Imho the first half of the first season is pretty mediocre due to the insane amount of exposition and how pedestrian its handling is. Plus the directing leaves a lot to be desired (many people entering and leaving rooms, with no cutting to the chase or sense of rhythm). It does pick up on the second half, and the second season is way better, but I would not consider the first half as worth studying.
I also firmly believe (but have no evidence for) the Dothraki scenes are directed by the most talented director of the bunch assigned to the first season, while the scenes in Westeros are handled by somebody different (and less competent). The disparity in style and eleance and complexity in the mise-en-scene is astounding otherwise, and in there we find the few salvageable scenes from the first half of the first season. And it makes sense production wise (I doubt they shipped all directors to all locations so each could tackle the scenes for the episodes they were credited for).