The premiere of “The Wars to Come”—our written review is still forthcoming, but we’ve posted our usual video review (some minor audio and editing glitches—new workflow, new camera!—but those are brief)—has not only become the highest rated premiere episode of Game of Thrones;, but the highest rated episode, period, with nearly 8 million viewers. As Variety notes, that’s about 800,000 more than its second highest rated episode, “Mockingbird”. And across the pond, Sky Atlantic in the UK reported that their airing on Monday was also their highest rated episode ever, with 1.6 million viewers in the overnight rating.
Not sure how we missed this one, but a few days ago HBO released a video on its Youtube channel concerning the weaponry we’ll see in Dorne. Narrated by weapon master Tommy Dunne, who points out a few very specific weapons, there’s at least one somewhat spoilery piece of information contained therein (well, besides the fact that we’ll see Dorne this season):
Despite Michelle Clapton’s protest, it certainly seems the “nipples” on that leather armor of Obara Sand’s will be pretty obvious on film. Doubtless, as she said, it’s an artifact of the moulding process, but the association’s pretty clear.
As to the spoiler?
HBO’s half-hour special, Game of Thrones: A Day in the Life, highlighting the multi-national production, has just aired and HBO has gone ahead and placed it online. See it here:
Screencaps and commentary to follow in the coming days.
Over at EW, James Hibberd reveals a design for Arya Stark’s brand new costume for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. With quotes from Maisie Williams, the article notes it’s a radical new design for Arya who has spent most of the past four seasons in androgynous clothing, and now has something a bit more feminine with which to blend in in the Free City of Braavos.
She also teases an upcoming scene, one that has to do with her previous clothing, which sounds like it may be drawn from a sequence in A Feast for Crows.
Once again, James Hibberd has the scoop, revealing that Mark Gatiss—writer and actor on Sherlock, among many other pop favorite shows—will be returning on season 5 to reprise his role as Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank of Braavos. Last seen negotiating with Stannis Baratheon over the Bank’s financial support, his appearance in season 5 certainly heralds more use of Braavos and the Iron Bank for this season.
Hibberd also adds that Gatiss will be filming in Croatia next week.
The panel’s over, and the big news out of it is that HBO revealed a number of the new cast members via a casting video, seen below (keep reading for HBO’s press release, and a bonus season 4 blooper reel!):
The Primetime Emmys have announced their nominations for this year’s award, and the ever.popular Game of Thrones leads the field with a total of 20 nominations in 19 categories, including a number in the “major” categories: Best Drama, Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage), Supporting Actress (Lena Headey), Guest Actress (Diana Rigg), Writing, and Direction (Neil Marshall for Watchers on the Wall). Other nominations are Casting in a Drama, two entries in the Cinematography category (for Anette Haellmigk, who acted as director of photography for a six of last season’s episodes, as well as Jonathan Freeman, also responsible for several episodes), Costuming, Hairstyling, Interactive Program (for HBO’s use of Instagram and Facebook), Makeup, Music Composition, Prosthetic Makeup, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Stunt Coordination, Art Direction, and Visual Effects.
It’s a tough field in the major categories, especially with Breaking Bad‘s final season under consideration, and performances by its supporting cast in Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn, while a HBO sister program True Detective has Cary Fukunaga’s direction and Nic Pizzolatto’s writing to contend with as well. Still, as they say, it’s an honor to be nominated. The Emmy awards will be handed out on August 25th.
Yesterday, remarks from James Costos—former HBO executive and now US Ambassador to Spain—were taken out of context (note: in Spanish) suggesting that the ambassador was formally announcing that HBO had settled on Spain as a shooting location; in fact, in full the comments merely said what was already widely known, that Spain’s Andalusian region was in the running as a shooting location. The hysteria in the news media in Spain, and social media, led this to transform into some sort of official announcement.
However, this morning HBO has gone ahead and confirmed wide speculation that an actual announcement was imminent. The key point of the press release:
The rest of the press release can be found below:
Spanish fans, are you sitting down? Because according to James Hibberd at EW, the production is looking to film in Spain for season 5. While Hibberd’s coy about just what new region might be depicted there, the image heading the article might be taken as a hint… although as we’ve seen from the past production, it’s entirely possible that filming in Spain might be used to supplement footage shot elsewhere (just as the dragon scene in “The Laws of Gods and Men” was filmed in Iceland, as Byran Cogman revealed in our interview, despite all other Slaver’s Bay exteriors having been shot in Croatia).
Spain has a very long history as a popular filming location for its beautiful, semi-arid regions and the Moorish influence on its architecture. Andalusia—the name of the region deriving from the Arabic name, Al-Andalus—served as one of the primary filming locations for David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, as well as a significant part of Sergio Leone’s westerns with Clint Eastwood, such as A Fist Full of Dollars and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and also Anthony Mann’s El Cid. Suffice it to say, it will provide a lot of possibilities for Dorne, a region Martin has explicitly connected with Moorish Spain.
In an impressive turn, HBO has skipped the usual “Lets wait 2-3 weeks” to announce renewal following news that Game of Thrones smashed ratings expectations in its debut this yea.
And even more impressively, HBO has confirmed what everyone pretty much knows: this show is good to go for at least 2 years, with season 5 and 6 now locked in place. This follows recent news prior to the premiere that executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss had renewed their contracts with HBO for two more seasons.
The full press release can be found below
We’ve previously reported on exclusive featurettes for season 4 of Game of Thrones that Verizon and Comcast released, but it looks like HBO has now put them up on the official Youtube channel in 720p quality. Definitely worth a look, but beware spoilers (especially in the weapons and fighting video):
VerizonFIOS has a couple of exclusive videos up touting the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. The first is misnamed—it claims to be about the Red Wedding but is in fact about the wedding feast scene for the marriage of Joffrey and Margaery—while the second is a great look at the weapons and fight training. Note that the latter definitely is spoilerish in its way:
We’ll have more on costuming soon, once we’re done with our report from Stockholm’s Royal Armory and its Power Games exhibition, but Time Warner Cable has a special feature on season 4’s costumes, courtesy of HBO. You can see it below. Among other things, I believe it gives us the first, absolutely official glimpse at Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Mace Tyrell:
HBO has let us know of a wonderfully-amusing vignette, narrated by Charles Dance, recounting how David Benioff and Dan Weiss came to adapt George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series into Game of Thrones. It’s definitely just a bit on the comedic side:
Very charming! The list of just how many locations, cast members, costumes, and more go into a typical season is a particularly fun set of factoids
“It feels like this is the midpoint for us,” Benioff says. “If we’re going to go seven seasons, which is the plan, season 4 is right down the middle, the pivot point.”
Of course, it’s not 100%, as HBO executive Michael Lombardo implies a possibility of 8 seasons, which matches Vanity Fair’s earlier quote. But at the moment, 7 seasons appears to be the end goal of the producers.