Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Two emerging screenwriters – Chas Fisher and Stuart Willis – try to work out what makes great screenplays work. Discovering what it takes by analysing what successful writers put on the page.

http://www.draft-zero.com

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episode 58: DZ-58: Game of Thrones - Character Exposition


How can you let your characters tell us how they feel?

In watching Season 7 (and the first three episodes of Season 8) of Game of Thrones, Stu noticed that there were lots of scenes where characters either met for the first time or were reunited after a long time apart. In these scenes, the audience knows (or thinks they know) more than either character. And so the fascination, power and subversion comes from what the characters choose to reveal... or not.

 

And yet... while we thought this episode would be an extension of our previous musings on exposition, in nearly every great scene we assessed, the characters basically said “screw talking about plot or backstory” and instead exposited about their character. How it feels to be them. How they have, or have not, changed. 

 

And so this episode unexpectedly but rewardingly pivoted to learnings on how to set up and sell character exposition.

 

 

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND and all copyright material used under fair use for educational purposes.

 

RUNNING ORDER

 

  • GAME OF THRONES & EXPOSITION [@ 00:01:10]
  • SCENES CONVEYING PRE-EXISTING FACTS
    • JAIME VS CERSEI IN THE MAP ROOM [@ 00:12:54]
    • YouTube: https://youtu.be/Y6x0KKghBGs
    • ARYA & HOT PIE AT THE CROSSROADS [@ 00:28:23]
    • YouTube: https://youtu.be/F8sJSjMNDSE
    • JON VS THE BROTHERHOOD AT EASTWATCH [@ 00:39:10]
    • YouTube: https://youtu.be/pGmQdbgwUWU
  • CONTRASTING SCENES WITH AND WITHOUT CHARACTER ACTION
    • JON VS TYRION AT DRAGONSTONE [@ 00:47:54]
    • YouTube: https://youtu.be/-vmNy9q9ebQ
    • JON & DAVOS VS MISSANDEI AT DRAGONSTONE [@ 01:01:06]
    • YouTube: https://youtu.be/1hRo54XNvek
  • STARK SIBLING REUNION SCENES
    • ARYA VS SANSA IN THE CRYPT [@ 01:07:05]
    • BRAN, ARYA & SANSA IN THE WEIRWOOD [@ 01:18:46]
    • YouTube: https://youtu.be/xvEr2L3UbjQ
    • ARYA VS JON IN THE WEIRWOOD [@ 01:27:14]
    • YouTube: https://youtu.be/ShNNEn30Yi8
  • CHARACTER MONOLOGUING
    • BRAN VS MEERA AT WINTERFELL [@ 01:33:06]
    • YouTube: https://youtu.be/i-SiYKyFm2I
  • LEARNINGS [@ 01:37:14]
  • EDUCATION & THWARTING [@ 01:40:13]

 

EPISODE LINKS

 

  • Previous DZ episodes
    • Excelling at Exposition (Part 1) - https://draft-zero.com/2016/dz-37/
    • Excelling at Exposition (Part 2) - https://draft-zero.com/2016/dz-38/
    • Game of Thrones - Decision Making & Character Implications - https://draft-zero.com/2016/dz-34/
  • Read: AV Club:  As new spreads, Westeros reckons with the cumulative absurdity of Game of Thrones - https://tv.avclub.com/as-news-spreads-westeros-reckons-with-the-cumulative-a-1798194760
  • Listen: Terry Rossio on the On the Page Podcast: https://podtail.com/en/podcast/on-the-page-screenwriting/457-terry-wrossio/
  • Watch: Find Game of Thrones on JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/tv-show/game-of-thrones

 

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Many thanks to all our patrons but particularly to Chris, Khrob, Sandra, Nick, Rob and new supporters Matteo, Daniel and Carrie. They’re good humans.

 

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 2019-05-16  1h47m