Game of Thrones is a site for the HBO-series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.
New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
We’ve put together an informative and speculative article on the visual effects for HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot. This follows our previous feature article, an introduction for fans and casual onlookers alike. Whatever you do, make sure to watch the John Adams featurette to get an idea of just how impressive visual effects can be on the small screen these days.
Filming on the Game of Thrones pilot has wrapped, according to VFX producer Julia Frey. So ends three weeks of shooting that took place in three different countries and involved a primary cast two dozen strong and more than a hundred extras. Cogratulations to the hard-working cast and crew, who pulled a number of all-nighters to get the job done!
Where to next? As we reported early last month, Modern VideoFilm will be carrying out some sort of post-production duties in February, with HBO expected to give its decision on a greenlight in around March. In the interim, we’ve really no idea what will be going on, though we hope to learn more soon.
Bryant Griffin of Airlock Alpha, a media site covering genre works, writes a commentary on HBO’s proposed Game of Thrones series. It’s a great adjunct to articles such as our own introduction to the project, as Griffin covers similar ground but provides a bit more comparison to HBO’s past offerings (such as Deadwood) to make it apparent why Game of Thrones is simply a terrific fit for HBO’s storied original programming.
In the wake of AMC’s The Prisoner miniseries and the premiere of Twilight: New Moon, Jamie Campbell Bower has been interviewed by Movieline. It’s a nice feature, and the second page of the article features a number of questions concerning HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot. One of the most notable pieces of this interview is when he says the following:
“It was a great experience. Very short shoot, but they threw a lot of money at it. Hopefully it’s going to be really good, and hopefully it’ll be greenlit and we’ll go ahead with it. It was great fun and a very strong, rich cast.”
The production is in its final days, by the sounds of it. Last night was a long night shoot, according to a tweet from VFX producer Julia Frey, and it seems from another tweet this evening that there’s another night shoot. We know the scenes shot last night were for the wedding of Daenerys and Drogo. Given the large number of extras likely involved in the elaborate wedding sequence, it seems probable that more filming is being done of that scene.
We’ve written up our first article discussing HBO’s proposed Game of Thrones series. The article includes a rough timeline of development and when we can expect news on whether it’ll go to series, a look at the buzz surrounding the show in both fan and professional circles, some background on the author George R.R. Martin, and a discussion of what sets A Song of Ice and Fire apart from its predecessors in the epic fantasy genre.
GRRM has posted an update from Morocco. So far, he has watched the filming of the scene where Dany and Drogo first meet, a small part of Kingdom of Heaven’s Jerusalem set in Ourazazate (an image of the set can be foundhere) having been repainted and redressed to serve as part of Illyrio’s courtyard. Tonight, Dany and Drogo’s wedding will be filmed.
GRRM also shares some of his impressions of Morocco in his post, citing the many old film sets scattering the desert, despite struggling with an Arabic keyboard.
An interesting article on a Jennifer Ehle fan blog notes that she’s leapt straight from Game of Thrones to a new film, The King’s Speech, with a star-studded cast including Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, and Helena Bonham Carter. Notably, the article the blog sources noted that Ehle missed the readthrough with the rest of the cast because she was still filming Game of Thrones, where she plays Catelyn Stark.
GRRM, cast, and crew are now in Morocco to film for a few more days—a week at most, we believe, from what we’ve heard. There will almost certainly be very little news to share from there, however, so things will be quiet. The scenes there will be Daenerys’s scenes, with Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen, Harry Lloyd as her older brother Viserys, Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont, Ian McNeice as Illyrio Mopatis, and Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo.
We do know that filming will focus in and around Ouarzazate, the home of two major Moroccon film studios which have been heavily involved in Hollywood productions. Moreover, we know that one exterior location that will be used is the still-standing set for the exterior of Jerusalem from Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. More recently, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time filled at Ouarzazate, as discussed by Jerry Bruckheimer and the creator of the game Jordan Mechner in this recent interview. Some excellent information about past productions there, as well as the history and appearance of the area, can be found in a travel article from the UK’s Daily Mail newspapwer.
The full transcript of the Esmé Bianco chat at LiveCloud is now available. Esmé was wonderfully forthcoming on all sorts of details of her career and, yes, the filming of the pilot of Game of Thrones.
Some details of the latter sort: she filmed her scene at location, not at Paint Hall, with no evidence of CGI backgrounds or other such details being added in post. Over the course of her three auditions the production her scene was constantly being rewritten so it was a bit different each time. She says Peter Dinklage was terrific to work with, kept her amused, and no, she wasn’t aware that he wore a wig. She has no idea whether her character will be seen again on the show, but would love it if HBO wanted her to be part of publicity for the production.
Approximately 30 weeks of filming would be scheduled for producing the 11 episodes that would make up the rest of the season if HBO’s Game of Thrones series is given the go-ahead, according to a source peripherally involved in the production. This figure appears to have been the seed which started the rumor among extras that “30 episodes” would follow if the series was given a go ahead, which led to speculation that HBO was considering a 2 season initial order. Those speculations were further stoked by GRRM very briefly mentioning a 2 season order in Belfast when emphasizing that the show’s fate was still up in the air.
When we asked TV commentator and critic James Hibberd about that speculation, he said that his “in the know” sources (reported on here in relation to the greenlight prospects) made no mention of the possibility, and that he found it very dubious that HBO would take such a gamble without having a first season to look at in regards to ratings.
It seems the odds are moving in favor of a greenlight. Over at the Hollywood Report’s LiveFeed site, critic and commentator James Hibberd notes that he hears from sources “in the know” that it will take the producers “royally blowing the pilot” for HBO to not greenlight Game of Thrones. Hibberd goes on in comments to note that HBO is aware they’ve got a hold of something special, and is amazed at the online buzz among both TV critics and fans of the series at such an early stage.
He also shares Parris’s great image of GRRM with some of the cast, first published here with a number of others.
One of the more elusive actors for HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot has been 17-year-old Jack Gleeson, cast as Prince Joffrey Baratheon; there’s no really recent photos of him on-line, and outside of his bit part in Batman Begins his film work has been limited to smaller, UK independent films. However, there’s an article from the Independent Theatre Workshop that runs through his theatrical education and experience.
In the course of the article, it notes that over 40 ITW students went before the U.K. casting directors for the pilot, but Gleeson was not only the only actor chosen from that group, he’s also the only Irish actor in a primary role.
Esmé Bianco—model, singer, dancer, and actress who plays a small but notable role in an introductory scene for Tyrion Lannister—will be participating in an on-line chat at LiveCloud. The event will be on November 12th (according to reports, this is the day after filming has wrapped) at 11:00 to 12:00 PM Pacific Time. Registered members of the site can post questions in advance of the chat, which the moderator will select from to pose to Ms. Bianco.
What’s almost certainly our first picture (and probably only) we’ll get from the Paint Hall studio in Belfast has been posted by Julia Frey, visual effects producer on the project. Don’t get too excited, though—all it is is a vast green screen. It does tell us something, however: some significant digital compositing is planned for the scenes shot at Paint Hall. Not a great surprise given the talent that has been collected in that regard.
We also have a bit of news regarding the filming at Castle Ward, from a fan who was there. Kinnygraham at Winter is Coming reported that one of the features that stood out for him was a wagon or cart covered in green material and red motion capture dots. It seems probable that this cart will be used as a basis on which to digitally create Queen Cersei’s gigantic wheelhouse as it trundles up to the gates of Winterfell. Another interesting detail he’s shared is that it seems as if the film Your Highness was also filmed there, leading him to speculate that fan theories that HBO was saving costs by working out an agreement to use some of the YH sets and props may have been correct.
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.