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.
As the February 18th release date for the Game of Thrones season 3 Blu-Ray and DVD set approaches (Pre-order: US Bluray, US DVD, UK Bluray, UK DVD), previews of some of its contents have begun to appear. Over at Target.com, the full animated retelling of the Battle of Qohor—narrated by Iain Glen—can be seen.here. Have to say, the animation gets increasingly intricate and ambitious—terrific work from the DVD content team.
Now the Wall Street Journal has joined in the fun, sharing an exclusive look at behind-the-scenes material connected to the episode “The Rains of Castamere”, revealing some of the effects magic to make the direwolves take part in the action:
Impressive digital compositing and greenscreen work, reminding one that the show is one of the most elaborate productions in the history of television.
The Making Game of Thrones blog has posted a new season 4 video, this time introducing the show’s new production designer, Deborah Riley. A lot of glimpses of new sets, discussion of all the work that is involved in one of the most intricate television productions in the world, and also some glimpses of characters old (in brand new costumes, in some cases) and new:
On a related note, the Game of Thrones production has a tremendous crew working for it, many of them Northern Ireland locals, so it’s no surprise that Belfast’s growing reputation as a place with a lot of skilled craftsmen and production workers has led to more demand for studio space to accommodate more productions.
Now that the trailer is out, it’s no great surprise that HBO has started providing more material for fans to feast their eyes on. First up? A brand new entry in the “On the Set” series of videos, this one introducing season 4 to fans as it zooms about the four countries in which the past season was filmed, talks to executive producers and other key members of cast and crew alike, and gives us a few glimpses of some new locations and characters.
The video is embedded below:
Over at the official Making Game of Thrones production blog, Cat Taylor shares a scene from early in the fourth season filming, when the production put together some tests to simulate visual effects for the dragon flames that will be seen this season. Here’s an excerpt, right from the end:
As the dragons grow and start to test their power, their fire breathing will get stronger and more powerful. The Dragons are legend for a reason and this season we will get a hint of why. The final tally, 22 canisters and 400 litres of gas – all for just one day in Essos.
For more, visit the blog!
Filming in Iceland has commenced, as reported recently, and it looks like it’ll run for a couple of weeks. Of course, Iceland in the summer can look very different from Iceland in the winter… and it seems that the production is really using it to its advantage, because all signs point to it representing regions much nearer to King’s Landing than in the past. Reports of Maisie Williams and Gwendoline Christie both being spotted in Reykjavik have been confirmed, and it’s unlikely to be a coincidence (though that can’t be ruled out).
The last we saw of Arya, she was in the riverlands with Sandor Clegane, while Brienne of Tarth was last in King’s Landing…. but we’ve some speculations below (with spoilers):
As is starting to become a habit, the third season of Game of Thrones has been nominated in the “Outstanding Drama Series” category for this year’s Emmy’s. But it’s not the only award it’s been nominated for, with a total of seventeen nominations (one of them in a special class). Here’s the complete list this season:
James Hibberd gets another scoop for EW, revealing the full list of directors for the 4th season, and clarifying the writer situation. Per Hibberd, here’s the directors:
Episode 1: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Episodes 2, 3, 8, 10: Alex Graves
Episodes 4, 5: Michelle MacLaren
Episodes 6, 7: Alik Sakharov
Episodes 9: Neil Marshall
As to writers, it looks like this season Benioff and Weiss are writing seven of the episodes this season—just as they did in the first season—while GRRM gives his usual single episode contribution, and Bryan Cogman now providing two episodes (huzzah!)
We’ve taken a bit of a break after the rather exhausting season 3 of the series, but of course, the production never stands still: season 4 filming is soon to commence, roles have been cast, locations selected, and more. Below, you’ll find a quick round-up of some other Game of Thrones news over the last couple of weeks, for those curious as to what’s out there and what we know so far:
German matte painting artist Sven Sauer has shared an article from a German digital painting magazine that ended up having unprecedented access to Pixomondo, the international digital effects company responsible for the award-winning effects of the last two seasons of Game of Thrones. The article focuses on matte paintings, and features quite a few impressive images and details regarding the scope of the use of matte paintings on the show (there’s more than you might realize). Well-worth taking a look at.
The article also includes a video Pixomondo produced featuring some of its effects work on the series, which we’ve embedded below.
Subject says it all! This is earlier than I expected—after the initial first season of a show, it often seems like HBO prefers to wait out renewal news—but it’s pretty much exactly what I expected: a full on renewal for season 4.
Read the press release below:
David Peterson, creator of the Dothraki language, has written an article for CNN revealing that the producers of Game of Thrones hired him to create two dialects of Valyrian, the ancient language of Valyria: High Valyrian and Low Valyrian. Though it’s light on specific details, it gives a great sense of the process of differentiating one version from another.
Having watched the first four episodes, we can say categorically that Peterson’s done a fantastic job. It sounds quite remarkable in the mouths of the actors who speak it at length.
EW, with its bevy of exclusive interviews now being posted, has gone the extra mile: it latest issue is a Game of Thrones extravaganza, starting right with its cover featuring Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke in costume as Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.
EW has more information about what to expect… including a nice, spoilerish synopsis of some season highlights:
While the traveling exhibit is just about to open in Toronto (with special guest Rose Leslie, aka Ygritte), fans who won’t be able to make it to the locations can still get a taste of what you might see there thanks to the wonders of the internet.
Over at the official Making Game of Thrones production blog, propmaster Gordon Fitzgerald provides some great insight into the process of making props for the show, which certainly has some of the best production values in television (and, I have to say, one of the best crews in television):
And then, via Cat Taylor, we learn that concept artist Will Simpson now has a Facebook fan page where he’s sharing some of the art he has created for the show. Never seen his gift to GRRM before!