Game of Thrones: Pilot: "Winter Is Coming"   First Watch 
January 16, 2015 10:26 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Welcome to the continents of Westeros and Essos. It is the end of a decade-long Summer.
posted by zarq (27 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
IMDB's episode description: "In Westeros, Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, is dead. King Robert Baratheon plans to ask his oldest friend, Eddard Stark, to take Jon's place. Across the Narrow Sea in Essos, Viserys Targaryen plans to wed his sister to a nomadic warlord in exchange for an army."
posted by zarq at 10:27 AM on January 16, 2015

Welcome to a First Watch thread of Game of Thrones for those of us who have not yet watched the series. Please keep these threads free of spoilers from future episodes.

If it's okay with everyone, I'd like us to to post one episode thread per week on Fridays. Is that okay?
posted by zarq at 10:27 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

I am currently chewing my way through A Dance with Dragons and have been wanting to go back and watch the series, and this looks like a great way to do it. I'll do my best to keep spoilers out of it and maybe, if nobody else minds, point out the occasional difference between the books and the series.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:19 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh Viseryrs, how I've missed you.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:19 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

(I'll be watching these threads with interest, but keeping my mouth shut for fear of spoiling things)
posted by nubs at 4:00 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't think it'd be spoilery to note the disinterest in interrogating the poor bloke that looses his head right off the bat foreshadows the rather shallow strategic judgement of a number of characters.
posted by sammyo at 4:34 PM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]

Point of order: books in or out for this thread?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:46 PM on January 16, 2015


had to be said before the war begins
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:50 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh sorry, not meaning to have an argument, just asking which way it is here so I don't inadvertently poop on someone.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:00 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

I lean towards including the books, as long as we refrain from revelations that might spoil future episodes. But am happy to roll with whatever everyone else prefers.

What do y'all think?
posted by zarq at 5:10 AM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

As this is a first watch thread, and thus excludes the content of the later episodes, I think it makes sense for this to be a book-free thread except for events already covered in the episodes reached in this watch. So the big shock moment that concludes episode 1? You could discuss how that happened in the book. Make sense?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:44 AM on January 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

Rules rules rules, you know what the Imp would say about rules.
posted by sammyo at 12:01 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by homunculus at 8:33 PM on January 17, 2015

You could discuss how that happened in the book. Make sense?

posted by zarq at 9:30 PM on January 18, 2015

Terrific! So, what's up with Sean's Bean's hairpiece? Looks different in a few scenes. Maybe those were scenes shot from the original pilot that was dumped?
posted by bluemoonegg at 7:27 AM on January 19, 2015


The last time I saw this episode was before we got our dog. Since I'm newly dog-sensitive, seeing all the puppies was a surprisingly fun part of watching it again.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:28 AM on January 19, 2015

Terrific! So, what's up with Sean's Bean's hairpiece? Looks different in a few scenes. Maybe those were scenes shot from the original pilot that was dumped?

Yup -- for those who don't know, the original pilot was filmed a year prior to a post-series-greenlight replacement, which was reshot with several new actors and with a much, much higher budget. A few scenes and shots were retained from the original. If you look carefully, you'll notice that Arya and Sansa appear much younger in a couple of scenes, notably the ones in which the Baratheon entourage are arriving at Winterfell, and in a couple of shots at the feast. Theon's hair is also blond-ish in these original-pilot shots (the actor's natural color), and brown in the replacement footage.
posted by killdevil at 3:39 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm happy I watched the first episode on the late train where I can have some space to myself, because there is a significant amount of female nudity and softcore scenes that made me uncomfortable to watch in a public place. I read the books and I've heard about the graphic nature of the show, but I was not ready for how much of a "show for dudes" this is. Hacking and slashing and naked ladies, what's not to like, right guys? There aren't many naked men, if you don't count the Dothraki, who just ride around shirtless and manly.

I'm already looking forward to (and also regretting) future deaths. Damn, there are some annoying characters, but they're just barely balanced by those I like.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

At the risk of introducing spoilers: There will be more naked men. Not enough, but more.

And some ladies like to see hacking and slashing and naked ladies as well.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:12 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Inside Game of Thrones, S01E01, with some thoughts and backgrounds on this episode, without spoiling future episodes (as far as I can tell).
posted by filthy light thief at 6:57 AM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Watching this series again, I am surprised by
1) how broadly the characters are portrayed. We have a lot of introductions to make, and not much time, so everyone gets a few defining characteristics, and then the camera moves on
2) how young and clean-cut everyone looks. We're going to get a lot of dirt, scars, stubble and wrinkles on all those pretty faces.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:13 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Well, the nobility is clean. Their servants/ staff working in the yards are positively filthy. WASH YER FACES!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 AM on February 2, 2015

Having just finished season six, I've started a rewatch - basically the first time I'll be rewatching the series since it first aired. I'm amazed at how much is packed into this first episode: character introductions, world building, backstory. Now that I've spent six years with these characters, it's great to go back to the start - and to see things being set up from minute one. No confusion now over what the white walkers are or the references to Wildlings or the Night's Watch.

That said, I don't really remember being confused on first watch, either. There's a lot of broad strokes here and enough to hook me into the sweeping drama. It's a bit political, a bit family drama. Yes, there's allusions to a lot of other things happening or that have happened - and key conversations that take on so much more importance given later revelations. But it's all handled really well. Amazing, given how terrible the original pilot reportedly was.
posted by crossoverman at 6:02 AM on July 1, 2016

I don't think it'd be spoilery to note

You're not being clever. It is. At that point there is almost zero insight into anybody's character. I barely know anybody's name!

It's a bit political, a bit family drama

It seemed mostly a family drama for the first half, until the guys with the big boobs showed up. How many GoT Klingon jokes have been made over the years? Hell, maybe this is the only episode they're in.

"Ned's Wife" is straight up Waltons. Salt of the earth, anchor of's possible she lives? Don't answer that.

Oh shucks, I just realized the "no climbing!" foreshadowing in the beginning. Nice one.
posted by rhizome at 2:48 AM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

HBO is playing a GOT marathon this week.
posted by homunculus at 11:46 AM on December 26, 2016

When the show first launched, I watched the first episode. I was only mildly intrigued, given that I hadn't read the books, but the final scene ruined any desire I had to watch the show. It's only many years of constant assurance by friends that I will like it that has brought me back, eight years later. I've just rewatched the first episode and am shocked that there are only three scenes that seem even vaguely familiar.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:58 PM on April 20, 2019

So, you always had the notion of watching Game of Thrones. But then you thought "I'd better read the books first". But you never got round to starting them. Even when everybody started talking about the TV show. And eventually so many people were talking about G.O.T. that you decided its was all a bit over--hyped and that you would just to leave it until things died down. Which they finally started to do after the show's production ended. So here you are after all this time - books still unread - but dug in for a potential marathon. And you want to see what all the fuss is about?

Me too!
posted by rongorongo at 11:00 PM on November 12, 2019

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