9:05 PM – Language, Violence, Adult Content, Nudity – How can this be bad?
9:07 PM – The wall is really impressive. Nice special effects.
9:08 PM – Did anyone else get the sense that the Night’s Watch cloaks wouldn’t be that ragged? And OMG at the child impaled on the tree. Wow. Wildings arranged in a weird geometric shape, torn limb from limb?
Waymar Royce is PERFECT. Just as arrogant as he was in the books.
9:12 PM – The white walkers are perfect. The blue eyes are effing creepy. Looks like the filmmakers borrowed something from the fast zombie camp to make their first showing. Not exactly my picture of them.
9:14 PM – The opening credits were really cool, going across the surface of Westeros. Musical score left me a little cold, though.
9:16 PM – Bran Stark and Jon Snow are perfect. Jon Snow acts more like a big brother than Robb. Not sure I like Robb yet. Arya and Sansa are just like I pictured, although Sansa appears to be older than she was in the books. Is that because of her destiny later?
Rickon looks good as well. Catelyn looks a little too old and not as beautiful as I had in my mind’s eye.
9:18 PM – Oooh…good tension between Jon and Catelyn.
9:20 PM – Jon Snow again more of a brother to Bran than Robb. And wow…actual beheading. Could’ve done without that. That’s two in only fifteen minutes.
9:23 PM – The direwolf, and the symbolism is awesome. Killed by a stag. The pain in Jon Snow’s face as he says there are five pups, and then he finds the albino. Amazing.
9:25 PM – King’s landing not quite how I pictured. Is that Jon Arryn lying dead? And a parade of the silent sisters? Followed by a secne between Jaime and Cersei that did not happen in the books, but probably works better to establish the characters.
9:27 PM – The Godswood is beautiful, peaceful. The love between Catelyn and Ned Stark is obvious.
9:29 PM – The point of the barber scene was what? And is that Theon lurking in the background? Not how I pictured him.
9:30 PM – Bran climbing – he’s SOOO perfect.
9:32 PM – Joffrey looks like a little bastard. Perfect casting. But Joffrey and Robb were supposed to be the same age, or near enough? That doesn’t look apparent.
Mark Addy is a little to grizzled to be Robert Baratheon.
9:35 PM – Tension between Cersei and Robert crackles.
9:37 PM – Random boobage. A scene not in the book where Tyrion is in a Winterfell whorehouse. A great introduction to his character, and a good way of establishing Tyrion and Jaime’s relationship when he interrupts the frivolities.
9:40 PM – Emilia Clark as Danaerys – I was worried that she wasn’t good for the role, but seeing her (and seeing her naked with her creepy brother getting her ready for a bath), makes me reconsider. She is beautiful and looks as though she possesses true steel.
9:44 PM – Viserys is a douchebag. “I’d let his whole tribe fuck you, all forty thousand men and their horses too, if that’s what it took.” I’m already rooting for him to die screaming.
9:46 PM – Sansa is just as simpering and vapid as she was in the books. Again, good casting.
9:49 PM – I didn’t mention this before, but Peter Dinklage is beyond perfect as Tyrion. I love the scene between him and Jon Snow. “All dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes.” Such raw pain in Tyrion’s face there.
9:52 PM – Cersei asks Sansa if she’s bled yet. Ouch. That’s kind of direct, isn’t it? They left her at 13 years old. Also, nice conflict with Jaime and Ned there. Not something I would have expected, but it fits.
9:55 PM – Catelyn and Maester Luwin arguing with Ned Stark of his future – not exactly as the book had it done, but well done anyway.
9:59 PM – *sigh* – I should have known that the Dothraki made the perfect stage for HBO to do their usual shenanigans.
Jorah Mormount – I’m ambivalent about him.
Ilyrio’s gifts of the dragon eggs caused the music to change. Anyone who has not read the books should know that something is definitely up with them.
10:02 PM – The wedding consummation, with the “no” repeated over and over again by Khal Drogo was awesome. Too bad they didn’t convey the tenderness that Martin did in the books. (And holy crap, Emilia Clark is my new crush.)
10:07 PM – “The things I do for love.” Some Jaime is drilling his sister. Is the only sexual position in Westeros doggy-style? Really? Only the dwarf had something approaching normal sex. Was this Martin’s intention?
No scenes with Arya and Sansa and their wolf pups. I thought this was a missed opportunity. In that vein, no one talked about naming their pups, which I also think is very important/symbolic.
Jon Snow was relegated to the outdoors, rather than with the commoners during the banquet in the books. I prefer the book approach to this and am not sure why they changed it.
The Dothraki are HBO’s excuse to throw mindless depravity on the screen. I can see the producers meeting: “Do we have frontal female nudity in this episode yet?” Another producer: “No.” Writer: “Well, we haven’t finished the Dothraki scene yet.”
Seeing Bran get pushed from the tower was even more horrifying than reading the books. Jaime’s impetuousness was perfectly portrayed. It makes you want to punch him in the face.
Would someone who hasn’t read the books understand what’s going on? I’m not sure. Ned and Catelyn; Robert, Jaime, and Cersei, Jon Snow, Bran, Arya, Sansa, and Robb; Viserys, Ilyrio, Khal Drogo, and Danaerys; it’s too many characters in such a short time. Will the standard television audience make the mental investment? I hope so, because I was enamored.