Game of Thrones

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

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Hollywood Reporter on the Emmy Chances

The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Appelo has an article giving five reasons why Game of Thrones might win Emmys… although we note the last one is more about why it might win Emmys a year or two from now, as opposed to winning them this year.

All in all, it’s an interesting piece, and has some great quotes (including actress Mary Kay Place emphasizing how interesting the show is).

Talking VFX with BlueBolt

We’ve had the opportunity to interview Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor, one of the co-founders of BlueBolt, the visual effects company that served as lead VFX vendor for Game of Thrones, with Ainsworth-Taylor serving as the show’s VFX producer. BlueBolt is responsible for some of the amazing vistas seen in the course of the series, and BlueBolt provided us a number of images showing before and after depictions of how a real world location was turned into some part of the Seven Kingdoms.

And, of course, we talk

dragons!

Read the interview!

Natalie Dormer Now a Tyrell Rose

Natalie Dormer, perhaps best known as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors, has been cast as Margaery Tyrell—only daughter of Lord Mace Tyrell and sister to the Knight of Flowers, Ser Loras—according to EW’s James Hibberd. There’s minor spoilers in Hibberd’s post, if you don’t want to know where Margaery fits into the story, don’t look.

Admittedly, Dormer is rather older than we had expected for this role, but of course she will doubtless play younger. Dormer is 29, while Finn Jones is 23—Loras is about a year older than Margaery in the novels, on the other hand.

Perhaps most notable about the news is the fact that Hibberd states she’s joining the regular cast of the series. The show—famous for having quite the large regular cast—seems likely to be expanding Margaery’s presence in the TV show, as compared to the novel, where she appears in what’s essentially two scenes.

Preorder Game of Thrones DVD & Bluray!

We received the alert from Amazon US today: you can now officially preorder of the complete first season sets of Game of Thrones!

No release date noted, but the MSRP is plain: $59.99 for the DVD set (down to $45 at Amazon) and $79.98 for the Blu-ray set (down to $56 at Amazon).

Now, the top questions we’ve had:

  • “When will it be released?” HBO’s standard practice is to release their DVD sets in the month or two prior to the new season. So, if Season 2 starts in April 2012, it’s highly likely that the DVD and Blu-ray sets won’t be on sale prior to March or February (at the earliest). There have been some commentators suggesting that this show might benefit from being released for sale during winter holiday season, but HBO has a pretty firm view of how these things are done, so we wouldn’t advise you to hold your breath.
  • “When’s it coming to the UK?” Looking at True Blood Season 3, it was released in the U.K. on May 23rd (the show premieres June 26 in the U.S.)... and, interestingly, it looks like the set was released on May 31 in the U.S., so the U.K. got it a week earlier. This tells me that HBO UK will be releasing the Game of Thrones Blu-ray and DVD set more-or-less simultaneously. Whether that’s in February-March 2012, or November-December 2011, we’ll have to wait and see.
  • “What extras and features will it have?” We don’t really know, but the word through the grapevine is that there’ll be a lot of neat stuff on the sets, but we don’t know specifics. Given HBO’s track record, though, commentaries on some episodes are a given—we’re really hoping GRRM’s invited to comment on “The Pointy End”—and there’s plenty of EPK material that’s both published and unpublished covering the behind-the-scenes development. We know a documntary team was on hand throughout the shooting, including during the pilot, so we wouldn’t be surprised at a 30 minute “making of” sort of thing among the other features. Material on the setting, its history, and its characters? Seems likely. Never-before-seen behind the scenes photos and stills? Yes, that’s pretty likely too. A Rome-like set of pop-ups filling in background details as an episode airs, much as HBO Go does when you turn on interactive features? I would almost say you should count on it. This is HBO, they don’t do things by half-measures.
Thronecast Finale and Interviews

With the end of the U.K. run of the first season, the fine folks at Thronecast have put together a last episode, with a lot of good things. Among them? An interview with Natalia Tena, who plays Osha, which reveals details about her audition (she brought her own shackles!) and the mighty Hodor (yes, that was a prosthetic; she got to handle it!) And, of course, Linda and I give our thoughts on the final episode and the series overall.

The Natalia Tena interview also appears to have an extended version on their site, as well as an extended version of their interview with Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) who—as some have noted—is rather publicity shy, so that’s quite a coup! And besides that, the Thronecast team very kindly arranged for Natalia to speak exclusively with Linda and I for a few minutes, the results of which can be found in our Features section, which contains quite a few interviews with other members of the cast and crew.

It was a great experience to be part of it, and we’d like to thank Ruby Thomas at Sky, Dan Wright at Koink, and Geoff Lloyd (en väldig trevligt kille!) for his fine hosting and helping put us at ease—it was all quite a new experience, to say the least.

Ratings Soar for Finale in U.S.

Via James Hibberd at EW, some great news: viewership of the final episode of Game of Thrones hit 3 million viewers, with 3.9 million viewers overnight across recap and other sources. According to TV by the Numbers, the “key” 18-49 demographic was 1.4, which surpassed Boardwalk Empire‘s finale in that same metric. That figure probably matters rather more to advertising-supported broadcast television—18 or 99, a subscriber is a subscriber as far as HBO is concerned—but it does show that the core audience slants younger.

UK Ratings In, Game of Thrones Surges

Via Digital Spy, it looks like “Fire and Blood”  was the 2ndmost-watched episode of the series in its initial airing (after the premiere), with an average of 667,000 (2.7%) viewers in total. The overall viewership of episode 8, “The Pointy End” was, unfortunately, down a bit according to BARB (via @WyverynWood—1.36 million viewers, down from 1.556m for the previous episode. That’s a rather baffling result, we admit, but as we’ve noted before, U.K. figures do seem to have a greater margin of error.

We expect the U.S. figures to come in within a few hours.

Finale Recap and Breakdown

An amazing finale for Game of Thrones! The collective gasps and cheers on Twitter were certainly something else. As with last week’s episode, we’ve rushed to put together our full recap and detailed, chapter-by-chapter break down comparing the episode to what author George R.R. Martin originally had on the page. Please forgive any typos or errors—the hour’s late!

Read the “Fire and Blood” recap!

(P.S. The recap has something very special at the end…)

HBO Store Exclusive Sale

Ahead of the finale, HBO wanted to show their appreciation for the fans at Westeros.org for their support of the show… and so they’ve let us know a day early that they’re bringing back to their 20% off sale at the HBO Store!

Game of Thrones Hodor T-Shirt

They’ve added quite a few new items in the last days, including the very cool Hodor shirt you see on the right, a Khal Drogo portrait shirt, and a “Daenerys, SPOILER of SPOILERS” shirt that maybe could have waited one day… but, hey, with the special sale and all, why not?

Get your shopping done before the finale,with a nice discount on top. To get the discount, just put GOT20 into the promotion code box at checkout. We’re told the sale will last through the 26th, so no rush… unless that Hodor shirt sells out before you can buy it. Why wait?

You can also visit our own Store page, which includes much of the same catalog of items, plus some Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk alternatives (without that 20% off applicable, of course) when available.

 

Interviews and Actors’ Sigils

A few interviews trickling in before the finale that we thought we’d highlight:

  • Emilia Clarke at TV Guide: Some remarks about riding horses, working with Jason Momoa, her wig, and what the toughest scenes where.
  • Emilia Clarke at the Vulture: Besides similar information on horses, Clarke discusses the nude scenes as well as the prop horse’s heart she had to eat which turned out to be quite awful.
  • Gethin Anthony with Shadowlocked: Discussing his role as Renly (see our own interview with the actor for more insights) as well as the Minister of Chance audio drama he’s involved in.
  • Many Actors with TV Guide: Mark Addy, Jason Momoa, Emilia Clarke, Harry Lloyd, Kit Harrington, Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and George R.R. Martin are asked what their sigil would be, if they could choose, and what their first proclamation would be if they became rulers. Fun one.

Last but not least, as we mentioned the Vulture, here’s a funny video they’ve edited together, giving a buddy comedy spin to the relationship between Bronn and Tyrion Lannister:

Game of Thrones Panel at Comic Con

It looks like HBO has just sent out details of the official Game of Thrones panel at Comic Con. Here’s the scoop, via Jace Lacob (@televisionary) and Maureen Ryan (@moryan):

Day: Thursday, July 21st
Moderator: George R.R. Martin(!)
Participations: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Jason Momoa, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau… and more panelists to be announced, it seems.

That’ll be exciting, to say the least!

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!