Game of Thrones

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

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Game of Thrones Ratings Climb

Via James Hibberd at EW, we now have the numbers for this past Sunday’s episode: 2.6 million viewers, up from last week, with 3.3 million viewers after the encore performance is factored in and a 8.1 million viewer per-episode average to date. Good numbers!

The news is slightly less rosy in the U.K., in that it seems Game of Thrones on Sky Atlantic actually dropped down to 522,000, losing almost all of the 20% gain from the last week. We’re guessing last week’s number was anomalous, perhaps related to the holiday weekend, and factoring it out it looks like the show’s climbed a little bit compared to the week before last. These numbers are still quite strong for the fledgling number, putting it on par with some of their very top broadcasts.

Visual Effects Details Revealed

Now that the show is at its half way point, it looks like Bluebolt—the chief VFX vendor for HBO’s Game of Thrones—is starting to be interviewed, revealing some great details about their work. This profile at Below the Line News is an excellent read…

And also a spoilerish one, especially regarding some work that’ll close out the season. If you’ve not read the books, we suggest skipping it. Here’s a couple of the coolest tidbits, however:

Shirts and Banners Galore

HBO’s realized just how popular Game of Thrones merchandise can be, apparently, because we notice that the show has quickly grown into the second most merchandised show at the HBO Store (only True Blood is ahead of it, in terms of total items). And the store keeps on growing, with HBO having added a number of cool t-shirts—including shirts to cover the last, unrepresented houses, House Tyrell and House Martell—and one of the top-requested items from fans: banners!

We’ve collected them all in our affiliate store, for easy perusal! Unfortunately, HBO Us only ships within North America, I believe. The HBO UK Store adds options for those there… and I notice that they seem to list some items that HBO U.S: hasn’t yet added. Very cool!

Upcoming Chat Party

We’re having a chat party!

Westeros.org and the good people at Philo—a social media site for television fans—are teaming up to host a chat party for next Sunday’s episode, “A Golden Crown”, with official HBO merchandise as prizes. Just sign up at Philo and make sure to participate in next Sunday’s chat to connect with fellow fans and have a chance at the prizes!

Depending on how tired Linda and I are—it’ll be 3 AM when episode 6 starts to air in the U.S.—we may well be participating directly, watching our copy of the screener and maybe offering some tidbits concerning changes between screener and air.

The Wolf and the Lion Recap and Analysis

We’ve posted our recap and analysis, plus a look at the adaptation from book-to-screen (including the addition of new scenes), to our episode guide for the momentous fifth episode, “The Wolf and the Lion”. Have at it, and remember that you can always discuss and rate the episode with fellow fans at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum.

New Feature: Illegitimacy and Cultural Worth

Another episode, another insightful article from Pearson Moore of Winterfell Keep. In his discussion of “Cripples, Bastard, and Broken Things”, Pearson examines the subject of illegitimacy—literal and figurative—as portrayed through representations of several characters in the episode. It’s an insightful, interesting look into the subject, well worth reading while counting the hours to Sunday’s upcoming episode.

MTV Geek Audio Commentary

We’ve posted our audio discussion for “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”, recorded with Tom and Daniel of MTV Geek. We discuss various facets of the previous episode, including the changes that led to Sansa and Sandor not having their moment from the book. There are very minor spoilers regarding the second novel, A Clash of Kings

Art of the Title Interview

Art of the Title, a rather cool website focused on the art of main title design, has a terrific interview with creative designer Angus Wall, an Emmy-award winning title designer and recent recipient of the Academy Award for film editing. They go over the Game of Thrones title sequence in some detail.

Best of all, the article is heavily illustrated with concept art and high-resolution stills from the sequence. Plus, the highest resolution glimpse at the map that includes Essos ... including Essos’s eastern coast, on the opposite side of the Sunset Sea. This one’s so cool that we’ve added it to our Gallery, with some comments.

David Benioff Profiled

Dartmouth’s student newspaper profiles alumnus David Benioff, and Game of Thrones is briefly discussed. Of note is the fact that it states Benioff (presumably with Gemma Jackson, and perhaps D.B. Weiss) spent ten days scouting possible locations in Croatia and Spain. Croatia, Spain, and Turkey are three areas that we’ve now learned of as possible shooting locations for the second season.

Infographics of Ice and Fire

The fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones often reveal some great talent, turned towards celebrating the story they love. Whether it’s cooking up a storm, depicting the lands and the characters, or just plain rocking out, it’s always good. And now, one of the newest additions to the fan pantheon of awesome, ASoIaF/GoT inspired works are…

Infographics. But not just any infographics, no. These infographics from HauteSlides beautifully, succinctly, and humorously lay out the inter-relationships between various families, and gives a nice, clean look at the key locations of the story. Great work from graphic designer Magda Maslowska!

Momoa Interview on Thronecast

This week’s installment of Sky’s Thronecast not only features Linda and I with an awesome new webcam (are you excited yet?!), but it also has a fun interview with actor Jason Momoa, who plays Khal Drogo. The webcast itself contains a short except from the interview, while the landing page for it features the full interview as a separate video.

Ratings Climb in 4th Week

More good news for Game of Thrones this week, on both sides of the pond. In the U.S., James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly has again gotten the scoop: ratings are up a tenth of a point from last week, to a total of 2.5 million viewers on the initial viewing. More numbers will probably roll in later in the day, so well-worth taking a look at. And over in the U.K., the show had a whopping 20% jump in viewership on Monday, according to Digital Spy, from 510,000 to 628,000 viewers. Of course, last weekend was a holiday, but still—a strong showing.

Soundtrack Preorder and More

Just a quick note: those who’ve eagerly awaited for the soundtrack to Game of Thrones can now pre-order via Amazon.com! The CD is due to be released on the 14th.

And while you’re considering that, HBO’s updated their store with a few new items, which we’ve added to our Store page. Ever wanted a mousepad featuring the Seven Kingdoms? It can now be yours, provided you are in the U.S.; the UK HBO store may or may not have it, for those who reside there.

The Mountain Speaks…

... with Westeros.org in an exclusive interview!

Introduced in tonight’s episode, “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”, the ferocious Ser Gregor Clegane is a knight with a black reputation, and armor to match. The role is played by 7’ ft tall Australian stunt man, actor, and former professional wrestler Conan Stevens, who agreed to answer a few questions for fans about his career, how he became involved in the production, and some details of the shooting that we’re fairly sure have never been noted before.

At the end, Conan teases that he’s leaving local film behind (he lives and largely works in Thailand), and that there’ll be some big news soon. Keep an eye out on his official site to learn more. Until then:

Read the interview!

Sneak Peek of Episode 4

HBO has shared a little sneak peek at next week’s episode, “Crippples, Bastards, and Broken Things”. This preview features Tyrion Lannister, ready to depart Winterfell after a cold welcome, and a combative conversation with one Theon Greyjoy. A second sneak peek was later added, with Sansa Stark and Septa Mordane.