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More from the Atlantic

The Atlantic’s Alyssa Rosenberg has previously covered George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series for the magazine’s website, and this time she’s back with a thoughtful piece concerning HBO‘s Game of Thrones TV series. Comparing and contrasting the series to other HBO and cable programs, with particular attention to difference in degree between accepting the reality of The Sopranos and The Wire versus that of a full-on, secondary-world fantasy such as Game of Thrones. Rosenberg finishes with the following:

“Winter is coming, both to us, and to the family at the center of Game of Thrones who take those words as their motto. And if HBO can elevate fantasy within the pantheon of serious dramatic TV, an even richer television culture is also on its way.”

Here’s hoping!

Filming Location Details: Inch Abbey

Although filming wrapped last week on HBO’s Game of Thrones, details still come out on occasion concerning the production’s doings. Via DocFourFour, we’ve learned that the Belfast Telegraph-owned Sunday Life newspaper includes a report on the production having filmed at Inch Abbey in Downpatrick. Their report indicates that the site was used for a “renegade camp”, featuring a “Medieval fort” with tents around it, and that there was fake blood at the site.

This is the site where filming took place over at least a couple of days, I believe, around the 10th or 11th. Don’t hold me to it, but I think I recall seeing at the production offices during my set visit in October that Inch Abbey was being used as the site of Moat Cailin in the series. Certainly, I saw Moat Cailin listed, but I’m not 100% positive that Inch Abbey was the real world location associated with it; however, some of the photos of the ruins with tussocks of grass around it strike me as doing reasonably well to indicate the marshy, ruined old citadel of the First Men. If it is Moat Cailin, however, I’m not sure how to reconcile that with the fake blood. Unless different angles or areas of Inch Abbey were used to represent a battle site or something like? Hard to say.

Artisans: Simon Brindle on Armor

Oh, I’ve been waiting for this one. Simon Brindle, the supervisor of the costume armor department, speaks in some detail about the costume armor for HBO’s Game of Thrones. I had the pleasure of meeting Simon when I visited the Paint Hall facilities, and had a chance to discuss some of the sources and inspirations for the various suits of armor. There’s some truly amazing work being turned out from his shop!

Game of Thrones in Australia

Thanks to Conan Stevens, we’ve learned details on where HBO’s Game of Thrones will be airing in Australia. Conan writes that he’s learned the plan at present is for a possible July air date on Showcase, a premium channel which can be found on the Foxtel, Optus, and Austar television platforms.

Paint Hall Expansion

The Northern Ireland government has pledged £5 million to build new studios in support of the film industry there. As the Telegraph reports, efforts will focus on expanding the Paint Hall facilities, which HBO’s Game of Thrones has fully occupied but will be relinquishing this week now that filming is about wrapped.

This article is yet another that vaguely implies that the 2nd season is a certainty, with the only question being where it might film. However, many of these articles build on one another. As we’ve said elsewhere, the production will certainly be laying the groundwork for a second season now… but the greenlight will only come after the April premiere at the earliest, once ratings are in.

Making Game of Thrones: Dothraki Lessons

Over at the Making Game of Thrones site, David J. Peterson—creator of the Dothraki language for the production—has a lengthy post titled, “Dothraki 101”, which provides just what you’d think: an introductory lesson in the grammar and vocabulary of Dothraki.

David promises to provide more lessons in future posts. The Language Creation Society’s official Dothraki website can be found at their website, while we’d also recommend taking a look at Dothraki.org, an unofficial fan site created to catalog all the details released (and published) so far concerning the Dothraki language.

Rory McCann Interview

The Daily Express has a brief interview with Rory McCann, cast in the role of Sandor Clegane. Rather amazing tale there, and it sounds like this role came to him at the best possible time. The one note about the article? Some of the facts and figures are inaccurate—it’s a bit more expensive than £25 million, and it is not an HBO-BBC co-production.

The Street of Steel

Back in September, fans stumbled across the blog of photographer Wolf Sunkmanitu, where he stated he had stumbled across a set on Malta for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Now, on the verge of the first season filming wrapping, he’s posted an extensive gallery of his photography from Malta ... including quite a few pictures from the Street of Steel set in Mdina which we caught glimpses of in the “Inside Game of Thrones” preview starting here.

At Sunmanitu’s gallery, the first of the Street of Steel photos—available for purchase as prints, as with the rest of his galler—can be found starting here. The amount of set dressing and the great number of quite mundane props—bellows, anvils metalworking tools, and more—has certainly transformed what’s nomrally a thoroughfare through modern Mdina into a bazaar-like street in King’s Landing. I do believe this room is the same as Tobho Mott’s forge, seen
here.

