Game of Thrones: News

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Production

First Production Still from Season 3

And now the trickle of information starts coming in from the set: the Making Game of Thrones blog has its first new post in quite awhile, featuring a description of an important scene and a behind-the-back shot of ... someone.

It’s all quite cryptic, of course, but we do know the Clandeboye estate has been used for several things… including, from photos we’ve seen, for regions beyond the Wall and also regions in the south. Not quite sure why there’s no snow, though, in this photo—it may well suggest it’s for something else entirely. I’ll take a completely random guess, based on the “unexpected pairing” implying it might not be anyone paired by the end of season 2…

Glimpses of Riverrun

While production has been carrying on at a good pace—I’ve heard everything’s pretty much proceeding to schedule—there has been little tidbits coming, here and there, from Northern Ireland locals who’ve spotted filming ... or, better yet, have managed to get a few photos in. The most interesting photos relate to a much-missed location from prior seasons of Game of Thrones: Riverrun, the seat of House Tully. Other than a very brief mention at the end of season 2, Riverrun has largely been out of the picture… but not this year, not with the casting of Edmure and Brynden Tully.

NI Screen Talks Season 4

Northern Ireland Screen, the corporate body tasked with helping to encourage film and television production in Northern Ireland, has regular board meetings that occasionally reveal little tidbits about HBO’s Game of Thrones. There’s generally a three month lag, give or take, between these meetings and their minutes being posted, so the details of this March 13th (PDF file)  meeting are slightly out of date, with the CEO’s confidence that negotiations for season 3 will be successful—they were, with the production well under way in Northern Ireland—and so on.

However, it’s interesting to note this bit:

”. . . stressing that Season 4 would depend on the UK introducing a tax credit for high end television drama.”

 

Game of Thrones Episode Submissions

One of the things we’ve learned since the Emmy nominations were announced is that the drama series nomination has a particular process (see the last paragraph), namely that three pairs of episodes are selected, and these sets are randomly distributed among the voters. It left us pondering which pairs of episodes HBO had sent out…

Emmy Nominations

The nominees for the Emmy Awards have been announced, and there’s a bit of Game of Thrones news to be had:

  • Game of Thrones again scores a Best Drama Series nod, though the competition—Breaking Bad and Mad Men especially—pretty much insure that it won’t be scoring a win.
  • Once again, Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion Lannister earns him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Although HBO could easily have placed him in the Best Actor category, they appear to have decided that as the show is such an ensemble, that it made most sense to keep all the nominations in the supporting categories.
  • Gemma Jackson has been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction.
  • Nina Gold and Robert Sterne once again earn a nomination for Outstanding Casting in a Drama Series.
  • As does Michele Clapton, Alexander Fordham, and Chloe Aubry for Oustanding Costume Design for the episode “The Prince of Winterfell.
  • Kevin Alexander and team win a nomination for Outstanding Hairstyling.
  • Paul Engelen and team win a nomination for Outstanding Makeup.
  • Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup nomination for the episode “Valar Morghulis”.
  • As I had hoped, a nomination for Outstanding Sound Editing for “Blackwater, thanks to Peter Brown and team.
  • Also Outstanding Sound Mixing, for the same episode.
  • Pixomondo’s work earned nomination for Oustanding Visual Effects for the episode “Valar Morghulis”. Somehow had expected that “Blackwater” and its wildfire would have been the nod.
  • Plus what I think is a new one, Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media for the Season 2 Enhanced Digital Experience available via HBO Go.

All in all, a good tally; the show maintained its acting and drama nominations (though it did fail to get Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Direction nominations this year), and seems to have largely expanded its technical category nominations. The one difference is that it was not nominated for Main Title Design, but as it won that one last year and the design was only changed incrementally, that’s fair enough. The most notable absence for us? Yet again no nod to Ramin Djawadi for his main title theme, and personally Neil Marshall well-deserved a nomination for his work on Blackwater.

Here’s last year’s nominations for comparison purposes.

The full nominee list can be found via the official Emmys Site.

Elijah Wood Talks Game of Thrones

This is amusing: though we had heard that Elijah Wood (currently starring in the very strange, amusing Wilfred, and of course in The Lord of the Rings films) had visited the set in Belfast recently, he actually discusses it a bit with Conan O’Brien:

More Northern Ireland Reports

Some significant further reports have come out from the Northern Ireland press visit the other day.

First up, UTV has video as well as quotes from executive producer Frank Doelger regarding the shoot. He’s quoted as remarking on the difficulty the production has had with weather, not only in Northern Ireland, but in all their shooting locations. He also notes that a part of him hopes that they won’t have to fight other productions to use the location and crew resources they have available right now, but so far it seems like Game of Thrones has fairly free rein.

