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First Look at Season 4

Thanks to HBO‘s usual end-of-year recap video, which looks at what the cabler has aired over the past year… and then gives a taste at what’s to come, we finally have our first video footage of season 4 of Game of Thrones! In the video below, starting at the 1:38 mark, a handful of quick glimpses from the highly-anticipated fourth season gives a taste of what’s to come. Of course, there are some spoilers herein, so view at your own discretion!

For some discussion of what we’re seeing, see below the cut.

Telltale Confirms Game of Thrones Game

As rumored, Spike’s VGX awards became the outlet for Telltale Games to announce that they are, indeed, creating a Game of Thrones game due out in 2014:

At the 1:48 mark of the program video, VGX hosts Geoff Keighley and Joel McHale interview Telltale Games developers about the game, drawing out a few more details. Chief among them is that, contrary to some speculation, the game is based on the TV license. The books are a resource, but it will be visually dependent on the show, and the developers hope to have some of the TV show’s actors involved in voicing the game. It is too early in the development process for them to discuss plotlines or characters, but it’s safe to say the game will be in a similar mold to Telltales’s award-winning The Walking Dead game, which was specifically cited as an influence in HBO’s decision to agree to the game.

Another Spoilery Casting

A previously noted casting—that of child actress Octavia Selena Alexandru—has now had her role attached to it, revealed online via her agency. But for those who’ve not yet read A Dance with Dragons, lets just say her role is something of a spoiler… and so we’ll be sticking it below the cut.

Season 3 Bluray and DVD Details Revealed

HBO has sent out a press release containing a host of new details for the Season 3 Boxset (Pre-order: US Bluray, US DVD, UK Bluray, UK DVD), setting its release date as February 18th.

The press release details start below, including an exclusive sneak peek by way of USA Today:

Featuring one of the most shocking episodes of all time, the third season of the HBO® series Game of Thrones captured headlines and captivated audiences with its gruesome battles and political intrigue. The season was “bigger than ever” (Entertainment Weekly) - and the most nominated series at the 2013 Emmy® Awards. Bring home a piece of TV history when Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season makes its highly anticipated debut on Blu-ray with HBO Select ($79.98), DVD ($59.99) and Digital Download on February 18, 2014. Game of Thrones is consistently the hottest BD/DVD title on the home entertainment charts, with seasons one and two currently ranked as the fastest-selling TV-on-BD releases of all time. The BD and DVD sets are packed with special features that further explore the characters, families and politics that populate the richly drawn world of Westeros.

In Season 3, the battling families of the Seven Kingdoms continue to fight for power as bonds are strained, loyalties are tested and cruel fates are met. The Lannisters barely hold on to power after a savage naval onslaught from Stannis Baratheon, while stirrings in the North threaten to alter the overall balance of power. Robb Stark, King in the North, faces major calamity in his efforts to build on his victories over the Lannisters, and beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder and his huge army of wildlings continue their inexorable march south. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen - reunited with her three fast-maturing dragons - attempts to raise an army to sail with her from Essos, in hopes of eventually claiming the Iron Throne for herself.

Bonus Material

The Blu-ray with HBO Select and DVD bonus materials in Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season contain multiple featurettes, extended and deleted scenes, and audio commentaries. Additional features on the BD release include interactive guides, illustrated histories, and an extensive feature on the creation of “The Rains of Castamere,” containing nearly two hours of never-before-seen material, as well as new looks at the infamous “Red Wedding.”

Styr the Magnar of Thenn Cast

Via James Hibberd over at EW, fans have learned that Russian actor Yuri Kolokolnikov has been cast in the role of Styr, the Magnar of Thenn. “Magnar” is a word in the Old Tongue of the First Men, meaning “lord”. The Thenns are an isolated group of wildlings from the far, far north of the inhabited lands beyond the Wall, and in the novels they treat the Magnar almost as a deity. The character is introduced early in A Storm of Swords—in fact, Jon at first mistakes him for Mance Rayder—but obviously the show trimmed the character from the corresponding season…. and now he’s back. It will be interesting to see his role, given his later introduction, but it’s likely a safe bet that he’ll be involved in the penultimate episode of season 4, directed by Neil Marshall.

Making Game of Thrones: Dragon’s Breath

Over at the official Making Game of Thrones production blog, Cat Taylor shares a scene from early in the fourth season filming, when the production put together some tests to simulate visual effects for the dragon flames that will be seen this season. Here’s an excerpt, right from the end:

As the dragons grow and start to test their power, their fire breathing will get stronger and more powerful. The Dragons are legend for a reason and this season we will get a hint of why. The final tally, 22 canisters and 400 litres of gas – all for just one day in Essos.

For more, visit the blog!

A Notable Casting

Word’s out that an actor has been cast in a role that is, frankly, something of a spoiler… so see below the cut for the relevant information

New Figurines from Dark Horse

The New York Comic Con has opened, and with it Dark Horse has revealed a brand new series of Game of Thrones figurines that will soon be on sale. The three new figures will be joining the Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen figures that Dark Horse announced back in July. And who are these three figures? None other than Tyrion Lannister, Ned Stark, and Khal Drogo.

The full press release, and additional images from Dark Horse, can be found below the cut.

