Sunday, 11 March 2012

Review: Game of Thrones DVD

The wait to get to see this series, based on the excellent book of the same name, seemed endless. I’d read A Game of Thrones some time ago, enough to forget most minor points but not so much that the major plot twists would prove a surprise.

The acting was generally very good, and a particularly pleasant surprise was the numerous child actors who did sterling work. Joffrey was as repellent as he ought to be, Arya was a very likeable tomboy, and Sansa was naïve and full of herself. Naturally, Sean Bean gave a bloody good performance as Ned Stark, (almost the only honest man in King’s Landing). Peter Dinklage played Tyrion Lannister, and was also thoroughly excellent.

There was more sex than expected, and a reasonable amount of fairly graphic violence. It wasn’t overdone but it’s clearly not family viewing or for the particularly squeamish.

The plot is very close to the book and the differences are largely there for reasons of practicality (there’s a normal carriage rather than a massive one for Cersei) or clarity (the Others are referred to as White Walkers throughout). They’ve had to slightly tone down one or two things (I forget how old Daenerys is in the book, but I think she’s a bit older in the TV series) but not much.

There are a range of extras, including commentary on many episodes (from cast and crew), background on Westeros and character profiles. The first commentary is by a pair of producers, and was actually pretty interesting (well, I thought so). So far I’ve only listened to that and the second commentary, with a trio of actors (Headey, Addy and Coster-Waldau), which was also enjoyable.

I think the TV series does the book justice, and A Game of Thrones is one of the best books I’ve ever read. There’s a second series due to begin on TV soon, and I hope it’s as good as the first (and that the DVD gets released a bit sooner this time).



  1. I haven't read the book (never wanted to, it seemed a bit on the gruesome side) but I did watch the TV series when it was broadcast on Sky, and I agree that Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage were outstanding. Honourable mentions are also due to Charles Dance and Lena Headey.

    As for the age of Daenerys (and indeed many of the other younger characters) - wasn't she something like 14 or so in the book, as distinct to at least 20 on the show? Bluntly, an author may be able to get away with writing a sex scene featuring a 14 year old girl, but a TV producer can't get away with filming it.

  2. One other thing. now that you've seen it, you'll probably appreciate this rather popular internet meme...

  3. Had to check to find Dance played Tywin Lannister, and I do think he did a very good job. He kind of reminded me (both in appearance and character) of Francis Urquhart, one of my favourite villains.

    Aye, she was something like 12-14. The two media are clearly different in that regard (reminds me of when I asked whether children should be allowed to read Suetonius' Twelve Caesars which is a nice easy read, up until Tiberius and his proclivity for vile acts).

    Ha, you're spot on with that link (actually, I'd heard that on the episode 3 commentary, which is the one the child actors do).

    I thought it was going to be about this [NB major spoiler for the book and TV series, so don't click if that's an issue]:

    Incidentally, has the TV series made you reconsider trying out the book?