Game of Thrones

Discuss TV shows old and new.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
John Cope
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:40 pm
Location: where the simulacrum is true

Re: Game of Thrones

#351 Post by John Cope » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:50 am

Well, obviously nothing is going to ever satisfy everyone. For my part I thought it was absolutely first rate throughout. The only thing I had any problem with was the shooting of the battle in the first half hour: it's so relentlessly dark and impenetrable as well as shot so tight and cut so ferociously that it becomes utterly impossible to follow the action or locate anyone in space. Clearly this was intended to express frenzied and overwhelming chaos and that's a good aesthetic idea but at a certain point it does start to simply become counterproductive. Thankfully though that really doesn't last that long and plays better on second viewing when you more or less know well enough what's going on.

And this definitely does benefit from a repeat viewing. As Sausage mentions above, if you go into this with a primary interest in how many of the cast will get slaughtered then yes you will be disappointed. But I don't think we were ever going to get a concentration on that here. What emerges instead is an emphasis on character dramatics and the fulfillment of certain developments of fiction. The last minute saves didn't bother me for a variety of reasons, one of which is simply that adherence to the roles and functions of these characters within this narrative (Jorah's loyalty, for example).

Beyond that though what also emerged to me as utterly crucial is the emphasis upon the intervention of the magical elements as "saves" or, in other words, part of the human arsenal. The show has always been about the renewal of the magical dimension within the human realm and in this episode much of that (Melisandre, Arya with her specialized superhuman training, Jon as resurrected hero/messianic figure, Beric as slightly differently fated resurrected figure, Bran's visionary, the dragons themselves) is set against an opposing magical force, shorn of its humanity. So, what it ultimately looks like we're going to get is not so much a conflict between two equally matched human forces as a conflict between one more purely rational and self-serving and one aligned with and enhanced by that renewed magical dimension.

User avatar
ianthemovie
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:51 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Game of Thrones

#352 Post by ianthemovie » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:33 pm

John Cope wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:50 am
As Sausage mentions above, if you go into this with a primary interest in how many of the cast will get slaughtered then yes you will be disappointed.
Well said. I'm not about to go to bat for this episode, or even the series, which has slowly gone downhill the last few seasons to the point that my investment at this point is pretty minimal...but I don't get this "I'm disappointed more main characters didn't die" mentality. Yes, the death of a character can, if properly handled, create drama, but when fans start heading into each episode eager to see who's going to get offed I feel something has gone very, very wrong dramatically. The show feels no different than a reality competition ("who's going home tonight?" Etc.), or maybe a sporting event, where the characters have become nothing more than pieces to be moved around the field.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#353 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:44 pm

That’s not what I’m talking about at all, and some of you are trying to make these objections sound ridiculous by reframing them. I’m saying, even in the internal logic of the show, having all of these characters survive this onslaught, often in outlandish and convenient ways, felt unsatisfying, especially since nearly all of them were aligned within the narrative to honor their character’s legacy by going down with the fight. I don’t “want” anyone to die, but I recognize most would and should based on everything we’ve seen. To let them off like we saw here feels like cheating

User avatar
movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: Game of Thrones

#354 Post by movielocke » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:24 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:44 pm
That’s not what I’m talking about at all, and some of you are trying to make these objections sound ridiculous by reframing them. I’m saying, even in the internal logic of the show, having all of these characters survive this onslaught, often in outlandish and convenient ways, felt unsatisfying, especially since nearly all of them were aligned within the narrative to honor their character’s legacy by going down with the fight. I don’t “want” anyone to die, but I recognize most would and should based on everything we’ve seen. To let them off like we saw here feels like cheating
I agree, and I think the show missed a huge opportunity to:
SpoilerShow
Have Jon and the Night King have an amazing on one one sword fight, which Jon definitively loses, dying for good. dramatically, you then have all the rest of the remaining cast begin to lose their fights, which raises the stakes and makes it seem more possible that the living might lose, which never seems like a real possibility in this episode.

But I understand why Jamie didn't die, since his role is to kill Cersei.

