Game of Thrones: Season 1, Episode 1

Winter Is Coming (17 Apr. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 12,005 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 21 critic

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.

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(as Tim Van Patten)

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(created by), (created by), 3 more credits »
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Title: Winter Is Coming (17 Apr 2011)

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Storyline

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 garykmcd

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17 April 2011 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In August 2014, Mr. Skin placed Emilia Clarke's nudity from this episode at #5 on their list of "The Top 150 Greatest Celebrity Nude Scenes of All Time". See more »

Goofs

When Ned Stark is talking to Robert Baratheon towards the end of the first episode, the light on the side of Robert's head appears and disappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

[after Will's execution]
Eddard Stark: You understand why I did it?
Bran Stark: Jon said he was a deserter.
Eddard Stark: But do you understand why I had to kill him?
Bran Stark: Our way is the old way?
Eddard Stark: The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.
Bran Stark: Is it true he saw the White Walkers?
Eddard Stark: The White Walkers have been gone for thousands of years.
Bran Stark: So he was lying.
Eddard Stark: A madman sees what he sees.
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Crazy Credits

The sun tells an important part of the series back story, on its panels. It does so in three segments. First, as the credits start up, the sun depicts how the Targaryens and their dragons conquered Westeros. The second time the sun is shown, a dragon is depicted in a mortal struggle with 3 other animals: The Stag, the Lion and the Wolf. It is a very literal way to show how Robert Beratheon and Ned Stark rebelled, with Tywin Lannister reluctantly supporting them, in the end. Finally, the third time the sun is shown, before the series title enter the scene, a lion (among other animals) is shown "kneeling" to a triumphant Stag. Just as Robert was crowned King after winning the war. See more »

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Main Title
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Ramin Djawadi
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User Reviews

 
Visually Stunning and Wonderfully Dark
19 April 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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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