The game of thrones book series was first started in the 1990’s but was only adapted to a tv series in 2011. Since then there has been six seasons to have aired, another two (at the least) set to air and it has been received as one of the most gripping and best TV drama’s in recent memory.
I feel this is because in part of the lack of filter the show has. In most visual mediums, a lot more is censored out and all is made to look less real than it is. In Game of Thrones it seems the producers are constantly challenging themselves to see how striking they can make a death, a scene or a line of dialogue. And this has only escalated with every series. In my opinion, Game of Thrones would not be nearly as successful if it was rated as 12A or even 15, as there is so much less they could have got away with.
This also allows for more complex storytelling and plots, as they assume the audience understands what is going on because they are a mature audience.
Speaking of storytelling, this is one thing George RR Martin has mastered. Although certain storylines were adapted to fit a tv audience, (most notably in season 5) most have stayed the same or changed to make even more sense.
One thing I think was quintessential to the show’s success, was that the writers chose to age the characters.
Oh my god this is important.
I cannot begin to explain how important this is. Having read the books ( well, most of them), there is so much that the writers could not have got away with had they kept the characters the same age. And while I understand that Sansa is meant to be 13 at the start of the series and 15 at the point were at now, she’s clearly not ( at least the actor isn’t) also what i think is extreme is that Jon is meant to be 14 in the books.
Now for some characters their age remains the same, or at least roughly. But this makes sense for their character arcs and these characters don’t make up the full cast.
One thing Game of Thrones does perfectly is locations. Now, with it having such a large budget this is understandable, but they are so perfect. I feel the show looks perfect, from the characters to the settings, which is probably why some people enjoy it. But this alongside gripping storytelling and the jarring presentation that appeals so much to an adult audience, makes for one of the best shows in modern memory.