HBO’s highly-anticipated new series “Game of Thrones” received rave reviews from many of the top TV critics for its premiere episode Sunday. Based on the first book in the best-selling series by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” tells the tale of the feud among noble families for control of the Iron Throne. Transporting the viewer into the medieval fantasy world of Westeros, this well-received series could well contend in a slew of categories at the Emmy Awards.
For Matt Roush (TV Guide), “There are supernatural elements afoot — a ghoulish menace from the icy wastes of the North, teased in a chilling opening sequence; a memory of dragons from across the sea — but the real magical wizardry here lies in the rich storytelling, embroiling a bounty of memorable characters young and old in a fatalistic free-for-all of dynastic mayhem.”
Matthew Gilbert (Boston Globe) found, “even with the fantasy, ‘Game of Thrones’ feels like a historical medieval saga. It’s a royal, and royally good, round of musical chairs.” And Mary MacNamara (Los Angeles Times) thought the series, “quickly finds that rare alchemy of action, motivation and explanation, proving, once again, that the epic mythology remains the Holy Grail of almost any medium.”
Among the few naysayers was Gina Bellafante (New York Times) who chided HBO for shifting from its usual programming and dismissed the series as it “serves up a lot of confusion in the name of no larger or really relevant idea beyond sketchily fleshed-out notions that war is ugly, families are insidious and power is hot. If you are not averse to the Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic, the series might be worth the effort.”