Friday, 27 September 2013

A newbies thumbnail appraisal of Game of Thrones

I have always wanted to sit and watch Game of Thrones. Everything about it appeals to me. The brutallity of the combat, the inter-kingdom fighting, the struggle for power and control and of course the wild sex.

I bought the box set for seasons 1 and 2 and last night finished season 1.

Tyrion LannisterI have to say that I've enjoyed every bit of it. The characters are wonderfully defined and the settings are quite magnificent. There isn't a single stand out performance as they are all so strong although I'd have to give special mention to Peter Dinklage's Tyrian Lannister (left). There's never a dull moment or wasted line of dialogue when he's on screen.

In fact the casting for this show deserves a mention. To present so many unknown (and largely British) actors is bold. The young lad that plays Joffrey Baratheon, for example, seems perfectly positioned to portray such a vile role. I'd never seen him before but he pulls it off with ease. Almost too easy.

And then you have seasoned actors such as Sean Bean and Mark Addy in key roles. Where the boat rocks and we lose a few deck hands overboard Bean and Addy are there to pull the thing back in to line. Their lines and delivery are perfect. Addy inparticular seems born to play such a slob of a king. Foul mouthed, arrogant, drunk and yet thoroughly endearing.

But for me it's the inclusion of Charles Dance that galvanises the show. His appearance toward the end of the series solidifies and justifies the events that unfold. His seasoned head for character acting allows him to produce a commanding role as head of the Lannister family and also allows the show's producers to sit back and relax a little as he commands each scene he owns. His presence is firm and his performance is cast iron. Not to undermine the work of Sean Bean but Dance's presence really does give the show a wealth of added credibility.

Daenerys Targaryen
Overall the show, for me, is about the Stark family children. Particularly the bastard child Jon Snow. Actually I'm fairly convinced that the writer feels close to Jon Snow. His journey is an intriguing one and at the same time a curious one. His stationing on "the wall" in the far North, his vow to protect the lands from whatever lies beyond and his subsequent struggle with the thought of his siblings being at war whilst he stands far back unable to help makes for a great character.

And who could write a short summary of Game of Thrones without mentioning the gorgeous Daenerys Targaryen (left). This young lady just owns the screen. Her development over 10 episodes from the almost waif-like slave to her awful brother to Khalisi (queen) of the Dothraki is captivating. Her shock of ornately styled blonde hair beautifully framing her wide-eyed and innocent looking face belies her emerging ruthlessness. As queen she made some terrible decisions. I look forward to seeing her development continue in to series 2 as she comes to terms with the consequences.

Game of Thrones has captured my imagination and I can now see its enormous and obvious appeal. I look forward to starting the journey of season 2. A fantastic show.

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