Game of Thrones

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

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April 18th Premiere in the UK

Via The Guardian, Sky Atlantic has just announced that Game of Thrones will premiere in the U.K. on April 18th, the day after the U.S. premiere on HBO! This was very much hoped for by British fans, and it looks like Sky and HBO agreed with them that this. And just to head off those questions, we asked clarification as to whether it’d be just for the premiere or not. Here’s what Sky Atlantichad to say:

All episodes - the regular #GameofThrones slot will be Mondays.

 

Scandinavia Get Game of Thrones in May

It looks like its official: CANAL+ Sweden and Finland (well, they’re one of the Nordic countries—close enough!) have moved from “late spring” to May for its airing of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which means that CANAL+ Norway and CANAL+ Denmark will be following suit as the premier for CANAL+ shows is always the same in these four countries. No exact word on air date, but CANAL+ Sweden informs us that beginning of May is their target and they hope to soon to be able to announce a firmer date. CANAL+ has an official page for the series, which we expect will be updated when the official airdate is decided.

You can read the press release either translated into English or in Swedish as part of a new feature to the site where we will give news particularly relevant to Sweden and Scandinavia in Swedish. Simply look for the links to the Swedish version at the bottom of the article.

This Week in Game of Thrones

There’s been a few items of note this last week, though on the whole it’s been a bit quieter. Here’s a round-up of some of the more recent news items that may be of interest of fans of the series:

Game of Thrones in Sweden

Although we’ve previously reported information on when Game of Thrones will premiere in Sweden via pay-cabler Canal+ (April/May is as specific as we’ve been able to get so far), we haven’t been able to remark on public broadcasts because there was very little information. Until now, that is, after Göran Danasten (SVT’s head of fiction acquisition) tweeted that he was going to be see the show (presumably its first episode or episodes) next week.

This seemed a tip-off that SVT had acquired or was in the process of acquiring the program, and further conversation with Mr. Danasten confirmed this—SVT will be airing Game of Thrones in Sweden. As to when, there are no exact dates as of yet, but we’ve been told that Canal+ has an exclusivity period, so probably no earlier than the end of 2011.

Game of Thrones on Saturdays in UK?

An article focusing on Sky’s upcoming plans provides a tidbit of information which I believe narrows down when Game of Thrones is likely to premiere on Sky Atlantic (which begins to air tomorrow, February 1st, and will be free to all Sky customers through August). This paragraph seems to be a giveaway:

“Sky Atlantic will screen its best shows at 9pm on Saturdays, attempting to win the sort of reputation that HBO enjoys in America for its Sunday night schedule. “I’m not pretending we will take millions of viewers away from The X Factor but it’s a brilliant high quality alternative for people who are a bit bored of the current offering on Saturday nights,” says Murphy, who argues that the cost of Sky is no more than many British HBO fans pay for boxsets.”

If that holds, and Sky doesn’t run any special “preview” airings of the premiere closer to the U.S. air date, I’ll go out on a limb and predict April 23rd as the launch of the series on Sky Atlantic. April 30th is the only other Saturday in April that’s available, but with almost two weeks between it and the U.S. premiere, it seems to us that Sky will recognize that for the error that it is. Of course, there are fans who’ll be hoping for an airing on the Monday following the U.S. airing, much as HBO Central Europe seems to be getting, and so this may be disappointing. Still, it’s only speculative right now, as Sky Atlantic has not confirmed an air date for the series as of yet.

L.A. Times Predicts Success

Game of Thrones has just gotten something of a stamp of approval (or at least of very positive anticipation) from the L.A. Times in its Hero Complex pop culture blog, as blogger Amy Ratcliffe gives five reasons why HBO’s new series may be a big success. Some excellent points in there, although in the comments I did suggest one of them could use a little clarification.

Five reasons is all well-and-good, but we imagine we could come up with a few more. What would you suggest, if we wanted to make a list with ten reasons?

Around the Web

Here’s a quick round-up of some items from the last few days that we thinks fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones might find of interest. We’ve tweeted them, but haven’t yet had an opportunity to post them up:

 

AdWeek Interview with Benioff & Weiss

This is a fun one from TCA, as the opening of the interview begins with some geeky discussion as to whether Westeros really counts as a single kingdom, and whether there’s actually seven or eight kingdoms within it. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss reiterate that a chief reason for producing the show “the HBO way” is that it allows them to be very faithful to the source material. They recognize they won’t make 100% of the fans happy, but they’re confident most of them will be:

(The answer to the question, by the by, is that Westeros is one kingdom, made up of the seven former kingdoms which existed at the time of Aegon’s conquest. We assume the reference to eight refers to the Iron Islands, but at the time of the Conquest the kingdom of the Iron Isles and the Trident was unified.)

Thanks to mediawill for the pointer!

