On swords and snow in Game of Thrones

The latest episode of Game of Thrones seals the deal. This is the best fantasy series on television.

There were still some doubts in my mind after the second episode. I still was not quite sure if this was going to be the series I wanted it to be.

The breasts were a little gratuitous, the pacing was a little off… It was good, but I was still getting that same ‘this is not quite right’ that I almost always get when watching an adaptation from a novel. That feeling went away with this episode. It was spot on, and the characters and events are developing just as I imagine them.

Of course, the actors are a different story. A short time ago, I told you that I disliked a couple of the actors that were chosen.

I changed my mind about Dinklage almost immediately. He’s perfect, but I’m still not convinced that Clarke is the right girl for the job of Daenerys.

Every scene, she still just looks too soft, too round. I’m sure it will grow on me, at least she can act. 

Which leads me to a new beef: Aidan Gillen. Physically, he fits the part of Littlefinger perfectly, but what is with his performance?

It’s like he’s reading his lines off of an off-camera card, and no one told him his motivation. Is this the way the character is meant to be played – with the wrong emotes for each line, and half of them with a wooden smugness? 

It’s most bothersome because I know Gillen is a good actor, which means that perhaps this is on purpose. I think I need someone who hasn’t read the books to tell me what they think of the performance because to me, it just feels wrong, and we’re going to be seeing a lot of Littlefinger eventually, so it needs to be right.

This is a minor glitch in an other-wise well-maintained engine, however. Everyone else is near perfect, even the Malfoy-esque uber-brat sneer of Joffrey makes me revel in delight, even as I hate him.

The news that the series has already been signed on for a second season gives me great hope. I’m not worried about being left without an ending. I have the books right here after all, but I think it would be a shame to let this one drop.

The quality of the production and performances, combined with the seeming longevity makes me feel like we may eventually have a true epic on our hands, a television series which will, in scope, measure up admirably to one of the greatest fantasy epics on paper.

Even the into for the show continues to impress me. I liked it in the first episode, but noticing how it changes with each episode to show the places where that particular episode will be taking place, just makes it that much more incredible.

It’s a not just a great visual, it’s a perfect tool to helping the audience visualize the locales. It’s just like being able to turn to the maps in the front of the novels to remind myself, periodically, where everything is situated. It just makes the connection to the novels that much stronger.