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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.”

Melisandre Arya Stark Season 8 803

“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!

Brienne of Tarth Season 8 806 Kingsguard White Book of Brothers

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!

The post The Night’s Cast Episode 26: Summer School at the Citadel, Part 1 appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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

Arya-Stark-Night-King-Season-8-803-The-Long-Night~2

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 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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Gwendoline Christie on the Road to her Emmy Nomination, Naomi Watts Isn’t Allowed to Say Anything About 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, 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.

The post Gwendoline Christie on the Road to her Emmy Nomination, Naomi Watts Isn’t Allowed to Say Anything About Game of Thrones Spinoff appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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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!

The post The 2019 Watchers On The Wall Awards: Now accepting nominations for the final season of Game of Thrones! appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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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

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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.”

The post Naomi Watts stays tight-lipped about ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel, Miranda Richardson is ‘thrilled’ to be involved and more appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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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!**

The post The Night’s Cast Bonus Episode: LIVE at Con of Thrones 2019! appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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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?’”

The post The Enduring Impact of Syrio Forel: a Con of Thrones Interview with Miltos Yerolemou appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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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

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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?

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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!

Caption

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!

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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:

Caption

“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.

blood moon photo 11

blood moon photo 12

blood moon photo 13

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:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7QftNjYV7U&w=700&h=394]

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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New behind the scenes video with Beautiful Death artist Robert M. Ball; final poster revealed

(3) Courtesy of HBO

If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the Beautiful Death illustration for “The Iron Throne,” wait no longer! Robert M. Ball’s last poster for Game of Thrones was unveiled today, and it is stunning. Along with the artwork, we have also been treated to a video of Ball sharing his creative process and an interview about his final contribution to the series.

In the video, Ball reveals the impact the Beautiful Death project has had on him, saying, “It’s been bigger than I expected. To put it mildly, it’s been quite overwhelming.” He goes on to explain how he gets the inspiration for each piece and his method for bringing it to fruition. Check it out below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZta28cFU3w]

Over on the Making Game of Thrones blog, Ball discusses his poster for “The Iron Throne” and describes some of the details included in the piece. “The idea is the Iron Throne is sat on a kingdom of rubble, and that rubble is a mixture of swords, representing all the bloodshed it took to get here, plus a visual journey of Daenerys’ progression through all 8 seasons — if you follow the blood trail it will take you past certain important objects like Sons of Harpy masks, Dothraki camp, Viserys’ ‘crown’, broken chains and so on. The color scheme is very simple, but there’s a lot going on if you scrutinize the image.”

Ball wanted his final piece to not only represent the death of a major character, but also the overarching theme of the show itself. “Ultimately, it’s Dany’s death, but really the image is about how power corrupts all. It’s meant to be an encapsulation of the whole series.” Mission accomplished.

You can find all the Beautiful Death posters here.

Beautiful Death The Iron Throne

 

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Thrones Art Director Hauke Richter Joins the Con of Thrones Guest Lineup!

hauke richter con of thrones

Con of Thrones announced today that Game of Thrones Art Director Hauke Richter will appear at Con of Thrones 2019 on Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13. Richter joins a lineup of previously announced special guests including Game of Thrones stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel), GoT Concept Artist Kieran Belshaw, fan-favorite podcasts Binge Mode, History of Westeros and A Storm of Spoilers, and wolf ambassadors from Wildefell Wolves. This year’s convention will take place in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Music City Center July 12–14, 2019. Tickets are available for purchase at ConOfThrones.net/register!

Richter served as an art director for Game of Thrones for the final four seasons of the show, from the season 4 premiere “Two Swords,” through the series finale “The Iron Throne.”

This year’s convention programming was curated in partnership with Watchers on the Wall; we’re proud to have helped with bringing you all 150 hours of original programming, Con of Thrones will host in-depth discussions about the series, Special Guest Spotlight interviews, live recordings of fan-favorite podcasts, and much more.  You can find the up-to-date Con of Thrones programming schedule at ConOfThrones.net/schedule.

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Game of Thrones Makes Their Final Emmy Ballot Submissions!

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss accept writing award at 2015 Emmy Awards (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss accept the writing award at the 2015 Emmy Awards

Welp, it’s that time of year again, nerds. No, not wabbit season, it’s duck EMMY SEASON!!!!! And as predicted, Game of Thrones candidates are all over the submitting ballot, from the acting categories as assumed, to cinematography, and everything else in between. While GOT has won its fair share of Emmys (aka, the most ever for a Primetime show, and still growing), it’s always come up curiously short in the category that people end up talking about most. I’m referring to, of course, the acting categories. To date, Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) is the only acting nominee to ever win an Emmy (3 out of 7, in fact). It is my devout hope that in GOT’s season 8 victory lap, we are able to break this curse. A full write up of Emmy speculation will come in the following weeks, but in the meantime, let’s check out who is in contention for nominations this year. Here are the candidates currently sitting on the Emmy ballot:


1. Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series

2. Outstanding Cinematography For A Multi-Camera Series (3 candidates)

  • The Long Night (803)
    • Fabian Wagner, ASC, BSC, Director of Photography
  • The Last of the Starks (804)
    • David Franco, Director of Photography
  • The Iron Throne (806)
    • Jonathan Freeman, ASC, Director of Photography

3. Outstanding Period Costumes

  • The Bells (805)

4. Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series (3 candidates)

  • The Long Night (803)
    • Miguel Sapochnik
  • The Last of the Starks (804)
    • David Nutter
  • The Iron Throne (806)
    • David Benioff, D.B. Weiss

5. Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series (3 candidates)

