Game of Thrones: News

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“Lord Snow” aired last night in the U.S. and Canada (it’ll be on this evening in the U.K. and in much of Central Europe), and as always, we have an extensive episode guide with recaps, analysis, images, and more. Check it out at our site.

Right after that aired, HBO posted the preview for episode 4, titled “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”. See below for the clip!

Episode 3 Clips

Just two days away from Episode 3, titled “Lord Snow”, and HBO has set out some excerpts from the epsiode to whet the appetite. First up is Jon Snow training at Castle Black with his future sworn brothers, followed by an excellent scene between Jaime and Eddard that has certain resonances for events at the end of Robert’s Rebellion. Enjoy!

Dragons and Direwolves

Pearson Moore, who’s contributed a number of featured articles in our Features section, has published a book “Direwolves and Dragons”, collecting his current essays related to Game of Thrones, plus some additional articles published exclusively in the book.

See below for more details, including a brief description for each essay included in the e-book. With his unique insight and his experience in examining television narrative (gained through his exceptional series of posts concerning Lost as well as Mad Men), this is sure to contain some thought-provoking material for fans of the novels and/or the hit HBO series.

Game of Thrones to Go

As we’ve previoiusly reported, HBO is making great strides in expanding the coverage of HBO GO—its online, subscriber-only streaming service—among cable providers, and it’s recently been announced that Suddenlink and (most recently) Comcast Xfinity now also offer the HBO GO service. This means that fans of Game of Thrones and many other shows (HBO’s placed over 1400 titles on the service so far) will be able to stream the show from their computers.

HBO Store Update

HBO has been keeping busy with the HBO Store, adding new shirts, jewelry, steins, and more in the last month. We’ve compiled most of these at our store page (which benefits the continued maintenance and operation of Westeros.org), but two new items have cropped up that might be interest. First, there’s an awesome new shirt featuring Needle and the text, “Stick Them With the Pointy End” (that’s going to be popular!), and a poster map featuring the Seven Kingdoms and a bit of the coastline of Essos.

Have at them!

Game of Thrones Soundtrack in June

Varese Sarabande, leading publisher of soundtracks, has announced that the Game of Thrones soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi is on its way! Due June 14th, there’s no more information about just how many tracks there’ll be, but we can be sure that the title theme (and perhaps one or two variations) are going to be a part of it.

Thronecast Interviews

Sky Atlantic’s Thronecast has been a terrific approach by the broadcaster to making the show accessible to fans, especially viewers who’ve never read the novels before. Professional produced, each episode (which goes up each Monday after the show airs in the U.K.) offers pointers, brief guides, and more. And, yeah, it includes Linda and I doing brief segments (Linda really is a lot better at this sort of thing than I am!).

On top of all that, Sky’s also releasing interviews with the cast each week. First up was Mark Addy, and now Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who particularly impresses us with his handle on the character. And, to gild the lily a bit more, Thronecast is also available via iTunes, and there they’ve released the BAFTA Screening Q&A with members of the cast and crew: Sean Bean, Harry Lloyd, Mark Addy, and production designer Gemma Jackson.

Now, I’ll wait for this iTunes download to crawl along so I can check it out…

Episode 2 Audio Comments

Linda and I have again joined with Tom and Daniel of MTV Geek to discuss last Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Kingsroad”. We spend some time discussing the difficulties in conveying the passage of time in the story, the use of the direwolves, and mention some of the things we’re most looking forward to in the next episode.

You can find it in our “The Kingsroad” episode guide in MP3 downloadable and streaming format,

Late July Start for Game of Thrones

An article in the U.K. film and television industry trade website, Broadcast Now, notes that Northern Irish companies are gearing up for the return of Game of Thrones to production. While a representative of HBO has indicated that it’s premature to say that any locations have been set in stone, I think we can say that odds are extremely good for Northern Ireland again being the headquarters for the production.

