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Friday, 21 September 2012

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Darek

Minor correction, in the 3rd image that's Robb standing next to Snow, not Theon.

Becky Salmond

That's Robb in those shots, not Theon.

SEK

Thanks! I need new glasses. Yes, you're right. Don't know why I missed that. But, I don't think it changes my overall point about Bran's relation to his siblings, bastard, hostage, or otherwise.

Becky Salmond

Also *spoiler alert* Robb doesn't have any POV chapters.

SEK

Did I claim he did? I know I did when I thought he was Theon, but I I don't think I'm still claiming that. Damn it, they should've made those boys look less alike.

Darek

Yes, your overall point remains unchanged, though I think the relationship between Robb and Jon in this scene (as well as in the 'execution' scene that follows) is noteworthy on its own.

SEK

I think the relationship between Robb and Jon in this scene (as well as in the 'execution' scene that follows) is noteworthy on its own.

That's absolutely correct. There's something lordly to Robb allowing Jon to teach Bran, but to a certain extent, there's an aloofness to it too that plays out over the rest of the novels. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself here, as I've already written the next post, and it does deal with how Robb and Bran and Jon interact.

StevenAttewell

Part of the aloofness comes from the fact that, unlike Jon, Robb is more directly under the eyes of Eddard as his heir, and is thus more of an object of inquiry (in a more intense way than Bran is, since Bran's the backup), and less free to step into new roles like that of teacher. In dealing with Bran, Robb is the protector and substitute-father, but not really equipped to be the latter; Jon's more of a playmate and fellow dreamer.

mxyzptlk

One thing that pops out with this analysis (at least to me) is how similar Van Patten's focalization moves are to Martin Scorsese's in Taxi Driver. The problem Scorsese and Paul Schrader faced was how to represent something like first-person POV without going all Being John Malkovich. They achieved this through some clever use of expressionism, so the mise-en-scene helped expressed how the character of the scene (usually but not always Travis) interpreted the action in front of us.

For those who've read the book, we know Catelyn can barely stomach Jon's presence; so the fact that she's so willingly grinning down upon Jon instructing her beloved Bran should be the tell the audience in the know something is off about Catelyn's demeanor.

But if as you point out this is all from Bran's naive perspective, it makes all kinds of sense. Catelyn's good humor is part of a mise-en-scene that expresses Bran's perspective in an almost ventriloquist, James Joyce/Hugh Kenner 'Uncle Charles Principle' sort of way.

But what if you haven't read the novels and aren't privy to that information? We certainly find out later that Catelyn isn't on Team Snow, and an active viewer might recognize the dissonance between that later disdain and this opening shot. The show's too carefully structured for that dissonance to be an accident, so if the audience recognizes the dissonance as such, it could be taken as the series teaching the audience how to perceive its varieties of focalization.

Something else that might be worth exploring: Take these interlocking shot sequences used to introduce the important points of view from the novel. The way they're linked together so seamlessly through the matching shots functions almost like clockwork, which the audience is also visually prepped for through the clockwork Westeros sequence in the opening credits.

Becky Salmond

Yeah... "Snow and Stark will eventually have chapters of their own"...

Sorry for the comments. I've been a lurker the past few months and overwhelmed by the intelligence in these posts. I finally feel confident enough to say something, and I'm afraid it's made me look like a dick. Many apologies! Only a SoIaF enthusiast... so glad you're writing these out!!

SEK

BECKY SALMOND: I finally feel confident enough to say something, and I'm afraid it's made made look like a dick.

Not in the least! In all honesty, I'm a neophyte in the SOIAF community, so I'm bound, if not almost certain, to make mistakes on that regard. My expertise is in the visuals, so when I trip up on the specifics of the show, I don't mind in the least if people call me out on it. After all, most of the experts in the Martin have been imbuing the books for years, whereas I've only watched the series and read the books in the past two months. I'm bound to make mistakes, and am more than happy to be called out on them when I do.

MXYZPTLK: [T]he fact that she's so willingly grinning down upon Jon instructing her beloved Bran should be the tell the audience in the know something is off about Catelyn's demeanor.

That's what I want to emphasize, and will, when I finish the next post ... which, barring more rolling brown-outs, should be tomorrow.

Catelyn's good humor is part of a mise-en-scene that expresses Bran's perspective in an almost ventriloquist, James Joyce/Hugh Kenner 'Uncle Charles Principle' sort of way.

I'm not going to go in to whether it's more like "Clay" or "A Painful Case" at this moment, but yes, there's a narrative bait-and-switch at work in that opening scene, and it's made all the more obvious for being invented for the series instead of coming from the novel.

The way they're linked together so seamlessly through the matching shots functions almost like clockwork, which the audience is also visually prepped for through the clockwork Westeros sequence in the opening credits.

I have a whole thing about that, I just haven't worked it up yet. I agree, though, that the clockwork presentation creates a tension between the messiness of the plot and the apparent Swissness of the opening credit sequence.

SEK

That comment wasn't supposed to look like that. I hope it's still legible, but much like with the disappearing images and broken links, TypePad's done something funky to that comment. Ignore the slightly insulting format and focus on the not-at-all-insulting content, please?

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