Game of Thrones

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The Future of Game of Thrones

The last couple of days has seen some significant news concerning the future of Game of Thrones thanks to remarks from showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, as well as HBO executive Michael Lombardo.

First out of the gate was this Variety interview in which Benioff was quoted as saying:

“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” said Benioff. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”

Clarification from other sources—doubtless HBO—clarified that the numbers were premature, but did say that upcoming seasons may be shorter than 10 episodes per season. The piece goes on to cite programming president Michael Lombardo, who acknowledged that Benioff and Weiss wanted to wrap the show in two years, but added that he was an “optimist” and though they would “figure this out”.

Three New Clips

HBO has released three clips from the new season of Game of Thrones. One of them, the longest, features a look at an area that the show hasn’t visited since the first season and which shows how far the show’s VFX prowess has grown over the years. The videos are included in a playlist below:

New Game of Thrones Trailer

Reports from the premiere last night stated a new trailer was aired there… and as expected, HBO has kindly shared the trailer with the world:

Seems like there’s a lot of new imagery in this one.

Secrecy-shrouded Season 6 Premiere

Last night, an exclusive mix of VIPs, critics, and fans had the opportunity to see the world premiere of Game of Thrones. The red carpet stream, hosted by Veronica Belmont, features interviews with most of the cast who were present on the day and you can see that below:

As noted by James Hibberd, among no-shows for this event were Kit Harington and George R.R. Martin, so no interviews with them. And speaking of Hibberd, he provided some initial impressions of the episode in his post on the premiere at EW. No real spoilers here, as the attendees were all asked to only speak very generally about the episode and to save the plot turns for fans watching on the 24th. One interesting detail, though, is David Benioff’s statement about the production:

“This season was a beast to make,” showrunner David Benioff told the audience at the premiere. “We shot 680 hours of dailies, which translates to 3.7 million feet of film. We shot in five different countries – Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, and Canada. We employed 900 crewmembers in Belfast; 400 in Spain. We issued 140 script revisions. We two shot units a day for 22 weeks straight, three units a day for 10 weeks straight, four units for two weeks straight. And none of that would be possible without the greatest producing team on the planet.”

If I’m counting right, that makes a total of eight countries the show has filmed in across six season (including briefly in the U.S., Malta in the first season, and Morocco for the pilot and third season.)

First Episode Title Revealed

HBO has sent out a press release announcing the title of the first episode of season 6, along with a (very) brief logline giving a general sense of the chief storylines. See below, but bear in mind some might consider some of the details as spoilers:

  Following the shocking developments at the conclusion of season five, including Jon Snow’s bloody fate at the hands of Castle Black mutineers, Daenerys’ near-demise at the fighting pits of Meereen, and Cersei’s public humiliation in the streets of King’s Landing, survivors from all parts of Westeros and Essos regroup to press forward, inexorably, towards their uncertain individual fates. Familiar faces will forge new alliances to bolster their strategic chances at survival, while new characters will emerge to challenge the balance of power in the east, west, north and south.

        The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning GAME OF THRONES returns for its ten-episode sixth season SUNDAY, APRIL 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT**), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, the hit fantasy series chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent kingdom.

        Returning series regulars on GAME OF THRONES this season include: Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Jonathan Pryce (the High Sparrow).

        Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand) and Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H’ghar).

        New cast members for the sixth season include: Pilou Asbaek, Essie Davis, Souad Faress, James Faulkner, Richard E. Grant, Ian McShane, Joe Naufau, Freddie Stroma and Max von Sydow.

April’s episode:

        Episode #51: “The Red Woman”

        Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

        Other HBO playdates: April 24 (11:30 p.m., 2:00 a.m.), 25 (12:10 a.m.), 26 (9:00 p.m., 3:35 a.m.), 28 (11:05 p.m.), 29 (9:00 p.m.) and 30 (11:30 p.m.), and May 6 (8:00 p.m.)

        HBO2 playdates: April 25 (8:30 p.m.) and 29 (1:00 a.m.), and May 1 (8:00 p.m.) and 28 (4:00 p.m.)

