Well, this is a surprise: one of the features on the Game of Thrones Season 5 Bluray will be a 20 minute animated feature on the Dance of the Dragons (or, as the show would have it, the Dance of Dragons), the brutal civil war two Targaryens over the Iron Throne following the death of Viserys I. Recounted in detail in our own The World of Ice and Fire, as well as in part in GRRM’s “The Princess and the Queen”, it’s an event full of murder, battles, betrayals, scheming, and (of course) dragons.
IGN has the exclusive first look at the feature, with a section narrated by Pedro Pascal (aka Oberyn Martell) describing the Battle Above the Gods Eye between Prince Daemon Targaryen and his nephew Prince Aemond. And beyond his participation, IGN notes a number of other departed actors pitch in:
That certainly sounds like something to look forward to. The bluray set hits shelves on March 15th.
While I’m still a fan of comics in general, I stopped collecting years ago. But back in the day, I remember some particular moments from those days (we’re talking—gulp—25 years ago now), as a kid in middle school trading comics with friends (we’d gather on a hillside besides the athletic field and swap comics around; got to the point that a teacher volunteered to run an after-school comics club), going to Adventure Comics in Monterey (right near the Monterey Bay Aquarium!) with my brother and father to get the weekly fix. One significant name in that time, among many significant creators who I admired, was Todd McFarlane. His fame initially came from his artwork, especially on Spider-Man. Then he was a founder of Image comics, championing creator-owned mainstream comics (and, eventually, non-mainstream stuff, giving a home to, most notably, The Walking Dead).
McFarlane would go on to diversify his interests, and one of those would be McFarlane Toys. When word came out earlier this year that McFarlane’s company had received a license to produce Game of Thrones products, it was not a surprise: McFarlane Toys has often been on the cutting edge of pop culture properties; the aforementioned The Walking Dead has been a big success for them, by all accounts. Dark Horse and Funko and threeZero hold licenses for various figures… but McFarlane Toys has had real success with its construction sets, basically thematic “LEGO for adults” that helps fans recreate in miniature places and scenes from their favorite shows.
This is all a long-winded way to saying that courtesy of McFarlane Toys, we received a copy of the Iron Throne Room Construction Set, and below we’ll be discussing some of its particulars!
HBO’s now released a teaser for the next season, although it’s made up of material from previous seasons… except for voice overs at start and at the end, I believe:
Our friends at Dark Horse occasionally send us some of their Game of Thrones-licensed products for review, and we’ve had the pleasure of highlighting them over the last few years. The most recent arrival was particularly apropos, though, because in the package we had not one but two figures: 8 inch figures of Brienne of Tarth and the Hound. These are just two entries in what must be well over a dozen figures now in these series of high-quality sculpted figures, but I admit to being always particularly drawn to the armored figurines because… well, I’m fond of most of the show’s armoring!
After the grim, ugly duel between the characters in “The Children, it’s hard not to think about that scene when I placed these figures together. The detail of their armor and even their weapons—Oathkeeper’s hilt is particularly intricate—is excellent, and the Hound’s posture captures quite a lot about them. I’m particularly fond of the way that these figures use a sort of rubber for flexible details like the lower half of the Hound’s brigadine or Brienne’s gambeson.
Also quite impressed with the fact that the Hound’s visor can actually pivot up and down; it’s a very nice touch. If there’s any criticism to be made, I’ll admit that find Brienne’s face not terribly reminiscent of Gwendoline Christie. It’s a bit too lean—Christie’s she’s rounder-cheeked and the outfits she wears on the show deliberately pushes under her chin to give her a heavier appearance than she has in reality. The hair could have stood to be rather messier, as well, I think, to capture the often-unkempt appearance she has on the show. It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t quite match some of the other figures in facial representation, such as the remarkably good Hodor and Bran which is a great representation of Nairn and Hampstead-Wright as those characters.
The Brienne and Hound figures are already available, with a new wave of figures coming this month, including Jorah Mormont, another example of Dark Horse’s fantastic way with the armor on the series.
Despite speculation that HBO’s schedule has pushed season 6 of Game of Thrones into early May, brand new billboards put out by HBO in Los Angeles and New York reveal that the show will air in “April”. Given that the new Martin Scorsese show, Vinyl, will run into April as well, it looks like the sixth season will begin airing on the final Sunday in April, April 24th.
See below for a couple of images of the billboard, along with the tweets from those who shared them on the social media website:
The town of Osuna, Spain, which Linda and I had the pleasure of visiting earlier this year for the official release of the translation of The World of Ice and Fire, featured in last year’s filming when its bullring served as Daznak’s Pit.
While there’s no sign the show filmed there again this year, the town is quite proud of its involvement in the series and has decided to dedicate two rooms in the Museum of Osuna to a collection of Game of Thrones materials. This permanent exhibit will officially open on November 28th, and will contain a unique assemblage of materials. Of particular note is a collection of photographic and video footage related to the behind-the-scenes experience of filming at the bullring, providing a glimpse at the role of the town and its people in facilitating the production which lasted seventeen days.
Below, we’ve provided a translation of Osuna’s press release regarding the museum:
Following intense preparation and collection of material related to Game of Thrones, which filmed part of its fifth season just over a year ago in the bullring of Osuna, on November 28th the Museum of Osuna will inaugurate two permanent rooms dedicated to Game of Thrones and the “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, encapsulating just what filming of such a production has meant for the Ducal town of Osuna and its international recognition.
The grand finale to Telltale Games’s first Game of Thrones game, an episode titled “The Ice Dragon”, is due to hit PC, leading consoles, and leading mobile devices simultaneously on November 17th. This simultaneous release is a first for Telltale, and as we noted previously they made the very first episode available for free on the iOs platform to mark the occasion.
