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Recap of the TCA Panel and More

A lot happened today that should be of interest to any expectant Game of Thrones fanatic, and we’re going to try and recap all the highlights for you, culled from Twitter. Many, many thanks to the journalists, bloggers, and other media types who made this possible with their tweets. There was something of a carnival atmosphere which made everything that much more exciting:

Game of Thrones Premieres April 17th

Via James Hibberd, we now have a firm date on the premiere for Game of Thrones: April 17th! We knew it was going to be April, we knew it was going Sunday ... but now we know just what day in April it is.

If my math’s right, that means ... 100 days to go. Mark your calendars!

More from the Game of Thrones Screening

We’ve been waiting quite eagerly to hear more about the 15 minute extended trailer, which we reported on last night. Now there’s not just one, but two quite detailed reports. Naturally, the first came from Winter is Coming, and includes commentary from Fire and Blood. Some interesting details in there, from the minor things—the change to the maester’s chain from a close-fitting collar to a long, broad loop (I’ve known about this since my visit to the Castle Black set, as Peter Vaughan [Maester Aemon] was wearing in the scene I witnessed filming)—to more substantial matter such as several brand-new scenes.

And now from critic (and fellow ASoIaF-enthusiast) Maureen Ryan has posted a thorough recap, breaking it down into general categories and going some of her likes and dislikes. For ourselves, the most notable bit was that Mo’s initial concerns about what she saw with the eastern scenes seem to have been assuaged a fair bit by Emilia Clarke, Harry Lloyd, and company. Excellent to hear! We expect to be hearing from quite a few more critics today, as there’s to be additional screenings.

Once all the madness is over, perhaps we’ll discuss some of the little details that have been changed in relation to the books, based on all these various reports, from the maester’s chain of office to the stained glass in the throne room and even the eyeliner that graces Khal Drogo. If anyone has any additional questions about some of these details, feel free to comment and I’ll see if I can address them in relation to the text.

Extended Trailer Screened to Critics

At the Winter TCA tour, HBO has now screened the 15 minute extended trailer of Game of Thrones for journalists in the run-up to Friday’s thirty-minute presentation and various interviews with GRRM, the executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss, and actors Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, and Emilia Clarke. Thanks to WiCnet, who’s fortunate enough to be on the scene, here’s a quick preliminary run-down of the scenes shown, in the order that they were shown:

Spring for Game of Thrones in Sweden

Looks like Canal+ Sweden is aiming for a Spring 2011 air date for Game of Thrones, according to their article covering the show. Headlined, “The most longed-for TV series ever” and claiming that “Not since The Lord of the Rings has there been so much interest in a book adaptation”, they go to discuss the massive fan following, the blogs and forums, and the like. We hope to eventually get a hold of a more precise air date.

Sky Atlantic Confirms April Premiere

Over on Twitter, Sky Atlantic’s has confirmed that Game of Thrones will begin airing in the UK in April—the very same month it premires in the U.S. While it’s too much to hope that they’ll air the exact same day, we expect, it seems certain that it won’t be delayed more than a week or perhaps two.

Sky Atlantic will begin airing February 1st, and will be available to all current Sky customer free of charge through August 31st. After that time, it will remain available to customers who have subscribed to the Variety Pack. There’s also a Sky HD package upgrade which will provide Sky Atlantic in HD for those who subscribe to it.

New Trademarks

A visit to the US Patent and Trademarks Office website has led to an interesting discovery: HBO has trademarked three new categories of Game of Thrones related products. We’ll discuss the three new categories, and what implications these new trademarks might have. Our first trademark story can be found here, from just over a year ago.

Swedish 2011 TV Poll

The Malmö branch of SF Bokhandeln—Sweden’s (and perhaps Scandinavia’s) best SF/F bookstore—has a web poll up wondering what genre shows their visitors are most looking forward to. It’s just started, but HBO’s Game of Thrones has a comfortable lead… and for some reason we expect that lead to grow over time. ;)

While Canal+ in Sweden has not yet set a firm date for airing, we’ve heard that Canal+ in Finland has stated that they’re aiming for August 2011, and we wouldn’t be surprised in Canal+ Sweden ended up settling on the same date.

Looking Back and Looking Forward

As we approach the New Year, quite a few TV-focused sites are releasing lists, either looking back at the year that was or the year that will be. Here’s three who make special mention of Game of Thrones:

TV.com looks back to the highpoints of 2010. In their 100 item list, their announcement of Game of Thrones rates #42, and they promise that they’ve, “already reserved a Top 5 spot for it on next year’s Top 100 list.”

Over at TV Squad, we have TV critic and ASoIaF-fan Maureen Ryan places Game of Thrones as the first item on the staff’s list of next year’s anticipated TV programs.

