Author Topic: For fantasy fans...  (Read 2681 times)

Bill Binkelman

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For fantasy fans...
« on: April 06, 2011, 06:30:35 PM »
In case you don't know, HBO has produced a 10-part miniseries of the first book of George R.R. Martin's fantastic "A Song of Fire and Ice" series. The first book (and first miniseries) is "A Game of Thrones." and it looks fucking fantastic and is garnering rave advanced reviews. It starts in about 10 days or so. I got HBO just to see it. This is VERY ADULT fantasy and makes LOTR look like a Disney movie. Tons of violence and brutality - not much "fantasy" per se (i.e. no real magic) but lots of political machinations, betrayals, plots, etc. I am super-psyched as I have read all the books in the series (so far). Check it out at http://www.hbo.com/#/game-of-thrones

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APK

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Re: For fantasy fans...
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2011, 07:26:03 PM »
Looks excellent, Bill.
I'll have to pick up the first book.
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mgriffin

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Re: For fantasy fans...
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011, 07:44:37 PM »
I have the first book in this series and have been meaning to start it for some time. I keep hearing how mad all the fans of GRRM's series have become about delays in getting the latest book finished, so I figure there's no need for me to read it in a hurry. When I get around to reading, I'm sure I can catch up with him.

I've heard mostly good things about this series but would like to at least read the first book before I try to watch it. I'm not too much into watching TV-on-TV anyway -- I prefer watching it on DVD or BluRay so I can set my own viewing schedule.
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Antdude

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Re: For fantasy fans...
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2011, 08:05:49 PM »
So what's the verdict on HBO's Game of Thrones? Is it any good or just over-produced fantasy with an extra coat of blood?

I bought the first book as well, and will give it a shot. I figure by the time I finish it, the series might be out on DVD.  :)
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: For fantasy fans...
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 07:18:52 PM »
I am impressed with the first installment in this mini-series. Understandably, the first 2 or 3 episodes will be more or less exposition. But the attention to detail and deliberate pace are just what I was hoping for...this is a DENSELY plotted book and even at 10 hours, some of it is obviously going to be truncated. I don't expect for it to become truly "involving" until episode 3 or so, although Kathryn is already hooked, per her own words. All I can say is that by the half way point of the 10 parts, if you stick with it, it's gonna blow some folks away. NO character is safe. Imagine in LOTR if Aragorn, Sam and Legolas were all killed in the first picture. That's what this book series is about.
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LNerell

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Re: For fantasy fans...
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 06:17:27 PM »
So Bill, what is your take on this series now that it's around half way done. Anyone else care to comment?
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: For fantasy fans...
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 11:25:44 AM »
So Bill, what is your take on this series now that it's around half way done. Anyone else care to comment?


I am generally quite pleased with it thus far, especially given the monumental task of trying to bring such a complex story with at least 20 (maybe more like 30-40) IMPORTANT characters to the mini-series format.

Casting is amazing...not a single actor/actress was miscast and ALL the performances are spot on with how the characters are portrayed in the book. Especially good are the actors/actresses who play Jon Snow, Ned Stark, Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Geoffrey Lannister, Caitlyn Stark, Viserys Targaryen, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, and Lyssa Aryn. In particular, all the "villains" are superb!

Sets are equally good, although you can tell the budget is small because you don't get the sensation of how big things are supposed to be (except "The Wall"). Costuming, weapons, etc. are all on a par with LOTR, from my perspective.

Music is "fine" meaning it is not bad but nothing has stood out yet, either.

The main problem, if you want to call it that, is that even at a 12-part mini-series, if one has read the book(s), one realizes how truncated the mini-series is (and has to be). Much backstory is left out and characters are introduced with little exposition, despite these characters being vitally important to the story. Given the constraints that a TV series must have, I am MUCH MORE than satisfied and am glad they are leaving the "tone" of the story as dismal, pessimistic, and cruel as the book(s) are.

Kathryn (my partner), who is a medieval studies scholar, praises the series for depicting how things really were at that stage of human history what with families turning against each other, alliances shifting daily, betrayal and violence being commonplace and anyone not of noble birth was pretty much fucked no matter what. She usually finds depictions of medieval kingdoms to be “whitewashed” but this is accurate from her perspective. One day a person is favored by the king and the next day, he or she could be be-headed.

Still, I don’t see how anyone who has not read at least the first book can be following this, unless they watched each episode 2 or 3 times. I think the producers should introduce each episode with the cast (the ones who appear in that particular episode) by showing the picture (in costume) and who they are playing, e.g. “Sean Bean as Ned Stark, Hand of the King” “Lean Headley as Queen Cersei Lannister” etc. That would help newbies keep all the players straight.

To give you an idea who many characters you HAVE to keep straight due to their importance to the story, go here
http://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/index.html#/game-of-thrones/cast-and-crew/index.html
cause nearly everyone on this page is relevant to the storyline, at least in the upper part of the web page (the upper part lists 19 characters alone).

So, all in all, I am very pleased and am VERY HAPPY that HBO has already committed to a second season. Once all the necessary exposition and introduction of characters is done, the action picks up, to say the least, and the real murder and mayhem begins. Woot!

May the odds be ever in your favor.