I can't say I had "high hopes", but I was definitely looking forward to watching this series. The idea of a long form take on a fantasy series piqued my interest. Unfortunately I did not care at all for the premiere.
I've heard accolades for the visuals, but to me it just looked like digitally shot TV with blown out skies and very cheap colour correction. I also didn't care at all for the "anachronism" of the word "f**k". It seemed so out of place and so HBO, and that points to my larger issue with the show. I was expecting something with a truly grand scope, not Lord of the Rings, but in that vein. Instead, Game of Thrones is basically exactly the same as any other HBO drama, tits and all, except everyone wears armour and speaks in British accents. None of the conflicts or characters were at all interesting, not even remotely so. The world of the series was not alluring in the slightest. And worst of all, it felt small. I've heard that the books replace a lot of the exposition with flashbacks, and I actually wonder whether doing the series as a more expensive mini-series, affording better production values, might have at least upped the scope to "epic". As it stands, this is just another TV series I know I'm putting on my "skip" list. I'll stick to The Killing on Sunday nights.