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.
The first episode is done, and our guide to “Two Swords” is now online, with a detailed recap, some thoughts on the qualities of the episode, and a look at the adaptation from the perspective of translating the book to the screens. Still a bit sparse on images from this season—apologies for that, something we hope to correct soon!
Besides our own review, there’s a great deal of discussion over at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, which we highly recommend for fans (there’s sections for those who have not read the novels at all, but be vigilant about not peeking too much at other threads).
We’ve been so busy these last weeks—with getting things ready for this new season, arranging the new server setup to handle the traffic load that we expect this season, and so on—that the thought of writing a season 4 early impressions piece, based on our viewing of the first three episodes (courtesy of HBO), never really crossed our minds. It was what we had done in past seasons, certainly, but each season seems to leave us busier and busier.
However, we had enough requests for our impressions that we decided to throw something together… but unlike the previous, written ones, this is a video that we’ve thrown up on Youtube. You can find it over at our Feature page, along with a great deal of other features we’ve done over the years, or you can see it below. These are basically spoiler-free general impressions, where we mull over various things that we felt were worth mulling over. For those who want hardcore spoilers, this will likely just be an exercise in frustration, so beware!
Are you in the area of London? Do you have a great Melisandre, Arya, White Walker, Cersei, or Drogo costume? BBC One needs someone just like you to help them out! They’ll be filming a piece on Game of Thrones, with Charles Dance on board as a guest, and they’d love to have some cosplayers on hand who can dress up and help them convey something of the story.
Would-be cosplayers are needed in London for Monday, March 31st—yep, short notice! If you’re interested, see below for contact details:
We’ve previously reported on exclusive featurettes for season 4 of Game of Thrones that Verizon and Comcast released, but it looks like HBO has now put them up on the official Youtube channel in 720p quality. Definitely worth a look, but beware spoilers (especially in the weapons and fighting video):
Well, this is a fascinating development: Sky has announced that
the premiere episode of season 4 of Game of Thrones will air simultaneously with the premiere airing in the US. That means diehard fans in the UK will be able to watch it at 2AM, if they feel like it, right at the same time as fans in the US. The usual 9PM Monday airing will also take place, for those who prefer their prime time television at prime time.
[Edit: It’s come to my attention that I was off the mark on this—initial reports that all episodes would be aired at 2 AM appear to be incorrect, only the premiere will be simultaneously aired with the US airing.]
This may be a publicity stunt, or perhaps dipping a toe into the water to see what would happen—and if it works, it’d be a clear response to piracy of the episode in the UK. The economic arguments have been undercut somewhat: streaming packages offering Sky Atlantic, including the £15 monthly Sky Go and the £4.99 (introductory) price on NOW TV, are available without needing a full TV package. The other most common argument after that, however, was the fact that many die-hard fans want to be able to take part in the conversation after a new episode as soon as possible. They may not stay up to 3AM watching an episode, but there are many who’d get up a bit earlier in the morning to watch the show so they could immediately leap on to the forums, or at least be very happy to have the episode waiting for them when they get back from school or from work. Sky Atlantic’s 9PM airings prevented that, however, and the wait was simply too long…
But it may be that the future will invalidate that argument as well. It will be very interesting to see if this makes a dent in illegal downloads of the premiere of Game of Thrones in the UK, which was ranked as the country with the fourth highest illict downloads of the show last year.
April 2nd will see the first episode of Game of Thrones receive a red carpet premiere in Stockholm, and in collaboration with HBO Nordic we’re offering fans the chance to be a part of it—and besides that, a chance for fans to attend a special fan event planned for the 6th of April. The winner of the competition will receive not one, not two, not four, but ten tickets to bring their friends along with them to the premiere; all other prize winners will receive pairs of tickets to the fan event.
See below for full details (in Swedish!), including instructions for how to enter the competition. Please bear in mind that the subject of the email should be exactly the same as noted below—makes it much easier for us to sort through entries!
Game of Thrones merchandising is burgeoning, to say the least, and this has led to the occasional oddity (like mini football helmets) and things you’d otherwise not expect them to make. Case in point? The newly released Game of Thrones: A Pop-up Guide to Westeros (Order: HBO Store, Amazon UK). I admit, the last pop-up book I owned featured the Transformers—not the new ones from the Michael Bay movies, the old Hasbro Transformers of the 80s. But a look around suggests that pop-up books aimed at fannish culture are certainly a thing, and the designer of this particular book—Matthew Reinhart—has cut a niche for himself bringing his abilities to the world of geek culture with Star Wars, DC comics, and… x80s Transformers, too; it’s a small world!
