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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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2 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

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.

 

Overlooking the elephant in the room, which is that regardless of lighting or camerawork the scene was disgusting, relied on some horribly outdated tropes, and made Jon out to be a treacherous hypocrite, rather than a hero. 

A turd remains a turd, whatever perfume you apply to it.

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I think it's more likely that Benioff does not have the talent to write a well plotted story, and it is less narcissism than him being a hack.  The very reason that he IS a hack is because  he lacks these talents.  Although of course he's super arrogant which is why he always humble brags about how he's ignorant of all the basics that a showrunner/scriptwriter is expected to be proficient in.  He did, after all, hack up The Iliad.

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After Long Night was canceled, David J. Peterson admitted that the third prequel pitch was Old Valyria.

I discussed leaks about that some time ago, and don't want to get in trouble for going in depth here now even though it is confirmed as real.

But I will say, broadly, that was REALLY impressed me is that there's this whole essay/page in the series bible urging "We have to function on a realistic TV budget, so we're limiting the number of fully realized sets we can actually build".

I mean....the knee-jerk reaction by so many people to the very idea of a "Valyria prequel" is..."wow, the budget for that needs to be so big it's unfilmable!".....but they don't question any of the massive, wasteful budget in later Game of Thrones seasons.

We didn't NEED fully realized sets for the Hall of Faces, Winter Town, Kings Landing streets, Winterfell with thousands of extras, etc. etc.  

So basically BECAUSE Valyria was said to be "unfilmable", it made them painfully self-conscious about that....enough to always be self-conscious about their budget in ways Benioff & Weiss never were.  Sort of like how tall people rarely hit their head on a doorway because they know to be self-conscious about that, while a person of average height hits their head in a low doorway because they don't think it's a problem.

So they had this whole essay/page explicitly outlining "there will only be two primary locations, and bits of two secondary locations; we can only build a finite number of huge, fully realized locations" (Primary = Season 1 King's Landing or Winterfell, Secondary = like Season 2 Pyke; a furnished room standing in for the whole thing). 

Which I thought was very encouraging.

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3 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

I think it's more likely that Benioff does not have the talent to write a well plotted story, and it is less narcissism than him being a hack.  The very reason that he IS a hack is because  he lacks these talents.  Although of course he's super arrogant which is why he always humble brags about how he's ignorant of all the basics that a showrunner/scriptwriter is expected to be proficient in.  He did, after all, hack up The Iliad.

If you exclude all the supernatural elements from the Iliad, you're only left with half the story.

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Also worth restating that we saw over and over again that CGI and special effects saved the show.  There would be a string of episodes that were bad and reviewers would start to become critical and then BAM, Dragons! Battles! And everyone, including the audience would go into a swoon again, so it is actually a quite reasonable bet that their plans of overwhelming the audience with more battles, more CGI, more cinematography, more expensive everything would carry them over the reality of not having written a sensible story, because it had carried them for years and bought them drawers of Emmys and tens of millions.

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4 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

I think it's more likely that Benioff does not have the talent to write a well plotted story, and it is less narcissism than him being a hack.  The very reason that he IS a hack is because  he lacks these talents.  Although of course he's super arrogant which is why he always humble brags about how he's ignorant of all the basics that a showrunner/scriptwriter is expected to be proficient in.  He did, after all, hack up The Iliad.

Well it's the narcissism that compels him to keep searching for fame through all this, DESPITE having no talent.

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2 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Well it's the narcissism that compels him to keep searching for fame through all this, DESPITE having no talent.

He does have some talent.  He's an above average hack.  He put together a great team, oversaw the hiring of a mostly exceptional cast, and even wrote some good scenes when he still had the books serving as 80% of the show.  I always said he was lazy though, too intellectually lazy to focus on the writing so instead focused on the easier stuff of sets/costumes/locations.  

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Oh boy. And even w/ all the obsessing over “getting it right” in the Jon kills Dany scene, they didn’t. Not by a long shot! The scene is bad in every possible aspect. What a joke.

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Benioff/Weiss were poor showrunners, they had HBO's vast resources at their disposal to pay talent to handle everything from casting to the details of production. Many good shows had far less money.

We heard many reports of them getting in the way of the pros. They either were too hands on, or didn't give enough direction. The scripts were poorly written all along, the pros just maxed them out.

They were utterly unexceptional. All those inappropriate shoutouts to them in the scripts, that was because they needed them all, desperately. They themselves said they didn't know what they were doing.

Edited by Le Cygne

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On 2/2/2020 at 6:12 PM, 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.

Indeed. In the books, Sansa talks about how Arya is always chatting up strangers. She's creates her own pack, she brings people together. How much better a story it would have been if she had befriended Dany.

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12 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

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....

 

Season 8 was a disaster for some reason... Hell, I think it will end up going down in history as tv's biggest disaster. 

 

We are at a point when grrm is giving interviews saying his books will have a different ending (how much pressure must people have put on him for him to publicaly say that?). Several prequels were canceled. The prequel that is still going on will air 3 years after got ended! Three fucking years! It certainly isn t hoping to use GOT's momentum... People think hbo is a joke with no control over its projects. D&D were fired from star wars and after all this time we have no idea what their next project is... There was a petition with 2 million signatures to rewrite the season... 

 

And I am even starting to think grrm is rewriting portions of twow because his window to announce the book before the new zeeland's thing is almost over... 

Edited by divica

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2 hours ago, divica said:

Season 8 was a disaster for some reason... Hell, I think it will end up going down in history as tv's biggest disaster. 

 

We are at a point when grrm is giving interviews saying his books will have a different ending (how much pressure must people have put on him for him to publicaly say that?). Several prequels were canceled. The prequel that is still going on will air 3 years after got ended! Three fucking years! It certainly isn t hoping to use GOT's momentum... People think hbo is a joke with no control over its projects. D&D were fired from star wars and after all this time we have no idea what their next project is... There was a petition with 2 million signatures to rewrite the season... 

 

And I am even starting to think grrm is rewriting portions of twow because his window to announce the book before the new zeeland's thing is almost over... 

It must be very hard for some of the actors, to find the series go from being praised to reviled so quickly.

Worse still if your character is meant to finish the series as a hero protagonist, but is disliked by the fandom.

I just don't understand how D & D could think that making Sandra treacherous, or Arya xenophobic, or having the Northerners act as if Missandei was diseased, would be well-received.

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8 hours ago, SeanF said:

It must be very hard for some of the actors, to find the series go from being praised to reviled so quickly.

Worse still if your character is meant to finish the series as a hero protagonist, but is disliked by the fandom.

I just don't understand how D & D could think that making Sandra treacherous, or Arya xenophobic, or having the Northerners act as if Missandei was diseased, would be well-received.

Yeah, but she was treacherous and stupid from season 5 onward, and they were rewarded with fawning praise about female empowerment.

I'd guess that turning the Northerns into xenophobes was supposed to show us how Dany was seen as a foreign interloper, e.g. she would not get the love she had in Essos, but it fell flat and didn't work.

I also agree w/whomever said that Arya by all rights would have gravitated to Dany, another powerful woman who kills her enemies.  Of course if they had ever done any planning they might have seeded all the worthless and pointless FM Braavos stuff with information on Dany so that Arya might have had some legit reasons to question Dany's fitness to lead Westeros.

**It looks like the window for getting Winds out is closing fast.

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2 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

Yeah, but she was treacherous and stupid from season 5 onward, and they were rewarded with fawning praise about female empowerment.

I'd guess that turning the Northerns into xenophobes was supposed to show us how Dany was seen as a foreign interloper, e.g. she would not get the love she had in Essos, but it fell flat and didn't work.

