Game of Thrones

HBO's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' TV Show

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HBO’s New Direction and Prequel News

An interesting set of reports from yesterday touch on HBO’s future and the future of Game of Thrones.

First, the Belfast Telegraph reports that allegedly staff at Paint Hall—the massive studio space used by Game of Thrones as its main base of operations for all of its seasons—have been told that the prequel pilot ordered back in June will begin filming this October.

Suffice it to say, if true, this is a very fast production path by HBO standards. By way of comparison, the original Game of Thrones pilot was ordered in November 2008 but filming did not begin until October 2009—almost a full year after. And Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen show had a pilot order in September, and began filming in May, eight months later.

If the Telegraph’s report is accurate, it’ll just be four months from pilot order to pilot shoot. But it’s important to stress that caveat—it’s entirely possible that October will see the beginnings of pre-production, such as set building, location scouting, and costuming, rather than actual filming. What can it mean, however, if this tight deadline really is true?

We have two thoughts on it.

Filming Wraps on Final Season

Reports from over the weekend reveal that the final scenes have been filmed for Game of Thrones season 8, the final season of HBO’s hit fantasy series. It’s been an extraordinarily long shoot, beginning on October 23rd of last year, meaning just over 8 months have gone into filming the last six episodes of the show. Maisie Williams has posted a farewell image on her Instagram which has caused a bit of a stir in and of itself:

Though no air date has been announced, we do know from HBO that the show will not air until 2019.

Discussing the Successor Pilot

I’m off to the U.S. for the week to visit family, but ahead of that Linda and I found some time to sit down and (finally) record a video for the Youtube channel where we discuss the news (including comments from George R.R. Martin at Not a Blog) and consider just what the writer and prospective showrunner, Jane Goldman, brings to the table.

Also, wild-eyed musings about whether she could convince her frequent collaborator Matthew Vaughn to direct the pilot…

Details on Prequel Pilot Revealed

Big news today, thanks to EW: HBO has ordered a pilot to be filmed of one of the several successor shows that have been in development, and we have a lot of details to go with it.

Copyright Marc Simonetti and Random House

The pilot will be from Jane Goldman, who has previously given hints about what she was working on. And the new report shows that yes indeed, there’ll be magical creatures of some kind in her work…

Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.

While some fans mused going that far back, we admit, it was something we considered quite unlikely because it’d surely give a vastly different feel to the setting. But HBO seems to have been quite intrigued. And, as the EW article notes, this doesn’t necessarily mean HBO is done with pilot orders, as the article notes, “[s]ources say the other four prequel ideas are still under consideration.”

It should be stressed this is a pilot order, rather than a greenlight straight to series. HBO is known for being careful with productions, and often ordering pilots, many of which never end up being made. But it’s another step closer for there being some sort of Game of Thrones spinoff in 2020 or later.

 

 

Game of Thrones 4K Trailer released

For those with a 4K monitor or television with internet capability, HBO has released a short, sweet 4K trailer for today’s release of the Game of Thrones Season 1 4k Blu-ray. We’ve discussed the details of this release in our initial post, but suffice it to say the 4K scenes featured in the trailer look very detailed indeed!

You can see the trailer below:

(And for those wondering, we’ve wrapped up our own contest for two copies of the UHD release! Congratulations to Al and BransNotTheNightKing!)

A Chance to Win 4K Game of Thrones Season 1

As previously reported, HBO is preparing to release the first season of Game of Thrones in 4k Blu-ray format on June 5th. In time with that, we’re pleased to announce a contest to win a copy of the Blu-ray!

This contest is, first off, US only! But that said, there’s two of these Blu-ray collections on offer. You’re allowed two entries, and only two, one each for Facebook and one for Twitter. To enter via Facebook,  post to the comment thread of this very post either directly at Westeros.org or via the Westeros Facebook Page. To enter via Twitter, simply reply send us a reply to the tweet about this post on the Westerosorg timeline.

Winners will be chosen on the 5th of June, with the sets sent out on June 6th.

Helgeland on his Successor Show

In an interview with The Indian Express, award-winning writer and director Brian Helgeland shared some thoughts on his work on one of five (or perhaps four) possible successors to Game of Thrones following its final season. This makes the second screenwriter attached to the successors to talk publicly about their work, following Jane Goldman‘s comments in an IGN interview last year.

The first take away: fan speculation that Helgeland had moved on, due to his being attached to write and direct a new film, seems to have been mistaken.

Game of Thrones 4K Available for Pre-order

Amazon is now listing the Game of Thrones season 1 4K, Ultra HD, HDR Blu-ray set.  It was announced earlier this month.

See our post at the time for more details, including commentary on the resolution the show was shot at across different seasons to have a better understanding of the source they’ll be working with. Of course, a 4K release will mean one big advantage: a higher bitrate, which will mean a lot more detail perserved even in the case when they’re upscaling from 1080p.

Culturefly Box, Round 2

Culturefly has unveiled their second subscription box in their Game of Thrones series, as well as its theme: the North and the Lands Beyond the Wall.

