Game of Thrones: 8.02 - A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Al Jackson

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Exactly, it is the last place I would be. In fact, I'd be somewhere South, trying to get a ship somewhere. But, if I would be forced to stay in the Winterfell, the crypt would be out of the question. I'd rather be heating oil, watching those flying napalm throwers roasting the Dead, while wishing for an ellusive wizard to come battle with the necromancer.
Having read the (so far 5) novels and even on the show , the followers of R'hllor , some from Essos, many in Essos , warn about 'The Great Other' (which the show had dubbed as The Night King) and prophesie a savior. What is not clear is … do they think if the Great Other is not stopped it will take over Essos? GRRM sure has The Lord of Light as 'somekind' of important element of the story, almost as if Essos which has even greater resources than Dany's (Essos derived) Unsullied and Dothraki , will intervene too , but , for the show, I don't know.
Anyway 8.3 should be a heck of an episode BUT!, note, Miguel Sapochnik , besides doing E3 is doing E5. Sapochnik has become the GO TO guy for the BIG STUFF... the SOP of GoT has been that the next to last episode has a barn burner, not that the last doesn't have something... so as good Ep 3 will be there should be big Wammy in Ep5.
 
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Judderman

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Which leaves room for some final back stabbing in episode 6. Or a jolly episode if they really wanted to.
 

Al Jackson

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Which leaves room for some final back stabbing in episode 6. Or a jolly episode if they really wanted to.
I do wonder howis all ends, since the show runner had two different long sessions with George Martin when it looked he would not finish Winds of Winter.. much less A Dream of Spring in time.
George , who never does a real formal outline, did have a 'broad stroke' story, D&D have said the end will land on GRRM's end, we shall see.
Always thought A Dream of Spring was an bit odd, I mean , apparently, the forces to good win , not matter who may die, so does 'Dream' mean something is left hanging?
George has always said 'bitter sweet' for the story, tho, the TV series has actually been a bit more bitter than sweet! They did a bums rush on a number of characters, Ser Barristan Selmy , who is still alive at the Battle of the Siege of Meereen (the 2nd siege),Sir Barry may still be around in the story TV-wise..., got to say book wise I was not a great Dorne fan, still I don't think it was awful, D&D really goofed there , first introducing the characters and showing them the door , while they exist still on the page, the wholesale removal of Highgarden is probably not in the book story,,,,
I do feel that D&D have done an almost impossible job of getting on the screen what , so far, George has not been able to do on the page...
We shall see , some day, how their ending differs for the prose form one.
 

Brian G Turner

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I really enjoyed this episode - I appreciate some people want big battles already, but I love the way all the different characters and their plot lines are finally coming together. This episode did a lot of tying up loose ends, especially ones since the very first book, so I was very pleased to see them - not least Jaime with Bran, as well as Brienne being knighted. There was also a great emotional depth conveyed.

I also like that we haven't seen the Night King's army on the march yet - that builds up the suspense nicely by focusing on the characters and fears. However, I'm still surprised not to see characters believing that they would both win and live! Come on, man up, people! :D

The only complaint is how they keep filming Winterfell in the day through a blue filter - makes everything and everyone look drab and grey. I think a little colour would help with the realism.

In the meantime, though, so far so good - the show is doing exactly what it needs to. Now all it needs to do is start moving forward - but it's clear that's about to happen with the battle for Winterfell.
 

Cat's Cradle

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I hope this isn't a spoiler of any sort, but I'd hope anyone watching the next episode would have the chance to experience it as fully as possible, so - about the coming need for a torch ... my wife and I have a modern flat-screen TV. We changed its image/brightness setting from 'Cinema' to 'Vivid' for our second viewing of the show, and we had absolutely no problems viewing the episode. We saw fairly clearly virtually everything that happened, and there were a number of "Oh, that's what happened!" moments. Made a huge difference. CC
 
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Ursa major

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from 'Cinema' to 'Vivid' for our second viewing of the show
I'll try that when the Season Eight DVD comes out.

I recall trying that mode -- I've just checked, and it's called "Football Mode" -- when I first got my TV, in time for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The colours were so vivid -- the shirts, the grass, everything -- for the Spain-Netherlands game that I've never used it since (until a few seconds ago, when I wanted to check what the mode's name is).
 

Cat's Cradle

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HBO should have released the episode with a 'vivid' warning. But we were really relieved to have the chance to see the episode properly; hope it works for you.
 

