Game of Thrones: Episode 1 (Comments)

A sign on the door my sister made.
Click to enlarge.

Note: This post originally appeared at I’m moving all Dothraki-related posts from that blog to this one. You may still see the original here.

Since I haven’t been doing much else with this blog of late, I figure I’ll use it as a place to make comments on Game of Thrones episodes as they air. You may assume that there will be spoilers for the given episode under discussion (so if you haven’t seen that episode and don’t want it to be spoiled, don’t read beyond the cut), but I’ll try my best not to reveal anything beyond that point (in the show or the books). There will also probably not be any “behind the scenes” stuff here; I’ll leave that to HBO.

For the premiere, I went to my parents’, and they had a party there for my friends and family.

A sign on the door my sister made.
Click to enlarge.

That was the sign my little sister had made for me on the door. She made a whole bunch of decorations (though, as a ten year old, she wasn’t allowed to watch the show. Maybe twenty years from now…). This included a fake Oscar:

A fake Oscar.
Click to enlarge.

This was, apparently, a Ken doll (one of her own) that was spraypainted gold. She even shaved him (he had “real” hair, rather than plastic hair). He’s sitting on a can of tuna spraypainted black. Priceless!

(Oh, the “George” on that little clapper board is my cousin-in-law George Beljajev, who’s a cameraman for a ton of different reality shows, not George R. R. Martin.)

My favorite, I think, are the cupcakes with character portraits sticking out of them, because they amuse me so. Here’s Ned:

A cupcake with Ned Stark's picture on it.
Click to enlarge.

So that was a lot of fun.

Anyway, having seen the first episode prior did not, in fact, make watching incredibly graphic nudity with my mother in the same room any easier. It actually made it worse, since I knew what was coming when. “Huh? Oh, I wasn’t watching the screen; I was tweeting. Why am I turning red, you ask…?” Yow!

That aside, I think everyone that was there enjoyed the first episode. I’m curious to hear what those who haven’t read the books thought. To me, it seems like it might have been moving a little slow. I was following Twitter, and some who have read the books suggested that those who haven’t might have thought the show was moving too fast, which to me seems counterintuitive. The one thing I did notice from random tweets is that there were several who were confused (some who couldn’t tell which characters were which, or what was going on and why).

If you happened to have watched the show and were one of those that felt lost, I encourage you to keep watching, because I think that will change. A lot of places, people and plotlines needed to be introduced in this first episode. In future episodes, there will be a lot more character development, and it’ll be easy to figure out who’s who, what they’re doing, and why.

Having seen the first episode already, there were no surprises for me, but now that it’s aired, I’m glad I can comment on the opening credits which are awesome. HBO released the first 15 or so minutes of the first episode earlier, but they left out the opening credits, which I think was a good idea. I thought that sequence was killer, and whoever had a hand in creating it deserves a pat on the back. Well played!

I’m not surprised that a good number of tweets focused on Tyrion and the dire wolf pups. How adorable are they! (The pups.) And as for Tyrion, first of all, the character in the books is easily one of the best, and most readers pick up on that right away. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion cranks that up to 11. He’s killin’ it. That’s something to look forward to for quite awhile.

There’s not much to comment on regarding the Dothraki just yet. I’ll have more to say later (and feel like I probably should wait, because it’d be too easy to give spoilers). The first Dothraki we hear is Illyrio (a non-native speaker) welcoming Khal Drogo. While Viserys and Daenerys are talking, he translates everything he was just saying in English into Dothraki for Drogo and his bloodriders. If you try to listen “around” what Viserys and Daenerys are saying, you may be able to pick up some of it, but it’s rather difficult. The very first thing he says, though, is a greeting:

Athchomar chomakea!

Which you can translate as, “Respect to those that are respectful”.

Update May 4, 2011: I just saw the closed captioning, and what he actually says is Athchomar chomakaan (which is exactly what it sounds like). The greeting is the same, but it’s addressed to a singular entity (i.e. Khal Drogo himself), and would be appropriately translated as, “Respect to he who is respectful”.

There’s a lot to recommend this series, and I think this was a fair representation of what it’s going to be like. It may not be for everyone, but it’s good television.

Oh, and how about the end of that episode? Hardcore, man! When you’ve got an entire novel to divide into sections, it’s up to the writers et al. to decide where the individual episodes are going to start and end. They did well for this first episode (in fact, the first two, but that will be next week). Kind of reminiscent of Twin Peaks, with every episode ending on a cliffhanger. Good stuff!

More next Sunday. Until then, enjoy a fine week!

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