You can glimpse hints of what exclusive items the box will contain at ”>their page, which seem to include the inevitable Stark-branded item, as well as what we’re guessing are artworks depicting giants and wights, and what may be a sculpted weirwood.

A couple of months ago we had the pleasure of unboxing their first entry in the series, which you can see below:

Game of Thrones Season 1 in Ultra HD 4K

A press release from HBO announces that for the first time ever, Game of Thrones will get the 4k treatment. Available from June 5th, the first season of Game of Thrones will be available to be purchased as 4K Ultra HD Bluray or 4K digital download. Bonus features all sound like the same from the original season 1 DVD release.

We’ll have the full text below, but it’s worth noting that the first season was recorded to HDCAM-SR tapes in high bitrate 1080p. The next two seasons were also shot at 1080p, and only the fourth and following seasons were shot at the 2880p resolution. So far as we know, VFX for at least the first four seasons were all done at 1080P as well, and it’s unclear if that has ever changed.

Long and short of it, this and any future 4K Ultra HD Blurays are going to be upscaled to 4K rather than be native resolution, although they should gain substantially from the higher bitrates the media allows.

Here’s the press release below:

The Gremlin Returns

In his latest “Not a Blog” post, George R.R. Martin has posted a cryptic message featuring Froggy the Gremlin, which means he’s having fun presenting a puzzle to fans. Given the television tag in the post, and the reference to the dragon having three heads, thoughts certainly turn to his presenting some new information regarding HBO’s follow-ups to Game of Thrones.

As we know, originally four concepts were being developed by Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Carly Wray, and Brian Helgeland—but early on George hinted at a 5th pitch, which came to pass when HBO announced that Game of Thrones writer and producer Bryan Cogman was also working on a proposal with George.

That seems to easily explain the first two sets of images: Four series became five. As to the rest?

HBO Exec on Final Season and Prequel Budget

Reports in the entertainment press have brought attention to remarks from HBO executives at the INTV Conference that have touched on Game of Thrones. Variety reports that Francesca Orsi—the HBO’s senior VP for Drama—promised that the final season of the show will be a satisfying climax, including the anecdote that cast members at the table read of the six scripts openly wept and that there were “15 or 20 minutes” of applause when the last page was read.

Jerome Flynn Whale Fundraiser

To benefit Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the leading charity to protect whales and dolphins around the world, Jerome Flynn—everyone’s favorite mercenary sellsword, Bronn—will join a lucky winner on a trip to Iceland to tour various of the locations featured in Game of Thrones... as well as some extra treats.

The fundraiser, hosted at Prizeo, is a sweepstakes where every $1 donated gets one entry in a draw (minimum donation is $10).

Read Jerome’s message to supporters explaining the details:

I want you to join me “Beyond the Wall” to get a sneak peek and visit famous filming locations from the series, beyond the Seven Kingdoms.

I’ll fly you and a friend to Iceland, and will take you on a tour of some of the most breath-taking Game of Thrones locations including the ‘First of the First Men’ and the ‘mountain that looks like an arrowhead’ from Season 7.

Your flights and hotel accommodation will be covered, and we’ll even go on a private whale watching trip at one of the world’s best whale watching spots, where you’ll have the chance to see orcas, humpbacks, dolphins, and sperm whales wild and free in their natural habitat.

And better yet - if you spot an orca during the trip who doesn’t yet have a name in the Icelandic orca catalogue, you’ll be able to choose a name for him or her, which will be used by the whale watchers and scientists forevermore!

It only takes a $10 minimum donation to enter to win this amazing trip of a lifetime! Your donation supports Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s vital work protecting these amazing creatures from the many threats they face.

Thank you so much for your support. I can’t wait to meet one of you in Iceland!

The WDC fundraiser ends on April 23rd.

Benioff and Weiss to Create New Star Wars Series

Big news out of Lucasfilm, as their official Star Wars site announces that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are planning to go to a galaxy far, far away. Per the announcement:

It was announced today that Benioff and Weiss, creators of the smash-hit, Emmy Award-winning television series Game of Thrones, will write and produce a new series of Star Wars films.

These new films will be separate from both the episodic Skywalker saga and the recently-announced trilogy being developed by Rian Johnson, writer-director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

From Benioff and Weiss’s statement, they plan to jump into this as soon as Game of Thrones is done, meaning they’re keeping themselves quite busy as they’re also supposed to be executive producing the controversial HBO project Confederate.

Unboxing the CultureFly Game of Thrones Box

After a long trip through Swedish customs, CultureFly’s Game of Thrones Box has arrived for Linda to unbox. The very first entry in a quarterly series of boxes, which can be bought individually or subscribed to annually, is inspired by the noble houses of Westeros and features a number of exclusive items that will only be found in this limited edition box. See the video for the unboxing!

Intrigued? Put in WESTEROS20 when ordering—yes, they do ship internationally, though bear in mind import fees may apply—and get a 20% discount!

More videos to come…