Game of Thrones: News

Game of Thrones is a site for the HBO-series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.

Read our Privacy Policy.

Follow Us
Recent Entries
Archives

View All

From the Gallery
Official Sites
Featured Sites

Production

New Screencaps

The holidays have eaten a lot of our spare time, and are set to eat a bit more for a couple of days yet, but I’ve sat down to get the latest Artisans video screencapped. There’s a focus on the armor, of course, but we do pick out one or two new pieces of heraldry among the banners on display on the Hand’s tourney, plus some thoughts on this and that.

The first screencap begins here, while you can get the gallery view of the Behind the Scenes gallery here.

Episode Titles Actually Titles?

Updated: We’ve mailed George for a comment, and he confirmed that they are indeed going forward with episode titles, Excellent news! Responding to my question about the episode titles, Bryan Cogman replies that HBO has not officially approved the titles as of yet, so we’ll have to wait on their being revealed, but he believes we’ll be liking them.

Thanks to the gentleman at Television Zombies, we have a new interview with George. Some good stuff there, raging over a number of topics, but something George mentions at the end is of particular interest for those keeping track of developments on HBO’s Game of Thrones. He notes again that he’s written episode 8… and gives its title: “The Pointy End”.

This was the title he originally intended when he sent in the draft, but since then we were informed that the producers were leaning to simply numbering episodes, a fact we’ve seen in various Making Game of Thrones posts. But this interview, from less than a week ago, brings up the title again and we’re guessing (tentatively) that the producers have at last started putting proper titles on the episodes.

When we ran a poll at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, something north of 90% of those polled disliked the idea of simply having numerals for episodes, so this is a great decision if true. We’re looking forward to a full list of episode titles in the future.

Filming Location Details: Inch Abbey

Although filming wrapped last week on HBO’s Game of Thrones, details still come out on occasion concerning the production’s doings. Via DocFourFour, we’ve learned that the Belfast Telegraph-owned Sunday Life newspaper includes a report on the production having filmed at Inch Abbey in Downpatrick. Their report indicates that the site was used for a “renegade camp”, featuring a “Medieval fort” with tents around it, and that there was fake blood at the site.

This is the site where filming took place over at least a couple of days, I believe, around the 10th or 11th. Don’t hold me to it, but I think I recall seeing at the production offices during my set visit in October that Inch Abbey was being used as the site of Moat Cailin in the series. Certainly, I saw Moat Cailin listed, but I’m not 100% positive that Inch Abbey was the real world location associated with it; however, some of the photos of the ruins with tussocks of grass around it strike me as doing reasonably well to indicate the marshy, ruined old citadel of the First Men. If it is Moat Cailin, however, I’m not sure how to reconcile that with the fake blood. Unless different angles or areas of Inch Abbey were used to represent a battle site or something like? Hard to say.

Artisans: Simon Brindle on Armor

Oh, I’ve been waiting for this one. Simon Brindle, the supervisor of the costume armor department, speaks in some detail about the costume armor for HBO’s Game of Thrones. I had the pleasure of meeting Simon when I visited the Paint Hall facilities, and had a chance to discuss some of the sources and inspirations for the various suits of armor. There’s some truly amazing work being turned out from his shop!

Paint Hall Expansion

The Northern Ireland government has pledged £5 million to build new studios in support of the film industry there. As the Telegraph reports, efforts will focus on expanding the Paint Hall facilities, which HBO’s Game of Thrones has fully occupied but will be relinquishing this week now that filming is about wrapped.

This article is yet another that vaguely implies that the 2nd season is a certainty, with the only question being where it might film. However, many of these articles build on one another. As we’ve said elsewhere, the production will certainly be laying the groundwork for a second season now… but the greenlight will only come after the April premiere at the earliest, once ratings are in.

The Street of Steel

Back in September, fans stumbled across the blog of photographer Wolf Sunkmanitu, where he stated he had stumbled across a set on Malta for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Now, on the verge of the first season filming wrapping, he’s posted an extensive gallery of his photography from Malta ... including quite a few pictures from the Street of Steel set in Mdina which we caught glimpses of in the “Inside Game of Thrones” preview starting here.

At Sunmanitu’s gallery, the first of the Street of Steel photos—available for purchase as prints, as with the rest of his galler—can be found starting here. The amount of set dressing and the great number of quite mundane props—bellows, anvils metalworking tools, and more—has certainly transformed what’s nomrally a thoroughfare through modern Mdina into a bazaar-like street in King’s Landing. I do believe this room is the same as Tobho Mott’s forge, seen
here.

Making Game of Thrones: Dothraki Raiding

Another post from Bryan Cogman has gone live at Making Game of Thrones, and this time we’re at Manikata in Malta where the Lhazreen village scenes were filmed a number of weeks ago.

In the post, Cogman discusses a scene being filmed there, where the Dothraki are looting. Most notably, the scene is “almost entirely” spoken in Dothraki, a language created for the show based on what George R.R. Martin has written. The scene features Drogo admonishing an insubordinate warrior in no uncertain terms. Bryan signs off with the following lengthy example of Dothraki: “Eyél várthasoe she ilekaán ríkhoya arrekaán vékha vósi yeroón vósma tolórro!” We’re guessing the last word is the same as in Vaes Tolorro, where Tolorro means bones.

The Weaponry of Game of Thrones

This is one I’ve been asking for for awhile, and boy, am I happy to see it. HBO’s Making Game of Thrones has posted a brand new Artisans video, this one featuring weaponsmaster Tommy Dunne as he discusses—and shows—a number of weapons made for the series. Among them, one can see Ser Gregor Clegane’s greatsword standing next to Eddard Stark’s Ice, Ser Waymar Royce’s amber-encrusted sword, and more:

Look particularly closely at the weapons behind Dunne at the opening. There’s one balde that looks as if it has ring guards on it, and it’s quite slender and long… is that Arya’s sword, Needle? I am suspicious!

Edited: My speculation is confirmed by a little bird—it is, indeed, Needle.

Bryan Cogman Discusses Malta

Although filming in Malta has already wrapped, the latest “Dispatches from the Seven Kingdoms” post by Bryan Cogman is from nearer the start of shooting. He discusses an important showdown in Episode V that features some impressive swordsmanship. The walled medieval town of Mdina serves as the locale for a number of King’s Landing exterior shots, and is one of many locations to be used by the production on Malta and the neighboring island of Gozo.

One notable part is his description of what the various directors were doing at that time. While we already have the precise breakdown of which director is directing which episode, getting a sense of when the blocks were overlapping at various stages is interesting:

I’ll be here for about three weeks for the first block - Episodes III through VIII (Brian Kirk and Dan Minahan directing).  Filming on Episodes I & II continues in Belfast (Tim Van Patten at the helm) and Alan Taylor has begun prep on Episodes IX and X.  Needless to say, it’s a lot to keep straight.

It’s amusing that he’s re-read A Clash of Kings five times so far (as of that post)—quite a lot of cramming involved in his role as the keeper of the mythos.

For the Cinephiles

A tweet from Jonathan Chang, Digital Media Coordinator as HBO’s Studio West, mentioned some interesting details regarding HBO’s Game of Thrones.

While tweeting back and forth, he offered this interesting detail for those who really want technical details on the production: the production is being shot digitally, using something like nine on-location Arri Alexa cameras. This is a change from the original pilot filming, where we reported that ARRICAM Lite and Arriflex 235 cameras were in use. As Chang noted (and as we’ve previously reported), much of the pilot has been reshot using this new system. Looking around, it seems like the Arri Alexa system went into production in late 2009. The Alexa is described as a system aimed at competing with the RED ONE system, shooting greater than 1080p resolution and aimed squarely at major theatrical and television productions.

By way of comparison, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire—with its first episode directed by executive producer Martin Scorsese—uses 35mm film with Panaflex cameras.

New Game of Thrones Tidbits

Some various tidbits from around the web:

  • As of the 12th, filming in Malta seems to have wrapped, given this tweet indicating that much of the cast and crew had departed.

  • GRRM has confirmed that the planned wrap date of filming is December 18th. Which is what I heard while in Belfast, but didn’t feel free to say. This means that we’re just a little over a month away to seeing the last scene filmed for the season!

  • Reports from the Days of Ice and Fire, some of them touching on the HBO production, can be found at the So Spake Martin collection, and more have been shared over at Winter is Coming. Some notable details: we can confirm George told us that his cameo—shot in Morocco (IIRC, it was in the manse scene where Daenerys meets Drogo, not the wedding as others have been reporting)—was cut with all the rest of the Morocco footage, and has not been reshot; we can also confirm that the cast is huge, the biggest HBO has ever done ... and very possibly the biggest ever assembled for a regular hour-long series in the U.S. (bigger than Boardwalk Empire‘s 200 speaking parts? Yes.); don’t expect huge battle scenes ala Peter Jackson’s LotR (David Benioff mentioned much the same to a group of reporters I was tagging along with at Magheramorne), but do expect what they do show to be very well done (and not so light as Rome‘s first episode); and much more.

  • Actor David Scott revealed via tweet that he played the role of Lord Beric Dondarrion in recent filming. It’s a small role this time around, but who knows what future seasons will bring.

For those wondering where the rest of my Belfast set visit reports have gotten to, there’s been a bit of a delay. This is, however, a potentially very cool delay, as it involves whether I might in fact be able to share some photos from my visit. But naturally, this takes time to get sorted out, so ... they’ll start up again as soon as things are worked out. Keep an eye out. :)

The Cuisine of Game of Thrones

Set decorator Richard Roberts provides a look into a particular sort of cuisine: prop cuisine, sometimes real food, often not. This new video at Making Game of Thrones is particularly rich in visual details, featuring images from the feasting tent at the tourney grounds outside King’s Landing, the Red Keep, Winterfell, and Castle Black. Having had a chance to visit the Castle Black set two weeks past, I have to say these shots of the mess hall and the courtyard outside capture spot-on the flavor of the locale. Particularly noteworthy for us is the description of King’s Landing as being towards a Mediterranean climate and cuisine, which while not strictly in keeping with the novels is certainly not very far off the mark. We’ll just imagine that couscous dish is a Dornish speciality that someone at court has a liking for (paging Ser Aron Santagar…)

For those interested in a look at food as described in the novels, check out this section of our Concordance, a project of ours that attempts to catalog every factual thematic detail revealed in the published books and stories so far.

GRRM on Malta

George R.R. Martin has a “Not a Blog” post discussing the filming in Malta. It is a bit spoilerish for those who’ve not read the first book! He discusses where he’s watched filming set in King’s Landing involving Maisie Williams’s Arya Stark, as well as a scene featuring Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen “at the edge of the Dothraki sea”.

Not all has gone well. GRRM confirms reports we’ve had that a unexpected, massive rainstorm washed away a Dothraki encampment set. Also, a little tongue-in-cheek, he claims two actors have taken a “dislike” to one another and one was left bloodied after a fight ... which we’re guessing may be a reference to a fight scene mishap rather than any genuine hard feelings (we hope!)

Production Addresses Environmental Concerns

Recently, reports in the Maltese press have been concerned with possible environmental damage caused by the production of HBO’s Game of Thrones at a protected site in Dwerja, which is where the famous Azure Window can be found and where a major Dothraki scene has been filmed (as previously reported). The location has certain fossil beds which were to be carefully protected by the use of tarps on which sand was poured, and that sand was then to be removed by manual equipment (spades and brooms). However, recent heavy rains hardened the sand and led a sub-contractor to bring in heavy equipment to remove it, which was contrary to the permit and could potentially damage the site.

When Fire & Blood Productions learned of this, they immediately called a halt to the use of heavy equipment. They have since issued an apology for the error, taking full responsibility for the sub-contractor’s error, and they intend to rectify matters. They also emphasize their “positive experience of filming in Malta” and their intention to continue to adhere to all the requirements placed on them for the benefit of the cultural and natural heritage of Malta.

Maltese Filming Locations

Via the Rabbit, there’s a list out there of some of the sites where filming for HBO’s Game of Thrones will have taken place in Malta. We’ve already previously reported on the Azure Window location, which is also known as Dwerja.

Besides this, other sites include the medieval town of Mdina, Fort Ricasoli (which we’re told has a famous gate which has been used for the entrance into the Red Keep, or possibly into Maegor’s Holdfast), Fort Saint Elmo, the San Anton Palace and Gardens, the Verdala Palace, Fort Saint Angelo in Birgu (as an aside, this was also the location of a significant part of Dorothy Dunnet’s third novel in the Lymond series of historical novels, Disorderly Knights; we heartily recommend this series to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire), Fort Manoel, and the medieval walled city of Cittadella on Gozo in the Maltese archipelago,

The area of Rdum id-Delli was also considered, but then the production appears to have sought permission to film in Mtahleb instead, although that is still pending.