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Ran

[Book Spoilers] The Duel

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It was good, but i still was kinda dissapointed in fight. It seemed to come off less intense than i had hoped, plus lack of some details, like no emphasis on poison, Tyrion didn't vomit and etc. Still Pedro was great as Oberyn and i've gonna miss him.


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I just feel that the whole ''headsquashing, poking eyes out'' thing at the end was so over the top, jeez. I don't know, the duel was fine but that just annoyed me for some reason.


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Awesome . 9.5/10

The only problem was that whole Grey Worm part and The Beetle(kuh kuh kuh)

Really can't believe those who are giving The Duel part 6,7 . Did you even watch it ?! What else did you want ?

You raped her : CHECK

I'm going to kill that : CHECK

Mountain's Confession : CHECK

Some dead man : CHECK

Eye gouging : CHECK
Worst death ever : CHECK

So practically one little difference and it sucks ?

Remember that it's TV . There are also other things to care about besides books . Remember that the most of viewers are Unsullieds .

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Awesome . 9.5/10

The only problem was that whole Grey Worm part and The Beetle(kuh kuh kuh)

Really can't believe those who are giving The Duel part 6,7 . Did you even watch it ?! What else did you want ?

You raped her : CHECK

I'm going to kill that : CHECK

Mountain's Confession : CHECK

Some dead man : CHECK

Eye gouging : CHECK

Worst death ever : CHECK

So practically one little difference and it sucks ?

How about the editing being very clunky and having nearly no music at all?

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How about the editing being very clunky and having nearly no music at all?

Ok now , first of all , all those problems don't make it a disaster as some are calling it .

I'm not an expert in whole editing part so I'm not gonna comment , you might be right or wrong i dunno , I(as an inexperienced viewer/reader) enjoyed it .

The lack of music imo was in order to maintain its reality and reserve the ending's violence . I myself would've been way less worried if there had been an epic music . Yes it would've made it more epic but also less real . As far as I remember RW didn't have that big of a music either . Even at the credits it was also complete silence .

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Ok now , first of all , all those problems don't make it a disaster as some are calling it .

I'm not an expert in whole editing part so I'm not gonna comment , you might be right or wrong i dunno , I(as an inexperienced viewer/reader) enjoyed it .

The lack of music imo was in order to maintain its reality and reserve the ending's violence . I myself would've been way less worried if there had been an epic music . Yes it would've made it more epic but also less real . As far as I remember RW didn't have that big of a music either . Even at the credits it was also complete silence .

The Red Wedding is a good comparison. "The Lannisters Send Their Regards" is one of my favorite pieces of music of the season 3 soundtrack. It didn't last for that long, but it captured the betrayal perfectly. Here it didn't feel like a fight to the death, but a tourney. For example they had some cool music playing in the background during the Jaime vs Ned and Sandor vs Gregor fight scenes in season 1.

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How about the editing being very clunky and having nearly no music at all?

The absence of music is absolutely crucial in order to maintain the tension. If there had been an epic music, we would have guessed that Oberyn was going to win. Had there been a dramatic music, it would have been the contrary.

Keep in mind that most viewers are Unsullied, so they need to focus on guessing who is actually going to win that fight. With no music, they can entirely pay attention to both character's strengths and weaknesses. When Oberyn is pushed to the ground but rises again, you really feel how dangerous the Mountain is, because you don't have music to tell you "This is bad". You just see it by yourself and the tension is much more efficient this way.

With music on, the fight would have been way too cartoonesque.

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The absence of music is absolutely crucial in order to maintain the tension. If there had been an epic music, we would have guessed that Oberyn was going to win. Had there been a dramatic music, it would have been the contrary.

Keep in mind that most viewers are Unsullied, so they need to focus on guessing who is actually going to win that fight. With no music, they can entirely pay attention to both character's strengths and weaknesses. When Oberyn is pushed to the ground but rises again, you really feel how dangerous the Mountain is, because you don't have music to tell you "This is bad". You just see it by yourself and the tension is much more efficient this way.

With music on, the fight would have been way too cartoonesque.

I'm not saying there should have been epic music, I'm saying that there should have been some subtle music in the background.

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Besides Oberyns death it was pretty disappointing. Gregor's helmet was deflating for some reason. It looked ridiculous, the vulnerable parts were wide open and it fell right off.


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The actual choreography and philosophy behind the fight was good and accurate to the books but the filming of it felt a bit rushed. Should have gotten to see more and savor the fight. All in all it was good, it didn't live up to my expectations though. This Mountain to me never felt like the Mountain, he was just some big dude.


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The actual choreography and philosophy behind the fight was good and accurate to the books but the filming of it felt a bit rushed. Should have gotten to see more and savor the fight. All in all it was good, it didn't live up to my expectations though. This Mountain to me never felt like the Mountain, he was just some big dude.

