Game of Thrones

Season 1 Episode 1

Winter Is Coming

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 17, 2011 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

Write A Review
out of 10
1,324 votes
  • Uhhmmm?

    How do I actually watch it?
  • Jury still in

    Jury is still in on this
  • Question ?

    How can i watch it online

    I need a website please
  • 10

    Do you need to pay for this thing?
  • Love it!

  • Game Of Thrones.

    Even though I haven't read the books I tried to understand it the best I could and I felt I had to watch it because of the high ratings on sites such as IMDB I enjoyed the start of the episode but as the episode went on it got a little confusing I definitely didn't expect Jaime to push the kid out of the tower at the end of the episode which will have a huge impact in the next episode I am planning to watch the next episode and hopefully the more I watch the more I can understand it.
  • Everything about this is perfect!

    This first episode is already an indication that this is going to be one of the best, if not the best TV series ever made. Everything about this introduction is perfect, you know that you are watching awesome TV from the second it starts. Virtually the only issue you could have with it would be that you didn't get along with all the characters very well. I felt that a bit too, but director Timothy Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, The Wire, Rome) and episode writers David Benioff and . Weiss made it as understandable as possible without explaining too much.

    The visuals are one of the best I've seen ever, not just in TV shows, but really ever. This fantasy world is even better than the one Peter Jackson created in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and is just magnificient to watch. The cinematography, the editing, the score, the sound, the costumes, the production design - everything is absolutely perfect, I can't find any flaws at all!

    The plot is mostly not that big as you may have expected from a TV show with a budget like this, but you really get to know the characters and the current situation. Not one scene is unimportant, I was utterly entertained all the time and after I finished it, I instantly wanted to see it again!

    I love this episode and I'm so excited to see what's next because it's also told so interestingly and leaves with a sort of cliffhanger that was really unexpected, but totally great. This is a consummate show!
  • Winter is Coming

    The Good:

    -"The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword."

    -"Their days are too long. Their lives are too short."

    The Bad:

    -Character changes, mainly Jaime's.
  • "Their days are too long and their lives too short..." - Jaime Lannister.


    Let me say that although I have read the novels, I did it after watching the first season completely. I watch it again in order to get a fairer scope on how to review the show. Naturally it's hard for TV shows and movies to convert a book into screen format, for half what makes a book so great are narratives that are spoken in the characters' minds. Game of Thrones is rich in literature and metaphors that it seemed impossible to bring it to the screen without losing out on what makes it such a fantastic novel. While a good chunk of what chapters this episode covered were indeed lost, the slight changes the executives made made it easier to absorb the world and the story; the metaphors in language are lost, but they are replaced with visuals to compensate.

    And although I speak as a fan of the novels, my first round watching the show and the first episode when I did not know the world of Game of Thrones prior, although there were some things that I failed to grasp, the story and pacing made it easy to understand the gist of the events. What was necessary to know was that an important person of high ranking was murdered, Ned Stark would be his replacement, and his youngest son saw something he shouldn't have seen. The matters with Daenerys Targeryan and her brother, as well as it was acted out, and Jon Snow's desire to take the Black, would fly over the heads of newcomers, but pertaining to the main events of the episode, they are scenes that you can sleep on not fully understanding their significance.

    The pacing is excellent, the actors wisely selected to fill out the cast, and it leaves on an exciting cliffhanger; a score of 9.5 is only fair for an excellent introduction to a fantasy novel series most believe is Lord of the Rings' superior.

  • Please read.

    There are a lot of new shows out there and a lot of period dramas. I had just a little bit of trouble following all these characters and knowing who was who.

    Now, I did not read the books, maybe that hurt my ability to understand, but I think they rushed into the storylines too quickly and did not properly introduce these characters. They have a huge following behind this show already, but for some of the viewers not familiar with the franchise through its literature form, I think they may have alienated us a tad.