L.L.Lotte

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It definitely goes with all the spectacle of the show that they must have expected people to watch it on fancy new TVs.

my OLED had no trouble displaying all the detail in the darkness, even while in cinema mode, but not everybody can afford to buy OLED TVs....

I'll try that when the Season Eight DVD comes out.

I recall trying that mode -- I've just checked, and it's called "Football Mode" -- when I first got my TV, in time for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The colours were so vivid -- the shirts, the grass, everything -- for the Spain-Netherlands game that I've never used it since (until a few seconds ago, when I wanted to check what the mode's name is).
The problem with "Football Mode" is that it would likely be intended for watching fast motion sports, so would ruin the immersion of the show by killing its cinematography by adding all the motion processing stuff.

Depends on the TV, but what I'd do is instead of using the preset, I'd go in and create a custom configuration and manually set the colour, brightness, etc to give it the same effect without all that processing nonsense. Of course, unless your TV has a custom option for a preset, you'd have to then remember to turn it back to what it was afterwards -- unless you decide you like it being more vivid.

Personally, I've never left the presets on my TV untouched. The first thing I did when I purchased the TV was tweak the settings. Took me a few days to get it just how I liked it.


anyway, derailing thread.
 
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Dave

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...so would ruin the immersion of the show by killing its cinematography by adding all the motion processing stuff.
Cinematographer, Fabian Wagner, has defended all the poorly lit scenes on the basis of setting mood and artistic choice, but he did also say that people didn't know how to set their TVs properly, that poor streaming might be a factor, and also that it wasn't suitable for viewing on smartphones and small tablets. If there is still a problem watching a DVD box-set then he would need to admit that he simply made an error. And if Brian is already having this problem in this episode, it won't get any better later. However, Fabian Wagner is unrepentant. He told TMV magazine, “I know it wasn’t too dark because I shot it.”
 
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L.L.Lotte

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I really enjoyed this episode - I appreciate some people want big battles already, but I love the way all the different characters and their plot lines are finally coming together. This episode did a lot of tying up loose ends, especially ones since the very first book, so I was very pleased to see them - not least Jaime with Bran, as well as Brienne being knighted. There was also a great emotional depth conveyed.

I also like that we haven't seen the Night King's army on the march yet - that builds up the suspense nicely by focusing on the characters and fears. However, I'm still surprised not to see characters believing that they would both win and live! Come on, man up, people! :D

The only complaint is how they keep filming Winterfell in the day through a blue filter - makes everything and everyone look drab and grey. I think a little colour would help with the realism.

In the meantime, though, so far so good - the show is doing exactly what it needs to. Now all it needs to do is start moving forward - but it's clear that's about to happen with the battle for Winterfell.
I actually feel like this was one of my favourite episodes. I hate it when people disregard great character depth/interactions in favor of epic battles and action. If the show was all action, it would feel pointless to me -- like all those movies that are one big action sequence with little to no character development. Sure, the action is exciting and pretty spectacular to watch, but the consequence is characters are so empty and shallow.

That episode definitely had great suspense -- they knew what was coming and just had to sit and wait.


Cinematographer, Fabian Wagner, has defended all the poorly lit scenes on the basis of setting mood and artistic choice, but he did also say that people didn't know how to set their TVs properly, that poor streaming might be a factor, and also that it wasn't suitable for viewing on smartphones and small tablets. If there is still a problem watching a DVD box-set then he would need to admit that he simply made an error. And if Brian is already having this problem in this episode, it won't get any better later. However, Fabian Wagner is unrepentant. He told TMV magazine, “I know it wasn’t too dark because I shot it.”
I agree completely with Fabian. Most people don't know how to calibrate TVs correctly. They get it out of the box, put it in their lounge and turn it on. At the most, they flick through the factory presets and pick one they like and leave it at that. Most people don't even know how to turn off the motion processing, or even realise it is ruining their experience.

Another thing you can do, which is coming more popular recently, is ambient backlighting -- which is something I also have set up. Behind my TV is some Phillips Hue RGB strips that light up the wall behind the TV. This helps with contrast and makes details stand out that would otherwise be lost. They are behind the TV, so don't cause glare, yet help your eyes adjust to low light levels so you can comfortably watch TV in the dark.

It being on a DVD/BD won't change much if he thinks nothing is wrong with it -- apart from fixing compression issues, which I didn't experience either. It is known that darker scenes require higher bitrates. If the viewer can't see the show because of poor compression, that's not the creators of the show's fault, that's the service provider who is streaming it at fault. I've heard that NowTV only does 720p at a max bitrate of 4.5mbit, which is far too low. So if that's what you're all using, then no wonder it's hard to see...

