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Xray the Enforcer

[BOOK SPOILERS] EP101 Discussion, Mark II

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Carry on the discussion of EP101. Please remember to be polite and to keep it classy. :)

ETA by Kat: If you have comments specifically on Dany/Drogo, there's a topic for it here. Spoilers for book & TV.

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Did anyone else not like how HD and overfocused the settings were? I thought that it made the scenes look somewhat staged.

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This is my first post here and if I come off as a flamer I apologize. I have read all of the books several times and I do truly enjoy the universe GRRM created and I eagerly await the conclusion of the series.

That said, I am a little surprised at the high praise of the show. I watched it yesterday since we got a free weekend of HBO as a DirecTV subscriber. Honestly I have very little desire to watch the rest of the season. I checked how much time was left on the DVR recording probably five times because it was borderline boring for me. Granted I knew the story but like others have said I would be completely confused by it if I had never read the books. Also, it just lacked the polish of a show like Rome, I felt like they wasted some time that would have been better used on character development, etc. I couldn't honestly tell Jon, Robb, and Theon apart. It just didn't suck me in, and as somebody who is thirsty for any Ice and Fire stuff I thought I would drink this right up but I just couldn't get into it. They did a lot of things very well. I just don't see how they are going to cram book one into 10 episodes and have it be anyting close to satisfying for me. One good thing about being an individual actor on this show, you really don't have a lot of lines to remember.

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My wife has not read the books and was watching the show after I already did. I was reading at the time, she was sleeping before. Anyhow it seemed like I would have to explain a lot for her to know what was going on in the show. But maybe I just like to over explain things and someone who has not read the book would be fine without any explanations.

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Did anyone else not like how HD and overfocused the settings were? I thought that it made the scenes look somewhat staged.

I'm not very familiar with camera techniques or overlay or anything, but I did think a few of the scenes looked a bit... sound-stagey.

In particular the forest scene where they found the direwolf pups.

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They did a lot of things very well. I just don't see how they are going to cram book one into 10 episodes and have it be anyting close to satisfying for me.

The show isn't going to appeal to everyone, or even to every fan. *shrugs*

No doubt you'll find something else worthwhile to occupy your free time! :)

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Did anyone else not like how HD and overfocused the settings were? I thought that it made the scenes look somewhat staged.

The only place where it really bothered me was in the Godswood. But my wife did say she thought everything looked somehow too modern--perhaps she was picking up on this.

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I'm not very familiar with camera techniques or overlay or anything, but I did think a few of the scenes looked a bit... sound-stagey.

In particular the forest scene where they found the direwolf pups.

Weren't there leaked photos a long time ago showing the dead direwolf'c corpse taken in an actual park? I think this scene was actually shot outdoors, regardless of whether or not it looked like a stage.

On set thing I was confused about was Jon Arryn's funeral- was that room the throne room, or the Sept of Baelor? IIRC from the 'Making of' those columns with the vines around them were in the throne room, but I can't quite recall.

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On set thing I was confused about was Jon Arryn's funeral- was that room the throne room, or the Sept of Baelor? IIRC from the 'Making of' those columns with the vines around them were in the throne room, but I can't quite recall.

It was the throne room. You can just see the Iron Throne over Jon Arryn's body. I was a little surprised it wasn't in a sept but I think it was done thematic purposes.

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Regarding the show being accessible to non-readers of the series, I watched it with two friends, one who has read the books and one who hasn't. The one who hasn't was interested, naturally he didn't think it was the greatest program on earth like we did but he did say he would be interested in watching it weekly. I think this is pretty reasonable. When ever you start watching a new show (particularly a costume genre), you don't go into it with a complete idea of what's going on or even what the show is completely about or who all the characters are you. After a few episodes you start to catch on and then if you get into it everything starts falling into place. For example, I've started watching The Borgias and I'm still not clear on all the characters' names besides the main few and I have no in-depth background about the papacy or the Italian Renaissance but I'm still planning on watching it every week and expect to become more familiar with the characters/what's going on. I think this is a pretty reasonable expectation for people who have just been introduced to GOT. You can't expect everyone to get hooked just by a single episode. The only show that I think has ever come close to doing that is the pilot of Lost.

