Game of Thrones

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

News

Production

Behind the Scenes: VFX

Two weeks left for the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones, and another behind the scenes video has appeared on HBO’s official Youtube channel of the series. This time, the focus is on the often-spectacular visual effects of the series:

The first episode premieres April 14th.

HBO Announces Game of Thrones: The Last Watch Documentary

HBO has just announced that on May 26th—the week after the airing of the final episode of Game of Thrones—a two hour documentary by filmmaker Jeanie Finaly covering the filming of the final season.

You can read the press release below:

For a year, acclaimed British filmmaker Jeanie Finlay was embedded on the set of the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” chronicling the creation of the show’s most ambitious and complicated season.

Debuting SUNDAY, MAY 26 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), one week after the series finale, GAME OF THRONES: THE LAST WATCH delves deep into the mud and blood to reveal the tears and triumphs involved in the challenge of bringing the fantasy world of Westeros to life in the very real studios, fields and car-parks of Northern Ireland.

Behind the Scenes: Camera Work

Another week, another look behind the scenes of Game of Thrones. This time, camera operate Sean Savage discusses his time behind the camera for all eight seasons of the show:

Game of Thrones Art Books Forthcoming

Fans have been wondering whether Game of Thrones, its final season just around the corner, will release art and photography books along the lines of those seen for The Lord of the Rings. Well, they need wonder no longer thanks to Insight Editions which is publishing not one, not two, but four separate books delving into all manner of aspects of the show’s production. And all of them can be pre-ordered now on Amazon. Here’s a rundown:

  • Game of Thrones: The Storyboards - Due Summer 2019, this 320 page art book contains storyboards from artist William Simpson, who’s worked on the show from the beginning.
  • The Photography of Game of Thrones - Another 320 page book, this one due November 2019, collecting Helen Sloan’s extensive photography across all the seasons of the show.
  • The Art of Game of Thrones - 320 pages, due October 2019, devoted to production art for the series. This would include things like matte paintings, character and location designs, and more.
  • Game of Thrones: The Costumes - The shortest of the books, listed at 224 pages due November 2019, this will undoubtedly present photographs and design sketches of Michelle Clapton’s award-winning costumes on the show.
Behind the Scenes with Game of Thrones

HBO has released a video from behind the scenes, focused on the award-winning work of the makeup and prosthetic team on Game of Thrones. A lot of close looks at White Walkers, children and the forest, and more:

And on the same day, EW released a pictorial focused on the weapons of the TV shows, with comments from Tommy Dunne, the weapons master on the show who oversaw the armoury that produced the weapons seen in the series.

New HBO Head Talks Thrones Spinoffs

The recent announcement that long-time HBO head Richard Plepler was leaving the company following word that the recent merger of AT&T and Time Warner meant some significant reorganization caused something of a stir. The rumors that Bob Greenblatt, formerly head of NBC, would come over to take over have panned out,  with HBO and Turner now being folded into a new entity, WarnerMedia.

This has led to fans of Game of Thrones and HBO in general wondering what the future holds. Greenblatt has provided some interviews, and one in particular to The Wrap touches directly on the topic of the potential of a Game of Thrones franchise. The headline that goes with this might seem alarming—“New HBO Boss Bob Greenblatt Doesn’t Know if Doing 2 ‘Game of Thrones’ Spinoffs Is Feasible â`“ Let Alone One”—but reading the actual quotes suggest that it’s overstating Greenblatt’s remarks.

EW Game of Thrones Special Issue

EW has begun the onslaught of Game of Thrones promotion with a bang, unleashing a special issue with sixteen different covers—pairing pretty well with the twenty official photos HBO released over the weekend.

The special issue, their largest yet at 78 pages, features a lot of behind-the-scenes details about filming of the final season. As a taste, EW has a lengthy set report filled with anecdotes, veiled hints, quotes, and more. Here’s a teaser:

“What we have asked the production team and crew to do this year truly has never been done in television or in a movie,” says co-executive producer Bryan Cogman. “This final face-off between the Army of the Dead and the army of the living is completely unprecedented and relentless and a mixture of genres even within the battle. There are sequences built within sequences built within sequences. David and Dan [wrote] an amazing puzzle and Miguel came in and took it apart and put it together again. It’s been exhausting but I think it will blow everybody away.”

 

Game of Thrones Prequel Production Date Set

According to EW, the Game of Thrones prequel/successor headed by Jane Goldman is set to begin production in the early Summer. James Hibberd reports that Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming president, has previously indicated that a new show won’t air until at least a year has passed from the airing of the last season of Game of Thrones, so a late 2020 or 2021 premiere for the show if it’s ordered to series. Whether “The Long Night”—as George R.R. Martin unofficially calls it—will make it that far is anyone’s guess, but the pilot’s cast has shaped up, with Naomi Watts headlining.

Final Season Premiere Date Video

After much anticipation and guesswork, HBO has announced the date for the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones. That date, according to the new, poignant teaser is April 14th:

New Prequel Casting Announced

From EW, the pilot production for HBO’s new Game of Thrones successor show—“The Long Night”, as George calls it (but HBO tells him not to)—has collected eight new actors as well as announed its director.

Veteran TV director S.J. Clarkson will direct. Her credits include HBO’s prestige series Vinyl (which, sadly, failed to draw in viewers), Jessica Jones, Life on Mars, and much more—and

is

was set to helm the as-yet unnamed new Star Trek film. Joining her and the previously-announced Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse are eight additional actors. See their details below!

#ForTheThrone Videos Reveal April Premiere Date

HBO has posted two videos, with the hashtag #ForTheThrone, to promote the 8th season. In the process, they confirm expectations that the final season will premiere in April, 2019.

The first is more of a direct tease, a montage of key moments from across the seasons:

The second, with a “spoilers ahead” warning, is actually from “A Golden Crown”, the 6th episode of the first season:

More videos have been published since at the official Game of Thrones Youtube channel. There’s more to the announcement from HBO, incuding special events in New York and Los Angeles, special emojis, and more. See the press release below:

The Long Night Casts Two Leads

We were in the midst of writing up our post about yesterday’s big casting news that the splendid Naomi Watts had been cast for the pilot of the Game of Thrones successor/prequel, tenatively titled The Long Night, when news broke of a second lead actor being announced: Josh Whitehouse, a British actor that fans of Poldark (as we are) will recognize as the romantic, tragic Hugh Armitage.

There’s no information to speak of of Whitehouse’s role in the series, but the EW piece by James Hibberd did share this about Watts’ character:

”[Watts’s character is] a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.”

“Socialite” has raised eyebrows among fans, as the sort of society that has a “fashionable” or “high” society doesn’t seem like it would fit a Bronze Age-like era as described in the novels. Some interesting thoughts have been put forward, such as her character actually being from Essos and one of the more advanced civilizations that existed there while Westeros was near to barbaric. For my part, I’m guessing that the term is being used very loosely to indicate a character who has made many alliances through personal connections, a “peace-weaver” if you will, after the fashion of the Anglo-Saxon conception of noblewomen binding feuding tribes together through marriage and through their conduct as hostesses and advisors. But we’ll have to wait and see.

Responding to the news, George R.R. Martin weighed in with the expectation that there’d be more announcements soon (as there has been) and the fact that “a couple” of the pitched projects are still being developed, one or more of which may relate to Fire and Blood and its history of the Targaryens from Aegon I to the regency of Aegon III. The word “couple” might well suggest that of the four or five pitches made to HBO, a couple have now fallen by the wayside. Whether this includes Bryan Cogman’s pitch, which we know involved GRRM closely, we do not know but his recently announced overall deal with Amazon does suggest it.

Westeros in Northern Ireland

By some fortuitous timing, HBO went ahead and announced some big news yesterday, namely that they’re establishing Game of Thrones Legacy attracations which will place key sets in place at relevant filming locations in Northern Ireland. This means sets used for Castle Black, Winterfell, and King’s Landing, and perhaps others, will become official attractions. We’ll include the full press release below… but first, our first video from our visit to Northern Ireland the weekend before last, with a couple of Game of Thrones filming locations and some other notable sites along the way. If you have headphones on, beware there’s some noise from water and wind that may need you to turn things down a bit:

Next video will be on the Winterfell Festival itself! And if you missed it, here’s a taste of that, a Q&A with Ian McElhinney.

Now, on to the press release:

Game of Thrones Final Season to Air First Half 2019

Via EW, HBO exec Casey Bloys provided some light at the end of the tunnel for eager Game of Thrones fans, indicating that the final season of the show will be airing in the first half of 2019. Given that in general the show has started airing in March or April, it seems odds are good for the final season to follow suit.

Besides that, Bloys has also clarified earlier reports sourced from the Belfast Telegraph which indicated an October date for the production of Jane Goldman’s pilot for a Game of Thrones prequel/successor show. Bloys indicated that in fact a director has not yet been found (which may put paid to the idea that Goldman’s gotten Matthew Vaughn on board) and that in fact they’re hoping to get the pilot into production early next year. How this fits into the Telegraph’s report of trying to find a window to use the Paint Hall studio facilities is unclear.

HBO’s New Direction and Prequel News

An interesting set of reports from yesterday touch on HBO’s future and the future of Game of Thrones.

First, the Belfast Telegraph reports that allegedly staff at Paint Hall—the massive studio space used by Game of Thrones as its main base of operations for all of its seasons—have been told that the prequel pilot ordered back in June will begin filming this October.

Suffice it to say, if true, this is a very fast production path by HBO standards. By way of comparison, the original Game of Thrones pilot was ordered in November 2008 but filming did not begin until October 2009—almost a full year after. And Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen show had a pilot order in September, and began filming in May, eight months later.

If the Telegraph’s report is accurate, it’ll just be four months from pilot order to pilot shoot. But it’s important to stress that caveat—it’s entirely possible that October will see the beginnings of pre-production, such as set building, location scouting, and costuming, rather than actual filming. What can it mean, however, if this tight deadline really is true?

We have two thoughts on it.