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Corvinus85

[BOOK SPOILERS] Battles

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So in this episode we will get the first taste of large scale battles. I actually hope we get more than a taste.

In the book, the battle of the Green Fork was described in a fair amount of detail from Tyrion's POV, while the Whispering Wood was only partially described from Catelyn's POV. So I won't cry about if the Whispering Wood is not shown, but I would like it if the Green Fork was shown in all its glory (and gore). For example, there is one visual description where we are told of how the Lannister army deploys over the field.

So, I think this is another big test for HBO. Will we see a grand battle, or will it all be just around Tyrion and his wildlings?

I hope HBO did not fail this test, like Starz did. Camelot also had its battle this week (the battle of Bardon Pass), but in my book a dozen men against four times their number is not a battle, merely a skirmish.

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Taking into consideration that the two battles in book 1 are the least epic in the series, I would be really worried if they didnt do them some justice. If they fail at these two how on earth would they be able to do the Backwater battle in book 2 and the Night Watch vs. Wildlings battle in book3?

While the battle at the crossroads is described in much more detail in the book, I find the participants of the battle in the Whispering Woods much more interesting, and its after all the most important of the two. I would prefer that they focused on that one in the episode, since Jaime has been the main "villain" of s1, and seeing The Young Wolfs army vs. the Kingslayers army feels more satisfying after all that build up.

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Im expecting some CG of the armies gathering and then Tyrion POV while he is near his man and some blured armies in the back. Once he charges the focus will be on him and some retainers near him (about 40 or 50 would be more than enough to portray size). The hardest part would be the clash of the armies Gregor style, when his knights charge the spear wall, but they may go without it.

I at least hope Tyrion fights that knight and make him wield.

The Whispering Woods could be done easily, in the night, with dense woods and a valey with about 40 or 50 knights riding with Jaime in front. Then lots of horns and a charge. I hope they show us the part where Jaime charges toward Robb and gets knocked.

Now, they could use CG for the armies, I dont think it is that expensive right now. I play a game called Shogun 2: Total War and not only the armies look really good but Im pretty sure somehow that same technology could be used for TV.

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I at least hope Tyrion fights that knight and make him wield.

Will they show him disembowelling the horse by headbutting it with his spiky helmet?

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I will be happy even if they only show short POV esque bursts of each battle as long as

a) Jaime kills a lot of people leading his retinue to inches away from killing Robb

B) Robb killing a few people would add to his badass ratings to replace Ned next season, but if he actually gets to fight Jaime, it will be another nail in the entire point of Jaime losing his sword hand, unless they choose to advance the plot a whole season and skip the Red Wedding

c) they do at least show the 2 seperate battles

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Meh, I don't really care. I'd rather them not show anything then show the piss-poor representation of the battles they have to show due to the budget. You really don't want to be dumping millions on big budget fights, because in a show with modest ratings such as this, the budget is a big killer in terms of getting the series renewed every year.

I'd much rather have the series without the 1-2 big fights/year and the budget remain lower, rather than jack up the costs which would put the series at a much higher risk of cancellation if the viewership is disappointing. Even one decently sized battle scene costs a LOT of money. Obviously it'd be great if the series had a $200 million budget and would never be canceled, but that's really not going to happen.

Look at what happened to Rome - I loved that show so much and yet they had to condense what was going to be four seasons into one just because HBO couldn't afford the extravagant budget (and Rome didn't even show any big battles - even so the production costs were tens of millions - with big battles it would have been ridiculous). Thankfully the budget for GOT is less than Rome, so it might be able to get away with lower ratings.

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i'm not holding my breathe for anything special. that's not to say it won't be good, but for a tv show i'm not expecting much in terms of large scale scenes.

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Was it Showtime that did a fairly large sized Medievil battle with "The PIllars of the Earth"? Pretty good if I remember.

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I'm personally much more of a political junkie than a war boffin. I think the battle will be ample for TV, but nothing too saucy. As with Rome mentioned above, the battle scenes in that were a bit average, but with lessons learnt from that production, I'm fairly certain GoT was treated with better project management and reservation than many previous titles. Should be worth the wait nonetheless. Would like to see Tyrion charge the horse with the spiky helm too!

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"Meh, I don't really care. I'd rather them not show anything then show the piss-poor representation of the battles they have to show due to the budget. You really don't want to be dumping millions on big budget fights, because in a show with modest ratings such as this, the budget is a big killer in terms of getting the series renewed every year"

It felt really cheap in Rome when they after 7 ep. of build up of the conflict between Caesar and Pompey they just skipped over the battle, they failed to deliver on the climax of that part of the series. Before the battle everyone in Caesars camp was sure they had no chance in hell for survival, and then 2 seconds later after skipping the fight he had "magically" won anyway. To me the victory felt unearned, because they didn’t show the battle, it felt like Caesar just won because the "script demanded it".

After 8 episodes of build up to the fights between the Lanisters and Starks, we need to see some fighting between the Lannisters and Starks, because that’s where the show has been leading us, or else it will ring false. At least to me.

