Review - A Game of Thrones #1
Review by Paul Fiander
Covers: Mike S. Miller, Alex Ross
Writer: George R.R. Martin, Daniel Abraham
Artist: Tommy Patterson
Colorist: Ivan Nunes
From page to screen and back again. A Song of Ice and Fire or Games as it is known by TV viewers is one of the most vividly imagined stories in recent times. The HBO show has done a great job in re imagining the content from the series however it does have problems. These are mostly cosmetic such as a character not being the exact image of the one portrayed in the book. Enter the graphic storytelling of the comic series.The mixture of visuals and words allow for a greater freedom to create characters and story more in keeping with the original text. In that way I see these adaptations as a middle ground between the series and the books.
So where to begin but at the start. Issue one starts with a ranging from the wall. The giant structure is kept under wraps at this time but the snow and wind swept north make for a fitting backdrop to the start of the issue. What strikes you from the outset is the harshness of the character models, there is very little given over to aesthetics instead you see harden faces in the older rangers and a cruelness in the young lordling.
You also can not hope to miss the amount of words within the panels. This is handled very well and even though the series has fighting and monsters its the political intrigue that makes this this series. If the comic series can portray this element of the books then it will be a strong addition to the canon.
The first issue covers the first 3 chapters of the book as well as the prologue. Most is set in the north around Winterfell but we also get to see the free city of Pentos (Although there is no direct label on any of the pages).
With the two contrasting locations we get to see probably the biggest contrast in characters in the series (and most of literature). The two men are Ned Stark and Viserys Targaryen. Stark is a man of honour and this is shown by the respect he shows a commended man.
If you would take a man's life, you owe it look him in the eyes and hear his final words.
Where as Viserys is man who believes he is owed respect and shows it in the way he treats everyone around him including his sister Daenerys. These kind of contrasts persist in almost chapter of the series.
Daenrys is shown as a delicate young woman in the panels in which she features. Her Eyes however are amazing to look at. The colour and life they exude is probably the best visual touch in the issue.
I'm not overly keen on the way the Direwolves are shown they look more like Andrex puppies then the amazing creatures they are. I hope they keep the size aspect of the wolves as the series continues. I am given hope by the way another mythical creature is handled earlier in the piece. Within this section we get to see our first fight (if you can call it that). The motion is depicted with great lines and the after effects of the battle as in gore are not hidden away.
The story itself is well adapted with all the key points hit, if this is your entry point into the series then you will be able to find your feet quickly and get carried along with the flow of the story. For those newbies out there I will hazard caution with this series, as I already eluded to earlier its the political intrigue that is the depth of this series so expect some rip roaring issues but also some word heavy issues as well.
Now its just time for me sign off with the words of House Stark.
Winter is Coming.
The Comic is available in both print and digital from Dynamite comics. Follow this link for more details.
More from Westeros in the Links below.
Images courtesy of Dynamite Comics
Comic - Provided by Publisher
Comic - Provided by Publisher