Northern Ireland Filming Progress

Game of Thrones filming continues apace in Northern Ireland for the forseeable future. Things have been low key in the run up to and following the big Comic-Con Panel, new cast announcement, and the premiere date being set as March 31, 2013. However, we do have some news about filming from both yesterday and torday. First, it seems that they had set up campe in Ballynure for filming in Straid:

 

Season 3 Premieres 3/31

One last tidbit from the Comic-Con panel: the official premiere date for Season 3 is March 31st. This is basically the same Sunday as Season 2’s April 1st premiere, so it’s not really much different… but still, good to have an actual date on hand for the premiere.

Day 1 of Filming Ends

According to a tweet from the official twitter for Ballyscullion Park in Northern Ireland, it looks like the first day of filming took place on their grounds:

They later added that the filming was wrapping up right around now, so that’s the first day done. Nice to see a new location—the woodlands at the park seem to have been the focus—added to the mix….

But more importantly, it looks like we now know that returning Season 1 director Daniel Minahan is starting off the third season, because as @ballyscullionpark noted that it was episode 1 that was filming, Cat Taylor noted that “Dan M” was directing:

So, one day down… quite a lot more to go. We’re looking at filming going into November.

Cunningham Signs On for Six More Seasons

A report in the Irish Daily Mirror—the exact text which I’m not able to find, but it’s been reported at second hand by The Independent—claims that Liam Cunningham, who plays Ser Davos Seaworth, has signed on for another six seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones. This isn’t unexpected news, as such, but it’s interesting as it suggests that Cunningham’s initial contract might have been shorter (which in itself is a bit unusual, since most contracts for long-term cast tend to have five or six year options) and now the production is on a footing where paying more to secure services of second season additions to the cast as far into the possible future as a seventh or even eighth season starts to make sense.

Horse Ambulances for Game of Thrones

A tweet regarding the Irish Blue Cross horse ambulance service in connection to HBO’s Game of Thrones may raise spectres of HBO’s Luck and its decided lack of luck when it came to horse safety—leading to the critically-praised series coming to a sudden, untimely end—but the fact is that this shows due care for the safety of the horses the production uses. And it seems to hint that some chase sequences are going to feature this season:

Why They’re Filming in Morocco

Thanks to multiple reports around the web from George R.R. Martin’s reading and Q&A at Town Hall Seattle, we now know that Martin confirmed what we’ve speculated : Morocco will serve as the location for Daenerys Targaryen’s storyline in the new season, the region of Essos known as Slaver’s Bay.

Some have rather hopefully thought it would mean we’d see Dorne in season 3… and while Morocco may doubtless serve as the location for scenes set in Dorne in some future season, it certainly seems that that’s not the plan this year. So Dorne fans will just have to wait.

Comic-Con Panel Details

The San Diego Comic-con has been releasing its program details, and fairly full details regarding the Game of Thrones panel are now available:

2:45-3:45 Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A session— Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO’s Game of Thrones series concluded its 10-episode second season on June 3. Created and executive produced by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, the series follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. Season 2 of the hit series told an epic story of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honor, conquest and triumph, set in an enthralling world of intrigue, seduction, and magic. Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, production of season 2 also took place in Croatia and Iceland. Some of the cast featured in the second season and appearing on this panel are (in alphabetical order) Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, and Richard Madden as Robb Stark. George R. R. Martin, who also serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the series, moderates with executive producer Carolyn Strauss. Hall H

So, now we have a list of “some” o the cast who’ll be appearing. Why “some”? I suspect some more may be added as they clarify schedules… and, given the extreme silence from HBO on casting to date, I think it’s safe to say that a “surprise” or two in terms of casting news will be revealed at the con.

HBO adds a follow-up indicating that executive producers Benioff and Weiss will not be in attendance as the season will already be filming at the time of the convention.

HBO Releases Season 3 Information

Straight from HBO, we’ve details on the writers and directors for the next season of Game of Thrones, with filming due to begin the second week of July. It confirms our earlier reports on Morocco becoming a fourth(!) filming location.

Here’s the press release:

Season 3 of Game of Thrones will start production in early July.  The production continues to be based in Belfast, Northern Ireland and will shoot in Belfast and other Northern Ireland locations.  Additionally, it is confirmed that Game of Thrones will return once again to Croatia and Iceland for additional production.  This season, a fourth location, Morocco, will be added to the schedule.

The following directors have been set for Season 3.  They are: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Alex Graves, Michelle MacLaren, Dan Minahan, David Nutter and Alik Sakharov.  Writers returning for this season are: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, George R.R. Martin and Vanessa Taylor.

Casting is underway and will be announced soon.

Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honor and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years.  The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning fantasy series aired its ten-episode second season Sunday, April 1-June 3, 2012.

So, D&D will be directing an episode (or two?)... and Alik Sakharov is returning, which is excellent. Plus a female director, Michelle MacLaren, joins the mix. More details on the directors shortly!