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How to Write Your Dragon… in a Dance of the Dragons Prequel – A Video Essay

dragonreignofdragonTHUMBNAIL

The recent news that we might be getting a Game of Thrones spinoff featuring the Dance of the Dragons in the not-too-utterly-distant future inspired me to explore how dragons might be portrayed in such a story.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do0-gSRHQlM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

What do you think? Are you excited for the (potential) Targaryen prequel? And what’s your take on dragons? Tell us below.

The post How to Write Your Dragon… in a Dance of the Dragons Prequel – A Video Essay appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Daenerys and Jon Revealed as Playable Characters in Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall RPG Mobile Game

Deanerys Targaryen Abilities 1200x445

Behaviour Interactive, the video game company best known for Dead by Daylight, alongside publisher GAEA and HBO, have revealed that their upcoming mobile strategy RPG Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall will feature multiple character versions of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.

In the game, players can recruit both characters, each with distinct skills and abilities. Reportedly, the plan is to use future updates to roll out additional versions of these characters, as well as introducing beloved characters such as Jaime Lannister, Tormund Giantsbane and Melisandre.

At launch, there will be two versions of Daenerys Targaryen: Lady of Dragonstone and Breaker of Chains. As Lady of Dragonstone, Queen Daenerys is a skillful ruler who can summon her dragon, Drogon, to burn enemies with area of effect damage. As Breaker of Chains, she is a powerful leader who can heal allies, increase ally damage, and manipulate the battlefield.

Jon Snow Abilities 1200x445

Meanwhile, Jon Snow will be available in two versions as well, as Old Bear’s Steward and as King in the North. As the former, Jon is a rounded warrior who can also heal allies and enhance their attacks. As King in the North, he is a versatile and crafty commander who deals devastating blows and improves ally mobility and damage.

Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall is scheduled to launch later this year on the Google Play and the App Store. You may pre-register here for exclusive rewards, and visit the game’s site for more information.

The post Daenerys and Jon Revealed as Playable Characters in Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall RPG Mobile Game appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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George RR Martin clarifies rumors and reports about the Dance of the Dragons spinoff

Dragonstone Rhaegal Viserion Season 8 804

Last week brought surprising Game of Thrones spin-off news, with Deadline dropping a scoop on Thursday: a second spin-off set in the world of Westeros is on the horizon, the publication reports, with a pilot centering on the legendary Dance of the Dragons possibly close to being ordered. Today, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin clarified the report and confirmed that we’re closer to another new Thrones show, in a new blog post.

Martin confirms right off the bat that the first new pilot, the one he prefers to call The Long Night and that has been called Blood Moon by production, has been in post-production and he expects to see a first cut soon. He also mentions that, “Last month in Belfast, I got a behind-the-scenes look at some of her sets, and they were spectacular.”

As for the new show being created by Ryan Condal, GRRM doesn’t tell us the title, but does say, “[It’s] not the obvious title.” This would imply it’s not “(The) Dance of the Dragons”, since that was the title everyone immediately landed on. He confirms the new work does have dragons, and “a script and a bible” and calls them “terrific, first rate, exciting.”

Martin is quick to clear up confusion about terminology surrounding the pilot vs script status, making it clear where they stand. “I do want to point out that ‘moving closer to a pilot order’ is NOT the same thing as ‘getting a pilot order.’ Would that it were. This is encouraging, this is exciting, but don’t buy the couch just yet. When HBO actually gives us a pilot order, you will hear me shouting it from the rooftops. A series order, and I’ll be shouting even louder. But we’ll see. Right now all the signs are good, but nothing is confirmed.”

Martin also confirms that this new script and potential show doesn’t have any affect on the Jane Goldman Blood Moon spinoff, as some have said it does.

For the complete blog entry, head on over to the Not a Blog. Forget about commenting though- he’s wisely disabled comments!

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The Night’s Cast Bonus Episode: Fire & Spinoffs?

Is Dany, like us, daydreaming of more spinoffs and prequels?

Is Dany, like us, daydreaming of more spinoffs and prequels?

There’s big (potential) news in the realm, and if it turns out to be anything of substance, we’ll be seeing much more fire and blood on our small screens in the not-so-distant future — and the Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall, is here to break down exactly what that means (with a healthy bit of speculation sprinkled in)!

On this bonus episode, Petra, Samantha and Vanessa discuss the weekend news that took us by surprise: that HBO is reportedly close to giving the greenlight on a House Targaryen-centered spinoff. Apparently, it could encompass “300 years” of Targaryen history in Westeros, including the bloody civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons that took place more than 150 years before the events of Game of Thrones. What might we see in this spinoff? How did it get to this point in development? We’re here to talk you through it!

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The podcast is available on iTunes and SoundCloud, and you can follow us on Twitter as well. Happy listening!

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Game of Thrones takes home 10 Creative Arts Emmys for season 8!

carice van houten creative emmys red carpet

Don’t worry, you didn’t miss the Emmys on TV tonight if you weren’t paying attention! The Emmy Awards is such a lengthy process that it’s become a three-day affair, with the creative and technical awards spanning two days, announced at separate ceremonies a week before the big live on-air ceremony where we’ll see categories such as Best Actor and Actress in a Drama named. The Creative Arts Emmys took place this weekend, and since Game of Thrones landed a record-breaking 32 nominations for the final season, the show has already bagged an amazing TEN Emmys before the live ceremony has even begun.

Carice van Houten was in attendance, as a nominee in one of the categories announced at tonight’s ceremony; both she and Alfie Allen served as presenters as well.

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The actress unfortunately lost in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. The nominees included:

Carice Van Houten, Game of Thrones
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Apocalypse
Cicely TysonHow to Get Away with Murder
Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Cherry Jones, The Handmaid’s Tale –  winner
Phyilica Rashad, This Is Us

Game of Thrones racked up a staggering number of wins in the categories of:

Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score): Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Ramin Djawadi. The composer was unable to attend to accept his award, unfortunately.

Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour): Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Tim Kimmel, MPSE, Sound Supervisor; Tim Hands, Supervising ADR Editor; Paula Fairfield, Sound Designer; Bradley C. Katona, MPSE, Sound Effects Editor; Paul Bercovitch, Supervising Dialogue Editor; John Matter, Dialogue Editor; David Klotz, Music Editor; Brett Voss, Foley Editor; Jeffrey Wilhoit, Foley Artist; Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit, Foley Artist

Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series: Game of Thrones, Nina Gold, Robert Sterne, Carla Stronge

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Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour): Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Onnalee Blank, Re-Recording Mixer; Mathew Waters, CAS, Re-Recording Mixer;  Simon Kerr, Production Mixer; Danny Crowley, Production Mixer; Ronan Hill, Production Mixer

Outstanding Special Visual Effects: Game of Thrones, “The Bells,” Joe Bauer, Lead Visual Effects Supervisor; Steve Kullback, Lead Visual Effects Producer; Adam Chazen, Visual Effects Associate Producer; Sam Conway, Special Effects Supervisor; Mohsen Mousavi, Visual Effects Supervisor; Martin Hill, Visual Effects Supervisor; Ted Rae, Visual Effects Plate Supervisor; Patrick Tiberius Gehlen, Previs Lead; Thomas Schelesny, Visual Effects and Animation Supervisor

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Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie: Game of Thrones, Rowley Irlam, Stunt Coordinator

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Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series: Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Tim Porter, ACE, Editor

Crispin Green, Editor (for “Winterfell”) and Katie Weiland, ACE, Editor (for “The Iron Throne”) were also nominated but of course, only one GoT episode could win!

Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes: Game of Thrones, “The Bells,” Michele Clapton, Costume Designer; Emma O’Loughlin, Assistant Costume Designer; Kate O’Farrell, Costume Supervisor

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Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic):  Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Jane Walker, Department Head Makeup Artist; Kay Bilk, Makeup Artist; Marianna Kyriacou, Makeup Artist; Nicola Matthews, Makeup Artist; Pamela Smyth, Makeup Artist

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Outstanding Title Design: Game of Thrones, Angus Wall, Creative Director; Kirk Shintani, Art Director; Shahana Khan, Lead Compositor; Ian Ruhfass, 3D Lead; Rustam Hasanov, Lead Conceptual Designer

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Game of Thrones had its share of losses this evening as well. The categories that it went home empty-handed in included:

Outstanding Production Design For a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More): Game Of Thrones, “The Bells,” Deborah Riley, Production Designer; Paul Ghirardani, Art Director; Rob Cameron, Set Decorator. The award went to HBO’s Chernobyl.

Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series (One Hour): Game of Thrones, Jonathan Freeman, ASC, Director of Photography.The award went to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series: Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Kevin Alexander, Department Head Hairstylist; Candice Banks, Key Hairstylist; Nicola Mount, Hairstylist; Rosalia Culora, Hairstylist. The award went to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special: Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Emma Faulkes, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Paul Spateri, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Chloe Muton-Phillips, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Duncan Jarman, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Patt Foad, Special Makeup Effects Artist; John Eldred-Tooby, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Barrie Gower, Prosthetic Designer; Sarah Gower, Prosthetic Designer. The prosthetic makeup prize went to Star Trek: Discovery, no slouch in the makeup game for sure.

Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program: Game Of Thrones, “Fight For The Living: Beyond The Wall Virtual Reality Experience”, HBO and AT&T. Unsurprisingly this one went to Black Mirror: “Bandersnatch“, an interactive episode that was the talk of the internet.

Game of Thrones will be competing for more awards next Sunday on the live on-air ceremony in the categories of  Outstanding Drama, Directing, Writing and many actors will be represented in the acting categories of Outstanding Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The cast is expected to present as well so don’t miss it! Tune in next Sunday, September 22, at 8PM ET on FOX, to watch!

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Emmy nominee Carice van Houten on her “favorite thing” about Game of Thrones

Melisandre the long night

Game of Thrones actress Carice van Houten will cap off a big year with another big night this evening, as she competes for an Emmy. Will she take home the prize? We don’t know, but either way, her controversial character went out well in the show’s final season.

The actress discusses her beginnings with Game of Thrones, Melisandre’s tumultuous turns in Westeros, and more in a new interview with SYFY.

Though it’s the role most associated with her now,  van Houten wasn’t sure she even wanted to go for it initially when approached about the Red Priestess. Though she thought the script was well-written, she says she thought, “Is this for me?’ and reached out to “the biggest fantasy fan she knew”, her ex-boyfriend’s brother, who happens to be comedian/TV host, Seth Meyers. Meyers responded to her questions about GoT with, “Are you crazy? This is the coolest thing ever!”

The rest is history, of course. She took the role, and Melisandre was part of some of the show’s most notorious scenes. “My favorite thing was when [Melisandre] hears that the burning of Shireen was all for nothing,” van Houten tells SYFY, regaarding the moment the priestess comes to realize that King Stannis’ army has abandoned him. The sacrifice of the child earned them nothing, and cost them a great deal. It’s a beautifully acted scene.
Melisandre

“Her whole world comes tumbling down in that moment,” van Houten says. “After Shireen’s death, I felt like I was playing a completely different character.”

The character’s intentions and morality are often debated. But, “I never saw her as evil,” she tells SYFY.  “I didn’t want to play her as a Cruella de Vil. But for a few seasons, I was the most-hated character, because I burnt a child alive. I don’t blame them. But after the Battle of Winterfell, everyone sort of forgot that!”

Carice discusses much more about her character at SYFY, so head on over there to read the full article.

The Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series will be presented tonight at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, where van Houten will be in attendance. Follow along on Twitter as we cheer for Carice and Game of Thrones!

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‘Game of Thrones,’ Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage take home Saturn Awards!

Peter Dinklage seems to be satisfied with 'Game of Thrones' coming to an end when it is.

Peter Dinklage took home another award for Tyrion Lannister at the 2019 Saturn Awards.

Say what you will about the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones (and plenty of people have), but the most-watched show in the history of television is still racking up awards more than four months after it came to its tumultuous conclusion. Case in point: the 2019 Saturn Awards, the annual awards ceremony that honors the best in sci-fi, fantasy, horror and genre fiction.

On Friday the 13th (no, really!) in Los Angeles, Thrones was one of the most awarded entries at the event hosted by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. It led all television shows with nine nominations and was named the best fantasy series on television for its final season.

The cast also dominated acting categories, with Emilia Clarke winning the best television actress award for her portrayal of the doomed Daenerys Targaryen. Peter Dinklage won best supporting actor on television for his role as Tyrion Lannister, besting a field of nominees that included his on-screen brother, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The prize for best younger actor on television went to Maisie Williams, who portrayed Ayra Stark. Will the upcoming spinoff shows — including the history of House Targaryen that is reportedly close to being greenlit — have as much success? Only time will tell.

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Watchers on the Wall Awards Season 8: Best New Costume – Preliminary Round

WOTW AWARDS EASON 8

One of Game of Thrones‘ greatest assets has always been the behind-the-scenes wizardry that brings Westeros to life, and nothing is more magical than the creative costumes on our favorite characters every week. They bring us deeper into the world of the show, with all the fantasy, splendor and grit we could ask for.

That’s why this week it’s time for you the readers to choose your favorite costumes of the final season in the prelims, in the category of Best New Costume!

Please choose your five favorites from the preliminary poll. The ground rules: Select up to FIVE nominees from the poll. You can choose fewer if you like, but you can’t choose more than 5. (Visit the initial WotW Awards post for a complete explanation of the rules and process.)

At the end of one week (Saturday 09/21/19 at 5PM Eastern Time), whichever five costumes have the most votes will continue on to the finals. The results of the poll will be revealed when it’s time to choose the winner of Best New Costume. Thank you, and have fun!

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The Winner of the Dragon Queen Prize Package Giveaway!

Dragon Queen Giveaway

Here at Watchers on the Wall, we threw a huge Dragon Queen Giveaway just for the heck of it last week, and after seven days of gathering submissions from our readers, it’s time to draw a winner!

Just as a reminder, the fiery prize package consists of:

We’re thrilled to announce the lucky winner of this box of Targaryen goodies is…

YD

Congratulations, Young Dragon! A fitting winner indeed.

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared and Liked and commented! Keep on visiting, as we’ll be having more giveaways in the near future, as we usually do with the Watchers on the Wall Awards– where we need your votes, every week! Stop by tomorrow to see the next category up for discussion and voting.

 

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‘Dance of the Dragons’ Civil War Game of Thrones Prequel in Development at HBO!

King's Landing Battle 805 Season 8 The Bells Drogon Daenerys Targaryen Decision

For over a year now we have been reporting on Jane Goldman’s so-called “Blood Moon,” the only green-lit Game of Thrones spin-off pilot among what were once five projects competing against each other to actually go into production. One of those was particularly enticing to many fans—a prequel set more than a century and a half before the events in Game of Thrones, during the Targaryen civil war known as the “Dance of the Dragons.” What made it even more exciting was that it was being developed by fan-favorite Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman. Alas, HBO and Cogman parted ways and he’s off to Amazon now, so that’s not happening… except maybe it is?!

Cogman may not be involved anymore, but the idea isn’t dead in the halls of HBO!

Deadline had the scoop: reportedly, a pilot order is close to be given by HBO for this prequel project developed by author George R.R. Martin himself and by Colony co-creator Ryan Condal, who will presumably be the showrunner if the show is green-lit.

Unsurprisingly given the time period, the project is said to be heavily based on Martin’s “Fire & Blood”, his recently released volume all about Targaryen history. Since Martin has obviously been thinking about Targaryens a lot, perhaps it’s not a coincidence that Condal and Martin have apparently been working on this project in secret since fall 2018!

Martin Fire & Blood

Despite the similar premise to Cogman’s proposal, this is described as a “brand new take” on the material. Speaking of said material, “Fire & Blood” spans hundreds of years, from Aegon’s Conquest 300 years before the beginning of Game of Thrones to more than a century later with the Dance of the Dragons, the civil war that is often pinpointed as the beginning of the end of the Targaryen dynasty. So, unless the show takes an uncharacteristically anthological approach, it would be fixed on one time period. Indeed, according to Deadline “the war will be a significant part of the TV adaptation.” At the same time, Deadline claims the show would begin “300 years” before the original show, so perhaps the story will tackle numerous time periods. We’ll have to wait and see!

So there you have it! If you were worried about the more distant, legendary Long Night setting for “Blood Moon”, or you simply prefer dragons to White Walkers, this may be the show for you—if Deadline is correct and HBO is close to ordering a pilot for it, that is. We’ll keep you informed of any developments!

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The cast of Game of Thrones presenting at the 2019 Emmys!

Daenerys Targaryen Toast Season 8 804

The Emmys are Coming! And with them just around the corner, the Television Academy has announced the first group of presenters set to hand out the awards live at the 71st Emmy Awards on September 22. Unsurprisingly the show will feature the Game of Thrones cast, as the Emmys always has a strong showing from the GoT cast on the red carpet but this year there will be a huge turnout on the stage as well.

According to the official Emmys press release, GoT stars and current Emmy nominees Alfie Allen, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Carice van Houten, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Maisie Williams will all present this year. The award categories are not yet specified.

Tune into the ceremony airing live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 22,  from 8:00PM-11:00 PM ET (5:00PM-8:00 PM PT) on FOX to find out if Game of Thrones will take home any awards. They’re nominated for a record number of Emmys this year- 32- but with the show competing against itself in some categories, there is bound to be a lot of vote-splitting. Either way, it’ll be fun to see the cast turning out in force on the red carpet one more time!

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WotW Exclusive: New Trailer for The Photography of Game of Thrones!

Cover Photography of GoT wide

Announced in the spring just ahead of the final season,  it’s now close to the time when we can finally get our hands on The Photography of Game of Thrones, written by GoT principal unit photographer Helen Sloan, with Michael Kogge, along with a foreword by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The deluxe tome offers a behind the scenes look at Game of Thrones over the years, with beautiful photos and fresh info about the show. The best of Sloan’s collection, along with the work of the unit photography team, is featured in the new book.

It’s due out November 5th, and Watchers on the Wall is happy to debut a new trailer highlighting The Photography of Game of Thrones. Preorder today!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDfxPs-fMQs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

A sampling of the rich images and pages you’ll be seeing in the The Photography of Game of Thrones, show stills and behind the scenes:

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 13

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged)

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 14

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 11

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 5

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 4

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 3

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 2

Pre-order The Photography of Game of Thrones now to receive your copy in November. Also coming this November is The Art of Game of Thrones, written by Deborah Riley, with Jody Revenson. Our coffee tables will be full and happy this holiday season!

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The Night’s Cast Episode 28: Summer School at the Citadel, Part 3

Caption

At least there were no, um, hands-on aspects to our summer school classes.

Okay, fine — technically, summer is over (and winter is coming!). But The Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall, still has one more history class to teach, so settle in for the last time this semester!

This week, Vanessa, Petra and Samantha wrap up their guest teaching slots at the Citadel by covering the basics of the Long Night (in case you need a refresher) and some of the mysterious civilizations of Essos — one or more of which will figure into the still-tentatively-titled prequel in the works, Blood Moon.

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The podcast is available on iTunes and SoundCloud, and you can follow us on Twitter as well. Happy listening!

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Watchers on the Wall Awards Season 8: Best Dramatic Scene – Preliminary Round

WOTW AWARDS EASON 8

We’ve got a huge category for you all this week in the Watchers on the Wall Awards preliminaries: Best Dramatic Scene. If there’s anything Game of Thrones know how to bring on every week, it’s drama, so we have dozens of nominees in our prelim category for you all to peruse and narrow down.

What defines the best in drama? Well that’s up to you. There may be tears, there may be action, there may be love, there may be blood. Whatever it is, it’s the best of the best in season 8. And there can be only five that make it to the final round!

Please choose your five favorites from the preliminary poll. The ground rules: Select up to FIVE nominees from the poll. You can choose fewer if you like, but you can’t choose more than 5. (Visit the initial WotW Awards post for a complete explanation of the rules and process.)

At the end of one week (Sunday 09/14/19 at 12PM Eastern Time), whichever five scenes have the most votes will continue on to the finals. The results of the poll will be revealed when it’s time to choose the winner of Best Dramatic Scene in a few weeks.

The list of nominations, provided by our readers, is very long, so make sure to read through to the very end before making your final five selections!

