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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sky Atlantic snuck this one up on us, not having told us they were having Michelle Fairley’s interview just then! Very interesting hearing the actress (who doesn’t give many interviews at all) discuss her character and Robb. And, yes, they have Linda and I on towards the end to discuss the episode. Good times!
And “The Pointy End” (yes, recap and analysis of the episode still to come) has hit a new high for an original airing, with 2.715 million viewers according to TV By the Numbers. That’s up 13% from last week’s figure. Overnight, the show’s pulled in 3.6 million viewers, according to Deadline Hollywood.
In the U.K., Game of Thrones is holding steady on the overnights, 523,000 viewers (just 4,000 less than the previous week). More importantly, total viewership across the week is in concerning episode 6, and that’s reached 1.621 million viewers, according to BARB, the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board.
Thanks to WyvernWood for the U.K. information.
A little bird has pointed out that Game of Thrones has garnered its first nomination, in the Critics’ Choice Awards‘s Best Drama Series category. A big category with some big competition, including fellow HBO series Boardwalk Empire, AMC’s tremendous Mad Men, and AMC’s own page-to-screen adaptation The Walking Dead.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of the series! Although there’s no other nominations, we expect to see a few more of these coming along in the days and months to come.
The Evening Standard magazine has a “diary” piece by none other than Charles Dance, who plays the Lannister patriarch Lord Tywin in Game of Thrones. He mentions the series at a couple of points, but mostly it’s a fine look at his daily life as an actor from his own perspective.
Particularly love the anecdote about Sir John Gielgud at the end.