Game of Thrones is one of the most potent TV series of all time; from the beginning of the show, it had a great impact upon all TV for the rest of the series. Scene Siren is everything you need to know about the big and little screen so where better to start than rewatching Game of Thrones and analysing each episode up until that Marmite last episode? I will be discussing the good, the bad and the ugly and I hope you will enjoy the ride!
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
The pilot of the episode is vital to any TV series to hook audiences in, introducing characters and plot points while not giving too much away to keep audiences watching. The GOT universe has so much to set up that it can appear near impossible to introduce everyone but the first episode handles it well – even though this wasn’t the first time they had attempted it. They had actually filmed an entire pilot with Tom McCarthy directing but upon a private viewing, Benioff and Weiss were told you have a massive problem and they ended up reshooting 90% of it.
- A symbolic moment – The White Walkers.
The White Walkers are the very first point of conflict that we see in this series which is a great way to kick off the ASOIAF series. In the first few series, their importance doesn’t seem all that relevant to the rest of the plot until it all starts to intertwine and in the latter, they become vital to the crux of the stories. They are equally as important as the battle for the Iron Throne. The title of this episode Winter is Coming are the words of House Stark but also a foreshadowing of the Walkers and the war that they’ll bring.
2. A moment that made me feel something – The introduction to the Stark family.
I often wonder what the story would be like if we had started the story from another family’s point of view. By nature, the reader/viewer of something automatically trusts the first people that they are introduced to. This means that subconsciously, your allegiances automatically lie with whoever this character may be; thus making unreliable narrators a really interesting technique. This family are seemingly functional which by default makes the other families look all the more dysfunctional.
The pilot episode is mainly focused on the Stark family, setting up each character with their base traits and relationships – we can already see the conflict between Jon and Catelyn, Arya and Sansa and other dynamics built within. They cram a lot into one episode while making the Starks loveable and enjoyable to watch. The first conflict is set up, also, as Ned is offered the position of the King’s Hand.
3. Best villain moment – The introduction to the Targaryens.
Moving from the North to Pentos, we are introduced to another vital family in the story – the Targaryens. I’ve placed this under the ‘villain’ category due to Viserys. Exiled from his home, Viserys is desperate to regain his power and is willing to do anything in order to achieve this goal, even marrying his sister Daenerys off to Khal Drogo. It’s the perfect place to begin Daenerys’ story as we see her as someone who is controlled by her brother and there’s a lot of discomforting scenes, making her an empathetic character from the start. While I don’t want these articles to be focused too much on the contract or comparatives between book/TV adaptations, it is extremely frustrating that they chose to make the scene between Drogo and Dany an assault scene given the later progression of their relationship. But Benioff and Weiss do this throughout the series – disappointing but not surprising.
A line that I especially liked was when Viserys made mention to the fact that history books would state that his reign started today. For the re-watch audience, there is an irony in it in that we know that it is in fact the day that Daenerys begins to pave the way for her reign.
4. A moment that developed a character – Robert and Lyanna.
Similarly to the introduction of the White Walkers, the conflict of Robert/Lyanna/Ned is an important plot point that is hinted at even in the first episode but doesn’t have its payoff until much later in the series. It only took a few rewatches for me to notice it as it’s so subtly mentioned that my brain filed it away. However, it later proves that the conflict put a lot of events into motion.
5. A moment that made me feel something – Jaime pushing Bran from the tower.
I think if anything, the final scene is a real insight into how far the Lannisters will be willing to go to achieve their own goals, especially Jaime and Cersei. For the first-time viewer, we can see that Cersei thinks she is higher than the rest of the characters -especially the Starks – in the way she interacts with them. But this could be perceived as just a vain trait of hers and her dislike for the Starks merging together to make her act this way.
As the series progresses, we see that there are only few things that Cersei truly cares about but the unmistakable one is her love for her children and how much she loves being a mother. Which makes this scene all the more harrowing. Not only does it shape Bran’s entire arc, it also entices the audience to watch more because it’s the definition of a cliffhanger.
Overall, the pilot episode is the perfect way to establish the series. It introduces most of the vital plot points that play out for the rest of the series, does well to establish characters and make the audience want to see more. If anyone was beginning to lose interest then the final scene is enough to keep them coming back for the next episode.
Are there any other TV series you’re interested in seeing an episode-by-episode analysis of? If so, let me know in the comments below! Be sure to follow this site so that you can see the next episode.