And I understand why Tyrion and Arya didn't die, as they are Martin and Paris' favorites and thus have immunity (though Tyrion dying in the crypt defending women and children would have been a phenomenal good choice), and ptsd-ed Arya feels fated to be unable to live with peace and take a Frodo in the penultimate scene of the series and sail off into the west. Arya and the Night King dying together would have been more poetic and earned though. Particularly if it came on the heels of Jon being killed.

And I understand why Dany doesn't die, since she and her dragon will fall to some of Cersei's machinations.

And I understand why Sansa didn't die since she seems to be the most likely winner of the game.

And I understand why Sam didn't die, as he's named after Samwise Gamgee and will undoubtedly have the final line of the series, "well, I'm back" or something to that melancholic effect.

And I get why Sandor had to live, as he's undoubtedly going to face un-Gregor in some sort of combat or trial-by-combat (could also apply to Brienne).

But Brienne, Tormund, Pod, Varys, Missendie, Gray Worm, Davos, Gendry etc ad infinitum, there were a lot of people who survived who probably don't serve a ton of purpose in surviving. But we shall see.

And it's not necessarily that I expect everyone to die or want them to, but in this battle in particular the toll should have been way higher, and either Jon or Dany needed to die. It needed to be as impactful a major death as the Red Wedding, something that makes you think Cersei can win. and they missed on that.

I still thought it was pretty damn amazing, and I loved what Arya did at the end.

User avatar
Shrew
The Untamed One
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:22 am

Re: Game of Thrones

#355 Post by Shrew » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:28 pm

I actually don't think most of the character's arcs were leading them to die here in any satisfying way. Again, part of the problem here is that the White Walkers are more theme than character, so their appearance was always doomed to feel like a battle against existential dread (or climate change) instead of a proper dramatic conflict. That could have been a great Bela Tarr film, but alas.

And some of the tertiary characters probably survived because they've become stand-ins for certain factions that still have a role the play in the endgame and epilogue. I.e., how do the Wildlings adapt to Westerosi society? Who would speak for Danerys's Essos army?
SpoilerShow
Bran totally should have died though.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#356 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:29 pm

Found the Night King’s account

User avatar
ianthemovie
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:51 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: Game of Thrones

#357 Post by ianthemovie » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:52 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:44 pm
That’s not what I’m talking about at all, and some of you are trying to make these objections sound ridiculous by reframing them. I’m saying, even in the internal logic of the show, having all of these characters survive this onslaught, often in outlandish and convenient ways, felt unsatisfying, especially since nearly all of them were aligned within the narrative to honor their character’s legacy by going down with the fight. I don’t “want” anyone to die, but I recognize most would and should based on everything we’ve seen. To let them off like we saw here feels like cheating
I agree. I wasn’t referring to what you had said. I was thinking more of the many fan bros I overhear (on-line and in person) whose only interest in the show seems to be “how many characters are going to get killed off this episode?”, which seems to me an incredibly depressing approach to consuming a creative work.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#358 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:40 pm

Thanks for the clarification, I agree that viewing it like that reminds me of that guy who sat next to Steven Soderbergh on a plane and spent the whole flight fastforwarding through action movies to get to the car chases.

Back to this post
Shrew wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:28 pm
And some of the tertiary characters probably survived because they've become stand-ins for certain factions that still have a role the play in the endgame and epilogue. I.e., how do the Wildlings adapt to Westerosi society? Who would speak for Danerys's Essos army?
That's actually a good point, but it could have been addressed less clumsily by not having every one of these characters be present for the big battle. There could easily have been a reason why a handful of them had to leave the grounds before or during the siege and then they'd be alive to serve that function without being too superhero-y in surviving everything that came at them en masse

User avatar
YnEoS
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:30 am

Re: Game of Thrones

#359 Post by YnEoS » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:38 pm

Game of Thrones’ writers don’t know what to do with prophets and geniuses

After this article pointed it out to me, I kind of realize this is a pretty big factor in some recent parts of the show that have been fairly disappointing. Baelish's stupidity and easy death was a big let down for me in the recent seasons, and now I'm kind of realizing how many other parts this ties into. The beginning of the show promised quite a bit from all brilliant schemers and supernatural forces that seemed to be orchestrating all the events, and it was really interesting to imagine how it was all going to converge together. The show doesn't seem to have thought of a good solution, so its just been unceremoniously trying to tie up all the plot ends in the simplest way possible. And I think this is also the source of a lot of the disappointment with the resolution of the Night King and Bran's doing nothing for the entire battle, despite all the hype built up around the journeys of the Stark kids.

