Winter Is Coming
Game of Thrones Season 1



Critic Ratings: 15
Critics Consensus

"Winter is Coming" is an introduction to a wonderfully bleak journey that honors its source material with stellar execution and an impressive cast.

Episode Info

Series Premiere. Lord Ned Stark is troubled by disturbing reports from a Night's Watch deserter; King Robert and Lannisters arrive at Winterfell; the exiled Viserys Targaryen forges a powerful new allegiance.


Mark Addy
as King Robert Baratheon
Sean Bean
as Eddard "Ned" Stark
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
as Jaime Lannister
Lena Headey
as Cersei Lannister
Michelle Fairley
as Catelyn Stark
Peter Dinklage
as Tyrion Lannister
Emilia Clarke
as Daenerys Targaryen
Aidan Gillen
as Petyr Baelish
Jason Momoa
as Khal Drogo
Richard Madden
as Robb Stark
Harry Lloyd
as Viserys Targaryen
Alfie Allen
as Theon Greyjoy
Jack Gleeson
as Joffrey Baratheon
Iain Glen
as Jorah Mormont
Rory McCann
as Sandor "The Hound" Clegane
Sophie Turner
as Sansa Stark
Ron Donachie
as Ser Rodrik Cassel
Donald Sumpter
as Maester Luwin
Joseph Mawle
as Benjen Stark
Art Parkinson
as Rickon Stark
Callum Wharry
as Tommen Baratheon
Aimee Richardson
as Myrcella Baratheon
Jamie Sives
as Jory Cassel
Roger Allam
as Illyrio Mopatis
Dar Salim
as Qotho
Susan Brown
as Septa Mordane
Rob Ostlere
as Waymar Royce
Show More Cast

Winter Is Coming Photos

Critic Reviews for Winter Is Coming

The plot is intentionally complex, too, while the scale of the production is astonishing: with its sumptuous scenery and nifty camerawork, Game of Thrones looks like a Hollywood movie.

Mar 12, 2019 | Full Review…

The overall sense of this is that of a terrific TV series just getting its legs underneath it. This is gorgeous, well-acted, smartly written TV, and even if it takes a little while to get going, it's clear from shot one that we're in very good hands.

Mar 21, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Fans of the books can't complain. This was an absolutely faithful adaptation. Menacing, brutal and complex, a solid start.

Mar 22, 2016 | Full Review…

And there you have your pilot-a very different one from many first episodes, even on HBO, in that it didn't so much tell a single story or establish symmetries among the subplots. Rather, it just set a very large table.

Mar 14, 2019 | Full Review…

It's grim -- and beautiful, if you're into that kind of thing (and I am).

Mar 21, 2016 | Full Review…

As an opening chapter of a story, Game of Thrones is impressive. However, in several instances I'm still mystified about what the series is going to be about.

Mar 23, 2016 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

The network has another hit on its hands that will not only please fans of Martin's work, but draw in new viewers, thanks to its realistic world, complex characters and good old fashioned sex and violence.

Mar 12, 2019 | Full Review…

In one episode, the ways of the Starks and Lannisters were forged and we learned a lot about who we can and cannot trust in the two main houses.

Mar 22, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Many fine actors on display here, who are often required to establish what their character is about in very short order, and usually do.

Mar 12, 2019 | Full Review…

I was only occasionally confused, and never outright lost. Much of that's to the credit of the many fine actors on display here, who are often required to establish what their character is about in very short order, and usually do.

Mar 22, 2016 | Full Review…

I must say that while it was by no means perfect, HBO certainly appears up to the task.

Apr 9, 2019 | Full Review…

What struck me within the first seven or so minutes was that this is quite possibly the first time I've ever tuned in to a television series and found myself thinking I was watching a film.

Mar 23, 2016 | Full Review…

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