I’m speaking as a fan of the books, but I have to say Game of Thrones, Season One, is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Take the acting from Battlestar Galactica, give it the narrative direction you can only get from an established story, and you get ten episodes of compelling television. (DVD and Blu-ray sets out today.)

My impressions:

  • You don’t need to have read the books to enjoy the show. They do a fair amount of exposition during the storyline.
  • “They got their True Blood in my Game of Thrones!” Not sure why HBO figured we wouldn’t pay attention to the exposition scenes without a naked woman wandering around, but the nudity wasn’t as exaggerated as I thought from earlier reviews. And, yes, for those who’ve read the books, they show Hodor’s hodor.
  • That being said, is it kid-appropriate? Nope. Too many throats getting sliced.
  • The producers took the opportunity to add in a few non-expository scenes that I don’t think were in the books. They should have been.
  • Having living actors added a new dimension to some of the books’ more one-dimensional characters.
  • Heck, the Lannister kids are even better, and they were good in the books. Cersei is a lot better when being played by Lena Headey. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime is excellent, and Peter Dinklage would have been the perfect choice to play Tyrion even if he’d been 6’4″.
  • As in the books, a friendly warning: Don’t get too attached to any characters. GoT has the approximate mortality rate of the actual Middle Ages.
  • Update: Almost forgot: It does continue the GoT tradition of moms are crazy.

And, for anyone who has already seen Season One, here’s the Season Two trailer (starts April 1):