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Pondering the People’s Choice Awards for Game of Thrones Season 8: An Analysis

Qyburn 2

Game of Thrones season 8 might have come and gone, but awards season is here to stay. As we know, the Emmys are coming up on September 22nd, for which GOT is nominated for, well, a few awards. But while the Emmys are the big name in show business for all things TV, there are still tons of other awards circuits that are making the rounds. For example, while the Emmys are voted for by members of the Television Academy, just this week, nominations came out for the People’s Choice Awards. Not being a TV industry insider, I have some thoughts and some feelings myself. Now, the critics and insiders of the TV industry who nominated GOT season 8 for the most Emmys of a single season in TV history are just that – insiders, right? Surely, the ‘people’ would “put season 8 in its place.” Well…

The People’s Choice Awards covers both TV as well as movies, and let’s just say that while Avengers: Endgame predictably leads all movie nominees, Game of Thrones (I would argue just as predictably) leads the TV nominees rather handily. Let’s take a look at all of its nominations and assess the competition:

THE SHOW OF 2019
Game of Thrones season 8
WWE Raw
Stranger Things season 3
The Walking Dead season 9
The Big Bang Theory season 12
Riverdale season 3
This Is Us season 3
Grey’s Anatomy season 15

David’s thoughts: WWE Raw, huh? What about WWE Cooked? Anyway, given this is the People’s Choice Awards and not the Emmys, I think GOT will steamroll the competition. That said, my hunch suggests that the ones to watch are either Stranger Things or The Big Bang Theory – ST because it has a large hype machine behind it (although I didn’t really like season 3 myself), and TBBT because it was also its final season, same as GOT. Will that be enough to squash GOT? Let’s be real, probably not, but it’s what I’ve got.

THE DRAMA SHOW OF 2019
Grey’s Anatomy season 15
This Is Us season 3
Chicago P.D. season 6
Game of Thrones season 8
Stranger Things season 3
Big Little Lies 
season 2
Riverdale season 3
The Walking Dead season 9

David’s thoughts: This list is oddly similar to the above. I don’t exactly see Chicago P.D.‘s name being read from the envelope on the night of, but what do I know, given I’d never have in my wildest dreams predict its nomination in the first place. That said…it’s pretty much GOT or bust in this category. Maybe Big Little Lies pulls out the surprise win? But I doubt it (though I did quite like season 2).

THE MALE TV STAR OF 2019
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Cole Sprouse, Riverdale
Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead
Finn Wolfhard, Stranger Things
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
KJ Apa, Riverdale

David’s thoughts: I see this going to either Kit out of GOT being the hot name of the hour, or Jim Parsons for nostalgia, finality purposes. This logic applies to either of these final season shows, I think.

THE FEMALE TV STAR OF 2019
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones
Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead
Camila Mendes, Riverdale
Lili Reinhart, Riverdale
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

David’s thoughts: Curiously, Emilia Clarke is nowhere to be seen, nor Lena Headey, for that matter. Not to worry, as Sophie and Maisie are nominees instead. I would have said that it’s most likely to go to Maisie, whose name seems to be the hot one on the ticket…but all these nominations for Riverdale, a show of which I’ve only ever seen 2 episodes (which was more than enough), are making me second guess that. Is it truly that popular? If so, perhaps our bets may best be hedged on one of the two women nominated from that show?

THE DRAMA TV STAR OF 2019
Zendaya, Euphoria
Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead
Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Lili Reinhart, Riverdale
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

David’s thoughts: If Zendaya doesn’t win, we riot, correct? Anyway, it seems that women are dominating this category in which anyone was able to be nominated, which is pretty neat. It seems to be a tossup, but Zendaya gave such a powerhouse performance, and because Euphoria seems to have been nominated here and only here, it leads me to believe that she may be the likeliest winner. Voters of non-industry awards love newcomers, and she’s the only one who is not starring on a veteran show.

THE BINGEWORTHY SHOW OF 2019
Game of Thrones
Orange Is the New Black
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
The Umbrella Academy
Queer Eye
Outlander
13 Reasons Why
Stranger Things

David’s thoughts: Woof. What a weird category. Almost everyone watched GOT week to week as the last, true watercooler show in existence, at least for now. So, this category is effectively asking the voters to quantify which show best broke the trend of TV past and embraced the future. I’m not sure I, myself, would vote GOT for this specific category (any season of it, for that matter), as it has always been something that I not only watched week to week, but also something I’ve enjoyed discussing week to week. It took me 7 weeks to watch the 8 episodes of Stranger Things this season, so I would not personally vote for that. I love Outlander, but again, also wouldn’t want to binge it. I haven’t seen The Umbrella Academy or Queer Eye, nor have I seen more than a few stray episodes of Law & Order: SVU. I’m currently halfway through 13 Reasons Why season 3, and while I enjoy it (and understand if you don’t), I wouldn’t call it wildly bingeworthy, so much as just something to watch. However, Orange is the New Black season 7 is something I watched in just 4 days – something I’d not done since its revelatory season 4. So, if I were voting, that’d be my choice. As for which of these I think will win? If people vote based on the actual category, and not just on their ‘favorite show,’ I think that, based on most peoples’ consumption habits, the winner is likely to be Stranger Things.

And lastly, but most curiously, is the surprising omission for Game of Thrones in this category:

THE SCI-FI/FANTASY SHOW OF 2019
Stranger Things
Shadowhunters
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Supernatural
The Flash
The Umbrella Academy
Arrow
The 100

Uh oh – does this spell danger for our very own ratings juggernaut? Have the people sworn vengeance on season 8? What does it all mean? Let me know why all of my above opinions and speculation are terrible, and what thoughts you have about all the nominations in the comments below!

The post Pondering the People’s Choice Awards for Game of Thrones Season 8: An Analysis appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Enter the Dragon Queen Prize Package Giveaway!

Dragon Queen Giveaway

Welcome to the “I was going to do this on Labor Day but stuff came up so now it’s a mid-week giveaway” Giveaway! Watchers has acquired some lovely Game of Thrones merch, so we’ve decided to pass it on to one lucky reader. The newest merch in our hands has a decidedly Targaryen flavor so we’re calling this our Dragon Queen Giveaway. Anyone worldwide may enter, and you’ve all got seven days to enter!

Full details below, along with all the methods to enter! The loaded prize package features:

Enter NOW to win them all!

Daenerys Funko Targaryen Coin Purse

The Official Rules

How do you enter? You can enter in 3 different ways, earning up to 3 total entries!

Method #1: Simply comment on this post!

Method #2: WotW Twitter: Follow our Twitter, WatchersOTWall, and retweet the Dragon Queen Prize Package Giveaway tweet! (you must do both for the extra entry). If you already follow us, no problem. Simply retweet the contest post.

Method #3: WotW Facebook: Like the WatchersontheWall Facebook page, and Like and Share the Dragon Queen Prize Package Giveaway post (you must do both for the extra entry). If you already Like our page, again, no problem. Just share the contest post and you are entered!

Entries are accepted for seven days, closing the giveaway for entries on Wednesday, September 11th at 12PM ET. The winner will be randomly selected from the entries, and announced shortly thereafter.

**The contest is for readers worldwide.** The (1) winner will be selected from among valid entrants by random drawing. The winner must respond within 72 hours of notification or will forfeit their prizes and another winner/s will be selected. Winners may be responsible for local taxes/importing fees. The winner must have a valid shipping address.

HBO, Twitter and Facebook are their own entities and are in no way associated with this giveaway.

The post Enter the Dragon Queen Prize Package Giveaway! appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Watchers on the Wall Awards Season 8: Funniest Scene – Preliminary Round

WOTW AWARDS EASON 8

Game of Thrones isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs, is it? But oddly enough it’s made us all laugh quite a bit over the years, whether from scathing witticisms or broad physical comedy. Every season, including the final one, has a great deal of humor laced between the dark and dramatic moments to lift us up and avoid weighing down the audience too heavily.  It’s with that in mind we celebrate the funniest scenes of season 8, nominated by our readers. Your task this week: narrow it down to your favorite 5, in our preliminary round of voting!

Please choose your five favorites from the preliminary poll. The ground rules: Select up to FIVE nominees from the poll. You can choose fewer if you like, but you can’t choose more than 5. (Visit the initial WotW Awards post for a complete explanation of the rules and process.)

At the end of one week (Saturday 09/07/19 at 10PM Eastern Time), whichever five scenes have the most votes will continue on to the finals. The results of the poll will be revealed when it’s time to choose the winner of Funniest Scene in a few weeks.

Take Our Poll
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Thank you to everyone for voting and nominating!

The post Watchers on the Wall Awards Season 8: Funniest Scene – Preliminary Round appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Game of Thrones Showrunners Benioff & Weiss Give Rare Post-Season 8 Interview!

(4) Helen Sloan - HBO

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss aren’t known for extensive interviews, and that’s been particularly true after this final season. Not that it came as a surprise: for months before the final season aired, they made clear that their post-season plan was to hole up without an internet connnection, relax for the first time in a decade, and get drunk. It appears their vacation may be over, as they have now addressed the final season in a new video interview coming out of Japan.

This surprising interview comes from Star Channel, the Japanese group of premium television channels that airs Game of Thrones. The showrunners were asked about the show’s legacy has turned out to be in their lives and to the world:

“To have [the show] become what it became, and to be able to spend not one year or two years but more than ten years of our lives making it at this level, with [all] the people [behind the camera] that we got to work with…”, Weiss trails off. “We didn’t have any idea that the show would be so big,” Benioff follows up his companion’s thought. “When we first started going to Northern Ireland, where we shot the show, the customs officers would ask us what we were doing there; we’s say ‘we’re working on this show…’ [and they’d be like] ‘what is it, Game of Thornes?’ And then, by the third season, [at London’s] Heathrow Airport, the [customs] guy was reading A Game of Thrones, George’s book, and we knew that something was starting to cross the threshold of public awareness.”

For the first time since the finale, the showrunners address the controversial final season, with Benioff highlighting his favorite scene when asked about it:

“One [season eight scene] that sticks out to me, because Brienne of Tarth has always been one of our favorite characters, is the moment where she’s knighted by Jaime Lannister; it’s just a wonderful thing in the story, and to see Gwen’s face in that moment… I’ve probably seen that scene four hundred times and every time it gets me. It makes me a little bit thrilled, it makes me tear up. I love that scene.”

Brienne of Tarth A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms 802 Season 8 Header

Regarding the infamous coffee cup incident a few episodes later, in which a coffee shop cup briefly appeared on the table during a feast scene in “The Last of the Starks”, Benioff gets a bit philosophical about it, though with a definite tone of irony:

“I think in Persian rugs it’s tradition that you make a little mistake when making the rug, because only God can do anything perfect, so for us I guess that just was our [mistake].” Weiss interrupts, jokingly: “That’s why I put the coffee cup there. Conscious, concerted statement of our imperfection.” The real answer, provided by Benioff, is of course not as funny: “We were concentrating so much on Daenerys and Jon Snow that we just didn’t see this coffee cup right in the middle. So, at first I couldn’t believe it, and then it was embarassment; ‘how did we not see this coffee cup in the middle of the shot?’. And then, eventually, it was just funny. This one is just a mistake, and it’s kind of funny to us now.”

coffee cup daenerys 804
Finally, as for the the astounding (and record-breaking) 32 Emmy nominations the final season received, Weiss welcomes them for the sake of the cast and crew’s hard work but rather candidly admits he did not expect the show to break its own record again:

“It was kind of surprising? I did not know that we expected [that]. At least in my mind, I thought that the [previous] season would have been the peak and that we would’ve ended up with maybe a couple less, at best,” Weiss emphasizes. “I felt very happy for all of our team of people, all of the actors and all of the crew who got recognized. Each made us feel really proud of them and happy for them, because we know first-hand how hard they worked; we saw it every day for many years.”

“And it’s also just fun,” Benioff interjects, “because once people get nominated, that means they come to L.A. for the ceremonies. Ten of the actors are nominated, and so many of the crew members, so it’s just a great excuse for everyone to get drunk again.”

That’s the spirit! Literally, perhaps.

The post Game of Thrones Showrunners Benioff & Weiss Give Rare Post-Season 8 Interview! appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Vikings actor joins the cast of the Game of Thrones prequel pilot

Tadhg-MurphyThings have been quiet, as expected, on the Game of Thrones spinoff front since filming completed on the pilot in mid-July, in Italy.  But as always in the world of GoT, fresh casting news crops up after the fact as actors’ resumes fill out slowly, providing us with new surprises, letting the fun roll out for months to come.

The newest Blood Moon casting comes to us today via a tip from our friends at Redanian Intelligence.

According to the actor’s CV, Irish actor Tadhg Murphy has filmed a role in the Game of Thrones prequel.


There are no details at the moment as to what role he’s playing in the prequel pilot, as HBO is keeping things hush-hush, and the actor’s resume lists only the show and the director S.J. Clarkson, no character name. Currently Murphy is best known to audiences for his roles on Vikings as Arne and Black Sails as the real-life pirate Ned Low. He had a recurring role in the TNT show Will (which co-starred Jamie Campbell Bower), and will be appearing in the upcoming third season of the Amazon series Absentia.

I really enjoyed Murphy in his Black Sails and Vikings roles so hopefully HBO has something meaty for him to work with. This is still just a pilot, so it’s hard to know who is in for a long run or not, but we can wish!

The post Vikings actor joins the cast of the Game of Thrones prequel pilot appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Preview the 2 Upcoming Game of Thrones Art Books on Concept Art and Photography!

Experience the beautiful photography of Helen Sloan for Game of Thrones in one of these new art books

Experience the beautiful photography of Helen Sloan in one of these new art books

You might have heard of the four-book Game of Thrones art book collection from Insight Editions and HBO, announced back in March, which aims to highlight the show’s absolutely beautiful photography, storyboards, art, and costumes. “The Storyboards” is out now (Buy Now!, etc), and “The Costumes” is coming soon, but what we bring you today is a sneak peek of Michael Kogge’s book on Helen Sloan’s iconic photography, as well as the striking cover for Jody Revenson and production designer Deborah Riley’s volume on the imaginative art created to inspire GOT’s production design.

Cover Photography of GoT

“The Photography of Game of Thrones”, written by Michael Kogge, offers you a window into the world of Westeros and Essos through the work of Helen Sloan, the principal stills photographer for the series. This deluxe, 320 page-long hardcover compendium, which will be available on November 12, 2019 for $75.00, gives fans a rare behind the scenes peek at some of their favorite characters and moments in gorgeous detail.

Here is a preview of what the tome will offer:

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 5

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 11

Photography of GOT - All spreads for B2C (dragged) 13

Helen Sloan has compiled the most iconic shots from the acclaimed show. The best of her collection, along with the work of the unit photography team, is featured here.

Bold and gorgeously crafted, The Photography of Game of Thrones captures in striking detail the scope and nuance of the show, celebrating a world of iconic characters, shocking moments, breathtaking locations, and much more.

Art of GoT Cover.

Finally, there is “The Art of Game of Thrones,” with this astounding cover featuring the concept art for the early Daenerys scene in the show’s final episode. Written by Jody Revenson and Deborah Riley, this 320-page book is filled with gorgeous illustrations and artwork, and will be available later in November 2019, for $75.00 as well.

Deborah Riley, who started working on Game of Thrones as its production designer for the fourth season, has earned four consecutive Emmy Awards, three Art Directors Guild Awards, and a BAFTA for her work on the epic, groundbreaking series. This beautifully crafted book presents a visual chronicle of the early concept stages of Riley’s team; all the meticulous work done by artists to bring the world of Westeros to life on-screen.

Fans will recognize thrilling moments and stunning locations from the show. Showcasing a multitude of fascinating and beautifully rendered images and previously unpublished works of art, this collectible book contains the visual legacy of Game of Thrones and is a must-have for fans of the show.

The post Preview the 2 Upcoming Game of Thrones Art Books on Concept Art and Photography! appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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The Night’s Cast Episode 27: Summer School at the Citadel, Part 2

John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, at the Citadel. Photo: HBO

John Bradley as Samwell Tarly, at the Citadel. Photo: HBO

The Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall, is continuing our series of Westeros History 101 with another installment in Summer School at the Citadel — so if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the talk behind the Game of Thrones spinoff in the works, which deals with a Westeros thousands of years older than what we saw in the original show, pick up a quill and have a seat!

Your co-maesters Petra, Samantha and Vanessa are back this week, talking about the Westerlands, the Reach, the Casterlys and early Lannisters, and some other things we may — or may not, it’s still all speculation at this point — see in the still-tentatively-titled Blood Moon.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/671954009?secret_token=s-2Vm57" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The podcast is available on iTunes and SoundCloud, and you can follow us on Twitter as well. Happy listening!

The post The Night’s Cast Episode 27: Summer School at the Citadel, Part 2 appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Watchers on the Wall Awards Season 8: Best Supporting Actor – Preliminary Round

WOTW AWARDS EASON 8

So, a fun thing happens when you slaughter a good chunk of the cast before the final season of Game of Thrones– it really clears the decks when it comes time for fandom awards season. In all of our acting categories, the nominees are few and unified enough that we can go ahead and confirm the final nominations for all the performance categories. That is except for one, the category that is an absolute bloodbath every year due to an overabundance of talent. And that’s the one we’ll be voting on today- Best Supporting Actor!

But before the voting, Watchers on the Wall is happy to confirm the finalists for five categories. The nominees for Best Leading Actor are:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
Kit Harington as Jon Snow
Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark

The nominees for Best Leading Actress are:

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark

The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are:

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth
Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei
Bella Ramsey as Lyanna Mormont
Hannah Murray as Gilly

Our Guest Performer categories are also ready! For Best Guest Actress, our nominees are:

Laura Elphinstone as Nora (In “The Bells”)
Bea Glancy as Teela (In “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” and “The Long Night”)
Carice van Houten as Melisandre (In “The Long Night”)
Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy (In “Winterfell”and “The Iron Throne”)

For Best Guest Actor, the nominees are:

Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn (In “The Iron Throne”)
Vladimir Furdik as the Night King (In “The Long Night”)
Harry Grasby as Ned Umber (In “Winterfell”)
Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully (In “The Iron Throne”)
Marc Rissman as Harry Strickland (In “Winterfell” and “The  Bells”)

Voting on the above categories will take place with the final round, after we’ve completed the prelim round!

Now, onto Best Supporting Actor… please choose your five favorites from the preliminary poll. The preliminary round rules: Select up to FIVE nominees from the poll. You can choose fewer if you like, but you can’t choose more than 5. (Visit the initial WotW Awards post for a complete explanation of the rules and process.)

At the end of one week (Thursday 08/29/19 at 10PM Eastern Time), whichever five actors have the most votes will continue on to the finals. The results of the poll will be revealed when it’s time to choose the winner of Best Supporting Actor in a few weeks.

Take Our Poll
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George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones could have gone ’13 seasons’; Funko prepares two new releases

Caption

George R.R. Martin speaks at Dublin 2019: An Irish WorldCon last week.

Dublin 2019: An Irish WorldCon, the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, wrapped up just a few days ago in the Irish capital, and the creator of Westeros himself, George R.R. Martin, had been a prominent figure, attending events and giving interviews. It’s always nice to hear from the man who built the fictional world we love, especially when he’s offering interesting tidbits into things like his writing process and how he designed the shape of the fictional continent itself (spoiler: it’s just the map of Ireland turned upside down!).

As part of WorldCon and in conjunction with the Irish Film Institute, Martin gave an extension interview to the website Joe.ie, covering a wide range of questions about Game of Thrones, the prequels, the possibility of pitching his other series to HBO, and much more. The interview is a lengthy one, but some of the intriguing moments include:

In the show, is there an actor, or performance that best encapsulates the character as you envisioned them on the page when you were writing?

Well, that’s a hard question because you’re asking me who’s my favourite child! … They’re all great. You know, the one that was the easiest to cast — although it could have been the hardest to cast — was Tyrion. We never really looked at anyone besides Peter Dinklage. We auditioned no one else for that role.

What’s your ideal writing process like? I’m sure plenty of aspiring writers are curious about what it takes to reach your levels.

It’s different for every writer. I have friends who can write anywhere at anytime. … When I’m in my own place and office with my own computer, I can fall through the page. I can go to Westeros and be these characters. That’s what I need to write. Anything that disrupts that isolation and takes me out of that process, I don’t like that. I do my best work in the morning. I get up early and have a coffee and start to work. Even if I’ve got an appointment at 4 pm, that’s going to distract me at 11 am. Just the knowledge that I’ve to break off at 3:30 pm to make that 4 pm appointment throws me off.

When the show ended, you said you had ‘mixed feelings’ about it because in an ideal world, you wanted it to continue on for more seasons.

Yeah, I’ve got to finish my books. I said everything I had to say about that years ago. There’s enough material in the books that if they had included all of it, we could have gone for 13 seasons instead of eight. Really, we did seven-and-a-half seasons because the last two seasons were shortened. … Who knows? Maybe that was the right decision. You can’t quarrel with the most popular television show in the world, but I have my books in mind and I’m going ahead. I know I’m very slow, but I’ll get there eventually.

How are the prequels going? A few months ago you said that things are coming along nicely but since then, I believe Jane Goldman’s pilot has wrapped filming. That must be good news?

Jane Goldman’s show has wrapped up in Belfast. I just saw her in London, she’s deep in the throes of post-production. I hope to see a cut of it (the pilot) probably by early September.

And you said that there are three other shows are in various stages too? 

Well, we’re counting her’s as one of those shows, but there are two others that are still in the script stage.

There’s so much material in your back catalogue that’s perfect for adapting. What would you love to dip into and adapt – not HBO now or another studio – but what would you love to see made?

Any of the material in Fire and Blood. When I was going through that, there’s 20 novels there and at least a dozen TV shows if they want to make them. There will be equally as many in Fire and Blood: Part Two.

Again, the entire interview is much longer than we what summarized here, but definitely worth a read — you can find it in its entirety here.

Meanwhile, the Thrones merch train is making another stop! Two stops, actually, and both will be wonderful additions to anyone’s collection: Funko, maker of those adorable big-headed interpretations of our favorite fictional characters, will be offering new Hodor and Brienne Pop! figurines. Beware, though — both are kind of heart-breaking, albeit for different reasons.

Caption

HODOR!

Caption

The “Lord Commander of the Kingsguard” Brienne is my favorite Brienne.

Hodor holding the door! Brienne as the knight (and Lord Commander of the Kingsguard) she deserves to be! It’s too early in the morning for me to be this teary-eyed. Funko didn’t release any additional information about when these two new Pops will be available or their price points, although website Entertainment Earth has the Hodor one listed at $24.99 with an estimated ship date of January 2020. Take that with a grain of salt, however, since it’s not from the official Funko source. I suggest signing up for Funko’s newsletter so you can get the news directly from them when these two beauties will be ready to take home.

The post George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones could have gone ’13 seasons’; Funko prepares two new releases appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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The Game of Thrones Spinoff’s Twisted Potential for Unreliable Storytellers – a video essay

historicalrevisionismthumbnail

According to HBO, the highly anticipated Game of Thrones spinoff about the Long Night won’t be “the story we think we know,” which begs the question… why? In this video essay I discuss the spinoff’s potential to explore historical revisionism in Westeros and what sort of prequel that might create.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1TmxeNN1TI?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

What do you think? Are you hoping for a certain historical/legendary figure to feature in the spinoff? Tell us below.

The post The Game of Thrones Spinoff’s Twisted Potential for Unreliable Storytellers – a video essay appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Alfie Allen chats about his Emmy nomination and the importance of talking about mental health

Theon Winterfell

In anticipation of the Emmy Awards next month, Alfie Allen spoke with Deadline and Gold Derby about his absolute shock at being nominated, the fan reaction to Theon’s story and the importance of talking about your problems.

In his interview with Deadline, Allen’s excitement for his first Emmy nomination was evident.  “For me, it’s dream stuff,” he said. “To be nominated alongside people I’ve spent eight, nine, ten years working with; it’s a dream.”

However, he admitted that part of the reason the nomination feels so gratifying is that it’s for playing a character who took him on such dark journey. “Theon was kind of hated. Reviled, in fact, might be the word,” he said.

“I was pouring my all into this character, and I would feel it at times, when I would enter rooms and people would give me a certain look,” he said. “It was like I was wearing a really bad outfit or something. That was testing, at times, without a shadow of a doubt.”

“Even up to the point of getting an Emmy nomination, this character did make me get inside my own head a lot, and there were dark, dark moments. To have fans give the character a pat on the back after all of it, and end it on a note of positivity for Theon, that feels nice.”

One unexpected benefit of the struggle to play Theon was that it got Allen to open up to friends about his problems and helped him realize the importance of addressing mental health issues directly.

“Gwendoline and Kit were the two people (everybody a little bit, but them most so) who were always willing to talk to me about that stuff. There’s a lot to be said about men’s mental health within Theon’s journey to Reek and back again.”

Indeed, Allen said he’d like to address mental health in his work moving forward.

“I’d love to try writing something,” he said. “I’ve always had an idea, again on the topic of men’s mental health, to look at the world of conventions, and make a really positive story set there … It’s about something larger I’m interested in, too, involving mental health, because that idea of the male ego and toxic masculinity, if we can talk about it a little more, and start a next generation without those kinds of ideals, I think that would be a good thing.

“I also have a nine-month-old daughter, so I’m going to try my best to show her that I talk about my problems, rather than projecting them on her. It was something I learned with Theon, where I shied away from talking about how hard it was, and how much I struggled with it. I think if we can just open up and talk about that, and allow ourselves to be more vulnerable, that’s the way forward.”


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toIfaTgIC-Q?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

Allen also spoke with Gold Derby editor Rob Licuria about Theon’s arc and his Emmy nomination, which he really, really, really was not expecting.

“I was just – I still am in shock. I wasn’t expecting it because all that had just kind of faded into  ridiculousness that that would even happen,” he said (at :58). “I’m not going to lie. When I first started Thrones there was a part of me that was like, ‘Maybe one day I’ll get an opportunity to be up for an award or something’ but all that faded into … [it] just definitely wasn’t going to happen … It wasn’t that I didn’t have any hope. It just wasn’t realistic. And so for it to happen, it’s just insane.”

Again, Allen expressed how gratifying it is that his long-suffering character ended the series with honor and redemption.

“Now that the character is in more of a positive light … to have that kind of turn around is nice because the fans feel that way about me and the character,” he said (at 10:00) “So, yeah, those dark moments do stay with you but the positive ones do as well.”

When asked about Theon’s arc and his quest for identity and redemption, Allen said he doesn’t think Theon found closure until his death scene.

“I think he only really comes full circle in those last moments, you know?” he said (at 10:52). “… And then, morbid as it may be, you know, that’s what they say, isn’t it? People have those struggles their whole life and if you don’t address them and try to do something about it and kind of take care of your mental health you’ll be on your death bed and realize these moments of clarity when you’ve only got so much of your life left. So, I think we all kind of owe it to ourselves to work through those things and, eh, not have an identity crisis.”

Lastly, Allen talked about how Game of Thrones has changed every aspect of his life. Interacting with fans, though, remains a positive experience for him.

“I’ve not really had any moments of weird fandom. If everyone’s nice I don’t mind, you know?” he said (at 15:47). “Obviously people have related to Theon’s trauma and his aspects of PTSD and I think it’s important that we just talk about that openly moving forward without a shadow of a doubt. It’s all just positive for me.”

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Johnnie Walker to release two new ‘Game of Thrones’ scotch whiskies!

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There’s something new to add to your Game of Thrones collection this August, thanks to Johnnie Walker.

You didn’t expect the Game of Thrones merch train to stop now that the series is over, did you? Not that we’re complaining — and with this most recent release, neither will memorabilia collectors and scotch connoisseurs who want to add to their liquor cabinets.

Johnnie Walker, in conjunction with HBO, will release two new scotch whiskies to the world “in honor of the enduring legacy of the critically acclaimed series,” according to a press release from the longtime scotch staple. The two limited edition blends, named A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire, are inspired by House Stark and House Targaryen, respectively, and are successors to the White Walker limited edition blend launched in 2018.

“Johnnie Walker and Game of Thrones are an epic pairing. There is as much for people to discover and explore within the world of whisky as there is within the world of the show,” said Sophie Kelly, Senior Vice President, Whiskies Diageo North America. “Each new blend brings to life a different profile of flavors — one crisp and clean, the other rich and spicy. We hope people enjoy trying both while reliving the series with friends.”

As “a nod to the complicated interactions between the two great houses in the show’s storyline,” Johnnie Walker’s iconic Striding Man logo uncharacteristically faces backwards on the A Song of Fire bottle, resulting in a face-off with the Striding Man on the A Song of Ice bottle when paired side-by-side.

A Song of Ice features single malts from Clynelish, one of Scotland’s most northern distilleries, and exudes a crisp, clean taste “like the unforgiving force of ice that shapes mountains and stops rivers,” according to the press release. The new blend has an ABV of 40.2% and the bottle design evokes an icy setting with frosted blue and gray colors inspired by the North, known for its cold winters and frozen landscapes. A Song of Fire, meanwhile, is rich and spicy, boasting flavors of subtle smoke from the peated malts of the Caol Ila distillery with an ABV of 40.8%. Inspired by the dragons of House Targaryen, feared for their fire breathing, the bottle design evokes a fiery setting with deep-red colors.

“We were very proud to partner with Johnnie Walker again to bring more whiskies to the realm. The Game of Thrones audience continues to both engage with the culture fostered around the series and look for the special collectibles that let it live on,” said Jeff Peters, Vice President, Licensing & Retail at HBO. “After seeing the excitement there was for White Walker by Johnnie Walker, we are thrilled to celebrate the end of an epic tale by offering more quality whisky for fans of the show and whisky enthusiasts to collect and enjoy.”

The new releases will both be available nationwide this August, and globally starting October 2019 wherever fine spirits are sold until supplies last.

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George R.R. Martin on celebrating fans’ reactions, and distancing himself from the internet

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As usual, it doesn’t take much for people to twist a Game of Thrones-related interview out of proportion these days. Frankly, I’ve seen a lot of outlets repurposing George R.R. Martin’s new interview with The Guardian into clickbaitish, misleading headlines. And that’s disappointing because it’s really a thoughtful and interesting discussion with the author who is frank about his relationship with his work, fandom and the inadvertent effect the show had on his process.

“I need more hours in the day and more days in the week and more months in the year because the time does seem to go very fast,” Martin admits to The Guardian.

There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book, I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous…I don’t think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day – and a good day for me is three or four pages – I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.’ But having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now. I have good days and I have bad days and the stress is far less, although it’s still there… I’m sure that when I finish A Dream of Spring you’ll have to tether me to the Earth.

He’s also taken a step back from the internet because of Game of Thrones, and the possibility of fans influencing him. “At first I was very flattered and I’d go on message boards and think: ‘Oh, this is cool, they’re all really excited.’ But then I began to think: ‘No, I should really steer clear. I don’t like the fact that some people have figured things out that are correct, and I don’t like the fact that other people have figured out things that are wrong but that could influence me too.’ So I took myself out of all that and let fans have their theories, some of which are right and some of which are wrong. They’ll find out which when I finish.”

The author however appears to maintain a positive attitude toward fans and the massive emotional reactions generated by his work- and the show based on it. “I’m glad of the emotional reactions, whether to the books or the television show, because that’s what fiction is all about – emotion. If you want to make an intellectual argument or persuade someone, then write an essay or a piece of journalism, write nonfiction. Fiction… should feel as if you’re living these things when you read or watch them. If you’re so distanced by it that a character dies and you don’t care, then to an extent the author has failed.”

Visit The Guardian to read the original complete interview which covers much more and is worth the read!

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Watchers on the Wall Awards Season 8: Best Death Scene – Preliminary Round

WOTW AWARDS EASON 8

After a lengthy break between awards sessions, thanks to that Long Night between seasons, we’re thrilled to welcome everyone back to the Watchers on the Wall Awards! It’s time to kick off our awards preliminaries, Game of Thrones fans. As always, you the readers suggest the nominees for every category; we gather them up and knock ’em down with a couple rounds of polling, until we find the best of the best!

What do we say to the god of death? We say…good job! The final season of Game of Thrones was bloodthirsty, sending countless faves packing, so let’s start off our voting this year with a category sure to inspire some fun discussion: Best Death Scene.  Choose your five favorites from the preliminary poll!

That’s right, five! Our preliminary round rules: Select up to FIVE nominees from the poll. You can choose fewer if you like, but you can’t choose more than 5. (Visit the initial WotW Awards post for a complete explanation of the rules and process.)

At the end of one week (Saturday 08/25/19 at 4PM Eastern Time), whichever five death scenes have the most votes will continue on to the finals. The results of the poll will be revealed when it’s time to choose the winner of Best Death Scene in a few weeks.

Take Our Poll
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As always, these preliminary nominees came from Watchers on the Wall readers, and the winners lay entirely in your hands. Have fun, and thank you all for nominating and voting!

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Game of Thrones Quick Hits: The Road to the 2019 Emmys Interview Round-up!

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Photo: HBO

Emmys season is bringing out all the stars and technical wizards of Game of Thrones, for a round of new interviews. Gotta love it! Everything from the crown choices of Westeros to the creation of “The Long Night” is covered.  Here are the latest interviews featuring Sophie Turner, Carice van Houten, Gwendoline Christie, Alfie Allen, and more!

Best Supporting Actress nominee Sophie Turner speaks her mind in an interview with The Wrap, defending the writing of the show, and some of the final choices made. “The fans are incredible and so loyal, and we love them because of the fact that they’re so, so passionate. I cannot fault them there. But when people were saying that there was no effort, that the writers were terrible …The most effort was put into this final season.”

As for the decision to play Sansa’s brother Bran on the throne, she says, “I think it’s true what Tyrion was saying: Bran holds all of our stories, and we can’t move on unless we remember our history. Daeneyrs had to die. Cersei was a mad queen. Arya is too much of a free spirit. Sansa probably wouldn’t want to rule the seven kingdoms anyway — she wanted to stay in the North and defend the North. I really think Bran might be the perfect person for the job.”

But Turner has her dream ending, which she shares with The Wrap.I thought Arya would kill Cersei. And I would like to have seen Sansa and Cersei reunited, or Arya and Cersei. But there were so many ways the story could have turned out. I felt very passionately about the ending for Sansa, and I was very happy with the ending that turned out for her.”

Night King Come at Me Bro Season 8 803 The Long Night

The Hollywood Reporter talks to GoT’s sound supervisor and sound designer in their piece examining several nominated shows. “The biggest challenge was keeping the battle interesting and dynamic,” sound supervisor Tim Kimmel tells THR about “The Long Night”, the episode featuring his nominated work. “The scene where the Army of the Dead breach the fire trench and start to climb the walls of the castle to attack was particularly challenging. There were so many layers — with vocals and movement, bows and flaming arrows, weapons and body movement and falls — that keeping it all properly detailed and organized for the mixers to do their job took a lot of time and patience.” Sound designer Paula Fairfield tells them “a pass of weather-related sounds such as wind and rain contributed to a sense of disorientation.”

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“The Long Night” was a big moment for Carice van Houten as well. It marked her triumpghant return and death. The actress speaks to The Wrap about her death. “I was very, very happy with my ending. It gave me goosebumps when I read it, and it was the same when I saw it on screen. I thought it was a very elegant, beautiful ending to a bombastic, dark, violent episode.”

Any regrets? She tells The Wrap, “I would have loved to have some sort of little scene with Cersei. I’m so curious what would have happened if those two women got together. That would have been an interesting meeting.”

King's Landing Battle 805 Season 8 The Bells Daenerys Dany Targaryen Drogon Gates Golden Company

Debate the success of the final season all you want, but you can’t deny the VFX was amazing. Joe Bauer, the show’s lead VFX supervisor talks to Indiewire about the creation of the devastating Battle of King’s Landing, explaining that “[A]fter seven years of building out the physical and sometimes emotional world of ‘Thrones’ through use of visual effects, in ‘The Bells,’ it was time to add an exclamation point…Our brains registered a level of shock when reading the script pages. Now our world building methods would be used to un-build, to de-construct.”

“Unleashing the full, almost Godzilla-like force of Drogon on a rampage was a thrill,” Bauer says, “but what it meant weighed heavily on us: Dany would never again represent hope for a better world. Finally she could not escape her own blood line. Heavy stuff. The city had to be leveled, and we had a single dragon to execute the carnage. And that took some backward engineering.”

Read the full piece at Indiewire for details on how it all came to life!

Beric Dondarrion Arya Stark Season 8 803 The Long Night

THR also talks to Thrones editor Tim Porter about his nominated work in “The Long Night” which offers insight into the show’s motives in what they want us to see and feel.   He describes the episode as “three acts” with one to build tension, the second full of action, and then the third “slowing down… with Ramin Djawadi’s amazing score synthesizing the intercut of the Night King’s entrance and our heroes fighting for their lives and ultimately Arya’s arrival and her slaying of the Night King.”

He explains, “As there were so many characters fighting different battles, we were trying to make sure that we weren’t away from each beat for too long, keeping the characters under pressure and the audience involved with their plight. All except for Arya, we wanted to lose her, to take the focus off where she was, and what she was doing, until we see her entrance into the Godswood to save the day.”

He takes us inside the incredibly tense and tightly edited library scene as well- read about it at THR!

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And finally, from The Wrap’s Emmy series, Gwendoline Christe and Alfie Allen, among others, weigh in on their characters and Emmy noms. Christie address complaints  about Brienne crying when Jaime left her, saying, “I was incredibly pleased to have that moment, because I think we see that Brienne has allowed herself to love someone. I don’t think there should be any thought that loving someone and being in pain when that person leaves her should be painted as a weakness, ever. She showed strength in every different area. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to be devastated?

As for Allen submitting himself for Emmy consideration, he admits he did so, because he “had people advising me to do it, and it felt right. I really don’t know how the mechanics work, but it felt like the right time to do it. But I had no expectations whatsoever.” As for Theon’s and the show’s conclusion, he says, “Some people weren’t satisfied with how it ended, but it’s the same with a lot of these TV shows. But in terms of the arc of Theon, I hope people were happy with it. On the day I felt happy with it, and when I got to see it, I was thankful that Dan and David had given me that kind of stuff to do.”

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HBO and Insight Editions release sneak peek of “Game of Thrones: The Costumes”

Game of Thrones: The Costumes coverIf you’ve ever dreamed of flipping through a weighty volume of detailed photographs and sketches of Game of Thrones‘ gorgeous costumes and reading the brilliant insights of the show’s costume designer, Michele Clapton … well, your dreams really do come true, sometimes.

HBO and Insight Editions have released a sneak peek of the fourth installment of their 2019 publishing program, Game of Thrones: The Costumes. By all accounts it is everything a Westerosi fashion aficionado could ever want.

From the practical, layered fabrics of Winterfell to the finery of King’s Landing, the costumes of Game of Thrones play an integral part in transporting viewers to the land of Westeros and beyond. Game of Thrones: The Costumes, written by Michele Clapton and Gina McIntyre, celebrates the incredible artistry involved in creating each outfit, with beautifully detailed photographs of the costumes and behind-the-scenes details.

Feast your eyes …

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Game of Thrones: The Costumes will be released on November 12th and priced at $75.00. The other three books in HBO and Insight Editions 2019 publishing program are:

  • Game of Thrones: The Storyboards (Spring 2019, $60), Art by William Simpson, lead storyboard artist for Game of Thrones; Written by Michael Kogge
  • The Art of Game of Thrones (Fall 2019, $75.00), Written by Jody Revenson and Deborah Riley
  • The Photography of Game of Thrones (Fall 2019, $75.00), Photography by Helen Sloan, principal unit photographer for Game of Thrones; Written by Michael Kogge.

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The Night’s Cast Episode 26: Summer School at the Citadel, Part 1

John Bradley as Samwell Tarly. Photo: HBO

John Bradley as Samwell Tarly. Photo: HBO

Feeling a little lost with all the prequel talk of “the Age of Heroes” and other Westeros history? Have no idea who Lann the Clever is? Why does that Stark sigil we glimpsed from the set look different? Not to worry — school is in session!

The Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall, is your visiting maester for a couple of episodes we’re calling Summer School at the Citadel, in which we dive into any and all Westeros (and some Essos) history that might be relevant to the upcoming spinoff. This week, join Vanessa, Petra and Samantha for lesson number one on the Dawn Age, early Starks and more.

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The podcast is available on iTunes and SoundCloud, and you can follow us on Twitter as well. Happy listening!

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Director Miguel Sapochnik discusses his Emmy nominated episode; George R.R. Martin on the unexpected success of Game of Thrones

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The Emmys will be awarded next month, and Game of Thrones is well positioned to take home a considerable number of trophies with its historic 32 nominations. Miguel Sapochnik has an excellent chance at winning in the Outstanding Directing category for “The Long Night,” having previously won in 2016 for “Battle of the Bastards.” In a new interview with The Hollywood ReporterSapochnik shares some of the behind the scenes work involved in bringing the battle of Winterfell to life.

In addition to enduring 55 grueling nights of shooting in adverse weather, Sapochnik admits he “questioned everything, and we worked long and hard to find the right balance of credibility versus wish fulfillment. Then we shot it and reshot it and found that what was really important was rhythm.”

He addresses the decision to have Arya leap from nowhere when attacking the Night King, saying, “At one point there was an elaborate plan to have her fight her way into the weirwood forest, but as we progressed we realized she’d already done that earlier in the episode, so it felt like a repeat. In the end we felt it didn’t matter how she got there — what mattered was setting up that moment when the Night King catches her mid-leap and we think she’s done for, then she pulls her knife switch and takes him out. I loved Maisie’s performance post the takedown as well, sharing a moment with her brother, Bran. That weary smile. ‘Not today.’”

Whether he takes home the Emmy or not, Sapochnik will  forever be grateful for his experience working on Thrones. “It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime. I made a lot of friends. I worked with the best actors, crew, producers and showrunners I’ve ever worked with. I got to know the people of Northern Ireland and learned about their history. I had an experience that I would never have had otherwise, and I can take that with me to every project I do.” Here’s hoping he gets rewarded with a win for his incredibly hard work on “The Long Night.”

George R.R. Martin

Author George R.R. Martin is currently in Ireland for Worldcon, and while he didn’t address his progress on The Winds of Winter (shocking) he did speak to The Irish Times about the phenomenonal popularity of his A Song of Ice and Fire novels and the Game of Thrones television show. Martin admitted there is always an uncertainty about how well a project will be received. “You never know with either books or television. I had a book about 10 years before, The Armageddon Rag, a rock-and-roll book…It was going to be a bestseller, and it died totally. It almost destroyed my career.”

