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Author Topic: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]  (Read 13990 times)

Keef Monkey

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #105 on: 01 May, 2019, 10:30:37 am »
Loved the episode, but for me and everyone I've talked to it was difficult to watch due to the picture quality itself being absolutely rotten. A colleague has explained to me that it was down to how frame by frame compression works which I knew nothing about and found pretty interesting! Apparently the issue is how certain effects that cause chaotic changes to a great deal of pixels every frame (like smoke, fire and snow - all the things the episode was absolutely covered in) force the resolution down for the whole frame. It also means it reduces the amount of colour information provided, so frames that largely use varying grades of a similar tone get less gradients of the tone and instead of smooth transitions from blacks to greys etc. you get a load of blotchy colour banding.

Everyone here might know all that already, but I found it all a bit of an education! Anytime resolution drops on a stream I've always assumed it was my broadband playing up or something wrong with my set-up, but it seems like in this case they've just made an episode that just doesn't play nicely with most services compression methods.

I was watching on NowTV myself and the whole thing was a pixellated blotchy mess, and everyone I've spoken to using various services seems to have had the same experience. I still enjoyed the story beats and thought it was a great episode, but the fact it looked like it had been filmed 15 years ago on someone's phone really robbed it of the cinematic flair it clearly should have had. Must feel rotten to put all that work into a production and get it looking incredible, just for it to broadcast in that way to (I'd assume) most people.

A lot of the comments I've seen online have been people complaining about it being too dark to see anything, and I do wonder if that's actually the streaming problem being conflated into something else. The cinematographer has even responded saying people just don't have their tellys calibrated properly, but I suspect they're addressing the wrong complaint there.

More than anything else in the show though, it's committed me to getting it on Blu-Ray for a rewatch, where I'm sure it'll look fantastic!

Mister Pops

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #106 on: 01 May, 2019, 10:52:04 am »
Aye I heard the episode looked amazing in editing, uncompressed on 4k screens. I've heard record producers keep an old battered hi-fi/boom-box around and listen to their tracks through car stereos to ensure the audio quality is as good played through them as it is through their state-of-the art $1000 head phones.

A cynical person might suggest the compression induced image issues were accidentally on purpose to drive up blue-ray sales later on.
You may quote me on that.

sheridan

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #107 on: 01 May, 2019, 10:54:23 am »
Is Winter still coming?  I thought it was supposed to be tied up with the Night King and/or the wall (admittedly the wall is mostly still in place, but at least some of it is now gone).

The climate is unpredictable in Westeros: Summer lasted 9 years and the next Winter could last just as long. It's never really declared that the Night King is the cause of the Winter, only that he uses it.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure George RR Martin has stated that the irregular seasons and the white walkers are inextricably linked, and the details will be made clear by the end of the (book) series. Not sure whether that means winter itself will be averted on the show, though.

Looking at the trailer for the next episode, it certainly seems like


He's definitely said that the irregular seasons have a supernatural cause, and I wish I could remember where I read the quotes from GRRM.  One or more of the following are a matter of record (but, y'know, memory):
  • the irregular winters are tied to the wall (which was constructed at least partially magically - probably something to do with the children of the forest)
  • the irregular winters are tied to the Night King
  • the winters will be back to 'natural' by the end of the (book) series

sheridan

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #108 on: 01 May, 2019, 05:16:21 pm »
Aye I heard the episode looked amazing in editing, uncompressed on 4k screens. I've heard record producers keep an old battered hi-fi/boom-box around and listen to their tracks through car stereos to ensure the audio quality is as good played through them as it is through their state-of-the art $1000 head phones.


A few software and website developers could learn a lot from such record producers.  Especially the ones who have top-range state-of-the-art computers with two or three screens but are producing for people who will be viewing websites* on three-year-old laptops or desktops at home.


* software, whatever

radiator

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #109 on: 01 May, 2019, 06:29:06 pm »
Is Winter still coming?  I thought it was supposed to be tied up with the Night King and/or the wall (admittedly the wall is mostly still in place, but at least some of it is now gone).

The climate is unpredictable in Westeros: Summer lasted 9 years and the next Winter could last just as long. It's never really declared that the Night King is the cause of the Winter, only that he uses it.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure George RR Martin has stated that the irregular seasons and the white walkers are inextricably linked, and the details will be made clear by the end of the (book) series. Not sure whether that means winter itself will be averted on the show, though.

Looking at the trailer for the next episode, it certainly seems like that little dusting of Snow falling on King's Landing in the season 7 finale was a one-off and things are back to normal... which would be a bit of a shame imo.

I can't say for certain if there was ever an inextricable link between the the Army of the Dead and the onset of 'winter' (an assumed Westerosi form of ice-age) as depicted in the show, in my mind it just seemed to present an opportunistic time frame for the Night King / White Walkers to make their move.
Regardless, I'd agree that the prospect of an impending winter would still hold some dramatic weight in the final episodes.

I suppose this crux of my disappointment in the current direction of the show is this; until the latest episode, humanity in Westeros faced an existential threat - a two pronged extinction event was heading southward, and it wasn't going to differentiate between social standing or allegiance.
Now we're not even sure if they need to bother breaking out the Aran cardigans.

The stakes have been lowered by an incredible degree.
Although there will undoubtedly be some entertaining scenes to come, for me personally it reduces the final questions the show will pose to veritable triviality.

