Game of Thrones

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

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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…

HBO Confirms 2019 for Final Season

A brief press release from HBO has confirmed what has long been understood: the final, 6-episode season of Game of Thrones will not air until 2019.

Here’s the press release in full:

Your readers may be interested to know that the hit HBO series GAME OF THRONES will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season in 2019.

Directors for the new season are: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik. Writers for the new season are: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.

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, Bryan Cogman, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin.

Royal Mail Issues Game of Thrones Stamps

Back during the 6th season, the UK’s Royal Mail and Tourism NI collaborated on a series of 10, limited edition Game of Thrones stamps. Now to start off the New Year, the Royal Mail has announced a brand new series of Game of Thrones stamps featuring characters and notable creatures and items from the series:

The ten set of individual stamps feature popular characters such as Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Cersei Lannister, while an additional sheet of stamps feature “the Night King and White Walkers; Giants; Direwolves and Dragons, as well as a stamp of the contested Iron Throne.”

The stamps can now be pre-ordered at the Royal Mail shop, ahead of the January 23rd release date; fans in the UK can visit any one of 7,000 Post Office branches across the UK to purchase them directly, or they can call the Royal Mail at 03457 641 641 and order stamps over the phone.

There’s a dizzying variety of options to choose from for collectors and fans, including some collectable covers and other items that are apparently limited editions with no more than 1,500 copies to be made.

Exclusive Dragonpit Featurette

Thanks to HBO, we have an exclusive from the forthcoming Season 7 Blu-ray/DVD set. This animated featurette, one of many included with the set (more on that below), gives fans a look at the Dragonpit’s dark history with narration from Conleth Hill (Varys) and Anton Lesser (Qyburn). Using details from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series as well as our own The World of Ice and Fire, it’s a fun piece that covers its creation to its final fate:


HBO has also sent out some expanded/revised details on the the full compliment of extras included with the season set. You can read that below!

Bluray Premiere Event Announced

As usual, HBO is making sure that the release of the Game of Thrones Season 7 set makes a big splash. This time, there’s three screening events featuring some iconic thrones and more. The episode “Spoils of War” will be screened, followed by the full 45 minute Conquest and Rebellion animated feature detailing the history of the Targaryens. Earlier this year we shared a clip from the feature:

Fans can pre-register and attend provided they have proof of purchase of one of the sets. Here’s the full details of the events below:

 

UK Cinema Marathon

Ahead of the release of the Game of Thrones Season 7 box set (which includes one of the more elaborate set of extras to date, as previously reported), HBO UK and London’s Prince Charles Cinema have teamed up for an ambitious marathon of the entire Game of Thrones series, non-stop save for evening dinner breaks which will feature food from MOD Pizza.

For those in London, this sounds like it could be an excellent opportunity to see some of the best episodes of the show on the big screen with an audience. Here’s the full details below:

Game of Halloween

The HBO store is promoting a number of fun items ahead of Halloween. There’s a terrific mask for the Wun-Wun fans, a foam sword, a Night’s Watch shirt, and more. While browsing the store to see what other goodies had appeared, we also came across these pretty neat looking decorative masks inspired by the great houses of Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister (and, curiously, House White Walker):

 

Game of Thrones Live Concert Sweden Contest

Tickets for the Game of Thrones live concert, which is now coming to Europe, are becoming available… including in Sweden, where Ramin Djawadi will lead the spectacular concert in Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe on May 31st.

In connection to this, we’re also very pleased to announce that in collaboration with Live Nation, we’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away! Read the press release for the event below, and we’ll follow up with how to win!

Final Season Budget Rumors

Thanks to an article over at Variety discussing the minutae of high-end television budgets, a new detail regarding the budget for the final six episodes of Game of Thrones is making the rounds. According to the piece, HBO is expecting to spend $15 million per episode, which would be the highest amount spent per-episode on the series to date.

The article goes on to talk about why shows are costing so much, as well as raising the question as to whether a $20 million-per-episode series may eventually happen. This is not really a new situation, though, if one looks at limited series. Most recently, The Pacific from HBO cost some $20 million per episode across its 10 episodes; adjusting for inflation, in fact the price tag is closer to $22.5 million per episode. That was very much an “event” series, from the same people who had put together the exceptional Band of Brothers, but suffice it to say that if HBO was willing to countenance then, it should be no surprise they’re willing to countenance it now.

If anything, the $15 million price tag that Variety talks about feels a little low, since rumors have pegged season 6 episodes at averaging $10 million, while cinematographer Robert McLachlan implied that season 7 had a similar overall budget—i.e., approximately $14.28 million per episode on average. A 5% increase in budget doesn’t seem that noteworthy. On the other hand, it’s always possible that the reporting is mistaken, or that the particular numbers thrown about are merely very conservative estimates. We would not be surprised to hear of a much higher figure after filming is underway or wraps.

Game of Thrones Live Concert Announces European Tour

Straight from HBO, the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will be hitting Europe with numerous dates from May to June, and then a resumption of North American touring in September and October. All concerts are set to be overseen personally by award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi. See below for more information and dates:

LOS ANGELES (September 26, 2017) - The critically acclaimed Game of Thrones® Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi will bring the world of Westeros to arenas across Europe starting in May of 2018. Additionally, due to popular demand, a second North American leg of the tour has been added for the autumn of 2018, giving fans the opportunity to watch in wonder as famed composer Ramin Djawadi leads an orchestra and choir performing music from all seven seasons of the iconic, Emmy® Award-winning HBO series. The new dates for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi will include new music and footage from Season 7, as well a new custom stage design and mesmerising visuals courtesy of state of the art video technology.