Game of Thrones

HBO's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' TV Show



Season 4 Roundup

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:

Game of Matte Paintings

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.

HBO Renews Game of Thrones

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:

Creating Valyrian

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 Features Game of Thrones

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:


Props and Art Revealed

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!

The Hold Steady and the Bear

James Hibberd at EW has another scoop regarding season 3 of Game of Thrones. Just as with last year’s reveal that The National performed “The Rains of Castamere” for the show, indie rock band The Hold Steady are performing a rendition of—get this—“The Bear and the Maiden Fair”, a very popular bit of song in Westeros.

Hibberd quotes the producers:

“As with the National, we went after one of our favorite bands and were happily surprised when they agreed to do it,” said showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. “This is one of the most popular songs in Westeros, beloved by nobles and commoners alike, sung at taverns and feasts and etc. We wanted our rendition to be bawdy and a little sloppy — drunken musicians getting up on the table and jamming while the rowdy party continues around them. There was no one better for the job than the Hold Steady, and the song they delivered has been stuck in our heads for the last four weeks.”

So, that will be rather interesting to hear. I’m guessing it’ll be included on the official soundtrack for season 3, as well… and may well be released as a single before hand.

Game of Thrones Episode Titles

Been a busy week for us here at, with a trip taking me out of commission for a couple of days… but I did pick up some interesting information along the way. And now that it’s out, we may as well share it as well: titles for most of the episodes for season 3.

  • “Valar Dohaeris” (pairing nicely with last season’s finale)
  • “Dark Wings, Dark Words”
  • “Walk of Punishment”
  • “And Now His Watch is Ended”
  • “Kissed by Fire”
  • Still untitled
  • “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”
  • Still untitled
  • “The Rains of Castamere”
  • “Mhysa”

We’ll be adding these to our Episode guide once we dig our way out from under mail and screencapping and manuscripts everything else we’re up to at the moment!

Making Game of Thrones: Iceland Wrap

The official Making Game of Thrones production blog has a post detailing the ending of season 3 filming late last year in Iceland. The environment they were in sounds rather amazing:

“We are filming by special permission at the power station in Krafla, high on the top of a mountain with steam plumes from a geothermal spa nearby twisting into the sky. Every so often a waft of the sulphurous waters blows by. It’s not really a welcome visit.”

As to what they were filming? Despite it being at the very end of the shoot, it’s an opening scene from the first episode, directed by Dan Minahan. Some spoilerish details follow:


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”.