Game of Thrones: News

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James Cosmo in Pennsylvania

James Cosmo, who plays Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, paid a visit to an old acquaintance to wish them happy birthday. The Beaver County Times provides a report, and it’s what you’d largely expect from a local paper… but we do have a couple of remarks concerning Game of Thrones:

The 62-year-old actor already has moved on to a new HBO medieval-fantasy drama, “Game of Thrones” where he’ll play the lord in charge of an army of knights that guard a protective ice wall in a land where winters last 10 years. Cosmo is confident “Game of Thrones” will be a hit.

“It’s pretty violent, and pretty sexy, with lots of political intrigue,” Cosmo said. “They conjure up a wonderful world. It’s got a ‘Lord of the Rings’ mythical quality to it, but there’s horror elements and zombies and lots of swords and horses.”

Scandinavia Get Game of Thrones in May

It looks like its official: CANAL+ Sweden and Finland (well, they’re one of the Nordic countries—close enough!) have moved from “late spring” to May for its airing of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which means that CANAL+ Norway and CANAL+ Denmark will be following suit as the premier for CANAL+ shows is always the same in these four countries. No exact word on air date, but CANAL+ Sweden informs us that beginning of May is their target and they hope to soon to be able to announce a firmer date. CANAL+ has an official page for the series, which we expect will be updated when the official airdate is decided.

You can read the press release either translated into English or in Swedish as part of a new feature to the site where we will give news particularly relevant to Sweden and Scandinavia in Swedish. Simply look for the links to the Swedish version at the bottom of the article.


Making Game of Thrones: Pronuncation Guide

The Making Game of Thrones site has a new article, by way of Bryan Cogman, which is essentially the official pronunciation guide for the first season.

This Week in Game of Thrones

There’s been a few items of note this last week, though on the whole it’s been a bit quieter. Here’s a round-up of some of the more recent news items that may be of interest of fans of the series:

Warbeck Out, Djawadi In as Composer

Maureen Ryan has broken the news that Stephen Warbeck, the Academy Award-winning composer who we reported was selected to score Game of Thrones, parted ways with the production. His replacement has already been selected, and according to Ryan’s exclusive, it’s film composer Ramin Djawadi.

A protégé of Hans Zimmer who contributed music to a number of Zimmer-scored films, including Batman Begins and Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl, he has since gone on to score a few Hollywood blockbusters in his own right, including Iron Man and Clash of the Titans, while also working in television. A look at his IMDB award pages notes no really notable wins, but he has been nominated for the Emmy and Grammy awards in the recent past.

We’ve put together a playlist of some of his work, including a suite from Clash of the Titans, as well as a short interview. A German-born composer of Persian descent, his mention of a love for Iranian and Middle Eastern music is interesting, as well as his preference for the Romantic composers such as Brahms, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky. A cursory glance at commentary on his work suggests the he has been, at least up to recently, very much in the Hans Zimmer mold, which might suggest that the inclusion of tracks from Gladiator in the 15 minute reel was not purely coincidental—a sign that the Game of Thrones score will be aiming at an epic, cinematic quality?

Producers on Margaret John’s Passing

Following this morning’s sad news that Margaret John, the actress who played Old Nan, had passed away, we have received a statement from executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss regarding the actress:

“We were deeply saddened to hear about Margaret’s passing. She was a warm and wonderful person, and she was completely fantastic in her scenes with Isaac. We wish she could see them… but many people will, and they will love her. We will miss her terribly.”

Again, our condolences to her family and friends. More tributes and obituaries can be found at Wales Online, the Daily Star, and The Guardian.

R.I.P Margaret John

Very sadly, we must share the news from the BBC that Margaret John has passed away at the age of 84, after a short illness. The Welsh actress was much beloved, being called a national treasure by BBC documentary makers. Her casting as Old Nan was met with excitement by fans who were quickly endeared to her after watching her teach viewers how to make Welsh cakes for St. David’s Day on a BBC Wales video.

Her voice over for the extended teaser is a memorable one, and cemented the opinion of many fans that she would make an excellent Old Nan. Our condolences to her family and he friends, especially all of those who had the honor and the pleasure to meet and work with her during the filming of HBO’s Game of Thrones:

Screencap Gallery Updated

We’ve updated our Behind the Scenes gallery with 44 new images (starting here), taken from the Buster Reeves Artisan’s video released at Making Game of Thrones a couple of weeks ago. Lots of details of fight scenes, but the image we’re highlighting here depicts a character from the books that has not previously been named: Dareon, the singer’s apprentice sent to the Wall for allegedly raping Lord Rowan’s daughter. He’s the fellow on the left.

The actor is probably more along the lines of a featured extra, and may not even have any lines, but I saw him being addressed as Dareon while I was watching some of the filming at Magheramorne (if anyone knows the actor’s full name, do let us know!. I suspect some of the other Night’s Watch recruits in the background may also be given names after some of the other recruits from the novel, such as Cuger and Halder.

In other news, expect our exclusive set reports from my visit to Belfast in October—which we started but then had to postpone to hash out some details—to resume later this month, with some exclusive pictures and details that we haven’t yet had the opportunity to report.

Game of Thrones in Sweden

Although we’ve previously reported information on when Game of Thrones will premiere in Sweden via pay-cabler Canal+ (April/May is as specific as we’ve been able to get so far), we haven’t been able to remark on public broadcasts because there was very little information. Until now, that is, after Göran Danasten (SVT’s head of fiction acquisition) tweeted that he was going to be see the show (presumably its first episode or episodes) next week.

This seemed a tip-off that SVT had acquired or was in the process of acquiring the program, and further conversation with Mr. Danasten confirmed this—SVT will be airing Game of Thrones in Sweden. As to when, there are no exact dates as of yet, but we’ve been told that Canal+ has an exclusivity period, so probably no earlier than the end of 2011.

Making Game of Thrones: Arya’s Needlework

Oh, this is an excellent entry in the fantastic series of Artisan’s videos from Making Game of Thrones, as we get a great introduction to Maisie Williams, the young actress playing Arya and learn something of what it was like for her to learn how to fight with a sword for the role. Also, a few glimpses of Syrio, and what certainly looks like some rehearsal of a major scene for both characters…

 

Game of Thrones on Saturdays in UK?

An article focusing on Sky’s upcoming plans provides a tidbit of information which I believe narrows down when Game of Thrones is likely to premiere on Sky Atlantic (which begins to air tomorrow, February 1st, and will be free to all Sky customers through August). This paragraph seems to be a giveaway:

“Sky Atlantic will screen its best shows at 9pm on Saturdays, attempting to win the sort of reputation that HBO enjoys in America for its Sunday night schedule. “I’m not pretending we will take millions of viewers away from The X Factor but it’s a brilliant high quality alternative for people who are a bit bored of the current offering on Saturday nights,” says Murphy, who argues that the cost of Sky is no more than many British HBO fans pay for boxsets.”

If that holds, and Sky doesn’t run any special “preview” airings of the premiere closer to the U.S. air date, I’ll go out on a limb and predict April 23rd as the launch of the series on Sky Atlantic. April 30th is the only other Saturday in April that’s available, but with almost two weeks between it and the U.S. premiere, it seems to us that Sky will recognize that for the error that it is. Of course, there are fans who’ll be hoping for an airing on the Monday following the U.S. airing, much as HBO Central Europe seems to be getting, and so this may be disappointing. Still, it’s only speculative right now, as Sky Atlantic has not confirmed an air date for the series as of yet.

L.A. Times Predicts Success

Game of Thrones has just gotten something of a stamp of approval (or at least of very positive anticipation) from the L.A. Times in its Hero Complex pop culture blog, as blogger Amy Ratcliffe gives five reasons why HBO’s new series may be a big success. Some excellent points in there, although in the comments I did suggest one of them could use a little clarification.

Five reasons is all well-and-good, but we imagine we could come up with a few more. What would you suggest, if we wanted to make a list with ten reasons?

Making Game of Thrones: More Dothraki

David J. Peterson continues the Dothraki lessons over at Game of Thrones, providing some insight into the Dothraki culture while he’s doing it. An additional PDF download is included at the end, providing an excellent beginner’s overview of the vocabulary and grammar covered so far. We look forward to it being expanded over time! Until then, the unofficial Dothraki fansite is a good repository of what’s known so far.

Around the Web

Here’s a quick round-up of some items from the last few days that we thinks fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones might find of interest. We’ve tweeted them, but haven’t yet had an opportunity to post them up:

 

MTV Interviews David and Dan

Wrapping up, we think, MTV’s initial spate of interview videos from TCA is a brief interview piece with Game of Thrones executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The interviewer, fellow ASoIaF-fan Kara Warner, tells us there’ll be much more to come when we come nearer to the April 17th premiere date. Until then, enjoy the interview as David and Dan explain how they would describe the show to people who might be turned off by the fantasy label: