Game of Thrones

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


Game of Thrones Coming to Sweden?

A curious item out of Gotlands Tidningar caught our eye, as it indicated a production company on Gotland was currently involved in collecting location photos for what we can only assume is early location scouting for season 8 of Game of Thrones.

© En-cas-de-soleil / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

According to Olivia Munck of The Line, a production and location services company in Gotland, over 300 images have been sent to the production in several batches as different environments and places were requested; these include images of the medieval town of Visby, followed by a second batch of Visby photos with a focus on older or more “aged” environments, and then a batch of photos focused on old farmsteads on Gotland (including Kattlunds and Stavgard).

Visby, which was the center of Hanseatic League for two centuries, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved medieval town in Scandinavia. Its medieval walls stretch for over 2 miles (3 kilometers), it’s packed with ruins of churches and cathedrals (such as St. Nicolai, where Linda and I held a few talks last year). It’s a beautiful, and quite unique, place, which has for over 30 years hosted the famous Medeltidsveckan medieval festival. The rest of Gotland is also dotted with historical sites and sites of archaeological value, and features some beatuiful vistas (as one can see on The Line’s site). And of course, being in Scandinavia, it’s also known to get a good deal of snow which one supposes might be considered useful for the final season of the series.

So, is the production actually going to end up filming in Sweden? Munck was also interviewed by Sveriges Radio after the initial article made the rounds in the press, and there reiterated that she felt the production certainly has some interest in filming there since she doesn’t suppose they would have asked for so many pictures over time if they were writing it off. At the same time, however, she cautioned that nothing was certain at this stage, that no contracts had been signed, and gave it no better than 50/50 odds after citing that Sweden does not have the kind of tax breaks for film productions that Iceland, Spain, Croatia, and other countries where Game of Thrones has filmed previously.

According to Munck, after all these photos the next step for the production (if they continued to be interested) would probably be sending someone over to take a look around in person.

Thrones at the Emmys

This year’s Emmy Awards have concluded and the results featured a few surprises in the acting categories, but the overall picture was as expected for Game of Thrones as it secured a total of 12 Emmys, tying last year’s record. Besides repeating for Best Dramatic Series, the show received direction and writing awards for “The Battle of the Bastards”. The shut out in the acting categories goes against prevailing opinions among entertainment pundits and journalists, but it seems that while the voting constituency (rule changes in 2015 are a big part of why Game of Thrones is now dominant in the drama category) loves Peter Dinklage, his puzzled reaction to last year’s victory moved the voters away from him and instead saw them return to an old stand by (Maggie Smith) and a long-time veteran (Ben Mendelsohn) over the remaining Game of Thrones nominees.

Some notable remarks followed the Emmys when interviewers asked the showrunners about the future of the series and the possibility of sequels. According to the Hollywood Reporter:

“You might want to ask George about that. It’s a great world George created and a very rich world,” said Benoiff. “I’m sure there will be other series set in Westeros, but for us this is it.”

Martin quickly stepped up to the mic: “I do have thousands of pages of fake history of everything that led up to Game of Thrones, so there’s a wealth of material there and I’m still writing more. But at the moment I still have this show to finish and two books to finish, so that’s all speculation for now.”

Benioff’s remark reiterates that he and Weiss are done with showrunning for the forseeable future when Game of Thrones wraps up, which is no surprise, but it seems that discussions at HBO are at the point where he seems to have no doubt that some sort of follow-on project is likely. On the other hand, as GRRM says, it all remains speculation until HBO is ready to lock something in. We suspect it’ll be a year or two before we hear of any firm plans for a spin-off series drawing from The World of Ice and Fire or A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

Game of Thrones Election Results

HBO’s fun Game of Thrones promotion, pitting a number of characters as candidates in a fictional presidential election, concluded with over 1.6 million votes cast… 35% of which went to Jon Snow and his very popular running mate, Lyanna Mormont (there appear to be no minimum age requirements for the presidency of the Seven Kingdoms). To honor the occasion, an official campaign song from the band Valyrian Steel (fictional moniker of Kyle Gass, John Spiker, and John Konesky of Tenacious D), has been released on Soundcloud:

The GoT Party website has all the details of the results, as well as links to various videos made as part of the promotion.

Game of Thrones Concert Tour

The recently-announced Game of Thrones concert has expanded to a full-on tour across North America, and we have the full details—including all 28 locations (including 3 Canadian concerts)—in the press release below the cut. We can provide fans who are interested a special pre-sale code thanks to HBO and Live Nation, as well, for those who want to get their tickets sorted out as early as possible! If you’re interested, just follow this link, select the venue you’re interested in, go through the seating and ordering process, select the “HBO Fans and Family” option and use the code GOTTOUR when prompted for the promo code. This will get you access to the tickets now rather than waiting for the general sale date on Saturday!

See the full details on the concerts below, and don’t forget you can order the Season 6 soundtrack!

HBO Confirms Eighth Season as Last

The TCA press tour is taking place, where network executives talk with reporters about their programming, and of course new HBO programming head Casey Bloys has fielded questions regarding Game of Thrones. As Variety’s live blog notes, there’s two major take aways.

First, Bloys confirmed that the 8th season of the show would be its last, although like other HBO executives he says he would be happy to get 10 more seasons. Many fans have assumed the 8th would be the last, given statements from Benioff and Weiss, but this is the first direct and explicit confirmation.

Second, Bloys remarked on the possibility of a “spin-off” so long as it “makes sense creatively.” What that means, exactly, is anyone’s guess, but certainly many HBO watchers and commentators have noted that it would be very logical for HBO to commission some sort of spin-off to hold on to at least some part of the show’s audience (averaging 25 million viewers per episode across all delivery methods) at a time when HBO’s upcoming programming has a lot of question marks floating around it.

Other, smaller details to note are that the late airing of season 7 (as we’ve previously reported) will mean that that season will not be in contention for the Emmys, and because of that late start it seems likely that The Leftovers will be scheduled to fill in that Spring-early Summer period.

T-Shirts from the HBO Store

We’ve gone through the HBO Store’s current selection of Game of Thrones t-shirts and picked out a few of the newer releases for your perusal. After all, who doesn’t need a set of t-shirts for summer (even one that reads “Winter is Here”)?

We particularly like some of the new designs incorporating house sigils, such as this Stark, Targaryen and Lannister shirt, and of course everyone needs a Hodor shirt.

Comic Con Exclusives at the HBO Store

Don’t fancy fighting through the hordes of fans at Comic Con to get a look at some of the exclusive Game of Thrones merchandise launched there? Don’t worry, the HBO store has limited quantities of the exclusive products on sale.

If you want to take home your very own giant, albeit in a more portable format, the Mag the MightyFunko Pop might be just the thing. Or, if you prefer a smaller trio, there’s an exclusive Funko Dorbz 3-Pack featuring a White Walker, Joffrey Baratheon and the Hound.

Should you like something more substantial there’s also the metallic silver Night King bust. Just keep it hidden in case you play the Game of Thrones: Clue with the exclusive Expansion Set and someone is a sore loser.

Blu-ray and DVD Details Released

The Game of Thrones Season 6 Blu-ray and DVD set is due to hit shelves on November 15th (with digital HD available sooner on August 1st). HBO has finally revealed the contents of the the sets, and there’s quite a lot of interest—particularly a great deal of matter relating to the Tourney at Harrenhal. Quite interesting!

Here’s the full details below:

New York, N.Y., July 18, 2016 – Last year’s Emmy® Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series and currently nominated for 23 2016 Emmy® Awards including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing Outstanding Supporting Actress (Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams) and Outstanding Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington), Game of Thrones is bigger than ever delivering “the power and pathos fans have come to expect” (Los Angeles Times).  The HBO drama has consistently been the top selling TV on DVD/BD for the past five years and now fans can get the most recent season earlier than ever when Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season debuts from HBO Home Entertainment on Digital HD on August 1, 2016 and on Blu-ray™ with Digital HD and DVD November 15, 2016. The set features all 10 episodes, plus extensive bonus content:


Game of Thrones Filming This Summer

HBO has sent out a press release concerning the 7th season of Game of Thrones, confirming several details—most notably the total number of episodes for the season, seven—that have come out over the last weeks. The press release is below:

The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning series GAME OF THRONES will begin shooting its next season later this summer, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming. Production of the seven-episode seventh season will be based in Northern Ireland, while additional portions will be filmed in Spain and Iceland, with debut slated for summer 2017 on HBO.

        “Now that winter has arrived on GAME OF THRONES, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing,” said Bloys. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”

        Season seven directors will include Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman and Alan Taylor.

        Locations for shooting in Spain will include Sevilla, Caceres, Almodovar del Rio, Santiponce, Zumaia and Bermeo.

        Last week, GAME OF THRONES received 23 Primetime Emmy® nominations, the most of any nominee for the third year in a row. This year’s nominations include Outstanding Drama Series, 2 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington), 3 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams), Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Max von Sydow), 2 for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Miguel Sapochnik, Jack Bender) and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss).

        Season seven credits: The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Cogman; producers, Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney.

Game of Thrones: The Scavenger Hunt

NOTE: Due to the overwhelming interest in the Game of Thrones Comic Con Scavenger Hunt announced earlier today, the process of selecting winners is being modified. Fans will now have until 5pm on Saturday, July 23, to complete all of the Twitter photo challenges. Once completed, they can go to USAopoly’s CLUE: Game of Thrones Experience Booth #1017 between 9:30am-5pm PT on Saturday to enter their name, contact info and Twitter handle into a raffle for a chance to win one of 15 prize packs valued at approximately $200.

HBO‘s Game of Thrones is going to have a big presence at San Diego Comic Con, as it has done in previous years. This year, they’ve added something new: a scavenger hunt for attendees, hunting around licensee booths for photo opportunities with some of the many licensed Game of Thrones products for a chance to win a nifty prize pack including games, toys, and more!

Full details in the press release below:

The Doors of Northern Ireland

This week, Linda and I will be featuring our visit to Northern Ireland last week as we toured the locations of the ten Game of Thrones themed doors that are scattered around the country, many of them in close association with noteworthy filming locations from the HBO series. We’ve already made our first post, introducing the series and the first of the two doors—you’ll find it here! We had a wonderful time, as can be expected—everyone was incredibly friendly, and we met some real characters along the way! The only thing more fantastic than some of the meals we had were the scenic landscapes, especially the coast of Antrim which is very justly renowned.

But more on all that in the days to come!

The Winds of Winter Episode Guide and Death Poll Result

While Elio & I are enjoying the sights and flavors of Northern Ireland (courtesy of Discover NI)—we’ll be posting some of the adventure as we go along on our Twitter and Facebook page—those who watched the last episode of Game of Thrones can watch my review of “The Winds of Winter” in our episode guide. Here’s the review embedded below for the impatient!

As to the tenth and final death poll, we had many, many entries indeed. Lots of fans had a lot of correct guesses, but in the end among those we randomly selected one of our Twitter followers, @MidnightAnswers. Many thanks for all who participated! Maybe we’ll do this again next season, assuming there’s enough characters left alive to make it an actual challenge!

Game of Thrones Season 6 Soundtrack

HBO is sneaking out the Game of Thrones Season 6 Soundtrack, which is due to hit shelves on June 24th for digital downloads, June 29th on CD, and as a 3-disc vinyl set on July 1st. This, despite a few days ago there being no sign of it on Amazon or other retailers. Quite the surprise!

But, notably, HBO and Pandora have teamed up to give a free preview of the album from June 21st (that’d be today) through June 24th. You can hear it yourself as an Exclusive Album Preview (provided you’re in one of the countries Pandora can stream to!)

Here’s the full track listing:

1) Main Titles
2) Blood of My Blood
3) Light of the Seven
4) Needle
5) Coronation
6) Feed the Hounds
7) My Watch has Ended
8) The Red Woman
9) Hold the Door
10) Khaleesi
11) Maester
12) A Painless Death
13) Reign
14) Let’s Play a Game
15) Bastard
16) Trust Each Other
17) Winter Has Come
18) Hear Me Roar
19) The Winds of Winter

Battle of the Bastards Guide and Death Poll Finale

The episode guide for “The Battle of the Bastards” now includes Linda’s video review of the episode, plus HBO’s various video extras and more. We’ll embed the review below:

And as has been tradition this season, we’ve had a result (quite a lot of correct guesses, as you can guess) for our death poll on the forum for the episode! Congratulations to board member “Elaena Targaryen” who was one of the many to guess one of the major deaths!

This now leads us to the final poll for the season, for “The Winds of Winter”. This one’s special because we’ll open it to all three venues: our Facebook Page, our Twitter, and of course the ASoIaF Forum. And yes, this means you can enter three times, with three different guesses if you want, though only one guess per venue.

To enter, share a guess at a named, recurring character who dies in the season finale (sorry, “Bald Sparrow #4” doesn’t count!) Only one guess per person per venue. Also, no flashback character deaths need apply! To enter on our forum, join the forum and post to the thread about this post in the Game of Thrones News sub-forum. To enter on the Facebook page, follow us and post your guess in the page post about the final poll. Finally, to enter on Twitter, follow us and tweet your guess to @westerosorg while adding the hash tag #gotdeathpoll10. We’ll collate all the guesses and choose one random winner from those who guessed correctly!

Oh, and the prizes? Besides a choice between the A Game of Thrones 20th Annviersary Illustrated edition (note: not yet published) and the A Game of Thrones: The Board Game 2nd Edition from Fantasy Flight Games, Linda and I will also send a signed copy of The World of Ice and Fire.

Good luck!

No One Episode Guide and Death Poll Results

Our episode guide for “No One” has now been updated with Linda’s review of the episode—including an amusing bit which we decided to leave in, when our dog Breeze decided to wander by and it wasnt’ clear whether he was going to demand some attention or not!—which we’ll embed below:

Besides that, we also had results with our 8th Death Poll, and have contacted the two randomly-selected winners who correctly guessed if any characters would die this episode, and named one of them correctly. This means we’re now launching a pentultimate ninth Death Poll for “The Battle of the Bastards, and this one returns to being exclusive to the A Song of Ice and Fire Forum.