Proving that I am basically just killing time until Season 6, today I spent some perfectly useful time trying to match cast members to audio commentary tracks in the Season 5 DVD set. No, really, you guys, this happened.
The info we have on audio commentaries so far is:
- Audio Commentaries – Twelve audio commentaries with cast and crew including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Iain Glen, Maisie Williams, Natalie Dormer, Gwendoline Christie and more.
Yeah, so, based on previous seasons’ audio commentaries, we can have 2-4 people per track. No more than 2 cast members per track. Crew includes writer/producers such as David & Dan (already listed), directors, directors of photography, costume designers, production designers, etc. Probably some special effects creators, sound designers, and so forth. Lots of interesting people can share their opinions in the commentaries. GRRM has done commentary tracks in the past, but as he didn’t write any of the episodes in S5, I don’t think he’ll be on board.
Where cast members do commentaries, it’s usually where their characters have had especially significant scenes. Nik and Gwen did the commentary, along with Bryan Cogman, for the episode with Bathtime at Harrenhal, for instance. Aiden Gillen (Littlefinger) and Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn) did the commentary for the episode in which he pushed her through the Moon Door. They don’t just choose cast members randomly per episode. Both full cast members and guest actors can do commentary tracks.
There are no more than 2 cast members per episode, and those 2 may or may not have any scenes together in that episode. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure that in the first 4 seasons, each cast member gets no more than 1 commentary track per season.
Occasionally, there is an episode without a commentary track. S4:E3 did not get a commentary, possibly because the producers found out how people felt about that rape scene in the Sept, so they figured it was best not to dig that hole any deeper. If there’s any episode in S5 that gets no commentary, I expect it’ll be Ep6. Not just because of Ramsay bending Sansa over the bed, but because that Sand Snakes bullshit was so terrible and ridiculous.
There can be 2 commentary tracks per episode! In S4:E10, there was one track with Peter, Lena and Nik, and another track with Gwen, Rory McCann and director Alex Graves. In Season 5, we’re told there are 12 commentary tracks, which means there will be at least 2 episodes with 2 tracks each, assuming they made at least one track for each episode.
Finally, there’s plenty of space in that “and more” for crew members and additional cast members. We’re told to expect 12 commentary tracks, and historically there are at least 2 people per track, while the list above contains only 10 names total. There’ll be lots more people in the audio commentaries, have no fear.
However, they have given us some names to work with for now. Any of these people could be commenting together, but some are easier to match to episodes than others. The most likely matches are: Maisie in Ep2, Gwen in Ep3, Lena in Ep10, Kit H in Ep8.
The rest are trickier. I said Ep6 is the most likely not to get a commentary, but if it does get one, I actually think the best candidates are, oddly enough, Peter Dinklage and Iain Glen, for that scene of sailing through the Smoking Sea. Natalie Dormer could do commentary for the episode where she’s arrested, or for when she calls Cersei a hateful bitch, but I think she’d do just as well to pair with Gwen for Ep 3, when she has so much fun with Tommen and rubs it in Cersei’s face. Nik has interesting scenes throughout, but I think his most commentary-worthy scene is with Myrcella in Ep10, so he can pair with Lena. If not Ep10, then he can have fun with Ep4. I don’t think the producers will be foolish enough to ask him to talk about doing Ep6. David & Dan, I’ll just stab in the dark and say they’ll do Ep1, maybe along with a cast member. They did commentary for S4:E1 along with Pedro Pascal.
Of the cast members who aren’t listed, I think the most likely candidates to do commentary are: Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Carice van Houten, Aiden Gillen, Iwan Rheon, Michael McElhatton, Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Stephen Dillane, and Kristofer Hivju. If there are any names there that you don’t recognize, congratulations: you’re not as much of a freak show as I am.
Yeah, so, um…those are the predictions I ran this afternoon. I’m mildly embarrassed about this not because running predictions on audio commentaries is a dorky way to spend time (that ship sailed long ago), but because I don’t actually expect the cast members to tell us anything useful. If you’ve listened to the audio commentaries to date, you may have noticed they’re pretty fluffy. There’s a lot of Mutual Admiration Society biz going on, which is fine up to a point, but the actors tend not to drop any breadcrumbs that I can use. Out of 12 hours of commentary tracks, I figure there’ll be maybe 10 minutes (generous estimate) of talk that gives me something about what’s happening that I didn’t have before. I assume those 10 minutes will be entirely or almost entirely from directors and other crew members. There’s no reason why the actors can’t give us anything useful, but out of all the commentary tracks I’ve heard to date, so far I can’t think of any instances where they did.
I’m still gonna listen to all 12 hours of those commentaries, though. Even if we only get 3 minutes of additional insight, I want to hear those 3 minutes.
All that said? There’ll also be 4 deleted scenes, and I’m looking forward to those. I’m afraid at least 1 of those will be some Sand Snakes bullcrap, but even that might tell us something useful about the plot.