HBO’s on a roll in the lead up to Sunday’s premiere of Game of Thrones, first announcing that the show—as well as fellow programs Veep and Silicon Valley—had all been renewed through 2017.
That’s not surprising for Game of Thrones, but the fact that it’s only a single season pick-up is quite interesting since if HBO and the show runners have agreed on the “eight season” plan mooted in recent articles, one would expect that an eighth season pickup would also be announced. Possibly this is all pending contract negotiations, but there seems room for some variability in the final shape of the show as it approaches its end.
Shortly after this announcement, HBO released nine new high-resolution images from the premiere episode of the season. The image above is one of them, and the rest can be found in our image gallery.
As we posted about yesterday, we will run a contest leading up to each episode of Season 6 where our followers get to guess who (if anyone) dies in the upcoming episode. The first Death Poll contest will be for our Twitter followers. So, what do you need to do? Simply follow @westerosorg on Twitter and tweet us our guess as to who will die in the first episode. Make sure to include the hashtag #gotdeathpollep1 so we can find your guesses! From those who get it right, we will randomly select a winner who will have a choice between one of the new Funko Dorbz figures (not yet out, but the first wave will include Daenerys, Jon, Ned, Tyrion and the Night King) or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
As an addition to the rules posted yesterday (they will be amended as well), we should note that of course there can be multiple correct answer if more than one character dies in an episode.
We’ve heard it from a number of the actors—Season 6 will be the most shocking season yet. We have a feeling that means HBO will be reducing the show’s budget in the bloodiest possible way, by an even greater body count than before. So, we thought we’d make a game out of it and give our followers a chance to win some things in the process. Here’s how it will go down.
Every Monday, starting tomorrow, we will start a new “Death Poll” on Twitter, Facebook or the forum. Each poll will be open to followers/members of that particular venue. To participate in the poll, simply respond to the tweet, Facebook post or forum post and tell us who you think will die in the upcoming episode. Out of those who get it right, a random winner will be selected the following Monday and announced as we start the next poll.
1) Only one entry per person.
2) “No one” is a valid guess, but excludes unnamed, non-recurring characters. If a random guardsman dies in an episode but no named, recurring characters, the correct answer for that episode would be “no one”.
3) There may be multiple correct answers for any given episode if multiple characters die.
4) Prizes will be shipped via Amazon.com, though that should not be a problem for most places.
The last couple of days has seen some significant news concerning the future of Game of Thrones thanks to remarks from showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, as well as HBO executive Michael Lombardo.
First out of the gate was this Variety interview in which Benioff was quoted as saying:
Clarification from other sources—doubtless HBO—clarified that the numbers were premature, but did say that upcoming seasons may be shorter than 10 episodes per season. The piece goes on to cite programming president Michael Lombardo, who acknowledged that Benioff and Weiss wanted to wrap the show in two years, but added that he was an “optimist” and though they would “figure this out”.
HBO has released three clips from the new season of Game of Thrones. One of them, the longest, features a look at an area that the show hasn’t visited since the first season and which shows how far the show’s VFX prowess has grown over the years. The videos are included in a playlist below:
Reports from the premiere last night stated a new trailer was aired there… and as expected, HBO has kindly shared the trailer with the world:
Seems like there’s a lot of new imagery in this one.
Last night, an exclusive mix of VIPs, critics, and fans had the opportunity to see the world premiere of Game of Thrones. The red carpet stream, hosted by Veronica Belmont, features interviews with most of the cast who were present on the day and you can see that below:
As noted by James Hibberd, among no-shows for this event were Kit Harington and George R.R. Martin, so no interviews with them. And speaking of Hibberd, he provided some initial impressions of the episode in his post on the premiere at EW. No real spoilers here, as the attendees were all asked to only speak very generally about the episode and to save the plot turns for fans watching on the 24th. One interesting detail, though, is David Benioff’s statement about the production:
If I’m counting right, that makes a total of eight countries the show has filmed in across six season (including briefly in the U.S., Malta in the first season, and Morocco for the pilot and third season.)
Liam Cunningham—who’s always a fantastic interview subject, speaking from personal experience—turned in a game, amusing interview on Conan last night. He revealed he was informed by GRRM of a secret on their first meeting that he’s kept to himself (jokingly suggesting HBO has someone ready to “take care” of him if he fails to do that). That’s then followed by a brief excerpt from a Davos scene in season 6, one which sheds new light on things glimpsed in the official trailer. Naturally, there are spoilers.
You can see the video below:
HBO has sent out a press release announcing the title of the first episode of season 6, along with a (very) brief logline giving a general sense of the chief storylines. See below, but bear in mind some might consider some of the details as spoilers:
Following the shocking developments at the conclusion of season five, including Jon Snow’s bloody fate at the hands of Castle Black mutineers, Daenerys’ near-demise at the fighting pits of Meereen, and Cersei’s public humiliation in the streets of King’s Landing, survivors from all parts of Westeros and Essos regroup to press forward, inexorably, towards their uncertain individual fates. Familiar faces will forge new alliances to bolster their strategic chances at survival, while new characters will emerge to challenge the balance of power in the east, west, north and south.
The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning GAME OF THRONES returns for its ten-episode sixth season SUNDAY, APRIL 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT**), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, the hit fantasy series chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent kingdom.
Returning series regulars on GAME OF THRONES this season include: Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Jonathan Pryce (the High Sparrow).
Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand) and Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H’ghar).