I even think that maybe it touches on another deeper problem of the show, that there's these kind of checkbox solutions to plot issues, where instead of well developed resolutions we just get the minimum necessary to check off the plot obstacle and maybe some cheap callback to earlier plot developments. Like Arya's training at The House of Black and White, kind of felt cheap because she found a way to kill The Waif, but it didn't seem like she has actually learned to become a master assassin. Then when she returned to Westeros she's suddenly much more skilled because she checked off the necessary plot accomplishment box to upgrade to master assassin status.
SpoilerShow
And similarly, while I was glad that she was chosen to finish off the Night King, I think it would've been more satisfying if it wasn't played as a twist, and we got to see more of the struggle working up to it. Instead we get a few callbacks to her earlier training and vague lines characters said.
I'm sure, because they made such a big deal out of it earlier, that Tyrion will get to do something clever that helps wrap up the last plot threads. But I'm not optimistic that it will actually feel clever in the same way that a lot of the scheming in the early seasons did, but he'll just have 1 minimum necessary idea to check off the Tyrion did a smart thing to save the day box.

Sidenote: Wasn't there some decision earlier that this whole thread would be spoilers at this point, because it wouldn't really make sense for someone not caught up on this show's episodes to read this deep into the thread, or am I misremembering? I'm marking spoilers the plot points other people seem to mark for spoilers, but it feels a bit silly.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#360 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:21 pm

It’s complicated, but the short version is yes. I think anyone opening this thread who isn’t caught up on the show is a fool. Generally one should only need to spoiler upcoming episodes, book spoilers not played out in the series, and/or future episode/book theories that haven’t come to fruition yet... but there’s nothing stopping anyone from using spoiler tags otherwise, and I think most of us are just following a good habit still needed elsewhere on the board

Robin Davies
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:00 am

Re: Game of Thrones

#361 Post by Robin Davies » Wed May 01, 2019 1:26 pm

SpoilerShow
When it came down to it the White Walkers weren't much of a threat if killing their master caused them all to fall down. This is the problem with a lot of fantasy - a seemingly overwhelming danger is nullified by a magic switch like kryptonite or a self-destruct button on the Death Star.
So I'm not too bothered that so many major characters survived this battle.
The real battles (and major deaths) will come later when our alliance of heroes starts to fall apart.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#362 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 01, 2019 1:39 pm

Everyone on the Internet: This episode was too dark
Cinematographer: No

User avatar
EddieLarkin
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am

Re: Game of Thrones

#363 Post by EddieLarkin » Wed May 01, 2019 2:46 pm

I watched this on a calibrated set in a light controlled room (read: pitch black) and it was hard to see what was going in the darkness, though I guess it could have been intentional. Bumping the brightness up a couple of notches revealed some horrific compression noise so that was no solution. I'll wait for the UHD.

But yeah, anyone watching this in a lit room on a small set didnt stand a chance.

DavyGallagher
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 9:27 am

Re: Game of Thrones

#364 Post by DavyGallagher » Wed May 01, 2019 4:29 pm

The episode WAS too dark. I've got some exceptionally well calibrated set ups and it was too dark on those. The cinematpgrapher is being patronising at best. If he just said "it was a tone thing, we wanted it to feel claustrophobic..." fair enough.

User avatar
tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Game of Thrones

#365 Post by tenia » Wed May 01, 2019 6:18 pm

I don't think he's patronising. It is a sad fact that the utmost majority of viewers don't stand a chance against such a dark cinematography because of how poorly TVs are usually setup, and unfortunately, this third episode's overall darkness only exacerbated the piss-poor compression that plagues streaming material. And maybe GoT's popularity helped making tons of people realising that (I might be too optimist here, though).
I watched the episode yesterday and yes, it IS dark, but it's not too dark. The same way the Solo movie from Star Wars is quite dark (and dull grey) but OK, why not. Seen in the dark on my computer, I had no problem (except the banding everywhere). I tried it on my HT, same result. There are times you need to squint to see what happens, but that's matching the characters on-screen.
domino harvey wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:44 pm
To let them off like we saw here feels like cheating.
SpoilerShow
I felt Sam Tarly was quite symptomatic of thi. It felt as if he was just laying there on the ground moaning for humpteen minutes. Either he's immortal, either he needs to be finished off.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#366 Post by knives » Wed May 01, 2019 6:31 pm

Isn't Sam a Martin stand in and therefore the closest we have to an immortal character.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#367 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 05, 2019 10:35 pm

I can’t even remember the last time we got so much Varys, but they did at least render impotent some of the arguments in the article posted upthread. A better episode, but man the pacing is just so off this season. Also Jon remains a colossally bad tactician

User avatar
movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: Game of Thrones

#368 Post by movielocke » Mon May 06, 2019 2:50 am

knives wrote:Isn't Sam a Martin stand in and therefore the closest we have to an immortal character.
Not quite, Tyrion is probably closer to a Martin standin in terms of mental outlook on life, his ideal vision of himself, Sam would be a closer analogue to him physically and perhaps a self deprecating vision of himself. But Sam is important as a sort of pseudo lord of the rings tribute, martin’s spin on the loyal sidekick who is in many ways the true hero of the story, just as Sam is the only person who can wear the ring without Sauron seeing him, the only person Uncorrupted by the ring, the person who carries Frodo to the precipice, Martins Sam May well serve a similar function of the loyal, crucial incorruptible helpmeet that facilitates the end-game (in the books at least)

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#369 Post by knives » Mon May 06, 2019 6:35 am

I meant as the 'true' author of the books.

bad future
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#370 Post by bad future » Mon May 06, 2019 12:21 pm

For what it's worth, Martin has commented on this:

“I would probably be Samwell Tarly. I love Sam, too. He’s a great character,” he said. “Tyrion might be who I want to be, but Sam is probably closer to who I actually am. The fat kid who likes to read books and doesn’t like to go up a lot of stairs.”

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#371 Post by domino harvey » Mon May 06, 2019 12:44 pm

And he got Cassie from Skins, def an aspirational figure

Also, the Internet is going nuts because:
01 Jon Snow didn’t pet his dog, er, wolf
02 There’s a shot of a Starbucks cup in one of the scenes
03 It’s the Internet, they didn’t need a reason

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#372 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 12, 2019 11:06 pm

Well, there’s a lot to process with this episode. The action/big money stuff was great.
This episode and speculation about final episode based on booksShow
Mad Queen Dany confirmation was grimly satisfying. The Hound had a good exit. But the show completely gave up on Jamie and Cersei, two of the most interesting characters, and what a wheezing cough of an exit for those two— pathetic. Even Varys had a more satisfying finish! Good riddance to Euron though, jeez. I enjoyed this a lot, if I kind of don’t think about it much. Pretty obvious Jon has to kill Dany to be Azor Ahai, though does he really love her after this stunt?!

User avatar
bearcuborg
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago

Re: Game of Thrones

#373 Post by bearcuborg » Sun May 12, 2019 11:16 pm

I’m begging to feel fortunate I’ve never watched this show after all the negative feedback I’m seeing online.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#374 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 12, 2019 11:20 pm

Some of it’s a little unfair and puts too much faith in Martin (who provided the broad outline the show is still following), but a lot of it’s valid. Imagine spending five seasons leisurely setting up moral morasses and fascinating characters, then another two speeding things up so the show can finish on time, and then now a final season on fast forward, taking shortcuts and rushing towards a finish that seems disappointing pretty much any way you look at it. However, I’m not convinced huge amorphous epics like this ever come over the basic “wind up is better than the pitch” problem, and also it looks highly unlikely that Martin will ever actually finish to answer this “What if” question regardless!

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Game of Thrones

#375 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 12, 2019 11:47 pm

Shout out to all the awkward nights ahead for the thousands of parents around the country who named their daughters
SpoilerShow
Daenerys or Khaleesi

Post Reply