Due to the server issues last week (which—knock on wood—are now more or less sorted out thanks to our amazing host) , we were quite delayed with our “The Wars to Come” coverage, but we’ve more or less corrected that for “The House of Black and White”. The guide includes an exhaustive summary of the episode, our usual book-to-screen breakdown, and of course our review of the episode, plus a number of extras—namely HBO’s post-episode videos, including a nice look at the Water Gardens as represented by the Real Alcazár of Seville.
Our own video review will be along in a day or three, depending on our schedules. Until then, enjoy the episode guide!
The premiere of “The Wars to Come”—our written review is still forthcoming, but we’ve posted our usual video review (some minor audio and editing glitches—new workflow, new camera!—but those are brief)—has not only become the highest rated premiere episode of Game of Thrones;, but the highest rated episode, period, with nearly 8 million viewers. As Variety notes, that’s about 800,000 more than its second highest rated episode, “Mockingbird”. And across the pond, Sky Atlantic in the UK reported that their airing on Monday was also their highest rated episode ever, with 1.6 million viewers in the overnight rating.
Just in time for the start of the 5th season, Pyrrha has expanded their collection of officially licensed Game of Thrones jewellery. Matching rings have joined the previously existing talisman necklaces, two new styles of necklaces have been added, one featuring the heraldic devices on a rounder talisman and one featuring them on a proper shield. The latter matches well with the new shield cuffs, though if you want something slimmer (and a bit kinder to the wallet, admittedly!) for your arm the new ID bracelets with house words on might be just the thing. Most of the pieces are available in either sterling silver or bronze, though the shield cuffs seem to be available only in silver. Its just too bad that not all the houses that they’ve done so far get represented in each of the collections, though likely it comes down to what has been popular so far. Still, we would have loved to see some more Martell pieces.
For those who’ve been asking, various thing in real life have led to this coming out later than intended… but here it is at last, our early impressions of season 5. As noted at the start, we’ve already provided some views on the first episode, but this covers the three additional episodes that were included in the screener package. It’s a long piece, but in a lot of ways it barely scratches the surface, as there’s a lot of story packed into season 5.
You can find the feature here in our Features page.
People have been hoping for a third and final full length trailer ahead of the premiere of season 5 of Game of Thrones on April 12th, but it looks unlikely at this point. However, the powers that be at HBO have smiled down on eager fans and released not one but three new promo spots, shorter but with a handful of new glimpses of scenes that fans haven’t yet seen before. The first is called the Future Promo , featuring Littlefinger with some rather ironic words:
And the second is the Sinners Promo, featuring Jonathan Pryce’s zealous septon:
And finally, the Enemy Promo, which features only one new shot at the very start, we think:
Not literally… but figuratively? Sure thing. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson—best known for playing Ser Gregor Clegane in season 4, as well as matching legendary feats of strength as one of the world’s strongest men—is coming to Philadelphia for the newly-inaugurated Philadelphia Renfaire on May 16th and May 17th. It’s a rare chance to meet the big man from Iceland, and for those who want to see how they size up the Renaissance Faire has some exclusive VIP packages that give fans the opportunity to meet him, to work out with him, and even to fight alongside him in a special short film!
For more information on tickets and details on the special events focusing on Thor, see here. And while you’re at it, check out the wanted poster about his presence on the premises (including the claim that he’s wanted for horse theft, a deed committed by lifting up a horse and carrying it off. I could well believe he could pick up a fair-sized horse.)
At the San Francisco premiere of Game of Thrones, Access Hollywood asked George R.R. Martin a few questions. The first? Whether he’d write a script for the sixth season… and the answer is, “No”:
Note that this statement comes less than two weeks after GRRM commented on Livejournal that he was at that time “wrestling” with the same question. So it looks likely that he settled on an answer pretty much around the time that he decided to remove some appearances from his schedule.
As we mentioned in our Stockholm exhibit report, Linda and I had the opportunity to meet Harry Lloyd, the actor who brought Prince Viserys to life during the first season of Game of Thrones. One of the topics of discussion was an exciting personal project that Harry and his partner Jayne Hong had been working on for the last while, a sort of mockumentary about what happens when the dictator of a certain notorious Asian country turned out to be your biggest fan….
The Supreme Tweeter web series is set to launch on April 1st. The day after, April 2nd, Harry will be at Reddit’s offices to take part in a Ask Me Anything which will start at 3PM Eastern time. Should be a great opportunity for fans to ask him about the project, as well as Game of Thrones (ask him about the cameos from GoT-connected people, and kill two birds with one stone!) and all the other things he’s been involved in over the years (such as The Theory of Everything, Wolf Hall, Manhattan, and Doctor Who).
The US premiere of season 5 is just about to start in San Francisco… but before that, there’s a star-studded red carpet to keep an eye on, with many of the show’s cast and crew members on hand for the celebrations. HBO has kindly provided a live stream of the event for those who’d like to watch vicariously! Also, they promise a special, new behind-the-scenes video at the end of the stream, so that’s something worth watching:
Telltale Games has announced the release of episode 3 of their Game of Thrones narrative adventure game, titled “The Sword in the Darkness”. The game will release starting tomorrow, March 24th for PC and Playstation, the 25th and 26th for other console and mobile devices. Here’s the trailer below:
A bit of a young Drogon, eh? Interesting. We’ve a trip planned tomorrow, as it happens, so we won’t be able to review this for a couple of days. Until then, here’s our reviews of episode 1 and episode 2.
After attending the world premiere of Game of Thrones season 5 at the Tower of London, Linda and I have written up some brief impressions. We also created a video discussing one particular aspect of the first episode, “The Wars to Come”, which we thought was pretty noteworthy. You can find it below:
It’s that time of year again, when the intrepid James Hibberd provides us all the scoops that his deep access to the show (this time featuring some ten days worth of set visits and interviews in multiple locations) can provide. This week’s issue—available on newstands, and soon available for digital download—features an enormous thirty pages worth of coverage, and EW and Hibberd have been kind enough to give a few samples.
Of particular note is today’s release of ruminations on just when the show ends, in which it’s made clear that seven years may well be on the table… but so might eight years, or nine years, or even ten, if HBO could have its way. And Hibberd suggests the possibility that seems the likeliest, at this juncture the eight-seasons-in-all-but-name option:
“Perhaps the most likely outcome for the end of Thrones is having an extended, split-run seventh and final season — where more episodes are ordered than Thrones’ usual 10, but half air one year and half air the next. This would get HBO another “season” without having to renegotiate with the cast since all the episodes are technically part of the seventh round they’re already optioned for. AMC employed this strategy with the final seasons of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, but HBO used this technique first with the sixth and final season of The Sopranos, which consisted of 21 episodes instead of the usual 13. Additionally distributing the final two hours beyond HBO with some sort of theatrical run for fans who want to see it in the theater wouldn’t be surprising, either. “
This is absolutely amazing, really—and unprecedented outside of, I don’t know, the Olympics: HBO and its sister networks and broadcast partners around the world will be simulcasting the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Not just the premiere episode (although that episode, it seems ,may air even more widely), but every single episode of the season. What does this mean? That means when it airs at 9PM Eastern on Sundays, it will air at the exact same time in all participating countries and territories. So for fellow HBO Nordic subscribers, for example, will have the pleasure of hitting bed early to then wake up at 3AM to watch it at the same time as fans in the U.S. Fans in Asia will be watching it in the morning. And more.
Full details in the press release below:
Apple’s latest event proved a very surprising location for a big reveal—the official announcement of HBO Now... and the unexpected launch of the second Game of Thrones season 5 trailer. This is a very meaty trailer, and confirms one particularly controversial speculation of ours as having been on the right track:
Currently away from home, but we’ll see if we can’t get our screen caps and commentary up tonight.
The rumors have been out there… and are now confirmed with HBO’s press release announcing it’s HBO Now service to launch in April (just in time for Game of Thrones season 5—coincidence? Don’t think so!)
Here’s the full details: