The primary difference between these and the regular Blu-ray sets are in the packaging, first, which was designed by Elastic (the same guys who brought us the famous Game of Thrones intro). This packaging echoes that introduction, but gives it a bit of style to transfer to this very 2D medium. Oh, and each one features a collectible magnet (the Frey sigil and a Night’s Watch emblem referencing a raven and Longclaw), which is a nice touch.
The other, and perhaps bigger difference, is the actual content of the Bluray. It has all the same material as the previous Bluray set in terms of featurettes and commentaries, but for those who are audiophiles it has a special treat: the episodes have been remixed to use Dolby’s Atmos system. For those who have an Atmos-compliant sound system, that means that when a dragon breaths a gout of flame, the Atmos decoder will be able to process that sound and place it spatially in a way that makes sense. Instead of a simple decision about “left”, “right”, “center”, Atmos speakers can direct the sound to “move” appropriately. It’s a bit hard to explain, but our review of the S1 and S2 Steelbooks may help give more of an idea. We didn’t have a chance to test these Blu-rays on an Atmos system this time around, but we’re going to guess an episode like “The Rains of Castamere” or “The Watchers on the Wall” are going to benefit quite a lot from the Atmos technology.
Our episode guide for The Broken Man is now updated not only with a book-to-screen analysis but also HBO’s video extras for the episode as well as a rather earlier-than-usual written review of the episode. Unfortunately, the illness that hit me last week and prevented our mid-week A Song of Ice and Fire video has now hit Linda, leaving her without a voice and not feeling too well. So, no video review today, and maybe not for a couple more days. Our apologies!
In the mean time, we also had a fun result with the Game of Thrones death poll, as a few people correctly guessed whether anyone would die this episode. We’ve picked a winner—@mackarillo—and are now on to Death Poll #8! This is the Facebook edition of the contest. To enter, simply like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess as a comment on our post on the page about the contest. Acceptable guesses include a single, non-flashback named and recurring character, or simply “no one”. Multiple guesses will be discarded. Because the last Facebook contest failed to turn up any winners, we’ll select two winners if possible from a random draw of all those who offer correct guesses.
After a number of delays and travails, the documentary Fair Game which examines the critical and media landscape surrounding HBO’s Game of Thrones has now been released on Vimeo. It’s not free—there’s a $1 digital rental fee—but if you’ve time (it’s just shy of 90 minutes) and are interested in the topic as discussed by interview and journalist Miodrag Zarkovic with a number of commentators including Newsday’s TV reviewer Verne Gay, Salon.com co-founder Laura Miller, NYU Professor Dana Polan, and more (including Elio García of Westeros.org and Stefan Stasse of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour), it’s well worth the time.
You can find out more at the website Internet Remembers!
The episode guide for “The Door” now contains HBO’s post-episode extras, as well as our book-to-screen breakdown and a video review of the episode. This particular episode proved extremely popular, looking at our traffic… and that likely has to do a bit with some of its major revelations. The video, which we’ll embed below, discusses those revelations in detail and considers what implications they have for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
In related news, we closed the death poll somewhat early due to the leak that took place earlier yesterday… and so, as it happens, absolutely no one correctly guessed whether anyone died and/or who died in the episode. This is the second death poll to have that happen! This means that the next time we do a Facebook poll (that would be for episode 8), there’ll be two winners chosen.
But on to Death Poll #6! This round of the Death Poll—which will be about guessing deaths for the third episode—will be open to our Forum members, so if you’re not already signed up you will need to get that sorted out to have another chance at winning. The prizes on offer will be the same as for the Twitter & Facebook rounds— will be a choice between the Dark Horse Deluxe Hodor & Bran figure and The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection. To enter, just find this post in the Game of Thrones News subforum and post your guess. Acceptable guesses include a single, non-flashback named and recurring character, or simply “no one”. Multiple guesses will be discarded.
The episode guide for “Book of the Stranger” has been updated with Linda’s video review of the episode, as well as a book-to-screen analysis and a few of HBO’s extras such as the “Inside the Episode”. More content to come, and keep an eye out later this week when Linda and I will return to discussing A Song of Ice and Fire in a video that will be at least tangentially related to the events of the episode.
