Last night I watched the preview of Game of Thrones. The showrunners, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, made a couple of interesting choices with the opening sequence. One, we open on three men from the Night's Watch, redshirts who duly get the chop. (An opening is valuable real estate. Writers usually use it to fuse viewer to protagonist/s, create that all-important--supposedly--identification with the hero/s.) Two, the first few minutes are without dialogue.
This worked for me: the snow-filled quiet; creak of gate; flutter of flame; clop of hooves. Even if I hadn't read the book, I'd know Something Was Coming. The something turns out to be the White Walkers (with icy blue eyes that, unfortunately, look at bit like glass doll's eyes; perhaps this will improve).
The sets are great (except for the dead bodies which did not convince me). The costumes meticulous (though, again, not quite the choices I would have made, especially the women's clothes). The acting stellar. So far, at least, no words are wasted. The preview lasts fourteen minutes and we learn a lot: creepy things are happening at the Wall. House Stark isn't entirely at ease with itself (with particular attention to the fraughtness of Cat and Jon's relationship). Sansa and Arya are femme and tomboy, respectively. Eddard and Catlyn love each other (and are essentially Good Eggs). Bran is sensitive and his older brothers are Lads (ditto). The Old Ways, harsh ways, are there for a reason. And, of course, Winter Is Coming...
I like it so far. I just wish Sean Bean would survive for the whole series. Oh, and I hope, I sincerely hope, there are some lighter touches at some point. Variety is the spice of life: light moments cast the dark in sharp relief.
But, yeah, this looks as though it might be epic fantasy done right. My appetite is undimmed.