Via WiCnet, IMDB‘s editors also list the series as one of the things they’re excited for in 2011.

James Poniewozik, TV critic for TIME, joins fellow critic Ryan in listing Game of Thrones as his most anticipated show of 2011.

The Guardian chimes in, mentioning the show as one example of 2011’s “unmissable” television programs and noting the positive vibe from U.S. critics.

Alan Sepinwall and Daniel Feinberg included the show on Hitfix.com’s 2011 Gallery, while Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker lists the show as his most anticipated new show of 2011.

Spotted any other top lists for 2010 or 2011 that feature HBO’s Game of Thrones? Feel free to note it in a comment!

More from the Atlantic

The Atlantic’s Alyssa Rosenberg has previously covered George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series for the magazine’s website, and this time she’s back with a thoughtful piece concerning HBO‘s Game of Thrones TV series. Comparing and contrasting the series to other HBO and cable programs, with particular attention to difference in degree between accepting the reality of The Sopranos and The Wire versus that of a full-on, secondary-world fantasy such as Game of Thrones. Rosenberg finishes with the following:

“Winter is coming, both to us, and to the family at the center of Game of Thrones who take those words as their motto. And if HBO can elevate fantasy within the pantheon of serious dramatic TV, an even richer television culture is also on its way.”

Here’s hoping!

Game of Thrones in Australia

Thanks to Conan Stevens, we’ve learned details on where HBO’s Game of Thrones will be airing in Australia. Conan writes that he’s learned the plan at present is for a possible July air date on Showcase, a premium channel which can be found on the Foxtel, Optus, and Austar television platforms.

Wrapping Up Season One

Sometime on Wednesday afternoon or evening, the last, “Cut”, will be called, and the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones will have seen filming completed. The wrap party already took place this past weekend, as much of the foreign crew will be gone by this coming weekend, departed back to home. What’s left now is weeks more of post-production, such as introducing scoring, visual effects, and so on. We already know the writing and production team will be doing preparatory work in case the show gets greenlit for a second season, so we expect at least a couple of scripts and a good deal of location work (including word that Iceland and/or Morocco are under consideration as shooting locations for the East and the lands beyond the Wall) will be done in the intervening months.

We know that on January 7th, the critics of the Television Critics Association will be getting a glimpse of the production through a long panel schedule to feature the executive producers, GRRM, and actors Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, and Emilia Clarke. Word has it they’ll be getting an exclusive look at the show proper, as well—except a lot of Twitter and blog activity on the night.

And after that? The march towards the April premiere date—we suspect that the actual day will be announced at the TCA Winter Press Tour—with gradually increasing promotion and marketing efforts. The official t-shirts are, to say the least, just a start…

TCA Winter Press Tour

For three hours on January 7th, HBO will be presenting its programming to critics at the Television Critics’ Association Winter Press Tour. Past TCA events have produced a bounty of information concerning Game of Thrones—from remarks on why HBO greenlit it to the Spring 2011 scheduling—and with the premiere of the show coming before the next TCA press tour (in the Summer), this seems like it’s going to be the point in time when HBO will really focus on the production.

A number of the critics present will certainly be live-blogging and live-tweeting the event, and we’ll be staying up to collate all the major news. The event will be running from 3:15 to 6:15 PM, and we won’t be surprised if a good twenty or thirty minutes of that is exclusively about the production. Maybe even longer, if it so happens that the critics are screened the first episode, which we know has gone through final edit, Presentation participants are tentatively set (but subject to change), as well: executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, actors Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, and Emilia Clarke, and a certain George R.R. Martin.

Many thanks to Jace Lacob of Televisionary for providing the date and time information of the TCA panel.

Inside Game of Thrones Screencaps Complete

Real life and hardware problems made it take longer than I wanted, but we’ve now fully commented the 142 images we’ve captured from the full version of HBO’s “Inside Game of Thrones” promo. Additional scenes not shown on the web include Tyrion and Jon conversing about why the Imp reads so much, the discovery of the dead direwolf and her pups, and some dialogue between Dany and Jorah Mormont.

To visit the gallery, go to the Previews section of Gallery, or you can start moving sequentially from the images beginning with this.

As I said on Twitter, cue Queen’s “We Are the Champions”:

Official Game of Thrones Merchandise

HBO surprised us when they tweeted that the official store had, for a limited time only, official Game of Thrones t-shirts available on sale. Quite the surprise—pretty sure it’s not common for them to release merchandise for a show that hasn’t yet aired! Currently, only men’s shirts are available.

Another pleasant surprise is the fact that they’ve copies of all four of GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels available as well. Very cool.