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Iotun

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  1. Let's imagine you're writing a show about the Crusades, and you have a scene where a band of Christian knights is ambushed somewhere around Jerusalem. The group splits up, most of the knights running towards a hill where they can fortify their position, and a single knight told to 'run off and warn the King'. A scene later, the first group is on the hill, and the lone knight has arrived in Paris exhausted... Then, one more scene later, the group of knights is about to be assaulted after spending a night fortified on the hill... the fight starts... they are about to be defeated... but behold, the French king and an army of knights has just ridden from Paris to that same hill in Jerusalem and saves them. Would we ever accept this storytelling, because it's 'just a show'? It bothers me that the show and the showrunners seem to constantly be looking down at us as fantasy readers - if you are writing a historical drama, then obviously it's a show for 'serious' people, and you can't have unrealistic teleportation powers. But since this is a fantasy show, written for obviously unsophisticated nerds, all we need to make them happy is have dragons flying around, consistency and realism in the world be damned. Apparently fantasy is a 'lesser' genre, where realism doesn't matter, and all that is needed to satisfy its fans is tits, zombies, and dragons.
  2. But, playing devil's advocate here (because obviously you're allowed to score however you like, and there's not really an objective way to go about this), if you were to score in this way, wouldn't a score that evaluates the quality of the episode relative to other shows on TV, as a function of the budget available to each show, be more fair? With your ranking scheme, let's assume I start a show tomorrow myself, that has incredible plot, characters, acting, etc. but has production values that reflect the fact that I do not have upwards of a million to spend per episode - my show would always at most score around a 6 or 7 in your scale, even though it might be far superior to GoT in most aspects other than production. If shows with higher budgets get ranked higher merely due to the fact that they have higher budgets (as money can buy you production and acting talent), then we will enter a viscious circle, where only high budget shows get good reviews that can attract viewers, and the barriers to entry for talent that may not have as much money on their hands, gets higher and higher. Said another way: Game of Thrones has I believe the highest budget per episode of any TV show ever, and in this season, the highest budget compared to any other season. I take it as a given that it will have high production values, and I judge the show-runners relative to the outcomes they produce given the resources available to them. If the show-runners have more than 10 million $ or so to play with per episode, more money than most of us will make in ten lifetimes, but they are arrogant enough with that money that this is the best they can come up with because they've grown tired with the show, then my ranking will hold them accountable for it.
  3. Gave it a 4. I remember when watching some of the commentaries from the past seasons, how the showrunners talked about some of the changes they were doing in the books, and explaining that some of them are based because they liked to imagine what it would look like if some characters were to meet and interact. This is how the ending of this episode felt to me. Like a 13 year old thinking 'What if Tormund Giantsbane, the Hound, Gendry, and Jon Snow were to meet. Wouldn't it be cool???' You just know that next episode there's going to be a fight scene somewhere, and one character will look at another one after doing some violent kill followed by a one-liner, with their mouth half opened in surprise, and we have to think something like 'haha, Tormund/Gendry/Jorah/the Hound is so surprised having seen how brutal Tormnud/Gendry/Jorah/the Hound is'. It feels so... TV... I felt the same way in the last episode when Brienne fought with Arya. You just know that the only reason that scene exists is because the showrunners though 'wouldn't it be cool if we could see Arya fight with Brienne', despite the fact that the fight makes no sense, and would never happen in the books. The whole appeal of Game of Thrones being set in a semi-realistic world that actively tries to avoid cliched tropes has gone completely by now. It feels like the shortunners are so confident due to the fact that the show has become a success and will obviously go through to a successful conclusion, that they no longer really about believability. If you want to predict the show these days, just ask yourself the questions 'Wouldn't it be cool if.....', imagine you're a teenager, and stop worrying about internal consistency, and you're half way there. There's a whole lot more I could say but I'll leave it at that.
  4. I thought this was an awesome episode, one of the best ones in the series in fact. Loved every single thing and every single scene in it. 10 out of 10. Gave the first one an 8.
  5. Were these things that 'needed' to be explained to her? If she had question like 'Who is this woman? What is this Lord of Light? Who are these people who are gathering in the North, where and under whom?', I'd say these aren't things that should be explained to her. The purpose of the episode is not to serve as detailed exposition for every single character and circumstance. Some initial confusion and lack of understanding is good, so that the viewer has something to solve in the coming episodes. The judgement of a good episode is not whether the viewer has left understanding everything, but whether the viewer leaves interested enough to want to see more, and with a desire to understand many of the things he was confused about initially. Mel, Mance Rayder, Stannis, the Lord of Light, Balon Greyjoy, the dynamics of the war, these are all things that we'll be coming back again and again in the next episodes and which the viewers will eventually get. Did viewers understand everything in the first episode of Season 1? I'm sure there were many people confused about who Dany was, how Robert became king, who all these people were, what were the relationships between them. But because the show was interesting, rather than these questions pushing people back, they instead made them want to find the answers, and after 10 hours, things became clear. I guess what I'm saying is, if you're stopping 15 times during the episode so that you give an encyclopedic background on every character and situation to your friend, you're not really making the experience better for them, nor does it reflect bad on the episode. The episode is not meant to be crystal clear, some things are wisely left still obsure, so that they are pieced together slowly as the season progresses.
  6. Can I ask if its possible to turn the list in the first post into links to the appropriate threads, as was done for the list from the UK edition a few posts down? It will make it very easy to just enter this thread, and select the chapter we want to find and discuss.
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