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Game of Thrones Takes VES Awards

One of the things Game of Thrones has done best is bring the epic scale of the world and the magical nature of some of its inhabitants to life with special effects, and it looks like the Visual Effects Society has recognized it, giving the show four awards at the 11th Annual VES Awards, more than any other television program.

It won four awards in the Broadcast category, including Best Visual Effects for their work in the episode “Valar Morghulis”, Outstanding Animated Character for the dragon training sequence, Outstanding Created Environment for Pyke, and Outstanding Compositing for the army of wights at the end of “Valar Morghulis”.

Many congratulations to the VFX studio, Pixomondo, who produced the vast majority of the special effects in season 2.

Making Game of Thrones: Mance Rayder’s Camp

A new entry at the official Making Game of Thrones production blog provides some new information regarding filming in Iceland (which has been a topic featured both in a video blog and a new Bluray excerpt), as it reveals a bit about filming a scene among the wildling encampment where Jon is taken to meet actor Ian Whyte, who played Ser Gregor this past season (and a White Walker in both of the previous seasons):

It’s also a day when our friend Ian Whyte, who plays the White Walker, is back in a different role, one we haven’t seen before. He’s got some awfully big shoes to fill for this particular scene.

What do we think this means?

First Production Stills from Season 3

This, as they say, is the motherload: many, many stills of characters (both old and new) from the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, set to air on March 31st.

Beric Dondarrion

Some terrific images of Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall, the red priest Thoros of Myr, the siblings Meera and Jojen Reed… and some hints as to which episodes many of these characters appearing in.

So, hurry along and check out our gallery and share your thoughts! We may go back and provide further comments to the images when we have a chance.

New Game of Thrones Video Log

HBO’s official Game of Thrones Youtube channel has uploaded a brand new video, featuring writer and editor Bryan Cogman (recently interviewed here regarding season 3) about the process of turning the books into the series. Cogman’s work entails providing the notes and outlines of the books that help serve as the underpinnings of the upcoming season, and it’s interesting to see that process described somewhat. Also, the video features some glimpses of season 3 filming, including a brief scene featuring Dame Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell, as well as other new cast members such as Ciarán Hinds as the King-beyond-the-Wall Mance Rayder (lacking, alas, his black cloak sewn with red silk) and Clive Russell as Ser Brynden Tully, called the Blackfish.

Episode 7 Retitled: Autumn Storms Becomes Chains

Via George R.R. Martin and his “Not a Blog”, we learn that episode 7 of season 3 has been retitled. As we noted earlier in the week, it was called “Autumn Storms”, but it will now be titled “Chains”. It’s a title Martin says he likes rather more, noting it has literal and metaphorical meanings:

It was formerly “Autumn Storms,” which I never much liked… but the episode did have a lot of rain in it.

The rain went away. So did the title.

The episode is now “Chains.” I like that better. And it works on both a literal and metaphorical level.

 

HBO Releases Season 3 Episode Writers and Directors

As has started to become a tradition, HBO has sent out the list of the writers and directors for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. Many of these we’ve been able to piece together over the previous months, but I believe this is the first time some of these have been confirmed. You can find them below. As is also tradition, no titles have been given, though we do know Martin’s episode (#7) has been titled “Autumn Storms”.

Making Game of Thrones Art Direction Video

The Making Game of Thrones production blog posted a new video (the first in a promised series leading up to the season 3 premiere) a couple of days ago, focused on art direction. Some glimpses of actors both familiar and new, and new locations, from the third season. Check it out below:

Game of Thrones Season 3 to Run Longer

A very interesting report has come by way of EW’s James Hibberd, revealing that while season 3 is still just 10 episodes—compared to the 12 episodes the other big HBO drama, Boardwalk Empire, gets—these episodes will often run 4-5 minutes longer than they did in the previous season, squeezing in just a bit more content per episode. If the season averages out to 57 minutes an episode, that would practically be equivalent to an 11 episode season at season 2’s run time.

And on top of that, it looks like the season finale is going to run 60 minutes, or perhaps even just beyond that, something that the executive producers Benioff and Weiss note requires special permission from HBO due to scheduling.