“It’s not a bad book – why did it sell so poorly? Why did Game of Thrones sell so well?…If people knew what would work, they would do it all the time.” He added that no one can anticipate what will succeed, saying, “[Game of Thrones] became the most popular television show in the world. When it started David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss], the showrunners, I remember them saying, ‘Well, let’s hope we can get three seasons, so we can get to at least the Red Wedding. Obviously, we got more than that.”

Martin also explained that while popularity and success is nice, it’s not what’s most important to him. “When an actor finishes a play they come out for the curtain call and the applause. The check is not enough. I want to know what people think of it. Maybe they’re going to throw fruit, or maybe they’re going to give you a standing ovation. You never know, but you’ve got to get it out before people, right?”

Read the rest – including his thoughts on genre fiction and fandom – here.

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Creators of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Sign Global Deal with Netflix

db-weiss-and-david-benioff-game-of-thrones-producers

From the masterminds who brought you eight seasons of Game of Thrones come, well we’re not sure just yet! News recently broke that David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (known mostly as David and Dan round these parts) have officially signed their next global deal. After a lengthy courting process which included bidders from Comcast, Disney, Amazon, and Apple, they ultimately set their sights and signed their pens with the hottest ticket in global TV. No, it wasn’t with HBO, though you’d certainly not be wrong for guessing that, given their decade-long recently concluded residence at the WarnerMedia-owned hub. It would appear that they have ultimately decided to take up residency at Netflix. So what’s cooking for them over at the ‘ol streaming site? Let’s see if we can figure that out…

We’ve had a beautiful run with HBO for more than a decade and we’re grateful to everyone there for always making us feel at home. Over the past few months we’ve spent many hours talking to Cindy Holland and Peter Friedlander, as well as Ted Sarandos and Scott Stuber. We remember the same shots from the same ‘80s movies; we love the same books; we’re excited about the same storytelling possibilities. Netflix has built something astounding and unprecedented, and we’re honored they invited us to join them.

Sources tell Deadline that David and Dan’s deal might be in the 9-figure range, worth as much as $300 million, and rumored to span 5 years. So this begs the question: Is that 5 years’ worth of varied content? Or 5 seasons of a single show? We don’t have too much to go off of. Over the last couple of years, Netflix has pooled its money behind major talents such as Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, but each of them is well known for producing multiple shows on television, often overseeing them from afar, with no more than an executive producer credit slapped on to many episodes of their shows. That’s not to say that their mark is any less evident, but I want to specify that it’s not an apples to apples comparison if we’re using this to try and figure out what David and Dan are up to. D&D were not just executive producers, but the writers, showrunners, and even sometimes directors of GOT, so this could suggest that the rumored $300 million is more than likely to be for one show they can focus their attention on. Would it be another high fantasy to compete with the HBO’s upcoming GOT spinoff, Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time, or Showtime’s upcoming Kingkiller Chronicles, or one of the other 800 zillion other ‘high fantasy prestige drama’ that are innumerably upcoming? Who knows?

We do know a few things, however. We know that D&D will have their time occupied for quite a while, given the next Star Wars movie following this December’s Episode IX will be theirs, and also that it will be the first of a trilogy. So this begs the question of how involved they will be able to get with their Netflix project(s). Amidst all this speculation, my ultimate guess is that they will fall into the aforementioned roles of overall executive producers, where they will oversee multiple projects, and won’t have to spend day to day on any one set (other than their Star Wars trilogy, where I expect them to fully be in charge).

Of course, your guess is as good as mine, and I’d love to hear what it is. What say you?

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Gwendoline Christie on the Road to her Emmy Nomination, Naomi Watts Isn’t Allowed to Say Anything About Game of Thrones Spinoff

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We’re in that ‘between’ phase, Game of Thrones fans. We’re currently between the Emmy nominations list, and the final Emmy awards in which GOT is eligible (and has beaten its own nomination record.) We’re between the end of GOT, and the start date of whenever the spinoff decides to debut. We’re between the debut of the final list of our eligible season 8 WOTW nominees, and the reveal of which of those nominees will be announced on nomination night. Amidst all this, news of the spinoff, or lack thereof, whose pilot recently concluded filming, has been rather sparse, so we’re always on the look for news to report about the spinoff or our dearly departed GOT itself. And right now, it looks to be an interview with the always exciting Gwendoline Christie on her road through Brienne’s arc, and some words of wisdom from a very tight-lipped Naomi Watts, on spoilers from the upcoming spinoff. Read on to check them out!

Gwen sat down with Hollywood Reporter to walk them through her identification with the character of Brienne: “I felt that my experiences as a woman, with the way that I look, and [the feeling that] my experiences of life somehow weren’t relevant and didn’t have a place, and somehow didn’t mean success. All I knew was I had an extreme emotional connection to her. I wanted to play this part because, for me as an actor, I felt like this was a character with something to say, that allowed me to speak my truth.” After revealing that she had told no one other than her partner about her self-submitted Emmy nomination, her reaction was: “I was in a taxi on my way to work, to the theater, where I’m doing a play at the moment. The phone rang, and it was my publicist. When they said I’d been nominated — well, let me tell you, I experienced every single emotion known to man.”

We all know that Gwen was a powerhouse from the day we first saw her take off Brienne’s helmet in season 2, but even more impressive was Gwen’s portrayal of the character from beginning to end: “We saw a woman who wanted to be a member of the Kingsguard, and she ends up being not just a member of the Kingsguard, but ends up as the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. She also allows herself the opportunity to have a sexual experience, which is her choosing. She takes responsibility for any potential outcomes of it. She allows herself to be vulnerable and emotional.” Gwen is also aware of the importance Brienne has to influence the industry, in terms of the way future roles are portrayed: “I will say women often find it difficult to put themselves forward, and maybe that’s what we need to take the courage to do in order to see a greater diversity in the world. We can empower ourselves by putting ourselves forward for something we never believe is going to happen.”

Meanwhile, Naomi Watts, in an interview with Net-A-Porter dished on her mysterious new character in the upcoming spinoff, or what she’s allowed to tell us at any rate (hint: nothing): “I am literally not allowed to say anything about it…I didn’t start watching [Game of Thrones] until I was approached about this job…But my brother [photographer Ben Watts], who is heavily into it, told me, ‘Under no circumstances are you going to turn this down.’” Following this, she immediately binged seasons 1-7 of GOT, and then presumably watched season 8 in real-time along with all of us. However, she fears that in spite of her already famous persona, the hype train that follows GOT might just increase her public profile: “I still have fears about that…I don’t really know what to prepare for.”

Unfortunately, she doesn’t have much more to say for the time being about the contents of the mysterious GOT spinoff, but in the meantime, head over and check out the rest of the interview to hear Naomi talk more about her journey as a woman through a difficult industry. Additionally, you can check out the rest of the interview with Gwendoline Christie – she had a bunch of awesome things to say about Brienne and women in the industry as well.

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Gwendoline Christie on the Road to her Emmy Nomination, Naomi Watts Teases Game of Thrones Spinoff

Gwendoline-Christie-In-Game-of-Thrones-Season-5

We’re in that ‘between’ phase, Game of Thrones fans. We’re currently between the Emmy nominations list, and the final Emmy awards in which GOT is eligible (and has beaten its own nomination record.) We’re between the end of GOT, and the start date of whenever the spinoff decides to debut. We’re between the debut of the final list of our eligible season 8 WOTW nominees, and the reveal of which of those nominees will be announced on nomination night. Amidst all this, news of the spinoff, or lack thereof, whose pilot recently concluded filming, has been rather sparse, so we’re always on the look for news to report about the spinoff or our dearly departed GOT itself. And right now, it looks to be an interview with the always exciting Gwendoline Christie on her road through Brienne’s arc, and some words of wisdom from a very tight-lipped Naomi Watts, on spoilers from the upcoming spinoff. Read on to check them out!

Gwen sat down with Hollywood Reporter to walk them through her identification with the character of Brienne: “I felt that my experiences as a woman, with the way that I look, and [the feeling that] my experiences of life somehow weren’t relevant and didn’t have a place, and somehow didn’t mean success. All I knew was I had an extreme emotional connection to her. I wanted to play this part because, for me as an actor, I felt like this was a character with something to say, that allowed me to speak my truth.” After revealing that she had told no one other than her partner about her self-submitted Emmy nomination, her reaction was: “I was in a taxi on my way to work, to the theater, where I’m doing a play at the moment. The phone rang, and it was my publicist. When they said I’d been nominated — well, let me tell you, I experienced every single emotion known to man.”

We all know that Gwen was a powerhouse from the day we first saw her take off Brienne’s helmet in season 2, but even more impressive was Gwen’s portrayal of the character from beginning to end: “We saw a woman who wanted to be a member of the Kingsguard, and she ends up being not just a member of the Kingsguard, but ends up as the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. She also allows herself the opportunity to have a sexual experience, which is her choosing. She takes responsibility for any potential outcomes of it. She allows herself to be vulnerable and emotional.” Gwen is also aware of the importance Brienne has to influence the industry, in terms of the way future roles are portrayed: “I will say women often find it difficult to put themselves forward, and maybe that’s what we need to take the courage to do in order to see a greater diversity in the world. We can empower ourselves by putting ourselves forward for something we never believe is going to happen.”

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago, Naomi Watts dished on her mysterious new character in the upcoming spinoff, and dropped this absolute BOMBSHELL on late night:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0UM0U5zIZo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

Woof. That’s a load to take in. I’m not sure I can handle that many spoilers at once. Gotta cool down for a moment. While I sit and process all that information, check out the rest of the interview with Gwendoline Christie – she had a bunch of awesome things to say about Brienne and women in the industry, in general.

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The 2019 Watchers On The Wall Awards: Now accepting nominations for the final season of Game of Thrones!

WOTW AWARDS EASON 8It’s time for the 2019 edition of the Watchers on the Wall Awards, celebrating the best of the best for Game of Thrones! After every new season, GoT fans around the world nominate and choose their favorites from the latest season, from performances to dialogue and beyond. It’s up to you all to decide, and it starts now! What were your favorites of the final season?

First up, how does it work? The initial suggestions for nominees in every award category come from you! Fans and run-off voting determine which top five nominees win the final nomination in their category. The final five battle it out in each category, with readers choosing our ultimate season 8 winners. Eventually, after the voting for every category is finished, we will announce the winners in a live Watchers on the Wall Awards video ceremony packed with fun and giveaways!

For a more detailed (yes, boring) explanation of the process, jump to the Rules & Process wayyyy below.

Let’s get to it! The 2019 categories are:

Best Episode: You do NOT need to make any nominations in this category- all six episodes of season 8 go into the category final!

Your favorite leading performers, the ones who hold up the show and their storylines:

Best Leading Actress

Best Leading Actor

The supporting categories, suitable for regular/recurring Game of Thrones actors who support the leads:

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

It’s not always easy to decide who is a lead and who is a supporting actor on GoT, since this can change between seasons and not everyone agrees on which actor/character belongs where. We’ll use your votes as our way of deciding, with factors such as screentime to help, should there be ties.

Best Guest Actor

Best Guest Actress

Next are the guest categories, for the short-term scene-stealers who steal your attention with a limited amount of screen time. Who qualifies for this? Actors and actresses with credited appearances in 1 or 2 episodes in Season 8. *Check the performer’s credits on IMDB if you’re uncertain if they qualify. Anything longer and they’re not a guest, because it’s a short season! People nominated for this who don’t qualify will be dropped into the Best Supporting pool of potential nominations.*

We also have:

Best New Costume! Celebrating the incredible costume design work of Game of Thrones, in this category you’ll nominate your favorite new costumes from season 8! (This is one category, not divided by gender.)

Next: our quote categories celebrate the best of the words in season 8, and the dialogue’s delivery! These categories are:

All-Around Best Quote: the most brilliant and memorable quotes from the final season of Game of Thrones.

Funniest Quote: A funny/clever line of dialogue or short exchange that you find humorous.

Best Speech: what it says on the tin.

We love to award great individual scenes throughout the season, not just the Best Episode ,so we have several types:

Best Visual Effects Scene: There are many to choose from, so think long and hard. Nominate the scene that you think best demonstrated the show’s Emmy-winning effects. Be specific (not just episode titles or battle names, because battles take up half the episode sometimes) about the scene you’re choosing!

Best Death Scene: There is only one god, and his name is Death. Choose your favorite death scene from the carnage-filled final season.

Funniest Scene: An entire scene that tickles your funny bone the most.

Best Dramatic Scene: the one scene with the greatest dramatic moments of the year- heartbreaking or terrifying or exhilarating. The very best of Game of Thrones.

Action categories can present some difficulty in categorization! So we have two distinct categories- one for smaller-scale fights and skirmishes, and one for the big episode-consuming battles.

Best Fight: smaller-scale fights, 1 on 1, small groups, etc.

Best Battle: large-scale battles

As always, try to be specific! But if you’re not sure which category your choice belongs in, nominate the scene you have in mind anyway and we’ll figure it out where it belongs. It’s all in good fun! In this first stage, we want to get as much input as possible and people hate getting to the final stage and realizing their favorite scene or actor was never even nominated for something because no one remembered it/them.

Post your list of nominees in comments below, with the categories/nominees clearly labeled. You’re permitted to submit more than one nominee per category in this initial submission process. Go on and have fun, and have your choices in by Monday, August 12th, at 12PM Eastern Time!

For our newer readers, here is the complete run-down. #1 is especially important as it pertains to the nominating starting today!

(17) Helen Sloan - HBO

The Rules & Process

Phase 1- Initial Gathering of Nominees: Please submit your nominees ONLY in the Comments section below. Please make your nominations with the categories they’re for clearly labeled in Comments.

You may use more than one post, as many as you need, or if you decide to add more nominations at a later time, that’s fine. You may nominate more than one performer or scene for an award in this initial submission-gathering process!

People have very different opinions on whether an actor is supporting or lead, so it’s important to label your nominations carefully! Ultimately, a performer can win a best actor/supporting nomination in only one category, and it will be in the one in which they gained the most votes. Using the submission ballots, storylines and season 8 screen time as a guide, the determination of placing a performer into lead versus supporting will ultimately be at WotW’s discretion.


Phase 2- First round Preliminary Poll: After everyone has posted their nomination submissions, the pool of info will be sorted into categories by the WotW staff. Each category will then have a run-off poll. The top five vote-getters in each category win the nominations.

There may be some categories where they aren’t five noms to begin with. They’ll skip this round and go right to phase 3.


Phase 3- Final Round Voting: A second round of polls will determine the winner of each finalized category.


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The winners of the Watchers on the Wall Awards will be announced all at once in a live party, on a date to be determined in the near future!

We’ll keep these comments open until Monday, August 12th, at 12PM Eastern Time to accept initial nominations.  We’ll count up and sort the votes, and soon after that, we’ll start the preliminary voting polls.

Put your thinking helms on and get to nominating!

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Emmys Talk: Game of Thrones Finale Script Online, Nominees Episode Choices and More

Jon and Tormund The Iron Throne

The Emmys aren’t until September so that gives the Game of Thrones fandom plenty of time to squabble and debate over the final season! Luckily this week has given us loads of material to work with. Emmys.com has published the series finale script online, since the episode was nominated for the writing award, GoldDerby has revealed the episode choice for many of the show’s stars who are nominated, and one nominated actress discusses her work on the last season.

The entirety of the script for season 8, episode 6, “The Iron Throne” can now be found online at the official Emmys site. The episode, written by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, was a controversial nominee, for some. It’s always fascinating to pore over the scripts, as they show fans that writing is much more than dialogue. It shows how carefully planned the imagery is (like it or not).

Daenerys wings

Read over the script and see what strikes you!

GoldDerby always has the goods on awards season. They have the exclusive on which episodes the stars of GoT have chosen to submit to represent their work, for their nomination this year.

Best Actress nominee Emilia Clarke has submitted “The Last of the Starks” to Emmys voters, an episode in which Daenerys does a lot of heavy lifting and ultimately loses her friend. It’s more sympathetic than the darker, later episodes, so maybe it’s a strategic choice.

Best Actor nominee Kit Harington is submitting “The Iron Throne,” in hopes it will win him the Emmy. It was a dark moment for Jon Snow, with the killing of Daenerys and his conversation with Tyrion. Will it be enough? We’ll see.

Best Supporting Actor nominees:

  • Peter Dinklage has submitted the series finale “The Iron Throne” to rep his work. Since Tyrion carried the episode in a lot of ways, that makes sense.
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has chosen “The Bells” for his nom. He did good work in the episode as Jaime, but it’s not going to be a popular fandom choice, I can tell you that.

Best Supporting Actress nominees:

  • Sophie Turner has submitted the season 8 premiere episode “Winterfell” for her nom. Sansa had a lot to do in “Winterfell” but it’s not as flashy as some other episodes.
  • Lena Headey unsurprisingly has submitted “The Bells” for her nom, which features Cersei’s end, with the destruction of King’s Landing.
  • Gwendoline Christie is submitting “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” for her nomination- which makes sense since it was Brienne’s big moment.

Maisie Williams and Alfie Allen have not revealed their Emmy choices, as far as I know. It’s difficult to imagine Allen choosing anything other than “The Long Night,” but stranger things have happened.

Carice van Houten returned for just one episode this year, bringing her flames back to Westeros and the side of good in “The Long Night. The actress talked to GoldDerby this week about Melisandre’s morality, the filming of the episode, and a lot more. My favorite tidbits though- who would she like to have seen Melisandre have scenes with?

She says, “So many. I would’ve loved to have scenes with Cersei. I’m so curious what those two women would be together, what kind of dynamic that would be, what kind of energy that would bring. Samwell Tarly would’ve been a fun scene, I think. He’s one of my favorite characters. Joffrey, but unfortunately that never happened. I don’t think it will ever happen.”

Imagine Mel having a normal chat with Sam. Or terrorizing Joffrey. That would be fun.

She tells GoldDerby, her final filming was the burning the trenches-  “that was with a big green screen so it wasn’t very romantic or anything. She explains, “It was a very intense scene to do and it was mixed with my own emotions of it being my last scene and saying goodbye has never been my favorite thing in the world. It was quite a loaded day, you could say. A lot of tension had to come out after I’d done that scene and I just started crying like a baby. I didn’t really see that coming. I just was overwhelmed by emotion. I just couldn’t stop crying.”

Read the complete interview at GoldDerby!

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The Redemption Arc That Wasn’t: a Con of Thrones Interview with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Jaime

For my last interview at Con of Thrones I had the privilege of chatting with none other than the Kingslayer himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who shared his thoughts on redemption, forgiveness and how those concepts apply (or don’t apply) to Jaime Lannister’s arc.

]“I think with Jaime’s arc, there’s been so much talk about how his was a redemption arc and I never saw that,” Coster-Waldau tells me. “I never saw him as a guy who needed redemption as such. I just saw him as a guy who had some very specific circumstances in his life … you know, the whole Kingslayer thing on the surface was about him being dishonorable. So now he needed to redeem himself because he did this horrible thing when, in fact, [killing the king] was probably his proudest moment.”

That’s not to say that Coster-Waldau believes Jaime had no arc, however.

“The big thing, of course, was losing his hand. That forced him to become a different version of himself,” he says. “He was a great fighter. He was always a great soldier. He was always a great son and brother. He would do anything for his family and he continued that but now he had to be smarter. He had to use his brains, he had to learn from his siblings, and from his father. One of the best moments, I thought, was when he captured Riverrun without killing anyone and also when he took all the gold from Olenna Tyrell. He accomplished a lot of very successful campaigns in his own right with his smarts and not his sword skills.

By season 8, Jaime Lannister had, indeed, changed drastically from the man who pushed Bran out of a window. But character development and self-improvement don’t necessarily equate to redemption.

“So, the redemption arc that people wanted, as I understand it is, was that he would become an all-out good guy who would then cut off his ties with his family or at least with his sister, join the good fight and then declare everlasting love of Brienne and they would stay together and that would then make him a good guy,” the actor says. “I think that’s a little … but that’s not Game of Thrones. I don’t’ believe that you can just erase your previous life because you go, ‘okay, now I’m going to be a good guy.’”

And according to Coster-Waldau, Jaime believed that redeeming himself would have required just that: erasing his past.

“What’s so beautiful about [his final] scene with Brienne is that when he says goodbye to her and she cries with this overwhelming sadness that this guy can’t acknowledge that it’s okay to be flawed,” Coster-Waldau says. “He has done horrible things in the name of love, as he calls it, but also in the name of existing in this crazy world that they live in but he can’t forgive himself.

“He can’t just cut off who he was, you know, and the idea of leaving his sister alone is just simply impossible to him. I think that’s very truthful to the character.”

