Recognizing GoT Cinematography and a new “Making of” update

As Game of Thrones fans we often focus on a certain set of things.  The book readers often delve into discussions of the adaptation decisions from the ASOIAF books to the small screen. All the fans, book readers or not, debate character nuance and any potential plot developments endlessly.  As individuals we have favorite GoT locations and cultures that we compare and contrast.   But we’re also privileged to witness a level of quality cinematography that has been, arguably, heretofore unknown in television.  Hit Fix is reporting that professional cinematographers are taking notice as well.  The ASC, American Society of Cinematographers, has nominated Game of Thrones and other genre shows for their TV awards.


What are some of your favorite “natural” visual scenes from the first four seasons? Although we have often discussed our favorite Special Effects scenes, what about those scenes that did not involve animation or graphic manipulation (or at least not too much, the occasional green screen is probably unavoidable)?

And speaking of beautiful scenes, Dave Hill has a new update on Making Game of Thrones  (see photo at top of the gorgeous set). The blog entry really isn’t all that spoilery as they never give much detail but use your own judgement as to whether you want to read the entry or go below the cut.

Dave Hill regales us with their consideration of historical accuracy while filming a scene or scenes in…..a brothel (surprise, not).  There is a bit of an “ewww” factor in his comments.

One thing I have personally noted since they started filming in Croatia is the use of natural lighting in scenes.  And yes this all ties in together–see the first photo of the brothel and the lighting?

Who can forget the scene from “Two Swords” (S 4, Ep 1) where Twyin presents Jaime with a Valyrian steel sword (see below)?  IIRC Tywin was seated in the shadows, dressed in black while Jaime stands in front of him, his golden armor ablaze with the light streaming into the room.

And have you ever noticed how dimly lit almost all of the Small Council meetings have been, even from the first season?  The photo below of Ned in one of his first, if not the first, Small Council meeting is a great example.  They always have small shafts of light shining into the dimness, but not enough to fully illuminate the room.   There are dozens of photos showing a similar lighting set up for those particular scenes.

small council

Clearly these patterns are purposeful. What other patterns have you noticed?  Let’s give it up for GoT Cinematography–they truly deserve the recognition.



  1. Boardwalk Empire to this day has some of the best cinematography I’ve seen on TV or any other Film format.

  2. Well I’m sure you can get a better-quality picture of Ned and the Small Council than the one you posted…

  3. I like what they do with light in KL. It’s a place full of secrets; darkness punctured by stray beams here and there.

    But seriously, almost every frame of GoT looks incredibly polished, so good for them

    Cannot wait to see the finished visual product for Dorne

  4. From the beginning the series has looked like a graphic novel come to life. The big-budget comic book movies could learn a thing or two from GoT. Congratulations and good luck to the nominees.

  5. Oooooo…That episode of “Vikings” was chilling, but GoT has it for consistently spectacular cinematography. The odds are (ever) in their favor!

    [Sorry. Had to.]

    Hope GoT wins!

  6. First, the pictures of the mockingbird up outside the brothel… now, the inside…

    What what WHAT is Littlefinger up to in that brothel?

  7. That last pic with the light patterns is very reminiscent of Chiaroscuro and the motifs used in film noir.

  8. Where the hell* is Hannibal on that list? The “Hannibal. Without people.” compilation (mostly 2nd unit work) alone blows away anything I saw on Gotham (which admittedly was only three episodes worth). It has hands-down the best cinematography on TV in my opinion (and others).
    *I initially wrote a different word, I forget if it’s allowed here.

  9. One of the strengths of GoT is clearly how beautiful looking the show is! The rich and nuanced texture of the show is just incredible! Just look at that production shot above, it’s not only the richness of the details, it is just that all items look right and they make sense within the space they are placed in! Literally that room makes sense when you look at it. If you were to walk into it you’d have no doubt that it is real…because it is! This is not an approximation!
    Someone mentioned “Boardwalk Empire” and it’s cinematography, and while I agree that it was exquisite, it was based on something that existed, something that still exists. “Game Of Thrones” had to literally invent its looks bring them to life from Martin’s manifestation on paper to the finished version we get to see on the show! So my nod goes to GoT!

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