It’s in almost every action or sports movie: that moment our ragtag band of misfits stand together for the first time, ready to take on any challenge, as the music swells into a heroic refrain which tells us that, together, these people are greater than the sum of their parts. And then, they succeed in vanquishing their foe.
Game of Thrones is not that kind of spectacle. Heroic victories are few; feel-good moments of camaraderie are even fewer. But for a brief moment this week, the dark and violent HBO series offered a glimmer of hope, no doubt inspired by Hollywood’s deep history of misfits banding together for a common cause.
At the end of Sunday night’s episode, seven men (many of whom are fan favorites), from all corners of the world, marched into the frozen wilderness toward their likely doom. The mission: fight a massive undead army and capture one of them in order to prove their existence to the rest of the world.
The scene might remind you of several famous films:
Immediately after it aired, fans took to social media, comparing the moment to films like Suicide Squad in which a motley crew of men, who might not normally like or trust each other, are forced into an alliance by circumstance. The trope is one of the most popular in entertainment, stretching across many decades and genres.
But a few in particular seem to have influenced Thrones the most. In fact, the scene is really just an amalgamation of legendary cinematic moments:
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Magnificent Seven
The Mighty Ducks
Other influences include The Dirty Dozen, Ocean’s 11, The Expendables, and many, many more.
Thrones fans had fun with the comparisons, splicing the theme music from many of the films above with the scene from Game of Thrones. The results reveal how much a simple song choice can change the tone of a TV or film scene: