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Commenting EW’s Photos

An exclusive gallery of stills from HBO’s Game of Thrones, complete with short blurbs from the actors, has gone on-line. A fair warning for those followers who haven’t actually read the books, though: there are spoilers. EW’s newsstand edition will have more information (and possibly additional photos)!

Lets comment (and link) those ten images:

  • Night’s Watch Recruits: Here we see Kit Harington, John Bradley West as Samwell Tarly, and Josef Altin as Pypar in the courtyard of Castle Black. Now you, too, can see how muddy the grounds are! They’re dressed in a padded armor for sparring practice, as one can see other recruits going at it in the background.


  • Men-at-arms of the Vale: Though Mark Addy is quoted on the horse riding scenes, this particular one comes from the Vale of Arryn, as one can tell by the blue banners. These appear to be the same men-at-arms as seen here. The figure in the lead is Ser Vardis Egan, captain of Lord Arryn’s guard, who we’ve been told has been given some of the role of the Blackfish in discussing matters of the realm and the Vale when Catelyn first arrives. Played by Brendan McCormack, you’ll see more of him later in EW’s final still.


  • King Robert: Here we see Mark Addy at Winterfell, with a number of Stark guards behind him with the snarling direwolf of Winterfell on their shields. Their round shields, one notes, much as we’ve noted with the Valemen. A departure from the books, but a minor detail. Addy looks terrific in leather here. In the blurbs, he remarks on some early fan concerns that he’s best known for comedic roles, but having met him, I think fans are likely to be pleased with his depiction of this once-mighty king.


  • Queen Cersei: Can’t have the king without very well having the queen. Here’s the beautiful Lena Headey (of The Terminator: The Sarah Connors Chronicles fame) in costume, at what happens to be Winterfell’s Great Hall for the welcoming feast that the Starks throw for the royal party. That decorative piece in the background is quite impressive, I can say, having seen it up-close. as per the recent Artisan’s video, one can see that the Stark’s table is not so bounteous as that of King’s Landing (meat, meat, and more meat is the order of the day), and a lot more rustic. Cersei has quite a beautiful shawl, and light blue gown that we haven’t seen before.


  • Ser Jaime Lannister: The Kingslayer in the flesh. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays Queen Cersei’s twin, one of the greatest, handsomest, and reviled knights in the realm. Despite this infamy, he is a knight of King Robert’s Kingsguard (although EW gives away the fact that he’s not very good at it), and wears the Kingsguard armor which we’ve discussed before. One extra detail? We’re told that his armor is gilded in ways that that of the other Kingsguard isn’t, which should be apparent in scenes, as a nod to the quite different gilded suit of armor he wears in the novels (eschewing the Kingsguard’s traditional armor). He’s wearing his equally-infamous sword, with an ostentatiously gilded lion’s head pommel and a very graphic hilt wrapping that I’ve never seen the likes of before. I had a chance to speak with one of the lead armory smiths for the production, and a lot of time and thought has gone into producing weapons like this.


  • Lord Eddard Stark, Hand of the King: Here we have the incomparable Sean Bean as Lord Eddard at the small council’s chamber in King’s Landing, in a scene we suspect is the same as this teaser shot of what turns out to be a fairly tumultuous event in the novels. Julian Glover can be seen here as the aged Grand Maester Pycelle, one of the king’s councillors. For the uber-fans out there, you can just glimpse a part of his chain through the decorative carving of the king’s chair to the right.


  • Jon Snow and Bran Stark: Lord Eddard’s bastard son watches his young half-brother Bran Stark (played by Isaac Hempstead-Wright at archery practice. This was possibly taken at Castle Ward, where a good deal of filming of Winterfell exterior scenes have been filmed.


  • Daenerys Targaryen: A terrific profile photo of Emilia Clarke as the young Targaryen princess Daenerys, who is now also khaleesi of a barbaric Dothraki tribe after her wedding to Khal Drogo (played by Jason Momoa). Here we get a great look at the rough materials that the Dothraki wear, as we’ve seen before. The Targaryens are “the kingsblood, the old blood of Valyria, the blood of the dragon,” and so are marked both by an almost inhuman beauty, with purple eyes and silver-gold hair.


  • Tyrion and Mord: Here we have Peter Dinklage as the Imp, Tyrion Lannister. The dwarf brother of Queen Cersei and Ser Jaime, he gets caught up in the webs of intrigue that develop through the series. Behind him is the gaoler (as it’s spelled in the books) at the Eyrie in the Vale of Arryn, Mord, played by Ciaran Bermingham. I can say that George and Parris were both very impressed with Ciaran in this role, having nothing but good to say. I’ve stood in the sky cell set—it’s a long, long way down… in the series, in any case!


  • The Eyrie: And at last, I think the very watchful can figure out that here we’re in the High Hall of the Eyrie in the Vale of Arryn ... and it’s not a narrow, rectangular hall, but rather a great circular chamber. We marvelled at it as we were there, as it looks quite terrific. Besides Dinklage is Michele Fairley in the role of Catelyn Stark. A better shot of her can be found here. The armor of the Vale guardsmen is rather nice, but it’s Ser Vardis’s armor that really stands out here. It’s a full suit of plate armor, much as Ser Vardis is actually described as wearing, although McCormack is rather younger than the novel’s original version of the character, and his armor certainly looks amazing with these hammered bumps or pyramids (referencing the mountainous Vale?) all over it. It’s an exceptional example of the armorer’s craft.

We’ve been told that these images are exclusive to EW for the time being, but we should expect high-res versions at HBO.com in the future.

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