Game of Thrones

HBO's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' TV Show

News

Late July Start for Game of Thrones

An article in the U.K. film and television industry trade website, Broadcast Now, notes that Northern Irish companies are gearing up for the return of Game of Thrones to production. While a representative of HBO has indicated that it’s premature to say that any locations have been set in stone, I think we can say that odds are extremely good for Northern Ireland again being the headquarters for the production.

And of note? A “late July” start has been stated by the production. This fits with what we’ve heard elsewhere. Some may find it a bit surprising that they’ll start that long after the greenlight, especially with the difficulties this past autumn and winter caused for them due to weather, but it seems like the production is very comfortable with this date.

Late July causes another question, though. That’s when San Diego Comic Con takes place. Is HBO skipping out on it? We find that incredibly unlikely, and just as unlikely is their giving the show a presence there but not having key cast members on hand for the inevitable, massive panel. So we’re going to have to suppose that “late July” could mean some time after July 24th (the final day of the convention).

Episode 2 Ratings

Although the show already landed the greenlight for a second season, some have been wondering how the ratings would go in the second week. James Hibberd at Entertainment Weekly provides the answer: steady. Despite it being an Easter Sunday, the show seems to have held onto the premiere viewership of 2.2 million people, and added an additional 723,000 viewers when it was repeated at 11PM.

Hibberd also notes that the first episode, including all repeats through the week, On Demand viewings, and other such outlets, has reached 6.8 million viewers so far.

It’s hard to gauge whether “holding steady” under the circumstances is a good, bad, or rather neutral sign. At a guess, the viewership across the whole of this week will be a more interesting indicator of what the show’s early impact will be, but even then it’ll be too early to tell if it’ll have legs and start growing an audience.

New Feature: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages

Thanks to our content partnership with MTV Geek, we’ve a new feature article to share for those interested in the series. Dr. Catherine Smith-Akel, a scholar of Medieval studies, approaches her first read of A Game of Thrones from a historical perspective, teasing out parallels between history (English history, primarily, in this first piece) and the story. It’s a good read if you’ve an interest in the historical antecedents to some of the characters and places.

Read Part I of Smith-Akel’s A Historical Dissection of A Game Of Thrones.

Reactions and Previews

Besides our episode guide, with our commentary and recap, there were quite a few notable recaps, reviews, and reactions released immediately following the airing of “The Kingsroad”. Plus, HBO’s released a preview of the next episode. See below for some of the highlights!

Recap and Analysis of “The Kingsroad”

Enjoyed that episode, didn’t you? With maybe a quibble or two?

See our detailed recap and analysis, our list of notable changes and added scenes, and a few sample images depicting scenes and moments from the episode! And after that, make sure to visit our forum to discuss it with fellow fans.

The Weapon Master

We’ve posted a new item in our Game of Thrones Features section, an interview with the weapon master for the production, Tommy Dunne. With over fifteen years of experience, he has worked on some very high-profile projects, both on Hollywood film projects and for HBO. Now leading the Armory department for Game of Thrones, Mr. Dunne fills us in on some of his background, some of the decisions made for the weapon and designs, and what’s become of King Robert’s warhammer.

Read the interview!

Previews, Exclusives, and Contests

A number of little things to post about, so here they go in easily digestible chunks. Make sure to watch the clips at the bottom, as they’re good fun.

  • HBO has revealed that their subscriber streaming service HBO GO has some exclusive (and fascinating) content attached to each episode. This exclusive content includes detailed maps, pop-up “author commentaries” with remarks from GRRM, 360-degree looks at locations and even objects (some amazingly high-resolution-seeming shots of Robert’s crown, Ice, and Lyanna’s effigy), family trees, and more.
  • For Swedes, it’s worth noting that Cinema magazine has a contest to secure tickets for the May 3rd screening of the first two episodes in a theater in Stockholm.
  • Similarly, HBO has a sweepstakes you should really check out (U.S. residents only). A chance to win a clutch of dragon eggs? Awesome. It should be noted that Sky Atlantic has a similar contest (U.K./Ireland only).
  • A couple of clips for this Sunday’s episode have been released, featuring Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister in an interesting (and non-book) scene, as well as a scene from the books featuring Daenerys and her handmaidens. You can find them below. Can you spot Mikken in the first one?
Four New Interviews

AOL TV in the UK has a few exclusive interviews with members of the cast of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which airs in the UK exclusively on Sky Atlantic. The cast members in the following videos include Sean Bean, Jason Momoa, Mark Addy, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau:

Game of Thrones Submitted for Emmys

A report has just gone out revealing HBO’s category placements for Game of Thrones (as well as HBO’s other big show, Boardwalk Empire). The voting members have apparently received an “impressive screener package”, and HBO has noted the following category placements for the show:

Race and Gender in Game of Thrones

In the wake of the first episode, we have seen several people take issue with—on Twitter as well as on various forums—the show’s portrayal of certain issues relating to race and gender. There has also been some lively discussion on our own forum, such as here and here. Please note that both topics are ones that allow spoilers from the books to be posted.

A commentary of our own can be found in our newest article, a brief consideration of the criticism directed towards the show and the books on these matters.

Coster-Waldau Interviewed

All the great press around the show has started to overshadow some of the interviews, but we thought that these two interviews with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) were worth noting. First, this “tease” from TV.com which includes his musing question, “The one thing I don’t understand is that sex [in this show] has to be from behind. Why is that?” Don’t worry, Nikolaj, sometimes the ladies are on top!

And then we have Den of Geek with an excellent interview. Note, though, that at one point Coster-Waldau speculates about what his character might be up to in the fifth volume of the series. He is, I reiterate, speculating, and simply emphasizing something about the way GRRM writes his characters. It is not a spoiler!

Renewal Follow-up

James Hibberd on EW had a chat about the renewal with HBO executives Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler, in which they discuss their happiness with the viewership. They note that its numbers are stronger than True Blood‘s were in its first season, and they predict it’s a “slow build” show that will win over more viewers as more episodes air and they decide that it’s worth watching even if they don’t consider themselves a fan of the genre.

On the other hand, they note that Benioff and Weiss are largely writing this on their own, without help of staff (except the odd free-lanced episode), and they think 10 episodes would be best to keep quality high. Which is, one supposes, an imminently reasonable reason to stick to 10 episodes. But the next season, if we are so lucky (*knock on wood*)? This may be why Benioff and Weiss have suggested that they wouldn’t mind splitting the third book into two seasons.

GRRM Reveals S2 Script Duties

Via Variety (and, actually, a recent interview or two), George R.R. Martin has revealed what section of the second series he’ll be writing. A bit of spoiler protection is in order…

Game of Thrones Renewed!

Apologies for the down time ... but surely it mitigates a bit to know…

... that Game of Thrones has been renewed! GRRM has posted the press release, which we’ll copy below. He is, obviously, very excited! A minimum of ten new episodes seems sure, but George expresses his hopes (and ours, we may add) that HBO will order up 12 episodes. Fingers crossed!

This comes after news that while the initial airing had a modest number of viewers—2.2 million as opposed to Boardwalk Empire‘s sensational 4.8m—it had much more competition in terms of the NBA playoffs and baseball. When the two repeats afterward are added to the mix, total viewership on Sunday reached 4.2 million. No numbers are yet available on the Monday airings across six HBO channels, or DVR figures and the like, but we expect we’ll hear more about those soon.

Here’s the release below:

Game of Thrones Media

Explosions of tweeting, post-episode recaps, and more followed yesterday’s premiere of Game of Thrones. We’ve contributed a bit to that, with a recap and review for Suvudu, and a audio podcast with Tom and Daniel of MTV Geek in which we discuss the show.

And, on top of that, we do a star turn *cough* on Sky’s post-episode Thronecast, where we discuss Westeros a bit, and just some quick views on the episode just seen. Uhm ... just ignore the fact that I look like an idiot, glancing down at the monitor rather than looking at the camera. I’ll attempt to do better next time! On the bright side, Linda’s much, much better than I am.

Finally, HBO has joined in the fun, not only releasing an “Inside the Episode” video, but by popular demand they’ve placed the title sequence on Youtube in glorious 720p, exactly as it was meant to be watched! See the embed below: