GAME OF THRONES Recap: It’s Not TV, It’s HBO.

If you’re not watching HBO’s GAME OF THRONES, you’re not just missing out on one of the most ambitious and engaging series to hit the small screen in quite some time, you’re depriving yourself of something that has unfortunately become akin to an endangered species in this spoiler-obsessed internet culture.

The surprise. (Editor’s Note: Stop reading now if you have yet to see Sunday’s episode!)

Remember those? Those increasingly rare television moments that illicit genuine, honest-to-goodness, gut-wrenching reactions as you reach for your remote to replay a scene you did not for the life of you see coming. We do. Which is precisely why — in addition of course to the copious amount of sex and violence fantastic performances and plot twists — last night’s episode of GAME OF THRONES solidified our love affair with a series in which anything, and we mean anything, can happen.

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

Evidently, we weren’t the only ones who should have taken Queen Cersei Lannister warning from earlier in the season to heart. So too should have Ned Stark (Sean Bean), whose story came to a shocking conclusion during the closing moments of last night’s episode. Yes, in executing author George R. R. Martin’s vision, the producers had no choice but to kill the [literal, see above poster] central figure of HBO’s multi-million dollar marketing campaign, a character who many naturally assumed would remain front and center throughout the entire series. Shocking! Unbelievable! Incredible! Suffice it to say, there are no words. Well, except to say how glad we are we decided to hold off on reading the books on which the series is based on prior to the start of the series.

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  • werd

    This series is incredibly well done. HBO’s only oversight is the implication that Ned Stark was the central figure in this story. Understandably the ads needed to sell this series and used the most well known actor from the series to promote it -although Peter Dinklage is pretty darn recognizable too.

  • Betsy

    Westeros: where “summers span decades (and episodes can last a lifetime)”

  • Dick Whitman

    Damn, I was not counting on an actual book spoiler to be here, I actually thought there was a slight possibility that Ned would survive.

  • CrazyCris B

    “a series in which anything, and we mean anything, can happen.” Very truly said… NO ONE is safe in this series. You are now warned!
    I remember when I heard Sean Bean was going to be headlining a swashbuckling show I was really excited. Then I read the books last fall and I was devastated! :p
    You’ve GOT to read the books! It will be the only thing that helps you wait until season 2 starts up in 2012. And having read them doesn’t detract any pleasure from watching it! ;)

  • Eileprose

     I started to read the books just as the series began (late to the game I know!) I am really enjoying the show and also enjoying comparing the books to the series. While the book adds more depth to each story and character so far I have yet to see something that I would classify as a royal HBO screw up. I can’t wait to read on!