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Nathalie Emmanuel Rejects Toxic Fan Backlash to Game of Thrones Season 8

Missandei Laugh Grey Worm Season 6 608

Game of Thrones has been resting peacefully for about 2 months now, or at least it would, if only anyone would let it. In the wake of the finale, fan fervor, enthusiastically by all accounts positive or negative, has truly reached heights the likes of which haven’t been seen since LOST ended in 2010. While the Internet was certainly ablaze back then – “I wasted all these years of my life all for this crappy ending!” was a common phrase even back in those simpler times – now, in the age of thinkpieces and online watercooler-ing, it seems as though the negative voices have emerged ever victorious amidst the discourse. And such, we have found ourselves with an echo-chamber of over a million signatures, smugly adorning the fan-led petition to remake season 8 with “competent writers.” Thankfully, our very own Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) is firmly not on board.

Speaking with TVLine, Nathalie concedes that “[I]t’s totally fine if you don’t like something.” She, like all of us, is an audience participant in enjoying art. But she hits the nail on the head when she says of the petition: “You can’t ask for receipts on art. You just can’t. The art has been created for you, and you can either choose to like it or not.” I feel very similarly to her. You can talk to death about what it should have been, but ultimately it isn’t yours. It isn’t your art. It is someone else’s art that you were trying to enjoy. Maybe you didn’t. And that’s OK! So, create your own art.

Nathalie also discusses her final scenes, and what worked for her as an actor: “I was very grateful for the strength that she had when she left. That was a performance choice for me…She’s not going to be crying. She’s not going to be stereotypically scared. She’s scared, but she owns it.” I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say I extend a hearty thank you to Nathalie for pouring her soul into Missandei over the course of 6 seasons of television. Ultimately she was herself “blown away” by the finale.

Check out the interview for several more quotes.

Up next for Nathalie? She’ll lead the cast in Hulu’s upcoming miniseries re-remake of Four Weddings and a Funeral. Her American accent actually sounds pretty damn good in the trailer, something you don’t always see in most shows or movies. If she brings the same passion to this new project as she always did to Game of Thrones, then it could truly turn into something special.

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Naomi Watts stays tight-lipped about ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel, Miranda Richardson is ‘thrilled’ to be involved and more

Caption

Naomi Watts appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s late show recently, but divulged no details about the coming Game of Thrones prequel.

Filming may have wrapped on the pilot for the highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel, but naturally, the cast still has to keep quiet until the series is both greenlit (slim chance of that not happening, if we’re being honest) and filming resumes on the rest of the episodes. Case in point: Naomi Watts, one of the prequel’s leads, deflecting like a boss on a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

“Can we talk about the Game of Thrones prequel?” Fallon says in the clip, as the audience applauds. “Are we not allowed to discuss anything?”

“No,” Watts says, shaking her head — and the Oscar-nominated actress immediately shuts down any further discussion by turning to The Roots, Fallon’s house band, and shouting “Tequila!” The band obliges, launching into The Champs’ 1958 hit song.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0UM0U5zIZo]

“That’s the way to get out of it,” Fallon says after the song. “We won’t talk about it but I am very excited about it and congrats.”

Speaking of staying tight-lipped, HBO president of programming Casey Bloys confirmed during the Television Critics Association press tour this week that the network is still considering “one or two more scripts” when it comes to additional Thrones spin-offs.

“We’re gonna see what happens with this one,” he said, referring to what is being called Blood Moon (as the network hasn’t confirmed this as the official title, we will continue to refer to it as a working or production title until we know for sure).

In addition, one of the prequel’s other leads, Miranda Richardson, spoke with Digital Spy recently and while she didn’t give away any plot details, she seemed enthusiastic about the “storytelling” aspect of the series and following in the footsteps of Thrones.

“I’ve loved the storytelling in that series, and the wish and the will is to continue that with a totally different set of elements and people,” she said. “The work has been phenomenal throughout and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

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The Night’s Cast Bonus Episode: LIVE at Con of Thrones 2019!

Axey, Oz of Thrones, Vanessa, JoeMagician, Pat Sponaugle, Petra, Bex and Samantha

Axey, Oz of Thrones, Vanessa, JoeMagician, Pat Sponaugle, Petra, Bex and Samantha recorded a live episode of The Night’s Cast at this year’s Con of Thrones!

This year’s Con of Thrones may have come and gone, but there’s plenty of memories and lots of material to roll out, starting with a very special LIVE episode of The Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall!

The podcast was recorded Sunday, July 14th and included an all-star cast of contributors: Axey, Oz of Thrones, Vanessa, JoeMagician, Pat Sponaugle, Petra, Bex and Samantha. If you weren’t able to join us in Nashville, you can hear us talk all about our choices for Best Character Moments and hear a rousing rendition of “Happy Nameday,” sung in honor of Pat’s birthday!

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The podcast is available on iTunes and SoundCloud, and you can follow us on Twitter as well. Happy listening!

**NOTE: If you have 10 minutes to spare, we’d love your help in getting nominated for the 2019 Podcast Awards! Visit their website and sign up for a free account to select The Night’s Cast from the Entertainment and People’s Choice categories (you can vote for us for both!). Nominations are open until July 31. If we get enough votes, we make the final ballot for August! Help us bring home some hardware for the bookshelf!**

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HBO Exec Comments on the Status of the Game of Thrones Prequel- and those Self-Submitted Emmy Noms!

It’s time once again for the TCA press tour- summer edition, when TV execs trot out their best lines for the gathered press, and we glean what we can about the future of our favorite shows! Casey Bloys, head of HBO Programming, was on hand this time to address questions about the Game of Thrones spinoff, the Emmys, and more.

According to Vanity Fair, Bloys states that spinoff showrunner Jane Goldman is “busy in the edit bay” now, since filming’s completed. Those who have been following the shooting of the new pilot are aware that filming finished mid-July in Italy, but the exec confirms it. “The only status I have for you right now,” Bloys said, “is that we finished shooting the prequel. [We’re] very excited by the footage we saw of the cast.”

He diplomatically addresses the Emmy nominations, and the fact that the network itself didn’t submit all the performers would up securing a nomination. According to him, the network is behind their actors whether or not they submitted them. He says, “Thrones is unique…because it has 20-something series regulars.” The gist of it is that, as many have assumed, the network doesn’t want their actors to cancel each other out. “There is some strategic thinking,” he said.

But he also noted that when it comes to those nominated- “we’ll help them out.”

Visit Vanity Fair to read how HBO reacted to that fan petition and more!

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The Social Ascent of Bronn: a Con of Thrones Interview with Jerome Flynn

Jerome Flynn Con of Thrones 2019

I had the privilege of interviewing Jerome Flynn at this year’s Con of Thrones. We discussed his amiably amoral character, Bronn, what motivated him, and how Flynn imagines Westeros’ future will go with Bronn as its Master of Coin.

Reviewing all eight seasons, it’s quite possible that Bronn had the greatest social ascent of any character in Game of Thrones’ cast of thousands, beginning season one as a sellsword in a country inn and wrapping up season eight as the Lord of Highgarden and Master of Coin of the Six Kingdoms. While other characters’ goals evolved over time, Flynn says that Bronn remained “single-minded” in his pursuits.

“He had a strong intention which lead him through the whole show: he wanted his castle,” Flynn says. “He was clever. He followed the clues that were in front of him and took his chances when he had them. His last chance, when he was handed the crossbow, he turned into the bartering tool that he needed to seal the deal [for Highgarden] with the Lannister boys.”

He hastens to add: “I don’t think he would have killed them but he had to make them think that perhaps it was a possibility.”

Bronn Crosbow 801 Season 8 Winterfell

Bronn and Tyrion’s relationship always did seem to walk a razor’s edge. Flynn believes Bronn did “have a fondness” for Tyrion, which he would have liked to have seen developed further in season eight.

“I got attached to a certain part of him in terms of his relatioships, let’s say, with Tyrion,” he says. “And I think I wanted him to be more heroic. But that was my personal thing. I thought it was an opportunity for Bronn to suddenly turn up next and save Tyrion’s life fighting the White Walkers. But then if I’d been the writer then the whole story probably would have gone completely differently.”

He adds: “I really respect [David Benioff and Weiss] for sticking to a certain element of Bronn that was out for himself.”

Bronn’s approach certainly paid off … literally! Bronn’s appointment as Master of Coin took many viewers by surprise but Flynn seems confident that Westeros’ economy will survive the experience, not because of Bronn’s financial savviness but because Tyrion will have his back.

“I think Tyrion might have taken him to one side after that last table meeting and said, ‘Come on, dude. We’ve got to play ball here, and you can’t just have everything you want.’” Flynn says, referencing Bronn’s push to reopen King’s Landing’s brothels. “I think he’s there because of Tyrion. I think Tyrion understands why he did what he did. So I would imagine Tyrion would be trying to counsel him.”

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The Night’s Cast Episode 25: Emmys talk, prequel news and farewell to Con of Thrones

NCW

Emmy nominations are out, the Game of Thrones prequel continues filming, another year of Con of Thrones has come and gone — there’s plenty for The Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall, to chew over this week. So they dug in!

Join Vanessa, Samantha, Petra and Akash on this week’s episode, in which we discuss the highs and lows of the 32 Emmy nominations that Thrones garnered; the most recent prequel filming news (also known as the “Sam refuses to believe we WON’T we see the Rhoynar” segment); and the third annual Con of Thrones, including our favorite moments.

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The podcast is available on iTunes and SoundCloud, and you can follow us on Twitter as well. Happy listening!

**NOTE: If you have 10 minutes to spare, we’d love your help in getting nominated for the 2019 Podcast Awards! Visit their website and sign up for a free account to select The Night’s Cast from the Entertainment and People’s Choice categories (you can vote for us for both!). Nominations are open until July 31. If we get enough votes, we make the final ballot for August! Help us bring home some hardware for the bookshelf!**

The post The Night’s Cast Episode 25: Emmys talk, prequel news and farewell to Con of Thrones appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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The Best of Game of Thrones at San Diego Comic Con 2019!

Maarten de Boer/@iheartmaarten/TV Insider

Maarten de Boer/@iheartmaarten/TV Insider

The final Game of Thrones Hall H panel at San Diego Comic Con may not have delivered any big revelations, but the con did provide an opportunity to show off the newest GoT merch and it brought out the show’s stars for a round of appearances and autographs, as always. Here is the panel recording, and the new products we have to look forward this year! Thankfully, the official Game of Thrones/HBO Facebook saved us all a trip to California by snapping pics of all the major GoT-friendly booths at SDCC. Let’s have a look!

USAopoly offers a sneak peek of their custom Game of Thrones chess set (booth #1028), coming soon and available for pre-order now. I love the look of this and I’m pretty excited about it.

game of thrones cess sdcc

The Chronicle Books booth ( booth #1506) displays several items, most of them already available such as the coloring book and Twin Pin sets. The new item is Game of Thrones: A Guide to Westeros and Beyond, The Complete Series, by Myles McNutt, available for pre-order currently and set to be released in November. Chronicle’s site describes the book as offering a “a unique and exciting visual exploration of the world of Game of Thrones,” and says the book is filled “with bold infographics, illuminating timelines, stunning photography and insightful essays.”

chronicle books booth sdcc 2019

Check out the new Mega Construx sets at Mattel’s booth (#3029) featuring a full battle of ice and fire:

construx sdcc 2019

Take the Iron (gold?) Throne for yourself at Factory Entertainment’s booth (#2743), and enjoy their other Game of Thrones-inspired pieces while you’re there.

factory entertainment game of thrones sdcc

Insight Editions has an attractive array of merch on display with Game of Thrones: The Storyboards, by William Simpson, The Photography of Game of Thrones, Lovepop cards, and Dragon Egg candles.

lovepop storyboards dragon candles sdcc 2019

Swing by booth 2544 to check out these new GoT figures created by The Loyal Subjects.

loyal subjects sdcc 2019

There’s a detailed new Daenerys figure at the McFarlane booth (#917). The 6-inch scale toy is available now. If House Stark is where your allegiances lie, head over to booth 2615 to check out the Stark Sigil Mini Sculpture from Dark Horse Comics.

McFarlane Daenerys booth SDCC 2019stark mini sculpture sdcc 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Zero is continuing its incredible collection of Game of Thrones figures with Season 8. Visit them at booth #1929.

three zero sdcc 2019

Titans is showing their new products including this exclusive three-pack of dragons at the con:

titan sdcc 2019


On Friday, at 5:30PM Pacific time, Game of Thrones stars Isaac Hempstead Wright, Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Maisie Williams, Jacob Anderson, Liam Cunningham and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau took to the stage in Hall H with Entertainment Weekly‘s James Hibberd acting as moderator. The cast did not field any audience questions this year (probably wisely since people were booing early on in the panel; not sure why anyone thought they would allow a Q&A after that?) but responded to a light set of questions. The cast seemed to have a good time, as they usually do when gathered. This appears to be a lighthearted and somewhat tentative victory lap rather than a serious postmortem. Given the hostile vibe from a portion of the crowd, it was probably a strange thing to walk into, as a moderator, an actor, or as a viewer. Overall, the cast handled themselves deftly.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpZ__MKeX70?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

Frankly a lot of media outlets have been twisting some of the comments from cast with their interpretation so I think it’s best to watch the panel for yourself to see what they had to say.

maisie-williamsBut yes, Jacob Anderson did confirm once again that Grey Worm has a dick. No balls, but dick. Anyway!

The cast swung by TVInsider for a fun round of photos and EW has a great photo gallery of photo highlights from the panel before and after. Meanwhile Maisie Williams is living her best life, attending afterparties and looking the cutest.

Safe to say there will be no Thrones-ian presence at SDCC next year! (Unless you count the inevitable panel for The Eternals– good on you, Richard Madden!) Some of us were speculating at Con of Thrones about the release of the GoT prequel, assuming the pilot is successful and ordered to series. We probably won’t see a spinoff-connected SDCC panel until 2021 at the earliest, would be my guess.

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The Enduring Impact of Syrio Forel: a Con of Thrones Interview with Miltos Yerolemou

Arya-Syrio-game-of-thrones-21649272-1024-576At this year’s Con of Thrones, I had the opportunity to speak with Miltos Yerolemou, who is an absolute delight, not to mention a self-professed “big fan” of our own Night’s Cast podcast! We discussed Syrio’s impact on Arya Stark as well as Syrio’s enduring popularity within the fandom, owing, in part to the many fan theories surrounding the beloved dancing master.

Ever since Syrio’s ambiguous exit from Game of Thrones in season 1, fans have debated his fate: is he dead? Is he alive? Is he a faceless man of Braavos? Is he Jaqen H’ghar? The way Yerolemou sees it, these questions kind of miss the point. What matters is that Arya never learned what happened to Syrio and thus could never find closure.

“The point is that in Arya’s mind, Syrio is very much alive,” Yerolemou says, “In the same way that Jaqen and Sandor are … and of course her father: the four people who had a very profound influence on her.”

At the same time, Yerolemou concedes that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did sort of troll fan theorists (“I’m joking, I’m joking. Not trolling,” he adds) when they gave Syrio his now famous and deliciously meme-able line: “What do we say to the god of death? Not today.”

“Syrio never mentions the god of death at all in the books,” Yerolemou points out. “As far as we’re concerned with the book character he is simply a bodyguard to the king or queen of Braavos. But then [Benioff and Weiss] put this scene in where he directly references this religious cult and, of course, it feels like, ‘Everyone who thinks that he might be Jaqen H’ghar, we’ve just given you a really big hint that maybe he is.’ I mean, that’s what it felt like.”

However we choose to interpret Syrio’s fate and identity, the First Sword of Braavos indisputably had a huge impact on Arya and shaped who she became.

“I love the bit [in season 8, episode 3, “The Long Night”] where the Hound is so scared he’s literally going ‘You can’t fight death’ during the battle and Beric goes, ‘try telling her.’ That’s so brilliant!” Yerolemou says. “This person who … finds a way through the fear and just stoically goes ‘I’m going to confront it’ … that’s all part of her story, the people who have influenced her.”

Swordplay was a pivotal part of Syrio and, consequently, Arya’s stories and Yerolemou speaks highly of Game of Thrones’ approach to fight choreography.

“The thing that I think I like the most and the thing that connects with me the most is ‘how do you create something that feels authentic?’” he says. “What I really like about how we approach sword fighting now when we create shows in this day and age … is [that it reflects] what really does happen in a duel.”

Miltos Yerolemou Con of Thrones 2018

Miltos, waterdancing at Con of Thrones 2018

Moreover, figuring out how cultural background informs combat style i.e. “what does the Water Dance look like?” was a collaborative experience, as Yerolemou found when he and Maisie Williams showed Benioff and Weiss the choreography that they had worked out with fight choreographer, William Hobbs.

“They loved what we created and the only comment they made was just to make it a bit more dance-y,” Yerolemou says. “So we put a couple of spins in it because, while “dancing master” is a code, the Water Dance is still a dance.”

Lastly, I got to ask a Yerolemou a question that I had been harboring ever since my first viewing of season 1: how did he develop Syrio’s Braavosi accent?

“That was me doing an impersonation of my father who is Greek Cypriot,” Yerolemou answers. “And then me trying to change it enough so that you can’t tell if it’s a Greek accent or an Italian accent or a Spanish accent. Because I wanted it to sound like it was from a made-up land so I didn’t want it to be too specific. So I overly rolled my r’s. Sometimes when I watch it back and I go, ‘Oh God, what was I thinking?’”

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Watchers Reviews: the new Game of Thrones x adidas AM4GOT!

For the Throne Adidas Speed Factory

With San Diego Comic Con this weekend, we have one final year of great GoT merch to pore over and enjoy. We’ll be taking a closer look at the HBO booth (and the highlights of an admittedly very chill panel) today, but first up: the shoes! Following the release of the house-inspired Ultraboost collection, Adidas celebrates the conclusion of Game of Thrones with the special For The Throne AM4GOT sneakers and luckily, we’re getting to take a closer look at them!

The AM4GOT Adidas, created at the Adidas SPEEDFACTORY in Atlanta, displays a digital-print of the Iron Throne (pre-Drogon-meltjob) and the Season 8 promo-campaign motto “For the Throne.”  As you can see, the shoe is dark with a blue/purple overtone, and it features the signature BOOST midsole. The AM4GOT will conclude the adidas X Game of Thrones collaboration.

AM4GOT adidas game of thronesHow does the AM4GOT measure up? The colors are more subdued than they appear in promo shots but I think that’s a good thing in this case. The AM4GOT is a unique but wearable sneaker; the special details such as the icy midsole will be fun for fans and appreciated yet still practical for everyday wear.

The “For the Throne” tag is difficult to read, as it’s black-on-black and can’t really be seen in normal light. (I had to use a flash in this pic to make it even show up.) Some may like that, some may be disappointed by it. It’s a matter of personal taste. It’s certainly a comfortable shoe, that’s for sure! You could walk far-or run for your life- in Westeros with these.

Thank you to HBO & adidas for providing us with a pair for review purposes. The SPEEDFACTORY Game of Thrones x adidas AM4GOT is available now at Foot Locker and Adidas!

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Benioff, Weiss and others no longer attending Game of Thrones panel at Comic Con!

Image: 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Show

The lineup for this Friday’s Game of Thrones panel at San Diego Comic Con just got a little less full, according to an official announcement from HBO.

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, celebrated director Miguel Sapochnik, and actors Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) will no longer appear on the Hall H panel.

No reason is cited for their cancellation in the tweet.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), and Conleth Hill (Varys) will still be attending, according to the announcement.

Just yesterday, Game of Thrones picked up a record number of Emmy  nominations for the final season of the show, with nominations for Sapochnik, Coster-Waldau, and Williams, among the many nods.

Portions of the fandom have gotten remarkably toxic during and since the airing of the final season, seeming to take pride in coordinating public attacks on the writers/producers of Game of Thrones. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Benioff and Weiss and some actors felt unsafe at SDCC.

On the upside, I saw very mature, intelligent discussions about season 8 happen at Con of Thrones, where people were able to debate the merits and dissenting opinions about the season and characters in a respectful fashion throughout the weekend. This fandom is mainly full of good people, and I believe the good still far outweighs the bad.

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Game of Thrones cast members react to Emmy nominations!

Tormund Jon Snow Daenerys Targaryen Season 8 804

Yesterday Game of Thrones collected a truly astonishing – and record breaking – 32 nominations for its eighth and final season. Talk about going out with a bang! What’s even more incredible is that almost a third of those were for the acting alone, with ten nominations for the cast. Understandably, they had plenty to say about this unprecedented achievement.

Kit Harington gave a statement to US Weekly expressing appreciation for his Lead Actor nod. “Many thanks to the Academy. It’s been an amazing journey with ol’ Jon Snow. I’m thrilled he’s been nominated.”

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Supporting Actor nominee Nikolaj Coster-Waldau shared the shock and amazement of the cast. “I was just on the phone with Gwendoline [Christie], who is also very excited. It’s unreal. We’re all just so thrilled, all of us. To have Kit, Emilia [Clarke], myself, Peter [Dinklage], Alfie [Allen], Gwendoline, Maisie [Williams], Sophie [Turner], Lena [Headey], Carice [Van Houten]…ten of us? It’s insane! None of us expected this.”