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I haven't been very impressed with the fights so far. Any action at all was very welcome to me after the onslaught of dialogue in Eps 1-4, but on an absolute scale, it all felt pretty expedited and half-assed. The Ned-Jaime fight was a welcome departure from the book (though Jory getting knife through the eye felt pretty cheesy), and Syrio's last stand was awesome. But the Cat & Co v. Wildlings fight was too short, the Jon v. Wight scene was way too short, and Bronn's trial-by-combat fight did not sufficiently display his bad-assness (he should've fought more gracefully - like a cat, perhaps more like Syrio).

Since Tyrion's proficiency with an axe was omitted in the Wildling fight, it'd be a nice addition in Ep 9. The trailer clip has a nice shot of him in armor, so I think we're due some Tyrion ass-kicking.

I expect the episode will flow a lot like the books - Green Fork from Tyrion POV, Whispering Woods via hearsay. I wouldn't expect much production value or substance for the Green Fork, however.

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I'm a strong believer if in the "if you can't do it properly, then don't do it" school. Shittily done big battles completely ruins any suspension of dispelief/atmosphere. This has been my biggest criticism of the series so far - Drogo's wedding, the khalasar generally, Rob's army - it really does ruin the epic feel. Just don't bloody show it!!

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As long as they will make some clever artistic shots, focus on some crossing sword and do not reveal that there are no more than 100 extras in the scene, I'll be fine with it.

Of course I'd like to get some feel of battle, especially men crying in pain and asking for mercy, because that what really stood out for me in Martin's delivery of battle scenes.

Shot of CGI armies might help to establish some epic feel, and the terrain of the riverlands (woods, hills, rivers) might ease out the work on them.

But as long as they don't handle it the way they handled the Hand's Tournament I'll be okay.

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I'm hoping HBO makes a major improvement over how the large-scale battles were handled in Rome, because that was a big problem with that series, IMHO. CGI is actually expensive but it clearly hasn't been used to expand the scale of any of the other mass events in this show (the tournament, the wedding, etc), so here's hoping that the show has been saving its CGI budget for the upcoming battles.

Honestly, though, I wouldn't be surprised if we see something along the lines of what we saw in Rome - prelude to battle with a bunch of extras lined up on a ridge or something (letting your imagination fill in the thousands of additional troops where you can't see them), a "battle" scene consisting of some close-up fights and sound effects to give you the sense of a large battle having just occurred, with quick cut to aftermath where what happened in the battle is explained in dialogue instead of it having been actually shown to you.

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I’m a big fan of Branaghs version of "Henry V". The battle at the end of the movie looks and feels very big and intense, but there’s no real wide shots, and mostly 15-20 men on screen at any time (mostly). I’m pretty certain this method of filming it could be used effectively on both battles in book 1(maybe a little more close up, and shorter), and it would look wonderful.

Part 1 of the battle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R98H2E9JWuY

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Have you seen the Sharpe series? (Sharpe's Eagle, Sharpe's Rifles, etc.) It's about a British Rifleman during the Napoleonic Wars starring Sean Bean. :)

Well, in that series, battles that should've involved hundreds of infantry columns were reduced to thirty men on screen. In almost every episode. But it didn't take away the sense of danger, intensity and adventure of battle.

Asharak's link is a good example. A smart film maker (or TV producers in GoT's case) would make good use of close up shots, editing, some sound effects and epic music.

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Sharp is one of my favorite TV series of all time, far and away Sean Beans best role. Though its mostly small scale, the intensity is definitely always strong. There are some bigger battles though, the battle of Badajoz(Sharpe’s Company) is pretty darn epic.

My personal favorite engagement (mostly because of the stuff from 4:30 and onwards) in the series, from Sharpe’s Eagle:

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I’m a big fan of Branaghs version of "Henry V". The battle at the end of the movie looks and feels very big and intense, but there’s no real wide shots, and mostly 15-20 men on screen at any time (mostly). I’m pretty certain this method of filming it could be used effectively on both battles in book 1(maybe a little more close up, and shorter), and it would look wonderful.

Part 1 of the battle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R98H2E9JWuY

Excellent example of what D&D should be going for, if they don't have a Peter Jackson-ian budget. Branagh's "Henry V" was awesome.

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Now, they could use CG for the armies, I dont think it is that expensive right now. I play a game called Shogun 2: Total War and not only the armies look really good but Im pretty sure somehow that same technology could be used for TV.

They could use something like Massive

http://www.massivesoftware.com/

which was originally made for Lotr. The program itself is not that expensive ($17,999), but you still have to train a few people to use it as well as build up a large library of different soldier models and animations for them. You also have to integrate the simulated battle with the live action and the landscape. This is very time consuming stuff and a big investment. Also if they had made that investment, they would probably have used it for the Dothraki horde on the march and the tourney crowd.

I imagine restricting camera angles to not show too many soldiers at a time, as well as using some crowd duplication techniques would be more doable on their budget. This is also what HBO has been doing before I think.

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