Jon Snow is dead. Daenerys meets a strong man. Cersei sees her daughter again.

        Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Jeremy Podeswa.

        In Sept. 2015, GAME OF THRONES received 12 Emmys®, a record for a series in one year, garnering awards for Outstanding Drama Series; Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage’s second win in the category); Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (David Nutter); Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss); Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More); Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series; Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series; Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic); Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series; Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour); Outstanding Special Visual Effects; and Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie.

        The show also received four Emmys® in Aug. 2014; two Emmys® in Sept. 2013; six Emmys® in Sept. 2012, tied for the most of any program; and two Emmys® in Sept. 2011. In addition, Peter Dinklage received a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television in Jan. 2012.

        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 and George R.R. Martin; supervising producer, Bryan Cogman; producers, Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney.

HBO Announces After the Thrones

This feels long over-due: HBO announces an after-show for season 6 of Game of Thrones, titled After the Thrones, which will feature critic and commentator Andy Greenwald (formerly of Grantland) and Chris Ryan of Grantland-succesor, The Ringer. See the press release below:


HBO AND BILL SIMMONS TEAM UP FOR AFTER THE THRONES,

WEEKLY SHOW EXPLORING HIT HBO SERIES “GAME OF THRONES,”

DEBUTING THIS MONTH

        AFTER THE THRONES, a weekly show that takes a lively, humorous and sophisticated look at the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” will debut this month. The first show to spring from HBO’s new partnership with Bill Simmons, AFTER THE THRONES will be hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan from The Ringer, Simmons’ new content site.

        Beginning with the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” on April 24, each weekly edition of AFTER THE THRONES will be available on Mondays on HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand, as well as other affiliate portals. Playdates on the main HBO channel will be announced as they are confirmed.

        Each week, AFTER THE THRONES will recap the latest episode, explaining the who, what, when and where, exploring the complicated politics and history of “Thrones,” and offering absurd and not-so-absurd theories about future episodes. Greenwald and Ryan will discuss the show as only they can.

        Greenwald and Ryan previously hosted Grantland’s hit Watch the Thrones podcast, and currently host The Watch on Channel 33’s podcast feed for The Ringer. Greenwald has established himself as one of America’s premier television critics, and is currently working on the book “How To Watch TV” (Ecco Press). Ryan is the executive editor of The Ringer. The Watch was hailed as one of the best pop-culture podcasts on the Internet by Vulture and Entertainment Weekly.

        The executive producers of AFTER THE THRONES are Bill Simmons and BSMG President Eric Weinberger, with Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald serving as co-executive producers.

New Game of Thrones Promo

Dubbed the “March Madness” promo, this new video for season 6 features a few things already glimpsed in the official trailer, but also a few new details for fans eagerly awaiting the next season:

Interesting final frame.

Review: Season 5 Bluray Set

Last month, courtesy of HBO, we were able to give an exclusive preview of one of the Histories and Lore from the Game of Thrones Season 5 Bluray set that’s to be released tomorrow. Along with that preview, we received a review copy of the set, and over the last weeks we’ve poked at its various extras to get a sense of what’s new.

On the whole, the extras this year are particularly noteworthy because of the addition of “Dance of [the] Dragons” animated feature fully 20 minutes long, featuring now-departed actors narrating in character (Harry Lloyd as Viserys, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn, Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon, Jack Gleeson as Joffrey, Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell, and Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon) the story of the brutal civil war that hastened the end of the Targaryen dragons. The art style for this, and the other Histories and Lore, is somewhat different from that of previous seasons. It’s cleaner in a way, but also sometimes a little more simplistic, even cartoonish, at times. The level of content is, however, quite impressive as they drew heavily from the material written for The World of Ice and Fire to provide substantial insight into the past and present of both Westeros and Essos.

Season 6 Red Band Trailer

A Tuesday release for the trailer wasn’t anything that anyone expected, but the highly-anticipated Season 6 trailer is now out:

For fans interested in the next season, lots of digest here, including glimpses of a flashback to the fracas at the tower of joy.

