble birth, he would never be a common soldier. Instead, he could be a knight, a much more honorable title and fitting for the second son of a Lord. See more »
In the opening credits of the first two episodes, when the names of the actors appear next to the crest of the House their characters belong to, Emilia Clarke (who plays Daenerys Targaryen) and Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) are shown with a Lannister lion, while Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa Stark) is shown with a Targaryen dragon. From episode 3 on, the actors' names appear next to the proper crests (a dragon for Clarke, a bear for Glen, and a wolf for Turner). This was corrected in the DVD/Blu-Ray release. See more »
The cities and places featured in the opening credits change as the series progresses. For example, in the first episode, Pentos is shown whereas in later episodes, because it is not pertinent to the episode's narrative, it is not. See more »
Game of Thrones offers an epic on the scale of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and doesn't dumb-down the subject matter; this is fantasy for grown-ups.
Visually this is on a par with many a cinematic effort. The effects which create castles and cities are of a high standard and the opening scene involving a foreboding, snow-covered wood was hauntingly beautiful. The costumes are superb; very original, with unusual and authentic-looking hair and makeup designs. The cinematography is simply beautiful, with some amazing wide shots (courtesy of the special effects) of the interesting landscapes on display, ranging from damp, Gothic castles to sweeping seascapes and deserts.
This episode offered the perfect balance of dark scares, humour, drama and character-building. I'd heard beforehand it would be full of sex, violence and swearing. I thought the amount of each was entirely in proportion with the type of series this is and didn't find it gratuitous at all. I have never read the books but despite the complexity, with many families introduced and their myriad connections to each other unclear at this early stage, I didn't find the content overly complex or hard to follow.
The acting was good - not excellent but easily of the standard required. The impression created is that this will improve as the series progresses. All in all this was an excellent opening episode and I look forward to more.
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