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[Book Spoilers] I need to make a confession


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20 replies to this topic

#1 LAge dor

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 02:51 PM

I feel like I need to make an apology to the producers of the show since till last night I had numerously called them out for modifications that were clearly meant for cutting down on the expenses i.e. dropping the Reeds etc. After watching last night's episode and the amount of work and resources put into it I have to admit that the spending cuts were all worth it as Battle of the Blackwater Bay was as epic as it could get. It was certainly the most important aspect of Season Two for me and I'm so relieved at knowing that they pulled it off beautifully and put on a show for everyone.

#2 Harrad

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:55 AM

The adulation, even hysteria, regarding this episode is like lemmings going over a cliff. There was a nice explosion scene and the acting was at its usual high level. But this was not a cinematic battle scene by any stretch of the imagination. The ships in the harbor were laughable, the "crowd" scenes in the battle before the gate were sparse. The pacing of the battle was unintelligible. To any but a book reader, I imagine the only take-away was that the presumptive winner, Stannis, lost.

#3 Howdyphillip

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:28 AM

The adulation, even hysteria, regarding this episode is like lemmings going over a cliff. There was a nice explosion scene and the acting was at its usual high level. But this was not a cinematic battle scene by any stretch of the imagination. The ships in the harbor were laughable, the "crowd" scenes in the battle before the gate were sparse. The pacing of the battle was unintelligible. To any but a book reader, I imagine the only take-away was that the presumptive winner, Stannis, lost.


You have the right to your own opinion... If you didn't think that this was amazing film work, then that is fine. I would like to point out that your opinion is in the extreme minority and that the vast majority of fans from both the books and the shows were blown away by it. I haven't read one negative review by a critic, and I am reading over and over again that if the episode would have gone on for another half hour, then it would have been worthy to show at theatres. I also read reviews that call it the best battle on TV ever filmed.

So... although you have a right to your dissatisfaction, most of us were extremely happy.

#4 MysticWind

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:50 AM

The battle was as much as high water mark for TV fantasy as the Battle of New Caprica was for TV sci-fi (what with the Galactica jumping into atmosphere to deploy fighters and the death of the Pegasus). Both with exhilarating moments, both heralded by audiences, both hyped as all hell.

Well, at least if Game of Thrones descends into arbitrary mystic nonsense that breaks its own world-building, it won't be the fault of the show's producers.

Edited by MysticWind, 30 May 2012 - 02:51 AM.


#5 HouseLark

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:02 AM

The battle was as much as high water mark for TV fantasy as the Battle of New Caprica was for TV sci-fi (what with the Galactica jumping into atmosphere to deploy fighters and the death of the Pegasus). Both with exhilarating moments, both heralded by audiences, both hyped as all hell.


I measure all TV by the standards set by the Occupation/Precipice/Exodus arc in Battlestar. Blackwater approached that and as a single episode it might even have been better than Exodus. But... the four hour arc of the Battlestar storyline was much better than the lead in to Blackwater.

#6 KC_Accidental

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:14 AM

I think BSG's big scenes dwarfed Blackwater because as good as it was it was essentially 30 men storming a castle.

#7 Mulled Wino

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:17 PM

A lot of mob mentality going down with this ep i Agree

#8 wolverine

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:23 PM

You have the right to your own opinion... If you didn't think that this was amazing film work, then that is fine. I would like to point out that your opinion is in the extreme minority and that the vast majority of fans from both the books and the shows were blown away by it. I haven't read one negative review by a critic, and I am reading over and over again that if the episode would have gone on for another half hour, then it would have been worthy to show at theatres. I also read reviews that call it the best battle on TV ever filmed.

So... although you have a right to your dissatisfaction, most of us were extremely happy.


You can count me in the "not very impressed" group as far as how well the battle was done. Still like the series and the episode a lot.

#9 brian_177

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:27 PM

The adulation, even hysteria, regarding this episode is like lemmings going over a cliff. There was a nice explosion scene and the acting was at its usual high level. But this was not a cinematic battle scene by any stretch of the imagination. The ships in the harbor were laughable, the "crowd" scenes in the battle before the gate were sparse. The pacing of the battle was unintelligible. To any but a book reader, I imagine the only take-away was that the presumptive winner, Stannis, lost.


I thought the episode was great. Obviously it didn't match up to what I imagined in the books. (Smaller engagement, no naval battle, no bridge of ships, etc.)... still, I think you're being too hard.
I agree with you that the battle before the gates was sparse.... but considering even big blockbusters also tend to clear things out a bit for close fighting shots, I didn't mind.
How was the pacing of the battle unintelligble? The bells ring a warning, troops get ready. The ships roll in. Tyrion makes his wildfire play. Stannis storms the beach, with archers cutting some down. Tyrion orders a sortie through the gates, which is momentarily successful before being soundly beaten. Stannis' troops bring up the battering ram. The Lannisters are being soundly beaten, defeat is imminent. Tyrion leads a Hail Mary sortie through secret exit, which is again momentarily successful before a counterattack from a landing farther down the beach. Day saved by Loras et al.

It seemed well paced, to me...

Edited by brian_177, 30 May 2012 - 05:28 PM.


#10 MysticWind

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:39 PM

This episode isn't the best thing ever, but some of the unimpressed responses reminds me of LoTR fans who don't like the movies. The hard to please levels are so immense it's fascinatingly mind-boggling.

I measure all TV by the standards set by the Occupation/Precipice/Exodus arc in Battlestar. Blackwater approached that and as a single episode it might even have been better than Exodus. But... the four hour arc of the Battlestar storyline was much better than the lead in to Blackwater.


I agree, though comparing four hours against one is a bit like comparing an apple with a watermelon.

#11 Don't_call_me_Ser

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:59 PM

The actual land battle at the gate was a bif naff if honest. It was a 30 on 30 rumble, the battering-ram turtle thing almost exploded when the torch was dropped onto it (seriously, watch it again, it takes light very fast for no real reason).

Tyrion and his 29 men manage to seemingly go around the outside of the castle and blindside the 30 guys at the front gate (This Ep had a £10mill budget apparently, extras are like £80 a day maybe, why so very few of them?)

The Ep was very good, I really enjoyed it. But some people's reactions is like they saw the modern "Gladiator" for the first time.

#12 Hyper

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:03 PM

The adulation, even hysteria, regarding this episode is like lemmings going over a cliff. There was a nice explosion scene and the acting was at its usual high level. But this was not a cinematic battle scene by any stretch of the imagination. The ships in the harbor were laughable, the "crowd" scenes in the battle before the gate were sparse. The pacing of the battle was unintelligible. To any but a book reader, I imagine the only take-away was that the presumptive winner, Stannis, lost.


You might as well give up on the show then, because as far as battles go, this is as good as we are going to get. It is certainly the most impressive medieval battle ever shot for TV, I would say. I could make all kinds of arguments about "fog of war", and "Stannis DID lose", but I suppose it wouldn't matter to you - You may not be a lemming, but is being a contrarian any better?

Edited by Hyper, 30 May 2012 - 06:04 PM.


#13 LAge dor

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:04 PM

Damn and I thought I was hard to please...Come on this is TV not a $300 million budget Ben Hur.

#14 Salome Sand Witch

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:56 AM

I must admit, I was very sad about the loss of Tyrion's chain (which I don't think would have cost much of anything budget wise to include). The loss of that for me really diminished Tyrion's brilliance and strategic thinking, which I think is key to his character (even the "tv" character as opposed to the "book" character agrees on those traits for him).

#15 Reposado

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:32 AM

I must admit, I was very sad about the loss of Tyrion's chain (which I don't think would have cost much of anything budget wise to include). The loss of that for me really diminished Tyrion's brilliance and strategic thinking, which I think is key to his character (even the "tv" character as opposed to the "book" character agrees on those traits for him).


it's not the chain that costs money. it's filming scenes of burning ships snagged on it.

they took out a lot of tyrion's strategic moves. sending LF out of the city, taking hold of tommen, the chain as you said, poisoning cersei, the planned jaime escape, getting rid of cersei red cloaks.

i'd have liked to see all of that but they really left enough to convince the audience

#16 A Bong of Ice and Fire

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 04:03 PM

You can count me in the "not very impressed" group as far as how well the battle was done. Still like the series and the episode a lot.


Too bad for you. Because what we saw is as close to artistic perfection as you will ever see. Every line of dialogue, every shot, every facial expression, every piece of music, every sound effect - was perfect.

These were GRRM's characters and story as they were meant to be, free from the well-meaning hackery of D&D (may the Seven bless them).

#17 Masamune

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:29 AM

You have the right to your own opinion... If you didn't think that this was amazing film work, then that is fine. I would like to point out that your opinion is in the extreme minority and that the vast majority of fans from both the books and the shows were blown away by it. I haven't read one negative review by a critic, and I am reading over and over again that if the episode would have gone on for another half hour, then it would have been worthy to show at theatres. I also read reviews that call it the best battle on TV ever filmed.

So... although you have a right to your dissatisfaction, most of us were extremely happy.


This isn't the first post of yours that, instead of actually challenging the poster's argument, simply resorts to cheap argumentum ad populum.

For what it's worth I enjoyed the Battle of Blackwater and felt it was the only true highlight of Season 2 but even I concur that the structure of the battle itself was a complete mess.

#18 Michael Snow

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:55 PM

And so he spoke... and so he spoke... that Lord o' Castamere...

How awesome was that? This was easily the best episode of the season, and maybe the best episode of the series itself thus far. It was really that good. I barely know anyone who has read the books, but a lot of my friends watch the show. They loved this episode too, even without all the missing bits us book fans may have noted.

Lannisters have never looked cooler than at the end of this episode.

#19 Whoresbane Umber

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:47 PM

yeah it was proably the best episode

#20 Crow's Eye Kraken

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 12:21 AM

Despite the smaller size of the battle than was portrayed in the books, Blackwater was still above and beyond in terms of production values. And honestly, as good as I believe the TV show is in bringing George's universe to life, it can't show the entire world from an omniscient point of view. I.e., the Battle of the Blackwater is fought between thousands upon thousands of soldiers on both sides, but clearly thousands can't be shown on this sort of budget. The rest is left to our imagination, knowing that there are thousands of unseen soldiers. And in the end, I'm still just as satisfied, perhaps even more so, than if a Hollywood-budget battle cinematic was churned out.