There was so much hype about this series that I was unsure of whether I wanted to risk it. I am glad I did – although I do not have the mad passion that some people seem to feel about it.
The story is set in a fictional, medieval-style world, with knights and serfs, battles and jousts, and lots of sex. As the title suggests, everything is about who is in control. There are several houses who either have the throne, have claims about the throne, or decide that they want to lay claim to the throne. The background is complex, and at least half of this first series (and the first book) is really setting up the characters’ backgrounds. There are a lot of characters, and a lot of history to know for things to make sense.
I’m not even going to attempt to explain this world. If you want to know who is who and where and why, maybe check out the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_of_Thrones_(TV_series)
Is it good? Yes. It’s totally compelling. It’s gross and violent and sexy and very, very good. It will take your concentration, so either be prepared to pay attention, or to find that you’re a bit lost at times. The acting in it is generally fantastic, although there are a few actors who, I think, are way over the top. Like the queen, Cersei, who just frowns a little too intently so often during the show. From what I can tell, the break-out actor from the series has been Peter Dinklage, the short-statured actor who, if you haven’t seen him in 30 Rock, or Death at a Funeral, or even the under-rated Aussie film I love You Too, then get yourself to a DVD shop, hired them out and watch them with glee (not with Glee. Not ever with Glee). He’s great in each of those, and is great in this.
Comparing it to the book is easy. They are the same. Almost exactly. Probably not exactly, but close enough. I watched the series first, then read the book. It was excellent in this order, because I didn’t have the get the characters established in my mind. I’ve watched the second season, which apparently varies greatly from the books, but now I am unsure as to whether or not I should read the rest of the books or just wait for the series. Any thoughts?