    The ending was shocking. Definitely did not see them having the kid fall to his demise. Pleasantly surprised there, as cruel as that may seem.

    I'll give it another go. The production values were extraordinary, a lot of time clearly went into this. It was just a little bit hard to follow on my end.
  • Superb Start

    A brilliant start to one of the most significant story telling opportunities of all time. The realization of the story is very honest, achieving the rare feat of putting characters and places on screen which immediately live up to the high expectations I had from the Song of Ice and Fire books. A big budget approach is evident, as is a willingness to be guided by the actual story, even though that requires some time spent on exposition before the many action sequences, and risks audience confusion from the many characters and multiple POVs. I've already heard some people dismissing this series on the basis they "don't like fantasy and magic", which is both sad and inaccurate. Game of Thrones is more of a fictional "War of the Roses" than it is a Lord of the Rings. It has some magic and fantasy elements, but these are mostly subtle and never over-power the strong story about the struggle for power and its effect on individuals.
  • Brilliant introduction

    I loved nearly every moment of the premiere episode. Most characters were vividly drawn and well-acted. As in the books, that will likely turn out to be a bad thing as such dire things begin to happen to the Starks. If I have a complaint (and I don't) it's that it wasn't longer and that it's not a mini-series that could be run every day or two. Waiting a week between episodes won't be fun. Some of the characters were under-utilized but it's hard to do justice to a cast this size each episode so I hope they'll flesh out Arya and Catelyn more.
  • Effective and dark.

    The first episode throws you right into a medieval setting in which darkness appoaches as real as it is ungrasped, as told by the single tale of a deserter who's executed in front of children being prepared for a grim future yet to come, a future represented by direwolf pups given to each of the children for them to raise.

    The visual of their kingdom lies in direct contrast with an arranged wedding between the young sister of the exhiled heir and a savage with a formidable army, their birthright outweighs any fear of the bride to be, yet there's something about her inner strength that somehow mirrors the obvious strength of her intended husband. Murder, betrayal and chaos about to unfold just as soon as "the King's Hand" role has been filled by the most unsuspecting party.
  • What do you know about fear......

    Obviously the header has nothing to do with this episode, but this echoes quite closely to what this new series is all about. Fear and everything else that comes with Winter. For all those who haven't read the books, Yes you will feel swamped with all the characters, this will happen whether you read the book or watch the episode at first. However as you continue watching the series the characters will become more and more embedded in your understanding, more so because of the dramatic lives they lead and the choices they make. I picked up the books right after I watched this episode, in four days straight I was done with the Game of Thrones. No spoilers here, just an encouragement to those who have no interest in reading the book... Keep Watching.
  • Winter Is Coming

    First I must say that I have not read the books or even heard of the series prior to this tv show. I really enjoyed watching this episode, Winter Is Coming, because there was a lot of interesting characters, plot lines, as well as character development. I really like the feel and background scenery to this series. There were definitely some interesting interactions between characters and I look forwad to seeing what happens. This episode introduces viewers, new and familiar alike, to the story of a diverse and very interesting world. I look forward to watching the next episode of Game of Thrones!!!!!!!
  • Game of Thrones premiers

    I don't think I'm going to be able to completely explain and analyze this episode, mostly because it introduces us to so much that I feel like I need to watch the entire season, look back on each episode and maybe even read the book this thing is based on to understand all the characters, plot points and twists throughout. I will give Game of Thrones this though: it's one of the most beautiful shows on TV, with some incredible imagery, and the acting/writing isn't anything to sneer at either. All in all, it really is a show that proves to be ambitious and somewhat delivers on its promise. If there's one thing that's wrong with it, it's the fact that it's ambition may be a little too big this early in the show.

