Moments ago, I finished the season finale of the new HBO series, Game of Thrones. Like everyone with cable television, I’d heard so much hype about this show prior to its premiere that my expectations were pretty damn high. And I’ll admit, they weren’t exactly met. Though I stuck it out and watched this first season in its entirety, I can’t say I was blown away by it. It felt too slow for me, and the characters I thought were heroes ended up being…well, NOT heroes.
It isn’t without merit, however. There was scandal and treachery aplenty and there are now 2 actors on my radar who I’d never seen before. The first, Emilia Clarke, plays Daenerys Targaryen, the heir to the Iron Throne that had been usurped when she was an infant and the only living relative of the ancient people of Dragonstone. Clarke stole my attention from the first episode and I quickly found myself more engrossed in her storyline than in the central plot. Unlike the men I wanted to step up as heroes who eventually left me disappointed, her character came to embrace her exceptional lineage and seemed ready to lead. I, for one, believe Clarke is more than able to play the fierce Queen I hope Daenerys will become.
Kit Harington, another Brit, is the other actor who left a lasting impression. Again, I’ve never seen him before, but his performance as the illegitimate child of Lord Stark, the King’s Hand, overshadowed that even of his character’s father, the always-engaging Sean Bean. He aptly portrays his character’s struggle to find his place in the world, his desire to be honorable despite the dishonorable circumstances of his birth and the loyalty he feels to the family he’s almost a part of.
Overall, I do recommend Game of Thrones to anyone who feels inclined to watch it. It’s chalk full of sex, violence, deceit and betrayal. I hope the second season will move a bit more quickly and will contain a stronger hero/heroine. Also, I’d like to see more of Clarke and Harington. They, for sure, are worth watching.