Game of Thrones: News

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HBO Game of Thrones Trademarks

Due to a tip shared over at Winter is Coming, it seems HBO filed for merchandise-related trademarks for Game of Thrones back in June, and most recently renewed an application on December 9. The text of that filing can be found here, and the rest of the filings can be found here.

O’Meara Update

Halfhand of Winter is Coming points that the original source for our post about Peter O’Meara expressing interest in Game of Thrones, this fuller release from PRWeb, makes things seem more like a hope of the actor’s rather than any sign of a clear commitment for a role should the production goes forward. It also reveals that he did in fact audition, as speculated, but was passed over for the part of Jaime Lannister (a fate dealt to Jamie Bamber, and according to rumor Garret Dillahunt as well) in favor of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. O’Meara is quoted as saying:

“Well, I did read for HBO Game of Thrones but the role went to Nikolaj Coster Waldau. That hurt like hell because I love the David Benioff script. He’s a genius writer. His ‘City of Thieves’ is my favourite novel of the last ten years. If I have any new years career wish its to join the world of fire and ice he’s creating with HBO. Fingers crossed. Failing that I’ll happily play a Vampire in the next Twilight saga. I’ll bring my own teeth.”

Peter O’Meara Hopeful for HBO’s Game of Thrones

Via the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, we learn that Irish actor Peter O’Meara seems to hope that he’ll be involved in Game of Thrones next year via this press release that’s making the rounds.

Over at Winter is Coming, speculation runs that O’Meara auditioned for a role in the pilot and was passed over, but has been told by the casting director and/or producers they have in mind for another role if HBO greenlights the series. O’Meara, a veteran of film and television productions, has been associated with HBO producitons before—he had a role in the acclaimed miniseries, Band of Brothers, as 1st Lieutenant Norman Dike.

Sophie Turner and the Playbox Theatre

A brief article from the Coventry Telegraph features an image of Sophie Turner—cast in the role of Sansa Stark—and another young actress, both alumni of the Warwickshire-based Playbox Theatre. Mentioning the various professional jobs three of the theatre’s young members are partaking in, the article mentions Ms. Turner’s role in HBO’s pilot adaption of Game of Thrones.

David Benioff Interview

The Kansas City Star has an interview with David Benioff, co-executive producer and writer of HBO‘s Game of Thrones adaption. Benioff, an A-lister among screenwriters in Hollywood, is also a notable novelist and the interview largely concerns itself with his literary production. However, on the second page Benioff is asked about current projects. He responds: “I just returned from Northern Ireland shooting “Game of Thrones” (an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”) for HBO. I’m the writer and the executive producer with Dan Weiss, so we got to do everything, hiring the director, the actors. The shooting of the pilot is done. We’ll find out in March if it will be picked up as a series.”

This is yet another confirmation that March seems to be pretty unequivocally the date at which HBO’s decision will be handed down. Anything earlier or later than that will be pretty unusual, and perhaps significant.

Updated: GRRM on Morocco

GRRM provides some photos from the former Kingdom of Heaven Jerusalem set near Ouarzazarte in Morocco, in his latest “Not a Blog” post. The pictures are quite excellent, and show some freestanding large-scale props such as battering rams, siege towers, and trebuchets that are still in good shape. George notes that while he offers a picture of one of the courtyards in the set, he couldn’t show the redressed courtyard used for Ilyrio’s manse during the filming.

In a follow-up post, he shares pictures from the Game of Thrones wrap party. Picture #2 shows director Tom McCarthy, and #4 and the final picture (where he’s jamming on a guitar) shows actor Jason Momoa of Stargate: Atlantis fame.

Several commentators, including myself, asked George to identify the group of women surrounding him in one of the photos. He has replied, indicating that, “The gorgeous young ladies in the pictures with me were the dancers at Dany’s wedding to Khal Drogo, whose wild, erotic celebrations lead to wanton coupling and arakh fights. Not Moroccan, no. They actually all came from London, and flew down with the cast and crew.” He thinks the dancing and swordfighting sequence in that scene should be quite amazing.

Jamie Bamber as Jaime Lannister?

Jamie Bamber (of BSG fame) auditioned for the role of Jaime Lannister in HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones, a part that ultimately went to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. This was revealed by him to Jackie, who reported it at the A Song of Ice and Fire Forum, at the Cylon Attack convention this past weekend in London.

Bamber would have been interesting in the role, although Jackie speculates that perhaps his average height ultimately weighed against him when the character of Jaime is supposed to be tall. That said, we know from remarks from GRRM and from at least one actor that has auditioned that the audition process leads them to keeping in mind actors for future roles. If the series goes forward, we may well see Bamber in a secondary role later on.

Update on HBO Greenlight Date

In a comment on George R.R. Martin’s Livejournal, his partner Parris says that what they’ve heard is that “HBO will make a decision sometime in the spring - perhaps by the end of March.” End of March is certainly a longer time period than many expected, and the possibility of the decision not coming until April or even May is sobering. A January 2011 premiere if there’s a greenlight seems almost impossible if there’s no decision until the latter part of spring.

Last Eason’s and Moots Report

Phillip Lowes (Ser Mountain Goat on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum) has provided an incredibly detailed report from his time attending the signings and moots in Belfast and Dublin. That report, and others, can be found here. He’s also proposing that plans begin to be made for a Game of Thrones event next year.

Among the interesting bits that seem new is his report of his discussion with Paul Hardwyck, who advised the production on medieval weaponry and played a role in choreographing the training fight of Bran Stark and Tommen Baratheon. Hardwyck, also a member of the forum as Knight of Redemption, notes that initially the producers wanted to differentiate the Lannisters from the Starks by giving them curving swords. He also feels that the weapons are “too showy” for his tastes, though his perspective is that of someone deeply immersed in the study of historical swordsmanship.

Coster-Waldau on Lena Headey’s Pregnancy and Game of Thrones

A brief but excellent interview (in Danish) with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the Danish actor who’s been building an international reputation, about HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones which recently completed filming. Playing the role of the knight Jaime Lannister, a good part of the interview is devoted to questions about the filming. The most notable pieces to come out of it? Lena Headey is pregnant, not so far along that one can tell when she’s dressed, but which required her to have a stand-in for a nude scene; as far as we can tell, this is the first time this particular news has been made public. Coster-Waldau is also taking part in a Danish TV series after New Year.

It does seem rather probable that pre-production on the series can likely start right after HBO gives its approval, but it seems increasingly unlikely that filming will be able to take place as quickly, given that other actors (such as Jennifer Ehle) are known to have work commitments through March or April.

Below you’ll find our translation of the relevant parts of the article:

Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) in the U.K.

Jason Momoa, the actor cast as Khal Drogo who recently completed his filming in Morocco for HBO’s pilot of A Game of Thrones, will be in the U.K. for two events in coming days. First, he’ll appear at Nostalgia Comics in Birmingham on November 30th from 4 to 6 PM. Then, on December 3rd, he’ll be at the Forbidden Planet store in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 6 to8 PM. There will be a charge for autographs.

It sounds like an excellent opportunity to ask the actor how he felt filming in Morocco went. Poster images with more information can be found at Forbidden Planet’s website. Hat-tip to AndyBelfast, a member of the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, for pointing this news out.

Reading for the Wait

While we’re all waiting the long months ahead to HBO’s expected decision in March, there’s not much fans of the series and the potential TV show can do but keep their eyes out for news. Maybe you’ll read some of GRRM’s latest works. Or perhaps you’ll want to read more about what goes into a production like Game of Thrones. We’re doing a bit of the latter ourselves, and came across a mention of Robert Stromberg in
Matte Painting (UK, US), part of the D’Artiste Digital Artists Master Class series.

Stromberg’s referred to as a mentor to another matte artist, having helped him understand that he needed to restrain his approach to painting. The book is filled with beautiful images from matte paintings throughout, and contains an amazing amount of detail regarding the technical aspects of creating matte paintings and integrating them into films. Makes for fascinating reading if you’re interested in the production side of film and television, and more so because it seems highly likely that matte paintings will be an important part of the production.

Visual Effects Feature

We’ve put together an informative and speculative article on the visual effects for HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot. This follows our previous feature article, an introduction for fans and casual onlookers alike. Whatever you do, make sure to watch the John Adams featurette to get an idea of just how impressive visual effects can be on the small screen these days.

It’s a Wrap: Game of Thrones Filming Ends

Filming on the Game of Thrones pilot has wrapped, according to VFX producer Julia Frey. So ends three weeks of shooting that took place in three different countries and involved a primary cast two dozen strong and more than a hundred extras. Cogratulations to the hard-working cast and crew, who pulled a number of all-nighters to get the job done!

Where to next? As we reported early last month, Modern VideoFilm will be carrying out some sort of post-production duties in February, with HBO expected to give its decision on a greenlight in around March. In the interim, we’ve really no idea what will be going on, though we hope to learn more soon.

Airlock Alpha on Game of Thrones

Bryant Griffin of Airlock Alpha, a media site covering genre works, writes a commentary on HBO’s proposed Game of Thrones series. It’s a great adjunct to articles such as our own introduction to the project, as Griffin covers similar ground but provides a bit more comparison to HBO’s past offerings (such as Deadwood) to make it apparent why Game of Thrones is simply a terrific fit for HBO’s storied original programming.