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Untempered Happiness Gives Me Indigestion

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | September 13, 2010 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | September 13, 2010 |

HBO is plowing right along with the production of “A Game of Thrones” and has tossed a couple more bits of chum into the waters to make sure that they don’t die down at all. First up is a new teaser trailer, that doesn’t reveal much of anything other than a CGI raven and a few ludicrously brief glimpses of characters.

Meh. The 3.2 seconds that show something besides the CGI raven look entertaining enough, but they’re so quick as to be just this side of static images.

Next up, we’ve got a sort of production diary thing that actually gives a lot more of an idea of the look and feel of the series. The shots aren’t polished and finished, but there’s something invigorating just in the little details, the wolf hounds sitting around between takes, the shirtless giant with his enormous sword, the carvings and stone work.

The only complaint I really have is a general complaint about this type of video. A trailer is honest to a degree, it’s saying “look what we made, doesn’t it look cool.” But this type of video is disingenuous. It’s an ad, pretending it’s not an ad. You get George RR Martin saying that the set is like walking into one of his dreams. Because if he said it looked like shit, they wouldn’t quote him in the clip. The show runners pontificate on just how amazingly this show is going to change fantasy. It’s not like they’re going to say “well, we’re really only doing a half-assed job. They wouldn’t give us percent of DVD sales, so what do we care how good it ends up being?” Snag a token actor or two like good old Boromir to say how totally and utterly awesome the source material is. There’s an unbiased source for ya.

Now I know that I’m being gratuitously unfairly cynical, but untempered happiness gives me indigestion. The bottom line goes back to that old cliched rule of good writing: show, don’t tell. Quit telling us the show is going to be good, and start showing us.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.