More Game of Thones Coverage

First off, a pleasant surprise today was seeing Adam Serwer of The American Prospect, a leading liberal editorial magazine in the United States, sharing a blog post enthusing about A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones. Serwer touches on the aspects of the series that most appeal to him, particularly the moral ambiguities in the characters and conflicts in the setting as compared to that ur-text of epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings.

Combined with Alyssa Rosenberg’s blog posts for The Atlantic about the series, and Pat W. Caldwell’s tweet about Serwer’s piece, is Game of Thrones appealing enough to wonks and pundits to become a cultural artefact worth using as a wobbly jumping-off point for thoughtful political commentary? I’ll believe it once Matthew Yglesias starting talking about it. (I would have said Brad DeLong, but he’s already read the series!)

Also, as promised yesterday, MTV has released another video interview, this one with George R.R. Martin himself, as he discusses his approach to writing A Song of Ice and Fire:

After Elton Interviews GRRM & Weiss

We’re guessing this is from the TCA winter press tour, as no date is provided. After Elton, a pop culture site with a focus on topics of interest to gay men, has comments from executive producer D.B. Weiss and creator George R.R. Martin concerning the sexuality of characters in Game of Thrones. Read the extended text for possible spoilers.

Spanish Airing Information

Yesterday, Variety reported that Spanish broadcast company Antenna 3 secured the rights to a number of HBO programs, including Game of Thrones.  A3 will offer the shows on its new, free-to-air Nitro channel. Looking at the article closely, they note a fall airing for Boardwalk Empire, so it seems that they’ll be airing their HBO programs anywhere from six months to perhaps a year after Canal+ Spain’s airings of HBO’s original dramas, which they recently secured in a multi-year deal.

Speaking of Canal+, a Spanish fan on Twitter, lasultimascosas, alerted us to the fact that Canal+ Spain has now revealed some information on when the show will air in Spain. Over on their official Facebook, they’ve posted a photo gallery titled, “The game begins in May on Canal+!” So, sometime in May, but no more precise airing information yet.

Game of Thrones Teaser Screencaps

All right, after much clamoring, I’ve completed our high resolution screen captures from the new teaser. They can all be found in the Previews gallery, starting with this image.

What did we think of the teaser? It’s a very atmospheric presentation of the show, focused very tightly on the Iron Throne and a number of the key players, with some rather ominous dialog quoted (in a contextless way) throughout. A number of the pieces of the dialog were ones we reported in our further impressions from the 15 minute reel. We also love the final image, although whether it’s the final logo for the show, we do not know.

You can also see the Iron Throne still that was also released at the same time as the video.

New Promo for Game of Thrones

Stunning new trailer for Game of Thrones—featuring some of the lines we previously reported, plus some new ones .... and our very first look at Ghost. Handsome doggie!

And that’s not all: the first official photo of the Iron Throne! To think, I got to sit in the same seat where Sean Bean, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harrington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Mark Addy, and Aidan Gillen had set themselves down…

But more on that later. ;) In the mean time, once you’ve stared at the video a few times, feel free to comb our screencaps

New Promo Teaser Tonight

HBO has sent us word—in the midst of Golden Globe madness—that they are in fact airing a new promo piece for Game of Thrones right before the start of the final season premiere of Big Love, at 9PM Eastern. Tune in at 8:45PM to watch a special pre-show which will include this teaser!

It sounds like Making Game of Thrones is likely to release a new photo right around that time and, we hope, an on-line stream of the new promo piece. From what we’ve heard, this may be the same, short trailer shown to critics at the opening of the presentation last Friday at the Winter TCA.

Tie-in Cover Art Unveiled

We’ve previously reported the fact that both the U.S. and U.K. publishers of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” have planned to re-release A Game of Thrones with a tie-in cover featuring a photo or photos from HBO’s series. Well, it looks like we’ve now gotten our glimpse at the U.S. re-release cover from Bantam Spectra, as you can see in this promotional PDF from the publisher. The cover—to be released in trade and mass market paperback—features Daenerys and her silver, the very first Daenerys image HBO ever released. This is marked in the PDF as “For Solicitation Only”, which implies it’s possible that it won’t necessarily be the final art—and Random House has just confirmed that it’s a placeholder. But where’s this image without the solicitation mark from? Hrm…

Some other interesting details:

  • It seems that some point HBO was mooting April 24th as the premiere date, as that’s what this PDF presently says.
  • Paperbacks of the further novels in the series are being released with a banner on top citing the HBO series.
  • The document indicates Random House (parent of Bantam Spectra) intends a full-court PR press, including television spots.
  • HBO has advised Random House of a “multi-million dollar” marketing campaign in the run up to the April 17th premiere of the series.
  • The re-release is due for March 22nd.

Tip of the hat to Olaf for the pointer!