I have to say this really bugs me. I’m catching up on Game of Thrones, I bought the DVDs for Seasons two and three, after hanging around my bro-in-law’s house some years back and catching the first season. It was good. And I’ve gone a bit video since the last big book edit. Being a fan of the series (I’ve read all the books, reviews coming), I’m watching these characters and getting into the story, enjoying how they moved such a monster of a story arc onto video — tighter, quicker -paced, just as hard hitting. The casting has been excellent and the acting superb.
But as I watch, now and them I am wondering, where are their damn hats??! Let’s start with those wacky Crows, bumbling about in the Far North, beyond the wall, where it’s got to be bone-chilling cold. Okay, I get it, we’ve debunked the myth that you lose 45% of your body heat through your head (link), it is more like 10%. However, having lived in a very cold climate (the High Sierra) in winter, I guarantee that if you are out all day in below freezing weather, carrying/scavenging for food, you aren’t going to blithely brave frostbite and waste 10% of your hard-to-replenish body heat by forgetting your hat. Just look at Laplanders. Always the hat.
And what about fighting gear? Here we have people with swords, trying to cut off your noggin and you can’t be bothered to wear a freaking helmet? Come on, I’ve played enough D&D to know, you’ve got to have a hat. Even stout Brienne of Tarth, practical as she is, never dons her helm. It’s amazing anyone has a head at the end of the show. And yet, not a scratch. This is distracting for me.
It’s not just GOT either. Case in point, Fast & Furious 7 is out, and yes, I may go see it, so shoot me, I’m an American male, still 19 inside and I think I’d get a hoot out of it. Good mindless fun. I’ve seen a couple of the F&F flicks, most recently the first one and while I enjoyed the show (it was after doing 10 hours of tax computations) it really bugged me at the end. Yes, it’s hats. You see, when the identity of the hijackers is not known (the initial scene shows them knocking over a truck, at night) they wear full leathers, ballistic suits, gloves and helmets — goggles too. Pretty sensible (if one can apply that word to this movie) when you are ziplining to a moving truck. See below. Cool stunt.
Even the drivers have helmets. Smart. Yeah, until the end of the movie, and they are doing the same thing, sans gear. Yeah, ziplining to a moving truck, in jeans and a t-shirt. Brilliant. no hat, no jacket even. And of course the guy gets beat up bad. I’m wondering, where is your damn gear? OK, true acolytes of the series know: Vince had his helmet when he jumped. But he took it off as soon as he got on the truck. Because, having the helmet on if he’d fallen in front of a speeding truck would have been just the thing. Falling off the side? Naw, don’t need it (below).
(SPOILER ALERT) OK, I get it — by this point in the movie, we know the hijackers are the stars of the show and the director wants to milk their pretty faces for all they are worth. Just think of the stills photography from these action scenes — it would suck if you couldn’t see their faces. You can’t do it so easy with helmets, but note, it has been done (James Garner in Grand Prix. And Mr. Cool himself, Steve McQueen, who in Le Mans also wore helmet and goggles. Actors can convey emotion even with the gear. The director just needs to draw that performance from them.
But not in F&F, and it pulled me out of the suspension-of-disbelief which already must be strong for this movie. That’s the cost of going the easy route for the director who demands ‘no hats for the leading characters.’
Whereas McQueen had the job of acting with only his eyes (below). And he pulled it off, too. It can be done.