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.”
This is a pleasant surprise: publisher Devolver Digital has announced that developer Nerial has updated the diverting Reigns: Game of Thrones with over 100 new cards which include a “disasterous” trip to Casterly Rock.
These cards add more emphasis on the Lannisters and the westerlands, which is quite interesting because it might suggest there might well be more updates planned centered around houses, regions, or perhaps even organizations. The game is available on iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, and on Steam. For more about the game, see our post where Linda and I livestreamed some gameplay and answered some questions from viewers.
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.
After the release of the Johnnie Walker White Walker limited edition blended whisky, HBO and DIAGEO have teamed up to now release their limited edition collection of classic single malt whiskys with Game of Thrones-inspired dress. These whiskys are now available for pre-order on Amazon in select EU countries (presently that seems to mean the UK, Italy, and Germany) as well as Malts.com.
We’ll link them all below:
We’re not whisky enthusiasts, but DIAGEO and HBO seem to have put some real thought into this selection, matching up houses (and the Night’s Watch) with whiskys that have some matching quality. For example, the Cardhu Gold Reserve is associated with House Targaryen and Daenerys because of the fact that that distillery was founded by two women, and the Oban was selected to represent the Night’s Watch because the distillery sits beneath a cliff much as Castle Black sits beneath the Wall. Clever.
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:
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
With the new year (hope everyone has had a great one!), HBO has put together a video featuring their upcoming slate of programming with clips from highly anticipated programs such as True Detective, Big Little Lies, Veep... and, of course, Game of Thrones. This features the very first bit of dialogue from the show’s final season, so if you want to see or hear absolutely nothing of the show before it airs, skip it:
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:
HBO and Danielle Nicole have partnered to create a line of Game of Thrones handbags and accessories. This 18-piece collection will feature backpacks, pouches, wristlets, and more featuring the devices and colors of the Lannisters, Starks, and Targaryens. Launching November 8, 2018, the collection was also inspired by the costumes featured on the show, as well as the dragons and direwolves regularly seen in the series.
“For overall inspiration, we turned to the show’s main characters’ costumes, personalities and mythical creatures. We drew upon the fundamentals of the show , which resulted in a dark and romantic collection combined with plenty of dramatic flair,” said Danielle Nicole founder and designer Danielle DiFerdinando. “Since Game of Thrones already has such iconic style and influence on today’s fashion, we used the show’s costumes for direction in designing the pieces. We wanted each material, detail and embellishment to be a direct reference to many of the looks you see in the show.”
” Game of Thrones fans are always looking for new ways to represent their love for the show and their favorite characters ” said Jeff Peters, VP of Licensing and Retail at HBO. “With Danielle Nicole’s new bags and accessories, they can carry their fandom out into the streets and represent the show in their own personal looks”.
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:
“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.
Back in August, we shared the news that HBO had teamed up with Nerial to bring its popular mobile game series, Reigns, to the world of Game of Thrones. Today is the launch date for the game, which is available at the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, and on Steam.
We’ve had the opportunity to play it in beta, and were very impressed by the way it boiled down elements of the series and its characters to its deceptively-simple gameplay. At heart, it’s a strategy game where the player takes on the role of a monarch from the world of Game of Thrones as they’re faced by choices which become increasingly perilous because the player has to strike a balance between the four pillars of their reign—military power, the Faith, the people, and money—so as to avoid a messy and premature end to their reign. And while this is going on, “winter is coming” in the form of the white walkers and their wights.
There’s a fun metatextual narrative, and some interesting quirks to the gameplay. I’ll say we’ve completed the game, but there are character cards and achievements we haven’t yet come across so even when you’re “done” there’ll likely be some things left to explore.
But enough of that. We’ll be live streaming some initial gameplay, and taking questions on the game, the books, the novellas, the TV series, and more for anyone who wants to drop by!
Took awhile for us to get this edited together, but we have our promised 2nd video covering the rest of our trip to Northern Ireland, with a focus on the 2nd annual Winterfell Festival atCastle Ward. Our first post, and video, can be found here.
We’ve one more video from our trip left to share, about 15 more minutes of a second talk with Ian McElhinney. The first talk we edited (and the only complete one) is already online.
HBO and Diaego have announced a partnership to bring Johnnie Walker to Westeros with a collection of nine whiskys. One of the most striking, visually, is the limited-edition White Walker blend best served out of the freezer… and with a special thermochromic ink on the bottle that changes according to temperature. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau had a chance to enjoy it, though normally speaking Jaime Lannister would rather not face a White Walker.
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:
As part of our weekened getaway to Northern Ireland, Linda and I attended the Winterfell Festival held at Castle Ward. Among the events and activities were Q&As and interviews with Mark Addy (King Robert) and Ian McElhinney (Ser Barristan). Below is a video of one of the two public events Mr. McElhinney attended, discussing his career, horsemanship, and of course Game of Thrones.