  • The Long Night (803)
    • Hair team includes department head plus four others. Of 22 actors, 4 had lace wigs. Of 16 pictures/stunt doubles, 12 had lace wigs. Using dirt made of hair gels/oils mixed with dirt powder and dry shampoos. Fresh blood plus fresh scab. Episode 803 had continuity jumping pre/post battle, cleaning actors up on set. 25 crowd hairdressers did over 400 extras. Special lace wigs for the dead in the crypt/library. 7 Whitewalker wigs, 2 giant’s wigs.
      • Kevin Alexander, Department Head Hairstylist
        Candice Banks, Key Hairstylist
        Nicola Mount, Hairstylist
        Rosalia Culora, Hairstylist
    • Night King full silicone head and hands make-up, contact lenses and dentures. 6 White Walkers, each consisting of 9 silicone appliances, dentures, contact lenses, lace hair pieces. The Hound: Silicone burn makeup. Bespoke Wights silicone make-ups : 9x in Library scene, 9x mummified wights in the Crypt, Hero Wight which attacks Arya on battlement. Plethora of Wights silicone make-ups throughout the battle. Giant Wight, silicone head and hands make-up. Many various wounds and blood gags.
      • 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
    • Progressive wounds and injuries applied throughout to tell the story of the battle. Wounds sculpted freehand with thicken sculpting-prosaid, painted with various make up and finished with blood splatter, dirt effects and rubber dust mixture for depth and texture. Character faces created with latex then painted to create broken veins and liver spots for a weathered look. Colodion scars, hair lace beards, laid on Yak hair beards. Frozen effects on facial hair with petroleum wax.
      Jane Walker, Department Head Makeup Artist
      Kay Bilk, Makeup Artist
      Marianna Kyriacou, Makeup Artist
      Nicola Matthews, Makeup Artist
      Pamela Smyth, Makeup Artist

6. Outstanding Main Title Design

7. Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score) (2 candidates)

  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (802)
    • Evyen J Klean, Music Supervisor
  • The Long Night (803)
    • Ramin Djawadi, Composer

8. Outstanding Actor in a Drama

  • Kit Harington (Jon Snow)

9. Outstanding Actress in a Drama

  • Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)

10. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama (5 candidates)

  • Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy)
  • Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy)
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)
  • Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)
  • Richard Dormer (Lord Beric Dondarrion)
    • *edit from David – yes, it says “Lord” on the Emmy ballot for him but no others, don’t @ me, please @ them*

10. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama (4 candidates)

  • Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth)
  • Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister)
  • Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark)
  • Maisie Williams (Arya Stark)

11. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama

  • Carice Van Houten (Melisandre)

12. Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series (3 candidates)

  • Winterfell (801)
    • Crispin Green, Editor
  • The Long Night (803)
    • Tim Porter, ACE, Editor
  • The Iron Throne (806)
    • Katie Weiland, ACE, Editor

13. Outstanding Drama

14. Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)

  • The Long Night (803)

15. Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)

  • The Long Night (803)

16. Outstanding Special Visual Effects

  • The Bells (805)

17. Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series, Limited Series Or Movie

18. Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

  • The Iron Throne (806)
    • David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
      • *edit from David – Um. Good luck guys. It’s right now them vs. the wrath of the Internet, and I say this as someone who unreservedly and unapologetically adored the finale.

So there you have it. 35 candidates up for nominations for Game of Thrones, although it should be noted that The Last Watch, the documentary special of season 8, is up for quite a few awards itself. And of course, tons of late night and sketch shows that involve GOT to a small or large degree. I’ll follow up in the next few weeks with some speculation about the upcoming nominations, but in the meantime, what do you think?

Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, July 16, and the awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, September 22!

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Game of Thrones In Talks to Head to San Diego Comic Con One More Time!

Jon Snow Northmen The Bells

Deadline brings fans an exclusive report today- we can look forward to one last big splash at San Diego Comic Con with the cast of Game of Thrones. The outlet reports that GoT “looks certain to be returning to Comic-Con’s Hall H next month,” and that “talks between HBO and confab organizers are in the final stages.” It’s not clear exactly which cast members will be taking to the massive stage at the San Diego Convention Center. They hint that the line-up is still to be determined.

Deadline confirms that HBO didn’t respond to a request for comment on their report. GoT skipped Hall H last year, reasonably since there was no new season. This year Comic-Con runs from July 18-21 (preview night July 17). With the Thrones appearance not technically official, there is no date or time set, but it would be a great year for one. The cast can finally discuss the show without fear of getting a slap on the wrist about spoilers. Would Benioff and Weiss show up? That seems unlikely as the showrunners have not done a single interview about the finale, and said that was their intention in advance. Could they face the rowdy audiences of Comic-Con? I very much doubt it. It would still be a very entertaining panel, even with just the cast, and who knows- maybe we’ll get some kind of hint about the prequel pilot?

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George R.R. Martin collaborates with Dark Souls creators for new game Elden Ring

Elden Ring Logo

It’s been rumored for months that A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin was in some way involved in the creation of Dark Souls developer FromSoftware’s new project, and Martin himself lent credence to the rumor last month when he mentioned on his Not A Blog that he’d “consulted on a video game out of Japan.” Yesterday, this was confirmed when Elden Ring was announced at the Microsoft E3 2019 press conference!

As usual with FromSoftware, Elden Ring is an action RPG, of which there is no gameplay available yet. The teaser trailer above is all there is, where it’s revealed that Martin was involved, as one may expect, in what appears to be his favorite realm of writing: worldbuilding. “A new world created by [game director and FromSoftware president] Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin”, the trailer below proudly claims.

Elden Ring

In FromSoftware’s official statement, Miyazaki says “collaborating with George R.R. Martin to create the Elden Ring mythos has been a genuinely delightful experience and a source of wonderful inspiration. The team is working hard to ensure that the world of Elden Ring will be a fascinating place for players to explore, filled with peril and wonder from its furthest reaches to its lowest depths. This is a FromSoftware title through and through, rich in fantasy and RPG action. We sincerely hope you look forward to it.”

Martin himself is quoted in the announcement, adding that “building the world of Elden Ring with Miyazaki-san and his team was a treat! The graphics, mythos, and action-RPG gameplay will deliver an unforgettable experience. I can’t wait for people to see what Elden Ring has in store for them.” So there you have it! And here’s the teaser trailer:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4euIi1JfMqs&w=700&h=394]

For those unaware, ‘FromSoft’ is known for developing incredibly beautiful and challenging games such as Demon’s Souls, the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne, and the recently released Sekiro. If you’re interested in giving Elden Ring a try when it’s released based on Martin’s involvement in its creation but you haven’t touched a game in quite some time, I would advise caution; unless FromSoftware is going in an entirely different direction for once, it’s probably going to be a ruthless experience. It is perhaps quite appropriate that the next game from the developers of a series marketed with the “Prepare to Die” slogan is created with the help of the man behind the similarly ruthless world of Game of Thrones. That said, in this case it’ll be you doing the dying.

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Miltos Yerolemou Joins the Con of Thrones 2019 Special Guest Lineup!

Con of Thrones Miltos 2019

What do we say to the god of death? Not today! Will July do?

Con of Thrones announced today that Game of Thrones actor Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel) will appear at Con of Thrones 2019 on Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14. This year’s con returns to Nashville, Tennessee, heading to the Music City Center July 12–14, 2019. Tickets are available for purchase at conofthrones.net/register.

Autograph and photograph experiences with Yerolemou are available for purchase now! Autographs are $20 and photographs are $35.

Another exciting opportunity for fans: Yerolemou will also be leading three Water Dancing sword combat workshops for attendees. Workshop tickets are $60 and will go on sale on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 1 PM ET.

MIltos Water Dancing

Previously announced special guests for Con of Thrones 2019 include Thrones stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Game of Thrones Concept Artist Kieran Belshaw (Season 5-8), fan-favorite podcasts Binge Mode, History of Westeros and A Storm of Spoilers, and wolf ambassadors from Wildefell Wolves.

Watchers on the Wall is proud to be the programming partner for Con of Thrones, working with Mischief Management to bring you all over 150 hours of original programming, with in-depth discussions, Special Guest Spotlight interviews, live recordings of podcasts, and so much more. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve  been working on all year! The complete Con of Thrones programming schedule can be found at conofthrones.net/schedule.

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Game of Thrones Season 8 breaks United Kingdom viewership records as well!

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As you may expect, the series finale, “The Iron Throne”, has become the most-watched series finale for any program in Sky, the United Kingdom’s subscription broadcaster for Game of Thrones. But there is a twist! Another episode was the most watched overall…

As originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter, at 5.789 million cumulative viewers, the Game of Thrones series finale, “The Iron Throne” broke the finale record once established by the previous finale, season seven’s “The Dragon and the Wolf,” which stood at 5.170 million. For the sake of comparison, the (somewhat) equivalent figure in the United States, which accounts for overnight and streaming viewers, was 19.3 million.

And yet, unlike in the States, “The Iron Throne” was only the most-watched finale in the United Kingdom; not the most-watched episode in all Sky programs or this season: surprisingly, that would be “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” the calm-before-the-storm second episode in this final season, which enjoyed a viewership of 6.31 million.

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In the United States, by contrast, this quiet yet beloved second episode was the least watched Game of Thrones episode this year, at 10.29 million, behind not only all of season eight episode but also season seven’s “Eastwatch” (which came after the explosive cliffhanger in “A Spoils of War”) and the finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.”

On average, each season eight episode had a cumulative audience of 6.081 million, which is said to be “the biggest-ever series performance of any Sky program”, and “up 28 percent from the previous record of season 7, which sat at 4.76 million.” Another interesting fact is the demographic breakdown of the audience by reported gender, which was an almost equal 51-to-49 percent male/female split.

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Take a Bow: Maisie Williams

Arya Season 1

It has often been stated that Game of Thrones would not have worked if the child actors had not been spot on, given the many major plotlines that focused on children. Among the many child actors throughout eight seasons of television, you would be hard pressed to find an actor who made a stronger impression on the fanbase than Maisie Williams.

Maisie’s commitment to her portrayal of Arya Stark was so strong that, after being cast, she famously declared she would learn how to sword fight with her left hand, simply because the Arya of A Song of Ice and Fire is a leftie. Never you mind that Maisie is an avowed righty; she wanted to do Arya right, and to her that meant doing it left.

Like Arya, Maisie has always been against the grain. Before the show started, casting directors had the seemingly impossible of finding a little girl who could take on the mantle of Arya Stark. It needed to be someone who would both come out swinging, and be capable of having enough room to keep the character growing. Now, I am not a particularly pious man – I keep to the old gods as did my father and his father before him – but thankfully the old gods of the North heard our prayers:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlvN8TZB1e8?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

HOW IS THAT A 12 YEAR OLD? LIKE, WHAT THE HELL MAN?! When they called Maisie in to read this scene, she delivered it like she was a successful actor returning to her acting conservatory to show the students how it’s done. I genuinely am in awe of how good this is. Some of the other actors (adults and children alike) on GOT took time to grow into their characters. But Maisie was one of perhaps two or three who nailed it from the very first scene. Speaking of her first scene, what an introduction that was! Without any dialogue whatsoever, Arya was introduced as the younger sister to someone who was clearly enjoying needlework more than she, only to have her vacate the room to grab a bow and one up her brother during his archery practice. It matched every tone you’d come to expect in Arya scenes, and it’s all thanks to this kid right here:

Arya 1st scene

While Arya spent much of the first season very memorably around her fellow Starks and her dancing master, Syrio Forel, Maisie’s talents were called to a higher purpose in season two. I’m talking of course about the decision to pair her with established actor Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister). Could this thirteen year old with one season’s worth of television under her belt pull off her several scenes with this established, experienced actor? You better believe she did. No one expected the unquestionably best moments of season two to be an older man and a younger girl sitting quietly by a fire, pouring water, and talking about the literacy of stonemasons:

Tywin: “Where is your father? Is he alive? Who was he?
Arya: “A stonemason.
Tywin: “A stonemason who could read!
Arya: “He taught himself.
Tywin: “Quite a man! What killed him?
Arya: “Loyalty.

This is the kind of dialogue exchange you expect from classically trained actors at The Globe, not from a teenager in a costume drama. What I’m saying is that Maisie is an international treasure (or a national one, if you’re a UK citizen).

Season three saw quite a tumultuous journey for Arya, with Maisie getting some great opportunities to test her acting prowess alongside Richard Dormer, Paul Kaye, Joe Dempsie, Carice Van Houten, and of course Rory McCann. Maisie’s best performance showcase may be how she played coy when Arya went up to a group of Frey soldiers bragging about their participation in The Red Wedding. It’s astounding how quickly Maisie can switch from menacing, to innocent-looking, to her psychopathic revenge-fueled look, to her “What did I do?” look to The Hound. It is golden:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-TK744qj3M?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

So much of the reason that season four is my favorite is due to the adventures of Arya and The Hound. Every time their scenes were on screen, you would know you are in for a rollicking good time. Let us hearken back to a simpler time on Game of Thrones, when characters going places took forever and a day:

Arya: “Something wrong with your leg, boy?”
Polliver: “What? What do you mean?”
Arya: “Can you walk? I’ve got to carry you?”
Polliver: “Carry me?”
Arya: “Fine little blade…Maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it.”

