It's fun to poke holes in the plots of movies or TV shows -- that's a big part of our business model. But if we're going to mock the ones who do it wrong, we should take time to give a tip of the hat to the ones who are so obsessive about getting it right. We're not simply talking about making sure nobody on Downton Abbey is seen with a Bluetooth in their ear, either -- this is stuff even the most dedicated fans would need a magnifying glass to catch.
Things like ...
6 The Clothes in Game of Thrones Tell the Characters' Stories (in Incredible Detail)
Game of Thrones contains some of the most complicated and unpredictable storylines in the history of television, largely because it is based on several thousand pages of painstakingly detailed political fantasy warfare. However, the producers of Game of Thrones have made it so that some of the characters have their arcs literally sewn into their clothing, which admittedly can be easy to miss in a show where everyone is naked all the time.
In this scene, Emilia Clarke's nudity symbolizes the character's nipples.
For example, in season one, Daenerys Targaryen starts out as a timid boner cushion sold to nomadic prince of violence Khal Drogo. However, by season three, Daenerys has transformed into an ass-beating warlord with a massive army and a retinue of freaking dragons, blazing her way through the desert and conquering every city-state she encounters along the way. As Daenerys grows into her role as the warmongering Mother of Dragons, her costume actually becomes more dragon-like:
Or maybe just more crusty. Astapor is a sweaty place.
Costume designer Michele Clapton created a series of seemingly-identical blue dresses for Daenerys to wear throughout seasons three and four, but if you look closely, you can see that the dresses gradually develop embroidered dragon scales. The differences become obvious when you compare the first and last episodes of the third season:
This is like decorating your tracksuit with your kids' baby teeth.
Meanwhile, Sansa Stark has been hit with more terrible bullshit than anyone else on the show, including being betrothed to the sniveling child tyrant who executed her father and being scuttled away to a mountain tower by a sexually predatory pimp/accountant. In fact, so much crap has happened to Sansa that it's hard to keep track of it all, which is probably why the show's producers decided to sew a pictographic recap of her calamitous journey into the wedding dress she wore when she was forced to marry Peter Dinklage, which is the only legitimately non-horrible thing to happen to her thus far.
Someone forgot to tell her, though
See that band wrapping around her torso? As it turns out, it's stitched with a mind-boggling series of illustrations that, taken together, trace the dominant forces throughout Sansa's life. It starts at the back with an intertwining of fish and dire wolf, which are the respective symbols of her mother's and father's houses.
Dog and Fish are natural allies against their common enemy, Cat.
As the band winds around her torso, the fish begin to disappear, symbolizing the waning influence of House Tully in the North (and their eventual decimation at the Red Wedding, that thing that the Internet spent an entire summer crying about). Then the wolf meets the Lannister lion, which in the show wound up being less than awesome for Sansa.
Thanks to a deadly dispute over who had the cooler tongue.
The lion begins to dominate the embroidery (sort of like how the Lannisters killed Sansa's father and kept her as a hostage). Pomegranates also begin to dot the embroidery, joining the Lannister colors of red and gold.
Red: the blood of angry men.
Gold: the gold of angry men.
In addition to being red, the pomegranate itself is symbolic -- in Greek mythology, Hades kidnapped Persephone, the daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter, and took her down into the underworld to be his wife. She was allowed to return, provided she didn't eat anything while she was down there, but Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, dooming her to spend half of every year in Hell for the rest of eternity. It's how the Greeks explained winter (Demeter would spend half the year sulking in depression until Persephone was allowed to return, so everything would be cold and dead while she pouted). Kind of sounds like Sansa being kidnapped by the Lannisters and forced to marry into their family while Winter Is Coming all over Westeros, doesn't it?
Finally, the band connects to the headpiece of her dress, which is completely dominated by the Lannister lion:
The unaired pilot featured Joffrey singing "I Just Can't Wait To Be King."
When Sansa finally escapes to the Vale, her dress becomes all dark and crow-like, which we think might be hinting towards some future direction for her character. Unless Halloween is really, really long in Westeros, which makes sense, considering all of their seasons last ten goddamned years.
This of course also depicts a primary series motif: the Mockingjay.
All of that detailed costume work, and millions of people don't even notice it because they happened to be looking down at their burrito during the brief moment it appeared on the screen.
5The Zombies on The Walking Dead Decompose Like Real Corpses
Considering The Walking Dead is a show about a bunch of people being pursued across the smashed landscape of post-apocalyptic America by hopeless swarms of reanimated corpses, you'd probably assume that "technical accuracy" wouldn't be high up on the producers' list of priorities. However, practicalities of zombie-ism aside, the show's executive producer, Greg Nicotero, has resorted to some terrifying methods to ensure that all of the shambling ghouls decompose in a realistic way.
This is what happens when zombie-kids don't listen to zombie-moms about staying in the well too long.
Nicotero, who claims to have done extensive research into the various stages of corpse decomposition (presumably in his basement), has the show's makeup team pay special attention to how the zombies' skin has been affected by heat and dehydration, considering that unlike the show's target audience, the undead hordes spend most of their time outside.
Thanks to The Walking Dead's crazy devotion to nightmarish details, the show's prosthetics are also constantly evolving to reflect the gradual decomposition of the zombies as the series progresses. For instance, in the first season, the zombies were relatively fresh-faced (for undead monsters):
The main cast rarely look this good.
As the episodes go on, however, those faces steadily become more disfigured, with the zombies' eyes sinking in and their skin pulling back to tighten around their horrible skulls:
Additionally, compare this video of all the zombie kills in the first two seasons to this one for season three. Notice how later in the series, eliminated zombies fall apart as if they were made out of mashed potatoes and soggy toilet paper, because that's what would happen to six-month-old dead bodies that had been baking out in the humid Georgia heat. So the next time you hear somebody criticizing The Walking Dead for having characters that don't evolve, feel free to correct them. The zombies totally evolve. It's just the humans that don't develop in any meaningful way.