Coster-Waldau is aware the final season had a negative reception from some critics and fans, but he doesn’t believe the writing is at fault. “I think it was a mix of many things. For one, it’s the basic idea of not wanting the show to end, and any ending would have been very upsetting. But the only thing I can say is you don’t get this many actors nominated with bad writing. It just does not happen. This validates the writing on Game of Thrones, for sure.”

War Meeting Season 8 802 Winterfell Map

New (and long overdue) Supporting Actor nominee Alfie Allen told People that the cast was ectastic at the news. “32 nominations, it’s pretty insane. It’s collectively a mad thing. We’ve got a group chat going, it’s going crazy at the moment. It’s amazing. It’s just incredible, I can’t wait for the actual night.”

Initially Allen was unaware he was nominated. “I was on out and about just doing stuff. I got a congratulations text and I just thought it was a group nomination, and I didn’t realize it was an individual one, which is crazy. I’m just ecstatic really, I can’t believe this. It really surprised me, I was not expecting it at all. I’m still in shocked, still happily in shocked. It’s amazing.”

Even more than the possibility of winning an Emmy, Allen is looking forward to reuniting with his fellow cast members. “It’s gonna be a great night. I haven’t seen these people since the show has ended so it’s going to be great to sort of round it up on a positive celebration with everyone. It’s going to be a really lovely night.”

Many of the actors took to social media to share their excitement. Supporting Actress nominees Maisie Williams and Gwendoline Christie had very different reactions on Twitter, with Williams responding to the news with a pleased yet humble GIF…

…while Christie was a little less reserved.

Christie also told Variety that she “never ever thought this would happen…I couldn’t be more delighted, this is the best day ever.” She adds, “I honestly couldn’t feel more overwhelmed, privileged and heartened that people want to see more unconventional female storylines. I’m so excited for Kit and Emilia and Maisie and Alfie, and Nikolaj congratulated me this morning. It feels like a celebration.”

Fellow Supporting Actress nominees Sophie Turner and Lena Headey expressed their gratitude on Instagram. Turner shared a story in which she also congratulated her cast mates.

Sophie Turner Instagram

Headey’s post gave us a look at her excited reaction to the news.

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Guest Actress nominee Carice Van Houten couldn’t believe the good news. 


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Whut ?!?!? 🔥 the summer is hot and full of surprises ! Wow, I’m very excited and proud!

A post shared by Carice van Houten (@leavecaricealone) on

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Last but most certainly not least, George R.R. Martin offered praise to the entire Game of Thrones team.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsRegardless of how you feel about season eight, I think we can all admire the incredible acting and tremendous effort put forth by the cast and crew over the past decade. Here’s hoping for some well deserved awards in September.

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‘Game of Thrones’ lands record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations for Season 8!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9046769n) A Emmy award statuettes are seen during the 2017 Governors Ball Press Preview at The Los Angeles Convention Center on in Los Angeles, Calif 2017 Governors Ball Press Preview, Los Angeles, USA - 07 Sep 2017

Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock: Emmy award statuettes are seen during the 2017 Governors Ball Press Preview at The Los Angeles Convention Center on in Los Angeles on Sept. 7, 2017

Well, we’ve had a lot of “lasts” in recent months with Game of Thrones coming to an end: last Twitter roundups, last episode postmortems, etc, and we’ll add another to the list in the form of last Emmy nominations. The 2019 Emmy nominations were made this morning and we have them all rounded up for you to peruse, and Thrones landed a record-breaking 32 nods — the most for a TV show in a single year!

There were a lot of, uh, differing opinions on the writing (and here and there on directing) of Season 8, but the world’s most popular show didn’t get there on writing and directing alone — the acting was always phenomenal, and behind-the-scenes work on special effects, score, production design, costuming and more was absolutely crucial to Thrones‘ success. The show’s final season was recognized for all this and more with the following 2019 Emmy nominations (and if you want to compare these to what the show submitted for, you can take a look at that list here):

Outstanding Drama Nominees:

Better Call Saul
Bodyguard
GOT
Killing Eve
Ozark
Pose
This is Us

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series:

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This is Us
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Billy Porter, Pose
Milo Ventimiglia, This is Us

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series:

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Laura Linney, Ozark
Mandy Moore, This is Us
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:

Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:

Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones
Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones
Lena Headey,Game of Thrones
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Julia Garner, Ozark

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series:

Carice Van Houten, Game of Thrones
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Apocalypse
Cicely TysonHow to Get Away with Murder
Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Cherry Jones, The Handmaid’s Tale
Phyilica Rashad, This Is Us

Other nominations for the show this year include:

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: 

Game of Thrones, “The Last of the Starks,” David Nutter
Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Miguel Sapochnik
Game of Thrones, “The Iron Throne,” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: Game of Thrones, “The Iron Throne,” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Outstanding Production Design For a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More): Game Of Thrones, “The Bells,” Deborah Riley, Production Designer; Paul Ghirardani, Art Director; Rob Cameron, Set Decorator

Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series (One Hour): Game of Thrones, Jonathan Freeman, ASC, Director of Photography

Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour): Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Tim Kimmel, MPSE, Sound Supervisor; Tim Hands, Supervising ADR Editor; Paula Fairfield, Sound Designer; Bradley C. Katona, MPSE, Sound Effects Editor; Paul Bercovitch, Supervising Dialogue Editor; John Matter, Dialogue Editor; David Klotz, Music Editor; Brett Voss, Foley Editor; Jeffrey Wilhoit, Foley Artist; Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit, Foley Artist

Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series: Game of Thrones, Nina Gold, Robert Sterne, Carla Stronge

Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour): Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Onnalee Blank, Re-Recording Mixer; Mathew Waters, CAS, Re-Recording Mixer;  Simon Kerr, Production Mixer; Danny Crowley, Production Mixer; Ronan Hill, Production Mixer

Outstanding Special Visual Effects: Game of Thrones, “The Bells,” Joe Bauer, Lead Visual Effects Supervisor; Steve Kullback, Lead Visual Effects Producer; Adam Chazen, Visual Effects Associate Producer; Sam Conway, Special Effects Supervisor; Mohsen Mousavi, Visual Effects Supervisor; Martin Hill, Visual Effects Supervisor; Ted Rae, Visual Effects Plate Supervisor; Patrick Tiberius Gehlen, Previs Lead; Thomas Schelesny, Visual Effects and Animation Supervisor

Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie: Game of Thrones, Rowley Irlam, Stunt Coordinator

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series: 

Game of Thrones, “The Iron Throne,” Katie Weiland, ACE, Editor
Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Tim Porter, ACE, Editor
Game of Thrones, “Winterfell,” Crispin Green, Editor

Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes: Game of Thrones, “The Bells,” Michele Clapton, Costume Designer; Emma O’Loughlin, Assistant Costume Designer; Kate O’Farrell, Costume Supervisor

Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series: Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Kevin Alexander, Department Head Hairstylist; Candice Banks, Key Hairstylist; Nicola Mount, Hairstylist; Rosalia Culora, Hairstylist

Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic):  Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Jane Walker, Department Head Makeup Artist; Kay Bilk, Makeup Artist; Marianna Kyriacou, Makeup Artist; Nicola Matthews, Makeup Artist; Pamela Smyth, Makeup Artist

Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special: Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Emma Faulkes, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Paul Spateri, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Chloe Muton-Phillips, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Duncan Jarman, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Patt Foad, Special Makeup Effects Artist; John Eldred-Tooby, Special Makeup Effects Artist; Barrie Gower, Prosthetic Designer; Sarah Gower, Prosthetic Designer

Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score): Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” Ramin Djawadi

Outstanding Music Composition For A Documentary Series Or Special (Original Dramatic Score): Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, Hannah Peel

Outstanding Title Design: Game of Thrones, Angus Wall, Creative Director; Kirk Shintani, Art Director; Shahana Khan, Lead Compositor; Ian Ruhfass, 3D Lead; Rustam Hasanov, Lead Conceptual Designer

Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program: Game Of Thrones, “Fight For The Living: Beyond The Wall Virtual Reality Experience”, HBO and AT&T

The 2019 Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on Sept. 22 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The full list of nominations is available here.

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George RR Martin on the temptation to change his plans for The Winds of Winter

Caption

In a new article, George R.R. Martin talks to Entertainment Weekly about the pressures of creating A Song of Ice and Fire with millions of fans obsessing over the series, and the hotly debated Game of Thrones finale hanging over his head.

The authors owns up to feeling tempted to change his plans based on fans making correct predictions, especially now that we’re pooling our thoughts in the age of the internet, but he’s staying the course. He tells EW:

“…there is a temptation to then change it [in the upcoming books] — ‘Oh my god, it’s screwed up, I have to come up with something different.’ But that’s wrong. Because you’ve been planning for a certain ending and if you suddenly change direction just because somebody figured it out, or because they don’t like it, then it screws up the whole structure. So no, I don’t read the fan sites. I want to write the book I’ve always intended to write all along. And when it comes out they can like it or they can not like it.”

And will the conclusion match the show’s? Eh…maybe? “Yes, I told [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] a number of things years ago. And some of them they did do. But at the same time, it’s different. I have very fixed ideas in my head as I’m writing The Winds of Winter and beyond that in terms of where things are going. It’s like two alternate realities existing side by side. I have to double down and do my version of it which is what I’ve been doing.”

The author discusses his plans for The Winds of Winter and dedication to completing the book, despite the enormous pressure and missed deadlines. But as always, he’s vague on the delivery. He says, “I don’t only want to finish it, I want to make it as good as I possibly can. […] The show is over. I’m writing the book. It will be done when it’s done.”

So it sounds like GRRM will keep on truckin’, but he’s teasing the idea that Benioff and Weiss didn’t use everything he gave them since they only did “some of them.” Intriguing, yes?

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House Stark returns to Game of Thrones with new look & sigil in prequel filming!

Sansa Stark 806 Season 8 Queen in the North

After rehearsals, filming for Jane Goldman’s Game of Thrones prequel finally took place this afternoon at Gaeta, Italy. Though no new actors or characters were recognized, we did get to see Stark men thousands of years before we first met them in Game of Thrones, with a surprising new (or rather, old) look. That includes the iconic House Stark sigil, which has been redesigned to match the legendary era of the Age of Heroes and the Long Night during which the story is set. Take a look below the cut!

Soon after reporting on this morning’s reheasals, the ever-helpful GoTlikeLocation got a glimpse at actual filming this afternoon, in which we finally see the boat in all its glory, crewed by viking-looking ancient Starks, as evidenced by their direwolf banner:

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Though George R.R. Martin recently revealed House Stark would “definitely” appear in this new series, some differences are to be expected, considering it’s set thousands of years before Game of Thrones: we’ll see the Starks as kings again, but only of one petty kingdom among a hundred, so not quite as a Great House that rules the entire North.

This appears to be reflected on their appearance as well, as these Stark sailors and their ship look basically like Vikings. As for the Stark sigil on the banner (also seen on the boat’s relief carving), it’s evocative of the design to which we’re accostumed, but with a less sleek design, probably to highlight the ancientness of this pre-historic era:

To the left, the prequel's ancient Stark sigil; to the right, the well-known Game of Thrones design.

To the left, the prequel’s ancient Stark sigil; to the right, the well-known Game of Thrones design.

So, what do you think the Starks are up to here? Will they be as crucial to Blood Moon’s story as they were for the original show’s, or will they just be one faction among many? What do you think of their Viking-like appearance and the “new” (ancient) Stark sigil?

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Game of Thrones prequel begins filming in Italy; Naomi Watts and a new cast member spotted on set!

Gaeta

Have the post-Con of Thrones blues got you down? Fear not, we have more prequel news coming your way to lift your spirits! Filming for the series, as of now titled Blood Moon, has moved on to Gaeta, Italy, and we have some wonderful shots from the set – including a costumed Naomi Watts – to share.

The Twitter account GoTlike Locations posted several photos showing filming prep taking place near the Grotta del Turco, including production vehicles and signage restricting access.

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They also captured rehearsal underway in the waters near Grotta del Turco. We see rowers on a very Viking-esque boat, and someone who looks to be director SJ Clarkson.

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Instagram user kiaruzz91_ was lucky enough to capture the below shot of Naomi Watts in all her golden glory – it appears that brunette wig didn’t belong to her after all. George R.R. Martin has said Blood Moon predates the Lannisters, but perhaps Watts is an ancester? That head to toe gold can’t be a coincidence, can it? 

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Blood Moon Naomi Watts

She also posted photos of the Grotta del Turco entrance with production signage and a vehicle with the Blood Moon logo in the window.

Blood Moon Gaeta Italy Blood Moon Gaeta

Finally, a new addition to the cast was spotted on set and identified by Redanian Intelligence as Georgina Campbell. Her costume and hair display the Greco-Roman influence we’ve seen in previous set photos, and in the above shot of Watts. Campbell is best known for the British crime drama Broadchurch and SYFY’s Krypton. Campbell’s latest Instagram post confirms her location as Gaeta, Italy.

Blood Moon Georgina Campbell


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When the pizza comes 🍕🍕

A post shared by Georgina Alice Campbell (@galicecampbell) on

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Special thanks to GoTlike Locations and Redanian Intelligence for the information. We will post more news and photos as we find them, so be sure to check back often!

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Brewery Ommegang and HBO announce “My Watch Has Ended,” for the end of Game of Thrones

My Watch Has Ended Ommegang Beer

If you thought the Game of Thrones merch train was rolling to a stop, you’ve got another thing coming, with Comic-Con coming up!

Brewery Ommegang and HBO announced today their 15th- and final– offering in their profitable partnership inspired by Game of Thrones. They’ll cap off the potent series with “My Watch Has Ended,” what they describe as “an imperial brown ale brewed with maple syrup and fenugreek.” The new ale will be available in the fall.

“We’ve brewed an amazing array of different beers over the course of this partnership, and it’s been our pleasure to be part of this phenomonal story,” says Brewery Ommegang president Doug Campbell. “A tribute to fans everywhere, My Watch Has Ended is a fitting end to the series, and a reflection of the mindset of fans now that this epic story has come to a close. We hope it’s something they’ll enjoy with friends as they reminisce about their favorite episodes and characters.”

“Fifteen beers and six years later, we’ve now arrived at our aptly named final beer, My Watch Has Ended,” said Jeff Peters, VP of Licensing & Retail. “What an incredible collaboration this partnership with Brewery Ommegang has been, and we couldn’t be prouder of this final product. Cheers!”

My Watch Has Ended is reportedly brewed with “two-row base malt, specialty grains such as oat flakes and chocolate malt, plus maple syrup and fenugreek, an herb with a maple-like aroma and flavor. Hopped with Hallertau Magnum and Styrian Golding varietals and fermented with an English ale yeast, with aromas of sweet maple and caramelized sugar, the beer pours a rich mahogany. Notes of cocoa and toffee and a smooth, velvety mouthfeel finish dry, with gently smoldering roast.” The ale has an 8% ABV, and will be available on draft and in 750 ml bottles at the suggested retail price of $11.99/bottle.

My Watch Has Ended lands in the late fall just in time for the holidays, and alongside the Collector’s Edition pack, featuring three previously released beers: Take the Black Stout, Fire and Blood Red Ale, and Winter is Here Double Wit, plus a commemorative glass! The previous Collector’s Edition Ommegang sets have been beautifully packaged and modestly priced so we’re looking forward to this one as well.

And of course we love a good Night’s Watch reference here at the Wall. Are you collectors looking forward to adding this one to your lot or sad the collection is coming to a close?

The post Brewery Ommegang and HBO announce “My Watch Has Ended,” for the end of Game of Thrones appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Emmy Nominations’ Drama Categories Wishlist, Featuring Game of Thrones Season 8

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And so begins the final wishlist for an Emmys featuring Game of Thrones among the contenders. I’m a real sucker for awards, you guys. I know, I know that they don’t REALLY mean anything, but they do to me! It’s the time we get to gather together and celebrate the best the small screen has to offer, and boy howdy does it offer something in this Golden Age of Television of which we are all so #blessed to be a part. Going into this there are a few things you should bear in mind:

  1. The actual list of Emmy nominations will be announced on July 16th by D’Arcy Carden and Ken Jeong. Therefore, what you are about to read is my personal wishlist of whom I wish to see be nominated on the drama side of things (aka, the categories in which GOT could be a contender (it could be somebodyyyy)).
  2. Anything on my wishlist has to be something I’ve actually seen. I’m not going to suggest an actor whom I like get nominated just because I’ve seen them in something else – I have to have seen them in the would-be-nominated role.
  3. Lastly…I watch a lot of genre and period TV, you guys. Like, a LOT of it. So with all that, let’s dive in!

Best Drama Wishlist:

Counterpart season 2 (Starz)
Elementary season 6 (CBS)
Game of Thrones season 8 (HBO)
The Man In The High Castle season 3 (Amazon Prime)
Marvel’s Daredevil season 3 (Netflix)
Outlander season 4 (Starz)
Vikings season 5b (History)

…Did I mention that I watch a lot of genre TV? Anyways…GOT is more than likely a sure bet to be nominated, while realistically, zero of the other above shows will make the cut. None of them has ever been Emmy material. The question really is…will the overwhelmingly negative reaction to 4 out of the 6 episodes of season 8 stop it in dead in its tracks? Time will tell, but my money is still on it actually winning. As for the rest of these shows, The Man in the High Castle and Counterpart have put out three and two, respectively, exceptional seasons, and I can’t recommend those shows enough. Vikings and Outlander continue to be fun underdog alternatives to GOT. Daredevil had some truly elevated storytelling during much of its 3rd and sadly final season. And yes, that is indeed CBS procedural Elementary you see on there. I watch one major network drama, and it happens to be very good (much better than Sherlock, I’ll add).

Best Actor Wishlist:

Richard Madden as David Budd (Bodyguard)
J. K. Simmons
as Howard Silk/Howard Prime (Counterpart)
Kit Harington 
as Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)
Rufus Sewell 
as Obergruppenführer John Smith (The Man In The High Castle)
Jon Bernthal 
as Frank Castle (Marvel’s The Punisher)
Sam Heughan 
as Jamie Fraser (Outlander)

This one is exciting. The only people up here who are actual contenders to get nominated are brothers from other mothers Richard Madden and Kit Harington. It would be so awesome to see Jon Snow go up against Robb Stark! Although, if you want my personal pick (though he’ll never be nominated), that would be Rufus Sewell, whose turn as John Smith is hauntingly brilliant and beautiful, crafting one of the most remarkable, terrifying, and empathetic portraits of a Nazi I could ever fathom. Yes. His character is a Nazi. Yes. I am Jewish. And yes. He is that good. J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, and Sam Heughan: love you guys, thanks for playing.

Best Actress Wishlist:

Olivia Williams as Emily Silk/Emily Prime (Counterpart)
Emilia Clarke 
as Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)
Suranne Jones 
as Anne Lister (Gentleman Jack)
Jodie Comer 
as Villanelle (Killing Eve)
Alexa Davalos 
as Juliana Crain (The Man In The High Castle)
Caitriona Balfe 
as Claire Randall Fraser (Outlander)

This has to be Emilia’s year, right? Right!?!? Her facial expressions in ‘The Bells’ alone should do it. I do believe that she will not only be nominated, but I believe she will win as well. Her only actual competition will likely come in the form of Suranne Jones, who creates a character I’d somehow never seen on screen before. It’s entirely worth watching Gentleman Jack for her alone. As for the others, the only one I can see having a shot is Jodie Comer, though I’ll be sad when Olivia Williams goes unnoticed (as will the rest of her brilliant show). Doesn’t mean I love Caitriona Balfe or Alexa Davalos any less!

Best Supporting Actor Wishlist:

Harry Lloyd as Peter Quayle (Counterpart)
Pilou Asbæk 
as Euron Greyjoy (Game of Thrones)
Peter Dinklage 
as Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones)
Cory Michael Smith
as Edward Nygma aka The Riddler (Gotham)
Joel De la Fuente 
as Inspector Kido (The Man In The High Castle)
Rupert Evans as Frank Frink (The Man In The High Castle)
Alex Høgh Andersen
as Ivar (Vikings)

This one’s a toughie – There were so many GOT cast members to choose from, but I’ve whittled it down to (naturally) those I’d personally nominate for season 8. That leaves me with Peter Dinklage, who is oft scoffed at for his repeat nominations (this would be 8/8), but I think people sometimes forget just how good he is. He basically ran the finale himself, with several monologues back to back, and he nailed each and every one of them. Secondly, I just have to hand it to Pilou. After Euron’s didn’t make a splash (lol puns) at first, he came back swinging in seasons 7 and 8, and boy did he ever make an impression. “Swaggering rock ‘n roll pirate” is as a good a descriptor as an actor can get, and he just nailed it, in my opinion. I’d like to throw a separate shout out to reformed bad boy Viserys, whose actor Harry Lloyd did tremendous work on Counterpart. Meanwhile, hard at work are the actors on The Man in the High Castle, whose products are so consistently wonderful, most notably among them Joel De la Fuente and Rupert Evans. Cory Michael Smith turned in 5 weird years as the very weird Riddler and I think he finally deserves some recognition. And lastly, Alex Høgh Andersen’s impressive work as Ivar isn’t just good enough for a nomination, in my opinion; he’s good enough to WIN! (He won’t get either, but that’s another story).

Best Supporting Actress Wishlist:

Nazanin Boniadi as Clare (Counterpart)
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)
Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens (Killing Eve)
Chelah Horsdal
as Helen Smith (The Man In The High Castle)
Uzo Aduba 
as Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren (Orange is the New Black)
Danielle Brooks as Tasha ‘Taystee’ Jefferson (Orange is the New Black)
Selenis Levya as Gloria Mendoza (Orange is the New Black)

There were a lot of Game of Thrones cast members on this ballot as well, but unfortunately, given the constraints of the shortened season 8, very few of them got a longer chance to shine. Maisie Williams was not one of them, however. Her final turn as Arya Stark was one for the ages, most perfectly captured in her tumultuous escape from King’s Landing, as I’d noted in her Take a Bow. I really really hope she wins this one. Fiona Shaw was, for me, the best part of Killing Eve, a show of which I otherwise wasn’t too fond (sorry, @The Internet). Nazanin Boniadi played a double agent on Counterpart, and got to often play opposite Harry Lloyd, her husband whom she was deceiving. It was very easy for Chelah Horsdal’s Helen to be overshadowed by her husband John Smith, but this season, the writers of of The Man in the High Castle gave her so much more to do, and she ran with it. And lastly, the ladies of Orange is the New Black have so many candidates on the Emmy ballot, but I picked three I felt were most deserving, in Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, and Selenis Levya.

Best Guest Actor Wishlist:

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead)

Welp. GOT isn’t on the ballot for anyone in this category, but it won’t stop me from both appreciating Andrew Lincoln’s 9 years on The Walking Dead. It’s kind of funny that he was in few enough episodes to qualify for best guest actor, but here we are. And you know what? I haven’t gotten a chance to look into all the other people on the ballot (as mentioned, I’ll only list people whose performances I saw), but I figure he has a good shot of actually winning, after not being nominated for 8 years.

Best Guest Actress Wishlist:

Carice Van Houten as Melisandre (Game of Thrones)
Alexa Davalos as Beth Quinn (The Punisher)
Maria Doyle Kennedy as Jocasta (Outlander)

Thanks to Melisandre’s eleventh hour return to save the day at the Battle of Winterfell, Carice Van Houten has a chance to finally clinch that nomination she’s long deserved. The liklihood of her nomination has certainly increased with the sharp decrease of competition she’ll be facing, but I am still highly doubtful, unfortunately, that she won’t win. If Dame Diana Rigg couldn’t win after all those years, then Carice is rather unlikely to. As for my other placements, Alexa Davalos and Maria Doyle Kennedy, I’ll say thank you for your work, but it is unfortunately unlikely to be recognized.

So there you have it. My highly personalized list of shows and actors I want to see on the ballot on July 16th. While I unfortunately couldn’t place all the eligible GOT cast members on my wishlist, we will soon have the WOTW Awards coming up in which you will be able to vote for your favorite Greyjoy to your heart’s content! Where did I err? What under-appreciated actor did I recognize? What does your wishlist look like? Let us know in the comments below!

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George R.R. Martin divulges details about ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel: Starks, Casterly Rock, new title possibilities, and more!

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We didn’t get much of Casterly Rock in ‘Game of Thrones,’ but will the prequel series change that?

More and more information about the Game of Thrones prequel series, tentatively titled Blood Moon (although more on that title in a bit!), is starting to find its way to the internet and to us, the fans still hungry for more Westeros content. This time, no less than the creator of the fantastic world itself, George R.R. Martin, is letting a few new details slip in a new interview!

EW recently spoke with GRRM about the prequel, which is helmed by showrunner Jane Goldman and officially began filming in May (and has seen more and more activity in the last month or so). Martin dropped several tantalizing hints and even suggested a possible new title for the series! Here are the important facts from the interview:

1. Westeros is divided. “We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were Seven Kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest,” Martin said. “But if you go back further then there are nine kingdoms, and 12 kingdoms, and eventually you get back to where there are a hundred kingdoms — petty kingdoms — and that’s the era we’re talking about here.”

2. Rejoice, Stark stans! Martin confirms the fan-favorite family is around. “The Starks will definitely be there,” he said. And while much has been made about the fact the prequel predates dragons, that doesn’t mean there won’t be other creatures like mammoths and direwolves.

3. No Lannisters…or are there? The prequel predates the rise of the Lannister family, Martin says. But there is another family currently residing in the future Lannister homestead. “The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there … It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — for whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.” Will the tale of how Lann the Clever swindled the Rock away from the Casterlys be told in the prequel?

4. Like GoT, it’s a true ensemble. HBO’s cast breakdown appeared to suggest the show might be led by a trio of female leads (Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, and Denise Gough). Asked about this, Martin said the prequel — like Game of Thrones — is more accurately described as an ensemble story. “As you know for Game of Thrones, we never even nominated anybody for lead actress or lead actor [during awards season] until recently; it was always for supporting [categories] because the show is such an ensemble. I think that will be true for this show too. We don’t have leads so much as a large ensemble cast.”

5. Blood Moon, The Long Night, or something different? The prequel is still officially untitled, Martin emphasized, despite the recently-spied production schedule that has Blood Moon at the top. In the past, the author has suggested the title The Long Night, which remains Martin’s preferred title, although there is another similar possibility being considered. “I heard a suggestion that it could be called The Longest Night, which is a variant I wouldn’t mind,” he said. “That would be pretty good.”

More information is available in the full article, but what do you think of these new details? Is this anything that surprises you, or were you expecting some of this? Does this make you more interested in the prequel? Let us know in the comments!

The post George R.R. Martin divulges details about ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel: Starks, Casterly Rock, new title possibilities, and more! appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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New Game of Thrones prequel character cast and… a wig for Naomi Watts?

Photo by Joel Ryan

As the pilot for Jane Goldman’s Game of Thrones prequel continues being filmed right now in Northern Ireland (and, unprecedently, next week in Italy), we hear more and more from the mysterious new show. Today we bring you casting news for a new character (or perhaps not so new), and a peek at Naomi Watts getting ready for her role.

Thanks to our friends at Redanian Intelligence, we’ve been made aware of a new addition to the pilot’s extensive cast: Joshua Moabi, a 10-year old English actor with previous experience in commercials, who is playing a character by the name of “Young Alden.”

We don’t yet know whether “Alden” is Moabi’s character’s true name or a placeholder, and even if it is real it’s certainly unheard of in the world of George R.R. Martin, but we may still be able to gather some things: the “young” part appears to suggest Moabi’s playing an existing character in a flashback. Physically, he’s a pretty good match to Marquis Rodriguez, who was cast in a prominent role this past March.

Maobi could be playing a "young" version of Rodriguez' character.

Moabi could be playing a “young” version of Rodriguez’ character.

Considering HBO is only shooting the pilot for now, this cast is quite large. And there could even be flashbacks (or, given that it’s the first episode, maybe a linear time-jump.) We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s probably going to be as expansive a show as Game of Thrones. So, you know, get ready to pay attention and learn dozens of new names in the pilot or you won’t understand what the hell is going on. And this time with no books!

In slightly less newsy news, Decider caught that Blood Moon starring cast member Naomi Watts shared the Instagram story seen below from the hair & makeup trailer, watching the show Big Little Lies as she gets ready for an early 5AM work day.

Screenshoot of Naomi Watts Instagram Story by Decider

Screenshoot of Naomi Watts Instagram Story by Decider

Though Watts isn’t yet in character in the photo, you may notice there is a wig behind her. If it’s hers, it would mean no blonde Naomi in the show! Another thing to note is that the look of the wig matches the style we recently saw during filming.

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The Night’s Cast Episode 24: Prequel news and a pre-Con primer!

Watchers on the Wall panel at Con of Thrones 2018, with Oz of Thrones, Patrick Sponaugle, Bex, Vanessa Cole, Petra Halbur, JoeMagician, Sam Wallace, David Rosenblatt, Luka Nieto, and Sue the Fury.

Watchers on the Wall panel at Con of Thrones 2018, with Oz of Thrones, Patrick Sponaugle, Bex, Vanessa Cole, Petra Halbur, JoeMagician, Sam Wallace, David Rosenblatt, Luka Nieto, and Sue the Fury.

We’re back!! The Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall, has returned to your airwaves after a short hiatus, and we’re excited to talk prequel news and preparations for next week’s Con of Thrones.

This week, Vanessa and Samantha get pumped for the third annual Con of Thrones, which begins next Friday in Nashville, and break down recent casting, filming and production news for the Game of Thrones spinoff tentatively titled Blood Moon (although we’d like to reiterate that this is not the “official” title released by HBO and could still be a production codename only).

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/646320564?secret_token=s-yqV1f" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The podcast is available on iTunes and SoundCloud, and you can follow us on Twitter as well. Happy listening!

**NOTE: If you have 10 minutes to spare, we’d love your help in getting nominated for the 2019 Podcast Awards! Visit their website and sign up for a free account to select The Night’s Cast from the Entertainment and People’s Choice categories (you can vote for us for both!). If we get enough votes, we make the final ballot for August! Help us bring home some hardware for the bookshelf!**

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Carice van Houten reflects on the end of Game of Thrones and Melisandre’s death

Melisandre

Carice van Houten and her character of Melisandre may have checked out early in the final season, as one of its first major casualties, but that doesn’t dimish the deep impression left by actress and character both. In a new interview, van Houten discusses the poetic and controversial ends of Melisandre and the show respectively, and more!

The actress has a lot of feelings from the end of Game of Thrones, understandably, as she played the Red Woman for seven years. However, as other cast members have said, the reality of the show coming to an end is only starting to really hit now:

“I was overwhelmed by emotion. I hate saying goodbye,” van Houten tells Deadline about finishing filming Game of Thrones for good during Season 8 production. “It was not only wrapping the show and the character; it was an end of seven years of my life. A lot happens in seven years. That’s why some actors might be very emotional about it.

“For the first time, I’m feeling [that it’s really over]. There was always a year between shoots so we were used to it, but around now we would be getting into the script again, getting in touch with each other, speculating over what would happen to each other’s characters. [Now] there isn’t a reason to see each other as much, which is a little strange. I guess it helped that my character died in the last season. I’m really happy with my ending. That made it easier for me,” she says, regarding Melisandre’s beautiful end in The Long Night. “It was graceful. I was very grateful to the writers for that. That whole episode was bombastic, but my death was like the final note of a symphony.”

Melisandre death The LOng NIght

As for the divisive overall ending of Game of Thrones, at first Carice gets a bit philosphical about it, highlighting the sense of community created by the show:

“The thing I’m most happy about is that the show inspired people and brought people together,” the Dutch actress opines about the show’s legacy. “It’s the best thing that could have happened. I hope we get something like it in future, especially in this world where everyone is increasingly connected but individual…”

In the end, however, she does share her thoughts about the ending: “I could [understand some people’s frustration] in a way but I also felt it was bound to happen after eight years of expectation. Everyone has their own theories and wishes. It’s hard to do it ‘right,’ to wrap it up in a bow. Everyone has a right to their opinion but it didn’t bother me. I loved it when the dragon Drogon destroyed the throne, for example. Those moments were amazing. The fact there’s discussion about it is a good sign, though.”

Though I would hesitate to label some of the reaction to the final season as “a good sign” of anything, or to even classify it as “discussion”, I believe van Houten is quite right in spirit: whatever one may think of the final season or the finale (I happen to agree with her), it’s difficult to think of many TV shows that have ignited this much passion for so many people. We can only hope the prequels spark even a fraction of such interest!

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Funko announces new Sansa, Jorah and Daenerys Pop! figures

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An epic moment, now forever immortalized in vinyl.

Ah, Game of Thrones, the series that keeps on giving — if not in episodes anymore then at least in Twitter arguments, fan fiction, and new collectibles. Funko, makers of the big-headed figures that turn any fictional character into an adorable addition to your bookshelf, are happy to oblige with the latter!

Funko announced today that they will be releasing two new Pop! vinyl figurines: one a “Pop! Moment,” which depicts Jorah and Daenerys wielding swords during the Battle of Winterfell (pictured above the cut), and the other an addition to their “Pop! Television: Game of Thrones” collection, a long-awaited Sansa figure (seriously, it’s been forever since we got a second one) featuring the Queen in the North in her royal raiment:

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“THE QUEEN IN THE NORTH! THE QUEEN IN THE NORTH!”

The details look wonderful on these, from the flames on the ground and smudged faces of Jorah and Dany to the minute details of Sansa’s intricate coronation gown. For those of us who swore we were done spending money on Thrones stuff or that we couldn’t possibly find room for more, well, we might have to rethink that.

No other information was released except to say that the two new additions to Funko’s lineup are “coming soon,” so keep your eyes peeled for more news about these!

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George RR Martin shares his thoughts on internet fan culture

georgerrmartin

George R.R. Martin recently invited Jessie and Leonard Maltin, the hosts of the podcast, Maltin on Movies to interview him at his theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema in New Mexico, to chat about his career, the entertainment industry … and the internet!

Though their conversation, which clocked in at just under an hour and a half, covered a range of topics, Martin and the Maltins chose not to address the various controversies surrounding the final season of Game of Thrones. However, Martin did weigh in on how the internet has transformed fandoms and fan discourse from the sort that he participated in when he was younger.

“The internet is toxic in a  way that the old fanzine culture and the fandoms, the comic fandoms and sci-fi fandoms in those days was not,” he said at 21:04. “Yeah, there were disagreements there were feuds but nothing like the madness that you see on the internet.”

To be clear, the tone of the podcast was largely positive. Martin discussed how he decided to to become a full time writer at the age of 32 (at 27:10), the mercurial nature of writing for television (43:00) and that most perennial topic for any author whose work has been made into a television show or movie: adaptation.

Martin reasoned that A Song of Ice and Fire is simply too large in scope and scale to be translated directly into a televisions format.

“As lavish as [the Game of Thrones] production was … they still couldn’t include all the characters,” he said at 1:10:57, but then compared the character consolidation to Gone With The Wind‘s omission of two of Scarlett O’Hara’s children.

“How many children did Scarlett O’hara have? What’s the answer to that?” he asked. “She had three in the novel, one in the movie … so you can tell the story as you want with one child or with three children. There’s no right answer or wrong answer, there, as long as you get the essence of the story.”

You can listen to the entire interview on the Maltin On Movies website, here.

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New Spoiler Details Surface from Photos, from the Set of Blood Moon!

blood moon photo 11

We’ve been lucky enough this week to receive a batch of exclusive set photos giving us a taste of the Game of Thrones prequel, Blood Moon, as the pilot films in Northern Ireland. Today, our source has uncovered a few fresh angles among their stash of photos, offering a few more nuggets of info for us to pore over, including a hint at a familiar Great House of Westeros!

We more or less saw this shot yesterday but it was far away, as you can see in the photo up above, showing us the exterior of the cave; below you can see it with the weirwood tree off to the left. We can’t actually assume all these pieces are part of the same set; it’s possible that portions are sectioned off or shuffled around as needed for shooting.

lion in the cave

Looking close….that’s a lion’s head statue! Game of Thrones packed up their stuff and left a long time ago, so this isn’t random.

lions head

What do they need this for? Speculation time! The new show is reportedly set in Westeros’ past, per the official announcement, “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.” House Lannister began around this time, with the surfacing of Lann the Clever, when he tricked Casterly Rock away from the Casterly clan. Will we see these famed events from the kingdom’s past? GRRM was always sketchy on the details so the prequel is a good opportunity to expand and fill in the blanks. It would be tremendously fun, and Lann would be a charismatic character- everyone loves a trickster.

In addition, our source has confirmed that the photos published this week were all taken at the Terraces location at the Studios, near the lion’s head.

The other new find from the photos, is a clearer shot of the prop board June schedule. It mentions for locations, WI COURT, VILLAGE (most likely Galboly filming), INN, ENCLAVE, BARN, SY & RA HOUSE, LONG HALL, FORT HALL/BATH HOUSE, OUBLIETTE, and TERRACES.

The filming at Marble Arch Caves Geopark appears to be for the “Enclave.” The created cave-tunnel at Titanic Studios is the Terraces, and of course Titanic Studios is used for almost everything else done on the lot or indoors.

board schedule

Someone’s going to be in a rough situation though, because oubliettes are a particularly nasty type of dungeon.

What are your thoughts, readers? What do you hope to see in the prequel, based on this?

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WotW Exclusive: Photos from the Set of Blood Moon, the Game of Thrones Prequel Pilot!

blood moon photo 10

Earlier today an enterprising source in Northern Ireland sent us a quick pic snapped from the set of the Game of Thrones prequel pilot being filmed in Belfast at the moment, giving us a glimpse at the new logo being used. Our friend came through again, sending Watchers on the Wall the rest of the photos from their visit to Titanic Studios, giving us a look at actors, sets, and behind the scenes crews at work, confirming the rumors across the internet about the filming to come!

Several of the individuals in the photos couldn’t be identified but it’s still great to get a look at the hair and costuming. Secretly praying that’s Miranda Richardson below with her back to us, but I can’t truly say. Up at the top of the post, I’m really intrigued by the collection of rusty armor. There’s something so arresting about it, visually.

Blood Moon photo 1

blood moon photo 4

This fella has his back to the camera but our friend who sent us the photos believes it’s Toby Regbo. I spent more time than is normal looking at photos of his ears, and I couldn’t confirm it- what say you, Reign stans? And what do we make of the elaborate hairstyling with somewhat soft fabric costuming? It feels noble in style, almost Essosi, but not quite. I’m really interested to see what the costume designer does to put their stamp on the new show- it’s a long-ago era in Westeros, and fashion evolves quickly.

blood moon photo 14

The obstructed view makes it tough to say but the woman in the middle looks like Denise Gough.

blood moon photo 5

blood moon photo 7

Here we have Blood Moon director S.J. Clarkson and some of the crew. (Yeah I’m going with Blood Moon until they drop us some footage or a poster or something that says otherwise. “Untitled Game of Thrones Prequel” is a bullshit title. )

Blood Moon photo 2

blood moon photo 6

blood moon photo 8

blood moon photo 9

The sets being used have a familiar look, and some we’ve seen being worked on the last couple months such as the large blue-screen- backed cave piece.

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blood moon photo 12

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All of which brings us to…this helpful piece of paperwork left posted for our enjoyment! I wish the writing were just a tad larger on the first paper, but the second one is clear enough. In addition to showing the Blood Moon spear and reflection logo. Along with already established Northern Ireland info, the paper confirms shooting dates planned:
– June 11th- July 10th, Northern Ireland locations
– July 15th in Italy

blood moon photo 17

That works with what Italian press has been reporting, that the prequel pilot would be filming in the Grotta del Turco in Gaeta. Photos of the Grotta online are incredibly beautiful; I’m happy to see HBO and the new showrunners are continuing the Thrones tradition of choosing stunning locations around the world to bring Westeros to life.

grotta

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WOTW Exclusive: Game of Thrones prequel ‘Bloodmoon’ official logo revealed!

Night King Dragonfire Season 8 803 The Long Night

When we first heard of the title “Bloodmoon” for the Long Night-set Game of Thrones prequel, it was unknown whether it was just a production codename or the actual title for the show. George R.R. Martin has made it clear he’s partial to the straightforward “The Long Night,” but he later admitted it isn’t official. So, what’s the deal? Though HBO has not yet confirmed or denied either title, we can now offer you an exclusive look at the logo design the show’s production is using, which may put the title dispute to rest.

Before we take a look, I must note the logo is taken from a production sheet; it’s a simple version, not intended for public viewing. As it should go without saying, whenever we get the title and logo officially from HBO’s marketing, it should look more impressive.

Bloodmoon Production Sheet Logo

The iconography is intriguing. What first stands out is the titular “blood moon”, represented as the second “O” in “Blood”, with its reflection as the first “O” in “Moon”. Also, a spear separates the two words. As Game of Thrones fans, a piercing spear may make us think of House Martell’s sigil, but of course this story takes places thousands of years before their appearance becomes feasible — at least in the form we are acquainted with. No, what’s more likely is that the spear is a symbol of the show’s prehistoric setting, not unlike the mammoth sign we saw being used by production.

Now, does this definitively prove the prequel will be titled “Bloodmoon”? HBO hasn’t publicly used it (yet), so not technically, but it would seem strange for production to bother to create a custom logo for a mere codename, wouldn’t it?

Until we hear otherwise, we’re going to go with the notion that Jane Goldman’s prequel is titled “Bloodmoon.” Granted, it’s way too early to put the title in its proper context (remember how lame we all thought “The Door” was as a title, until we watched Hodor’s last stand?), but, knowing as little as we do now, what do you think of the title?

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‘Game of Thrones’ to hold panel, autograph session at San Diego Comic Con!

The Game of Thrones cast at San Diego Comic Con 2015

The Game of Thrones cast at San Diego Comic Con 2015, which seems like a million years ago.

Still craving that Game of Thrones content? We can’t say we blame you — and if you have the ability to make it to San Diego in a few weeks, you too can experience another Hall H panel discussion with cast and crew from the show!

HBO announced today their schedule for  appearances at SDCC 2019, with panels and autograph sessions lined up for Thrones, returning favorite Westworld and new series His Dark Materials. The Thrones panel will be held July 19 at 5:30pm in Hall H, featuring Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei of Naath), Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont), Conleth Hill (Varys), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark). Despite early rumors that creators and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would not participate, they are also listed as panelists, along with director and executive producer Miguel Sapochnik.

Autograph signings will take place earlier at 3:30 p.m.

It should be an interesting discussion, given the much-talked-about series finale. Follow Game of Thrones‘ official Twitter account for updates during the Con or check in with us here at Watchers for news!

 

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‘Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection’ & Season 8 Blu-Ray sets arrive this year!

Game of Thrones Complete Collection

It was inevitably coming once Game of Thrones was over: a collection of the entire show on Blu-Ray and DVD. But there’s more to it than that. Housed in a stunning wooden shadow box illustrated by Robert Ball, of ‘Beautiful Deaths’ fame, the Complete Collection includes a never-before-seen reunion of the cast, past and present, hosted by Conan O’Brien. You will be able to get it on December 3! And there’s more!

GoT_8_DVD_3D

Naturally, season eight will be released on its own as well in the complete collection. Out the same day, you may get Season 8 on DVD or Blu-ray, and the Steelbook Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD versions. Additionally, Game of Thrones: The Complete Series will also be available on DVD and Blu-ray without the collectible packaging, with this cover:

HBO_LogoTan2_CS3

As mentioned, the ultra-premium, limited-edition Complete Collection Blu-ray set features ‘Game of Thrones: Reunion Special’, a two-part reunion show with cast members from the final season including Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner and more, as well as previously departed fan-favorites like Sean Bean, Jason Momoa, Mark Addy and others. Hosted by Emmy-award winning host Conan O’Brien, the reunion was shot in front of a live audience in Belfast and includes segments of footage from both the show and behind-the-scenes. Here’s a pretty hilarious clip of the special:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZUG2Miya-0?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

Additional bonus content includes all-new deleted and extended scenes, animated histories and lore pieces, fascinating behind-the-scene featurettes, audio commentaries and the documentary Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, by filmmaker Jeanie Finlay, first aired on HBO after the end of the season, featured here on DVD in two parts.

Robert Ball’s artistic contribution to the package summarizes the Game of Thrones story: each season is represented by a different layer, showcasing iconic characters and memorable moments from the show, all clambering toward the Iron Throne. The set also contains a “Hand of the King” pin clasp, which holds all nine custom plated disc sleeves. You can preview an unboxing of the set here.

Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection and Game of Thrones: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Bonus Features Include:

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George R. R. Martin to host a Game of Thrones special benefit concert with Ramin Djawadi!

game of thrones live concert experience

Last month, we reported that Ramin Djawadi‘s Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience was returning for a second North American tour. If that wasn’t exciting enough, today George R. R. Martin announced he would host an additional date for his hometown of Santa Fe!

The special event will benefit Martin’s Stagecoach Foundation – a nonprofit “dedicated to eliminating the opportunity and wealth gap for New Mexicans in the film and television industry through free training and workforce development facilitated by film and television professionals.” Martin posted the news to his Twitter account; check out the video below.

Martin also spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the event, saying, “We’re a relatively small town and it should be a beautiful place to have the show. This will be the first time the show has come to New Mexico. I’ll play the host role to some extent. And it benefits my Stagecoach Foundation which provides education and opportunities and training for local youth, particularly disenfranchised groups…Ramin’s been amazing from the very first season and [his hire] was one of the great decisions [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] made right from the beginning.”

The concert will be held at the Santa Fe Opera on September 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm. Presale tickets will be available beginning tomorrow, June 25th at 10 am MDT. Sales to the general public start at 10 am MDT on June 28th.

You can purchase tickets here.

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Exclusive Game of Thrones prequel pilot filming photos at Marble Arch Caves, possibly teasing mammoths!

Wall - Battle 4x09 (4) Mammoth Giant

Earlier this week we reported on the ongoing for filming for the Game of Thrones prequel pilot at Northern Ireland’s Marble Arc Caves, which began this past 17th and will continue for a week and a half until June 26. That makes it not a terribly long shoot (as we speculated, the interiors of the cave may be complemented by the cave system set they’re building outside the good ol’ Game of Thrones Titanic Studios in Belfast), but we’ve already got a few photos showcasing a lot of movement around the caves.

Before we get to that, there’s this little casting call by The Extras Dept., which of course doesn’t say anything about the spin-off but could be related. And yet, to be fair, there’s a strange absence of beards for a Thrones-related show: they’re looking for “males with medium to long hair of all ages.” If you live in Northern Ireland and are interested, “any males with hair past their ears are encouraged to sign up.” As we said, we can’t confirm this is prequel-related, but it may well be. We’ll keep you updated if we learn more!

Now, the Marble Arch Caves photos, courtesy of @BloodmoonIRL, show nothing of the filming location for the so-called “Bloodmoon” spin-off, as that is underground, in a highly controlled area with no public access. Instead, what we can see, for the first time ever, are numerous Warner Bros. production trucks, signifying the organizational changes brought about by AT&T buying Time Warner; now, HBO and everything else has been consolidated under WarnerMedia Entertainment —hence the Warner Bros. trucks:

Bloodmoon Marble Arch Caves Warner Bros 1

Bloodmoon Marble Arch Caves Warner Bros 2

Of course, there are also the usual horde of G&H trucks and cast and crew trailers:

Bloodmoon Marble Arch Caves Trucks 1

Bloodmoon Marble Arch Caves Trucks 2

We can also see the famous pink “GOT” signs that once directed the crew to filming sites have been substituted by orange signs with a curious image on them: a mammoth.

Bloodmoon Marble Arch Caves Orange Sign Mammoth

This could just be a symbolic image to indicate the time period for the prequel, which may I remind you takes places thousands of years before Game of Thrones. That is true. What is also true is that Cersei was promised elephants by the Golden Company —we were promised elephants. And yet, they did not come. Our disappointment was shown by Cersei herself: “I wanted those elephants.” Granted, we got a few actual mammoths in season four, but it’s been a long time since then. Are you ready to hopefully see many more mammoths than ever before in this much earlier era of Westeros? I know I am!

And if we don’t get them, we shall get out the big guns: Headey’s excellent face-acting!

Cersei Elephants

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Naomi Watts ‘intimidated’ but ‘very excited’ to be part of Game of Thrones spinoff

Photo by Joel Ryan

Photo by Joel Ryan

If you think that a world-renowned, Academy Award-nominated actress wouldn’t get nervous about joining the small-screen world of a television series, well, you don’t know Naomi Watts. In her defense, however, joining the world of Westeros means having some very big shoes to fill.

The Australian actress is “very excited” to be the lead in the Game of Thrones spinoff (or prequel, if you’re picky) that started filming this week, according to an interview clip with the Associated Press that was tweeted out early this morning:

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Despite her excitement, Watts also admits that being part of such a worldwide phenomenon is “very intimidating,” especially because the original series just ended and “the world was blowing up over it, everything was Game of Thrones-related.”

She hopes that “those fans will come along and find something new and interesting in this world,” but she also thinks the chances of that happening are high.

“I think they won’t be let down,” she says with a smile.

Make no mistake, we’re still a loooong way off from the spinoff — tentatively titled, or at least codenamed for filming purposes, Bloodmoon — appearing on our screens, but we’re following it closely and we’ll have every bit of casting, filming and production news we can scrounge up for you. Stay tuned for more!

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More Game of Thrones prequel filming news and set photos; cast members spotted in Northern Ireland!

7x04 Jon Daenerys Dragonstone Caves

Feeling the post Game of Thrones blues? We are here to ease your withdrawal pain with some news about the prequel series – reportedly titled (though most likely just codenamed) Bloodmoon – currently filming in a rather intriguing location.

BelfastLive is reporting that the prequel crew is currently at the popular Marble Arch Caves geopark in Northern Ireland for a two week shoot for the greenlit pilot, from June 17th to 26th. A production source is quoted as saying, “There’s a lot of hustle and bustle. There’s been a lot of work done on the grounds, for example, portacabins. Security is closing from the entrance of the caves which to me suggests they may be using the landscape more so than the cave. It’s a big enough operation.”

The site is beautiful, and an interesting choice. The prequel will take place during the Age of Heroes and will tell the story of the origin of the White Walkers and the Long Night. The use of caves brings to mind the Children of the Forest, as well as the caves on Dragonstone where Jon Snow mined dragonglass and discovered drawings about the Children and First Men coming together to fight the White Walkers.

Marble Arch park

Marble Arch Cave

According to the source, more of the filming will take place in the park, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see the caves as well. Earlier this month, Twitter user A Red Priestess shared some photos of what looks to be a cave system set being constructed.

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As she mentions in her tweet, the photos were actually taken on May 20th, so they could be completed by now. If they will be used to show cave drawings or dragonglass being mined, it would certainly make sense to construct a replica of the real caves. 


Speaking of photos, we have some screenshots from Georgie Henley‘s Instagram stories to share. Henley was spotted in Northern Ireland earlier this month along with a few other cast members, and posted videos with Alex Sharp and possibly Ivanno Jeremiah

Alex Sharp Ivanno Jeremiah

She also shared a video of Marquis Rodriguez doing the worm next to Naomi Ackie.

Marquis Rodriguez

Finally, Rodriguez shared his own Instagram story, which appears to be a video from his hotel room. It’s difficult to say for certain, but this could be the Lough Erne Resort near Marble Arch Caves. Wherever it is, they seem to all be having a wonderful time!

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‘Game of Thrones’ wins Best Show at MTV Movie & TV Awards, but host Zachary Levi betrays Daenerys!

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Dany is happy about GoT bringing home more awards!

The Oscars are finished, the Emmys have come and gone, the Tonys wrapped up two weeks ago, but awards seasons wasn’t over quite yet — at least not until Saturday night, when MTV held its annual Movie & TV Awards. And as long as there are accolades to be had where television is concerned, Game of Thrones stands a chance of winning them.

For its final season, Thrones was nominated for Best Show, Best Performance in a Show (Emilia Clarke), Best Fight (Arya vs. the White Walkers) and Best Hero (Maisie Williams), although it only took home the golden popcorn for Best Show. Jacob Anderson, who played the stoic Unsullied commander Grey Worm, was presented with the award on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony itself.

“A lot of amazing people work on Game of Thrones, so I feel weird being the one to hold this, but I’ve always wanted to hold one of these,” he said. “So, congratulations to everybody, all the people I love on the show, who have worked incredibly hard, you will get to touch this. Cast and crew, and everybody who’s amazing, we did it!”

Elsewhere in the broadcast, which aired Monday night, host Zachary Levi filmed a hilarious segment with himself cut into the Season 8, Episode 5 scenes at Dragonstone — flaunting new clothes he picked up in Dorne, writing “Jon and Dany are boning OMG!!” on raven scrolls and finally begging Tyrion to hand him a can of dragon repellent as Drogon prepares to roast him to a crisp. Levi’s comedic timing make it all work perfectly, and it’s worth four or five minutes of your time today:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsBi0cBsR-s?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

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The Fall of Daenerys Targaryen – a Video Essay

Daenerys looking at throne

In my latest video essay, I look back over Daenerys Targaryen’s 8 season arc and break down why her tragic fall didn’t feel earned to me and how, in some glorious parallel universe where I was in the writer’s room, it might have been done differently.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffBc4PdVUzg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

So, what do you think? How do you feel about Daenerys Targaryen’s arc? Tell us below.

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Lena Headey Wanted a Better Death for Cersei in Game of Thrones Season 8

AmusedCerseiSmell that, Game of Thrones fans? That’s the scent of dissatisfaction around the realm. While some people really liked the finale, unfortunately not everyone was satisfied – and that’s OK! While the show has been dead for barely a month, it has not stopped the cavalcade of discussion a show of its caliber has always been successful at inspiring. While for many, that will mean endless fan speculation, cheering, complaining, contemplation, and more (it does!), it also means that sometimes the actors or those behind the scenes might have a few thoughts of their own from time to time. In an interview with The Guardian, quoth Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) herself: “I will say I wanted a better death.”

Now hold on just a minute, before the tabloids get too carried away with this headline. Lena makes very clear that she is not out on a mission to rewrite the final season, like some million-odd fans, but she wants to point out that as a viewer and a fan herself, she has her own thoughts and opinions on how everything shook out: “No, listen, I invested as a viewer and I have my favourite characters. And I’ve got a few of my own gripes. But I haven’t sat down drunkly with David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] yet.”

I mean we’re all fans of the show, even the actors, themselves! So it makes sense to me that one can have their own disagreements with the direction of their character. Still, she acknowledges that even if it had gone differently, it doesn’t mean that the fan response would have been any better. “Obviously you dream of your death. You could go in any way on that show. So I was kind of gutted. But I just think they couldn’t have pleased everyone. No matter what they did, I think there was going to be some big comedown from the climb.”

Next up for Lena are several projects involving her as actor and even director. Most excitingly for GOT fans (are there any of you out there?) is her upcoming short 30 minute piece, The Trap, which will reunite her with fellow former GOT cast member, Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark). Check out the rest of the interview to see what else is going on Lena’s life. It looks like Lena Headey has a lot of upcoming projects on the horizon, so I can’t wait to see what she brings to the table next!

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Jerome Flynn Joins the Con of Thrones Special Guest Line-up!

con of thrones jerome flynn

What’s a Lannister without their favorite sellsword? Con of Thrones announced today that Game of Thrones star Jerome Flynn (Bronn) will appear at Con of Thrones 2019 on Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13. Con of Thrones, the premier convention for fans of Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the epic worlds of fantasy author George R. R. Martin, will return to Nashville, Tennessee this summer. Festivities will take place at the Music City Center July 12–14. Tickets are available for purchase at ConOfThrones.net/register.

Autograph and photograph experiences with Flynn are available for purchase now. Autographs are $80 and photographs are $100. Tickets for a joint photograph session with Jerome Flynn and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) on Saturday, July 13 are available for $225.

Previously announced special guests include Game of Thrones stars Coster-Waldau, Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel), Game of Thrones Concept Artist Kieran Belshaw, Art Director Hauke Richter, fan-favorite podcasts Binge Mode, History of Westeros and A Storm of Spoilers, and wolf ambassadors from Wildefell Wolves.

Watchers on the Wall is the happy to be the official programming partner for Con of Thrones, helping create 150 hours of programming with in-depth discussions about the series, Special Guest Spotlight interviews, live recordings of fan-favorite podcasts, and much more. The Con of Thrones programming schedule can be found at ConOfThrones.net/schedule.

For more information, visit Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Note:

Due to professional obligations, John Bradley (Samwell Tarly) is no longer able to attend Con of Thrones. Mischief Management states that if you have purchased an autograph/photograph session with him, or a joint session with John and Hannah Murray, you will receive an email from Customer Service.

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Take a Bow: Kit Harington

Jon Snow The Iron Throne

Bastard. Man of the Night’s Watch. Lord Commander. King in the North. Heir to the Iron Throne. Kit Harington took on a variety of roles as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, but through them all he remained true to his portrayal of the honorable, brooding son (in spirit if not by blood) of Ned Stark. Kit didn’t just play Jon Snow, he became Jon Snow.

Kit was fresh from drama school and his first major acting role – in the National Theatre’s adaptation of War Horse – when he auditioned for the Game of Thrones pilot. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss remember it well. “The moment Kit walked into [casting director] Nina Gold’s office we thought, ‘Oh, man, please let this kid be good.’ He looked like the Jon Snow in our imaginations: dark, brooding, sensitive, and very, very ugly. He opened his mouth and he was better than good. He was Jon Snow.”

Hopefully they were kidding about the ugly part – have they seen him? Nevertheless, Kit was a perfect fit for the moody and sullen teenager who never felt like he belonged. He wasn’t only good at brooding, however – he was also a talented fighter. Kit proved himself to be an excellent swordsman early on, so he was given numerous opportunities to show off his skills: sparring at Castle Black, facing off against a White Walker at Hardhome, and fighting for his life during the Battle of the Bastards and the Long Night, just to name a few.

Kit was able to reveal his romantic side in season two, when Jon captured the wildling Ygritte (Rose Leslie). She then captured his heart, and their doomed love affair was the highlight of Jon’s time with the Free Folk. Jon’s anguish at abandoning Ygritte to return to the Night’s Watch, and then again as she tragically dies in his arms, was played by Kit to heartbreaking perfection.

ygritte and jon

Life sometimes imitates art, and this onscreen romance became a real one as Kit and Rose began dating after working together on the show. They eventually married last June, with several of their cast mates in attendance. At the Emmy awards later that year – when asked what being part of Game of Thrones has done for him – Kit remarked, “I met my wife in this show. It gave me, hopefully, my future family, and my life from here on in.”

While Kit had the good fortune to meet the love of his life while working on Thrones, it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. Playing Jon has tested the limits of Kit’s endurance, physically and emotionally. Hardly a season went by without him being subjected to harsh weather, gruelling fight scenes, and tragic events, but through it all Kit put his heart and soul into whatever he was asked to do. Perhaps his biggest acting challenge was pretending Jon was truly dead at the end of season five and having to keep the secret for a year.

“It was probably one of the darkest periods I have been through in my life,” he said in an interview earlier this year. “I think it must have had something to do with being a walking cliffhanger: I didn’t enjoy it. You want to be a lead, and then you get all the spotlight of the biggest show in the world onto you for a few months.” Jon’s death and subsequent resurrection in season six propelled his character into the spotlight for the remainder of the series.

(5) Helen Sloan - HBO

Jon later shared that spotlight with Daenerys – who sailed to Westeros and eventually joined his cause to defeat the White Walkers. She became his second love, which was unfortunately just as doomed as his first. Theirs was a complicated relationship: initially antagonistic, then cooperative, and finally romantic. Kit’s range was definitely put to the test as Jon navigated the complexities of his alliance with the dragon queen.

In the final season, Kit was pushed to his limits (along with the rest of the cast). He admitted to GQ Australia, “Everyone was broken at the end. I don’t know if we were crying because we were sad it was ending or if we were crying because it was so fucking tiring. We were sleep deprived. It was like it was designed to make you think, Right, I’m fucking sick of this. I remember everyone walking around towards the end going, ‘I’ve had enough now. I love this, it’s been the best thing in my life, I’ll miss it one day – but I’m done.’”

Not only did he endure 55 nights of shooting for episode three, “The Long Night,” Kit’s emotions were put through the ringer as Jon learned his true parentage, causing a rift in his relationship with Daenerys. The consequences were ultimately tragic, forcing Jon to murder his lover to save the realm. Kit cried when he read the script, and you can certainly see the anguish on his face during the scene.

The finale ended with Jon riding off with the Free Folk beyond the Wall, away from the politics, fighting, and intrigue he despised. Kit, too, has earned a well deserved respite from the challenging role of the reluctant hero who always tried to do what was right. Kit truly brought Jon Snow to life and put everything he had into the role. I’m sure we are all grateful for his efforts, and I look forward to his future work. Thank you, Kit, for eight wonderful seasons.

Jon and Tormund The Iron Throne

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Game of Thrones storyboard artist Will Simpson introduces us to beautiful (and gruesome) new artbook, available now!

Game of Thrones Storyboards

This past March, HBO and Insight Editions announced four new Game of Thrones books, each focusing on one aspect of the show’s production: the costumes; the photography; the art; and, finally, the storyboards. We even gave you a sneak peek at the now available Game of Thrones: The Storyboards. And yet, if you’re still unconvinced, here’s the show’s Principal Storyboard Artist Will Simpson in an exclusive video in which he not only tells us about his involvement with the show (“We need more blood!”) but also provides us with another sneak peek into this new beautiful artbook:

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In the clip above, Simpson speaks to Insight Editions regarding a very special episode of the show, season two’s “Blackwater,” and the corresponding storyboard that helped inspire the scene in which, having arrived at the walls, Stannis is witness to one of his men getting his head absolutely smashed to a pulp by a rock. According to Simpson, director Neil Marshall’s only note when working with him was: “We need more blood.”

Storyboards Will Simpson Blackwater 1

Storyboards Will Simpson Blackwater 2

“The boards are meant to fill in part of the gap from a director’s mind to what actually gets shot on a particular day,” Simpson explains. “If you’ve enjoyed the show, and you’re more interested in seeing how the whole thing was developed, please take a look at my storyboarding book from Inside Editions.”

Are you interested? I know I am! Order Game of Thrones: The Storyboards here.

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