Although filming in Malta has already wrapped, the latest “Dispatches from the Seven Kingdoms” post by Bryan Cogman is from nearer the start of shooting. He discusses an important showdown in Episode V that features some impressive swordsmanship. The walled medieval town of Mdina serves as the locale for a number of King’s Landing exterior shots, and is one of many locations to be used by the production on Malta and the neighboring island of Gozo.
One notable part is his description of what the various directors were doing at that time. While we already have the precise breakdown of which director is directing which episode, getting a sense of when the blocks were overlapping at various stages is interesting:
I’ll be here for about three weeks for the first block - Episodes III through VIII (Brian Kirk and Dan Minahan directing). Filming on Episodes I & II continues in Belfast (Tim Van Patten at the helm) and Alan Taylor has begun prep on Episodes IX and X. Needless to say, it’s a lot to keep straight.
It’s amusing that he’s re-read A Clash of Kings five times so far (as of that post)—quite a lot of cramming involved in his role as the keeper of the mythos.
HBO’s Making Game of Thrones site has a new photo up from the set:
Click through to see our discussion of just what we’re seeing, but lets just say it’s an important dagger, and an equally important book on which it lies…
They also ask fans to share their views as to what other props they’d like to see. Here’s Westeros.org’s list:
Entertainment Weekly‘s print edition has hit the stands today (with this fetching series of covers that should be hard to miss), and inside it contains a bit more information (rather spoilerish, but so it goes) and several new photos from their exclusive. Below, we’ll discuss the new pictures, using the captions EW provides with each image.
Mark Addy, playing King Robert Baratheon (featured in one of EW’s new photos), is profiled in the York Press for his part in a Kidstory fund-raising event. However, there’s quite a lot of Game of Thrones commentary to start with, with Addy noting that he had just completed his last day of filming and is soon looking for a new gig (at the Moot, I asked him when he was done filming, but with all the noise it seems he thought I was asking when filming in general would wrap.) He reiterates that the series will film into December (we’ve been told by production members and GRRM that December 18-19th is the planned wrap date), and that he’s been told it will start airing in April.
He provides some insight into his role as Robert. Here’s some choice quotes:
Description sparse on this, as it appears to be region blocked so only those in the U.S. (and possibly Canada) can get a look at it. In any case, here’s an amusing interview with actress Amanda Peet, who happens to be executive producer David Benioff’s wife, trying to explain what her husband’s latest project, HBO’s Game of Thrones, is about. Because it’s off-the-cuff and because Fallon is a joker, well, there’s a few amusing stumbles.
Starts at the 25 minute mark:
Following up the amazing gallery of stills from the production, Entertainment Weekly now has a new report by Jennifer Armstrong with some details. There’s a reference to a “pivotal scene” being moved from Catelyn’s bedchamber to a meeting place, which we suppose means they’ve moved her receiving a certain message to the scene corresponding to her first chapter. If true, this is a rather interesting change, immediately introducing the main mystery of the first several novels.
Also, Jason Momoa is apparently naked more often than he talks (hah) and there’s references made to unicorns (which do exist in the setting, but probably aren’t anything like you imagine!)
Here’s the opening paragraph, clearly describing the scene in the godswood. I actually saw the heart tree’s face in the prop room at Belfast, but it was in fact from the pilot and they had redone it for the reshoots:
An exclusive gallery of stills from HBO’s Game of Thrones, complete with short blurbs from the actors, has gone on-line. A fair warning for those followers who haven’t actually read the books, though: there are spoilers. EW’s newsstand edition will have more information (and possibly additional photos)!
Lets comment (and link) those ten images:
We’ve been told that these images are exclusive to EW for the time being, but we should expect high-res versions at HBO.com in the future.
A tweet from Jonathan Chang, Digital Media Coordinator as HBO’s Studio West, mentioned some interesting details regarding HBO’s Game of Thrones.
While tweeting back and forth, he offered this interesting detail for those who really want technical details on the production: the production is being shot digitally, using something like nine on-location Arri Alexa cameras. This is a change from the original pilot filming, where we reported that ARRICAM Lite and Arriflex 235 cameras were in use. As Chang noted (and as we’ve previously reported), much of the pilot has been reshot using this new system. Looking around, it seems like the Arri Alexa system went into production in late 2009. The Alexa is described as a system aimed at competing with the RED ONE system, shooting greater than 1080p resolution and aimed squarely at major theatrical and television productions.
By way of comparison, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire—with its first episode directed by executive producer Martin Scorsese—uses 35mm film with Panaflex cameras.
Some various tidbits from around the web:
For those wondering where the rest of my Belfast set visit reports have gotten to, there’s been a bit of a delay. This is, however, a potentially very cool delay, as it involves whether I might in fact be able to share some photos from my visit. But naturally, this takes time to get sorted out, so ... they’ll start up again as soon as things are worked out. Keep an eye out. :)
Our gallery has been updated with 34 new screencaps from three of the four Artisans behind the scenes videos released via HBO’s Making Game of Thrones website. We have added our commentary when we have something substantive to remark in, such as how certain costuming choices reflect Martin’s descriptions, details of heraldic depictions, or how architectural elements can be placed to specific historical architectural styles.
We hope to add the fourth of the Artisan’s video shortly.
Set decorator Richard Roberts provides a look into a particular sort of cuisine: prop cuisine, sometimes real food, often not. This new video at Making Game of Thrones is particularly rich in visual details, featuring images from the feasting tent at the tourney grounds outside King’s Landing, the Red Keep, Winterfell, and Castle Black. Having had a chance to visit the Castle Black set two weeks past, I have to say these shots of the mess hall and the courtyard outside capture spot-on the flavor of the locale. Particularly noteworthy for us is the description of King’s Landing as being towards a Mediterranean climate and cuisine, which while not strictly in keeping with the novels is certainly not very far off the mark. We’ll just imagine that couscous dish is a Dornish speciality that someone at court has a liking for (paging Ser Aron Santagar…)
For those interested in a look at food as described in the novels, check out this section of our Concordance, a project of ours that attempts to catalog every factual thematic detail revealed in the published books and stories so far.
There’s a couple of Game of Thrones relevant articles out of the U.K. press this morning that may be of interest. The first, reported at 4ni, covers a set visitmade by Northern Ireland’s First Minister and Deputy First Minister. Naturally, it refers to the economic value of having the production in Northern Ireland, but adds the detail that the production could be present for as long as a decade if it’s a success (this is probably drawn from GRRM’s remarks to UTV, and so were just off the cuff). Some of the other details—such as the reference to a move to Malta “soon”—are erroneous.
Besides that, the Essex Echo has an article about muscian Wilko Johnson, who was cast in the role of Ser Ilyn Payne, the King’s Justice. The article states:
Thanks to ninepennyking for the pointers.
Here’s a different sort of Malta report from Ty Franck, George R.R. Martin’s assistant. In it he discusses the things in his life that are, from his perspective, quite surreal in part due to his association with GRRM, including his trip to Malta. Drinking and having lunch with actors, discussing Converse shoes with an award-winning costumer (Michele Clapton), looking at hundreds of years old plate armor, and the following which he describes as the most surreal thing he experienced while there:
Franck’s debut novel, Leviathan Wakes (co-written with Daniel Abraham, under the shared pen name of James S.A. Corey) is due to be published in June of next year.
HBO’s Making Game of Thrones website has been updated with a few choice quotes from the set, provided by Bryan Cogman. Among them is a new phrase in Dothraki (without a translation) and some corpse feng shui. Only on a set!
Stuart Levine at Variety interview HBO’s co-president Richard Plepler and programming president Michael Lombardo (who’s been a good source for Game of Thrones information) about their programming plans. Much of it deals with the challenges of programming when they have so many high-quality original series, mini-series, and documentaries, and having to turn away interesting, high-quality projects because they simply don’t have the room in their schedule.
They do discuss Game of Thrones to some degree towards the end of the interview, where they confirm it will air in the 2nd quarter. Here’s a few quotes:
RP: I would just say this: While it is a different genre, the storytelling piece, meaning the themes that it takes up—power and strife and people vying for their piece of the crown, metaphorically—those are themes that have been all over the network for years. And David Benioff, who’s the creator, had a wonderful line at the very beginning of this project. He said, “You’ll quickly forget where you are, because the themes are universal.” Having read all the scripts, I think that’s absolutely true.
ML: At this point, we have not seen any cuts. All we have seen are dailies.
RP: And the pilot. It’s beautiful.
And sci-fi fans and fantasy who have been very satisfied with “True Blood” are probably willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.
ML: You know the interesting thing about this show is I am not a sci-fi fan, and this show really transcends the genre. When we first read the pilot script, there is nothing that really gives you a full hint of the magic in the Martin books. It’s a bunch of compelling and well-crafted stories. There are such interesting and complex characters that we were excited by the drama, not by the genre. I hope people don’t look at this as a genre play and refrain from taking a look at it, because I think it is much more than that.
RP: I think it’ll satisfy the passion of its natural fan base, but also intrigue and satisfy those people who might not typically be connected to the sci-fi genre. That would be fantastic for us, and I think that’s really likely.