At the same time, Telltale has now released a bevy of new images from the final episode—images which in some cases may be a bit spoilery. In fact, in their official post about the release, they indicate that the decisions in this final episode will be momentous enough that users are likely going to want to replay the finale to try out different decisions and see the ultimate results. We’ll place the screenshots below, below the cut, to avoid spoilers!
Running Press, a publisher specializing in gift books and associated collectible “kits”, has turned its attention once again to the Seven Kingdoms with its latest book:Game of Thrones: The Noble Houses of Westeros.
A small but handsome, well-made volume using heavy paper stock, the 160 pages within it are devoted to a very brief overview of eleven significant noble families that have featured in the series since its inception, from the Starks and Lannisters and Targaryens all the way to more recent notable such as the Boltons and Freys. This is not really intended as a very informative book, of course: each house section gives a glimpse at the family’s seat, a brief family tree with some remarks on the fates of members living and dead, and photographs of the performers (most of them Helen Sloan’s fine work, but also stills from Macall Polay, Paul Schiraldi, and more.)
Besides a lovely new packaging inspired by the famed opening credits of the series (the first two sets feature a Stark-themed Winterfell and a Lannister-themed King’s Landing, and the next two sets will feature the Twins and the Wall when they are released; it’s worth noting that the central sigils also double as refrigerator magnets!), the chief draw is that the set will feature a brand new audio mix utilizing Dolby’s Atmos techology. This is an evolution from things like Dolby TrueHD, taking the audio experience in some very interesting directions. Although Atmos is quite new, and it may take awhile for there to be wide use of Atmos-capable speakers (particularly upwards-firing speakers designed to bounce sound off a ceiling to help create verticality, which spare home theater enthusiasts the cost and difficulty of mounting speakers on the ceiling), it’s worth noting that the Bluray of course also works with TrueHD and will play just fine on non-Atmos 5.1 or 7.1 audio systems.
Telltale Games has announced a November 17th release date for the final episode in their Game of Thrones adventure series, and to mark the occasion Telltales has made the first episode free on the iOs platform, as well as Android, XBox, and Playstation platforms. Telltale Games notes on their official blog that this final episode, titled “The Ice Dragon”, will be the first Telltale Games episodic installment recieving a same-day release on all available platforms; previous installments tended to role out over two or three days.
Finally, Telltale has put together a video featuring some of the Game of Thrones cast members—specifically Emilia Clarke, Natalie Dormer, and Iwan Rheon—who’ve lent their voices to the game:
New York Comic Con is presently under way, and it has featured a bevy of notable Game of Thrones content—not least a panel with actors Natalie Dormer, Keisha Castle-Hughes, and Finn Jones where they dicussed their roles on their show and offered some hints of what was yet to come. Here’s a video of the proceedings, courtesy of Emergency Awesome:
The convention was also filled with Game of Thrones-licensed memorabilia, figures, and more. Our friends at Dark Horse Comics revealed a number of their upcoming releases, including a resin statue of the Night’s King, a Varys figure, and this extremely impressive limited edition depicting Daenerys and Drogon from season 4. We have a review sample of that particular piece, and the size of Drogon crouched on its base is quite remarkable!
Also featured at the convention were McFarlane Toys, who will be releasing their mini-figure sets next year. These will come in “Blind bags”, meaning that collectors will buy bags containing random figures (or, if they’re really dedicated, they can go for whole cases of figures)—not unlike the Funko blind bags of mini-Pop! figures. However, McFarlane Toys is going beyond this to also create suitabel dioramas where one can display these figures, as with the Iron Throne set, or special add-on sets like the Stark and Lannister banner construction kit. Or this upcoming “Attack on the Wall” diorama, featuring a giant:
These McFarlane sets are bananas pic.twitter.com/VzRZkHLR7I— The Robot's Voice (@TheRobotsVoice) October 9, 2015
The news ran wild last night with the report from the Television Critics’ Association summer session panel where HBO executive Michael Lombardo spoke about Game of Thrones and remarked the following:
“Seven-seasons-and-out has never been the [internal] conversation. The question is: How much beyond seven are we going to do? Obviously we’re shooting six now, hopefully discussing seven. [David & Dan] feel like there’s two more years after six. I would always love for them to change their minds, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.”
On top of that, when asked about potential prequels, Lombardo expressed strong willingness to further delve into the Game of Thrones story once the main series was done.
The latest episode of the Game of Thrones game from Telltale Games is just around the corner, with a release date of July 21st on PC, Mac, and Playstation 3-4, XBox versions on the 22nd, and iOS/Android on the 23rd.
Titled “A Nest of Vipers”, the episode looks to feature pit-fighting action with Asher, young Lady Mira visiting Tyrion Lannister in his cell, and a significant amount of Ramsay Bolton’s nastiness. And speaking of Asher, an image released by Telltale Games serves as a bit of a spoiler regarding where his story takes him…
HBO UK teamed up to invite fans, media, and more to a special screening of the final episode of season 5, “”. Sounds like a deal of fun was had by those who attended. In the video below, you’ll see and hear some of the reactions as the episode rolled and its shocking turns came onto the screen:
The season is now available for download in Digital HD in the UK, which is part of the reason for the event. Fans can download individual episodes or the entire season through retailers such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, blinkbox, Wauki.tv, and XBox Video. BT TV and Talk Talk TV can also buy and watch through their set-top boxes.
With season 5 completed (see our episode guide on the final episode for some of our thoughts), there’s a lot of discussion about what the show did right or wrong this season, interviews with various members of cast and crew, and more. But Random House—publishers, through their subsidiary Bantam, of all things A Song of Ice and Fire—asked us to provide a list of 11 reasons why fans of the show might want to give the books a try if they haven’t already!
You can find the article here.