Welcome to the first [official] episode of Stark Contrast, the Game of Thrones-focused podcast series at Movie Fail. We started recording our thoughts on HBO’s fantasy series last year with Season 4, and now, armed with an official title, we’re ready to jump back in. This week we’re discussing the premiere of Season 5, “The Wars to Come.”
Josh and I discuss everything from cinematography to acting this week as we delve into the opening flashback to Cersei’s (Lena Headey) childhood (which I rather disliked). From there we head to Essos and follow a drunk, battered Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) as he leaves one queen’s rule for another. Josh and I examine the clever use of perspective and power dynamics to analyze Tyrion’s conversation with Varys (Conleth Hill).
We also talk about Dany’s (Emilia Clarke) struggle with leadership as her citizens begin to make demands of her. We debate the merit of the rather excessive opening scene—an intricate CG’d sequence of a statue sliding down a pyramid—as well as how the relationship between Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) has progressed thus far.
Finally, we move to The Wall and what’s going on with Jon Snow. I argue that, perhaps in spite of Kit Harington’s acting potential, he’s being squandered on a fairly milquetoast role. His character only seems to flourish in context of his more interesting peers (Sam, Ygrit and Mance). We also reflect on Ciarán Hinds’ performance as Mance Rayder which has, at this point, come to an end.
Note that this podcast contains spoilers for Game of Thrones up through “The Wars to Come.” As always, you can subscribe to Stark Contrast using iTunes. Alternatively, you can check out the episode online or download it here. Happy listening!
Josh mentioned that you can see some scenes depicting the Mad King’s execution of Brandon Stark in the Season 1 trailer; here’s a screenshot of that moment in case you missed it. I brought up how camera angles can help shed light on relationships in dialogue-heavy drama, something which David Fincher uses all the time in his work.
Note that while we mentioned Emilia Clarke had stated she wasn’t interested in doing any more nude scenes on the show, that may not be accurate; it appears it’s an unsubstantiated rumor for the time being. Josh also referenced this scene from The Legend of Korra in which the Equalists and Korra are mostly illuminated by her firebending.