Hizdahr Cast

A role introduced in A Dance with Dragons, that of the wealthy and influential Meereenese nobleman Hizdahr zo Loraq, has been cast, according to EW’s James Hibberd. Filling the role is British actor Joel Fry, who has largely featured in British television programs, but has made appearances in Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC, as well as Tamara Drewe. Fry is also a musician, one of the lead vocalists for Animal Circus.

While the role is being introduced earlier than in the novels, it makes sense to present some Meereenese characters earlier on who will then have more of a role later on.

Bronze Yohn Royce Cast

Given the news that Mark Gatiss will be playing a character introduced in A Dance with Dragons in the upcoming fourth season, it is perhaps no great surprise that another character from a novel that goes mostly beyond the point of season 3 has been cast. Winter is Coming’s tipsters discovered the CV of British actor Rupert Vansittart naming him as playing the role of Bronze Yohn Royce, a lord of the Vale of Arryn. The character does, actually, get mentioned at a couple of points in the first novel as someone who is present in KIing’s Landing for Robert’s tournament—and, perhaps more interestingly, as the father of Ser Waymar Royce, the ranger killed way back in the prologue of the first episode of the show.

But what will his role be in this season? While we can just imagine that he could just appear quite late in the season, to coincide with his A Feast for Crows appearance, we’re going to guess the show will want to bring him on stage earlier.

Below is a showreel put together by Vansittart’s representatives—several years old now, but features some interesting scenes, including his appearance in Four Weddings and a Funeral:

Sigur Ros to Guest on Game of Thrones

James Hibberd at EW has the exclusive news that critically-acclaimed Icelandic band Sigur Rós will be making a cameo appearance in the fourth season of Game of Thrones, an appearance they’re already filming in Croatia. Hibberd seems to know what their role is, but isn’t sharing… but we’re guessing it’s tied into their occupation as musicians, to say the least.

Though we can’t embed it, here’s the video to “Ekki múkk”, one of a number of experimental short films the band has made; you’ll find the narrator quite familiar, Game of Thrones fans.

Mark Gatiss the Banker

Though HBO has officially refused to comment on the role that writer/actor Mark Gatiss will play, the Curtis Brown Agency website’s CV for their client now includes the name of his role: Tycho Nestoris, an emissary from the Iron Bank of Braavos.

What’s interestingx is that this character is introduced in A Dance with Dragons, well after some key events that have yet to play out in the show and may well not take place until late in the forthcoming fourth season. This may portend that his role will be somewhat different, or at least expanded, from what it is in the novel.

Some speculation below.

Blackwater Takes the Hugo Award

This year’s Hugo Awards have been announced at LoneStarCon 3, the site of this year’s Worldcon, and it turns out that the George R.R. Martin-penned “Blackwater” took the Hugo Award for best, short-form dramatic presentation. This is something of an upset, breaking the lock Doctor Who has had on the category for the last three years; three separate episodes of that series were among the nominees.

Game of Thrones‘s first season carried away the 2012 Hugo Award in the long form category, with all episodes being treated as part of a single, unified work.

UPDATED: Casting and Some Recasting

Update: HBO informs us that key production personnel know nothing of Fortuna’s involvement in the series. Does this mean he’s not part of the production whatsoever? Not necessarily, as it’s quite possible that extras or featured extras are something that higher level production members don’t necessarily keep track of. But even if he’s a featured extra, it’s not much to get excited about.

Following the recent news that Michiel Husman has stepped into the role of Daario Naharis, a character introduced last season and then played by Ed Skrein, word has come out that another role—a somewhat less prominent one—has been recast: Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides, will now be played by Hafþór Björnsson, an Icelandic strong man and past contender for the title of World’s Strongest Man. At 6’9” and 440 lbs., the athlete will certainly look the part. The role of the Mountain has been played by two previous actors, with Conan Stevens originating the role and Ian Whyte filling Gregor’s giant shoes for the 2nd season.

It’s also been revealed by Indewire blog Shadow and Act, that Angolan actor Hoji Fortuna—whose English-language credits are fairly brief, but he has appeared in a number of Portuguese films, as well as more recently in the since-cancelled TV series Pan Am—has been cast in an unnamed role. Given that filming is currently taking place in Croatia, it seems quite clear he’ll be appearing there (a notion further given weight by the actor’s own tweets hinting he was going to that country). One might speculate as to his role, but one obvious possibility is the role of Brown Ben Plumm, a sellsword captain. In the novels, Plumm became the captain of the Second Sons following its joining Daenerys; on the TV show, the Second Sons and another company, the Stormcrows, were combined, so this may not quite work… but they could easily have Plumm be captain of a second company, or perhaps make him Daario Naharis’s new second in the command.

Daario Naharis Recast

Last season, fans of Game of Thrones were introduced to the cocky, dangerous sellsword Daario Naharis, played by Ed Skrein. Now word is out that the role has been recast—no reasons stated, but they can be quite mundane—and stepping into the role is another HBO alumni accorrding to the Hollywood Reporter. Daario will now be played by Michiel Huisman, a Dutch actor and musician who’s been featured in HBO’s Treme (aside: a show I very highly recommend!).

For a taste of the actor’s work, below you’ll find a brief clip from the BBC’s Rudolf and Margot, where Huisman plays famed Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev: