Sunday, April 17, 2011

Games of Thrones Premier Review

I eagerly devoured all four of Martin's novels years ago and while I am firmly in the "he's gonna die before he finishes this damn thing" camp I have to tell you that tonight's premier is the biggest night of TV for me in a long time.
From everything I've seen, HBO is doing the series right, giving us fanboys the appropriate nods and not skimping on the complexity that the source material deserves. My biggest concern is how well the series will deal with the... what's the word I want? Sadness? Grimness? Darkness of the books? I've often argued that it's hard to put a finger on just why I've enjoyed the Song of ICe and Fire, as it certainly isn't uplifting at all. Even a fan of the grim dark like me can get a little overwhelmed with too much grim and dark... and the Red Wedding almost did it for me... but still I read on. The writing is decent, but it's the storytelling that has hooked me so thoroughly. I've wondered if the series will capture the same... fluidity and sense of movement that GRRM's prose has.

So anyway, the review... sorry for the chain of thought but I'm writing as I watch...

First, beyond the wall... that scene was terrifying... I love the imagery they got with the forest and the snow. I wish we'd gotten more of the cockey young knight (I forget his name from the book) but I remember that scene really setting up the social classes for me the first time I read the book.

Opening Sequence: pure genius. Loved the symbolism, enjoyed the score.

The Starks: I really like the casting. It was tough watching these scenes knowing what will come, but they were really well filmed and acted. Sansa is already a twit as she should be. Jon's a little too front and center for me, but all the rest were well portrayed. The tension between Jon, Robb and Theon was well played. The beheading scene, with the mist in the back of the Irish countryside was another incredibly shot scene. Theon was the furthest from my mental picture, but he was just swarmy enough to be the character he will be later on. Sean Bean is still Boromir for me, but that will change over time I'm sure. The dire wolf scene was another tough one to watch knowing what was to come. Jon picking up Ghost though was quite cool.

King's Landing: I loved how foriegn Kings Landing felt. Lena Headly is a great Cersei, but I'm not convinced in Jamie, feels a bit off for some reason. King Robert was perfect. Geoffrey is a despicable little piece of trash... again just as he should be. Not a huge fan of the king's guard armor, but the Hound was fricking awesome. Jamie's sword was interesting too. Hand and a halfer? long hilt, shorter blade. Peter Dinklage is incredible as Tyrion... exactly as I've thought over all the years of reading the books.

Pentos: How much is a plane ticket to Malta? It really is beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, Dany... shew...

Back to Westeros: man Sansa is a twit... Benjen is well cast. The back and forth between Jamie and Ned was a great way to set up the sense of history between the two and the tension of what is to come. The relationship between Cat and Ned is authentic enough to make the upcoming events as tragic as they need to be.

And Pentos again... crazy evisceration scene... don't see that on TV every day. Mormant was well cast, but the eggs were flat out dissapointing... wish they were a little more... alien? awe inspiring? I look forward to Vicerys getting his crown some time this season...

I guess that last scene was to shock the new viewers but it felt a little rushed. All in all though and awesome start to what will be an awesome show...

Tomorrow back to our regularly scheduled warmachine, hordes, 40k goodness....

Saturday Warmachine Action!

Five members of the Carney Kilhoz Gaming Group left the secure environments of the garage and the basement this morning to journey to a secret location to throw dice. Our new opponents played casters we hadn't seen before, but they made one terrible mistake... they let us bring beer. Armored in the comfort that only frosty Coors Lite can bring, we threw dice like true Carneys... well some of us did.

I took my Cryx, and ended up playing pSkarre all day. I used my standard 35 point, infantry heavy list and had a pretty good day. Awesome new opponenets, with incredibly painted armies, and all in all a great day... even with another Orioles loss...  to make a long story short, Skarre and the girls walked away with two wins, one against the Old Witch and another against bloody Barnabas and the gators. In a cryx on cryx showdown, Terminus managed to down the pirate queen after a bloody battle. Pictures below!