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!
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
Tip of the hat to Olaf for the pointer!
This is our rather more thorough discussion of some of the things we actually see in the reel, to give more of a sense of the visual part of the adaption, but also to give a sense of some of the characters and scenes as can be grasped from what is, in the end, a very short reel that tries to capture a large part of the plot. You can read our more general, first impressions here. We’ll be focusing on the new scenes and details primarily, so in many cases we’re skipping over scenes we’ve seen in previous trailers, teasers, and the like. However, all that said, we’ll we open with the same material as HBO’s big preview trailer, what we assumed to be the reshot execution scene. Notice Theon‘s black hair.
(Note: Spoilers may be found below. Images are all previously released, but some may match scenes that were aired in the reel.)
Thanks to the good offices of HBO, Linda and I were give the opportunity to watch the 15 minute clip compilation/“sizzle” reel that was first aired to critics at the TCA Winter tour. We’ve watched it several times now, and have discussed it a fair bit. After some consideration, this first post is just going to be about the general impression it makes, the sort of things we think anyone would be interested in. We’ll post some more detailed impressions of some of the specific scenes we see in a future post.
And just as we said no international braodcasters had given firm airdates, a report comes in that HBO Hungary has promised they will make attempts to air the show the very day after the American premiere. That would be April 18th. The original blog post can be found here. The key quote, as provided by Google Translator, is:
From what The Rabbit and ipopic tell us, HBO Adria also showed The Pacific the day after its U.S. air date. This gives not only Hungarian fans, but possibly fans in the Balkan areas covered by HBO Adria, a serious boost to their hopes to see the show only very shortly after their lucky American and Canadian compatriots.
Latin American fans, how has HBO Latin America aired programs in relation to the U.S.? This could provide a hint as to when the show will premiere in your country.
The latest release of photos for HBO’s Game of Thrones are now in our gallery, with our usual annotations and links to related material. Most of the images have been placed in the character gallery, beginning with Bran. Two of the images stood out for us as better indicating scenes from the show, so we’ve placed them in the Preview gallery instead. You can see the thumbnails, and click through to their specific pages, below:
Finally, we’ve updated one of our screencaps from “Inside Game of Thrones” with additional information, now that certain things were confirmed over at TCA. You can check out the image, featuring our first blurry glimpse of the Mad King Aerys, here.
Although we still don’t have an exact airdate for HBO’s Game of Thrones in any territories besides the United States, there has been some more news of interest to international fans of the series. On the 7th, Variety reported that Canal+ Spain had secured rights to HBO’s original programming in a multi-year deal. This comes after our October report that Canal+ had specifically secured rights to A Game of Thrones. This move seems to be a trend with HBO’s international dealings.
Canal+ has since released a Spanish-language trailer, but no premiere date has been given beyond “soon”.
Furthermore, a tip from @aegjung points us to South African journalist and critic Thinus Ferreira’s exclusive report that the South African satellite channel M-Net has secured rights to the series, as well as a number of other highly-anticipated programs. The show will air on the M-Net Series channel. Again, no air date information is currently available.
Finally, via @GameOfThrones, we’ve been informed that HBO intends to publicize international airdates when HBO’s broadcast partners finalize and announce them. This is, so far as we know, a somewhat unusual step for HBO, and shows the growing, global entertainment market as well as a specific awareness about just how large an international fanbase George R.R. Martin’s novels have.
Maureen Ryan has shared excerpts from her one-on-one interviews with executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, author George R.R. Martin, and actress Emilia Clarke, over at her Stay Tuned blog for AOL’s TV Squad.
Some great tidbits, such as Benioff and Weiss using George’s reactions as a weather-gauge for fan reaction (good idea), George emphasizing that he believes the series will be the best-looking fantasy series that has ever been on television (but it won’t be The Lord of the Rings, because LotR had a far greater budget for comparable hours), and Clarke discussing her first day of filming as well as how the separation of her character from many of the others didn’t mean she didn’t get chances to socialize with fellow actors who weren’t part of her storyline.
Looking forward to the full interviews down the road, as April 17 approaches!
Edited: Mo and Ryan McGee have put up a second part of their Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan podcast, in which Maureen discusses TCA and Game of Thrones. She even includes a shoutout to Westeros.org, although a slip of the tongue meant your humble webmaster did not quite get his right name (close, though—Emilio is my godfather’s name, as it happens!) Thanks, Mo!
To submit a question, you’ll need a Twitter account. Reply to her tweet. She’ll pick the most appealing ones to ask, but you only have until 12PM Pacific (that’s about 3 hours) to get it in! Thanks to Mo for offering fans this opportunity.