Patterico's Pontifications

5/22/2019

GAME OF THRONES

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 1:00 am



[Headline from DRJ]

This GOT post is about an inflammatory headline:

Emilia Clarke reveals she studied videos of Hitler for her eerie victory speech to her massed followers in the Game of Thrones series finale.

An excuse to see if GOT fans agree with this:

When asked what the legacy of Game of Thrones will be, now that the show has come to a close, Clarke said it was an exploration of power.

‘I think it is what it always has been, which is a discussion of power and what it does to a single human being, a group of human beings, and the people they are meant to be serving,’ Clarke said.

And an Open Thread for anyone who wants to talk about Game of Thrones.

— DRJ

54 Responses to “GAME OF THRONES”

  1. Is this some kind of TV show?

    Dave (1bb933)

  2. Watched one episode, decided it wasn’t for me.

    JRH (52aed3)

  3. Why is it inflammatory? Hitler was accounted a great orator, and he used that to lead his country to great evil. If you want to play a megalomaniac leader giving a speech, seems like a good model.

    Bored Lawyer (423ce8)

  4. Agreed. I was imagining how people would react if she said she’d studied Barack Obama. (Though for content I was reminded more of Robespierre or Lenin, for whom the war was likewise never over.)

    Most of the flaws in the final two seasons I blame purely on the production exigencies of having to wrap up too much story in not enough time.

    Stephen J. (45c805)

  5. I understand studying Hitler’s speeches and don’t object to it, but the mere mention of Hitler tends to evoke an emotional response. Inflammatory is the word that came to mind for me. Is there a better word?

    Sorry, nk, but I was curious how popular GOT is with folks here. Seems like not much.

    DRJ (15874d)

  6. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  7. 3. Bored Lawyer (423ce8) — 5/22/2019 @ 4:10 am

    If you want to play a megalomaniac leader giving a speech, seems like a good model.

    She could have used Fidel Castro instead. He also gave long speeches.

    I heard on the radio that if you hadn’t watched the whole series, it woukdn’t be worth your while to watch the finale, because you wouldn’t understand it.

    I also read they ran out of novels and had to write plotlines themselves,. and that the fans hated Season 6.

    All I know about Game of Thrones is that some people like to compare parts of U.S. politics to that/

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)

  8. Is this some kind of TV show?

    It’s the Golden Age of TV and you’re watching I Love Lucy reruns.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  9. True, Sammy, my sister who is a big GOT fan to the point of following cast members to Comic-Cons, when trying to entice a co-worker to watch it, used The West Wing as a comparison. It is in some ways reminiscent of how epic films of the mid to late 1950s/early 60s were used as vehicles to advocate for civil rights (using “slaves” and gladiators etc).

    As far as speakers go, Farrakhan is apparently hypnotic to black people of my generation – there’s always this sway he holds over many, to the point the grandparents and parents forebid his speeches in the house much like they forebid a lot of raunchy hip-hop, which leads to having the appeal of forebidden fruit not unlike a Redd Foxx or Richard Pryor album.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  10. More to the point, she is the ultimate progressive. AOC probably wishes she could have one of those dragons.

    Daenerys: “We can’t hide behind small mercies. The world we need won’t be built by men loyal to the world we have.”
    Jon Snow: “The world we need is a world of mercy. It has to be.”
    Daenerys: “And it will be. It’s not easy to see something that’s never been before: a good world.”
    Jon Snow: “How do you know? How do you know it will be good?”
    Daenerys: “Because I know what is good — and so do you.”
    Jon Snow: “I don’t.”
    Daenerys: “You do. You’ve always known.”
    Jon Snow: “What about everyone else?” All the other people who think they know what’s good?”
    Daenerys: “They don’t get to choose.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  11. That does sound like AOC. Good catch!

    DRJ (15874d)

  12. It sounds like every starry-eyed revolutionary who thinks THEY know the way to make heaven on earth, and they will squash anyone who gets in their way.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  13. People who hate fantasy shy away, but the fantasy is only a mask. What it is, is a feudal political drama. It may be an allegory, too, but of what I’m not sure.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  14. Saw parts of a few episodes when it first started and it seemed boring/silly. Never watched afterwards.

    That short spoof going around the interwebs now on the closing scene which featured Tears For Fears and a reference to Trog-Dor had more entertainment value.

    harkin (58d012)

  15. It’s the Golden Age of TV and you’re watching I Love Lucy reruns.

    Heh, I don’t watch TV at all.

