TV Review: “Game of Thrones” Premiere

After a fantastic first season, the hype for the continuation of HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones grew immense.  On Sunday, all of the obsessive and excited fans like myself finally got to see if all the ballyhoo was worth it, and I’ll tell you, I wasn’t disappointed.
For the most part, the episode was a seamless continuation from the finale of the first season.  The premiere needed to set up the events of the coming season, and it certainly did so beautifully.  As I have not (yet) read the books, I can’t say how faithfully the premiere follows the novel, but all of the various plotlines were touched upon, and they are finally starting to come together.  Though some scenes were a bit slow and unextraordinary (the first glimpse of beyond the Wall since the first episode and all we get is an uneventful conversation?), the episode’s best moments more than made up for the few dull bits.  One thing this episode did particularly well (a testament to the talent of the actors) was showcasing the evolution of the characters; for example, Sansa’s hopelessness with her struggle to accept her new situation is visible, Robb’s character is appropriately displaying the accelerated maturation he needs to handle his circumstances, and Cersei is evidently becoming more than just a clever and nefarious fiend.
Something of note about this episode was its visual presentation.  The cinematography is always stunning in Game of Thrones, yes, but this episode in particular did a fantastic job of enhancing the atmosphere of certain scenes.  Dark, angular lighting augmented the tension during some scenes, while overpowering brightness complimented the bleakness of others.  This episode reasserted the series’s cinematic accomplishments.
This premiere also did a tremendous job of building up the suspense for the coming episodes.  We have a new phrase, ”For the night is dark and full of terrors,” to go along with the now-hackneyed “Winter is coming.”  This quote embodies what the premiere has set us up to believe is coming, and, though I won’t spoil details, I’ll say that the magnitude of the impending occurrences seems exponentially greater than it did before this episode.  The ending was astounding; waiting another week for the next episode is painful because of it.  The premiere certainly inspired high hopes and expectations for the second season.
Overall, the premiere of the first season was good, but not amazing.  It satisfied my desires to see the next events of the series, and did so very well in most instances, but the few stale scenes hindered the episode, preventing it from becoming one of the better episodes of the series; however, it succeeded in keeping me hooked on my Game of Thrones addiction.
–Patrick Quinn, Staff Writer
Posted by on April 4, 2012. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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