GOT Season 1 Review: Ep. 1

Posted: July 16, 2011 in Entertainment, Personal, Television
Tags: ,

To handle my GOT addiction until season 2 starts up again, I am re-watching the series one ep at a time and blogging about them. Nice thing about researching the differences between the books and the HBO Series is that I have the books on a Kindle App on my IPod Touch, so they’re searchable.

WARNING: SPOILERS are possible if you haven’t watched all the eps on TV yet. I’ve read all the books so far so I will mention spoilers that occur to me as I am rewatching at the very bottom so if you haven’t read the books up to To Dance with Dragons, then don’t read the Spoiler section either.

So here goes…

Season 1, Ep. 1:  “Winter is Coming”

Intro: Don’t remember the dismembered bodies being laid out in a pattern but this shows that they were, a circle with vertical line dissecting it in the middle and a horizontal line across the vertical below the circle. However, in the book the young watchman said he’d seen no children (in the series there was a little girl, dead by impalement on a tree). Also, in the book the dead were just lying there, no blood or cut up body parts. So it was a different scene altogether in the book.

Music–love the theme music for this series. One of the best versions I’ve heard online is this electric violin composition, check it out

*Catelyn’s hatred for poor Jon is shown right away.

*At the beheading of the Night’s Watch deserter, I didn’t notice how the executioner’s block is a downed tree trunk notched for the condemned neck and stained with the blood of previous executions. Nice gruesome touch.

*When they find the dead dire wolf Ned gives a glance full of significance to Ser Rodrik Cassel, the Master-at-Arms of Winterfell, and I believe it is related to the fact that, as Robb Stark notes, there aren’t supposed to be any dire wolves south of The Wall. The fact that there are, means winter and all manner of bad things are coming.

*I find it interesting that Jon stands up for the wolf pups, though I can’t tell if he is being superstitious in suggesting they be allowed to survive or if he is only using superstitious reasoning in order to persuade Ned. In any case there WERE 6 pups–four males and two females and the white runt was Jon’s, which ironically enough fits because his last name is Snow. Whatever Jon’s reasoning they turn out to be very, very significant in the lives of their masters and used as wonderful deus ex machina tools by the author.

*They introduce the idea that Tyrion the Imp reads alot, which is to suggest that he is smart. They also can’t help but joke about how he likes his whores, which I’m sure they find just as amusing as the fact that he reads.

*Arya hidden amongst the crowd watching the king ride in forshadows the scene when her father is beheaded

*I didn’t recognize the actor playing the king until I saw him being interviewed online…he is a well known British comedic actor who has been around forever. He does a might fine job.

*Notice how Ned does not present Jon as his son to King Robert.

*I totally missed the scene where ? brings in three more whores for Tyrion in order to rush him through his revelry in order to force him to attend the banquet at sundown.

*The first view of the brother and sister Targaryen, Viserys and Daenerys, gave me the heebies…he inspects her like a piece of horseflesh. Ewwwwww. And then she gets in the far too hot bath, forshadowing her ability to withstand fire–a notable quality of a true Targaryen who is born to rule and to handle dragons.

*Once again Viserys shows what an ass he is with the statement, “I would let the Khal’s entire army and their horses too fuck her” if it would help him gain his throne back.

*Meanwhile back at Winterfell King Robert is fooling around with a woman in the middle of the Hall during the feast.

*In the book I believe that Jon was persuaded by Tyrion or Benjen Stark to enter the great Hall and eat but only near the wall at the outer tables away from the King. But in the show, Tyrion enters without him leaving Jon to vent his spleen on a sword practice dummy.

*I really felt for poor Daenerys having to watch all the fighting and rutting right in front of her on her wedding day. Her displeasure and her new husband’s enjoyment of the scene was interesting and doesn’t bode well for the wedding night.

*When the Khal stands to leave he doesn’t even wait for her and she follows very slowly behind, terrified of what she thinks is coming. The presentation of the gorgeous white horse is not given the same importance to her as it was in the book.

*The wedding night sex is presented as a rape in the show but it was not that way at all in the books. I was deeply disappointed that the writers chose to portray it like that. IN the book the Khal took the time to seduce her and give her pleasure, to wait until she was ready. So later when she proclaimed lover for the Khal it makes more sense. Its much harder to believe she loves him the tv series.

*Incest plays a key role in the books and the tv series. But in neither is it clear what the different societies make of it. For instance in the books, the fact that Viserys gave his younger sister to Khal Drogo was important because she would have been his queen had they remained in Westeros. Instead they are stuck across the sea and he has to use her as a bargaining chip to gain access to Khal Drogo’s army. So intermarriage and incest among royal Westeros families was not unheard of. Yet with the twins, Queen Cersei and Jaime, it is shown in the books and in the series to be something unacceptable. Primarily the point of hiding the relationship is to hide the fact that none of Cersei’ children belong to Robert. But also, once it is revealed their own brother and father are shocked and scandalized by the relationship. So there must be some kind of religious prohibition. The books distinguish between religions and their belief systems. There are the “old gods” of the north and “the Seven” of the south. Perhaps it is among the old gods that such a practice was common but among “the Seven” it was forbidden. Of course, I can only speculate because it is never very clear on this point. The reason I think it’s important is described below in the Spoiler section.




*Catelyn Stark’s dislike of Jon Snow is apparent immediatelyin the first ep but the irony is I believe (but don’t know yet that Jon is not really Ned’s son, he is his nephew. The books and the tv show indicate that Ned’s sister, Lianna, had been raped by Rhaegar Targaryen. However, from what I recall in the books and from what Daenerys remembered about her brother Rhaegar, he was a good person. Thus I don’t think it was rape and I think Lianna died in childbirth with Jon and Ned pretended that he was his to keep him safe from King Robert’s all consuming hate and desire for revenge against all living Targaryens.

*If Jon is a child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, I believe he will end up being married to Daenerys and this would make them half-siblings. And that’s why the incest angle is important. If its forbidden will the people of Westeros accept them as kind and queen? Then again, I could be completely wrong on my guess of Jon’s parentage.


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