Game of Thrones: News

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Inside Episode 1 and a Preview

So… how was your night last night? Was it everything you wanted? Almost? Not at all? Join the discussion and discuss the series with fellow fans! And while you’re at it, feel free to check out our extensive episode guide! Or ... how about going inside the episode with executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, or a preview of episode 2, The Kingsroad?

See below!

Guide to Episode 1

Now that the first episode, “Winter is Coming”, is up, we provide a lengthy recap plus a detailed analysis in our episode guide. More content to come tomorrow, including a look at the changes from book to screen.

In the mean time, after reading up, why not join the discussion?

Welcome to Westeros

Today is the day! Today, the Game of Thrones begins. For those who haven’t followed the anxious wait ever since the pilot was announced, an introduction to what we offer in terms of Game of Thrones coverage here at Westeros is in order.

Reviews, Commentary, and Interviews

So, for the last several days I’d been compiling links to every review, for one great big review post… but, forget it, check out Metacritic instead, it’ll have some of the highlights (however, listen to Myles McNutt when he tells you to ignore the arbitrary metascore). Of particular note are this long review from James Poniewozik, a fan of the novels, and this one from Alan Sepinwall, who hasn’t read the novels.

On the other hand, we should probably highlight the controversy that Game of Thrones sparked, when two critics spent far more time complaining about the genre and its fans (including implying that there can’t possibly be many women interested in watching or reading something like the series) than they did actually reviewing the series itself. Tony Patterson at Slate and Ginia Bellafante New York Times win plaudits for stirring up controversy, if nothing else. Ms. Bellafante’s sexist attitude was especially enraging to most “geek girls”, and I can attest to Twitter being absolutely filled with dialog about it. Geek Femme and Geek Mom gave two excellent responses to Ms. Bellanfate, while today we have Daniel Abraham at Orbit and Matt Zoeller Seitz remarking on both reviewers in terms of their allowing genre bias to get in the way of their job as rviewers.

So, we’ll leave that for reviews, except that we must absolutely plug Todd VanDerWerff and Libby Hill’s podcast, “Television on the Internet”. The last half hour of Episode 59 is dedicated to Game of Thrones. It’s very good, with a nice casual style and some excellent back-and-forth. Both like it, and both have worthwhile things to say about it.


Below are links to interviews and some interesting articles related to the series, which premieres tomorrow:

Westeros and Suvudu

With all the buzz and excitement—HBO’s Game of Thrones just two days away, A Dance with Dragons due on July 12—there’s a great deal of writing and analysis devoted to A Song of Ice and Fire, and we’ve been asked by Suvudu.com (the official portal for SF/F/H of all kinds for Random House) to start posting post-episode reviews and commentaries on various facets of the novels in relation to the TV show.

We’ve introduced ourselves and the project, but you’ll have to wait for until Monday for our first episode analysis.

Visual Guide to Westeros

HBO has unveiled a Visual Guide to the new Game of Thrones. Featuring interactive maps—including an excellent look at the coast of Essos and the placement of most (but not all) of the Free Cities, apparently based on GRRM’s own maps—and details on various characters, organization, and history, it’s a great guide to the TV show’s version of the novels. There are little changes, here and there, and it’ll be fun spotting some of the departures from the setting’s history in particular.

Words of Westeros

Ever wondered what an arakh is? Or a weirwood? Game of Thrones will introduce those new to the series to more than a few new words. In the Citadel we have extensive resources for A Song of Ice and Fire but some of it is too extensive to serve as handy guides for newcomers and others contain spoilers. Because of this we are planning to add some resourced geared specifically towards TV-show viewers to the Features section of our Game of Thrones site. The first such resource is A Lexicon of Ice and Fire, covering some of the words you might want to look up. Enjoy, and let us know about any additions you want to see to the Lexicon or any ideas you have for other Features in this vein.

Making Game of Thrones: Heraldry and Maps

Ah-ha, this is the last Artisans featurette before the premiere on the 17th. Graphic artist Jim Stanes discusses a subject near and dear to our hearts: Heraldry and Maps. This video’s full of some of the heraldic images I had a sneak peek at when I visited the production in Belfast, and now everyone else can see them too!

Bryan Cogman on Food Trucks… and Shakespeare

Bryan Cogman has a new post at Making Game of Thrones, describing a bit of post-production life, his visit to the food trucks in Los Angeles, and an update on what he’s currently doing (extras for the season 1 Blu-rays [and, presumably, DVDs, though really, you’ll want this show in Blu-ray we suspect…])

But, as it happens, that’s not all that features Bryan out there. As he mentioned in our interview with him, he’s a trained actor. A trained actor with a focus on Shakespeare. Yes, ladies and gentleman… he’s a Shakespeare guy. As he proves in this short webisode of Tiny Apartment, a comedy created by some friends of his:

Meet Jon Snow

As the premiere of Game of Thrones barrels along, we have an exclusive interview with Kit Harington, who plays one of the most significant of the young leads in the series, Jon Snow. We discuss his early career and how he got into acting, the audition process, his interactions with some of the other actors, and his views and hopes for the second season if it goes forward.

Read our interview!

The Throne Has Landed

If you’re in New York City, you may see the Iron Throne whizzing by… on pedicabs, offering complimentary rides through the city streets. And that’s not the only place where you’ll find them it, as HBO reveals that you can sit in a replica of the throne at various locations, not just in New York City, but in several major cities in the United States: Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles join NYC as seats of kings. It’s all part of an incredible campaign to make sure everyone knows that Game of Thrones will be premiering this Sunday, April 17th at 9PM.

And just to whet the appetite further, there’s a massive billboard featuring the Wall, the towering structure that defends the realms of men from whatever lives in the frozen heart of winter beyond, at Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles. Every evening through the 16th, the Wall and Westeros is brought to life using architectural projection and audio. Learn more details about time and locations below!

Ryan and Ryan Podcast and Reviews

Ryan McGee and Maureen Ryan invited Linda and I to a special, Game of Thrones-centric podcast, along with Phil of Winter is Coming. It was a good discussion of the series, including the voicing of some questions from Ryan and thoughts from Maureen Ryan that both have since expanded on on their reviews (McGee at his site, Boobtube Dude, and Mo at AOL’s TV Squad). The reviews are worth reading carefully—they’re not unmitigated praise, and because they want the show to be a great success, they discuss the flaws in detail in a way that may be helpful to the showrunners going forward if there’s another season of the series; but on the whole, both like it, and both see a great deal of potential.

To listen to the podcast, go here!

The Iron Throne

The latest (and last before the premiere?) Artisans is now up, featuring the production designer Gemma Jackson as she gives viewers a detailed look at the throne room in the Red Keep… and, of course, the Iron Throne:

Reviews and Interviews Galore

Boy, these things are piling up! A quick roundup of the latest reviews, interviews, and other Game of Thrones-related items:

  • One of the biggest pieces of news is HBO’s innovative plans for airing the first episode of the series. After the initial airing at 9PM, two follow up airings will take place back-to-back. More amazingly, however, on Monday HBO will air the series on six of its channels simultaneously at 9PM. The cumulative viewership numbers should be quite remarkable, if everything goes to plan. More information can be found at The Hollywood Reporter.
  • George R.R. Martin shares his Top 10 Fantasy Films over at the Daily Beast.
  • A quick look at some reviews: Slice of Sci-Fi, On the Stick, Variety blogger Jon Weisman, The Phoenix
  • And a particular pointer to this podcast discussion from Daniel Feinberg and Alan Sepinwall, where they spend 20 minutes(!) discussing the show, and that with a great deal of praise.
  • The Radio Times in the UK has an exclusive gallery of photos, a number of which we’ve not seen before.
  • Interviews and profiles galore: remarks from Mark Addy, Alfie Allen and Emilia Clarke, Richard Madden, executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss, Kit Harington, and piece with Sean Bean.
  • The Atlantic has begun a series of five posts with takes on the series. First up, Alyssa Rosenberg, followed by Adam Serwer. These are particularly thoughtful pieces, written by writers more generally involved in cultural and political commentary than television criticism.
  • David J. Peterson, creator of the Dothraki language for the show, attended a screening in Los Angeles and wrote a report.

 

An Unexpected Death

Just finished a great conference call with George R.R. Martin regarding HBO’s Game of Thrones, with a full write up later in the week. But there was one very interesting piece of information that we thought fans would want to know now, rather than later:

According to GRRM, a character is killed in this 1st season of the series who does not die until the 3rd novel. Because of spoilers, he chose not to discuss it further (I tried!), but he did indicate it was a male character.

Benioff and Weiss deliberately made the change, which has interesting implications all of its own… such as already looking to find ways to trim down a potential third season by closing out or greatly compressing elements of A Storm of Swords.

And now, let the speculation begin! For our part, we’ll note that we’re quite certain it’s not a “POV” or “major” character, but someone who might be considered on the second or even third tier.