And we all know what she does next.

Maisie plays the vindictive girl so well that you wonder if she uses Needle in place of a toothbrush to prepare for these scenes. Her grasp of Arya, and moreover, who Arya has become, is so strong that I cannot believe how lucky we were. There was no way for the casting team to know in the original audition that, several years down the line, Maisie would be able to flip a switch so easily and become the stone-cold murder warrior to which we’ve become so accustomed, but, well, here we are.

Seasons five and six sent Arya off on a whirlwind adventure to Murder School in Braavos. But as we all know, the real gift was the friends she made along the way.

Arya Meryn

At this point, we were in full on Assassin Arya mode, and the world was Maisie Williams’ oyster. It’s her world and we were just attempting to not get killed by her in it. Given how far removed from the rest of the main story Arya’s plot had become, it was going to require a compelling actor to keep us invested. Maisie, as always, was all of that and more. As Arya navigated the complicated world of the Faceless Men, Maisie navigated her fighting prowess, never betraying the young girl she was still portraying. But then the show tried something new. A theatrical troupe came along, and Arya was the audience’s proxy for watching an in-world recap of seasons one-through-six. The looks of wonder and disgust on Maisie’s face sold us every bit on what was going through Arya’s head, as she relived Ned’s death, and all those terrible things all over again:

Maisie Makes Faces

With the journey’s end on the horizon, season seven brought Arya back to Westeros. With it came one of the best one-on-one fights we’ve seen the entire series, due to the incredible commitment of not only Williams but Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth.) One of the reasons it looks so good is that you can see the hard work that Maisie is putting in. She’s always one step ahead of the next blade swing so that it never looks mechanical. Hard work shows, and no one works harder than Maisie:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mWKRXV7gFk?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

Season eight had so many incredible Arya moments to pick from, from Maisie perfectly capturing the adult woman Arya has grown into, in her intimate moments with Gendry, to the work she put into crafting the library horror sequence, to the number of takes she apparently suffered through to pull off the Night King’s death scene perfectly.

But the strongest season eight moments for me were Arya’s hellish escape through the ruins of King’s Landing. Eight seasons of building up Arya as a “survivor” were leading up to this moment, and there is no one I would have rather spent that much time with during the decimation of King’s Landing than Maisie Williams. Every turn brings a new look; with every glance, her eyes know exactly what to look for and to look at. As I’d mentioned, Maisie knocked it out of the park from day one, but this scene alone eclipsed it all. Maisie never looked more at home in her character, and I am entirely grateful to her for the talent she poured into this harrowing sequence.

Arya Stark bleeding The Bells

Game of Thrones has more iconic characters than it knows what to do with. You can’t go anywhere in the world without hearing Jon Snow or Daenerys at least 3 or 4 times. But no one gets people excited like Arya does. Maisie Williams slammed the door down of what was possible for twelve year old female representation in TV, and made grown men fall in love with her character. She recently gave a TED Talk, performed on West End, and created Daisie, a platform for creatives to meet and collaborate. Her stardom has barely begun to rise, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Take a bow, Maisie. You’ve earned it.

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Jamie Campbell Bower and more prequel cast members head to Northern Ireland!

Jamie Campbell Bower

Jamie Campbell Bower in TNT’s “Will”

Game of Thrones may be over but with the prequel-spinoff filming starting, a new adventure has begun. It’s been quiet of late, but news has started to trickle out of Northern Ireland. So it’s time to shed those post-season glums and dive back into filming-season glee!

Rumors are still flying about the title of the new show- it’s unconfirmed whether the title will really be Bloodmoon, or if that’s a production code name, or if that’s entirely a fan fabrication.

News that’s more firm: Local sources tell us that people have been coming and going to Titanic Studios, but production activity is light overall in the area. The large cliff/wall set that’s been in progress for months on the lot is still being worked on, we’re told.

Actors cast in the spinoff have also been spotted in the country, and have been helpfully sharing it on social media!

Jamie Campbell Bower somewhat vaguely last week shared this fun tease:

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This tweet from a NI local person confirms the actor was still in Northern Ireland as of yesterday. Having a sandwich apparently. (What’s the menu like over there?  It must be a totally different experience. Do they base sandwich names on UK and Ireland transit?)

Two of the spinoff actors- Alex Sharp and Marquis Rodriguez– were hanging out together this week in Northern Ireland and checking out the sights, including the country’s famed hedge maze and the Giant’s Causeway. The two shared images of the sights on Instagram, including shots on Instagram stories.

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View this post on Instagram

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A post shared by Alex Sharp (@alexanderiansharp1) on

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Alex Sharp

Marquis Rodriguez and Alex Sharp Instagram stories

And it seems like Josh Whitehouse may also be in Northern Ireland judging by this pic:

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Update to add: Alex Sharp shared this image of the Titanic Studios lot on Instagram about an hour ago, shortly after we published this post:

Alex Sharp Titanic Studios

Annnnd another update- Georgie Henley has just posted an Instagram story from Belfast’s Victoria Square:

Georgie Victoria Square

This early in the game, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s happening, but often readings and costume fittings are happening long before filming actually starts. But June was the officially stated filming start date given by HBO so we’re right on track! We should see a lot more sightings over the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled.

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Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall Virtual Reality Experience Trailer and Release

Wall - Beyond Frozen Lake 7x06 (3)

Game of Thrones Virtual Reality Experience based on classic Season 7 episode Beyond the Wall has been released for Viveport Infinity.  

Check out the eerie trailer, which promises lots of snowy un-dead action!

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

Follow in Jon Snow’s footsteps from Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to North of the Wall, fighting your way through the Night King’s army.  This seven minute adventure features high quality, immersive graphics as well as Ramin Djawadi’s glorious score.

According to the official website, players will be able to use, ‘Ranger skills with a sword to defend yourself against the undead threat as you advance through iconic locations. Be prepared to face impossible odds on your quest as you hack and slash your way out of dangerous situations’

The VR experience is available to anyone with SteamVR (1.4.14) and Viveport (1.3.3 or later).  You can download it here.  Unfortunately this Watcher’s most advance console is a ZX Spectrum, if any of you lovely readers have had a go with this amazing virtual reality journey, let us know in the comments below!

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On the Fandom Road: A FaB Farewell

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So this is it, the last post in a long journey of posts.

Let me start with the end before I end with the beginning: I am leaving you all, gentle readers. This is my Watchers farewell.

It’s been real, it’s been fun; sometimes it’s even been real fun! But all good things must end. Valar Dohaeris, yes, but ultimately Valar Morghulis. I regret nothing.

Now then. Let’s go back to the start, as Chris Martin once crooned. I’m a huge nerd, which is shocking to most of you, I know! I’m also 50 years old, which places me in the upper tier of GoT fans, longevity wise. (I still quietly curse Pat “The Usurper” Sponagle for his single-year seniority!)

My love for Dungeons & Dragons predates my love for anything that I still currently hold any flame for, short of perhaps chocolate milkshakes. Somewhere in the early 00’s, Dragon Magazine published one of its monthly issues, and this one came with a twist:

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This issue had largely dedicated its content to a series of fantasy novels written by George R. R. Martin. The Red Witch Melisandre was there on the cover, glowing in her usual sultry fashion, and the issue’s contents- from monster stats to intriguing plot points- left me with a distinct thirst for more.

I soon picked up A Game of Thrones, the one with the silver and blue cover, raven-haired Jon Snow riding a proud steed through some northerly hinterlands, a crow over his shoulder and loyal white wolf by his side. Like most of you I was hooked by the end of the first chapter. I then devoured A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords

From there it was on to the Westeros forums, where I met other rabid fans of this gritty, realistic fantasy world. (Nerd points to anyone who recalls my username over at the Worg.) The series pilot was announced by HBO, and Phil “Winter” Bicking put up a post that basically said, (Philadelphia accent implied) “Yo, any of you nerds gonna start a Game of Thrones TV show website?” A week later, after what amounted to crickets chirping as a response, Phil came back with a link to his brand new HBO Game of Thrones fan site! To assist, he asked Marko aka “Hear Me Roar” (because he’s super intelligent) and Myself “FaBio” Me (because… I’m funny?), and the rest is, as they say, history.

And man, the tales I could tell. We got in on all the good early stuff. I’ve been to two premiere parties, three launch parties, and got to see snippets of the first season; I got to meet the David Benioff and Dan Weiss, Peter Dinklage, Sean Bean, and George R.F.R. Martin himself, and that was all before the first episode was up on HBO. (I’ve actually met George on six different occasions; Phil and I both made such an impression on him that he thanked us both on the A Dance With Dragons acknowledgements page. Seriously, I should frame that shit.). I’ve interviewed over half the main cast, and I call a few of them close personal friends.

FaBio-and-Maisie-game-of-thrones-25949386-1900-1285Hell, I’ve hung out with the lovely Kristian Nairn more times than I can count. I was even briefly stared down and loomed over by Charles Dance. (Long story.)

It’s been good. I went from “Curtain Call Guy” to the “Twitter Post Guy,” and through WiC and WotW and Twitter have met some of the most amazing people—people I now regard as the truest of friends.

My time in the fandom isn’t done… but from now on I’m gonna be one with the plebes, satisfied with watching the prequel(s) and reading any future ASoIaF content on the “rabid fan” sideline like everyone else.

Will I still be a loyal Watchers on the Wall reader? OF COURSE, YOU FOOLS! You probably already know this, but this is the best Game of Thrones fan site out there, bar none. We have the best writers. I challenge you to find me a nerd site with better ones!

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I have thanks to give aplenty. I hope Phil Bicking and Marko know how much I appreciated them for their partnership and, most of all, their friendship over the years. I wouldn’t be here without them. I also want to thank all the amazing writers here at Watchers. I go into my GoT twilight knowing there are far better writers than me ready to pick up the slack:

Luka, you salient San Sebastián smartypants, thank you for your help and guidance; if I ever need any help in anything internet-related, I will still contact you, because I’m dumb and you’re not.

Bex, my erstwhile partner in crime (and future karaoke rival), thank you for being you: an utterly unapologetic Cersei stan, and the inventor of the DRUNKALYPSE, the funniest Tumblr that ever was or will be.

Vanessa, thank you for not only your lovely presence, but your art as well. Both are equally inspiring, and I count you as a fine friend.

Samantha, thank you for not only for inviting me onto your most excellent podcast, but for being a like-minded nerd (despite that Steelers-fan thing) as well as the great future mom we both know you will be. Girl, you get me.

Lady Geoffery, thank you for making me laugh so hard I once snotted onto my keyboard. Seriously! Oh, and also for being a newly-minted Los Angeles Ram fan. You’ll thank me… at some point. (And lo! Geoff has a tumblr too, so y’all go check that!)

David, thank you for being the sizzling New York ball of fire we all love. Flame on! (Check out more of Sir Squinty’s writing here!)

Petra, my wee fellow Theon stan and (shockingly!!) axe-chucking superior, thank you for your passionate, thought-provoking prose. (Y’all, Petra has a YouTube channel. She rarely posts there, but when she does the content is brilliant.)

Akash, you fine, dapper man, thank you for speaking out for those who may not have your boldness or talent; I will continue to troll your twitter feed for the shade you throw, and your instagram for the style you bring.

Pat, thank you for being the (ahem) elder statesman I wish I was! You’re Lawful Good, so I must therefore content myself with being Awful Good. (And check it, nerds, he doesn’t just write about GoT, so check out Pat’s site! Yes, it’s filled with GoT stuff, but he occasionally writes about um, dogs!)

Hogan, thank you for being that brilliant artist I wish I could have been. (True story: I was already a gigantic fan of his—and then lo and behold he goes and starts writing for our site?! Kismet! Check out Hogan’s fashion site, y’all!

Joe Magician, thank you for being one of the best YouTubers in the business. (And PEOPLE, Joe Magician has a PATREON! Give him a Careless Whisper and get on it for the early saucy content!)

A special thank-you goes to Tina, our sometimes-shy “Dame Pasty,” for being that shoulder I could lean on; your advice was always timely and greatly appreciated.

My deepest thanks goes to Sue, my furious foil and, honestly, the snarlingly blunt kind of Editor-In-Chief this site needs. She’s a detail-driven demon of a woman with whom I’ve oft clashed (our “artistic differences” are, shall we say, sometimes at odds)… but all the best editors are required to put their writers in their place, and lord, I’ve earned a few thumps. I’ll be buying her a drink or two at Con of Thrones, NEXT MONTH, so she can sock me in the shoulder in person for all the snit fits I’ve thrown. She has a Tumblr! Go tumbl with her, peeps!

My final thanks goes to Oz, the most courteous and caring boss I’ve literally ever had. He invited me to Watchers with open arms, and talked me into sticking through some of the tough personal times. Oz, it was a blast meeting you at Con of Thrones. It was a hard thing to do, finally admitting you had more to offer Kate Dickie than I, but I take defeat graciously and (dare I say) humbly.

(I’m not saying Kate’s final preference pushed me towards retirement, but I also won’t say I wouldn’t still be writing here if Katie had but chosen meeeeeeee….!)

Speaking of which… Yes, I’ll be in Nashville for Con of Thrones next month, as I said. And I expect to see a lot of you there. I’m friendly, and only bite in the early morning hours. Come up and say hi!

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Peace out, nerds. Spread a little love, give your pets a little kiss, and be excellent to one another! BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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The Writing on the Wall: Has the Wheel Been Broken?

(9) Courtesy of HBO

The ending of any story is equally steeped in the ending itself and a contemplation of everything that came before it. It is why such a heavy weight is imparted upon the conclusion of a story. Not only does it have to carry itself as an episode of television but it also has to sufficiently honor the narrative foundations that led to its creation in the first place. It is a tricky balancing act and few series, if any, have ever achieved that perfect ending. Whether or not the ending to Game of Thrones accomplishes both critical beats is going to be debated for quite some time, in part a consequence of its legacy as a true pop culture phenomenon.

There are a plethora of ways to try and understand what the series has accomplished or fallen short of. As a writer, I’m inherently drawn to what the series was ultimately trying to say through its themes, its characters, its plot. What was this series ultimately about? Some would say that Game of Thrones is about the corruptibility of power. Others would say that it is about how attempts at breaking the systemic wheel can quite easily slip away and reinforce the wheel if one lacks caution. An oft heard refrain is “it’s all about tits and dragons.” My takeaway from Game of Thrones, in that sense, is a mixed message, much like my reaction to the last couple of installments that ended the series.

The central concern of Game of Thrones has always been about the question of power. That question has most obviously become a central concern for the show via the jockeying for the Iron Throne, potentially fiction’s most uncomfortable literal seat of power. Similar conflicts, albeit on much smaller scales, occurred from seats of power in Essos, Dorne, and the Iron Islands. But there were more damaging conflicts of power occurring between characters themselves. Even more intricate conflicts of power were the ones that George R. R. Martin referred to as “the human heart at conflict with itself.”

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In season two, when the series had more time to explore the intricate questions of power, Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) said that power is a curious thing that resides where men believe it resides. To illustrate his point, he talked about a tale centering around a tale of three powerful men and a sellsword. One of those men is a king. Another is a priest. A third is a man of wealth. Each of them in turn offers the sellsword something for killing the other two in the room. Clearly, there is no love lost between the three of them. The king doesn’t offer much to the sellsword except for the notation that he is, in fact, the king. The priest offers some form of religious salvation, the deed of double murder a slight wrinkle in the whole holy pathway to heaven thing. The wealthy man offers him gold.

The question of actual power is what Varys is hinting at, the central trick in the question that originally drove the storytelling in Game of Thrones. The king of course represents the power of the law and the government. The priest represents the power of organized religion. The wealthy man represents the banks, the power of wealth and class, and perhaps capitalism if you take the allegory that far. Those three pillars of civilization, if you will, often seem impenetrable. The might of government, religion, and banks historically always seem to be until they’re not. In Game of Thrones, we saw a partial recognition of that reality when the poor of King’s Landing decide to rise up in season two and envelop the capital in riots.

When Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) tells Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) that she desires to break the wheel, she has a point. The power cycles of Westeros have often led to wanton destruction of the most powerless as everyone scrambles to sit on the Iron Throne. The Baratheons, Starks, Lannisters, Tyrells, and Targaryens have been culpable in that cycle of power. Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) understood just as much. She was acutely aware of the power that the common people had as a collective, damn the government, gods, and gold. She counseled fear as a ruling tactic and pointedly reminded Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) of the necessity for a public spectacle with the Purple Wedding. When the spectacle ends, the masses will find other, more revolt-oriented entertainment.

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The complication in such an analysis is often tied to where one sees themselves in that power structure. It is often easy to see the necessity of breaking a system while not analyzing one’s own role within that system. When Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) talks to Daenerys about the role the Iron Islands will play in such a system, Daenerys agrees to their independence. It’s a step that signals her seriousness in breaking the wheel. When she arrives on Dragonstone, she readies herself for the conquest of Westeros. She relies in part on the advice of her advisor and Hand of the Queen, whose formative experience as Hand of the King should have come in handy. It did not.

Tyrion makes one major miscalculation after another. Daenerys snaps and becomes Queen of the Ashes. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) assassinates her in a nauseating scene and departs for the lands north of the wall. What remains behind in the Seven Kingdoms is a power vacuum. The clichéd adage goes that nature abhors a vacuum of any sort and the melted Iron Throne in King’s Landing is no exception. The choice that is faced by the respective leaders of Westeros is quite simple: they must decide what the nature of leadership looks like post-the Last War (although it is hardly likely to be the last, all things considered). The reality of making that choice should be fairly complicated.

It isn’t. In a sequence full of players we know and those we have never seen before, there is not much of a discussion as to why Bran should or should not be king. Sansa wisely brings up the note of succession (a note over which many a war have occurred) and stakes her claim as an independent Queen of the North. But otherwise all it seems to take is a persuasive speech from Tyrion for the other lords to agree that a union of six kingdoms was the best option. Yara’s (Gemma Whelan) quest for independence gets lost in the mix. The realpolitik that defined some of the show’s best moments (think of the scene where Tyrion drags his chair in the Small Council chambers) is largely nonexistent.

Perhaps the more important question is, what does Game of Thrones ultimately say about power? What, if anything, comes of Daenerys’s stated desire to “break the wheel?” While other characters may not have repeated the exact phrase, they certainly shared some sense of wanting to pursue something different from the system that had put the Mad King, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), and Cersei Lannister on the Iron Throne. For now, it seems that they may not have achieved that after all.

(4) Helen Sloan - HBO

Whether or not Bran will be a good king is largely an open question. It becomes a complicated one when one considers him being the Three-Eyed Raven. But let’s move beyond the central figure for a moment and look at the larger picture. There is still a king, albeit of six kingdoms and not seven. There is still a Small Council largely dominated by men with two vacant positions surely not to be vacant for much longer. It is difficult, beyond the names of some of the families in power, to sense there being much of a difference from what came before.

Samwell’s (John Bradley) suggestion that the people of Westeros, who have long been sufficiently fucked by the nobility, should have a direct say in their own governance elicits a chuckle from the nobles (as they are wont to do). It is the closest anyone has gotten to overturning the wheel in its entirety but it would perhaps have been too much of a change in Westeros for it to come across as narratively plausible. The system selected then, is an oligarchical appointment of a king and an annual check-in process. For now, anyhow.

In Lord Varys’s riddle about the sellsword, there is no clear cut answer about who has the most power because it inherently depends on your perception of the reality of power. If you agree with Tyrion’s answer, then the ruling class is sitting upon a brittle foundation of power. It breaks, or at least cracks, when the common people realize its fragility. From the perspective of those people (whoever is around at this point), there was another war between the nobility that wreaked havoc across Westeros and now they have to rebuild their lives while another noble boy sits the metaphorical equivalent of the Iron Throne. Everything has changed yet very little has.

I can say that the wheel is ultimately intact, perhaps even reinforced. It may have charred and cracked in certain senses, but the ultimate power structures remain relatively intact. The question then becomes whether or not Game of Thrones has ultimately answered the question of whether or not the wheel of power can be broken with a resounding “no.” That depends on your perception of where the power lies and just as importantly, how long it will remain there, intact. Perhaps it will remain there for ten years, twenty, or a hundred. What it certain is that the wheel at some point or another will shake once more and this time the trembles may break it apart at last.

Valar Morghulis.

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Bran’s fate in Season 8 comes directly from Martin, reveals Isaac Hempstead Wright

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Author George R.R. Martin himself said recently that, given the days-long conversations about the ending he had with showrunners Benioff and Weiss years ago, the end of Game of Thrones wouldn’t be “that different” from what he has planned for future books in A Song of Ice and Fire. However, some who disliked the controversial ending held out hope for a different endpoint altogether, not just a different execution. One of these contentious points was Bran becoming king of the now Six Kingdoms; a twist that, according to Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), comes straight from Martin!

At the official Making Game of Thrones blog, Isaac discusses his reaction to King Bran the Broken, saying it was “the very last thing” he “expected to happen.” In fact, for a while he didn’t believe it would: “I was convinced they had sent a script to everyone in which they become king or queen, so I still didn’t believe it until the read-through.”

Once he got past his suspicions, though, the actor liked that choice: “I think he is a great character to take on that role. You never thought of him in that way, but what more could you ask for in a king than to have no personal attachments, no agenda, but have a calm understanding of the entire universe? He’s the ideal person to be in charge.”

And here comes the big revelation:

“[Showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] told me there were two things [author] George R.R. Martin had planned for Bran, and that was the Hodor revelation, and that he would be king. So that’s pretty special to be directly involved in something that is part of George’s vision. It was a really nice way to wrap it up.”

There’s much more to the interview, which I suggest you read in its entirety here.

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This so-called revelation will not come as a surprise to those who have read Martin’s words quoted at the top, or the showrunners’ oft-repeated claims that, though there were no more of Martin’s published words to follow, they were following his outline (which, may I remind you, though only an outline, it took days to recount in detail.) And yet, given some of the reactions I’ve read to the ending, with some people utterly convinced Bran will not become king in the books (amongst other major events in season eight and the finale in particular), I’m sure some people will be shocked by this.

All hail King Bran the Broken! Long may he reign!

The post Bran’s fate in Season 8 comes directly from Martin, reveals Isaac Hempstead Wright appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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The Record-Breaking Final Season of Game of Thrones is Now Available on Digital Download!

(1) Courtesy of HBO

Game of Thrones is over but you can relive it all over from beginning to end, as Season 8 is now available to own on Digital Download. In addition to the series’ last-ever six episodes, the purchase includes the extraordinary two-hour documentary Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, directed by filmmaker Jeanie Finlay, and two bonus featurettes: “The Long Night” and “The Final Season”.

The extra content for the Season 8 Digital Download includes:

  • The Final Season: “Join the cast and crew of Game of Thrones as they reflect on the final season of HBO’s epic, Emmy-winning series. Interviews include show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with stars Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, and many others.”
  • The Long Night: “Join Game of Thrones show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss along with many of the major stars and behind-the-scenes players as they look back at the colossal filming that was the Battle of Winterfell in Season 8, episode 3. This special spotlights the weaponry, lighting, special effects and more that went into the making of this unforgettable episode.”

This is great news for fans who hold off on watching the show entirely until they can binge all at once- yes, I actually know people who have this level of self-control. Go forth and download away! Enjoy the season all over again, ye pirates, and tell us about those bonus features, or dive in for the first time if you’ve been waiting for season 8 to wrap up, for a good binge! The Long Night is over and summer is here. Enjoy!

The post The Record-Breaking Final Season of Game of Thrones is Now Available on Digital Download! appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Sophie Turner and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau reflect on Game of Thrones, defend Season 8’s controversial Sansa and Jaime scenes

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There have been many post-mortems about Game of Thrones since the series finale aired, some by the cast members themselves. Today we bring you what I believe are two particularly strong interviews with Sophie Turner and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, in which they reflect on the end of not only an era of television but of their lives, and defend two controversial choices made by their characters, Sansa and Jaime, in this final season.