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On set thing I was confused about was Jon Arryn's funeral- was that room the throne room, or the Sept of Baelor? IIRC from the 'Making of' those columns with the vines around them were in the throne room, but I can't quite recall.

The first long shot with the silent sisters milling about you can see the Iron Throne in re background, and the stained glass window above it. :)

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That said, I am a little surprised at the high praise of the show. I watched it yesterday since we got a free weekend of HBO as a DirecTV subscriber. Honestly I have very little desire to watch the rest of the season.

You can join me at my barricade: I'm not madly in love with it either.

That said, I found it impossible to seperate from the books. I'm just too immersed in them, and have been talking about them too much for too long. I have absoloutely no idea what the experience is for someone who dosen't consider every nuance in everything from the portrayal of Cat or Drogo or Robert to the exact average northern summer temperature part of a complicated ongoing debate in which they hold considerable emotional stake :P. So I don't feel like its giving me anything new, as such, and 'seeing the characters brought to life' is just not a need I have, apparently. They're alive enough on the page for me. :dunno:

I do think the production by and large looks wonderful though and that much of the acting is compelling, especially some characters that are a bit marginal at this point in the books, like Viserys or Arya. And I enjoyed the shirtless bathhouse scene probably more than was strictly necessitated by the demands of characterization. But other things felt off or a bit hokey. I look at it mostly as a vastly expensive piece of fanart, at the end of the day.

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The first long shot with the silent sisters milling about you can see the Iron Throne in re background, and the stained glass window above it. :)

That's what I thought. They also probably didn't want to build a huge set for a Sept when, IIRC, you only see the outside in this book?

Otherwise I was going to comment that Jaime and Cersei really have a thing for plotting and fucking in the high sept.

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Overall I was very satisfied with the episode. It met my expectations in almost every regard and exceeded them in others. I'll try not to rehash everything said in this thread and the one prior.

What I liked:

- The Stark kids. Exceptionally strong casting. Very impressive that the actors who play Bran, Arya and Jon are already scene stealers. They'll need those acting chops given what's in store for their characters.

- Tyrion & Jaime's bantering in the whorehouse. Sure the scene was over the top, but it perfectly established the casual dynamic between the brothers.

- Most of the effects, particularly the wide shots of King's Landing (magnificent) and the Wall.

- The Godswood scene with Ned & Cat. Quiet, effective and beautifully done.

- Viserys. Contrary to what some have said about him not seeming evil enough, I thought he came across just fine in that regard. I was glad they left in the "all 40,000 of them and their horses" line - that fairly cements who he is and what he's about, nipple twisting or no.

What I didn't like:

- The Direwolf discovery scene. For whatever reason it seemed out of sorts with the rest of the episode. Amateurish lighting and some of the dialogue was hard to make out on the first pass. Also I found it odd that the Stag and Direwolf had been dead long enough for maggots to be seen crawling from their corpses, inferring they'd been lying there for days. Did the party take an alternate route back to Winterfell after the beheading?

- Dany & Drogo's wedding, for reasons already discussed in this thread. That said, I did enjoy Ser Jorah's brief appearance and look forward to more of his interactions with Dany.

- Illyrio. I generally like the actor who plays him (he was great in V for Vendetta) but he's nothing like I imagined Illyrio, and he seemed kind of bored when delivering his lines. Also, I expected Illyrio to have an exotic accent, rather than sounding exactly like everyone else.

What I was indifferent on:

- the Prologue. Just, meh. It could have been a lot better, but I didn't hate it.

- Dany & Drogo on the beach. Didn't play out like I'd have preferred, but I suppose the necessary message was conveyed.

What blew me away:

- Mark Addy. Holy shit...the man IS Robert. Fantastic performance and I can't wait to see more.

- The "things I do for love" scene. One of the most memorable scenes in modern literature (yeah I said it) pitch perfect to how I had envisioned it. Yeah they were fucking doggie style, so what - that made it even more shocking to the audience. Powerful and effective.

- The music. Obviously a matter of opinion (i.e., some people didn't like it at all). The main theme is rousing and atmospheric without being over the top. The bit at the end as Bran made his climb was very well done. But what really got me was the bombastic piece that accompanied Robert's entourage into Winterfell. Wow! That got the juices flowing.

