Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Winter is coming...

After seeing the much hyped HBO debut of Game of Thrones, I must say it was .. okay. The sets, costumes, and superb cast saved what could have been a very disappointing opening.

Am I asking for too much? A great deal of the episode was shot high and static, with little camera experimentation and rather over-lit lighting. I expected slicker editing, pushed saturation on the final render, and especially... especially more humour entwined into the writing. If I were a newbie, I would have been lost in the first five minutes. Most fantasy sagas always begin with a voice over to explain the world that you are about to enter. With Lord of the Rings it was Galadriel's monologue, with Star Wars it was the written words disappearing into space, and even with Harry Potter, Hagrid's choppy explanation of the magical world hidden from everyday "muggles".

Perhaps a drunken minstrel singing a short history of their world? Or Eddard Stark telling Arya or Bran a story of his days when he helped Robert Baratheon capture the throne from the dragon loving Targaryens? All of this would have helped, a short, sweet, yet vital explanation of who is who and what is what.

For television, I was most surprised with the lack of occasional tight framing and the omission of low angles. I expected a POV from Bran, Jon, or Arya's perspective when the King's guard first entered Winterfell, adding a much needed feeling of unease. A few scenes of Arya's close relationship with Jon, a meaningful glance between Eddard's bastard son Jon and himself when they found the direwolves pups. All the loyalty, pain, and ties that are essential to establish for future episodes.

There was none of it.

It's probably too early to judge, most shows take a while to warm up, here's hoping...