    I'll try to keep it short and simple, because the internet has it's fair share of reviews about the show and I'll leave it to them to super-analyze it. The show revolves around Ned Stark, the ruler of a place called Winterfall. He has five kids and proves himself early to be a nice guy but willing to do the hard thing if he has to. He's friends with the King of the Seven Kingdoms (Winterfell is just one of the Kingdoms), King Robert Bartheon. Robert wants Ned to come with Robert to the Kingdom to help him run the place.. Ned doesn't want to, but he's more inclined to because his father figure, John Arryn, who lived in that Kingdom, was found dead, possibly murdered. There's also the wife of the king Bartheon, a woman named Cersei who has two brothers, Jaime and Tyrion (Tyrion is played by Peter Dinklage and is actually really funny in the role, despite not having much to do at first).

    Meanwhile, besides these two groups, there's a brother and sister who are attempting to get the throne back from Bartheon that their father lost years before. Daenerys, the sister, is being married to the captain of the Dothroki tribe, a group of barbarians that used to be at war with Ned and Robert's people.. Viserys, the brother, believes that if he marries his sister to the group of people, he'll have an army to use and get back his throne. Mixed in with these two, in a subtle role that should have a lot more scenes in the near future, is Jorah, the bodyguard of Daenerys.

    This is just skimming the surface of what's going on. I'm not even taking into account the opening scene of the show where a group of strange zombie like creatures called White Walkers kill a couple of men. White Walkers are apparently creatures that Winterfell and other Kingdoms walled off so they could be safe.

    I'll leave the details at that and just say that the show is incredibly well-done, and despite moments where it's difficult to understand what people are talking about, mostly because the showrunners are acting as if the action has been going on forever and not just beginning with the show, the show does a good job of making us understand stuff (for the most part). As I've said before, I've never read the books, so I'm forced to learn all of this for the first time. And it is a bit confusing. I had to look up half of the character names because I didn't know them, and the dialogue was so hard to hear over the background noise that I had to frequently rewind.

    But I'm confident that the show has a lot of ground to cover and will do so in due time. The show was renewed for a second season, so luckily, we'll get to see plenty of new stuff.
  • First Impressions Really Are Everything

    HBO does it again, Game of Thrones delivers as a drama as well as lavish spectacle akin to the Lord of the Rings movies. There is a market for fantasy when it is well done as this show has proven to be so far. With production value in the high millions and a solid book series to build upon Game of Thrones has a lot to live up to and at least in their first outing they have proved worthy. The story follows Eddard Stark, Guardian of the North and Winterfell who executes a deserter of the Gate that keeps them attached to the rest of the land who claims he saw folk legend like monsters but of course we know he really saw them after they killed his two friends. Following the death of the King's Hand, the King travels to Winterfell to ask Eddard to fill the post so that the throne be rightfully protected. Can't wait to see what happens next and with HBO already renewing the series for a second season there's no doubt that hopefully something great will come out of this.
  • Despite a few boring parts in the middle, the episode manages to introduce the whole cast in a fantastic way, and ends in a crazy cliffhanger.

    Game of Thrones is no doubt the most anticipated show of the year. So, how does the pilot measure up? Does it do enough to attract new viewers to the series?

    I'd say yes, especially if you manage to stick until the ending, which is really a omg wth moment. Not gonna give any spoilers, but it seems like a character we thought to have been very important dies in the first 60 minutes of the show. I knew that a lot of main characters would be killed in the show, but this quickly in? The prologue is great. It takes place north of the wall where some weird stuff is going on and three men from an order called the Nights Watch are scouting. They find dead bodies of a group called the wildlings, only to see later that the bodies reanimate. o.O These creatures are called the white walkers, though I'm not entirely sure if they are undead or something else.

    Then comes the intro, which is great and introduces the world of westeros really well, accompanied by pleasant if not insanely epic music. The show stutters a bit after that, and it does seem for a while that the hype was a little overdone. It takes a long time to introduce the characters, and some scenes seem overly long and needless Others though, are a joy to watch and show the characters very well, like the one with the 'imp' and the bastard. Overall, the characters are introduced well. We can immediately tell who the main villains are (the Lannisters) whilst the Starks seem to be the good guys here.

