Saturday, 25 May 2013

"Second Sons": an LG&M podcast on Game of Thrones with Steven Attewell and SEK We apologize for missing last week's episode, but Google Plus had updated its "Hangouts" feature and we couldn't find the new button. But it's been found! Also, in this podcast we have a first: I've finally figured out how to incorporate images without making the resulting file too large for Youtube. So now if you're watching the podcast, you'll see the visuals we're describing while we're describing them. (At least mostly. I'm still experimenting with keeping the size down and the audio quality high. This is tougher than it looks.) In this episode we discuss making my students weep uncontrollably; the dynamics of the relationship between Tyrion and Sansa; the similarities between Dany and Walter White; the politics of Stannis Baratheon; and many other things beside. Enjoy! Enjoy this fine podcast without the images I painstakingly inserted into it just for you. Our very civilized discussion of the premiere (S03E01). Fancy-talking about “Dark Wings, Dark Words” (S03E02). Here we are blathering on about “Walk of Punishment” (S03E03). Don’t watch — because you can’t — us discuss “And Now His Watch Has Ended” (S03E04). The rudely interrupted first half of our discussion of “Kissed by Fire” (S03E05). The second half of our discussion of religion in “Kissed by Fire” (S03E05). In which we discuss “The Climb” sans spoilers (S03E06). "The Climb" with spoilers (S03E06).
I still know that you've seen that I saw you: miscommunication in "Second Sons" (Game of Thrones) To recap: this is a complement to the most recent podcast Steven Attewell and I produced, on “Second Sons,” in which we discussed, among many things, miscommunication at the wedding of Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister. I found my contribution to that part of the discussion lacking, so I decided to demonstrate what I meant about Tyrion coming to dominate a scene that possesses real potential for chaos. The first part can be found here and really needs to be read for the following to make sense. When we left off, what had been a hostile but orderly wedding banquet teetered on the edge of something. Relations had been frosty but fine until Loras Tyrell reminded people how legs work and walked away from the table, which inspired Tyrion to do something with alcohol. His father, Tywin, noticed his clever son noticing Loras and, aware that Tyrion can become a giant fucking lion when the mood strikes, strode across the hall to talk to him. However, his grandson (twice-over) had a terrible idea: Joffrey “Baratheon” decided to humiliate his former bride-to-be, Sansa, but caught Margaery Tyrell noticing his planning-face and decided she should be part of it too. All of this happened via glances passing between parties. We resume mere seconds after the last post ended, with Tyrion staring at Sansa’s ass: This is only unusual not only because, in recent episodes, Tyrion’s been shot in a manner that makes his head appear level to those of the people he’s speaking to. From the camera’s perspective, when he spoke to his father, sister or nephew, he’d ceased being a little person. But earlier in this episode, his height — and its relation to his sexual abilities — had been made an issue when he met with Sansa: Such is what’s required of him not to stare at her ass. The contrast between this shot before the wedding and the one of his father — that’s Twyin behind him in the first image — is part of both Michelle MacClaren, the director, and Tyrion’s respective plans. In order to make himself appear drunker than he actually is, Tyrion abandons the pretense of being the willful supplicant and lets his eyes rest at their natural level. That it happens to coincide with Sansa’s ass is a happy and convenient coincidence that fails to impress his father: Note that since she’s merely moving the camera up and to the let about a foot, MacClaren could’ve used a conventional two-shot; but because conventional two-shots create the impression of a bond between characters, she shot them individually. This has two effects: it reinforces the notion that these two are only strategically “intimate,” and it allows Tyrion to dominate the screen when he’s on it. That may not seem significant, but it’s important that the audience, at this moment, see Tyrion as someone capable of dominating the screen: Is his father behind him? Yes, in the literal sense; but only maybe in the colloquial, because Tywin...

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