Game of Thrones: News

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Filming Begins

This is the first, official day of filming on HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones. As we’ve learned, filming will start at Doune Castle in Scotland, where photos and reports suggest that scenes will focus on the courtyard and possibly on the Great Hall for the feast scene at Winterfell. To add to this, creator and author George R.R. Martin posted that he was now in Edinburgh, suggesting he will be present for the first day of filming. Filming will continue at least through Monday.

At a guess, the cameo for GRRM that David Benioff and Dan Weiss were considering could very well take place during scenes filmed at Doune Castle.

Doune Castle Follow-up

From a fan who’s family had a photo of Doune Castle as crew were preparing it, it also seems that there are further details: his family saw a dead pig and dead deer props, as well as furniture, being moved into the castle. This very strongly suggests to us that not only will the castle be used for its courtyard, but that the castle’s Great Hall is going to be used for the Winterfell feast scene.

BBC on Doune Castle Filming

The BBC has a brief report concerning filming at Doune Castle, near Stirling in Scotland, over this weekend. Apparently, the production will be making use of the castle’s courtyard, as we’ve speculated previously.

Exec Producers Contemplate GRRM Cameo

David Benioff and D.B Weiss, executive producers of HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones, have once again dropped by the A Song of Ice and Fire forum to leave a message to the fans. They thank everyone for their casting suggestions, and mention a lot of great roles that they hope they’ll be asked to cast for in the future if the show gets greenlit (Renly, Varys, Ser Ilyn Payne, Littlefinger are the ones cited).

They leave off with, “And now to figure out George’s Stan Lee moment…,” which confirms what we’ve heard from a source close to the production: George R.R. Martin will have a cameo in the pilot. This will not be his first television appearance, as he twice had a cameo role in the TV show Beauty and the Beast, which he was a writer and producer on.

The Daily Beast Notices the Buzz

Nicole LaPorte of The Daily Beast has an article on the buzz over Game of Thrones, saying it has the potential to be the next “nerd obsession”. It includes brief remarks from GRRM, who was interviewed for the piece.

More on Fight Teams

According to a contact at the Clanranald Trust (who took time out of their busy schedule, as they’re on-location filming The Eagle of the Ninth), they confirm our earlier report of their “Combat International” fight team being involved in the production of HBO’s pilot of Game of Thrones. However, they note that their team is not going to be involved in any fight scenes, and will instead be more like extras, filling some of the roles of guards. They do hope that their services will be used again if the show goes to series,  however.

Poniewozik on Game of Thrones

James Poniewozik of Time.com weighs in on the buzz around HBO’s production of Game of Thrones, and like James Hibbard thinks that that HBO’s greenlighting the pilot suggests a certain level of confidence that it will go to series. He notes that he has no insider-knowledge to go on, simply an educated observation given his experience with the industry and knowledge of HBO’s past productions.

Clue Explanations from GRRM

Though he’s late for the party, GRRM explains some of the clues he left for eager fans concerning casting of some of the final roles. All the actors were guessed in short order, and HBO has already confirmed all of them.

More Confirmations

Jay Tomio at BSC Review confirms a number of speculated castings with HBO: “Joseph Mawle is Benjen Stark, Ron Donachie is Ser Rodrik Cassel, Donald Sumpter is Maester Luwin, and Ian McNeice is Ilyrio Mopatis”. All of these have been previously guessed based on GRRM’s clues, but it’s the first time that HBO has confirmed them. As the HBO source notes, these are relatively minor roles when compared to the leads, but it’s certainly good to have them made official.

Interview with Esmé Bianco

Paul Gude, a fixture over at Winter is Coming, has helped Esmé Bianco (cast as Ros, a prostitute) create a facebook page, and has now shared an interview with her. She discusses her career as a model, singer, and actress, and of course discusses her role in the pilot for Game of Thrones. She mentions that pretty much the entire cast performed a read-through recently, and that the cast was buzzing about the experience after finising the read-through.

Regarding Extras

Following our report on the casting of Myrcella, we should mention that such roles seem to be considered extras, or featured extras, and that there is a potential for them to be recast if the show is greenlit. At this past weekend’s Valleycon in Fargo, fans had a chance to interact with George R.R. Martin. A report from a member of the A Song of Ice and Fire forum reveals what GRRM had to say about non-speaking roles:

He says the same is the case for a number of minor Winterfell characters that are seen but have no lines, and it would simply not be possible to reshoot all the scenes, so there would definitely be differences in cast between the first and second episodes.  So the Tommen in the pilot will not be the Tommen in the series. They might go back and reshoot the Tommen scene, or they might not. But the same thing applies to a lot of the Winterfell minor characters that we see but don’t hear. And with so many, it will not be possible to reshoot all of the scenes. Sharp eyes might catch this. Most people won’t.

Myrcella Cast

While all major speaking roles have now been cast, a number of non-speaking extras or “featured extras” (as GRRM termed them) still seem a bit nebulous. It appears one of these has been filled today, however. According to a tweet from BreakParrGolf, his daughter Aimee has been cast in the role of Myrcella. Following his website link, it seems that the young lady that slaps him around a bit in his promotional golfing video is his daughter. The 2 minute mark gives the clearest picture of her.

Hibbard on Game of Thrones

James Hibbard of The Hollywood Reporter posts a cast list for Game of Thrones, based on what has been confirmed or has been all-but-confirmed. In the course of it, he notes that the high level of buzz is unusual, and also suggests that this sort of sprawling, costly production doesn’t go to pilot production unless the network is “pretty confident” that it will go to series.

A Glimpse at Filming Preparations

Thanks to Alister Black, we have some photos from Scotland’s Doune Castle, where we’ve recently learned that some scenes for Game of Thrones will be shot. Among the pictures is this one, which Alister explains shows members of the crew preparing for filming.

By the looks of it, the focus of their work is within the confines of the castle, possibly making use of the courtyard as a stand-in for one of Winterfell’s yards. This would fit the report of Louie Pastore, who indicates he will be a Lannister guard as part of the fight team that the Clanranald Trust is providing for the shoot. It may be that Lannister guards and others will be seen sparring in the background of some scene which is supposed to take place at the castle of Winterfell. It should be remembered, however, that extensive sets are being built in Belfast’s Paint Hall studio, and that primary filming will take place there.

Shooting for HBO’s pilot for the proposed adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire bestselling fantasy series commences on the 24th. A recent tweet from Esmé Bianco shows that rehearsals are now well under way in the run up.

Momoa Casting Confirmed by HBO

Intrepid TV critic Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune has confirmed with HBO that Jason Momoa has been cast as Khal Drogo. Momoa, best known for his role as Ronan Dex in Stargate: Atlantis, was a favorite choice among fans of the series when they discussed who should be cast. The character of Drogo is a barbaric warlord who marries the beautiful Daenerys Targaryen, an exiled princess who is one of the central characters of the A Song of Ice and Fire.

Shooting on HBO’s pilot begins October 24th, with shooting locations in Scotland, Ireland, and Morocco.