Making Game of Thrones: The Cameramen

There’s a brand new Game of Thrones video over at Making Game of Thrones, the official production blog for the show. Perhaps it’s because of the subject matter, but this struck me as one of the most visually beautiful of HBO’s behind-the-scenes videos looking into season 6. Also, while it’s not a trailer, it actually features a handful of pretty noteworthy details that we’ll discuss briefly below the video:

Exclusive S5 Bluray Preview: Robert’s Rebellion

Thanks to HBO, we’re able to provide an exclusive look at one of the new Histories and Lore that will be included in the Game of Thrones Season 5 Bluray set. Listen and watch below as Ian McElhinney—the late, lamented Ser Barristan Selmy—recounts the events of Robert’s Rebellion from their nascent beginnings to their bloody end:

We’re also very happy to be able to provide the full listing of the Histories and Lore, along with all the narrators for each segment. See that below:

Game of Thrones Teaser This Sunday

As we speculated with the release of new images from Season 6 of Game of Thrones, it looks like this Sunday HBO will air a new teaser for the season at 8:59PM, just prior to the premiere of Vinyl. There seems to be a very short extract from the teaser in the tweet announcing this:

 

New Season 6 Stills

HBO has released 20 brand new images from the forthcoming season 6, featuring a number of the key actors in the series, as well as one new-ish addition in the form of the legendary Max von Sydow in the role of the “Three-Eyed Raven”. While we’re working on getting them into our gallery, you can find them all at the official Making Game of Thrones website.

Here’s a sample of the images:

Macall B. Polay/HBO  Helen Sloan /HBO

Given that HBO’s new big series, Martin Scorsese’s and Mick Jagger’s Vinyl, is premiering this Sunday, this photo release does make it feel as if the first official season 6 trailer for Game of Thrones could well be making an appearance this weekend.

Game of Thrones, season 6 premieres April 24th.

New Season 6 Promos

Today, HBO’s official Game of Thrones Twitter announced the start of a new promotion for the upcoming sixth season of Game of Thrones with this intriguing tweet:

And the masses did just as they asked, flooding the account with their allegiance. What followed were three, individualized tweets whose responses included a very brief teaser video with voice overs from actors Iwan Rheon (Ramsay), Jonathan Pryce (the High Sparrow), and an unidentified actor playing a Dothraki. We’ve embedded these three responses below:

Game of Thrones Premiere Date, Renewal News

The TCA’s winter press tour is in full swing, an as usual it’s proved a bounty of information concerning Game of Thrones as executive Michael Lombardo spoke with press. As expected, the sixth season of the series will premiere on April 24th, starting at its usual 9PM Eastern time, to be followed by the premiere’s of the comedies Veep and Silicon Valley.The Hollywood Reporter provides further news of note, as well: HBO’s negotiating for two more seasons of the series, taking it through its 8th season.

As James Hibberd notes, this is news from Lombardo was hinted at last year when he said showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss saw the show running “two more years after six”. However, Lombardo apparently went a step further when discussing these plans when he indicated a full 7th season was not expected. Last year, following the remarks, both EW and we ourselves speculated that this could mean Benioff and Weiss were perhaps allowing for an extended, split 7th season,  to take the show through its 8th year. After all, this has been a common solution at networks to keep a popular show on the air for as long as possible. Now there’s the spectre of the 8th season being a full season in turn, or perhaps it, too, might be split across two years to take the show into 2019.

And it must be said, though we do fully expect the 8th season (whether it’s season 8 in 2018 or season 8a followed by by 8b in 2019) will be the show’s last, it’s worth noting that none of these reports indicate that Lombardo named it the final season. What to make of that? It doesn’t really mean anything, given negotiations are still in the work. but HBO’s executives have previously made it sound like they’d be happy to see the show run for ten years, so perhaps they’re keeping their hopes alive. It will be interesting if the official announcement of two more seasons makes any statement about the end of the series.