Now that we’re in the final push toward Season 2 of Game of Thrones, more and more bloggers and journalists are taking a look back at the phenomenon that was Season 1. One of these is Big Hollywood‘s Andrew Price. His review of the entire first season of Game of Thrones offers nothing new for the die-hard fan. His take is however, important, as it comes from a politically conservative perspective.
Like many reviewers before him, Price highlights a now famous quote from producer David Benioff which said that Game of Thrones could be likened to the Sopranos in Middle Earth. Price then expands on this thought by commenting that Thrones, despite technically being in the fantasy genre, is much more like the Mafia family drama than J.R.R. Tolkein’s epic novels.
This is a comparison made by a lot of critics and I believe it to be an apt one. George R.R. Martin wrote this series specifically to be low-fantasy. In the novels, “magic” is hard to come by; very few characters believe in that mystical stuff anymore. In my opinion, the world of Westeros harkens back more to the actual Middle Ages than to a realm of hobbits and elves. Family drama and political intrigue are at the heart of both the novels and the show. There are no caricature heroes or villains (although that little shit Joffrey is pretty close) and the character development is deeper than 99% of fantasy literature and media today.
Price lavishly praises Peter Dinklage’s performance as Tyrion. This is something that die-hard fans of the series like myself have heard hundreds of times. We know that Tyrion is, like, totally the best character ever. The mainstream world has also taken notice of Dinklage’s wonderful job (he did win an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the character after all). I think that Price takes the easy way out here in mentioning Tyrion over other characters. I would have liked to have read Price’s thoughts on, say, the always controversial Catelyn Stark or the brooding teenager Jon Snow or even the “is Ned Stark honorable or just stupid” debate.
I enjoy reading reviews from critics who haven’t read the books perhaps more than reading reviews from Thrones experts. The former’s perspective is fresh and I love seeing them fall in love the with series (usually) while the latter tend to be slightly cynical and overly critical of minute details. Having said that, I think Price errs in his assessment that the language used on the show is too crude. If he had read the books, he would know that the language is authentic GRRM and that the showrunners were just trying to stay faithful to the novels. I do agree with him slightly regarding the nudity though. Game of Thrones did have its share of sex scenes, but the show took it to the next level and many of the so-called “sexposition” moments were gratuitous.
Overall, I thought it was a good review for people not yet in the know about the show (ha! that rhymes). I hope it encourages more people to take a chance and watch it because their dedication will pay off.
A quick bit of news: This teaser poster was released but it is unclear whether or not it is the official poster for season 2 or just another small bit of promotion given to us by HBO.
I think it looks kind of awesome, but I hope the official one features some actual characters.