George R. R. Martin teases that he has some cool information concerning the HBO pilot which he can’t divulge, but he might possibly drop some hints at Worldcon. It’s probable that this news is further casting confirmations. A number of significant roles remain to be filled—Catelyn Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, the Lannister twins—and it seems likely that some or all of these may now be locked down.
Although Game of Thrones is not directly mentioned, The Hollywood Reporter has notes from HBO’s most recent press tour that concern its current success and the outlook for future development. HBO’s development pipeline is described as “full” and that it will give HBO some “tough choices in coming months”. Some shows discussed as possible competitors to Game of Thrones—Treme and Boardwalk Empire—are both either greenlit or very likely to be greenlit at this stage, however, and so don’t fall into the “tough choices” category.
The good news is that HBO’s current offerings have been very successful, especially the vampire series True Blood which has pulled down the best ratings the cable network has had since The Sopranos. HBO says that while they don’t have more money for developing shows in the past, they still have “enviable” amounts to be able to produce what they feel like producing. Giving that their budgets in the past have stretched to cover expensive shows such as Band of Brothers, Rome, and the yet-to-air The Pacific, this is certainly positive news regarding whether HBO has the wherewithal to afford a show like Game of Thrones.