My Photo

Categories

Roll Call

Become a Fan

« Why are deaf people always laughing under their breath? | Main | Just in case you're wondering what happened when SEK met a certain former President, »

Monday, 22 October 2012

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c2df453ef017ee45d88e1970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Game of Thrones: "Lord Snow," you're no bigger than a half-man*:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mystical Butterfly

Scott, there is so many things I have to disagree with you in here. First, on the first shot that you described here, where Jon Snow is fighting and you said that the long shot makes Jon and Sir Alliser look extremely small and none is dominant, I disagree. This shot, even though it's a long shot, it still shows that Sir Alliser Thorne is dominant because he seems to be the tallest there and the choice of his costume. We could also look at the spacing between characters and notice that everyone looks clustered together except for Sir Alliser Thorne. This does give him a significance of importance. Second, I feel like the medium shot where it shows the spectators in the back, it doesn't really degrade the importance of Jon or Sir Alliser, it kind of just establishes the crowd of people. Also, it could mean that what's going on in the bottom triangle, is important and this is why everyone's watching them, but I really don't think it has anything to do with who has more power. And last, the cut away shot from Jon's success, doesn't really mean that Mormont and Tyrion are in more power than Jon or Sir Alliser, I believe that this shot represents a relationship between Jon and Sir Aliser and Tyrion and Mormont. In the previous episode of Game of Thrones we see how Tyrion and Jon are similar to each other because of Jon snow being a "bastard" and Tyrion being a "dwarf". This comparison means a lot, it means that these two characters bonded with each other in some weird way. So this shot, even though we do not know the similarities between Sir Alliser and Mormont, we do know that it has some type of relationship with each other. Also, Mormont and Tyrion observing Jon's skills of sword fighting, could make Tyrion and Mormont give Jon Snow respect, and that's why we see this shot. Maybe later on in the show we could see the relationship between Mormon and Sir Alliser, or all four of them together.

mxyzptlk

I'm not sure what SEK is describing is at odds with MB's observations. The overarching idea is that the wall dominates over all, no matter how mighty or low the characters are/are perceived to be/perceive themselves to be. This is a point made in both the series and the books.

This shot, even though it's a long shot, it still shows that Sir Alliser Thorne is dominant because he seems to be the tallest there and the choice of his costume.

There's nothing inconsistent with Ser Alisser being dominant in his own small way (over new recruits), and still being diminished by the shot/the wall. He may rule the noobs, but the wall rules him, whether he likes it or not. Otherwise, why the long shot with the deep focus? (Orson Welles uses this kind of framing/blocking quite a bit in his films.)

Second, I feel like the medium shot where it shows the spectators in the back, it doesn't really degrade the importance of Jon or Sir Alliser, it kind of just establishes the crowd of people.

Not sure it can't do both. However, if the director just wanted to establish the crowd, the more logical choice would be just to cut to a medium shot of the crowd. A good director makes careful decisions about what relevant information to put in the mise-en-scene, so showing the crowd with the training is a deliberate choice to convey some meaning. By placing them above the training, the shot necessarily offers a perspective of the trainer/trainees that places them in a subordinate position. Ser Alisser and Jon are still at the top of their little world on the training ground, but those trainees are subordinate to the crowd -- who are on the wall, and the wall dominates all.

And last, the cut away shot from Jon's success, doesn't really mean that Mormont and Tyrion are in more power than Jon or Sir Alliser, I believe that this shot represents a relationship between Jon and Sir Aliser and Tyrion and Mormont.

Yep, the link goes back to Tyrion's line that all dwarves (dwarfs?) are bastards in their fathers' eyes. But the other link is that the blocking of this shot is a mirror twin to the blocking of the shot when Catelyn looks down on Jon. And that's so, so important:

Mirror twins are basically like regular twins, but everything is opposite. One twin is right-handed, the other is left-handed; one twin's nose bends to the left, the other's to the right. In other words, one is the equal-opposite of the other.

Both scenes are training scenes, but in one Jon is the trainer (of Bran), and in the other Jon is the trainee. In the earlier Catelyn shot, the raised balcony is to the upper left of where Jon is helping Bran get his Arrow on. In this shot, Mormont and Tyrion are in a similar position as Ned and Catelyn, but on the upper right of where Jon is. This makes another interesting dynamic; Mormont and Tyrion as sort of stand-in parent-figures for Jon, but from a different direction (and both Mormon and Tyrion try to help Jon grow into the man he becomes through advising him).

Later in the Catelyn shot, there's a close-up of her looking down at Jon with disdain and a sense of separation. Jon looks up at Catelyn with a sense of deference on his face; he doesn't feel worthy. In the Wall shot, we see Tyrion looking down on Jon with a kind of care and concern. Jon never looks up in this sequence -- he either looks ahead or down, aggressive and combative, and never looks up at the perceived superiors.