But I don't think anything is wrong with the darkness levels. It wasn't too dark for me. I saw every single detail. But like I said earlier, I have an unfair advantage with my particular model of TV and lighting setup.
 
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Cat's Cradle

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Well, I've been watching TV since the 60s, and I've never experienced an entire episode of a show where it went from very hard to see, to nearly impossible to see by the end (and where because of this progression, it became almost impossible to see what was happening in many moments).
I'd say it wasn't necessarily because the vast majority of viewers were completely helpless in adjusting their screen's image brightness (assuming they were watching on something other than a hand-held), but because we'd never in our lifetimes been exposed to such a situation from a TV show - I hadn't. (Perhaps in movies I've encountered extended, dark moments, but never this long, and never in a TV show.)
Thinking there must be a reason for the cinematography to be so dark, and that surely the show's masters wouldn't let many of the show's most important moments be unseeable, and wanting to experience the show as it was intended (in my innocence of trust, there), I let it continue unchanged till the end of the running time.
Then, when all was done, as my wife and I sat back and realized we'd missed much of the action, we lamented the fact, and decided to try to brighten the screen another time, in another viewing, hoping to have a clearer understanding of what we'd just ... seen.
So we watched it again on 'Vivid', and were very happy with being able to actually see the episode, and thought it surely not a bad thing that we were able to see what was often only implied at the original brightness setting. You happened to already have your TV set in a way that this wasn't an issue for you, which is good. We do now. But my hope in mentioning this all was that others who might be viewing the show for the first time but with a too-dark setting, or others who hadn't thought of rewatching it with a clearer image, might gain a bit from the experience by changing their brightness settings. And again, if we'd known beforehand, we'd of taken proper action.
Also, the Vivid setting just doesn't work for what many people watch most ... movies and TV shows, etc, on cable, or via streaming. The Cinema setting we'd used for the 7 previous seasons of GOT had been perfect and served the show very well, up till the show under discussion, CC
 

Judderman

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It is like when some films or series have music or sound effects really loud, and then at the same volume setting have speech that is exceptionally hard to hear. And people in the industry say it is your equipment that is the problem.
If you have to put brightness to max to watch an episode then something is wrong with the episode. Fair enough if it is not clear on a smartphone, but on a TV where most programs are fine?
 

Mr Orange

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personally I think if 90% of viewers found it too dark, it was too dark, no matter whether the cinematographers think they know better.
 

L.L.Lotte

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I don't believe it was 90% though. That's exaggerating by far. In fact, if actual statistics were done, it's more than likely a minority that found it too dark. A very loud vocal minority -- typically always is.

And this episode of GoT is hardly the first night time episode of a show. But I don't see any complaints about those other shows that do it. It's just being hyperboled out of proportion by the media because it is GoT...
 
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Judderman

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But remember you are saying you have an advantage with the way your tv is setup, unlike most.
TV critics were amongst those complaining about this, and they see a lot of shows. It was really bad for most of the episode. If it looks far too dark, and almost every program someone watches doesn't...that says something. It was too dark. It would be different if people were complaining about loads of programs being too dark (though there are others that have made this error with night scenes that are supposed to have action).
It was so dark it was more annoying than the story problems!
 

Mr Orange

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the show should be set up to be watched on whatever platform the majority of people are going to watch it on. I would say (without any evidence to back it up) that the majority of people watched the show streaming and probably on a small(er) screen. if it's only going to look good through cable on an HD tv with all settings perfect in a darkened room when the rest of the series has been fine on a tablet streaming over wifi in a lit room, then I think they have made it too dark.
 

Ursa major

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We changed its image/brightness setting from 'Cinema' to 'Vivid' for our second viewing of the show
I'm glad you mentioned this.

The film Arrival (based on Ted Chiang's Story of Your Life) was on the TV the other week and I recorded it. Watching it yesterday, I found it so dark that I had to use my TV's "Football Mode" to see what was happening. Without your mention of 'Vivid' it's unlikely that I would have remembered that mode. Without using** it, I don't think that I could have continued watching, which would have been a shame.


** - I wouldn't have bothered a more complex solution, one requiring me to change various screen settings, as I'm quite happy with the current settings for watching other programmes and wouldn't have wanted to then reprogramme the TV to get back to them.
 
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