    During this time, we also find out that Jon Arryn might have been murdered by the Lannisters. This definitely promises to be an intriguing mystery later on. Winter is coming is uttered several times through out the episode, though they don't quite explain why its such a big deal, but it does imply that things don't bode well for our friends the Starks.

    I wasn't overall too impressed with the episode until the ending. There are some things I was confused about until I checked Wikipedia after the episode. But the great cast, set, beginning and ending were all very good. If the episode wasn't so slow in the middle it would have gotten a ten. As it happened, that part was very hard to get through, despite all the sex, violence and nudity that is HBO's trademark :P

    Final thoughts: The pilot succeeds in giving a good introduction of the massive cast to help those with enough patience to get through it, and ends with a cliffhanger which will make sure you watch the next episode.
  • Interesting with lots of room for expansion.

    I liked the opener well enough. It wasn't the most amazing thing I've ever seen on television for sure, but considering it was the premiere it was good enough to convince me to tune in next week. I haven't read the series (which may turn out to be a good thing since adaptations hardly ever live up to the original) but everything seems to be line for some decent expansion. The characters, even the minor ones, are highly detailed and developed (loved the White Walkers), the acting is great, the dialogue is pretty decent and the settings seem to be well suited for the show. I say that not only in regards to the visual scenery, but with how the different settings seemly correspond to the supposed nature of characters within them (kind of a chicken and egg thing whereby we wonder whether the characters are products of their environment or vice versa).

    As for what I'm hoping to see more of I'd say that includes some decent battle scenes and some description/use of the magic in this universe. Likewise, as far as characters go, I'd be more than happy to see how Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen develop this season since, to me anyways, they seems like the most interesting.
  • The show did not disappoint, the first episode was far and away the best hour of television I have ever seen.

    I had been looking forward to this show for well over a year, reading and watching every little tidbit I could find on-line. Having read and loved the book Game of Thrones is based on, I had high expectations. The show did not disappoint, the first episode was far and away the best hour of television I have ever seen. The characters from the book came to life through the amazing performances of the cast. Highlights include Peter Dinklage as Tyrion and Maisie Williams as Arya. Some initial concerns were raised on adapting such a complex series to the small screen, that it might be difficult for the average viewer to follow. I think those fears may now be laid to rest as it seemed to me that the show was very clear and concise, though I shall leave it to the non-readers to answer this question better. Regarding the plot, I thought the adaption worked very well in creating a beginning, middle and ending that left you wanting more. I don't want to give away any details so as not to spoil the show for anyone who has yet to watch it. Suffice to say it is well worth taking a look to see if it suits you or not.
  • ♥♠♥ Spoiler-free ♠♥♠ A pilot to unthrone them all

    Cinéma has Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings,
    Now TV has the Game of Thrones by the master of Sandkings.
    George R. R. Martin in heaven his work should spawn at least Four Seasons,
    The cold-blooded beginning will burn your latent emotions and freeze your dual reasons.

    Closing black metal door and opening credits scavenging for unknown kingdoms,
    Highlander and fantastic territories as surreal as a wonderful forest of giant mushrooms.
    Almighty production with only a few minor glitches and heroic sets,
    From lifelike costumes and lurking soundtrack to majestic visual effects.

    Sean Bean as lead and Lena Headey as queen plunged in a pool of steep talent.
    Kids to glide a smile, the bastard and the dwarf, vertiginous curves with riding knights.
    A cascade of refreshing characters to escort us through black days and white nights.
    Cuddly wolves, history books, dragon eggs. A universe has never been so magnificent.

    Tolkienian by its numerous names and great attention to details,
    Despite the labyrinth an enchainting viewing and intriguing parallel stories.
    Winter warriors, white haired incest or blue savages are struggling families.
    A balance of Braveheart blood and medieval epicness to crimp biogenic trails.