Complete Game of Thrones (Season 1 Episode 1) Story Breakdown and Analysis

Complete Game of Thrones (Season 1 Episode 1) Story Breakdown and Analysis

In this Film Courage video, filmmakers / screenwriters Torey Thompson, Andrew Guerrero, and Bryan Valvana offer their impressions and story analysis of Game of Thrones Season 1 – Episode 1 – Winter Is Coming.

Our gratitude to Andrew Guerrero, Torey Thompson and Bryan Valvana for helping to make this happen.

Torey Thompson, Filmmaker: It came out when I was 11 and didn’t actually start watching it until I was about 16. I didn’t really know much about it because I was like “Okay, it’s medieval so I didn’t really care that much.” But then someone told me “Yo’ it’s so good! It’s so real.” I was like “Whatever” And when I saw that first episode I was like “Damn! It’s good.”

Andrew Guerrero, Filmmaker: My connection to Game of Thrones is very new. I took a long time to get around to seeing it. And I had this idea for a movie. Like I would love Peter Dinklage to be in this film, and then my roommate was like “Well, then you have to watch Game of Thrones. You just have to see him do it.” Fine! And so I watched it and then sooner than later I was on Season 7 and it was amazing.

Torey Thompson, Andrew Guerrero, and Bryan Valvana

Bryan Valvana, Screenwriter: My connection to Game of Thrones is I’m a premium cable junkie (snob). HBO market orders something a series and I’ll give it a try. And the trailer for it was incredible. I remember THE SOPRANOS in the 90’s and ever since then I watch anything on HBO. And then I watched the first episode and I was hooked and I hadn’t even heard of the books. I’m not a fantasy or sci fi or anything kind of person but the characters and execution it was just another fantastic HBO show. So I was hooked right then.

“Opening Thoughts”

Bryan: It doesn’t matter because it’s so fun to watch. At this point you don’t even realize that it’s a whole world, it’s a planet, there’s continents and languages and religions that are all made up, you don’t even realize. Because everything at the beginning, The White Walkers, you don’t even know what that is. All you know is that everyone doesn’t believe that it’s real. All you know is that you want to watch more. 

Andrew: I think for me (having seen it so recently) and now watching it again, seeing all the foreshadow that’s when I’m like “Oh? That’s what that meant!” You know? And so having seen it yes it’s very clear where…it’s like “I totally see where it’s going to go.” But for a person seeing it for the first time or just an average audience member (somebody who doesn’t critique film or whatever) I could see why it could be very confusing.

Torey: I think they very well show character in a way that I don’t think any other series does. You see all these random characters just put in this place, they actually make you care of each and every one of them to the point where you want to see where each person’s arc takes them. What makes it so genius is the fact that they are able to take these characters (their flaws and strengths) and weave them together in and out to create tension. I noticed that as you continue to watch this show it gets better and better (tension rises, characters change). And they do that to the point where by the seventh season it’s like drastically different you know? 

Watching back there is just so much foreshadowing. I’m just like “Wow?” There is so much work put into it. I appreciate all of that. 

Bryan: You know that it’s going south and you know that it has to do with the Kingdom but you have no idea what’s coming.

Andrew: Right you don’t. But they plant a lot of really nice Easter eggs I think. 

Bryan: Dragon eggs.

Andrew: Dragon eggs, there you go!

“Why Do We Care?”

Torey: Human emotion. You know one of my screenwriting teachers he always told me that one of the ways to create compassion and sympathy for a character is emotional honesty.

So even though this is an entirely different time period with entirely different morals and traditions, they have a really good way of making us feel for a character whether it’s somebody who might be down on their luck, somebody in a depressive…

Andrew: A bastard.

Torey: That too. Somebody who is trying to find strength…I don’t know if I’m saying her name right Daenerys [Targaryen]? …(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Andrew Guerrero is an actor and writer who recently booked TNT’s “The Last Ship.” He also wrote and stared in his feature film “Come Into Your Own” which he’s now preparing to self distribute through Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, and Vimeo.



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