Wrapping Up Season One

Sometime on Wednesday afternoon or evening, the last, “Cut”, will be called, and the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones will have seen filming completed. The wrap party already took place this past weekend, as much of the foreign crew will be gone by this coming weekend, departed back to home. What’s left now is weeks more of post-production, such as introducing scoring, visual effects, and so on. We already know the writing and production team will be doing preparatory work in case the show gets greenlit for a second season, so we expect at least a couple of scripts and a good deal of location work (including word that Iceland and/or Morocco are under consideration as shooting locations for the East and the lands beyond the Wall) will be done in the intervening months.

We know that on January 7th, the critics of the Television Critics Association will be getting a glimpse of the production through a long panel schedule to feature the executive producers, GRRM, and actors Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, and Emilia Clarke. Word has it they’ll be getting an exclusive look at the show proper, as well—except a lot of Twitter and blog activity on the night.

And after that? The march towards the April premiere date—we suspect that the actual day will be announced at the TCA Winter Press Tour—with gradually increasing promotion and marketing efforts. The official t-shirts are, to say the least, just a start…

Making Game of Thrones: Dothraki Raiding

Another post from Bryan Cogman has gone live at Making Game of Thrones, and this time we’re at Manikata in Malta where the Lhazreen village scenes were filmed a number of weeks ago.

In the post, Cogman discusses a scene being filmed there, where the Dothraki are looting. Most notably, the scene is “almost entirely” spoken in Dothraki, a language created for the show based on what George R.R. Martin has written. The scene features Drogo admonishing an insubordinate warrior in no uncertain terms. Bryan signs off with the following lengthy example of Dothraki: “Eyél várthasoe she ilekaán ríkhoya arrekaán vékha vósi yeroón vósma tolórro!” We’re guessing the last word is the same as in Vaes Tolorro, where Tolorro means bones.

TCA Winter Press Tour

For three hours on January 7th, HBO will be presenting its programming to critics at the Television Critics’ Association Winter Press Tour. Past TCA events have produced a bounty of information concerning Game of Thrones—from remarks on why HBO greenlit it to the Spring 2011 scheduling—and with the premiere of the show coming before the next TCA press tour (in the Summer), this seems like it’s going to be the point in time when HBO will really focus on the production.

A number of the critics present will certainly be live-blogging and live-tweeting the event, and we’ll be staying up to collate all the major news. The event will be running from 3:15 to 6:15 PM, and we won’t be surprised if a good twenty or thirty minutes of that is exclusively about the production. Maybe even longer, if it so happens that the critics are screened the first episode, which we know has gone through final edit, Presentation participants are tentatively set (but subject to change), as well: executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, actors Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, and Emilia Clarke, and a certain George R.R. Martin.

Many thanks to Jace Lacob of Televisionary for providing the date and time information of the TCA panel.

Inside Game of Thrones Screencaps Complete

Real life and hardware problems made it take longer than I wanted, but we’ve now fully commented the 142 images we’ve captured from the full version of HBO’s “Inside Game of Thrones” promo. Additional scenes not shown on the web include Tyrion and Jon conversing about why the Imp reads so much, the discovery of the dead direwolf and her pups, and some dialogue between Dany and Jorah Mormont.

To visit the gallery, go to the Previews section of Gallery, or you can start moving sequentially from the images beginning with this.

As I said on Twitter, cue Queen’s “We Are the Champions”:

Official Game of Thrones Merchandise

HBO surprised us when they tweeted that the official store had, for a limited time only, official Game of Thrones t-shirts available on sale. Quite the surprise—pretty sure it’s not common for them to release merchandise for a show that hasn’t yet aired! Currently, only men’s shirts are available.

Another pleasant surprise is the fact that they’ve copies of all four of GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels available as well. Very cool.

On HBO’s Branding and Marketing

Myles McNutt of Cultural Learnings, a commentator on the media and television critic, shares a thoughtful analysis of how HBO is marketing itself and Game of Thrones in light of last night’s Inside Game of Thrones explosion of fan joy.

It’s a thought provoking piece, providing a perspective that few regular viewers are likely to think about.

(And yes, we’re still screencapping. Not even half way through!)

Inside Game of Thrones Screen Caps

I’ll have to call it a (very brief) day and leave off screencapping—I’ve now gone 24 hours without sleep! However, I’m about a quarter of the way done through the images we’ve collected, and they’re all commented. If you’d like to see them (and add your own comments), please go here, starting with this image.

Still over a hundred images to annotate. Amazing amounts of visual detail, and some things which I think I can now talk about from my Belfast visit because they’ve been revealed here.