This has been the busiest week for news about HBO’s Game of Thrones since the filming of the pilot, with a host of new information. To help gather all in one place, here’s our weekend recap of all the notable tidbits:
- Game of Thrones Green Lit! - Full publicity sheet with principal cast and a high res still from the opening scene released by HBO. The news takes Twitter by storm, with hundreds of people remarking on the news. Notable new details: 10 episodes (including the pilot), not 12 as believed to be the case up to present, and production commences in June. The Winter is Coming fan site has a good collection of media and blog reactions to the news. We particularly recommend reading Ryan and Poniewozik, who have been outspoken supporters of the production.
- GRRM Dances - Martin offers this video clip, fulfilling his promise of a happy dance.
- The Budget- A Northern Irish government minister revealed that the budget for the show was about £30 million ($45 million) per season. The government touted the economic impact of the production as adding £20 million ($30 million) to the Northern Irish economy. A later report from the BBC revealed an additional £1.6 million ($2.4 million) cash incentive that the production received from the government. These details have led to a great deal of discussion, with additional information (such as the hefty tax credit the production is likely to receive) comparing the budget to that of other series, at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. The Russian fan site 7 Kingdoms provides a useful graph charting the alleged budget against other shows.
- New Trademarks - HBO files for a trademark covering computer games, which we suspect may cover Flash-based games for promotional purposes. A follower on Twitter brought our attention to the fact that HBO has recently filed a host of trademarks for the show in the U.K., something we were not aware of before.
- Shooting Schedule - It looks like filming will take place from June into December, which matches the 30 weeks of filming that had been bandied about before. There's significant leeway, of course, for it to be much less.
- Shooting Locations - The BBC Video report and the article touching on the shooting schedule both noted a new name: Shane's Castle. It seems that site has already been used for the pilot, information we were not apparently aware of before. From descriptions, it appears the eponymous castle is a ruin, but the estate is called one of the most beautiful in Northern Ireland and would work well for exterior shooting. George R.R. Martin later followed up, revealing that presently it looks like shooting going forward is going to take place almost entirely in Northern Ireland, with shooting in Morocco or other places (such as Scotland, where Winterfell scenes using Doune Castle were shot) being possible but still undecided.
- Actors React - A number of the actors who were on Twitter reacted to the green light with jubilation. Here's a sampling:
- Tom McCarthy Directing Next Episode? - In the course of a pair of Danish interviews (which we've helpfully translated), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (cast as Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer) seems to imply that Tom McCarthy is going to be directing one of the next episodes. We queried HBO for confirmation, but at this time they have no comment on anything outside of the pilot credits. Coster-Waldau reveals he's due to return to set around July 1st.
- Tamzin Merchant Clips - Merchant, cast as Daenerys Targaryen, features heavily in this extended trailer for Showtime's The Tudors, in which she plays the fateful role of Henry VIII's fifth wife, Katherine Howard. It is, we should note, a very different sort of character from Daenerys. There's also a behind the scenes video which features some interview clips from Ms. Merchant, discussing her character on the show.
- Air Date - Confirming that the plan remains for him to write an episode a season, GRRM indicates that while no air date has been firmly decided upon, April or May 2011 are presently looking likeliest.
- Casting Polls - We're once again running casting polls in our forum, and are looking for suggestions for actors (a strong focus being on U.K. actors, who are member of the U.K.'s acting association, generally a requirement to work in the U.K.). This first started when, before the pilot was produced, executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss arrived on the forum and asked for our input. A number of the roles cast, from the biggest names to the more minor characters, seem to directly correspond to some of the most popular choices on the forum. Lets see if lightning can't strike twice.
- And something new... -- Shortly after the news broke, executive producer Dan Weiss responded to our well-wishes with the following, which we thought we should share with fans: "Thank you guys! Your support has been invaluable, as has the positive outlook of the fan community in general. Grassroots support really does percolate uphill. Is that a mixed metaphor? So be it." So, it looks like the efforts of the fans of the series across the internet, who kept up a constant buzz for the show, had a positive effect when it came to convincing HBO's executives about the potential of the show. Good to hear!
Posted at 14:23 CET by Elio