I also agree w/whomever said that Arya by all rights would have gravitated to Dany, another powerful woman who kills her enemies.  Of course if they had ever done any planning they might have seeded all the worthless and pointless FM Braavos stuff with information on Dany so that Arya might have had some legit reasons to question Dany's fitness to lead Westeros.

**It looks like the window for getting Winds out is closing fast.

I laughed out loud when D & D said their original plan was to have Ser Jorah riding off into the wilderness with Jon, but they thought it would not be credible.

Since when was lack of credibility ever an issue for them?

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1 minute ago, SeanF said:

I laughed out loud when D & D said their original plan was to have Ser Jorah riding off into the wilderness with Jon, but they thought it would not be credible.

Since when was lack of credibility ever an issue for them?

Right?  Jorah living and going back to the North is 'not credible' but 5 guys walking North in Winter to trap a wight for the country's most well known back stabber, that was credible.  You. Can't. Make. It. Up. 

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Well, of course they imagined a nice buddy road trip ending for Dany's murderer with the man who had loved her for years! Fits. #JonrahBros4eva

PS: Funny little tidbit from the US politics thread, a tweet about the Iowa DNC desaster:

I’m gonna be really pissed if after all of this Bran is the nominee.

— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) February 4, 2020
 
Maybe GoT will become a metaphor for all kinds of F-ups.
Edited by Mindwalker

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21 minutes ago, Mindwalker said:

Well, of course they imagined a nice buddy road trip ending for Dany's murderer with the man who had loved her for years! Fits. #JonrahBros4eva

PS: Funny little tidbit from the US politics thread, a tweet about the Iowa DNC desaster:

I’m gonna be really pissed if after all of this Bran is the nominee.

— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) February 4, 2020
 
Maybe GoT will become a metaphor for all kinds of F-ups.

"Hello, Jon.  I trust the Queen is well."

"Not really.  I stabbed her through the heart."

"You did?  Oh well, these things happen.  Let's hunt some squirrels."

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3 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

Right?  Jorah living and going back to the North is 'not credible' but 5 guys walking North in Winter to trap a wight for the country's most well known back stabber, that was credible.  You. Can't. Make. It. Up. 

It was seven guys: Jon, Jorah, Tormund, The Hound, Beric, Thoros and Gendry.

There were some things that were credible about the Wight Hunt, like the Night King and the White Walkers just waiting. They've waited 8,000+ years, a few days is a piece of cake for them; maybe sitting and watching people freeze is entertainment.

I think there were also a number of missed opportunities that were "foreshadowed" in earlier seasons even as D&D took the reins. For example:

In Season 5, Sansa's in the crypt and Littlefinger comes down to talk to her. Sansa says that Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna, and Littlefinger says something or makes a movement as if to challenge how sure she is on that. Then in the Season 7 finale, Bran and Sam find that Rhaegar and Lyanna did love each other, eloped, and married. So this would have been a perfect opportunity to reveal that Littlefinger, smarting from nearly being gutted by Brandon Stark, was aware that Rhaegar and Lyanna were eloping and deliberately screwed up any signs of the match being consensual because he knew what Brandon would do, indirectly causing Robert's Rebellion. Would have been better than Sansa not knowing where to find a good source on Littlefinger (Bran) before she nearly had Arya executed.

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I remember I said at the time, Arya would have been the first to ask Dany for a dragon ride.

Dany IS one of them. She's Jon's closest relative. And that never made the slightest difference to them at all. But it should have, and it would have been a great story.

Why not have them all get the @#$% along? There were plenty of outside antagonists, hell, an entire army or two or three of them. Real enemies. Could they at least be polite hosts?

There's this whole side of him he must have felt all his life, but now he understands it! It's just so filled with drama. And they ignored it. And threw it all away on nastiness, like always.

The characters should have driven the ending, and instead all they cared about was their stupid WOW moments. They are just so bad at this, and their rotten outlook rained all over everything.

Edited by Le Cygne

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