Here's some screenshots: http://postimage.org/image/5xsgferrb/

Peter Mortimer

Peter Mortimer
Student ID #71002954
Writing 39B
T/TH 11:00 A.M.-12:20 P.M.
October 24, 2012

The spatial relation of characters in the framing can have a colossal effect on the ideological representation of the characters in the viewers’ eyes. Since I’m writing this in response to a blog that deals with Snow’s fight scene, I will be referring exclusively to Jon Snow’s scenes. I agree with Acephalous, in regard to his comments on hierarchy through blocking. I have found further examples to accentuate his ideas. At 40:18, Jon walks over to his uncle (in deep focus), who is sitting by a post. The outline of his uncle’s head is shown to the side of the camera. The bond between two characters is greatly enhanced in a shot like this, because our brain creates an imprint of them being in the same shot together, as one. The effect is powerful, since it is a POV (point of view), over the shoulder shot. This shot portrays Jon in greater depth and depicts his admiration for his uncle on an emotional level. The angle of framing at 40:18 also shows Jon and his uncle at about the same height. This indicates that Jon is now being considered a man, rather than just a boy. He is now a member of the Night’s Watch and protects the Wall. Following soon after, Benjen Stark, who is Jon’s uncle, turns to Jon and states that he wants to be there the first time Jon sees the Wall. As Jon looks out at the Wall at 40:46, his uncle is directly to his left and the image behind him is blurred, so that the viewer can focus exclusively on Jon’s facial expressions, showing his internal feelings and surprise at the large scenery. The Wall shrouds Benjen and Jon on both sides. Jon’s uncle, to his left, is revealed in focus, to emphasize that Jon is now part of something much greater and that his Uncle Benjen is standing by him through it all. This makes the audience believe that since Jon is standing side-by- side Benjen, then he will act as a right-hand man. As the story progresses, we see that Jon has not proved himself worthy as a man of supreme valor yet, but remains a boy in the Night’s Watch. In contrast, his uncle is held in much higher esteem. At 25:07, we see the other boys in the Night’s Watch trying to hurt Jon, holding a sword to his neck, as Tyrion Lannister enters through the door. Tyrion and Ben are both placed at opposite ends of the camera, yet as viewers, we group them together temporally more than any other characters in the shot. The three boys are dressed in rags, in contrast to Jon and Tyrion, who are in clothing which makes them look much more affluent. The door is open at 25:07, because the camera needs to be placed outside of the door, in order for this shot to work. At 25:16, the camera shows the boys holding Jon Snow, but the shot is captured as a POV (point of view) through Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion’s eyes are pointed forward at 25:21, which does not make sense, because Tyrion’s height is under the boys. However, the camera captures this is to illustrate, that despite his size, Tyrion is actually quite powerful. The camera racks focus at 25:21, showing Tyrion in focus and showing the boys out of focus, for several reasons. It gives the audience a greater sense of the clash between the characters, than if the viewer had to infer this using their own imagination. This creates a much more powerful effect, rather than if Tyrion was shown talking in a medium-wide shot or close-up shot. The camera transitions again at 25:37, which helps the viewers establish a greater connection through Jon and Tyrion, because of the camera’s angles, focus and blocking.

One scene that involves a great deal of positioning, and is important because of spatial relation and framing, is that of Jon Snow defeating the other boys of the Night’s Watch in a sword fight. At 21:51, we see Jon in a medium shot as Alliser’s words are heard off screen. As an audience, we can infer that Alliser is standing right next to Snow. This is to focus on the words, rather than Alliser’s body. At 21:58, we can divide the shot into three regions. Jon Snow and Alliser are in one region, since they are considered higher in stature than the other “Black Brothers.” The Black Brothers would then be divided into their own region, and the Wall shrouding them all would be considered the third and final region. Tim van Patten creates an illusion for the audience, to be able to envision Jon in our minds, higher in stature than he actually is, through the power of dividing the shot into three separate parts. The use of the shaky handheld at 22:01 is important during the fight scene with Jon, because it emphasizes the reckless nature of the opposing combatant. Jon knocks him down with ease at 22:09.The shots’ frame rate has been altered as well, to increase the speed of the fight and to make Jon seem a lot more powerful. The cutting away from the fight at 22:24, showing Tyrion and Mormont, establishes them as the ultimate overseers of swordplay. In this shot, Tyrion’s short stature is accentuated, because of the manner in which he is standing next to Mormont and separated through the diagonal split in the fence. Tyrion’s face is also darker than Mormont’s face, demonstrating greater contrast. I believe that this is used to separate the different intentions they have for Jon. Mormont has hardly spoken to Jon, while Tyrion shares a deeper connection with him.

The comments to this entry are closed.