Game of Thrones: News

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Warbeck Out, Djawadi In as Composer

Maureen Ryan has broken the news that Stephen Warbeck, the Academy Award-winning composer who we reported was selected to score Game of Thrones, parted ways with the production. His replacement has already been selected, and according to Ryan’s exclusive, it’s film composer Ramin Djawadi.

A protégé of Hans Zimmer who contributed music to a number of Zimmer-scored films, including Batman Begins and Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl, he has since gone on to score a few Hollywood blockbusters in his own right, including Iron Man and Clash of the Titans, while also working in television. A look at his IMDB award pages notes no really notable wins, but he has been nominated for the Emmy and Grammy awards in the recent past.

We’ve put together a playlist of some of his work, including a suite from Clash of the Titans, as well as a short interview. A German-born composer of Persian descent, his mention of a love for Iranian and Middle Eastern music is interesting, as well as his preference for the Romantic composers such as Brahms, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky. A cursory glance at commentary on his work suggests the he has been, at least up to recently, very much in the Hans Zimmer mold, which might suggest that the inclusion of tracks from Gladiator in the 15 minute reel was not purely coincidental—a sign that the Game of Thrones score will be aiming at an epic, cinematic quality?

Screencap Gallery Updated

We’ve updated our Behind the Scenes gallery with 44 new images (starting here), taken from the Buster Reeves Artisan’s video released at Making Game of Thrones a couple of weeks ago. Lots of details of fight scenes, but the image we’re highlighting here depicts a character from the books that has not previously been named: Dareon, the singer’s apprentice sent to the Wall for allegedly raping Lord Rowan’s daughter. He’s the fellow on the left.

The actor is probably more along the lines of a featured extra, and may not even have any lines, but I saw him being addressed as Dareon while I was watching some of the filming at Magheramorne (if anyone knows the actor’s full name, do let us know!. I suspect some of the other Night’s Watch recruits in the background may also be given names after some of the other recruits from the novel, such as Cuger and Halder.

In other news, expect our exclusive set reports from my visit to Belfast in October—which we started but then had to postpone to hash out some details—to resume later this month, with some exclusive pictures and details that we haven’t yet had the opportunity to report.

Making Game of Thrones: Arya’s Needlework

Oh, this is an excellent entry in the fantastic series of Artisan’s videos from Making Game of Thrones, as we get a great introduction to Maisie Williams, the young actress playing Arya and learn something of what it was like for her to learn how to fight with a sword for the role. Also, a few glimpses of Syrio, and what certainly looks like some rehearsal of a major scene for both characters…


Around the Web

Here’s a quick round-up of some items from the last few days that we thinks fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones might find of interest. We’ve tweeted them, but haven’t yet had an opportunity to post them up:


Artisans: The Fight Arranger

The Making Game of Thrones site has published a new entry in the Artisans series, focusing on the work of fight arranger Buster Reeves:

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

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.