Dragons will always be my first answer as to why I think "Game of Thrones" is the best show on TV right now. But dragons aside, the American dream is much closer to the fantasy George R.R. Martin has created than the fashionable nostalgia of "Mad Men."
Can this show convey the books' themes about the perils of loyalty and love in a changing world and take us deep inside the characters' emotional dilemmas without quite literally losing the plot? There may not be a taller order in all of TV at the moment.
Peter Dinklage became Tyrion for me, like no other book character. I love Martin's saga -- with the multiple characters with bodied challenges. Tyrion's romp with life is the best of the bunch, and Dinklage plays it magically.