"A Game of Thrones" is quite simply one of the best tv-series I have ever seen. It is a fantasy story that takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos. It contains kings and queens, lords and ladies, knights, dragons, zombies, sorcerers, giant direwolves and many other creatures. But most of all, it is very character driven and most of the characters are willing to do WHATEVER it takes to win the game of thrones and the power of the realm. It makes for tons of intrigues, plots, betrayal, lies, alliances and conflicts. All the drama, sex and violence takes place on very different locations with landscapes of great beauty.
I was hooked immediately and was stuck to my tv-set every Wednesday evening when the next new episode appeared and the day after too for a re-watch, just to make sure I had gotten all the details right. The number of characters, locations, family names, intrigues and subplots can be quite overwhelming at first, but it is so worth it, if you allow it to sink in.
The first season consists of 10 episodes and is a very close adaption of the first book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series by author George R.R. Martin, that the tv-series is based upon. They have managed to get the characters almost 100% right compared to the book, and it is a joy to see how well a book can work on tv. The characters in "A Game of Thrones" are very complex and always have many sides to them. Just because you initially think someone is a bad and evil person it is not necessarily the whole story. You may easily think wrong and have to change your mind later.
The 5-disc bluray release has awesome sound and audio quality and the production quality of this tv-series is really outstanding. It looks and feels like an expensive movie. I think it would be a shame only to get the DVD version. The quality really screams for bluray HD quality. The menu system stinks however and the bluray discs don't always start well on my Sony BDP-S570 player. It is annoying that these issues often happen with new releases. I don't care if Sony or HBO is to blame. It pisses me off all the same. There are some great extra features on the discs that are well worth checking out. And all in all it is a quality release (when it works.)
I have read the 5 books currently released and I was very happy with them. The first 3 books are totally outstanding and almost impossible to put down when you pick them up. The last 2 books does however feel rather long and slow and there is a lot of chapters and characters that do little for the general story. Those 2 last books could easily have been compressed into 1 book, which would have made for a much better book, that would have been more satisfying to read. But all that said I must admit that it is the best story I've read in a long while. It rarely happens (if ever before) that I plough myself thru 4000 pages in 3.5 months. That's how hooked I became reading the last 4 of the 5 books.
After finishing the 5 books, I am full of hope for many more great episodes on the tv screen and I look forward to reading the 6th book whenever it comes out. That probably won't happen for the next 3 years though. Well, soon comes May and season 2 will air on European tv-screens and I will get my next fix. Can't wait!