This Friday, George surprised fans by appearing at the last of the Game of Thrones food trucks (a great hit—thanks, Campfire, Chef Tom Colicchio, and HBO)—and trying some of the venison and lemon cake, plus chatting a bit with those going up to the truck. It was also a great publicity occasion, with several interviews being conducted both with fans and George.
Two of them featuring GRRM were conducted by HitFix and another fun one—with video and pictures!—can be found at Think Hero. Some interesting remarks in there, including George’s reminder of Faulkner’s quotation, “the human heart in conflict with itself”, is a central tenet of his writing. We expect to see more videos and photos in the next few days.
As to guides, Andrew Leonard of Salon.com has published an essential guide to the series which is, admittedly, rather spoilerish. But as it happens, Leonard also seems to make his feelings on the episodes he’s seen quite clear:
“A Song of Ice And Fire” is to normal fantasy what “The Wire” was to typical cops-and-robbers drama, packed with grit, complexity and flawed human beings making their way through a corrupt and intimidating world… HBO’s treatment of the text is scrupulously faithful—and terrifically entertaining in the best HBO high drama tradition…
That sounds promising. As does, Variety’s very positive review from Brian Lowry:
Although “Mad Men’s” Don Draper partially scratched the itch, premium TV has been actively seeking its next Tony Soprano. While Showtime’s medieval “The Borgias” directly promoted that analogy, HBO comes much closer with “Game of Thrones,” which reaches even farther afield—to Westeros, a mythical land of seven kingdoms where dragons once lived—to deliver a mob boss (OK, king) beset by plotting, intrigue and fractious families on all sides. Massive in scope and cinematic in detail, this dense piece of storytelling should resonate beyond just fans of George R.R. Martin’s novels, providing HBO its own formidable seat of power.
Interestingly, Lowry felt the pacing uneven in the later episodes, while Linda and I preferred the greater room for scenes to breathe in in those late episodes; it was the earliest episodes where we felt that the pacing was not utterly ideal as they raced to cover a great number of pages). Finally, Matt Fowler of IGN has some glowing words for the show:
As with any book adaptation, fans will worry and wonder as to what will be left out and what will be kept in, but the premiere episode, “Winter is Coming,” not only effortlessly takes us along, faithfully, through the book, but it also manages to capture the majestically morbid spirit of Martin’s pages and turn them into thrilling television.
Not all the reviews have been unanimous in their praise, unfortunately, but in some cases some of the remarks may appear aimed more at the story’s genre than the story itself: Wall Street Journal, IndieWire, and Zap2It. If you feel like remarking on these reviews in their comments, please be respectful, no matter how much you might disagree with them or believe them to be unfair.