And of note? A “late July” start has been stated by the production. This fits with what we’ve heard elsewhere. Some may find it a bit surprising that they’ll start that long after the greenlight, especially with the difficulties this past autumn and winter caused for them due to weather, but it seems like the production is very comfortable with this date.

Late July causes another question, though. That’s when San Diego Comic Con takes place. Is HBO skipping out on it? We find that incredibly unlikely, and just as unlikely is their giving the show a presence there but not having key cast members on hand for the inevitable, massive panel. So we’re going to have to suppose that “late July” could mean some time after July 24th (the final day of the convention).

Episode 2 Ratings

Although the show already landed the greenlight for a second season, some have been wondering how the ratings would go in the second week. James Hibberd at Entertainment Weekly provides the answer: steady. Despite it being an Easter Sunday, the show seems to have held onto the premiere viewership of 2.2 million people, and added an additional 723,000 viewers when it was repeated at 11PM.

Hibberd also notes that the first episode, including all repeats through the week, On Demand viewings, and other such outlets, has reached 6.8 million viewers so far.

It’s hard to gauge whether “holding steady” under the circumstances is a good, bad, or rather neutral sign. At a guess, the viewership across the whole of this week will be a more interesting indicator of what the show’s early impact will be, but even then it’ll be too early to tell if it’ll have legs and start growing an audience.

New Feature: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages

Thanks to our content partnership with MTV Geek, we’ve a new feature article to share for those interested in the series. Dr. Catherine Smith-Akel, a scholar of Medieval studies, approaches her first read of A Game of Thrones from a historical perspective, teasing out parallels between history (English history, primarily, in this first piece) and the story. It’s a good read if you’ve an interest in the historical antecedents to some of the characters and places.

Read Part I of Smith-Akel’s A Historical Dissection of A Game Of Thrones.

Reactions and Previews

Besides our episode guide, with our commentary and recap, there were quite a few notable recaps, reviews, and reactions released immediately following the airing of “The Kingsroad”. Plus, HBO’s released a preview of the next episode. See below for some of the highlights!

Recap and Analysis of “The Kingsroad”

Enjoyed that episode, didn’t you? With maybe a quibble or two?

See our detailed recap and analysis, our list of notable changes and added scenes, and a few sample images depicting scenes and moments from the episode! And after that, make sure to visit our forum to discuss it with fellow fans.

The Weapon Master

We’ve posted a new item in our Game of Thrones Features section, an interview with the weapon master for the production, Tommy Dunne. With over fifteen years of experience, he has worked on some very high-profile projects, both on Hollywood film projects and for HBO. Now leading the Armory department for Game of Thrones, Mr. Dunne fills us in on some of his background, some of the decisions made for the weapon and designs, and what’s become of King Robert’s warhammer.

Read the interview!

Previews, Exclusives, and Contests

A number of little things to post about, so here they go in easily digestible chunks. Make sure to watch the clips at the bottom, as they’re good fun.

  • HBO has revealed that their subscriber streaming service HBO GO has some exclusive (and fascinating) content attached to each episode. This exclusive content includes detailed maps, pop-up “author commentaries” with remarks from GRRM, 360-degree looks at locations and even objects (some amazingly high-resolution-seeming shots of Robert’s crown, Ice, and Lyanna’s effigy), family trees, and more.
  • For Swedes, it’s worth noting that Cinema magazine has a contest to secure tickets for the May 3rd screening of the first two episodes in a theater in Stockholm.
  • Similarly, HBO has a sweepstakes you should really check out (U.S. residents only). A chance to win a clutch of dragon eggs? Awesome. It should be noted that Sky Atlantic has a similar contest (U.K./Ireland only).
  • A couple of clips for this Sunday’s episode have been released, featuring Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister in an interesting (and non-book) scene, as well as a scene from the books featuring Daenerys and her handmaidens. You can find them below. Can you spot Mikken in the first one?