    This prophetic little ditty from 25(!) years ago came up on the random shuffle of my car stereo’s USB stick yesterday:

    Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world
    You could say I lost my faith in the people on TV
    You could say I’d lost my belief in our politicians
    They all seemed like game-show hosts to me

    Dave (1bb933)

  16. I shied away because I love fantasy and feudal political dramas.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. That does sound like AOC. Good catch!

    The scene:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y08pKoXx_II

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  18. However, the military strategy of some of the set-piece battles is truly stupid. Almost unbelievably stupid. This is what happens when set directors do military strategy.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  19. I’ve read the 5 books that GRRM has written so far, and seen the entire series. The books are good but the show is better. Extremely well done. The final season costs $15 million/episode. HBO really pulled out all the stops on this one.

    I HATE bad SF and fantasy, not to mention butchered books, but this is not one of them.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  20. The series finale of Magyver in 92, did better, it was slightly better than the big band finale.

    Narciso (9e1b33)

  21. “This is what happens when set directors do military strategy.”

    The first and foremost consideration for anything in film/TV entertainment is 1) can we pull it off with our budget? and 2) how cool will it look on screen? Verisimilitude in military tactics — especially given the vast majority of the audience is probably not going to notice or care — is a much lower priority.

    There’s also the aspect that in a dramatic narrative, the audience invests in characters, not forces, and most people react with far more sympathy and engagement to the people fighting at “ground level,” where strategy and tactics usually aren’t visible but personal emotional reactions are, than to the people watching the battlefield from a distance and coldly issuing orders. This is why so many GoT battle sequences turned on extended “oners”, or single extended shots following specific characters through the chaos of a fight.

    (One very rare example where they actually did a more-or-less decent job of portraying the actual tactics, as far as I can tell, was the Battle of Gaugamela in Oliver Stone’s Alexander, which is a flawed but highly entertaining film.)

    Stephen J. (308ea7)

  22. The Big Bang finale was excellent.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  23. Verisimilitude in military tactics — especially given the vast majority of the audience is probably not going to notice or care — is a much lower priority.

    Yes, but they noticed when they sent the cavalry to charge, THEN started the trebuchets bombarding right in front of them.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  24. “Yes, but they noticed when they sent the cavalry to charge, THEN started the trebuchets bombarding right in front of them.”

    Yeah, even I noticed that. I always blamed that on the Dothraki slipping their ranks and ignoring orders; they always won their fights by basic ferocity, speed and unpredictability, and I think they just simply never grasped that they were up against utterly ridiculous numbers of a foe who couldn’t be surprised into breaking formation or frightened into fleeing.

    Stephen J. (308ea7)

  25. Dany was a tyrant in the books and the show. That they portrayed her as noble doesn’t change that fact. She deserved to die.

    Now, the interesting thing is that Bran doesn’t exist any more in the books as his body was a shell taken over by the sorcerer who is commonly known as the one-eyed raven. That is your new king.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  26. I’ve read the 5 books that GRRM has written so far, and seen the entire series. The books are good but the show is better. Extremely well done. The final season costs $15 million/episode. HBO really pulled out all the stops on this one.

    I HATE bad SF and fantasy, not to mention butchered books, but this is not one of them.

    Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/22/2019 @ 8:23 am

    What do you think of Abercrombie? Too nihilistic or is it just gritty?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  27. I don’t have a problem with Emily Clarke’s statement.

    She’s a tyrant. But, she wasn’t always a tyrant… you saw her evolve into a Tyrant throughout the series.

    What would you do, if you had power that no one (or the very few) has?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  28. Off topic, maybe:

    Michael Avenatti Stole Stormy Daniels’s Book Advance. An indictment for that was unsealed today. today.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/avenatti-charged-with-misappropriating-funds-owed-to-stormy-daniels-11558549980

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  29. 20. How much of this is in a foreign (and probably imaginary) language with subtitles? And is that a worked out language or just assorted sylabbles? By the way, ot doesn’t seem to have any phonemes not in English and all words seem to be about the same length.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  30. Never seen it. Never will.

    As w/’Lord of the Rings’ ‘Potter’ and similar-styled-mystical-magical-crystal-balled-cloak-and-dragon-ancient-fantasy-tales, mostly lucrative in general for a key demographic the industry targets but personally find such yarns uninteresting.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. @24. $1 million for each ‘actor’ per 23-filmed-minutes [though heard the finale was an hour.] Do the math per line, per thespian, per episode. ‘Theory’ vs., reality: kids, don’t become a geeky scientist in life; play one on TV and make much more $. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  32. @ 32 Couldn’t more strongly agree, DCSCA. Didn’t watch an episode, never will.

    I am the founder and president of the “Refuse to Watch ET” club. It’s a lodge of sorts. Everyone is welcome, anyone can join; there is no ceremony involved, just an oath. We swear to not watch bad movies or lame series.

    Star Wars was banned after the second movie; Jurassic Park after the first. The club does not waste its members time and money on worthless film or television.

    Harry Potter? Give me a break. Didn’t read the books, will not watch the movies.

    Tolkien, on the other hand, is entirely another matter. I read the Lord of the Rings five times over, as a child. No movie can do justice to it. My imagination is far more visionary than any director’s. To me and the members of my club, any film version is inadequate, and is in fact sacrilege.

    I thought the same about The Count of Monte Christo, but I did find the film rewarding, when I finally watched it. The original Three Musketeers movies were true to story as well, but the remakes were unwatchable.

    Gone With the Wind and the Godfather I and II remain the only successful film versions of novels.

    I might add Bosch to the list, but only because the author maintained total artistic control over the series. That makes for good television.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  33. What do you think of Abercrombie? Too nihilistic or is it just gritty?

    On my list but I read 20 SF books for every fantasy book.

    Just finished (!) an absolutely terrible book by Elizabeth Bear (Ancestral Night). It pretends to be a Culture-ish idea of the galactic civilization beset by the barbarians, but 1) the central character is a navel-gazer of the first order and 2) I was rooting for the barbarians. I finished it because there was still the chance the barbarians might win.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  34. Star Wars was banned after the second movie

    The Empire Strikes Back was the best of them all. Maybe you started with the prequels?

    The LotR movies were also excellent. If you aren’t watching them out of some principle, well, it’s your loss. The Hobbit movies(!) are a hard pass.

    The Expanse is also very well done.

    The following great books/series are in production: Ringworld/Known Space; Consider Phlebas/Culture; Foundation, all 3 at Amazon I think.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  35. I love all the “contempt before investigation.” Always good to know which minds are closed.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  36. What do you think of Abercrombie? Too nihilistic or is it just gritty?

    Neither for me. Just tedious and disgusting in a Millennial politically-correct way. I read three of the books with the berserker guy, and they hardened my opinion that Tor is basically a sewer.

    nk (dbc370)

  37. How much of this is in a foreign (and probably imaginary) language with subtitles?

    Very little. Less than 1% certainly. That particular scene involved Daenerys’s foreign troops, loyal to her alone. Pretty much a fuhrerprinzip thing.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  38. Tor is basically a sewer

    Not entirely, but it is the way to bet. They publish Charles Stross’s “Laundry” books, so it isn’t all bad.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  39. [though heard the finale was an hour.]

    It does warm my heart to know that people who I seldom agree with deprive themselves of fine entertainment for stupid reasons. I want them to know that it hurts me, so they should continue depriving themselves.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  40. What would you do, if you had power that no one (or the very few) has?

    “Drink and wench” was one guy’s answer.
    “Torture everyone I can” was a popular choice.
    “Crush everyone who doesn’t like me” was another.
    “Pile up more gold” was the Lannister’s.
    “Free everyone, even if I have to sacrifice them all to do it” was Daenerys’s.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  41. If you haven’t been watching Chernobyl, I highly recommend it.

    It’s not a traditional horror movie, but there’s a real sense of dread and doom.

    Davethulhu (83054f)

  42. There’s no accounting for taste, Kevin. But yours is bad. You want to waste your time and money watching poor film versions of good literature? Go ahead, that’s fine be me. It’s your time and your money. Doesn’t waste a minute of my time or cost me a dime. But don’t pontificate on the pretension of being an aesthetic. You’ll only embarrass yourself, as you have.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  43. “Tolkien, on the other hand, is entirely another matter. I read the Lord of the Rings five times over, as a child. No movie can do justice to it. My imagination is far more visionary than any director’s. To me and the members of my club, any film version is inadequate….

    I also read The Hobbit and the LOTR as a child (late 60s/early 70s) numerous times and imagined Middle Earth as a combination of NC Wyeth and Disney. If you look at the drawings done by Tolkien he had a similar feel.

    I’ve only seen the First of the LOTR films, which was not just inadequate but garbage and seemed to have no sense of the spirit of the novels. I didn’t bother with the rest.

    harkin (1aa46f)

  44. You haven’t seen “No Country For Old Men” or “True Grit”, I take it. Both instances where the book and movie compliment each other — with the movie doing what the book could not do and the book doing what the movie could not do.

    And, yeah, one more thing. Only the Robert De Niro part of Godfather II was based on the book by Mario Puzo, and was any good. The Al Pacino part was Francis Ford Coppola and patently second rate, just like the non-Bram Stoker scenes in his “Dracula”.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. ‘I love all the “contempt before investigation.” Always good to know which minds are closed.’
    Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/22/2019 @ 2:55 pm

    Have you seen the Will and Grace reboot?

    Munroe (38961c)

  46. Tolkien, on the other hand, is entirely another matter. I read the Lord of the Rings five times over, as a child. No movie can do justice to it.

    Agreeance. Like all great literature – no movie can do it better than the book. Strangely, mediocre novels make the best movies. GWTW, Caine Mutiny, Godfather, etc. I thought GoT was pretty good for the first couple seasons then lost its way in rape, violence, and torture. The books went downhill after the 3rd one. IRC, the last one had Tryian floating on a boat to nowhere, gazing at his navel and pondering whether his morning bathroom visit would be pleasurable. Quite a comedown from the Political intrigue of the first 2 novels.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  47. The other problem with the TV series, is we got more Zombies, Dragons, Witchcraft, and action scenes as the series went on. Which is why it became more popular. The breaking point to me, was John Snow coming back from the dead. So, death was now just a question mark. Maybe the character was dead, or maybe he was just “resting”. It was a big cheat. Also, the whole thing got more PC. Every Alpha Male had a target on his back, and we ended with a sharp-tongued tiny man, a boy in a wheelchair and 3 girls. Oh, and Jon Snow.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  48. Both instances where the book and movie compliment each other — with the movie doing what the book could not do and the book doing what the movie could not do.

    Just curious. What did “True Grit” do what the novel couldn’t do? Just for the record I liked both novel and Film(s).

    rcocean (1a839e)

  49. @36. The ‘best of them all’ remains the ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘Buck Rogers’ serials Lucas ripped off.

    Still, you can’t argue w/success. Paid to see the first ‘Star Wars’ back in ’77 and literally said out loud in the theatre, ‘WTF is this crap…’ much to the chagrin of those around me- never regretted it, never bothered to see the rest of ’em but did work on marketing them. The stuff just never clicked w/me. Devotees in geekdom do love the ‘kitsch’ associated with it though– one sheets, the toys and such. But as with Trekkies, there’s a lucrative target audience for the genre which SNL nailed in an early skit and Shatner himself so aptly lampooned in a later SNL skit [‘Have you ever kissed a girl?’] TV’s classic ‘Star Trek’ from the late 60’s is about as far as I’m willing to go w/’space-based’ sci-fi styled fantasies.

    ______

    @34. 2001: A Space Odyssey remains at the top of my personal list- chiefly due to how well the film hold up after half-a-century, particularly the spaceflight sequences w/t corporate sponsors, a space shuttle, zero-g toilet, space station on orbit, cislunar operations, a lunar facility, flat screen tablets and so on. The spaceflight concepts and imagery were assembled/edited as Gemini was winding down and the film released before the first Apollo flights really got flying so the images and projections of technologies to come in it remain remarkably prescient for 1967-1968. The computer graphics imagery in the displays and such, crafted long before CGI existed, had to be created/filmed frame by frame and it all still appears quite contemporary for 2019.

    Like GWTW, the place to really see and experience it is in a large screened theatre as it was intended. Back in the day in ’68 in Britain, when films were screened much like theatrical stage productions w/assigned seating and so forth, kids there for ‘the light show’ sequences would get high on something– grass or perhaps drop some acid– in the balcony sections the experience ‘the ultimate trip’– a phrase used at the time to market the film. ‘2001’ makes ‘Star Wars’ look like… ‘space junk.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  50. Just curious. What did “True Grit” do what the novel couldn’t do?

    The natural scenery, obviously, but the cinematography as a whole too. In both the John Wayne and Jeff Bridges versions. It’s art. I don’t know that I could imagine Venus like Praxiteles did. Like that.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. Kevin,
    If you like Fredric Brown’s science fiction, or even if you don’t like it, I recommend his murder mystery “The Fabulous Clipjoint”. It’s more than a detective story, it’s a legitimate novel. There are six more with the same protagonists, but this is the only one I’ve read so far.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. I read that they made a total of 73 episodes – which is less than 2 season’s worth in the (Golden? Silver?) Age of Television, before 1967>

    Sammy Finkelman (db7fea)


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