Hand of the King, The
- Blu-Ray (BD-25)
Credit sequence over animated images of Robert killing Rhaegar Targaryen and the sacking of King's Landing, ending with him and his Hand, Jon Arryn.
Jaime and Cersei discuss the death of the Hand.
Catelyn tells Ned that Jon Arryn has died.
The King arrives in the North, presents the offer. They feast in celebration. That night Ned and Cat receive the letter from Cat's sister about the Lannisters, then Ned and the King leave for King's Landing the next day.
Jaime Lannister welcomes Ned to the capital.
Small council meets.
Cersei and Joffrey discuss enemies.
Joffrey gives Sansa the necklace.
Ned talks to Arya about swordfighting.
The dancing master teaches her a thing or two.
30 MINUTE MARK
Ned learns of Jon Arryn's last days from Pycelle and gets the book.
Littlefinger tells Ned about Ser Hugh and the armorer.
Ser Hugh refuses to talk to Ned's captain. (I thought about cutting this part but I think it establishes the danger around these questions and cements Littlefinger on Ned's good side, which is important later. It develops a web around the old Hand's death with Varys, Littlefinger et al)
Ned meets Gendry.
Cersei issues Ned a word of warning.
Ser Hugh's untimely end.
Varys trusts Ned and tells him of the Tears of Lys (spelling?)
Ned meets another bastard.
Jaime threatens Ned (Tyrion is gone so the motivation is now different. He's been adversarial since they met and it should seem surprising. When we later learn that he is at the heart of the questions being asked it makes perfect sense (I hope!))
Syrio teaches Arya the water dance and about the one god, death. "Not today."
Ned wakes up and King Robert forces an uneasy truce between Cersei and Ned.
Ned wants the girls out of King's Landing. Sansa brings up hair color inadvertently...
Ned reads about the Baratheon line in the book.
The King goes on a boar hunt.
Ned confronts Cersei.
ONE HOUR MARK
Renley proposes swift action.
Littlefinger assures Ned.
King Joffrey calls Ned to court.
Ned is betrayed.
The First Sword of Braavos does not run.
Cersei pleads for mercy.
Varys visits Ned in the dungeon.
The beheading of Ned Stark at the statue of Baleor
Yuren takes Arya with him. A glimmer of hope.
UPDATE - New changes to V2:
- Reinserted scene with Ned and Robert on the way from Winterfell to King's Landing (cut direct references to Jon but kept the rest). This reduces the time jump a bit, and it's a short but good scene.
Reinserted Hand of the King tournament. This injects some action into the story earlier as well as gives Renley, the Hound and Sansa a bit more character earlier.
- Reinserted scene about war stories. This goes to characterize Robert better before his death as well as break up Joff/Cersei scene and Joff/Sansa scene for better flow. Also, it lets the viewer know Selmy a bit more which will hopefully make his disgrace at the end more powerful.
- Reinserted Varys/Littlefinger scene in the throne room. It's a great scene, fleshes Littlefinger out more, and segues from Ned/Selmy to Ned/Varys
- Added new post-credits stinger (expanding upon current Arya one with Ser Meryn Trant scene from Season 5)
(password is 'fanedit.org')
I think another stab at this edit by the editor would make it really great. But as it is, I did not enjoy it very much. On the good side, the video and audio quality were perfect and the opening titles were great.
It takes a long time to get to some action. The first bit of action is the sword fight and it doesn't happen until about halfway through the edit. Up to that point it's all dialogue and exposition. It's easy to get lost with all the characters while trying to make sense of exactly what and who they're all talking about.
The narrative could use some work. What happened to Jaime? And Catelyn? All the Aria training scenes need to pay off at some point. If you're going to show someone training to do something, they eventually have to do that thing. Imagine Karate Kid without the tournament, Rocky IV without the Drago fight, Empire without the Vader/Luke showdown, etc.
There are some rough audio transitions at about 45, 54, and 57 minutes. They aren't quite hard cuts, but it was obvious that an edit took place. A bit more smoothing out would go a long way. The video fade in/out at 62 minutes was awkward, as was the cut to black at 67 minutes
I will say, though, that the post-credit sequence is brilliant.
Overall, I think this was very well done. It's refreshing to be able to see isolated stories such as this. To offer some constructive criticism I'd say,
1) Although it's good that we see ourselves Jon Arryns fate, I think the conversation between cersei and jaime to be unnecessary to Neds story. I think it worked effectively throughout the whole edit that we mainly only saw things directly from his perspective. For example, it was more exciting to hear that Robb had called the banners and his wife had captured Tyrion. We hear it for the first time Ned does.
2) I don't feel there was a need to cut Robert saying, "Not all of them", when referring the targaryans being dead. The scene ended quicker than it seemed natural. I think this helps reinforce Roberts hate for them too.
3) Ned gets to Kings Landing a bit too quickly. Wasn't there a scene where they make camp and talk of Jon's mother briefly. Although not relevant to the story directly, it would help break the journey up slightly.
4) I feel it should have ended the moment we see Ned die. Seeing Arya start her escape implies the beginning of another story and as this was just about the Hand of the King, I feel it should end as such.
Just a few thoughts anyway, but I did enjoy it. I love watching through GoT but it requires a great deal of time to get through. I enjoyed seeing the story of Ned and I think it works well because he features in only the first season.
Y 0 L 0 S
You Only Live One Season ;)
This is quite an interesting idea, and I'm glad someone has tackled it. It is essentially "Game of Thrones Season 1" told in a short film. If you are not a fan of the series, because it's either long-winded, excessively violent, or too sexual, then this might be right up your alley.
Where I think there could be the most improvement is the narrative itself. There is an old saying (I think it was Hitchcock) referring to the idea of "meanwhile, back at the ranch." Essentially it says that any time the attention of the viewer is about to wander, switch to another plot or subplot. That way the storyline doesn't start to drag, and is paced nicely.
I think this film needs some more "Meanwhile back at the ranch." There are quite a few moments when the scene suddenly faded to black, then moved on to a new scene with the same character as the previous scene. This interrupts the flow a bit, and reduces the overall quality of the edit.
To avoid idle criticism, I have prepared a small list of candidates I think might work:
1. Restore more Sansa. Even when she's being a brat, she is still a major character in these events and her storyline has value. Plus her brattiness gives the Starks more personality and variation. Arya is too close to her dad for any major tension. Give it to them by restoring Sansa.
2. Add in more of Robert's scenes. There aren't many, but ones like the "War Stories" scene give some really good insight into who he is, and why he is such a bad king. It also has an excellent little Jaime moment, that makes him seem less of a villain.
3. Restore a couple of those Littlefinger scenes. He can be crude, but he's instrumental. Restore those scenes where he interacts with people like Varys, or with his prostitutes, so we get a better sense of who he is. The Court of the Red Keep is one of the show's stars, and the tension between Varys and Littlefinger is great viewing. Recommend keeping it.
4. Restore Beric Dondarrion. He'll be important for Arya later, probably best to keep him?
Those are some candidates that leaped out at me. Otherwise cuddlyninja has done a fine job here. That I've not given it a higher grade is solely due to the occasional lapses in engagement, which can easily be fixed with the "Meanwhile back at the ranch" approach.
Thanks cuddlyninja, I look forward to your season 2 edit!