Reaction to the First Pics of HBO's Game of Thrones

Frequent readers of my online journal know that I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin's fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire and that I have been eagerly awaiting HBO's adaptation of the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones. Now, Entertainment Weekly has published a few sneak peak publicity pictures from the upcoming television show.

Any promotional pictures are bound to spark nitpicking critiques from diehard fans (remember the uproar over the first pictures from Bryan Singer's X-Men film?).  I have already heard some nervous reaction that Jon Snow looks too old or Queen Cersei's hair doesn't look quite right or Daenerys doesn't live up to fanboy imaginations, but for me the images whetted my appetite for the mini-series. 

The set design and the costume design seem perfect for the world of Winterfell and King's Landing.  To me, the casting is spot on: Mark Addy, Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and the rest.

My favorite picture of all the ones released so far shows my favorite character, Tyrion Lannister, on a battlefield holding a blood-spattered shield that seems oversized compared to his diminutive body.  Tyrion is a terrific, multi-faceted character, one of the gems of Martin's saga, and that picture alone is a little bit of validation that the adaptation will be a faithful retelled of the bestselling story.