Celsius wrote:I was underwhelmed but that's cause I've read the books.
If you were underwhelmed then I think it's safe to say you had unfair expectations.
I keep reading such effusive praise for that episode, that it "redefined what a TV battle could be"...and I don't get it. I've watched the episode twice now and the whole thing looks stilted and claustrophobic. I thought the wildfire explosion/graphics were kinda cheesy, and the rest of the "try to get into the Mud Gate" battle seemed to have been shot -- and looked like it was shot -- on the same 100 square feet of some soundstage.
I get they did a lot with their budget, and I get that stuff like Lord of the Rings really set the bar high for the "big fantasy battle," and I get that people are qualifying this as "pretty good for TV." But never did you get the sense that there were ever more than like 500 people fighting -- and it was supposed to be what, Stannis said "thousands" would die so he had maybe 10,000 men after the explosion? That whole battle took place in two locations, right by the gate and on the Lannister's battlements right behind it, and I think that really hurt any sense of scale we were supposed to have. Seriously, I haven't read the books, but Stannis sailed in with 20,000 men, is that right? Like I said, it looked like 100 dudes fighting 500. Even toward the end, before Tyrion gets slashed and he's like, oh shit, I was like, "dude that 75 soldiers."
Remember how big the Japanese islands felt in The Pacific, like when they were trying to take that airstrip? Even how big North of the Wall feels? This was in the dark, shot pretty close-in, and it made the thing feel tiny
. The little valley where Jon Snow got ambushed by wildings feels bigger, square footage wise, than the whole beachhead in this battle. Really could have used a big, broad establishing shot and at least 5 seconds of CGI soldiers, somewhere, for scale.