Game of Thrones

HBO's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' TV Show

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The Sword of Mormont: Pearson Moore on Episode 9

Pearson Moore of Winterfell Keep continues his thought-provoking series of essays on Game of Thrones. This time, his latest essay looks at all manner of swords—literal and figurative—in the narrative of episode 9, “Baelor”, and in the wider scope of Game of Thrones. And as to popular culture references? Pearson has a knack for them, and this time there’s a bit of The Matrix action going on.

You’ll also notice that at the bottom of the page (both this one and the feature page) is a new comment system, replacing our old one. Using Facebook Comments, anyone with an FB account (or, if you don’t want to use that, a Yahoo! or Hotmail account) will be able to comment directly and easily. We’re slowly getting comments into the rest of the site, but you’ll find them available on the Gallery as well as other sections of the site such as All Sorts of Weird Stuff.

HBO Confirms Belfast Filming

A bit of a foregone conclusion: HBO has finally admitted that, yes, Belfast will again be the headquarters for the second season of Game of Thrones. No real surprise here, as various members of the cast and crew have indicated that they are or will be in Belfast for filming, but it’s good to know. Of note? A confirmation of Monday, July 25th as the planned start of shooting.

As Maureen Ryan notes, that happens to be the day after San Diego Comic Con—no surprise there, either, with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau recently noting he’ll be there to promote the show,as have executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Series creator, co-executive producer, and writer of episode 8 George R.R. Martin will also be there, and we’re quite sure other members of the cast and crew will be in attendance.

The full press release can be found below.

Benioff and Weiss Discuss Season 2

Executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss sat down with Joy Press of the L.A. Times Showtracker to discuss the second season. Some interesting hints and details, including GRRM’s role in writing his script and figuring out its scope, women’s fashion in Essos, and more. Some highlights below (including some spoilers!):

Post-Finale Roundtable

We’ve been invited by the Daily Beast to take part in a post-Finale roundtable! Jace Lacob, Maureen Ryan, Myles McNutt, Phil of Winter is Coming, and (I’m told) others will take part in the chat starting at 11AM PDT / 2 PM EDT on Monday June 20.

We’re embedding the chat below, and will be promoting this post on occasion so that you don’t forget—should be fun!

Baelor Audio Commentary with MTV Geek

Our recorded discussion with Tom & Daniel of MTV Geek is now available! In it, we discuss episode 9’s scoring, the expansiveness of the show versus the novels (with some hints about the next season’s challenges in that area), the introduction of Shae and Tyrion’s revelation of his tragic marriage, and more.

Enjoy!

What the Critics Said

The big delay in our episode 8 write-up was due to a lot of things, and those things made covering the post-episode coverage quite difficult. Then the massive flood of visitors post-episode 9 left us scrambling to keep the servers (yes, servers, plural) from melting down, with traffic spiking as high as 200% of normal—crazy! So, this list of links to what some of the top-flight critics have to say on the web is a bit belated… but better late than never, we say.

Soundtrack Released on iTunes

Originally, Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack for Game of Thrones was scheduled to be released today, only to be pushed back to the 28th. We’re not sure of the whys or wherefors….

.... but HBO has gone ahead and given the soundtrack an early release on iTunes! Hear previews of all 29 tracks, which can be purchased at $0.99 apiece, or $9.99 for the whole collection. The iTunes digital album download appears to include a special “digital booklet” as an iTunes exclusive. Will be interesting to see if it includes never-before-seen stills.

Ratings Steady for Baelor

Episode 9, Baelor, just had its ratings in for both the U.S. and U.K. In the U.S. the show held steady at 2.7 million viewers with only a small drop for the additional screening to a total of 3.4 million. This, despite the most-viewed NBA final in 16 years! That sounds good to us, and we’ll take it. It’ll be very interesting to what sort of draw next week’s season finale will have.

In the U.K., the picture is a little less rosy, but we’ve found that the U.K. viewership figures show remarkable amounts of variability: 507,000 viewers, down from 523,000 last week. The numbers for Episode 7’s total viewing are also a bit down on the previous episode, episode 6, with a total of 1.556 million viewers. Thanks to WyvernWood for those figures!

