Adapted from George R. R. Martin’s best-selling novels A Song of Fire and Ice, Game of Thrones is the latest in a long line of successful shows from praised television network HBO.
Set in the mythical Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and having a time span of several years over the duration of ten episodes, season one details the lives of the Stark and Lannister families – their relationships, lust, lies, betrayal and treachery as they both struggle for power. Elsewhere Drogo, horse lord of the Dothraki and his new bride Daenerys set out to reclaim her title as heiress to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
Game of Thrones easily matches and possibly surpasses the quality of a Hollywood film, containing mesmerizing landscape shots (the series was filmed on location in Northern Ireland), fantastic costumes and wonderful cinematography.
Although definitely a fantasy series, these elements are only hinted at. We know that there are mythical forces at work under the surfaces of what the viewer is shown, and this adds a sense of mystery subtlety that makes the saga all the more compelling. This also allows for a greater focus on the characters, performed wonderfully by Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Aidan Gillen to name but a few.
What makes this show special is that it isn’t afraid of any subject matter, there are no boundaries in this made-up world. Brutal, sexy, saddening and fantastical; Game of Thrones season 1 is ten hours of pure escapism, and will leave you eagerly anticipating the release of season 2.