Game of Thrones

HBO's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' TV Show


Hodor! Interview with Kristian Nairn

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.

Win a Trip to Northern Ireland

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.

Artisans: The Props

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:

Landscapes and Targaryens

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.

Also, I had not announced this previously, but the screen caps from the House Targaryen featurette are now in the Previews gallery, starting from this image.

Daenerys Profile and New Teaser

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:

Sneak Peeks in Houston and Elsewhere

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…

Sneak Peek in Stockholm

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.

4th Link of the Maester’s Path

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:

  • It really does look like you can sort of decipher the texts—weird characters and all—if you know the names of the various houses represented on the pages, which the Heraldry section of the Citadel could reveal ... but we’ll just note them because, in fact, you do not in fact need to decipher the text: Baratheon, Bracken, Frey, Florent (although it’s the Florent fox, it seems what was in fact intended was Prester’s ox, because that’s the actual name under the shield), Greyjoy, Lannister, Mormont, Redwyne, Stark, Targaryen, Tully, and Tyrell.
  • BUT, if you can take the time to decipher them, do so. The Tully text is a particularly nice to the recent history of Westeros!
  • The easy part of the puzzle is figuring out which page should be uppermost between the front and back pairs. Look at the moonphases, and set them out so that the earliest part of the cycle is towards you.
  • The hard part is deciphering the order of the various pages. The key to them? Look down at the bottom. Those are numerals, and given the fact that each pair shares the same numeral, we can guess they are not page numbers. Instead, they are probably years…
  • And if they’re years, we know that the first digit—which is the same between all of them—must be either 1 or 2, making these pages covers the 100th-odd or 200-odd year since Aegon’s Landing (remember, it’s not quite the year 300 AL).
  • Could the digits under the weather symbols be helpful? Maybe, if you can guess the season based on the weather, you can make a stab at what sort of temperatures (hot or cold), and narrow down the possibilities.
  • There’s just seven digits in total used for the years, so you might be able to eliminate some from contention on that basis…

Not an easy puzzle, by any means, but a satisfying one to figure out!


3rd Episode Title

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 Character Bios

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.

Baratheon and Lannister Gallery Updates

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.

HBO’s Game of Thrones App

Check this out, folks!

The other day, a sharp-eyed fan noticed that Maester’s Path briefly revealed that this coming Monday’s 4th link was symbolized by a hand, which—given the sense-based theme—seemed a sure sign that “touch” would be a theme. And now it looks like they’ve rolled out an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app to go with it. Here’s a hint of what it’ll provide:

Choose a location in this weather-driven storytelling app (or use your built-in GPS locator) and view a scene from Westeros (and beyond) that matches the current weather of that location, whether snow, rain, sun or fog. Users also can select multiple locations and simply swipe between them to see a range of scenes, accompanied by onscreen temperature and time.

Suffice it to say, we’re jealous of those who happen to own a compatible Apple device. If you’ve got one, check it out, and report back on what you see when you play with it!

For those who might be concerned, this is a bit of entertainment to whet the appetite—it will not be necessary for successfully completing the Maester’s Path 4th link, which Campfire‘s Steve Coulson has promised will be the toughest challenge yet.

Interviews and Press Junkets

Canal+ Spain has released two interviews, with executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss in one and actor Peter Dinklage in the other, to go with their other efforts to publicize the show for the Spanish audience. See the videos below!

We’ll note that this past couple of days, U.K. (and possibly other, international) press were at a press junket in London with quite a few of the actors (Jason Momoa among them), and we expect to be seeing a lot more quick sound-bites and images like this blurb about Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, which gives our very first look at the character with the bow he’s so skilled at using.

The flood gates are just about to open, folks.

Official Posters and More

IGN recently had an exclusive of the next four posters from HBO’s Game of Thrones, and now the Making Game of Thrones site has released them widely, and in super-high resolution. And as you can see to the right, they added a bonus fifth poster to the roster, featuring Jon Snow and a line from the vows of the Night’s Watch, “I am the watcher on the walls.” Great images, all, especially Daenerys with her dragon egg, and of course Cersei with that rather ominous dagger. The quote for Robert is a brand new one, not from the books, but it does rather seem to fit the Baratheon king.

In other, image-related news, George has a “Not a Blog” post featuring the HBO Shop display in New York City (photos sent by a fan or friend; he’s only in NYC “in his dreams”, he notes), which was rolled out yesterday morning. Featuring costumes, armor, and props from the production, it’s a great opportunity for visitors to the shop to get a close look at the production. Esc-Key on Livejournal has also posted some photos, with a nice commentary to go with it.

Finally, it seems Canal+ Spain has begun to release a few dribs and drabs for its promotion for Game of Thrones, which airs on May 9th in that country. Their Facebook album contains several promotional and behind-the-scenes shots we’ve not seen published anywhere else. The shot of the prop store brings back fond memories of my visit to the set; if you go all the way to the shelving in the back, that’s where the all the rolled-up banners I mentioned in my report were located, as well as the early prototype for the Iron Throne (with swords blazoned with “Kingdom of Heaven”, clearly originally props for Ridley Scott’s film).


Coster-Waldau in Esquire

Here’s Esquire’s interview with actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays the part of Ser Jaime Lannister. The Danish actor discusses fashion, the fact that he quails at the price tags of some high-end fashion items, and of course there’s a few remarks concerning Game of Thrones:

You walk on the set, and from the set designer to the costume designer, the whole thing transports you into this other world. So yes, it definitely helps you get into character. We were shooting in Belfast, it was raining and we were outside on horses, and I’m sitting there wearing my big armor. And someone brings you a coffee and you’re sitting and having a cigarette. It struck me how ridiculous my job is, at times. You know? All these grown-ups dressed up for Halloween.

There’s also a couple of pictures of Coster-Waldau in the April fashion feature from Esquire.