Rob Power thinks Game Of Thrones is this year’s Best New Show – spoilerphobes beware(opens in new tab)
Death! Destruction! Shagging! Dragons! I mean really, what’s not to love about Game Of Thrones ? HBO knocked the ball clean out of the park and off into the stratosphere with their adaptation of George RR Martin’s staggeringly brilliant A Song Of Ice And Fire sequence of books. Fantasy for grown ups, with enough underhand plotting and fiendish scheming to keep you guessing and plenty of grisly action to liven things up when all the politicking got a little heavy, it’s no surprise that it was the breakout hit of 2011.
Instead of diluting Martin’s novels, they were brought to the small screen with a cinematic flair and commitment to the source material not seen in fantasy since The Lord Of The Rings . Long-term fans of the series no doubt thought it couldn’t be done; the books are famously complex, populated by a cast of thousands and set in a breathtakingly detailed world, and yet David Benioff and DB Weiss made it look easy.
Top class casting undoubtedly played a part. Sean Bean simply is (or was, at any rate) Ned Stark, and his star power helped sell the series to a mainstream audience. But it wasn’t just the a-listers that made Game Of Thrones such a success. Peter Dinklage, rightly rewarded with an Emmy for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister, stole every scene he was in, while Emilia Clarke captivated as Daenerys Targaryen, rising from horse-lord fodder to fire-blooded Khaleesi and mother of dragons. The younger cast members also made their presence felt – Maisie Williams was simply perfect as feisty Arya Stark, while Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon will no doubt be remembered as one of the great TV villains.
A sumptuous production that brought Westeros to vivid life, helped along the way by breathtaking effects and a stirring, grandiose soundtrack, even the title sequence was a cut above traditional TV fare. Easily the most absorbing, compelling and downright entertaining new show of 2011, it rocketed the novels back in to the best seller lists and made the mainstream appreciate just how gripping the fantasy genre at its best can be. So get clicking and vote for Game Of Thrones as the Best New TV Show, or I’ll have your head on a spike quicker than you can say “King’s Landing”.