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The Fattest Leech

Rant & Rave Season 8 [Spoilers]: When you are cool like a cucumber, as evil as the mother of madness, but never as perfect as the pet!

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14 hours ago, SeanF said:

What frustrates me in the end is the sheer wasted potential, with so much money, so many good actors, and such commitment from all the people working on it.

Right up to the end, a lot of the scenes were really quite amazing (and the music was great) - had they only remembered to tell a story and provide dialogue.

The sack and burning of Kings Landing would have been outstanding - had there only been a credible reason for it.  And, it would have been so easy to supply that credible reason.  Daenerys might have accepted the surrender, only for someone to let off a crossbow, or bolt, accidentally or on purpose, which injures her or Drogon, leading her to conclude it's just another betrayal;  or she burns the Red Keep, which triggers off wildfire across the capital;  or (the one I'd favour) Cersei keeps her soldiers inside the city, and both sides get bogged down in terrible street fighting, leading Daenerys to conclude that the only way to win is to unleash dragon fire on soldiers and civilians alike.  That would keep the decision to kill thousands of civilians a deliberate and conscious one on her part, but provide a militarily sound reason for it (People are then free to argue over the morality of it).

Realistically Dany would have precision dragon blasted Cersei in season 7, and liberated the city. They robbed the audience of a satisfying one-on-one showdown after building it up.

Ditto for Arya. She could have taken Cersei out, and used her ultimately useless faceless man skills, and had the showdown built up to in her own arc with Cersei (the Night King was in Jon's arc).

Arya and Dany could have teamed up, too. Arya looked wondrously at Drogon, then nothing. Instead, they turn Arya, who loved to meet new people, into a xenophobic asshole.

Instead they went with batshit bells bullshit and Arya Ninja Turtle. I mean, how simple is it to follow through on what was built up to all along, but nope.

In the end, both Cersei and Littlefinger, long time villains the audience wanted to see taken down masterfully by the right characters in the right ways, go out like sniveling mice.

Edited by Le Cygne

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4 hours ago, Le Cygne said:

Realistically Dany would have precision dragon blasted Cersei in season 7, and liberated the city. They robbed the audience of a satisfying one-on-one showdown after building it up.

Ditto for Arya. She could have taken Cersei out, and used her ultimately useless faceless man skills, and had the showdown built up to in her own arc with Cersei (the Night King was in Jon's arc).

Arya and Dany could have teamed up, too. Arya looked wondrously at Drogon, then nothing. Instead, they turn Arya, who loved to meet new people, into a xenophobic asshole.

Instead they went with batshit bells bullshit and Arya Ninja Turtle. I mean, how simple is it to follow through on what was built up to all along, but nope.

In the end, both Cersei and Littlefinger, long time villains the audience wanted to see taken down masterfully by the right characters in the right ways, go out like sniveling mice.

For sure.  The real LF would never beg for mercy.  He'd have plausible-sounding answers to all of Sansa's charges.  And Sansa would have been getting into hot water herself by bringing up her aunt's death.

At the very least, you would have expected Arya to be interested in Daenerys, before forming a judgement.

Edited by SeanF

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18 hours ago, SeanF said:

What frustrates me in the end is the sheer wasted potential, with so much money, so many good actors, and such commitment from all the people working on it.

Right up to the end, a lot of the scenes were really quite amazing (and the music was great) - had they only remembered to tell a story and provide dialogue.

The sack and burning of Kings Landing would have been outstanding - had there only been a credible reason for it.  And, it would have been so easy to supply that credible reason.  Daenerys might have accepted the surrender, only for someone to let off a crossbow, or bolt, accidentally or on purpose, which injures her or Drogon, leading her to conclude it's just another betrayal;  or she burns the Red Keep, which triggers off wildfire across the capital;  or (the one I'd favour) Cersei keeps her soldiers inside the city, and both sides get bogged down in terrible street fighting, leading Daenerys to conclude that the only way to win is to unleash dragon fire on soldiers and civilians alike.  That would keep the decision to kill thousands of civilians a deliberate and conscious one on her part, but provide a militarily sound reason for it (People are then free to argue over the morality of it).

Agree that right after watching the kings landing episode I was really blown away, I got caught up in the drama and the visuals and kind of didn’t think too much about it. 
 

But it didn’t take long before I remembered how utterly unearned that episode was. Danys character development has been abysmal since she left Mereen and it occurred to me as she was jealously watching people fawn over Jon Snow the previous episode that I had zero knowledge of who that Dany was. I couldn’t really nail down any character traits she possessed and almost all of her actions just sort of happened, without any basis in what had come before.

So while there might have been better, more logical ways for her to burn KL, essentially it all boiled down to the writers deciding at some point they had to make ‘Mad Queen’ happen, so that they can kill her at the end. Clearly Martin has told them the plot points to hit here , but didn’t give them enough for them to make it all make sense. 

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8 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Agree that right after watching the kings landing episode I was really blown away, I got caught up in the drama and the visuals and kind of didn’t think too much about it. 
 

But it didn’t take long before I remembered how utterly unearned that episode was. Danys character development has been abysmal since she left Mereen and it occurred to me as she was jealously watching people fawn over Jon Snow the previous episode that I had zero knowledge of who that Dany was. I couldn’t really nail down any character traits she possessed and almost all of her actions just sort of happened, without any basis in what had come before.

So while there might have been better, more logical ways for her to burn KL, essentially it all boiled down to the writers deciding at some point they had to make ‘Mad Queen’ happen, so that they can kill her at the end. Clearly Martin has told them the plot points to hit here , but didn’t give them enough for them to make it all make sense. 

You don't even need to make it "Mad Queen".  Ruthless Queen would suffice.  Someone doing what's necessary to win, however awful.

Then, you could have her making clear in the next Episode that she  plans to put Sansa, Arya, and Bran on trial for their treason towards her.  Leaving Jon to wrestle with his horrible dilemma.  Either he becomes a kinslayer, or he lets his kin be killed.  I'm not saying it's an ending I'd have enjoyed, but it's an ending that would have made sense.

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9 minutes ago, SeanF said:

You don't even need to make it "Mad Queen".  Ruthless Queen would suffice.  Someone doing what's necessary to win, however awful.

Then, you could have her making clear in the next Episode that she  plans to put Sansa, Arya, and Bran on trial for their treason towards her.  Leaving Jon to wrestle with his horrible dilemma.  Either he becomes a kinslayer, or he lets his kin be killed.  I'm not saying it's an ending I'd have enjoyed, but it's an ending that would have made sense.

Definitely better. But I get the sense that mad Queen was somewhere in the notes and so they felt the need to follow through 

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40 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Definitely better. But I get the sense that mad Queen was somewhere in the notes and so they felt the need to follow through 

Maybe.  But, there's a widespread tendency in films and TV to equate mental illness with evil.  And, boy, does Daenerys attract all the amateur psychologists on social media.

At the end Daenerys was variously Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Satan and Jesus.

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17 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Maybe.  But, there's a widespread tendency in films and TV to equate mental illness with evil.  And, boy, does Daenerys attract all the amateur psychologists on social media.

At the end Daenerys was variously Hitler, Leon Trotsky, Satan and Jesus.

Therein lies the problem.  You can't really go from Abolitionist Jesus to Blonde Hitler in the space of 3 episodes, especially when everyone is acting with their faces instead of speaking dialogue.   

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Cogman uses women as plot bombs and props in that episode, like he always does.

Dany was just there for Arya and Sansa to fight with someone new after they almost killed each other. Arya was just there to strip for the camera out of nowhere. Sansa was just there to prop up Theon again by saying Jeyne's lines. Brienne was just there to redeem Jaime, who betrayed her so completely.

None of this means anything because he never sees them as having a life of their own.

Edited by Le Cygne

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22 hours ago, SeanF said:

Then in episode 4, they tried to cram half a season's worth of material into one episode.

The conflict between Daenerys and the Starks, over Northern independence, could have been made interesting, and both sides portrayed sympathetically, had it played out over several episodes, with negotiations being tried and breaking down.  As it was, they tried to show Daenerys simultaneously cracking up under pressure, and being the victim of treachery, and the traitors being justified, and it did not work.

Yup.

it was funny watching people who defended the show through seasons 5 and 7, finally unable to defend that

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They wrote the scripts for season four before Indira Varma was cast - or soon enough after that they simply didn’t have time to alter the scripts 

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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3 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

Therein lies the problem.  You can't really go from Abolitionist Jesus to Blonde Hitler in the space of 3 episodes, especially when everyone is acting with their faces instead of speaking dialogue.   

( savage grin )

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Regarding Arya: IIRCm in season 1, she admired and wanted to emulate some historical dragon riding Targaryen woman warrior... So her behaviour towards Dany makes even less sense.

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15 minutes ago, Mindwalker said:

Regarding Arya: IIRCm in season 1, she admired and wanted to emulate some historical dragon riding Targaryen woman warrior... So her behaviour towards Dany makes even less sense.

But that’s “so season 1”! The show runners can’t remember what they did in the previous season, let alone s1, all those years ago! Hell, they can’t remember what they did in the previous episode, and sometimes even the previous scene! :lol:

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Austin Film Fest's block on my YouTube Channel continues, for using clips from their infamous Benioff & Weiss panel.

If my counter-claim works, I might have my channel and those clips up again by February 13th.  If not, my channel stays shut down for 3 months.

Crud.

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I'm watching the Blu-ray commentaries for Season 8.

Episode 8.1 is writer Dave Hill and production designer Deborah Riley.

In the first five minutes, Hill claims that the four writers "rewatched every episode of the past seven seasons, to make sure of every plot thread we needed to wrap up" (sigh)….you think of things like not explaining what happened to Dorne in any detail.....

You realize that their vision is skewed; they're not "lying", but that narrow-minded: I think they meant "plot threads, for the *core seven cast members*" (and even that was still flawed).  Thinking "what stuff for Arya should we address?" and not "what's going on with Brienne, Jorah, Yara, etc.")

…..what I'm upset about is that we never got a "real" interview with these writers, in which an audience Q&A or moderator is....bold enough to ask followup questions, or point out that they haven't accurately answered something.  They get asked a question, they give a response, end of discussion - and they realized a while ago that they can give bizarre, nonsensical answers, and NO ONE will challenge them.

Anyway it's intriguing and funny that Riley does react to Hill by, in a polite voice, saying "really? I didn't know.  You prepped like that?" -- and I can't tell if she's being matter of fact, or incredulous that it doesn't seem like they did real "research" on the prior seven seasons.  In the "Last Watch" documentary you can see Riley getting increasingly disillusioned with Benioff & Weiss.  

Hill is just another personal assistant that Benioff promoted up, and an enthusiastic member of the "dudebro club"; much like Austin Film Fest....cheerfully remarking that *they had Deborah Riley build the entire Winter Town set*.  As a fully realized set.  Which took weeks of work to build.  And he even points out "we had Riley build an entire set, knowing we'd only use it for one scene; another one of our "how to drive Deborah crazy" moments I guess"......and she's sitting there.  

This is reality.  And it's not a matter of money or even the raw amount of work, it's shocking in terms of a *schedule*; when you see Riley in the "Last Watch" realizing that regardless of budget, to achieve things that Benioff and Weiss want, on this scale, but *in this timeframe* is logistically impossible.  This is not the first time the writing staff have seemed blissfully unaware of their total, crippling lack of logistical management skills.

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18 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

I'm watching the Blu-ray commentaries for Season 8.

Episode 8.1 is writer Dave Hill and production designer Deborah Riley.

In the first five minutes, Hill claims that the four writers "rewatched every episode of the past seven seasons, to make sure of every plot thread we needed to wrap up" (sigh)….you think of things like not explaining what happened to Dorne in any detail.....

You realize that their vision is skewed; they're not "lying", but that narrow-minded: I think they meant "plot threads, for the *core seven cast members*" (and even that was still flawed).  Thinking "what stuff for Arya should we address?" and not "what's going on with Brienne, Jorah, Yara, etc.")

…..what I'm upset about is that we never got a "real" interview with these writers, in which an audience Q&A or moderator is....bold enough to ask followup questions, or point out that they haven't accurately answered something.  They get asked a question, they give a response, end of discussion - and they realized a while ago that they can give bizarre, nonsensical answers, and NO ONE will challenge them.

Anyway it's intriguing and funny that Riley does react to Hill by, in a polite voice, saying "really? I didn't know.  You prepped like that?" -- and I can't tell if she's being matter of fact, or incredulous that it doesn't seem like they did real "research" on the prior seven seasons.  In the "Last Watch" documentary you can see Riley getting increasingly disillusioned with Benioff & Weiss.  

Hill is just another personal assistant that Benioff promoted up, and an enthusiastic member of the "dudebro club"; much like Austin Film Fest....cheerfully remarking that *they had Deborah Riley build the entire Winter Town set*.  As a fully realized set.  Which took weeks of work to build.  And he even points out "we had Riley build an entire set, knowing we'd only use it for one scene; another one of our "how to drive Deborah crazy" moments I guess"......and she's sitting there.  

This is reality.  And it's not a matter of money or even the raw amount of work, it's shocking in terms of a *schedule*; when you see Riley in the "Last Watch" realizing that regardless of budget, to achieve things that Benioff and Weiss want, on this scale, but *in this timeframe* is logistically impossible.  This is not the first time the writing staff have seemed blissfully unaware of their total, crippling lack of logistical management skills.

Perhaps they did, but they showed no sign that they understood what had been happening.

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Oh yes.  

It took me a while to realize that they rarely "lie", they're just morons.  

Case in point, "we researched Akira Kurosawa's Ran for the Battle of the Bastards!" - yeah....they "watched" that movie...cold.  Just watched a Blu-ray of it.  With no "reading" about the behind the scenes "making of" materials.  So they have no idea how these shots were achieved from a production standpoint - they have no training in "Cinematography" (when Sapochnik asked them a highly technical question of which Cinematography style they prefer, their blunt answer was "we don't have one").

Ack.

Research on the commentary tracks continues...

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If they had only spent 20% of the wasted time on stupid sets for one scene that no one can appreciate because of the 'natural lighting' on the story, the plots and the writing, the show might have actually been the quality product it was credited as for so long.

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13 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

If they had only spent 20% of the wasted time on stupid sets for one scene that no one can appreciate because of the 'natural lighting' on the story, the plots and the writing, the show might have actually been the quality product it was credited as for so long.

The funny thing is that you can read any number of fanfics which come up with far better plots, credible storylines, and tighter writing for Seasons 7 and 8.

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They kept ranting in the Inside the Episode for the series finale (buried on the Blu-ray set) that they spent a lot of time obsessing over the climactic scene where Jon kills Daenerys.  I mean, filmed it dozens of times, kept obsessing over getting things like the *lighting* just right, or the cameras "just right" - and of course they don't know a damn thing about camerawork or lighting, so that's not worth much anyway....but they agonized over getting it the visual look, performances, delivery "JUST Right".....and that's all that was important.  Living in the moment, no thought to how anything else fit together.

Had the media bothered to report on Benioff's background when the show began, this is really a longrunning pattern he has:  his infamous story of how before his first book was published, he languished in the 1990s for nearly a decade unable to publish his first book (before that, never published).  And he states, acknowledges, "I got 36 rejection letters, all of which consistently gave the same message: 'you're capable of making interesting scenes in isolation in your books, even good dialogue, but the plot structure is godawful to nonexistent'...so my answer was to write 25th Hour as a slice of life story that deliberately avoids plot structure, as it all takes place in one day".

Actually step back and...unpack the mentality behind that:  faced with a clear criticism, which he acknowledges is a flaw.....he doesn't "learn", doesn't try to "grow", or develop the skills he's weak at:  he tries to cheat his way around it.  So many people were saying even by Season 5, with TV-Dorne, this knee-jerk excuse that "well, they're still learning!"

1 - …..an HBO level show should have had The Best professionals from the start, not "the world's most expensive film school"

2 - If they were GOING to learn, they would have done it by now; five seasons into an eight season show.  

And just when you hear Benioff's other commentaries in the 25th Hour DVD about how "I never really read screenwriting manuals because they make me feel stupid" (paraphrase)…...this is a man-child, a bratty toddler in an adult's body, and that he is fundamentally UNWILLING to learn new skills.  An utter narcissist, that would be acknowledging that he isn't already perfect.  
 

So they sold us this story for years that "we were two diamond-in-the-rough amateurs who through grit and gumption learned how to make a TV show on the fly"...…………..…...when the reality is...….Benioff knows about as much on running a TV production or on screenwriting, now....as he did when he made the pilot.  Seriously, I have analytic videos on this: the scripts for Seasons 5 THROUGH 8 look pretty much like the one for the failed pilot (stupidly putting vital exposition OR character mental narration into script notes, not the dialogue, so the audience can't see them).  

You seriously think Billy McFarland knows more about running a music festival AFTER the Fyre Festival disaster, than before it?

 

So yes, Cas Stark, we'd see that over and over again:  obsessing over getting set details just right, instead of writing.

Micromanaging every aspect of the show, which:

1 - no human being would have had time to do individually

2 - they weren't personally trained in production or cinematography

3 - took time away from screenwriting

I mean.....as Elio & Linda, and many others, pointed out in Season 5......remember that one episode, where they had a Loooong montage of Arya-Maisie slowly washing dead corpses, with no dialogue?  (showing her off)…..in that same episode, they then had the Hall of Faces in Braavos….and kept praising themselves for how "it's a fully realized set!".....when in the same episodes, the Sand Snakes fight was terrible, or they were introduced just at some tent near the beach.

They truly did not realize how utterly uneven their tunnel-vision production had become.  

It feels like something out of Catch-22 or Apocalypse Now:  so much money and resources being thrown at a problem, with no planning whatsoever.  

The crown jewel is probably the fully realized King's Landing streets set for Season 8.  Stunning watching the behind the scenes from the "Last Watch" on that:  SEVENTEEN alleyways!  All built basically to show off Maisie Williams as she runs through it being destroyed.  It took seven months to build, THREE DAYS to destroy, and then they show a clip of even producer Bernie Caulfield being openly surprised at this, I mean openly remarking "maybe we should have used that set in more scenes, like have Cersei go for lunch or something".

But the message we consistently got from EVERY line producer on the show had startling consistency - from Riley, Sapochnik - "David and Dan want it BIGGER, because this is Game of Thrones, the final season, it has to be the best, and to be best it needs to be the biggest" - the BIGGEST scenes to us are like, Jaime's confession to Brienne in a bath in Season 3.  I can't emphasize enough the simple-mindedness of this; just that catch phrase: "bigger"....not even "spectacle" but "bigger" - physically having hundreds of extras somehow automatically makes it good.

Dear god this whole thing sounds like the kind of thing you'd see in a fictional parody, a black comedy, of a film production falling apart; I mean parody movies made decades ago about directors going mad with power. 

 

Sorry for rambling....

 

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