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For the lavish, and often-times hopelessly brutal, HBO show Game of Thrones, the pilot is surprisingly rather timid–a word no fan would quickly associate with the most epic television series in recent memory.

The writing is direct and descriptive, lacking unnecessarily flourish, yet maintains a vivid sense of time and place without falling into the common trap of many period (or pseudo-period) pieces: overwritten narrative description and equally overwritten dialogue. Not the case here. It’s a script that’s accessible to the most casual of script readers, a remarkable achievement given what must have been a knee-jerk inclination to glean too much from the George R.R. Martin spectacle.

There are, of course, many ways to successfully pull off a script of this nature, stylistically speaking. But for such a sprawling fantasy/adventure, introducing us to Westeros in the most straightforward way possible without losing the unique energy of the plot is a testament to the series as a whole. Simple in form, complex in its function. Much like the story itself.

Read theĀ Game of Thrones Pilot

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