Teasing the Game

Grok! Studio, an entertainment company founded by Vince Gerardis, a co-producer on Game of Thrones and representative of various entertainment rights connected to a number of SF/F authors, is teasing that HBO and GRRM will be making an announcement connected to games at San Diego Comic Con. Gerardis was partner to the late Ralph Vicinanza of the Created By agency, and it looks like Grok! has inherited all or most of the client base from that company.

As we reported back in March 2010, HBO applied for a broad trademark category that did include games, though we speculated that these were for Flash-based games such as the ones HBO did eventually produce as part of the Maester’s Path and the Iron Throne marketing efforts. But… could HBO’s rights include video and/or PC games based on Game of Thrones (as distinct from those based on “A Song of Ice and Fire”, such as A Game of Thrones: Genesis and Cyanide‘s as-yet-untitled RPG)? We’ll have to wait and see what news comes down the pipe next month.

“Baelor” Recap and Chapter Comparison

We should have the rest of our usual material on this week’s episode tomorrow, but Linda and I have—with a bit of help and more sharing of the work flow—stayed up way, way too long to squeeze out a full recap and book-to-screen breakdown comparing the “Baelor” to the corresponding chapters in the novel. Any spelling/grammar errors, we blame on the late hour and short timeline!

Our analysis/review part will have to wait, but until then, enjoy the guide!

Mightier Than the Sword: New Essay from Pearson Moore

On the heels of our “The Pointy End” episode guide being complete, we also have Pearson Moore’s essay on the episode, “Mighter Than the Sword: The Culture of Duty and Honour in Game of Thrones 1.08”. This is probably my favorite essay from Pearson yet, touching on a thematic topic of great interest to me ... and referencing one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite films, no less! A man of good and discerning taste, is Pearson.

You can read more of his articles at our Features page, where he is one of our contributors. At his own site, Winterfell Keep, you’ll find additional, thought-provoking essays and discussions related to the episodes and characters. He has also released the second volume of his Dragons & Direwolves series collecting his articles, including some exclusive content, which you can now purchase at Amazon.

HBO Store: Family Trees and Soundtrack

HBO has released a few more items to the HBO Store, including some rather neat family tree shirts (for the Starks, Baratheons, and Targaryens—when’s the Lannister shirt coming, I wonder?), fine examples of good design work from the graphics team over there. And, of course, they’ve finally placed the original soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi (more details here), which is due to start shipping on June 28th. Not very long at all!

Our web storefront carries all the items, including the soundtrack (as well as a link to the pre-order page for it at Amazon.com, if one prefers). It’s going to be interesting to listen to Djawadi’s music out of the show, and perhaps see if the music he wrote was minimal or if the discreet usage of it was a choice by the producers.

The Pointy End Recap and Review

Yes, very delayed, we know! Unfortunately, our brilliant plan to get our write-up out as quickly as possible proved… not so brilliant, and various delays that followed just kept pushing it back. But, after much effort, it’s all done: recap, analysis, book-to-screen breakdown, and even the audio discussion with our friends at MTV Geek (only Tom, Daniel, and I, as Linda wasn’t available at the time).

No worries, we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen with this next episode, “Baelor”... Speaking of which, below you’ll find the preview for the episode.

Monte Carlo Interviews

The Monte-Carlo Television Festival has been going on, and a number of actors from Game of Thrones were present: Sean Bean (Eddard Stark), Mark Addy (King Robert Baratheon), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen). There’s a great picture of the actors together here, posted by Roxanne Centola.

Naturally, there were interviews with the actors, and a couple of video interviews have surfaced on the web with Coster-Waldau and Clarke. Coster-Waldau (whom we’ve interviewed) has a very amusing remark regarding Hodor in “The Pointy End (see our interview with actor Kristian Nairn—where he hinted at that scene—here) and also appears to give first confirmation of the fact that he’s scheduled to appear at San Diego Comic Con as part of HBO’s promotion of the show. As to Clarke? She gets asked about the nude scenes and sex scenes, and has a surprising answer as to what was the most difficult of those scenes to film.

Emmy Nomination Submissions

The Emmy nomination ballots have been published for the nominating voters to make use of. These ballots contain the submissions from various shows and networks for awards, and the nominating ballots will narrow that list down to the final nominees. Naturally, Game of Thrones shows up quite a bit! See our summary of the series’ submissions below.