A lengthy interview with executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss—the longest I think I’ve ever seen—covers a huge range of topics, from the origins of their acquaintance to their current work on the unannounced season 5 (it’s happening, no need to wait for HBO to make it official). It’s insightful. Here’s an excerpt related to working from the template of a published series, and having the author on hand:
I read an interview with John Irving where he said he always knows the ending when he starts a book and he makes a beeline for it. I guess it helps center your brain.
There’s more to be found over at Vanity Fair, including a fascinating bit discussing the influence of Anthony Mann, Roman Polanski, Akira Kurosawa, and Andrei Tarkovsky on the visual style of Game of Thrones; getting to watch an original, well-preserved 35mm print of Ran would indeed be something special.
Last month, I had the opportunity to sit down with a number of the actors involved in Game of Thrones, to talk about the journey so far, and perhaps to draw out a few hints about what’s to come. First up in this interview series—leading up to and into the next season—I had the pleasure to talk with Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane), the latter of whom I’ve never had the pleasure of interviewing before. We have a chance to talk the joys of Vine, the pleasures of Iceland, and how their characters get along as season 4 commences.
Maisie, many people have mentioned you as a very impressive actress. Do you have any method you use, or have you just picked things up since you started the show?
How does it feel not to get to act with Sophie?
To read the rest of the interview, visit our Features!
VerizonFIOS has a couple of exclusive videos up touting the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. The first is misnamed—it claims to be about the Red Wedding but is in fact about the wedding feast scene for the marriage of Joffrey and Margaery—while the second is a great look at the weapons and fight training. Note that the latter definitely is spoilerish in its way:
These are shorter promo pieces, half a minute long each, but they offer more tantalizing glimpses from the upcoming 4th season:
That Game of Thrones is a global phenomenon is without a doubt. It appears in scores of foreign markets, has events around the world where actors are eagerly sought after as guests, and the fan base reaches to some of the remotest places in the world. So it’s no surprise that the exhibitions of the show’s props and costumes have ranged widely, across both hemispheres. Usually, these have been specifically tied to promoting the TV show, but in at least one case they have been used for quite a different purpose: educational. At Stockholm’s Royal Armory, Sweden’s oldest museum and part of the royal palace complex (which happens to be one of the largest royal palaces still in use as a royal residence), a new exhibition titled Power Games (Maktspel) was launched last week exploring depictions of power in television and cinema. Set alongside costumes and artifacts from Sweden’s 16th century were costumes from the films Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age as well as Game of Thrones.
Linda and I were invited by the armory to take part, and so off to beautiful Stockholm we went! You can read more about what saw at the exhibit, and what’s in store for visitors, over at our Features page.
HBO has been on a tear with releasing content in the lead up to the April 6th premiere of Game of Thrones. After the NYC premeire, this new trailer was streamed—but now you can get it in all its 720p goodness via Youtube:
More to come, we’re pretty sure!
James Hibberd scores another exclusive, revealing that David Benioff and Dan Weiss have renewed their contracts with HBO, setting them on course to run the show through a prospective sixth season. As Hibberd puts it:
“Though HBO has not yet officially renewed the show for a fifth year, Thrones is the premium cable network’s most-watched series (averaging 14.3 million viewers last season across all the network’s platforms) and is second only to The Sopranos as its most popular show of all time. Recently the producers told EW they suspect Thrones will conclude after seven seasons.”
So, just to emphasize, a two year contract renewal is not a guarantee of a sixth season… but at this point it seems that, short of some catastrophe happening to HBO or the production, a sixth season is all but assured.
And then Weiss and Benioff will be up for contract renegotations again… and so, too, will a number of actors, we suspect, as six year option contracts are pretty normal in TV.
Week 3 challenge posted below!
Fans in the UK have a lot of reasons to be excited about Game of Thrones this season… not least that it’s now more accessible than ever thanks to NOW TV! The streaming service has all three past seasons available for streaming now, and will be airing season 4 within 24 hours of the US premiere date. Viewers can sign up on a month-to-month, no-contract basis, and besides Game of Thrones will have access to many other programs on demand and live showcasing a selection of Sky’s very best program offerings.
To help get the word out, NOW TV and Westeros.org are pleased to announce a contest series. The prize? An iron throne of your own, of sorts—one much more comfortable than the one Joffrey is sitting on. Approved by HBO, these numbered, limited edition Iron Throne seat backings will allow you to rule the Seven Kingdoms from the comfort of your own home.
Open to UK fans, the contest will run over three weeks, with one winner selected each week. See them below:
Week 1: DONE. Thanks for all the entries, and congratulations to the lucky winner!
Week 2: DONE. Thanks for all the entries, and congratulations to the lucky winner!
Week 3: Every ruler must have their words. Share with us your house motto , whether here in Comments (via Facebook) , on Twitter, or on Google Plus, and get a chance to win an Iron Throne!
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.