This week's Entertainment Weekly features exclusive photos from the set of HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones series, based on the books by George R. R. Martin. And I just have to say EEEEEEEE!!! I'm so excited!
Check out the photos
This is a fantasy series that really belongs on HBO. Movies would have to truncate it way too much and wouldn't do it justice. The networks--and softer cable channels--couldn't touch it. Given the content and the need for period detail (and the necessary money to make it), I can't really picture it anywhere else. Wherever they're doing True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, that's where Game of Thrones should be. Perfect.
Now, about the pictures on EW. They don't show nearly as much as I'd like. They have very little of the younger characters, which is frustrating because they are for the most part played by unknown actors, and I really want to see them. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) looks good, and there's also a nice shot of cute little Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright). Argh, but what about the other Stark children? We also have a nice shot of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), with her unnaturally platinum blond hair. It will be interesting to see how the actress handles her unusual role. I wonder how old the actress is--the character is supposed to be only 13, but the transforming, complex role would require a huge amount of maturity.
The adult actors are a little less of a mystery, and we get some nice shots of them at EW. Sean Bean as Eddard Stark--I approve. Reminds me a bit of Boromir, but I suppose that's to be expected, especially in stills when we can't see his rather different character in action. Mark Addy (The Full Monty, A Knight's Tale) looks good as Robert Baratheon. I suppose I'm used to seeing him play goofy characters, but I'm sure he'll fit the role well. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Of course. The casting requirements for that role are fairly specific. But I think he'll fit the role well, and not just because of his stature. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister. Hey, he's the guy from that short-lived show New Amsterdam. He looks good. Very good. Yeah, I'd do him, even if he were my br--no, no, just kidding. Moving on... Lena Headey as Cersei Baratheon. Eech. This is the one role that I'm not so sure about, which is strange because I love Lena Headey--Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was a highly under appreciated show. But as Cersei? I think mainly it's the blonde thing. I'm looking at the photo, and she looks like Lena Headey with a blond wig/dyed hair. It's actually kind of an important plot point that her character is a natural blonde, and from the way it looks in this photo, she's not pulling it off. I suppose ultimately that's a very small thing, and the acting is what really matters, but still, I wish she looked a little more convincing as a blonde.
The overall look of the sets and costumes is great. It's not quite Lord of the Rings, but they're putting a lot of detail into creating the world (they created a whole language, a la Klingon, for the Dothraki). This isn't glamorous fantasy, it's dark and dirty and kind of drab. As far as the look of the world goes, I think they pretty much nailed it. It's just how I want it to be.
This is a pretty unique series. As the article quotes Sean Bean as saying, "The story is so different from what we're used to seeing on television". Yes, it's dark and kind of depressing and deals with things that make people, particularly studio heads, squirm. For the most part, I love reading fantasy for the escape--I can picture myself as one of the characters, or another character in the world (bad fan fiction in my head), and it seems like it would be really cool to be there in that world. Not so much the case with Game of Thrones. Their world seems like it's kind of a grim place to be. It was probably the toughest fantasy book I've read in that regard, but the story is so interesting, the characters so intriguing, that it becomes worth it.
Seeing these photos has inspired me to get back into reading the series. I got distracted by other things after reading the first book, but if they're going to do a TV adaptation, I'd better get ahead. It looks like it could be excellent. I hope the show is a huge success.