Game of Thrones: News

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Finn Jones is Loras Tyrell

What started as rumors has now come to pass, as young British actor Finn Jones has been cast in the role of Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers. A young, brash knight, younger son of a great lord of the realm, Ser Loras is famed for his youthful beauty and his prodigious skill on the tourney ground. GRRM adds some more details, noting that while the decisions had been made to cast him when rumors came out, the actual contracts and the like had not been signed until very recently.  GRRM adds that the audition scene for Ser Loras was a scene from the third book, A Storm of Swords.

Embedded below is a reel of Finn Jones:

Game of Thrones Trends

What follows is a comparison of Google’s search volume from U.S. addresses for the phrases “Game of Thrones” (blue) and “Boardwalk Empire” (red), their two new shows. Boardwalk Empire has an amazing pedigree, with Martin Scorsese as producer and director of its pilot, and a host of well-regarded actors, as well as rumored buckets of production money unlike any pilot every filmed. And yet . . .

The 1 month timeline is screwy, but it does let us see the relative spike in search traffic volume for Game of Thrones when the teaser and sub-site premiered as compared to Boardwalk Empire‘s more modest spike in activity after their promo and newest trailer release. It looks like GoT had three times the search volume following the teaser, a huge gain presaged by the report that the first novel ended up on Amazon.com’s Movers & Shaker list for awhile.

Of course, we’ve been getting more about Boardwalk Empire for longer, but it’s interesting to see on the “max” scale that the show has only on a couple of occasions spiked above the volume for the Game of Thrones phrase. Some significant portion of that volume (especially back before 2008) is due to the novels, of course, but the huge spikes of late—and the upward trend seen in the “max” scale—are definitely in large part due to the series. This show has more pre-production buzz than any show HBO’s ever aired before, near as we can tell—probably a motivator for such an early unveiling of the sub-site (have we said thanks for that, yet? Thanks, HBO!)—and if we look how True Blood trended, it’s possible that the series could bring down the internet if it pushes the right buttons for HBO viewers.

New Call for Extras

Extras NI, a casting agency in Northern Ireland, has put out a fresh call for extras for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Some excellent details here about the production and what they’re looking for in terms of extras. They list shooting as taking place from August to December (which more or less fits the late July to December dates we’ve been provided before), We’ll paste the salient bits below the cut, but it looks like there’s an opening casting call on June 26th, between 2pm and 6pm, at the Holiday Inn on Ormeau Avenue in Belfast.

Vote for Game of Thrones

All right, after the teaser, the picture, and the goodies, it’s time to show HBO just how crazy we are for their adaption of Game of Thrones.

Just head on over to Television Without Pity and vote for the series in their massive, 24 category Tubey award. TWoP is one of the largest TV fan sites on the web, and the Tubeys are garnering some attention, so this is a great chance to help get the word out there.

Where’s the show? In the very last category, “Most Anticipated Show of 2010-2011”. Vote now!

Quicktime and Wallpapers

HBO’s release of the teaser and their opening of the official site for the series—an unprecedented move for a series almost a year out from airing! Straight from the sight are a number of high-resolution images of Ned Stark, perfectly suitable for a widescreen desktop or mobile phone:

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They’ve also released a Quicktime version of the teaser which is slightly higher quality, which can be downloaded here. Thanks to paulo at WICblog for digging these out.

What Didn’t We See?

So, the teaser and the still of Sean Bean as Eddard has drawn a mountain of attention. We’ve sliced and diced the teaser, dissecting it to point out what it shows.

But what didn’t we see that we would have expected to see? I’m not talking Daenerys Targaryen or Catelyn Stark—roles that have since been recast and which will have to be reshot. But roles that, at least to our knowledge, haven’t been recast?

Well, the Stark children are missing, but in 20 seconds you can’t really touch on them. We don’t see Jason Momoa as Drogo directly, but that’s probably because his scenes would have been with Tamzin Merchant, the former Daenerys Targaryen. But it’s perhaps a little surprising that we don’t see the direwolf dead in the snow, and it’s very surprising that there’s no clear look at the Lannisters (though we hint that there’s a rather unclear look in our teaser dissection), who are the primary antagonists (kinda-sorta) in the first book(s). Especially when they’re led by three recognizable actors in pop culture circles: Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Peter Dinklage. Why weren’t they featured, at least briefly? If not all three—since Ned was the sole Stark representative, basically—then why not Dinklage as Tyrion? And for that matter, how about Mark Addy as Robert? Though the laughter may have been him…

A press for time is probably the answer, but we have to say, we’d have foregone some of those repeated shots of the rangers or the Dothraki for a split-second look at Dinklage as Tyrion. Perhaps the next teaser, HBO? ;)

UPDATED: Dissecting the Teaser (with images!)

So, now that the huge explosion of amazement has happened ... just what did we see in that ultra-fast 20 second trailer?

What follows is our best attempt to look at it frame-by-frame to identify some of the key scenes, now with images thanks to A Song of Ice and Fire forum member thersites (all images © HBO). Suffice it to say, this is probably spoilerish, so read below:

New Still of Sean Bean as Ned

And a special little present… straight to us from HBO, we’ve a second promotional image to compliment the first still!

Second Game of Thrones Promotional Image

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO. Used with permission.

Stunning! HBO has now gone the full court press, with a full website including a web forum. Amazingly exciting.

Watch Game of Thrones Teaser

Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

Oh, what a tease! What did you think?

HBO Gives a Taste of Game of Thrones

Rumors started late last night when HBO tweeted a reminder for viewers to tune into the 8:45 PM pre-show ... and added an unexplained #GOT hash tag. Now they’ve confirmed it via Facebook: our very first aired promotion for Game of Thrones will be among the featured dramas during the pre-show! So, if you have HBO, make sure to tune in to the pre-show preceeding True Blood‘s third season premiere.

Casting Shae

According to George R.R. Martin’s latest “Not a Blog” post, the role of Shae’s still being cast for. He’s reviewed twelve audition tapes so far—perhaps the top choices to come out of casting?—and according to his stated reaction, it seems likely that they’re all quite capable of playing of the saucy, vixenish prostitute who’ll become well acquainted with Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage). He notes that auditions are continuing in Belfast, Dublin, and London for many parts, both minor and major.

No Game of Thrones at Comic-Con

According to James Hibberd at The Live Feed, HBO’s Game of Thrones is “not expected” to have a presence at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, which falls in line with what we’ve heard over here at Westeros.org. This seems to be supported by the lack of reference to the series among the announced panels from HBO (who are certainly featuring True Blood). It also makes some sense, due to the fact that it’s almost a year before the show premieres, and the filming starts very close to the time of the convention—not an ideal time to drag cast and crew from Northern Ireland and North Africa for a whirlwind press junket.

That said, the possibility that teasers or promotional posters might first see the light of day at San Diego Comic-Con certainly exists. If you’re attending the convention next month, we’d certainly suggest visits to HBO’s booth (they’re almost certainly exhibiting), asking some questions, and expressing your enthusiasm for the show.

UPDATE: Maureen Ryan also confirms that HBO’s not holding a panel for the series, given the logistics of having production starting in Northern Ireland at the same time.

Dinklage and the Knights of Badassdom

An interview with True Blood‘s Ryan Kwanten brought to our attention that Peter Dinklage, (perfectly) cast as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s adaption of Game of Thrones, is starring in a comedic fantasy adventure film titled Knights of Badassdom. Kwanten will be co-starring.

The most interesting detail, however, is that this project is filming in the first part of the summer, by the sounds of it. Director Joe Lynch has begun to post the first of a promised series of photos taken from the production, though it’s not clear that filming has actually yet begun. When I dug further, I discovered that the film was originally set to film in April.

Could the delay in this project have contributed to Game of Thrones‘s pilot being pushed back to late July, to accommodate Dinklage’s commitment to the film? Anything’s possible, though the extra lead time for casting and pre-production certainly seems to have been a bigger factor.

Bronson Webb on The Tudors

For those who’ve missed him in Robin Hood and have access to Showtime, Bronson Webb—cast in the role of the ranger of the Night’s Watch, Will, in the pilot for Game of Thrones—can be seen in a brief speaking role in the first five minutes of Showtime’s costume drama, The Tudors, in the episode that aired on Sunday and should be available streaming for Showtime subscribers. Credited as “Forager”, Webb trades a few lines with the Earl of Surrey regarding a foraging party’s failure to find any food in the vicinity of a siege.

Closing in on Samwell

According to George R.R. Martin’s latest post, it seems that the casting for the role of Samwell Tarly is starting to narrow down. In his post, he remarks that, “We’re casting Sam right now for the TV show. Two excellent young actors stand out above the rest. A damned hard choice.” It’s always good to know that they have several top-notch options in a role, and we’re certainly joining all the fans in expectation of some casting announcements in the next few weeks.