In related news, our fourth Death Poll received a result as well, as our Twitter followers made some shrewd guesses. Congratulations to @marisaog, as well as to @aimieyig since the first death poll had no winners.
This leads to the next poll, for “The Door”, which is once again for our Facebook followers once again. To enter, simply like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess as a comment on this post. One chosen winner will have a choice between the Dark Horse Deluxe Hodor & Bran figure and The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection.
The episode guide for “Oathbreaker” has been updated with Linda’s video review of the episode, as well as a book-to-screen analysis and a few of HBO’s extras such as the “Inside the Episode”. More content to come. We’ll include the video below, for those who want to get at it now. Keep an eye out later this week when Linda and I will return to discussing A Song of Ice and Fire in a video that, Linda tells me, will be at least tangentially related to the events of the episode.
In related news, our second Death Poll received a result as well, as members of our forum took a stab (hah) at guessing who’d meet a horrible end in the episode. We’ll be posting about the fourth death poll very shortly, although this one is once again for our Twitter followers... and since no one successfully guessed for that episode, this time we’ll select two lucky winners (provided contestants actually guess right this time!)
A few days ago, we posted about the documetary Fair Game, from journalist Miodrag Zarkovic, which features interviews with other journalists, academics, and fans (including Elio of Westeros.org) discussing the critical landscape around HBO’s Game of Thrones. The release of the documentary is forthcoming, but the Internet Remembers project has now posted the first 7 minutes of the documentary on Youtube as a teaser. You can see it below:
Serbian journalist Miodrag Zarkovic, who some may know from his critical articles and essays on Game of Thrones, has started a new project: documentary filmmaking. On his new site, Internet Remembers, Zarkovic has released the trailer for the first documentary under that banner. Titled Fair Game, Zarkovic examines the collision of the Internet with cultural phenomena Game of Thrones, with an eye toward the critical landscape around it. In the course of this, he interviews professors, journalists, entertainment lawyers… and, as it happens, one website owner by the name of Elio García.
Here’s the trailer for Fair Game, which is due to be released in the coming months via Vimeo:
More information when we have it, but those who are intrigued by the project have the option of donating financially to Internet Remembers, to help fund this and other, future projects!
Well, it seems HBO managed to provide quite a surprise in the first episode. When we closed the poll on Friday (as rumors of a leak started to surface), no one had correctly guessed any of the three characters—Doran Martell, Trystane Martell and Areo Hotah—who meet their end in the season opener. We’re not the least surprised that no one guessed Doran or Areo, though admittedly Trystane might more easily have been seen as being in danger, albeit from Cersei rather than his cousins.
So, for the first week, there is no winner. But, never fear, there’s nine weeks to go and plenty of characters available to kill. For the second episode, please like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess (one per person!) as a comment on this post. From those who get it right, we will randomly select a winner who will have a choice between one of the new Funko Dorbz figures (not yet out, but the first wave will include Daenerys, Jon, Ned, Tyrion and the Night King) or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
One of the more interesting licensing endeavors by HBO—collaborating with Pyrrha to create jewelry inspired by the houses of the series—has become even more interesting now that Pyrrha has announced a new line of Game of Thrones talismans focused on the characters. Here’s the press release:
PYRRHA ASKS GAME OF THRONES® FANS TO SHOW THEIR ALLEGIANCE WITH NEW CHARACTER TALISMANS
ICONIC JEWELRY BRAND’S 2016 GAME OF THRONES COLLECTION FEATURES THREE FAN-FAVORITE CHARACTERS LEADING INTO SEASON 6
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2016 (Vancouver, BC) – As Game of Thrones fans gear up for the world premiere of the hit series’ highly anticipated sixth season on April 24, Pyrrha adds to the fervor by releasing three character talismans in partnership with HBO Global Licensing.
Since introducing their distinctive interpretations of the seven houses of Westeros in 2014, Pyrrha’s handcrafted designs have been showcased at numerous festivals and conventions including SXSW and San Diego Comic-Con, and fans have responded enthusiastically.
Pyrrha’s new line of Game of Thrones talismans features quotes and imagery made famous by the memorable characters that spoke the words. These fan-favorites will continue to play a role in the battle for the Iron Throne as they journey through Westeros during season six.
“A Lannister always pays his debts.” – Tyrion Lannister
“Valar morghulis.” – Arya Stark
“Fire cannot kill a dragon.” – Daenerys Targaryen
“The Pyrrha studio team are passionate Game of Thrones watchers, so this new line is a very collaborative effort,” said Pyrrha designer, Wade Papin. “We went through several rounds of design revisions before settling on the most powerful interpretations that would resonate with fans. Plus we have additional characters in the works, so stay tuned.”
Starting at $218 USD, the Pyrrha for Game of Thrones character talismans are now available online in reclaimed sterling silver or bronze. The complete collection is also available at the Pyrrha flagship store in Los Angeles.
Pyrrha designers Danielle and Wade Papin have been creating signature talisman jewelry in their Vancouver, Canada studio since 1995. Using time honoured, old world techniques, Pyrrha is handcrafted with reclaimed metals and conflict-free stones and features authentic wax impressions and imagery from the Victorian era. Each talisman is designed to inspire the wearer with its symbolic meaning culled from heraldry. The iconic talismans have captured international attention and are embraced by celebrities and style icons around the world. Pyrrha can be found at leading boutiques globally and at the brand’s flagship store in Los Angeles, California.
About HBO Global Licensing
HBO Global Licensing officially licenses the HBO® brand for the development and merchandising of innovative product lines inspired by the network’s award-winning programming. With products created around hit series like Game of Thrones® and VinylSM as well as classic series like The Sopranos®, Sex and the City®, True Blood® and Entourage, items include fashion apparel, figures, jewelry, digital and CD soundtracks, prop and costume replicas, games, books, and beverages, as well as exclusive, premium collections in partnership with upscale, designer brands. Merchandise can be purchased in retail stores nationwide, at http://store.hbo.com, and at the groundbreaking HBO retail hub, the HBO Shop®, located at 42nd and 6th Avenue in New York City. HBO Global Licensing products are also sold internationally across Europe (http://www.hboshopeu.com), Asia and Australia.
HBO’s on a roll in the lead up to Sunday’s premiere of Game of Thrones, first announcing that the show—as well as fellow programs Veep and Silicon Valley—had all been renewed through 2017.
That’s not surprising for Game of Thrones, but the fact that it’s only a single season pick-up is quite interesting since if HBO and the show runners have agreed on the “eight season” plan mooted in recent articles, one would expect that an eighth season pickup would also be announced. Possibly this is all pending contract negotiations, but there seems room for some variability in the final shape of the show as it approaches its end.
Shortly after this announcement, HBO released nine new high-resolution images from the premiere episode of the season. The image above is one of them, and the rest can be found in our image gallery.
As we posted about yesterday, we will run a contest leading up to each episode of Season 6 where our followers get to guess who (if anyone) dies in the upcoming episode. The first Death Poll contest will be for our Twitter followers. So, what do you need to do? Simply follow @westerosorg on Twitter and tweet us our guess as to who will die in the first episode. Make sure to include the hashtag #gotdeathpollep1 so we can find your guesses! From those who get it right, we will randomly select a winner who will have a choice between one of the new Funko Dorbz figures (not yet out, but the first wave will include Daenerys, Jon, Ned, Tyrion and the Night King) or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
As an addition to the rules posted yesterday (they will be amended as well), we should note that of course there can be multiple correct answer if more than one character dies in an episode.
We’ve heard it from a number of the actors—Season 6 will be the most shocking season yet. We have a feeling that means HBO will be reducing the show’s budget in the bloodiest possible way, by an even greater body count than before. So, we thought we’d make a game out of it and give our followers a chance to win some things in the process. Here’s how it will go down.
Every Monday, starting tomorrow, we will start a new “Death Poll” on Twitter, Facebook or the forum. Each poll will be open to followers/members of that particular venue. To participate in the poll, simply respond to the tweet, Facebook post or forum post and tell us who you think will die in the upcoming episode. Out of those who get it right, a random winner will be selected the following Monday and announced as we start the next poll.
1) Only one entry per person.
2) “No one” is a valid guess, but excludes unnamed, non-recurring characters. If a random guardsman dies in an episode but no named, recurring characters, the correct answer for that episode would be “no one”.
3) There may be multiple correct answers for any given episode if multiple characters die.
4) Prizes will be shipped via Amazon.com, though that should not be a problem for most places.
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:
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”.
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: