20 June 2011

Game of Thrones: Series Thoughts

I stopped trying to post regular recaps and thoughts on individual Game of Thrones episodes largely because there were so many other excellent ones out there.  I didn't know what else I could contribute, given what else was being said.  Some of my favorites are at Gestalt Mash, which also has a very nice series of posts where a veteran GoT reader and a newbie trade chapter-by-chapter reviews.  I am also surprised at how much mainstream press the series is getting, but that shows I just live in my own little geeky cave; it's a giant budget HBO series with big stars, of course it's going to get mainstream press.

I couldn't let the series finish, however, without some small comment.  Although I have some small quibbles with some of the pacing and structure (this will be the last time I mention Lost-style character centered episodes), I really, really liked the series.  It was well done.  It looked excellent.  And the acting was, by and large, wonderful.  The show actually deepened my interest in a few characters that, just in my readings, I hadn't cared for, such as:

  • Sansa -- I always thought Sansa was a spoiled, naive girl who, well, sucked.  Her romantic naivete got others in trouble (Ned!) and became extraordinarily annoying for this reader.  On the show, however, I appreciated her situation a bit more, especially in the final episode.  Joffrey is such a little monster that it's hard not to have some empathy for Sansa when her dreams of queenhood turn out all wrong.  The look on Sansa's face as she glanced from Joffrey, to the head of her father on the wall, then to the stones beneath the bridge, weighing the choice between jumping herself and shoving the king, was enough to make me like her a little more.
  • Robert -- Mark Addy did such a great job here.  I gained a lot more understanding and a little more sympathy for Robert as a result of the show.  Robert is that guy from college -- your loud, drunken friend who never really grew out of all the partying, whom you still try to be friends with based on a shared past, despite his destructive behavior.
The show has also gotten me thinking about gaming in a similar setting again.  Not necessarily Westeros itself, though I played Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire RPG at North Carolina Game Day a few years ago and had a great time, but a game where killing monsters and finding treasure wasn't the main focus.  No, this would be something where relationships and politics and social contests were just as important as combat.  I've never really played or run a game like that, but it seems like it could be a lot of work and require the right sort of players.

2 comments:

  1. I was very satisfied with the first season run. Once again, HBO comes through with television that is orders of magnitude more compelling than what you will usually find on the networks.

    Now I find myself wondering how they will handle the aging of the child actors in the year downtime between seasons. Bran's height may not show because he'll be sitting a lot, but Rickon may need another actor. And what is Arya gets a growth spurt?

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  2. I wonder if that will be such a big deal. Will it matter if Arya is 4 inches taller?

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