Game of Thrones: What the Critics Think

Game of Thornes - TV Still: Richard Madden - HBO - 2011
Nick Briggs/HBO

Compared to "Lost" and "The Wire," the series is " almost perversely inaccessible" but "worth the effort."

Critics can't get enough of Game of Thrones, which premiered Sunday on HBO, and is based off George RR Martin's epic A Song of Fire and Ice fantasy books.

Writes The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman: "Barely a few minutes into HBO’s epic Game of Thrones series, it’s clear that the hype was right and the wait was worth it.

"What we have here is the successful pairing of an acclaimed collection of fantasy books with a television series that illuminates and expands what’s on the page," he adds.

The U.K. Guardian's Phelim O'Neill notes, "The first thing that impresses is how good it all looks: it really does feel like a movie."

"The high density of the pilot may be the reason some of the early reviews were a little lukewarm, but Game of Thrones gets better and better with each episode,"  O'Neill continues, comparing the series' plot development to that of HBO's critically acclaimed The Wire. "I'd go as far as to say the show is a triumph; it'd be a shame to miss out on it due to a deficiency in imagination."

The Atlantic's Scott Meslow writes, "Game of Thrones is undeniably impressive in its ambition and scope. It's also almost perversely inaccessible (though perhaps no more so than Deadwood or The Wire, which also began by laying out worlds of enormously complexity and daring viewers to keep up)."

Still, he says it's "worth the effort to let the story unfold."

Time magazine's James Poniewozik calls the series an "epic win!"

"HBO's ambitious, visually stunning Game of Thrones puts that part in the songs. Like The Lord of the Rings, Thrones is set in a quasi-medieval world with a mythic history, riven by conflict," he writes. "Thrones is unsentimental and often brutal. It's also shaping up to be the most immersive grownup adventure TV has produced since Lost."

"Watching Game of Thrones is like falling into a gorgeous, stained tapestry. This epic, unflinching fantasy noir takes our preconceptions of chivalry, nobility and magic and gets medieval on them."


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