Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Battle of the Blackwater

Sunday night's episode of HBO's A Game of Thrones was the most exciting one to date primarily because it was ALL BATTLE. I think that they probably blew most of their second season budget on this one. I was worried that a television series wouldn't do it justice, and all my fears were laid to rest. Man, George R.R. Martin has got to be proud of how HBO is treating his adaptation.

Things I liked:
It looked even more awesome live and on the screen. Watch the YouTube below.
1) The wildfire explosion was absolutely spectacular. I recorded it on my DVR and watched it a few times over. They got the coloring of the flames perfect...an eerie demonic green. And for those of you that don't follow the series or read the books, wildfire burns everything...stone, flesh, you name it.  And water does not put it out.  If you get wildfire on you, you scream and howl until you are ashes.  It helped that the battle took place at night, so that they didn't have to throw too many other special effects into the mix.

2) They kept the focus of the battle small and on individual characters. You saw Clegaine (a.k.a. the Hound) really chopping and cutting and lopping all kinds of things off in bloody gore. And then you got a real feel for his character as he fled because the fire and all that burning is a terrifying thing.

3) They kept the whole "ghost of Renly" out of it for the most part. I thought I saw something of a man on a steed with Renly's stag helmet, but in the book he was all glowing and stuff and I thought that would be unnecessary.

4) They didn't quite deform Tyrion as badly in the book. In the show, it looks like he'll have a nice scar on his face but in the book, he lost his nose. At least with a scar, they won't have to resort to some gross makeup for Tyrion.
5) I liked hearing them cheer for Tyrion. They said "Halfman! Halfman!" It was kind of cool. He's an unconventional hero and the only Lannister I really like.

Things I would have liked to have seen (can't really complain here):

1) I miss the whole chain thing and Tyrion fighting on the ships that are stuck together blockading the harbor. I would have liked to have seen that.

So did any of you watch it? Did it quicken your pulse? Did you find it as exciting as I did? Let me know in the comments. Have a great Tuesday.

36 comments:

  1. I thought it was pretty good, especially after last weeks much quieter episode (where they were obviusly saving some money).

    Wonder if Tyrion's dad will say something nice to him about his battle plan.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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  2. I have a buddy that I walk to work with every morning and both of us are huge fans of the show. Both of us agreed that this was the most disappointing episode for each of us. Yes, the wildfire explosion was nice. But the whole 'battle' was so...tiny. I expected them to focus narrowly for budget reasons, but I thought they would at least show a scene or two from the walls giving us a much larger perspective, showing the vast land and sea battles, even if just by lots of little flickering torch lights all over the place, but instead the whole battle came off as just a skirmish by one gate. Tiny, tiny, tiny.

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  3. Oh, and what was with the 'throw the ladder up and get right up onto the wall' bit? Defenders just don't bother to defend? It takes a whole lot of ladders and bloody persistence to get someone up onto the wall generally, and Stannis breezed right up.

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  4. For me this was both the best and the worst episode of the season. I loved some of the wonderful focus on Tyrion, and while I understand the battle could not be to scale for budgetary reasons, I really think keeping the ships out in the bay rather than chaining them in the river was a poor decision.

    I know Martin wrote the episode, so I suppose they talked him into it for production design reasons, but that scene with Meryn Trant attacking Tyrion, and Pod saving him, all on the precarious decks of the burning ships ... I just think they missed out.

    Renly's host also looked like it was only about a hundred guys, but whatever, I can deal with that.

    I do wonder why the hell they introduced Ser Dontos this season, never to have him appear again. I'm wondering if he'll play the role he's supposed to play in future seasons, or if they'll go the route of Ros or that Lady from Volantis, and invent some pointless character.

    Valar Morghulis.

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  5. totally wicked!!!

    i love this show! read the first one, skipped the second & just enjoyed the show. now that its over, i have to read the third!

    excellent overview! i agree! tyrion is my fave character of the cast, along with the hound, arya, and the sellsword (i always forget his name) i like the spider too, and danaerys's guy (never remember his name either...) such a bad memory i have!

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  6. I'm not into battle scenes really. I'm glad that this episode met your expectations. I enjoy watching any scene with Tyrion. I also like some of the "quieter" scenes like with Sansa with Cersei and with Sandor.

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  7. So they have napalm in "Game of Thrones?" They must have some equivalent of Dow Chemical around to make that shit.

    Is it really that expensive anymore to have computer animated some long shots showing a horde of guys attacking or whatever? Sounds kind of chintzy otherwise.