- The opening titles. Put me firmly on the side that found the credits brilliantly executed and fascinating to watch. I was mesmerized.

Overall I give the episode a solid B+, with confidence that the best the series has to offer is still to come.

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Weren't there leaked photos a long time ago showing the dead direwolf'c corpse taken in an actual park? I think this scene was actually shot outdoors, regardless of whether or not it looked like a stage.

Clarification, I didn't mean that I think everything looked fake. Rather, the backgrounds were very very sharp and focused - I mentioned in the previous thread that when Dany, Viserys and Illyrio are walking in the garden, the bush to the left is as much in focus as the actors. It makes it hard for me to forget that I'm watching a production, instead of being completely immersed in the show.

I think a lot of the excitement about the show for me is the opportunity to watch and discuss it with other people. I've always enjoyed dissecting the details, and it's like a chance to do it all over again but with everything fresh and new. I was watching with the Denver BWB and we talked about all the details for another hour after it was over, while it played again in the background - that wouldn't have been the same at all if I hadn't read the books in advance, and I'm sure it would have been a lot less fun sitting at home by myself with no idea what was going on.

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Ok i watched the Show twice just aired in my country and here is my short review of goods and bads.

Hmmmm they said to always say good things first well ill go with bad for a change:(its all my opinion)

Negative:

- Prologue (excluding the first few scenes and Ser Waymar Royce)

- Daenerys going to bath slowly for the sake of cleavage(it was yummy though, but still id prefer more story)

- I thought Dothraki were dry humping? Possibly wrong but i swear i saw it like that

- Id prefer more tension before Jaime throws down Bran (was cool somehow still cos it felt so casual)

Positive:

- The Wall and Ser Waymar Royce

- Intro Music and map with it(heared it changes in episodes adding other locations, sounds great)

- Most of introductions were done subtle and good. (the Jaime Lanninster one felt a little forced though :P)

- Most of the actors did good job in nailing the book character behavior

From me Show gets 9/10

I liked it and the 1 hour went past so fast i forgot to drink and eat stuff i prepared(literally)

But i will be forever against this Prologue! It is allthough fitting the show, done bad(even if we exclude the ''gbeing faithful to novel'')

Hope the ratings surpass 2 millions. Rumors go that it was 1.6 on Sunday premiere, but will the final numbers include us who did not get to see Sunday evening premiere, since for example here in Europe it was 1 day later.

I hope they do and cannot wait for 2nd episode.

Cheers all

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One thing I'd like to remark on is how different it looks in HD vs not. The non-HD makes it look a bit soundstagey and...cheap. The HD version - you notice so much more. You notice the color of hair better, the sigils of the shields, the clothing and the attention to detail on the dirt, the maggots crawling on the corpse of the stag...it's just a huge deal.

i was surprised - I"m a HD fanboy but I was astounded at the level of detail they had.

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Also, anything that gets us all geeking out again is a huge success as far as I'm concerned.

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But other things felt off or a bit hokey. I look at it mostly as a vastly expensive piece of fanart, at the end of the day.

That's kinda how I look at it right now. I'll watch the rest on Netflix when it comes out basically just to see what they do with the settings. But as I said, I just feel like the show is just not that polished. I also had pretty low expecations so it wasn't like I was setting myself up to be disappointed. In fact it's pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. I have no problem separating the show and the book, I honestly haven't read Game in a while because I wanted to reread everything quickly before Dance came out. Turns out I've been waiting a while.

I also wanted to comment on the whole noble savage discussion that was happening in the previous thread, I think the guy bothered by it needs to understand it's an alternate universe. The dothroki being pastey and blond would make no sense considering the environment they live in. That is as far as it should go.

I'd love to hear his opinion on Han Solo and Chewy though. Would you consider Han to be more of aristocratic plantation owner? I'm leaning toward Han being more Huck Finn and Chewy being n-word Jim.

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One thing I really appreciated was this - the Michael Komarck art of Ned at the Godswood.

Him at the Godswood was the single most striking image for me last night, and one of the reasons was that they, as far as I can tell, completely used Komarck's work as the inspiration for it. It was great seeing him polish the sword in this peaceful area, and I felt like I got more from Sean Bean on who Ned is right then than almost any other time.

Plus it looked great.

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