I think you've nailed what I was trying to get at. 'Ice Age' is exactly what I was expecting from the hints and descriptions of Westerosi winter we got early on, and what we ended up getting in the show never really came close to that. It just snowed a little bit as far as I can tell.

A constant throughline since the earliest days of the show has been this looming existential threat bearing down on a population too ignorant and self-involved to see the warning signs, let alone prepare for its arrival. Since season 1 episode 1 we’ve been waiting and waiting for this cataclysmic event that will finally shake the Seven Kingdoms out of their complacency and force them to reckon with it…. And after the events of the latest episode, this threat just got discarded without it ever having any impact on anyone living south of Winterfell. Every smug Southron and maester just got proved right, and that irks me a bit.

Jon and Dany were purposely positioned in the narrative to be the only ones who could save the world from the invasion of the White Walkers - an act that would prove their worth as the rightful rulers of Westeros. How does that pay off now that literally 95% of the population have no reason to believe any what just happened beyond just taking their word for it? Now we're just back to squabbling over claims and titles. To me that's the exact opposite of the overall point of the series.

From a dramatic perspective, the White Walker invasion was a ticking time bomb that never fully went off. That's why, to me, it's always going to feel a bit like that episode of Itchy and Scratchy where they never made it to the fireworks factory.
« Last Edit: 01 May, 2019, 06:31:41 pm by radiator »

Richard

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #110 on: 01 May, 2019, 06:30:31 pm »
Quote
I think it's pretty firmly established in the show that the army of the dead got past the wall for one reason and one reason only - they got their hands on a zombie dragon to bust a big hole in it.

The Night King didn't know that was going to happen. He still spent seven seasons mobilising his army and marching them towards the Wall without a dragon. What was his plan when he got there? Did you think he was going to look up at the massive wall looming over him and say "oh yeah, I forgot about that. Back up north then lads."

Having the dragon helped, of course, but it can't have been the only way to breach the wall. Certainly John Snow thinks the same thing, or else he wouldn't have bothered recruiting a wildling army, mining all that dragonglass, and kidnapping one of the undead to show to Cersei and everyone.

I don't know how he was going to do it originally. (Maybe he was going to get Crastor's undead babies to burrow into the foundations, like saboteur moles.) But John Snow has saved Westeros, he isn't the reason it was in trouble in the first place.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #111 on: 01 May, 2019, 06:53:16 pm »
He still spent seven seasons mobilising his army and marching them towards the Wall without a dragon.

Since this is supposed to be the worst winter in a verrrry long time, I assumed the Night King's fallback plan was to just wait until enough of the sea froze that they could walk round the bloody wall, unless something better came along… which it did.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #112 on: 01 May, 2019, 06:55:19 pm »
The wall worked as a manned barrier - not a passive one.  This was demonstrated by the Wildling army scaling the wall in places to carry out hit and run attacks beyond it.  The manning was so (historically) important that the Night's Watch used to be a much larger organization, but has become undermanned as complacency set in amongst those living to the south.

So, the zombie army would have breached the wall - perhaps through one of the gates (as tried by Mance Rayder in the show, even though it was the threat of his magic trumpet in the books), or by climbing it, or by swimming around it at the edges - it just would have taken a while longer.

---

I like that the long winter is perhaps not going to come.  It's always sucked to be a northerner and have the southerners take the piss all the time: it's going to continue to suck.  Cersei's gamble paid off: instead of an even larger army of the dead coming to slaughter all of humanity, she gets to fight back against a much diminished northern force: approximately 10 people.

---

Is Jon's dragon still alive?
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JamesC

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #113 on: 01 May, 2019, 07:02:52 pm »
White walkers arrive at wall amid worst winter ever. Chuck some ice spears over the top and generally test defences. Wait for crows to die of wounds/freezing/whatever. Raise downed crows etc etc...

sheridan

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #115 on: 01 May, 2019, 08:32:01 pm »
Jon's dragon now, is it? That's a bit previous.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #116 on: 01 May, 2019, 09:46:41 pm »
Jon's dragon now, is it? That's a bit previous.

I'm just trying to stir things up between him and his aunt.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #117 on: 01 May, 2019, 10:06:12 pm »
I was watching on NowTV myself and the whole thing was a pixellated blotchy mess
Just like everything else on NOW TV (whose 720p compressed crap I shall gleefully be cancelling when GoT is done).

radiator

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #118 on: 01 May, 2019, 10:41:21 pm »
I stream from HBO NOW via an Apple TV, and I also really struggled with compression artifacts (and I agree that when people complain about clarity with this episode, it's probably due to compression rather than cinematography or lighting).

Streaming becoming the norm is partly why I don't care about upgrading my TV to 4K for the foreseeable future - as far as I'm concerned the tech just isn't there yet to match even Blu Ray level fidelity, let alone improve on it.

Krakajac

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Re: Game of Thrones: the last series [SPOILERS]
« Reply #119 on: 02 May, 2019, 12:44:17 am »
In relation to the Night King’s intentions when he and his army eventually reached the wall...perhaps he ‘knew’ that he would somehow get his hands on a dragon?  If Bran has the ability to see beyond present time - perhaps the Night King has (had) similar skills?  He certainly came prepared with that whopping great chain used to pull the dead dragon out of that icy lake. 🙂