Here’s the relevant quotes:

More Awards News: SAG, Golden Globes

And the short lists continue to roll out, as the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press offer up their nominees for next year’s awards. Following its first season, Game of Thrones picked up up two nominations each at the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes, but this time around, it looks like the second season just didn’t make much of an impression with the nominating bodies. For the SAG Awards, the show did manage to repeat its nomination for Best Stunt Ensemble (which it won last season), but missed out on repeating for Best Drama Ensemble.

As for the Globes, last year saw nominations in Best Drama and Best Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage (which Dinklage went on to win), but this time the show drew no nominations. It’s shaping up to be a somewhat quieter awards season for the series, although the Emmys will doubtless bring a host of technical nominations, as it has in previous seasons.

Making Game of Thrones: A Firey Sword

An interesting new post on the Making Game of Thrones production blog, discussing in detail the techniques used to create a fiery sword that will feature prominently in a scene in the third season. The details are mildly spoilerish, so I’d suggest not going there if you really want to have no idea whatsoever as to why a sword might be on fire in season 3. It’s pretty interesting reading, in any case, if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty of production special effects techniques.

An Oral History of “Blackwater”

GQ.com has declared “Blackwater”—the George R.R. Martin-pennied, Neil Marshall-directed penultimate episode of season 2—the “Year’s Best Television Episode”.

It’s hard to make an argument against that (though Matt Weiner and Vince Gilligan can surely make them), but the honor does come with a very nice “oral history” of the episode, from its conception to completion, as told by executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss, as well as GRRM and Marshall. Some interesting details along the way, and it’s well worth reading.

However, we can say that one detail in the article seems to be an error—or, at least, was not sourced from the participants. Writer Brian Rafferty writes toward the end that “Martin is halfway” through the sixth novel. We contacted Martin’s office about this detail, to verify it, and have been informed that GRRM made no such statement. It may have been a misunderstanding or a mistaken assumption, but in any case, GRRM has not stated that he is “halfway” done with The Winds of Winter, the sixth novel of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.

Making Game of Thrones: Mance Rayder

A brief but interesting update from the Making Game of Thrones production blog, discussing the fact that the introduction of Mance Rayder—played by Ciáran Hinds—was also Hind’s very first day of work, which was unusual. Daniel Minahan returns after his season 2 hiatus, as well, directing the first two epiodes of the season.

And, as a passing note, this confirms the return of Edward Dogliani as Rattleshirt, something which we didn’t really doubt, but hadn’t heard anything specific regarding it.

Season 3 Filming Wraps This Weekend

According to a report from Icelandic news site Visir, it looks like Game of Thrones filming will wrap on the 24th or 25th. That’ll be 138 or 139 days—four and a half months—since production started. And much of it at a dead run, with at least two units, and sometimes three, working in four different locations across that time span.

So, the last few days of the production are happening right now. And according to Cat Talor, today’s a “BIG day”. Hrm… !

Making Game of Thrones: Hints of Season 3

Over at the Making Game of Thrones production blog, an interview has been released with Jonathan Barrass, SFX floor supervisor who works with the Wolf and Dragon units that have been filming in the UK and will soon be filming in Iceland.

Some interesting bits are mentioned along the way regarding season 3 scenes that he’s working on. It’s all mysterious, but some of these are perhaps worth speculating about (beware spoilers from the third novel):

Game of Thrones Moves On to Iceland

With filming in Morocco a wrap, it’s time for the last leg of season 3 filming for HBO’s Game of Thrones. And where else, but not-so-sunny Iceland,

Via RÚV, we learn that filming is set to begin in the area of Kalfaströnd (seen in the image to the right, though rather earlier in the year) in the area of Mývatn. 270 cast and crew members are involved, including approximately 70 local extras. The article also seems to suggest that Dimmuborgir (what a terrific name—makes me think of Tolkien’s Dwimorberg) was being considered as an additional shooting location, although line producer Snorri Þórisson of local production company Pegasus Pictures believes this unlikely due to there being too much vegetation.

Þórisson adds at the end that there’s been talk of the production coming back to Iceland for a prospective fourth season.

Additional photos of the Myvátn region can be found over at Reykjavik Travel.

[Image Source: Klasar at Kálfaströnd / timandkris / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]