Game of Thrones

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HBO Ends Hold on Paint Hall Studio

A friend in Belfast brought to our attention this breaking news from the Belfast Telegraph, revealing that HBO has served notice that it will no longer be holding on to its lease on the sprawling Paint Hall studio complex following the wrapping up of the “Long Night” prequel.

More importantly, however, the article indicates that NI Screen was aware that the House of the Dragon prequel series was definitely or at least unlikely to be filmed in Northern Ireland, which is a shock to some but perhaps not to others:

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(Above: A photo from the season 1 set visit, taken in the bowels of the Paint Hall as Bryan Cogman led George R.R. Martin, Parris McBride [the photographer], and I between sets.)

House of the Dragon Series Order Announced

News is moving fast. We posted just a little while ago about Condal’s series getting a rumored pilot order… and now word is that the show, titled House of the Dragon, now has a full series order for ten epiodes, according to Variety. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik will be co-showrunners, with George R.R. Martin and Vince Gerardis as executive producers alongside.

This is an amazingly fast news day, to say the least.

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Fire and Blood Pilot Allegedly Going Forward

In all the reactions to the news that Jane Goldman’s pilot has gotten a pass from HBO, we missed Michael Ausiello of TV Line—who we know has a lot of sources in the industry—reporting that the Ryan Condal-helmed Fire & Blood-based project has an official order for its pilot. To quote Ausiello:

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Long Night Pilot Dead at HBO

According to Deadline, the Jane Goldman-led pilot set in the era leading up to the Long Night is not getting a series pickup from HBO. While there’s no official statement from HBO to this end, reporting has it that Goldman has been contacting cast and crew to inform them of this.

As we noted at Worldcon, Linda and I did some consulting work on the project. Our interaction with Jane and fellow executive producer James Farrell impressed us with their dedication and interest in the setting and its history.

Some guessed this might be the outcome after word spilled last month that a new pilot was nearing an order from HBO, one somehow based on the Targaryen history in the Targaryen history presented in Fire & Blood (Amazon) and being developed by Ryan Condal. At his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin spoke very approvingly of the bible and pilot script Condal had put together, but so far there has been no clear confirmation that this is the next pilot to be filmed.

Addendum: Over at EW, James Hibberd shares more news about the pilot being passed on, including a quote from one of the actors prior to the news discussing it, as well as Hibberd’s information on Condal’s proposed pilot which Hibberd indicates will lead into the Dance of the Dragons.

Dance of the Dragons Pilot Nears Order

Exclusive word from Entertainment Weekly, who has the scoop that HBO is “nearing a pilot order” for a second prequel, this one with a script written by Ryan Condal (who is noted to be one of several writers who have worked on it). And the subject of that prequel? The Dance of the Dragons, first described in detail in The World of Ice and Fire and then expanded upon in even greater detail in Fire & Blood.

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Prequel Pilot Filming Begins

“Bloodmoon”—the likely-temporary title for the Game of Thrones prequel headed by Jane Goldman—has officially begun filming, according to a report from James Hibberd at EW. There were rumors filming in fact started last month, but those flew in the face of Casey Bloys and others indicating that June was the start date.

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GRRM on Successors

In his most recent Not a Blog entry, GRRM ran over various items of note—including Fire and Blood in getting back into the NYT bestseller list, the successful release of Starport (and the possibility that follow-ups may indeed be a possibility, which we noted  in our review of the graphic novel), and even a touch of politics at the end—but for the Game of Thrones fans what must have turned out was his update on the status of various Game of Thrones successor shows.

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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.