Not really -- in the books, the duel is very suspenseful -- the crowd keeps edging up to get a better view, even though the duel is between a guy swing a 2H sword one handed and a guy using a spear, and Gregor actually kills one of the bystanders. Oberyn actually uses a shiny shield, and uses it to blind the mountain. Both of these things, if they had been included, could have stretched to duel out,

Basically, when you name your episode after a fight, it should take a while (maybe even cut some scenes into it). It shouldn't have felt as rushed as it did.

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Some things I went nuts over--

Oberyn's "no, no, no..." got across a ton of his character. He wasn't toying with him in the "this is teh funsies!" sense, but doing what he could, what he dreamed of, to not devolve into complete sputtering rage. He wasn't thoughtless--he was glancing down at the Mountain as he railed at Tywin, but he made one wrong move, drifting a bit too close to Gregor's arm, and as Bronn prophecized,that was the end.

His screams! SHIT MAN! I don't care how much of a badass you are, you're screeching like a nutcase if your eyes are getting gouged out. Death is a leveller.

Ellaria's scream! Hit me SO much harder than the book version. I KEENED when she looked so proud--earlier she was nervous, but then she was like "you go babe, get your vengeance." Then her horror...fuck!

Oberyn letting himself get pushed around just a bit, to give him an advantage. It reminded me of that study about people who are a bit sauced having a better chance of surviving a car wreck. He really was like a snake.

Again, totally get why he screamed in the show- I don't think anyone who could actually feel pain or was still conscious wouldn't scream. I'm just comparing the scenario to the books here, which I think was better done. I got the point that Oberyn dropped the ball, paid for it dearly, revenge blinded him, all that. But, comparing it to the book, leads me to this.

I love how Oberyn screamed like a girl, the Mountain should have said "And then I made her scream like a bitch, like this".

At no point in the books did I think, or think anyone else would think "wow, Oberyn died like a screaming little bitch", that's all.

Again, not so much dissapointed because I thought,"aww man he screamed like a pussy", but I know that idea would get into a lot of other peoples heads. From experience, knowing dudes who think they'd handle having their skull crushed like Thich Quang Duch when he burned in Saigon: unflinching, and silent as a rock- because, you know, they're real men. I dunno, it's a tiny nit-pick. He died pretty gruesomely in both cases, anyways. I just don't feel the phrase "like a bitch" should be associated with Oberyn, at all. He's not Vegeta. He's Inigo Montoya.

I still don't think they should have had him getting knocked down so much, or having his first spear broken like that. I really do think it ruined the build-up. Like, all right, this guy has had a few close calls already, not really convinced he'll walk out unscathed- where as compared to the books, he owns it right up until he doesn't.

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Not really -- in the books, the duel is very suspenseful -- the crowd keeps edging up to get a better view, even though the duel is between a guy swing a 2H sword one handed and a guy using a spear, and Gregor actually kills one of the bystanders. Oberyn actually uses a shiny shield, and uses it to blind the mountain. Both of these things, if they had been included, could have stretched to duel out,

Basically, when you name your episode after a fight, it should take a while (maybe even cut some scenes into it). It shouldn't have felt as rushed as it did.

And all of that! Really thought it'd get at least the last 15 minutes from the first "Have they told you who I am" to Gregor squeezing open a packet of Oberyn's Grade A Skull Ketchup

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It was good, it just needed to be longer, and have more setup. The poison will be mentioned in ep 10, pretty sure. also i feel like they made it out that the mountain was an easy person to fight.



Also i think it would've been better if they had he original mountain from season 1. Also i would have enjoyed a close up of the mountains face as he was confessing..but i guess they didn't really employ a professional actor, they went for size. Probably their biggest downfall because i felt the audience didn't even know who he was...my brother didn't even remember who he was. They needed to give more screentime to developing who the mountain really was, he's savageness and cruelty. but they stuffed that up by changing the actors every season.


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The editing was bad (too many fast cuts), and I felt like it should have been a bit longer (especially considering the fight was shorter than the awful beetle monologue), but other than that, it was perfect. From Pedro's delivery of Oberyn's chant to the Mountain's brutal finisher and the reactions that followed.


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I'm such a masoquist, yearned two weeks (Oberyn's appearance turned my hype back on) to get my heart crushed like this. I watched the episode an hour ago and I'm still mopey. That scream was horrible, so painful to hear and look at.


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Just to comment on the Rob Roy comparisons, it's a very different scene. The first big "WTF!" is the clothes-obsessed fop being a murder monkey.

That's already been established in the prior 2 hours of the film, however.

then it's the lack of any Hollywood sword banter. Awesome, but notable for it's lack of dialogue and staccato pacing. I don't think it would've worked....Oberyn going from Princess Bride to Rob Roy...

