Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Judging A Book By Its Cover

Well, its first chapter, at any rate.  Still, things have been quiet around here for a bit, I may as say something about HBO's Game of Thrones preview.

It's... a big maybe.  The sequence north of the Wall was brilliant. I'm not sure it needed Cliche Creepy Girl to make it work, or why the Others thought it was a good idea to spend hours putting together the most fucked-up collage this side of Jeepers Creepers just to spirit it away the instance a ranger saw it, but still, a very effective opening (and one that felt genuinely cold).

After that, though?  I get that the people of Winterfell are supposed to be as cold as their surroundings, but that's the sort of idea that really only works in books. On screen, it just looks like a whole mess of people who all look either massively bored (Jon) or under heavy sedation (Eddard).

Still, that might have just been a directorial mis-step that won't really matter when we get to King's Landing.  Or I might get my head round the presentation and not be bothered at all after another ten minutes (it certainly felt like it has it's own atmosphere, which is critical I think for fantasy TV).  It's far, far too early to tell.

Plus, it did its job, from my perspective at least - it didn't put me off seeing it.  Which, in my case - and that of many others - is all it had to do


Jamie said...

I watched it last night too, and generally my feelings were similar, except that I warmed more to the second half and was less convinced by the first.

SPOILERS here on in...

The girl was possibly a little too much. I was occasionally a bit distracted by the fake snow. The blue eyes were a bit too neon. And I want to know how on earth Will escaped such certain death looking him in the face with his horse fled and companions mercilessly slaughtered. But still, yes, on the whole quite effective. And both under and outside the Wall was spectacular.

I think you're being a little unfair to Jon and Eddard; Jon's laugh at Bran's rubbish shot was believable in a brotherly joshing way, as was Eddard's encouraging words to him. And Arya's little cameo was brilliant. It was understandable that the tone would turn a lot more sober when Eddard was then called upon to do his duty.

To be honest, I was in two minds about watching a segment like this on its own. It's arguably not enough time to really immerse yourself properly, but yes, I do still want to see more, and am very encouraged by many of the reviews of the first six episodes (e.g., and

SpaceSquid said...

I did wonder about Will escaping. Indeed, combine that and the Others' ridiculous art project, and you can pretty much only assume that they were a) fucking with him, and b) hoping he'd go back to the Wall and tell the others what he'd seen.

That second idea actually might make some sense (and from here on I'm going to be discussing events from much later in the books). If you think about the way things happened; Mormont marshalled his forces (such as they were) and marched to the Fist as soon as he realised what was going on. At which point the Others slaughtered him.

If Will had done his job, that would just have happened that much earlier. Instead, they end up using the Wights as bait. Everyone assumed, not unreasonably, that their aim was to slay the Lord Commander, but it's possible that was a secondary objective to prompting a battle.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree with regards to the second part, especially since wahy you see as "sober" I see as "really rather wooden." But, as we've said, it's far too early to make much in the way of judgement.

Thanks for the links, too.