Game of Thrones

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Arbor Gold, Dornish Red: Game of Thrones Wines Announced

HBO’s just passed along word that they’ve entered into a collaboration with Vintage Wine Estates to create a selection of Game of Thrones wines including a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Sauvignon, and a red blend. (Funnily enough, this isn’t the first time there’s been wines produced with a A Song of Ice and Fire bent—the Brotherhood without Banners fans produced a very limited run of Arbor Gold” and a “Dornish Red” wines—with custom labels and all—for the 2006 Worldcon, L.A. Con IV!)

Officially Licensed Game of Thrones Chardonnay  Officially Licensed Game of Thrones Cabernet Sauvignon Officially Licensed Game of Thrones Red Wine

Here’s the press release below:

Santa Rosa, CA. (Nov. 22, 2016) In a toast to the critically acclaimed and Emmy® Award-winning HBO drama Game of Thrones, California wine company Vintage Wine Estates has announced an exclusive partnership with HBO Global Licensing to produce a selection of Game of Thrones wines, which include a Chardonnay, a proprietary red blend and a reserve-style Cabernet Sauvignon, designed with the show and its characters in mind and credited to Seven Kingdoms Wines.

“Any fan of Game of Thrones appreciates the role wine plays in the saga,” observed vintner Pat Roney, President and CEO, Vintage Wine Estates. “We are very excited to partner with HBO to give those fans some delicious wines to sip as they plot their own paths to the Iron Throne.”

The Lannisters are perhaps the family that most enjoys wine in Game of Thrones, as siblings Cersei and Tyrion sip it at various points of the show, but the award-winning series often sees wine play a role in scenes throughout the Seven Kingdoms, from Dorne to The Reach. Tyrion’s legendary wit and wisdom tend to be most in evidence when wine is close at hand. Arguably his most viral quote, “That’s what I do: I drink and I know things,” is stated as he sips from a goblet of wine and ponders the best course of action with Varys, Missandei and Grey Worm.

“Given the prominent role of wine on Game of Thrones and our previous success in the beverage category, an officially licensed wine for the show feels like a natural extension for our fans,” explained Jeff Peters, Director of Licensing and Retail for HBO. “Game of Thrones wines most definitely will add to the fan experience as the battle for the Iron Throne heats up heading into the final seasons.”

Game of Thrones wines will be available nationally in 750ml bottles in Spring 2017. Suggested retail price for Game of Thrones Chardonnay and Game of Thrones Red Blend is $19.99; Game of Thrones Cabernet Sauvignon is $39.99.

 

S6 Blu-ray and DVD Celebrated with Epic Fan Event

In conjunction with the release of the sixth season on Blu-ray and DVD, HBO will be bringing the box set’s exclusive bonus features to life in three groundbreaking events with interactive experiences including photo, video and virtual reality that take fans behind the scenes and immerse them into the world of Game of Thrones.

Game Of Thrones Season 6 - Behind the Scenes will give visitors an exclusive look into the making of HBO’s most popular series via interactive audiovisual displays alongside exciting tech-based experiences. Fans will both learn what it takes to put the epic production together and get to step inside scenes themselves.  Set up as five different experiences themed to individual bonus features available on the Season 6 Blu-rayTM and DVD set, Game of Thrones: Season 6 – Behind the Scenes is designed to look like set pieces and production elements from the show. The event will give fans a chance to go behind the scenes and experience bonus content from Season 6 come to life while taking shareable photos and videos inside the burning Temple of the Dosh Khaleen, holding the door to save Bran, fighting in the Battle of the Bastards and sitting on the Iron Throne. Additionally, fans will have access to a brand new Virtual Reality experience created exclusively for this fan event that lets them train for battle in the wars to come in Westeros and beyond.

Following the November 15 release of Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray™ and DVD, the Game of Thrones: Season 6 – Behind the Scenes event will make its first stop at Astor Place in New York City on Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19, followed by stops at Grant Park in Chicago on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27, and at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles on Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10. The operating hours for all events and dates are 12:30pm-8pm.

When they are finished previewing never-before-seen content and interacting with the experiences, fans will be able to check out all of the exclusive bonus features that inspired these events in its entirety by purchasing Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray™ or DVD. The first 20 fans who buy Season 6 on Blu-ray or DVD before the event and bring their box set with them will be granted early access to the experience.

Interactive event experiences include:

  • Vaes Dothrak: Watch footage from the exclusive Blu-rayTM/DVD bonus feature “Recreating the Dothraki World,” a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the city of Vaes Dothrak and its importance to Daenerys’s evolution, and stand in for Daenerys as the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen burns around you in a shareable video utilizing green screen technology.
  • North of the Wall: “Bran’s Journey” delves into Bran Stark’s shocking and revelatory journey during Season 6. In this interactive experience, fans will see a recreation of the mystical Weirwood tree, learn about the Children of the Forest, and “hold the door” to save Bran from the White Walker army in a shareable video.
  • Winterfell: “The Battle of the Bastards: An In-Depth Look,” available exclusively on the Season 6 Blu-ray/DVD set, goes behind the scenes to examine the production challenges of creating this epic event, including explorations of Visual Effects, stunts, and interviews with key cast and crew. In this experiences, modeled after Jon Snow’s command tent, fans can move stone pieces around the battle table and insert themselves into a photo opp of Jon’s position in the incredible aerial mob shot at the height of battle.
  • Castle Black: In the Defend the Wall Virtual Reality Experience, modeled after the Castle Black courtyard and created exclusively for the Game of Thrones: Season 6 – Behind the Scenes fan event, fans will wear a VR headset and pick up a virtual crossbow, arrows and shield to hone their battle skills for the wars to come. But beware! You never know what danger lurks around the corner.
  • The Workshop: The “18 Hours at the Paint Hall” Blu-rayTM/DVD feature follows all three Game of Thrones shooting units as they converge for the first time at Titanic Studios, better known as the Paint Hall, the series’ Belfast-based production hub. Housed in an aluminum structure modeled after the actual Paint Hall, this workshop will house props and costumes from the show, plus give fans the chance to sit on the Iron Throne and begin their reign as the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

Fans can pre-register for the event now by visiting GoTBehindTheScenes.com for expedited entry. Fast Passes to the above experiences will be available through this site while supplies last.

Blu-ray Preview: The War of the Ninepenny Kings

The Game of Thrones season 6 Blu-Ray and DVD set just came out today, and courtesy of HBO we’ve an exclusive clip from the Histories and Lore extras that have always been so popular. Each year’s production values seem to be going up and up, and from what we’ve seen so far it looks like it holds true this season. Last season’s Histories and Lore earned some attention from the Clio Awards, and we can only imagine this season will follow suit.

Here’s the exclusive, as Brother Ray (Ian McShane) narrates the War of the Ninepenny Kings:

 

Game of Thrones Cluedo

The classic game Cluedo (or Clue, to those across the Pond) has received a Game of Thrones remake thanks to HBO and Winning Moves, who sent us a review copy of their latest board game. They’ve already created versions of Risk and Monopoly, so with Cluedo they’ve basically achieved the trifecta of classic board games.

Game of Thrones Cluedo

Not only does Game of Thrones Cluedo feature a themed pair of maps (one for King’s Landing and Meereen), characters, and weapons (arakhs, Faceless Men, and more!) to give it that Game of Thrones flavor, but the game throws in some new wrinkles from the classic board game. Most significantly, each player’s character has a unique ability that can be used once per game which, if used right, can tip the scale in favor of a character. The Daenerys character, for example, can move twice on her turn, while Littlefinger can choose to randomly look at one of the cards held by another player after having already been shown one of their cards. The variations continue with the introduction of Intrigue cards, which provide special options such as moving to any location on the board, add six to a roll, or take a peek at a card one player had just shown to another player; some of these cards are to be played immediately or can be held and used until needed.

The most intriguing addition is the White Walker card. There are eight of them in the deck of cards that come with the game, and as game progresses they may be drawn one by one. Each card is set aside, to keep track of how many have been drawn, because the eighth card is special: whoever draws it is immediately out of the game. It adds a certain trepidation, to say the least, in the late game as the next turn of a card could mean the end of the player!

The game can be played by two players—there are a couple of tweaks needed to the standard rules to make it work—but it’s really best with more players, we think. The production quality of Game of Thrones Cluedo is great, although I do miss the classic plastic figurines from the American Clue for the players; here instead there are plastic holders for small cardboard images for each character, which certainly works and can be understood from a cost perspective, but still, it would have been neat to have sculpted figurines of Daenerys, Tyrion, Daario, Jorah, and the rest.

Game of Thrones Cluedo is available now in the U.K. You should also check Winning Moves’ Game of Thrones board game classics.

(For those in the U.S., USAopoly publishes the same variation as CLUE: Game of Thrones Board Game)

Update: Game of Thrones Coming to Sweden? No.

UPDATE: According to a follow-up report this week, as reported by Göteborg Posten, it looks like HBO has indicated that while it found Gotland very interesting it doesn’t have what they’re looking for and so Game of Thrones wll not be filming there. You can find our original report below:

A curious item out of Gotlands Tidningar caught our eye, as it indicated a production company on Gotland was currently involved in collecting location photos for what we can only assume is early location scouting for season 8 of Game of Thrones.

© En-cas-de-soleil / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

According to Olivia Munck of The Line, a production and location services company in Gotland, over 300 images have been sent to the production in several batches as different environments and places were requested; these include images of the medieval town of Visby, followed by a second batch of Visby photos with a focus on older or more “aged” environments, and then a batch of photos focused on old farmsteads on Gotland (including Kattlunds and Stavgard).

Visby, which was the center of Hanseatic League for two centuries, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best preserved medieval town in Scandinavia. Its medieval walls stretch for over 2 miles (3 kilometers), it’s packed with ruins of churches and cathedrals (such as St. Nicolai, where Linda and I held a few talks last year). It’s a beautiful, and quite unique, place, which has for over 30 years hosted the famous Medeltidsveckan medieval festival. The rest of Gotland is also dotted with historical sites and sites of archaeological value, and features some beatuiful vistas (as one can see on The Line’s site). And of course, being in Scandinavia, it’s also known to get a good deal of snow which one supposes might be considered useful for the final season of the series.

So, is the production actually going to end up filming in Sweden? Munck was also interviewed by Sveriges Radio after the initial article made the rounds in the press, and there reiterated that she felt the production certainly has some interest in filming there since she doesn’t suppose they would have asked for so many pictures over time if they were writing it off. At the same time, however, she cautioned that nothing was certain at this stage, that no contracts had been signed, and gave it no better than 50/50 odds after citing that Sweden does not have the kind of tax breaks for film productions that Iceland, Spain, Croatia, and other countries where Game of Thrones has filmed previously.

According to Munck, after all these photos the next step for the production (if they continued to be interested) would probably be sending someone over to take a look around in person.

Thrones at the Emmys

This year’s Emmy Awards have concluded and the results featured a few surprises in the acting categories, but the overall picture was as expected for Game of Thrones as it secured a total of 12 Emmys, tying last year’s record. Besides repeating for Best Dramatic Series, the show received direction and writing awards for “The Battle of the Bastards”. The shut out in the acting categories goes against prevailing opinions among entertainment pundits and journalists, but it seems that while the voting constituency (rule changes in 2015 are a big part of why Game of Thrones is now dominant in the drama category) loves Peter Dinklage, his puzzled reaction to last year’s victory moved the voters away from him and instead saw them return to an old stand by (Maggie Smith) and a long-time veteran (Ben Mendelsohn) over the remaining Game of Thrones nominees.

