Creative Director of a Visual Communications company in Scotland. Multi-discipline visual creative; camera, VFX, grading, design, motion graphics.
You are so right. Influence is everything in visual storytelling. If someone else has already developed a visual language that worked well and took the audience to the emotion that the writers/director wanted, then why reinvent it?
In behind the scenes mini-doc released by HBO the showrunners, and department heads all openly speak about being influenced by a number of different genres, including heavily leaning on the style of Westerns. One even said that it was like shooting an epic Western/War film, but with dragons.
I always keep at least one 'Buff' (brand name snood). They provide some great additional padding to stop stuff moving around, can be used to keep me warm when standing around waiting for a shot, and can also be used to keep kit warm and dry.
Ball bungees are great for securing grip kit.
And a couple of small Magic Arms are indispensable for mounting recorders/monitors or for placing small lights and microphones in awkward places.