The dialog is all the reason more for why it should have been stretched out rather than rushed. I'm not saying it needs the leisurely pacing and cutting of the Rob Roy fight, which does indeed increase its tension by short bursts of violence (but bursts that you can clearly understand) with tense stares and maneuvering around. But it's less than half the length and has three times as many cuts per second -- that's insanity. Something more like the Hector-Achilles fight -- itself about a minute longer, with a number of crowd reaction shots, but with half as many total cuts despite this! -- would have been much more appropriate.

To some degree I think it's all down to two major choreography errors:

Wushu acrobatics necessitating stunt doubling. Besides its particular pacing, the real beauty of the Rob Roy scene is that almost all -- perhaps all -- the scenes are the actors themselves; this is all the more remarkable because Archibald Cunningham looks like a "murder monkey", and that's all Tim Roth, who had no stage fighting experience at all. That's a testament to the vision of William Hobbs, who tailored the scene to get the maximum effect out of the actors, and to director Michael Caton-Jones in judging that the more they can sell Roth as a dangerous swordsman when compared to the tall, strapping Liam Neeson, the better. There's too many crane shots to hide the fact that we're looking at the double, but you can tell really -- he's leaner than Pascal is -- and that breaks the reality of the vision of the person you're watching actually being that dangerous.

The other issue is that the one-handed sword swings from Gregor sap a lot of the tension out of his attacks. They're not credibly dangerous, and it's worth considering that almost every "dangerous" blow he does in the fight is just his using his strength to throw or kick Oberyn around. The weapon's almost a non-factor because the insistence on sticking to one-handed swings was just wrong. And the thing is, they even acknowledge that the weapon -- a lighter-than-reality prop weapon! -- is too large to be effectively swung around by the world's third strongest man in the post-episode behind-the-scenes video. So why do it? It doesn't even make particular sense since I'm certain that if Gregor Clegane had to fight without a shield, he'd use that sword with both hands. A couple of times to emphasize how strong he is, fine, but it's almost all the time, and every time he does it there's no real feeling of threat to Oberyn.

Tailor the scene to the actors, and the cutting wouldn't have to be so insanely fast. Some of that cutting, I assure you, was just to "speed up" the action by cutting out some of the ponderousness of Björnsson's blows. That's not his fault, that's the fault of the choreographer, the director, and the producers.

Better choreography would have led to less cutting, which would have given the movement and space of the fight more impact, and would have allowed Pascal and Björnsson to be more "present". As it is, so much was blink-and-you'll miss it.

ETA:

Here's my preliminary calculation of the fight's cutting, using techniques discussed on Cinemetrics, a site for study of film through the lens of cutting technique and cinematography.

Total fight length: 107 seconds

Total cuts: 124

Average shot length: 0.86587 seconds

Median shot length: 0.765 seconds

Shortest cut: 0.250 seconds

By way of comparison, here's Rob Roy's final duel:

Total fight length: 276 seconds

Total cuts: ~101 cuts

ASL: 2.732

And the final fight between Hector and Achilles in Troy:

Total fight length: 166 seconds

Total cuts: ~117

ASL: 1.41

And from the video I link below, here's a 60 second fight from The Bourne Identity:

Total fight length: 60 seconds

Total cuts: 62 cuts

ASL: .95 seconds

Shortest cut: .40 seconds

And the first fight from Hero (where there's a lot of stunt and wire work, admittedly... but it's actually Jet Li and Donnie Yen doing them, because that's just how they roll):

Total fight length: 60 seconds

Total cuts: 22

ASL: 2.6 seconds

Shortest cut: .80 seconds

It's the fastest fight cutting I can find via Cinemetrics, and it's apparently faster than the very rapid cutting of one of the Bourne Identity one-on-one fight scenes, according to this. I'm guessing -- but haven't yet gone through with an eye towards this -- that the fight also has a very heavy reliance on close ups, which deemphasizes the particular mechanics of the fight with longer-than-normal weapons.

(I know, this is among the nerdiest things I've ever done in discussing the show, but honestly, it feels like some actual empirical data is needed to fully explain why the cutting is bugging me so much; it's symptomatic of poor choices the production made.)

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Oh come on people! The fight was awesome. Of course we wish it could've gone on longer, but it's TV, they have limited time. Though, yeah. They should've cut the "beetle" monologue. It was interesting I guess, but did it serve any true purpose?



The editing was fine. I could understand well enough what was going on. Also, the absense of music made more intense and intimate. It felt more realistic too, because IIRC in the book the Mountain keeps getting his ass kicked by Oberyn. In the episode Gregor gets a few shots at him actually. So the fight was good.



And there's the ending... Fuck me, that was brutal. That screaming was just haunting.


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