Singing Leprechaun

So, I watched the new episode of Game of Thrones at my friend’s house, and while a lot of the episode was sort of set-up and filler (Here’s what our characters have been up to on Game of Thrones while you’ve been away!), I still enjoyed it. And—as per usual—I had thoughts. Mostly, my thoughts ran along the lines of “Is it going to bother everyone’s watching experience if I get up to pee?” and “I should have brought a box of Franzia,” but I had other thoughts too. Game of Thrones-related thoughts. In the next few posts, I’m gonna give you some of the ones I found most worth mentioning. Previous posts can be found here.

Ed Sheeran

801Um, fuck this little cameo. Fuck it hard, fuck it good, fuck it dead. Because it’s completely unnecessary and dissonant with the tone of the show and it completely took me out of the mood of the show. It made me stop and think and focus on the fact that I was watching a television show.

I think the best forms of visual entertainment are usually transportive and immersive in a way that gets you lost within the story being told. It ceases to be a story, and you become so invested in the characters and the plot that you forget that it isn’t real for a bit. It takes you with it. That’s what any good story–in any form–should do. You never want to see the invisible wires that are making Peter Pan fly, you want to believe for a bit that he’s actually flying. Even if he is a child-abducting little freak. Putting Ed Sheeran in Game of Thrones is like having a boom mic hanging in the fucking shot. It takes you out of the moment.

Jeremy Podeswa, who directed this episode, defended the decision to cast Ed Sheeran in a phone interview with Newsweek‘s saying that he felt that he did a good job and, “I think people interrogated it too much, they’re bringing so much of his [superstar] presence into the thing which is far beyond what anybody was thinking going into it. He is known to the producers of the show and some of the cast, and he’s a gigantic fan of the show. As everybody knows, the show really eschews stunt casting—it’s never, ever done that.”

To be honest, that’s complete bullshit. The world does not fucking exist in a vacuum, viewers do not exist in a vacuum, and to insist that it is on the audience to suspend their disbelief and accept whatever is being fed to them by the showrunners is a cop out. It is the burden of the creator of a work to earn that suspension of disbelief, and Ed Sheeran popping out of the woods and singing a little ditty with Arya is asking too much. Podeswa later states that all the stars of the show are incredibly famous and recognizable and says that there is no difference.

He is wrong. There is a difference. We associate these stars with this show. They belong to this sort of world. Even Sean Bean, famous for multiple roles before starring in GoT as the doomed Ned Stark, is accepted and almost expected in a production such as this. You almost can’t have a sweeping, medieval fantasy without Sean Bean dying in the first arc of the story. You see Ed Sheeran, and you think a different kind of superstardom. You think of Taylor Swift and cats and dudes who cry after sex. Because Ed Sheeran most definitely seems like the kind of dude who cries after sex and I freaking hate that.

It is stunt-casting, and it robs the moment of the impact it was supposed to have on Arya’s characterization. I gather, from repeated rewatches and attempts to disregard the Keebler Elf plopped clumsily into the scene,

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Look at him, just waiting for his chance to bake some cookies and hide his Lucky Charms

that that scene was supposed to be a moment where Arya begins to see that not all those who are associated with the Lannisters are evil. That there are some innocents, on both sides of the battle line.

But you don’t get any of that. Because you’re too busy looking at everyone around you going, “Wait is that… oh fuck, it fucking is.”

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Samwell Tarly: A-Shittin’ and A-Soupin’

So, I watched the new episode of Game of Thrones at my friend’s house, and while a lot of the episode was sort of set-up and filler (Here’s what our characters have been up to on Game of Thrones while you’ve been away!), I still enjoyed it. And—as per usual—I had thoughts. Mostly, my thoughts ran along the lines of “Is it going to bother everyone’s watching experience if I get up to pee?” and “I should have brought a box of Franzia,” but I had other thoughts too. Game of Thrones-related thoughts. In the next few posts, I’m gonna give you some of the ones I found most worth mentioning. Previous posts can be found here.

Samwell Tarly: Hogwarts Student and Shit-Taker-Outer Extraordinaire

I started to write about Arya Stark’s opening scene as my favorite thing about this episode until I remembered. And that would have been wrong. So wrong. Because this montage is undoubtedly the greatest gift GoT has ever given the world.

Lainey was the first one who really pointed out to me how wonderful this scene is. It is so completely… just ridiculous and I adore it. It at once manages to be waaaaaay too fucking much and just enough. And, as Lainey mentioned, they managed to get a really good consistency for the shit, and then the blurring between which is shit and which is soup… beautiful. This is so over the top, but in exactly the way GoT has always been over the top. All the titties, all the violence and murder, and now finally, all the shit. The circle is complete. Well-played HBO, well-played.

Other than that masterful montage of cinematic greatness, the other thing of note in Sam’s scenes was the fact that he actually seems to have wandered outside of the GoT universe and into the set of Harry Potter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super into it, I fucking adore Harry Potter and Jim Broadbent, of Professor Slughorn fame, is a goddamned treature who manages to imbue every line with an arch sort-of gravitas (yes, I recognize the contradictory nature of that descriptor) that makes you want to really lean in and listen. Just the sort of guy you’d want to perform a little medieval autopsy action with.

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I tried so hard to find a screen grab of them cutting up the body you guys, I really did

It was a little frustrating hearing Broadbent-as-Archmaester that, although he does believe Sam is probably telling the truth about the White Walkers, he isn’t going to do anything about it. Like really? And then Sam’s robbery of the books and the reading and… it just all kind of has me thinking, do we have time for this? Not Sam, I mean he’s doing what he can for the cause of mankind and Jon Snow and all that, but the show itself. Does it have time to devote to Sam’s reading? I’m just getting nervous. We have a limited number of episodes left in the season and in the show. Are they going to be able to cram it all in without it feeling rushed? Because I’m starting to get nervous. Cersei is my ride-or-die for sure, but I’m not certain how much time we have to fuck around in King’s Landing without cheating the Ice Zombie Apocalypse of the time it needs to be a truly realized storyline.

The shit and soup definitely was needed though. Good call there.

Cersei’s Hair

So, I watched the new episode of Game of Thrones at my friend’s house, and while a lot of the episode was sort of set-up and filler (Here’s what our characters have been up to on Game of Thrones while you’ve been away!), I still enjoyed it. And—as per usual—I had thoughts. Mostly, my thoughts ran along the lines of “Is it going to bother everyone’s watching experience if I get up to pee?” and “I should have brought a box of Franzia,” but I had other thoughts too. Game of Thrones-related thoughts. In the next few posts, I’m gonna give you some of the ones I found most worth mentioning:

Cersei’s Hair

Reports have been made that the show’s budget has increased this season, and nowhere is that more evident than in the scenery, the wardrobe and the CGI. Those long, extended shots of Dragonstone as Dany meandered her way through the castle of her birth were immersive and gorgeously-detailed and I appreciated it. The wardrobe is going to be getting its own section later on, and the dragons actually didn’t look like clumsily-rendered cartoon lizards. It was a beautiful opening episode, by and large.

It was dismaying to see, however, that evidently the showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss did not save any of that budgetary increase for hair and makeup. Specifically, Cersei’s hair. Because

hurr

WHAT.

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THE.

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FUCK.

Is this supposed to be a joke? I’m relatively sure Lena Headey wears a wig because she’s a natural brunette and recent photos of her on her Twitter depict her hair as much longer than this, but still. They couldn’t afford a better wig than this? Is that real hair? Because I have seen Barbies serving hotter looks than that. It’s not just the cut—yes, I understand her hair was forcefully shorn from her head by the Faith and that they probably did not go to the nicest salon to do it—but also the color. Did we have to make her look absolutely as shitty as possible? But, it isn’t like an intentional shitty. If I felt like that was the goal, to make her look shitty and tired and haggard, I would be down with it, but this doesn’t look shitty in that way. This looks shitty as in cheap.

I’ve seen that color before. Know where? The crackhead gals who used to prance around my hometown streets. Forty-something women in their twelve-year-old daughter’s clothes, bodies like beef jerky wrapped in purple tank tops that bared their abdomen and shorts with cartoon characters on them, these haunting heroin hotties sauntered around town with the confidence and ego that only meth can provide. Their cheeks always had these iron lines carved in them, false illusions of bone structure given to them by malnutrition and constant teeth-grinding, and their hair was always this burnout orange-yellow that looked like smoker’s teeth and old, fried egg yolks. Cersei blonde. That is the name of that color and I, for one, am not going to stand for it anymore.

Producers and hairstylists of Game of Thrones, please, I implore you, do something about this. I will go down to Ulta myself and purchase a bottle of toning shampoo for blondes. You don’t even have to reimburse me. Just please fix. Kthxluvubyeeeeeee