New cast members for the sixth season include: Pilou Asbaek, Essie Davis, Souad Faress, James Faulkner, Richard E. Grant, Ian McShane, Joe Naufau, Freddie Stroma and Max von Sydow.
Episode #51: “The Red Woman”
Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: April 24 (11:30 p.m., 2:00 a.m.), 25 (12:10 a.m.), 26 (9:00 p.m., 3:35 a.m.), 28 (11:05 p.m.), 29 (9:00 p.m.) and 30 (11:30 p.m.), and May 6 (8:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 25 (8:30 p.m.) and 29 (1:00 a.m.), and May 1 (8:00 p.m.) and 28 (4:00 p.m.)
Jon Snow is dead. Daenerys meets a strong man. Cersei sees her daughter again.
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
In Sept. 2015, GAME OF THRONES received 12 Emmys®, a record for a series in one year, garnering awards for Outstanding Drama Series; Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage’s second win in the category); Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (David Nutter); Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss); Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More); Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series; Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series; Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic); Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series; Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour); Outstanding Special Visual Effects; and Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie.
The show also received four Emmys® in Aug. 2014; two Emmys® in Sept. 2013; six Emmys® in Sept. 2012, tied for the most of any program; and two Emmys® in Sept. 2011. In addition, Peter Dinklage received a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television in Jan. 2012.
The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin; supervising producer, Bryan Cogman; producers, Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney.
This feels long over-due: HBO announces an after-show for season 6 of Game of Thrones, titled After the Thrones, which will feature critic and commentator Andy Greenwald (formerly of Grantland) and Chris Ryan of Grantland-succesor, The Ringer. See the press release below:
HBO AND BILL SIMMONS TEAM UP FOR AFTER THE THRONES,
WEEKLY SHOW EXPLORING HIT HBO SERIES “GAME OF THRONES,”
DEBUTING THIS MONTH
AFTER THE THRONES, a weekly show that takes a lively, humorous and sophisticated look at the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” will debut this month. The first show to spring from HBO’s new partnership with Bill Simmons, AFTER THE THRONES will be hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan from The Ringer, Simmons’ new content site.
Beginning with the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” on April 24, each weekly edition of AFTER THE THRONES will be available on Mondays on HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand, as well as other affiliate portals. Playdates on the main HBO channel will be announced as they are confirmed.
Each week, AFTER THE THRONES will recap the latest episode, explaining the who, what, when and where, exploring the complicated politics and history of “Thrones,” and offering absurd and not-so-absurd theories about future episodes. Greenwald and Ryan will discuss the show as only they can.
Greenwald and Ryan previously hosted Grantland’s hit Watch the Thrones podcast, and currently host The Watch on Channel 33’s podcast feed for The Ringer. Greenwald has established himself as one of America’s premier television critics, and is currently working on the book “How To Watch TV” (Ecco Press). Ryan is the executive editor of The Ringer. The Watch was hailed as one of the best pop-culture podcasts on the Internet by Vulture and Entertainment Weekly.
The executive producers of AFTER THE THRONES are Bill Simmons and BSMG President Eric Weinberger, with Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald serving as co-executive producers.
Dubbed the “March Madness” promo, this new video for season 6 features a few things already glimpsed in the official trailer, but also a few new details for fans eagerly awaiting the next season:
Interesting final frame.
Continuing the trend of highlighting the behind-the-scenes production of HBO’s Game of Thrones series, they have now released an interesting mini-documentary on the work of the prosthetics department. A whole lot of white walkers and wights to be seen. Interestingly, much of the white walker footage is from last season’s “Hardome”:
Suffice it to say, some of the glimpses of season 6 herein could be considered spoilerish.
Last month, courtesy of HBO, we were able to give an exclusive preview of one of the Histories and Lore from the Game of Thrones Season 5 Bluray set that’s to be released tomorrow. Along with that preview, we received a review copy of the set, and over the last weeks we’ve poked at its various extras to get a sense of what’s new.
On the whole, the extras this year are particularly noteworthy because of the addition of “Dance of [the] Dragons” animated feature fully 20 minutes long, featuring now-departed actors narrating in character (Harry Lloyd as Viserys, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn, Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon, Jack Gleeson as Joffrey, Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell, and Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon) the story of the brutal civil war that hastened the end of the Targaryen dragons. The art style for this, and the other Histories and Lore, is somewhat different from that of previous seasons. It’s cleaner in a way, but also sometimes a little more simplistic, even cartoonish, at times. The level of content is, however, quite impressive as they drew heavily from the material written for The World of Ice and Fire to provide substantial insight into the past and present of both Westeros and Essos.
Last year, Mackevision released a VFX breakdown of some of their contributions to the visually-impressive fifth season of Game of Thrones. Now another VFX company who worked on the production, Image Engine, has opened up about their work last year through an article on their site. The article includes the video you’ll see below:
The interview piece with VFX supervisor Matt Krentz—who’d worked with Look FX on two of the previous seasons—is particularly rich in additional detail. While a lot of their work as seen in the many before-and-after images seem like fairly straightforward crowd replications or removal/addition of elements, there’s also details about the 3D set extensions to Castle Black, their pipeline for creating all their work, and perhaps most notably details on creating the appearance of the “Night’s King” as seen at the end of “Hardhome”.
A Tuesday release for the trailer wasn’t anything that anyone expected, but the highly-anticipated Season 6 trailer is now out:
For fans interested in the next season, lots of digest here, including glimpses of a flashback to the fracas at the tower of joy.