Variety has a very interesting report on film and television production in Northern Ireland which touches on HBO’s Game of Thrones, and includes some interesting facts and figures. As we’ve previously discussed, the show’s budget has always been impressive, probably in the top quintile of all of HBO’s regular hour-long dramas (Rome certainly being at the very top end), but it seems it may have been even bigger than we were led to believe.
The HBO store has been keeping itself busy, releasing more products out there. We knew that the shirts featuring the posters would be inevitable, of course. And there had been rumors of steins of sort being produced, featuring house imagery, to be released to coincide more or less with the launch of the show…
But it looks like they’re here early! The main body being either in black or white, the steins cover House Targaryen, House Stark, House Lannister, House Baratheon, House Tully, and House Greyjoy (which, for our money, looks particularly sharp!) What more does HBO have planned in the coming weeks? We shall see…
We’ve updated our international air dates listing now that reports are coming in from Israel that Yes! has revealed Game of Thrones will be airing April 21st, just four days after the U.S. premiere. According to a remark from Winter is Coming, this is an exceptionally fast debut for a foreign show in Israel, which is a good sign.
So far, not much more movement on many of the announced broadcasters with no solid dates, but we’re keeping an eye out. If anyone in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, or Italy could contact national cable and broadcast networks to see if they’re picking up the show and when they’ll air it, we’d be very interested in that information!
Rumors abounded of HBO preparing something very special, something that tied into the final link for the Maester’s Path, which had up to now covered four of the five senses. The last left? Taste.
According to HBO, Top Chef host and award-winning chef Tom Colicchio prepared special foods for five different regions covered in the series. Food trucks in NYC and L.A. would be going out, serving 300 portions of each dish over the course of two weeks, from the 28th to the 1st in NYC and the 4th to the 8th in L.A.. And how do you find them? You have to follow the Twitter or Facebook official pages to learn where the trucks will be each day.
Below are some additional details, an embed to a special HBO Buzz video with Chef Colicchio, as well as copies of the PDFs featuring his lemon cake(!) recipe as well as a sample menu.
This week, we’re pleased to be able to share our interview with Kristian Nairn, the 7’ tall, Northern Irish actor, musician, and DJ who plays the fan-favorite role of Hodor. Almost 40 minutes long, the podcast interview covers a wide range of topics. We’ll note that at a couple of points, including one early on, Kristian’s voice gets rather fuzzy because of technical issues, but bear with it and it’ll clear up.
Listen to our interview, and if you haven’t visited before, poke around the Features section for additional interviews with John Bradley (Samwell Tarly) and Finn Jones (Ser Loras Tyrell), as well as articles on various topics related to the production.
Sky has announced a contest, with the grand-prize being:
The winner will enjoy unique accommodation for a week at the Killyleagh Castle Towers as well as a trip to Castle Ward and Tollymore Forest Park which was a major location while filming the show.
Sky HD’s tweet adds that the winner gets to take along three companions. By the looks of it, you’ll need to be a subscriber to Sky with a Sky ID to be able to enter the competition, which means unfortunately that this is limited to U.K. residents. That’s going to be an amazing trip we have to say! Castle Ward was the site of much of the post-pilot Winterfell filming, while Tollymore Forest Park was used for several different locations, including the haunted forest beyond the Wall.
HBO has snuck out a new Artisans video, this one with Gorden Fitzgerald, the props master. Some new shots from various locations, including a late-AGoT scene at Castle Black, and more glimpses of the Hand’s tourney, the Dothraki encampment, and more. Embed below:
HBO has sent along the hi-resolution of some of the amazing landscapes and buildings created with visual effects magic, which at 1080p should be perfectly suited to usage as wallpapers. We’ve added them—King’s Landing, the Wall, and two Winterfell images—to the Locations section of the Game of Thrones Gallery, the most extensive collection of screen caps and other images related to the series.
HBO’s on a tear, promoting Game of Thrones with its character profiles and previews. Adding to the character bios, they’ve now added the Catelyn Stark profile video (which was already available via Youtube) to her character bio, Daenerys’s profile video featuring Emilia Clarke and some shots of the character we haven’t seen before via HBO’s good offices, and (last but not least) the “Power” preview, which covers a lot of the ground we’ve seen before ... but adds a pounding drum soundtrack (again, we’re certain this is not from composer Ramin Djawadi) and another few snippets that are new. Including a couple of scenes from the novels we’ve not yet seen.
See below for the embeds of the Dany and “Power” videos:
The immediate question that comes up after our reporting that Canal+ Sweden is showing the first two episodes of Game of Thrones in a Stockholm theater is… what about theatrical sneak peeks in the U.S.?
As if on cue, the Studio Movie Grill CityCentre theater in Houston, Texas has proved that, yes indeed, these will be coming. Via this image posted on Twitter, we have received one of the first looks into what one of these events would look like. So if you’re in the vicinity of Houston, check the image and submit your entry into the drawing for two reserved seats for the showing on April 12th, fully five days before the premiere on HBO.
As to other cities? Well, word is HBO has some plans afoot for some other major cities, so keep an eye out…
Canal+ Sweden is pulling out all the stops to promote its airing of Game of Thrones beginning May 4th ... including a sneak peek in a theater in Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm! According to the schedule for April-May, on May 3rd the first two episodes will be shown by Stockholm’s Cinemateket in the Bio Filmhuset Victor, starting from 6 PM.
Entry is free, according to the program. This airing is in collaboration with the Swedish film magazine Cinema. This is not the first HBO original program they’ll be playing in a theater, though—we couldn’t help but notice that the Kate Winslet-led miniseries, Mildred Pierce, is getting a sneak peek on the 19th.
Also, amusingly, on May 8th, Cinemateket has gotten it into its head to mark the occasion by having an 80’s fantasy film marathon: The Princess Bride, Legend, and Ladyhawke will play back-to-back.
It’s now live, and boy, it was a tough one. There’s really two parts to this puzzle, as you try and put pages from a journal observing the seasons back into some sort of order. Here’s some hints:
Not an easy puzzle, by any means, but a satisfying one to figure out!
HBO’s on-line schedule has reached May 3rd, and it reveals the title and run time of the third episode of Game of Thrones: “Lord Snow”, running 58 minutes. The title suggests a focus will be Jon Snow’s place at Castle Black.
HBO has just unveiled the character bio page at their official site, featuring short blurbs about each characters, some new character photos, and (best of all) short, 1-2 minute character feature videos. These seem to have been some of the Fancast exclusives, and are now becoming available more widely via the HBO site. Below are embeds of the currently available videos, covering King Robert, Ser Jaime, Tyrion, Jon Snow, and Bran.
Playing catch-up, we’ve now added screencaps from the Baratheon and Lannister featurettes, with commentary, to our Previews gallery, beginning here with the map of the Seven Kingdoms as the first image. A lot of great shots in this one, including a glimpse of what might well be Arya’s last scene in the first season (hopefully the first of many!), Lyanna’s effigy, and our very first look at Charles Dance as Lord Tywin Lannister.
Besides that, other areas of the gallery have had some additions, such as the Various section with the character posters HBO has released and the Characters section with some new shot of some of the leads.
Next up will be the Targaryen featurette as well as the Comcast-exclusive On Location video which Comcast made available via Youtube.