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  8. According to this:

    http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season2/#!/map/special/battleground-westeros/5/

    There was no Ghost of Renly. It was just Ser Loras.

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  9. I'm doing this whole Game of Thrones thing totally out of order. I have just finished watching the first season on DVD, then plan to read the books, then continue with the series when the videos come out, as we don't have HBO, but I agree with you about Tyrion, thus far, and I've heard the second book/season gets a lot more into the exciting fantasy side of it. I DID adore the end of the first though--Khalisi with her dragons.

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  10. My family loves this series and the books. Looks pretty exciting.

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  11. PT: I don't think the computer animation is all that hard/expensive to do.

    I didn't watch it (eh, "Game of Thrones,", double-eh) but it sounds like it'll please fans. I should actually support George RR more, not because I necessarily like his stories but because he writes LONG stuff and TV is now showing LONG stories, and I support THAT. I'm tired of hearing people say things are too long to read or watch. I'm going to start telling people "TSDR"

    {that's "Too Short/Didn't Read", for you uninitiated.}

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  12. You're such a writer! I love it. Even the way you describe things above make it so clear who you are. :D Hope your Tuesday is fabulous, Michael!

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  13. And yes, I deliberately went with the {fancy brackets}. Let's elevate the heck outta this discourse!

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  14. I have way too many shows already, I don't know if I can afford to get hooked on another one :) Even thought it does look fabulous. My latest thing right now is Warehouse 13. Such a good show :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  15. I'm still waiting for season 1 to be available on netflix.

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  16. I watched season 1 but can't get access to season 2, so I'm waiting. But I've read Book 2, so I'm not worried about spoilers.

    I'm totally rooting for Tyrion. He's a broken character like pretty much everybody else, but he's just got so much weird niceness.

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  17. I loved the green-flame-splosion...it was pretty awesome. I also like how the series keeps to the main plot points of the books, but modifies slight details to adapt to the screen. Overall, I thought it was one of the best GOT episodes so far!

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  18. Needless to say, I don't have a clue about all this stuff you're watching. I should shift my dial occasionally.

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  19. I swear, one of these days I'm gonna rent the earlier episodes of Game of Thrones and get caught up on this series. Meanwhile, it's good to know there's such an ambitious quality series out there.

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  20. I thought it was pretty good. The wildfire explosion was awesome.

    But it would have been cool to have the ships all link up in the river, like you said.

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  21. I'm a HUGE Game of Thrones fan. Yes, I loved everything you did about the show. I'm glad they went with a cut instead of lopping his nose off. :)

    I'm reading Slipstream and loving it. I hope to get some more reading time in this week. Great story, love the premise. :)

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  22. I had to skim the post in case of spoilers sorry, I'm way behind on season 2. But I saw the pic of the Wildfire and it looks amazing!

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  23. Wish all the flames had been green. There's my useless critique. :P

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  24. One of these days, I am going to watch A Game of Thrones. It looks so cool. *wonders if the library has season 1*

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  25. sounds super exciting, Mikey, can't wait to download the show and watch it this summer!

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  26. That's a scary-looking fire. I think I said before that I haven't seen any of the TV series adaptation--but it seems they're doing a good job with it.

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  27. I didn't want to read too much about it, but I'm glad it's awesome. I just got season 1 dvds and haven't read the 2nd book yet.

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  28. I haven't given Game of Thrones a watch yet but after seeing that awesome action I might have to give it a try.

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  29. Haven't seen it but it looks exciting though.

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  30. Don't watch it but it looks like a cool scene.

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  31. Haven't seen it, but after your rave, will have to look out for it... and buy really, really good gloves...

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  32. Am I just weird? One of my favorite things in the world is a well done battle scene. Love, love it; bring on the gore and the screams, and destruction. But not in slo mo; I hated that about 300.

    This was a great scene. I haven't watched the seasons; when I finally got HBO it was already into second season, and since I haven't read any of the books yet, I'm totally lost.

    I have the first three novels, but haven't even been able to crack open the covers. I need a long month or so to just read them. I know I'll love them if I can ever find time to read.

    ......dhole

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  34. The green and yellow fire is very cool.

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  35. It was such a good ol' fashioned castle siege moment! I didn't know about Tyrion's nose until my husband pointed out that he was relieved it hadn't happened as it had in the book. PHEW!

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  36. We started season two but I didn't get it. Too much going on and too many characters. But I guess we'll start at the beginning and give it a go. Then I'll be able to tell you what I think of this year's conclusion.

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