Game of Thrones: News

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HBO Announces New Game of Thrones Material

Via e-mail, HBO has informed media sites that the True Blood pre-show starting at 8:40 EST will feature “previews of upcoming HBO Original Programming including Game of ThronesBoardwalk EmpireMildred Pierce, In Treatment, Big Love, Eastbound & Down, Bored to Death, Enlightened and Curb Your Enthusiasm.” A little bird has whispered to us that there’s some sort of long trailer already floating around in the labyrinths of HBO, but whether the pre-show preview will be that or another short teaser like the first teaser remains a question.

HBO promises to have the video up on the web—probably at the official Game of Thrones sub-site—within minutes of its airing, which is good news for those of us overseas (*ahem*). Also, a new still from the production will be sent to media sites to post online. Suffice it to say, Linda and I will be getting to bed late…

Notice how Game of Thrones leads the list of shows? Could be coincidence… or it could be a sign that HBO is aware of just how massive the interest is in the series on-line. A little bird has also whispered that some eyebrows were raised at how many hits that first little teaser earned…

Any odds that this time around, Daenerys Targaryen will be featured? Emilia Clarke has some gorgeous new portrait photos posted, taken by renowned celebrity photographer Lorenzo Aguis. Could be sheer coincidence, of course, but… one never knows.

More Child Actors

One of the features of Game of Thrones is the number of characters—some quite significant—who are children. Two smaller parts along these lines have now been filled, according to Winter is Coming: Callum Wharry as Prince Tommen Baratheon and Aimee Richardson as his elder sister Princess Myrcella. We reported on her casting for the pilot last year, although it was indicated then that hers was the sort of role that may be recast if the series went forward. Clearly, that’s not the case.

Game of Thrones in Scandinavia

Thanks to the Dagbladet interview with Amrita Acharya, which revealed that HBO’s Game of Thrones will be airing on Canal+ in Norway, we’ve done a bit of digging. An agreement appears to have been made in February between Canal+ Scandinavia (a separate entity from Canal+ in France, Spain, and other countries) and HBO. This 3 year agreement gives Canal+ Scandinavia exclusive first airing rights to HBO’s content, somewhat similar to the Sky-HBO deal we have previously reported on for the U.K.

A representative for Canal+ in Sweden has confirmed that Game of Thrones is part of this agreement, and will air both on the regular network and their HD network in all of Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) at the same time. Although the Dagbladet report suggests a Fall or Winter 2011 air date, Canal+ in Sweden says they don’t have a firm air date as of yet but they promise to keep in touch with Westeros.org when there is new information.

New Amrita Acharia Interview

Amrita Acharia, cast in the role of Irri, has been interviewed in national Norwegian paper, Dagbladet. Below is a partial translation provided by A Song of Ice and Fire forum member Lacuna:

[Filler about HBO’s previous sucesses] The norwegian girl has been cast in the new HBO show ”Game of Thrones”, which is currently being filmed in Ireland and Malta. The show is based on the series ”Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. The cast is comprised of several well-know actors, such as Sean Bean, best known for his role as Boromir in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. ”This is of course incredible. I have a supporting role, but I am in eight of the ten episodes of the first series. I play Irri, the maid of one of the main characters”, Acharya says to Dagbladet. A learning experience The Tromsø native received her education at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) in London, and has mostly done theater work so far. She says the transition to a production like Game of Thrones is enormous. ”There is a massive crew involved. The budget is huge, and the sets are gigantic. Even though I’m not a main character, this really is a great learning experience.” And the 23-year-old has a lot to look forward to. Her career is really kicking off, even though it’s only been a year since she got her bachelor’s degree at ALRA. [Information about her other projects, (TV series Doctors, movie The Devil’s Double), background, (Katmandu, Ukraine, England, Tromsø), rejection for Norwegian citizenship, Visa to the UK expiring.]

At the end, the articles notes that Canal+ will air Game of Thrones in Norway beginning Fall or Winter 2011.

A Few Brief Production Notes

Just some quick details that have come out since the Ballycarry filming. We’ve already identified one of the chapters the filming represents—Eddard Stark’s third chapter—but it seems more was filmed than just that scene over these three days. It appears that scenes from Sansa’s first chapter were also filmed there, including the introduction of Ser Ilyn Payne (played by musician Wilko Johnson). The weather’s said to have taken a bit of a turn for the worse, especially compared to the very fortunate clear weather for the tourney scenes. Shooting on Friday may have run very late if this article is to be believed, claiming as it does that Sean Bean was not able to attend a Handsworth football match due to “a midnight film-shoot”.

For those closely following the production schedule, there’s an interesting report in comments from DrNick, posted over at Winter is Coming. He notes via a friend involved in the production that 2nd unit work has begun this week that will shift over to Malta on the 20th and become the main unit at some point. Filming in Malta is expected to last six weeks or more. As we’ve previously reported, Malta will be the key location for scenes set on the eastern continent, particularly the Dothraki scenes but we also expect that at least some part of the Pentos scenes will be filmed there.

Jason Momoa at Dragon*Con

We’ve had a few reports from Dragon*Con, where Jason Momoa has been hanging out this weekend, signing autographs and participating in panels. We’ve had a couple of reports from fans who’ve had a chance to chat with him. First, Sidney reports that Drogo’s braid reaches to Jason’s knees (if you’re wondering, yes, that’s somewhat longer than Drogo’s braid is described in A Game of Thrones, but that’s quite a minor detail!)

And some interesting details from 10zlaine. First and foremost, Jason unequivocally indicated that the Twitter account using his name is a fake. See the photographic proof, a very fierce Momoa holding up a signed paper in which he wrote, “It’s a fake twitter account. Kill that motherfucker. I am Jason Momoa.” Remember, folks, if a celebrity account isn’t verified, be wary.

Now, as to HBO’s Game of Thrones, 10zlaine notes that Jason indicated he was going to go back to filming very soon after Dragon*Con; we’re guessing this will be shooting interiors and some exteriors in Northern Ireland before filming shifts to Malta in October. Jason also remarked that he’s working hard at learning some lengthier chunks of dialogue for Drogo, made difficult by the fact that it’s all in David J. Peterson’s Dothraki language created for the series.

The Eyrie in September Too?

An article in the Brazilian magazine Epoca Sao Paulo feaures young actor Lino Facioli, and mentions his role in Game of Thrones. Chiefly, it notes that he’s due to start filming his scenes—as Robin Arryn, the sickly young Lord of the Eyrie—this month. The article also covers his concern about having to wear removable braces and his role in the Russel Brand film Get Him to the Greek.

For those keeping score, Lino’s scenes would fit into Catelyn’s sixth and seventh chapters.

Thanks to MouthTheOne for bringing the article to light, and WiCnet for the RT. Also, a translation of the article can be found here, provided by Vasco Cardoso.

Some Photos from Ballycarry

The intrepid silverjaime has shared a few photos she took when she decided to take a trip over to Ballycarry to see what the filming was like at the Redhall Estate.

According to her report, the locals provided some interesting information. Shooting there was scheduled to go on for 12-13 hours, and they’d be shooting tomorrow as well. A barn was a primary location, and Sean Bean was indeed on site. Monday will see a last day of filming on site, and then the Paint Hall seems to be due to see some more filming on Tuesday.

The Headsman and the Ranger’s Return

Via Winter is Coming, the role of Ser Ilyn Payne—the mute King’s Justice, headsman for King Robert—has been given to musician Wilko Johnson, once of the blues band Dr. Feelgood. Also, Bronson Webb is back on board as the ranger Will after scheduling conflicts put this in jeopardy; we’re glad to hear this in particular, having been told by sources involved in the production that he was absolutely terrific on and off set.

Finally, via Twitter, something we’ll classify as second-hand, the claim that author Steven Erikson (best known for the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series) revealed at the Czech convention, Tricon that he would be riding a horse as an extra during Game of Thrones. From what the original reporter, webmaster of the Czech A Song of Ice and Fire fansite, says, he was told Erikson said this via a friend. We’re looking to see if we can get confirmation from Erikson himself.

Updated: As we guessed, this was a misunderstanding due to the second hand nature of the information. Over at Tor.com, Erikson posed that he had expressed interest in being an extra because he’s an equestrian, but it’s not the case that he is now one.

Below, we’ve embedded a video of Johnson performing in London three years ago:

And here’s a documentary in which Johnson was interviewed:

Filming Past and Present

This is not an exhaustive rundown of everything that has been shot so far, but it’s a quick review of some of the highlights that we know of from the past month of shooting, and wrapping up with where we are today. We’ll update when and as we’re reminded of shooting details we’ve previously reported on.

  • Filming began on July 24th. The rain mentioned there did soon lead to the production moving indoors into the Paint Hall studio. The first week saw a scene or scenes involving at least Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger), Sean Bean, and possibly Jamie Sives (Jory Cassel) or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)—possibly something to do with Ned’s arrival in King’s Landing? It also seems to have seen a training sequence or sequences involving Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).
  • The second week featured location shoots. Among them, a Dothraki travel scene shot in Ballymoney, probably corresponding to Daenerys’s third chapter. Possibly other Dothraki scenes may well have been shot, but the bulk of that filming would take place in Malta.
  • Castle Black footage shot at Magheramorne, probably corresponding to Jon Snow’s third chapter and/or leads us to speculate that some part of the Vale footage, such as the climb up the Giant’s Lance to the Eyrie, may also have been shot there.
  • A major five day shoot for the Hand’s tourney, covering Sansa’s second chapter and Eddard Stark’s seventh chapter. This involved most of the primary cast based in King’s Landing. Most of the filming took place on the Shane’s Castle estate, although we’ve learned at least one scene was filmed elsewhere. It’s unclear to us if the feast scene after the first day of jousting has been filmed.

This takes us to the present. Earlier this week, footage seemed confined to the Paint Hall, with reports that some of these scenes involved Sean Bean and extras cast as guards. We also knew that late last week, some preparations were going on in an undisclosed location for Winterfell filming. We know Kristian Nairn (Hodor) was set to start filming around now (thanks to Nymeria_WiC for sorting me out on some details here). We’ve now learned via Northern Irish artist known as Anarkitty, that filming is going on in a field located somewhere between the towns of Carrickfergus and Larne, on the grounds of the Redhall Estate in Ballycarry. Given the image above, we believe this means today’s filming

is part of the Winterfell shooting

.

Or is it? We’ve now been told that the scene being filmed there today (and possibly on Friday and Monday as well) correspond to Eddard’s third chapter, although with a change: instead of taking place at Darry, it’s now taking place at an inn. At a guess? The inn at the crossing of the Trident, run by Masha Heddle (a role recently cast), is going to appear rather earlier on the show than it did in the series. Previously, it was the setting of two significant scenes—now it’s gained a third. This is actually a very interesting change, allowing them to cut out a location barely touched upon again until the fourth novel and instead focusing on one that shows up more than once as is (and, in fact, shows up again in A Feast for Crow).

Joe Dempsie Interview

Following Alfie Allen’s interview yesterday, Joe Dempsie (cast as Gendry) discusses his role with the Crosby Herald. He remarks on how he’s started hitting the gym more to better fit the role, though he admits his 5’8” height is something he won’t be able to fix for those expecting Gendry to be tall.

The reporter’s description of Gendry as someone who could “unite or destroy” the Seven Kingdoms should probably be taken with a grain of salt rather than as some indication of any greatly changed role for the character.

Alfie Allen Interview

ITN has posted a brief video interview with Alfie Allen, the actor cast in the role of Theon Greyjoy (who can very briefly be glimpsed in HBO’s teaser). Alfie mentions that he’ll be playing Eddard Stark’s ward, and that part of his role involves learning an accent. When asked what sort of accent, he responds that he’s not allowed to say. Whether this accent is the same general accent chosen for Westeros, or is intended to represent something of his origins on the Iron Isles, is an interesting question.

The stills from it show that his hair is a good deal longer than it was when the pilot was shot.

Allen’s has recently completed filming on a film about the 1970’s Northern Soul music scene, SoulBoy.

Game of Thrones Focus Group Reports

If you’ll recall, a couple of weeks ago, Westeros.org put out the word that a focus group was in the offing related to the A Song of Ice and Fire series, having been selected by Schlessinger Associates—a leading market research company—as the best way to get the word out. What we couldn’t state publicly then, but we can now that it’s done, is that this was specifically commissioned by none other than HBO as part of their marketing research for Game of Thrones.

We’re still getting some reports in, but having now seen a very thorough post at “The Princess and the Warlock” blog, we thought we’d add some more details we’ve had. Among the questions asked of the men’s group was what would make a strong tag phrase for the series. “Winter is Coming” was agreed to be very strong, but a number of other iconic lines were mentioned, such as “The things I do for love,” “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die,” and the Targaryen motto, “Fire and Blood” (other mottos, such as “Hear Me Roar”, were not felt to be particularly useful from a marketing perspective).

The topic of magic also came up in the discussion. Although the reporter did not recall the details of whether it was brought up by the focus group leader or by the group themselves, it was discussed as being an important facet of the setting. It was also noted to be markedly different from magic in other adapted works, such as Harry Potter—more low-key, leaving the setting “more realistic”.

Among the things focus group participants were asked to provide were examples of any paraphenalia they had related to the series, including things like copies of fan fiction. It was noted to us, however, that more than one participant noted that there’s relatively little fan fiction out of respect for George R.R. Martin’s wishes on the matter.

The Princess and the Warlock note a number of interesting details, the most notable of which were that more topics were covered by the women’s group, which led to some questions the men did not get asked. The question as to who the heroes and villains were were noteworthy, but the question about the most romantic character might well leave HBO scratching their head. What are they to make of the fact that the most romantic male character is the dead Prince of Dragonstone, Rhaegar Targaryen? Perhaps this will improve the odds of fans getting a glimpse of Rhaegar, Lyanna, and other noteworthies from Robert’s Rebellion… Certainly, the topic of flashbacks came up.

Many thanks to all the great fans who answered our call and also provided these reports (particularly Brude, whose collage made us learn just what the Defenestration of Prague was), and for naming Westeros and our friends over at Winter is Coming as favorite sites to get all the news there is to have regarding the series and show. Also a hat tip to the Westeros Sorting community on LiveJournal for helping to spread the word and show that LJ had a vibrant fan community as well.

New Dothraki Language Interview

Wired’s Geekdad blog has posted an in-depth interview with David J. Peterson regarding his development of the Dothraki language for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Quite a lot of excellent details, including Peterson comparing the sound of Dothraki to ” Arabic plus Spanish divided by two … squared,” giving the latest count of the dictionary (2,356 words, conservatively), and a new phrase to practice. It’s another fascinating look into the development process.

Joe Auditions for Game of Thrones

Who’s Joe, you may ask? An American residing in Northern Ireland, Joseph Campo is an independent actor, writer, and director who has set his sights on landing a role in HBO’s Game of Thrones. To drum up support, he’s taken to Youtube, where he’s created a channel where he’s posted several videos making his case with a substantial helping of humor. But humor aside, Campo is quite serious, and has already done some legwork, such as verifying that he should be eligible to join British Equity due to his current acting associations.

His latest video seems to hint that he’ll be preparing an audition video for the role of Mance Rayder, or perhaps some other wildling, but we’ll share his first video which brought him to the attention of Game of Thrones fanatics: