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.
"Winter is Coming," not only effortlessly takes us along, faithfully, through the book, but it also manages to capture the majestically morbid spirit of Martin's pages and turn them into thrilling television.
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.