Man, they did an awesome job with Game of Thrones. Seriously well done.
First off, the title sequence was epic. I’ve never watched the opening of a show with more interest. I know it’s a relatively thing to praise, but their attention to detail shows through there, I think.
The casting is spot-on. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, is every bit as smarmy as he is in the books. I seem to recall Cersei being a bit better looking in the book, but I think this actress is going to pull it off well. Sansa is well portrayed as the prissy little girl that she is, so that works well. I understand they had to make Daenerys older for a number of reasons (somehow taking a 13-year-old from behind would put HBO in dangerous territory, I guess), but GRRM said in an interview that portraying her as older makes sense in the context of adulthood, so that’s fine. Everyone else is fine too, I think.
But beyond that, everything else just feels right. The very opening was true to the book, as was the last scene in the first episode – even down to the dialogue. They did a great job explaining the story without getting into too much detail. And the stage has most certainly been set for what’s to come. For me, the hardest part is that I know what’s going to happen, so seeing everyone all nice and happy is a bit jarring when I think of their fates. For those who don’t know, some truly fucked up shit is going to go down.
So yeah, great start. Hopefully it keeps up and they get the chance to tell the whole story (whenever GRRM finishes the last two books, anyway). And who knows, maybe it’ll be good enough that they think about adapting other series, like The First Law or Wheel of Time. Actually, the former would be badass, though incredibly graphic; the latter would go on for three hundred episodes and nothing would happen.