We had a crazy heat wave in New York City this weekend, so Alexa and I stayed in and watched all of the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Yes, all ten episodes, pretty much back to back. (We broke for the occasional meal and How I Met Your Mother palate cleansers.) It was intense. Not just the immersive experience of all ten episodes in a row, but the show itself is damn intense, too.
It’s also extremely well made. The art direction and props people must be having the time of their lives. It also happens to be perfectly cast. Sean Bean has become the go-to actor for Medieval/Dark Ages roles (Lord of the Rings, Black Death, and now this), and for good reason. He brings a quiet gravity to the role of Eddard Stark. I can’t think of a better Tyrion Lannister than Peter Dinklage, who has come such a long way since The Station Agent and his amazing 30 Rock episode. Jason Momoa was weirdly awesome as Khal Drogo. But the most difficult role to cast must have been Arya Stark, Eddard’s tomboyish, sword-loving daughter, and Maisie Williams is a revelation in the role. (Fun fact: According to IMDB, she can also tap dance!) Emmys all around, I say!
The story is ridiculously complicated. Even after a full season I have trouble remembering who’s who, and who’s related to whom. It helps a little that they’re played by actors with distinctive faces. I can only imagine how hard it must be to try to keep everyone straight in the novels, where you can’t see their faces. And speaking of the novels, after seeing just how complex and twisty-turny the story is, I understand now why it takes George R.R. Martin at least half a decade to write each book.
And yes, there’s a lot of nudity and sex in it. A lot. I’m not really complaining (I also watch Spartacus, after all, so complaining about too much nudity and sex would make me a hypocrite), but that SNL parody about the thirteen-year-old boy who adds all the sex scenes to the scripts doesn’t seem all that implausible.
Anyway, now we have an interminable wait before season 2 is available to stream or buy on Blu-ray. Spring of 2013, I think, if HBO does its usual shtik of waiting for the new season to premiere before releasing the previous one. Gah!