I've been trying really hard not to get my hopes up about the new Song of Ice and Fire television series, "Game of Thrones," but every time I hear something about it, it sounds like they are finally doing it right, like we are finally going to get the high fantasy television series we all deserve.
This latest example is no different: HBO has released a new short video which showcases some of the visuals from the locations in the story, most of which are within a Britannia analog called Westeros.
Everything they showed in the video, in terms of these locations, is just like I pictured them in my own mind when reading the books, from the bleak, snowy wastelands north of the wall to the colorful and extravagant capital city to the arid and sunny desert lands.
Perhaps it is simply the studio. HBO has really put a lot of resources into the production of this series.
It's a television series, which looks like it has a movie-sized budget, which is amazing. If it would possible, I would rather have seen all of my fantasy epics this way.
I'm imagining Lord of The Rings told over 30 hours, instead of 3. Perhaps the sets would not have been quite as nice, but still the story would have been told more effectively.
I'm also thinking about what it would have been like if "Legend of the Seeker" had been picked up by HBO instead of ABC. I think I would still be watching it.
Although, "Legend" wasn't a bad-looking show (it even seemed to have a pretty good setting budget), it just didn't have the courage to go where it needed to go thematically and visually, courage which may have been bolstered by a more experienced producer of cinematic television shows.
I think the only thing I don't like about what I see so far in the production of "Game of Thrones" is a few of the casting choices.
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys for example: Not only does blonde hair not really suit Clarke's face, but she has very little regality.
Perhaps that's what Martin was going for all along with this character, but I always pictured her as almost comically royal looking. With the situations that character gets into, she needs to really look like a princess to make it all work.
Peter Dinklage, as Tyrion, has the opposite problem: Dinklage is a small man, yes, as Tyrion is supposed to be, but he is handsome.
In the books, Tyrion is described as a hideiously deformed person, a monster. Dinklage is no monster. He might be the most handsome man on the cast-list.
I'm sure that's something I can get used to however, and eventually, like with other visual adaptations, I'll start to visualize the actors when I read the books, and it will all reconcile itself in my head.
In all honesty, it's too late. My hopes are up. If this series is awful, or if it's great but doesn't retain enough audience to stay on the air, I will be inconsolable.