Some notable remarks followed the Emmys when interviewers asked the showrunners about the future of the series and the possibility of sequels. According to the Hollywood Reporter:

“You might want to ask George about that. It’s a great world George created and a very rich world,” said Benoiff. “I’m sure there will be other series set in Westeros, but for us this is it.”

Martin quickly stepped up to the mic: “I do have thousands of pages of fake history of everything that led up to Game of Thrones, so there’s a wealth of material there and I’m still writing more. But at the moment I still have this show to finish and two books to finish, so that’s all speculation for now.”

Benioff’s remark reiterates that he and Weiss are done with showrunning for the forseeable future when Game of Thrones wraps up, which is no surprise, but it seems that discussions at HBO are at the point where he seems to have no doubt that some sort of follow-on project is likely. On the other hand, as GRRM says, it all remains speculation until HBO is ready to lock something in. We suspect it’ll be a year or two before we hear of any firm plans for a spin-off series drawing from The World of Ice and Fire or A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

Game of Thrones Election Results

HBO’s fun Game of Thrones promotion, pitting a number of characters as candidates in a fictional presidential election, concluded with over 1.6 million votes cast… 35% of which went to Jon Snow and his very popular running mate, Lyanna Mormont (there appear to be no minimum age requirements for the presidency of the Seven Kingdoms). To honor the occasion, an official campaign song from the band Valyrian Steel (fictional moniker of Kyle Gass, John Spiker, and John Konesky of Tenacious D), has been released on Soundcloud:

The GoT Party website has all the details of the results, as well as links to various videos made as part of the promotion.

Game of Thrones Concert Tour

The recently-announced Game of Thrones concert has expanded to a full-on tour across North America, and we have the full details—including all 28 locations (including 3 Canadian concerts)—in the press release below the cut. We can provide fans who are interested a special pre-sale code thanks to HBO and Live Nation, as well, for those who want to get their tickets sorted out as early as possible! If you’re interested, just follow this link, select the venue you’re interested in, go through the seating and ordering process, select the “HBO Fans and Family” option and use the code GOTTOUR when prompted for the promo code. This will get you access to the tickets now rather than waiting for the general sale date on Saturday!

See the full details on the concerts below, and don’t forget you can order the Season 6 soundtrack!

HBO Confirms Eighth Season as Last

The TCA press tour is taking place, where network executives talk with reporters about their programming, and of course new HBO programming head Casey Bloys has fielded questions regarding Game of Thrones. As Variety’s live blog notes, there’s two major take aways.

First, Bloys confirmed that the 8th season of the show would be its last, although like other HBO executives he says he would be happy to get 10 more seasons. Many fans have assumed the 8th would be the last, given statements from Benioff and Weiss, but this is the first direct and explicit confirmation.

Second, Bloys remarked on the possibility of a “spin-off” so long as it “makes sense creatively.” What that means, exactly, is anyone’s guess, but certainly many HBO watchers and commentators have noted that it would be very logical for HBO to commission some sort of spin-off to hold on to at least some part of the show’s audience (averaging 25 million viewers per episode across all delivery methods) at a time when HBO’s upcoming programming has a lot of question marks floating around it.

Other, smaller details to note are that the late airing of season 7 (as we’ve previously reported) will mean that that season will not be in contention for the Emmys, and because of that late start it seems likely that The Leftovers will be scheduled to fill in that Spring-early Summer period.

T-Shirts from the HBO Store

We’ve gone through the HBO Store’s current selection of Game of Thrones t-shirts and picked out a few of the newer releases for your perusal. After all, who doesn’t need a set of t-shirts for summer (even one that reads “Winter is Here”)?

We particularly like some of the new designs incorporating house sigils, such as this Stark, Targaryen and Lannister shirt, and of course everyone needs a Hodor shirt.

Comic Con Exclusives at the HBO Store

Don’t fancy fighting through the hordes of fans at Comic Con to get a look at some of the exclusive Game of Thrones merchandise launched there? Don’t worry, the HBO store has limited quantities of the exclusive products on sale.

If you want to take home your very own giant, albeit in a more portable format, the Mag the MightyFunko Pop might be just the thing. Or, if you prefer a smaller trio, there’s an exclusive Funko Dorbz 3-Pack featuring a White Walker, Joffrey Baratheon and the Hound.

Should you like something more substantial there’s also the metallic silver Night King bust. Just keep it hidden in case you play the Game of Thrones: Clue with the exclusive Expansion Set and someone is a sore loser.

Blu-ray and DVD Details Released

The Game of Thrones Season 6 Blu-ray and DVD set is due to hit shelves on November 15th (with digital HD available sooner on August 1st). HBO has finally revealed the contents of the the sets, and there’s quite a lot of interest—particularly a great deal of matter relating to the Tourney at Harrenhal. Quite interesting!

Here’s the full details below:

New York, N.Y., July 18, 2016 – Last year’s Emmy® Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series and currently nominated for 23 2016 Emmy® Awards including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing Outstanding Supporting Actress (Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams) and Outstanding Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington), Game of Thrones is bigger than ever delivering “the power and pathos fans have come to expect” (Los Angeles Times).  The HBO drama has consistently been the top selling TV on DVD/BD for the past five years and now fans can get the most recent season earlier than ever when Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season debuts from HBO Home Entertainment on Digital HD on August 1, 2016 and on Blu-ray™ with Digital HD and DVD November 15, 2016. The set features all 10 episodes, plus extensive bonus content:

 

Game of Thrones Filming This Summer

HBO has sent out a press release concerning the 7th season of Game of Thrones, confirming several details—most notably the total number of episodes for the season, seven—that have come out over the last weeks. The press release is below:

The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning series GAME OF THRONES will begin shooting its next season later this summer, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming. Production of the seven-episode seventh season will be based in Northern Ireland, while additional portions will be filmed in Spain and Iceland, with debut slated for summer 2017 on HBO.

        “Now that winter has arrived on GAME OF THRONES, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing,” said Bloys. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”

        Season seven directors will include Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman and Alan Taylor.

        Locations for shooting in Spain will include Sevilla, Caceres, Almodovar del Rio, Santiponce, Zumaia and Bermeo.

        Last week, GAME OF THRONES received 23 Primetime Emmy® nominations, the most of any nominee for the third year in a row. This year’s nominations include Outstanding Drama Series, 2 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington), 3 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams), Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Max von Sydow), 2 for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Miguel Sapochnik, Jack Bender) and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss).

        Season seven credits: The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Cogman; producers, Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney.

Game of Thrones: The Scavenger Hunt

NOTE: Due to the overwhelming interest in the Game of Thrones Comic Con Scavenger Hunt announced earlier today, the process of selecting winners is being modified. Fans will now have until 5pm on Saturday, July 23, to complete all of the Twitter photo challenges. Once completed, they can go to USAopoly’s CLUE: Game of Thrones Experience Booth #1017 between 9:30am-5pm PT on Saturday to enter their name, contact info and Twitter handle into a raffle for a chance to win one of 15 prize packs valued at approximately $200.

HBO‘s Game of Thrones is going to have a big presence at San Diego Comic Con, as it has done in previous years. This year, they’ve added something new: a scavenger hunt for attendees, hunting around licensee booths for photo opportunities with some of the many licensed Game of Thrones products for a chance to win a nifty prize pack including games, toys, and more!

Full details in the press release below:

The Doors of Northern Ireland

This week, Linda and I will be featuring our visit to Northern Ireland last week as we toured the locations of the ten Game of Thrones themed doors that are scattered around the country, many of them in close association with noteworthy filming locations from the HBO series. We’ve already made our first post, introducing the series and the first of the two doors—you’ll find it here! We had a wonderful time, as can be expected—everyone was incredibly friendly, and we met some real characters along the way! The only thing more fantastic than some of the meals we had were the scenic landscapes, especially the coast of Antrim which is very justly renowned.

But more on all that in the days to come!