Monday, October 5, 2015

The Winds of Winter, Jon Snow Info? Nope, Not Here. #lego #got #gameofthrones

I suppose I was supposed to write "Nope, Not Here," in the body of the article, and not in the title of the article. Darn. I ruined my own attempt at clickbait.

Sometimes, honesty is the worst policy, if one is dealing in a dishonest field.

In any case, this particular blog post continues the theme of Game of Thrones spoilers, rendered in LEGO. We covered the first half of the first season here and the second half of the first season here. Now, we are in the show's second season, rendering specific -- and often spoilery -- shots in LEGO bricks and LEGO minifigures. I initially post these photos on my Instagram profile, and since the first season of LEGO GoT, Instagram has allowed for wider photos, in addition to the traditional Instagram cropped square photo. With that context, the second season of LEGO GoT is now in "widescreen."

Here are the first five episodes of the second season -- SPOILERS!

The first episode is "The North Remembers." Here we have the priestess of R'hllor, Melissandre, and a contender for Joffrey's Iron Throne, his uncle Stannis Baratheon. They are on the beach in Dragonstone, burning down the statues of the seven-in-one god of the Faith of the Seven.

The second episode is "The Night Lands." We finally introduce a Jon Snow minifigure, as well as a Samwell Tarly minifigure. With Jon as a minifigure, I have yet to create minifigures for two Starks: Robb (King in the North) and Rickon. In any case, these members of the Night's Watch are Beyond the Wall, at Craster's Keep.

The third episode is "What Is Dead May Never Die." Not seen in this shot is Tyrion Lannister, but he is ever-present in the reason for this photograph. Here, Tyrion basically ordered his buddy/bodyguard/mercenary Bronn to cut off Grandmaester Pycell's beard. This bedchamber is probably the most intricate set I've built for LEGO GoT, but I tried my best to keep it simple, knowing that backgrounds are usually not the focus of the photograph.

The fourth episode is "Garden of Bones." A very "nude" Melissandre has just given birth to a shadow assassin that resembles Stannis Baratheon. Ser Davos witnesses this magic in sheer horror, or as much emotion as that particular minifigure face can portray. This cave was made out of "big ugly rock pieces" (BURPs), and I made sure to shine some light on Davos' torch, to create the illusion that the LEGO flame piece is illuminating the cave.

The fifth episode is "The Ghost of Harrenhal." Jaqen H'ghar has just killed The Tickler, fulfilling the first assassination wish (of three) on Arya Stark's list. The hairpiece on the official Narcissa Malfoy (Draco's mother in Harry Potter) minifigure was a perfect match for Jaqen's hair.

I kind of arbitrarily give flesh-colored (from lightest to darkest: glow-in-the-dark, white, light flesh, flesh, medium dark flesh, dark flesh, reddish brown, brown, dark brown, etc.) heads to these characters. The First Men ethnic group tends to get yellow heads, as do characters of Andal descent. Most Dothraki minifigures receive yellow heads, as well. I'm planning to give the Rhoynars of Dorne flesh heads, but who knows? Jaqen, above, is said to be from Lorath in Essos, so that's the primary reason why I gave him a flesh-colored head over a yellow one. I try to give featured characters from Essos a flesh-colored head. Targaryens are ethnically Valyrian from Essos (plus or minus their Westeros-mixed "genes"), so I give them -- as well as rumored Targaryens -- flesh-colored heads.

In any case, ideally, I would depict any character with my limited selection of flesh-colored heads, unless there's a yellow head that really captures the character, in a humorous way. So, yes, it's basically an arbitrary decision whether to use a standard yellow LEGO minifigure head or one of the many shades of flesh-colored heads.

Monochromatic LEGO walls are often boring set pieces, which can be a problem if they are in the foreground. There are various ways to remedy this. You can use different colors, but that runs the danger of getting too "busy." You can use bricks with different shapes and angles, but that might take too much time and planning, if you're in a hurry. In the photo above, I tried to make a brick-like pattern for the pillar in the foreground. I also used two slightly different shades of dark grey, if your eyes can detect it. One shade is the yellowish, pre-2003 (?) dark grey, and the other shade is the modern dark bluish-grey. It's these little details that make otherwise boring foreground walls into something a bit visually interesting, without going overboard with LEGO technique or becoming a busy-looking distraction.

After all, the main focus of the shot is meant to be the minifigure -- or as Jaqen might put it, a minifigure is the main focus of the photograph.

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