Now that we’ve settled into our new accommodations at Watchers on the Wall, and have welcomed many a face, both familiar and new, it’s time to get to one of the bigger issues at hand. One of the most undeniably alluring aspects of Game of Thrones – and, undoubtedly, one of the biggest reasons for the show’s immense success – has been its ability to so vividly depict a whole swath of environments, from the intimate to the epic.
So, naturally, the question must be asked: which is the most effective in transporting you to another time and place?
Grab a slab of beef, a mug of ale, and a chair to join us at the giant round table, why don’t you?
Which is your favorite geographical spot as realized on the show? Which set/location do you think is the most immersive or detailed? Which environment most conveys the “other-worldliness” of Westeros?
Oh, for me, that’s easy: the Wall. All the other places seem like there is an equivalent place on Earth, but not that 700-foot magical monstrosity.
I think the most immersive/detailed is King’s Landing for me, especially after that video from the set a couple seasons back.
I think beyond the Wall, the wintery Icelandic stuff. It looked bloody cold. I felt cold watching ice slowly crawl across John Bradley’s face.
The Essos places have done that for me, particularly the Slaver’s Bay cities. The look of Meereen, with its pyramids and its costuming, has transported it to something really different than the rest of Westeros.
Ya know, now that Shylah mentions, I do remember thinking when we first got to see Meereen with the gates, the pyramids, aerial shots… that they’d done an excellent job of creating that culture.
But I just didn’t feel “immersed” in it the way I did with the Wall and Wildling stuff (I’m lumping the far north all together for my choice, it all being colder than a witch’s teat).
Mine would have to be King’s Landing, and I didn’t even realise it until recently (paying such close attention to set pics, etc.).
The city has such a lived-in look and feel; it’s equal parts cramped and claustrophobic, vast and extensive. We can look at the lush gardens that held season four’s royal wedding, and the filthy Flea Bottom alleys in which Arya begged during “Baelor” (episode 109). These are clearly two unique and contrasting locales, yet they still feel part of the greater whole.
Admittedly, a lot of this is due to the pre-existing and incredible city of Dubrovnik (and Mdina), but the crew deserve their share of praise for drawing the viewer into this city – somewhat alluring, somewhat revolting, all King’s Landing.
Shit, I started and just went on and on. Sorry!
In picking my favourite location as realized on the show, I actually prefer environments that do not convey too much other-worldliness. Feel free to disagree all you want, but I like my fantasy grounded in reality; anything else actually breaks my immersion easily.
Qarth is a case in point – that setting felt too “faux oriental” and fantastical to my taste (although it’s hard to put my finger on it, as the elements of the story depicted there didn’t help, either). The cities of Slaver’s Bay stand in contrast to that, and I am actually very pleased with Astapor, the landscape seen on Dany’s journey via Yunkai (Morocco was a good choice!), and, of course, Meereen, with its pyramids and the throne room. It feels as different from Westeros as it should be, and remains organic.
Another, completely different locale I also like is the Iron Islands (despite me having some issues with the costuming). The harbour, the coast, Pyke, including the interiors … all windy, salty, and cold. It’s well executed, though one could argue that’s not too hard to create when filming on the Irish coast, admittedly.