At The Wrap, Veep’s Tony Hale and Sophie Turner discuss the end of their respective HBO shows, with Turner telling us about her final scene (Sophie’s, not quite Sansa’s), which happened to be the series finale’s Dragonpit Great Council, filmed in Seville:

“It was a scene that we had been shooting for five days straight in the sun in Spain,” she reveals. “So I kept going between the feeling of, ‘God, I can’t wait for this scene to be over,’ and, ‘Please don’t ever let this end.’”

“When it came to the very final shot, [showrunners] Dave and Dan do this thing where they present each of us with the storyboard of their favorite scene of your character, and then say some lovely words about you in front of the cast and crew. I just broke down crying, and I was inconsolable for three or four hours. It was probably one of the saddest days of my life. And I don’t think I’m done with my crying yet.”

Sophie is also asked about a scene in “The Last of the Starks”, the fourth episode right after the battle against the dead, in which Sansa and Sandor reconnect. Some viewers interpreted Sansa’s words to mean that she believed Ramsey raping her had made her the woman she was now. Turner vehemently disagrees with this interpretation:

“I think that absolutely it was not so much the assault — what made her the person she is today, the politician and the manipulator, was the mentality, not the things that she went through. She made a conscious decision to stay quiet, to keep learning, to keep absorbing information from all of these people who are manipulating her or keeping her captive. It’s a wonderful thing to see a sexual assault survivor grow from that, and see her turn into this political leader she is today — but no, the rape is absolutely not a plot device to make the character seem stronger. The sexual assault made her resilient, but by no means has it made her this wonderful character that we see today. It absolutely broke her, and we saw that on screen. But seeing her thriving is so wonderful to see.”

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At the official Making Game of Thrones blog, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau essentially makes the case that it couldn’t have ended any other way for Jaime, as much as we all wish that could have been the case and that he had stayed with Brienne:

“In a different world, Jaime would’ve stayed with Brienne. What he has with Brienne is something different — it’s a very pure, innocent love. There is a part of him that wishes he could not be who he is. It’s one of those things we do in Game of Thrones: you have this idea of what you want these characters to do — it’s supposed to end well for these two, they’ve been through so much together — but that’s not how it goes.”

“Gwendoline [Christie] was so moving in that scene. She did an amazing job of conveying that Brienne had finally found happiness she’s never had, and it’s just taken away from her in a brutal way. It’s very true to who these characters are. His staying in Winterfell is unrealistic. Cersei is the most important person in his life, whether he wants her to be or not. The idea that he was going to just let her die alone is too horrible for him.”

“His whole life has been about trying to protect Cersei, and trying to be close to her,” Coster-Waldau continues. “He loves her — it’s unconditional love, it’s so ingrained in him. [In season five] Bronn asks him, ‘How do you want to go?’ Jaime says: ‘In the arms of the woman I love.’ That is where he dies. That scene had so much weight.”

“The whole world is falling down around them; it’s a poetic thing. When we were done filming, it was so emotional — more so than my last scene, [which was the fight with Euron]. My hope for those final moments between Cersei and Jaime, is that even though people want her dead, it still leaves a sour taste in their mouth.”

Though many dislike that sour taste, it’s how I believe Jaime’s story had to end, if you’ll allow some editorializing. His story was always going to be a tragedy, and a tragedy doesn’t just mean we’re all sad in the end. It’s more than that. It’s more than the fact that he couldn’t have a happy ending, which most critics of his death probably agree with anyway. For it to be a proper tragedy means that Jaime’s ending had to be self-inflicted. The tragedy was always within himself, not with terrible things happening to him.

That is, I believe, something that those trying to offer alternate endings to Jaime are missing. If Jaime had died without outwardly rebuffing all that makes him good in the eyes of Brienne (and of many of us) in an effort to save his sister and lover, it would’ve been quite sad, I’ll grant you, but it wouldn’t have been a tragedy of character. Not to stir up the hornet’s nest, but the same applies to the many attempts I’ve seen at trying to engineer a way in which King’s Landing still blows up but without Dany’s agency, thus freeing her ethically from her war crimes. That’s just not the story they were telling.

Back in the interview, Nikolaj leaves us with a happy ending, for him if not for Jaime:

“I love working with Lena and we always had such an amazing experience together. l look back at what she has done on this show and it’s amazing.”

It is amazing, Nikolaj, and we’ll all miss you, and you and Lena, too!


Finally, still at Making Game of Thrones, we’re shown in more detail the two books we saw in the series finale, which made quite a splash (and resulted in many memes, too).

First, there is Maester Ebrose’s A Song of Ice and Fire, which was of course titled by Sam:

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There’s also the White Book, in which the great deeds of the Kingsguard are recorded by the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard – in Jaimes case, by Ser Brienne of Tarth, in a bittersweet scene I have been envisioning for years and did not disappoint:

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Sadly, these prop photos don’t include Brinne’s additions to Jaime’s entry into the book, so we’ll have to make do with what we saw on-screen, which, I remind you, was this beautiful memorial of Jaime’s entire (albeit curated) story in Game of Thrones:

Captured in the field at the Whispering Wood, set free by Lady Catelyn Stark in return for an oath to find and return her two daughters.

Lost his [hand; rest of page missing]

Took Riverrun from the Tully rebels, without loss of life.

Lured the Unsullied into attacking Casterly Rock, sacrificing his childhood home in service to a greater strategy.

Outwitted the Targaryen forces to seize Highgarden. Fought at the Battle of the Goldroad bravely, narrowly escaping death by dragonfire.

Pledged himself to the forces of men and rode north to join them at Winterfell, alone.

Faced the Army of the Dead and defended the castle against impossible odds until the defeat of the Night King. Escaped imprisonment and rode south in an attempt to save the capital from destruction.

Died protecting his Queen.

Let’s have a little cry together, shall we?

The post Sophie Turner and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau reflect on Game of Thrones, defend Season 8’s controversial Sansa and Jaime scenes appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Take a Bow: Isaac Hempstead Wright

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The old adage is never work with children or animals, but with a character like Bran Stark, Isaac Hempstead Wright had to be both! He might have been one of Game of Thrones’ most unlikely players, but here’s to the actor who took us all on his journey from curious child, to Three-Eyed Raven, to ultimately being the king of Westeros.

When we first meet Bran, he’s a sweet-natured innocent whose only crime is climbing too high and scaring his mother. It seemed unbelievable to me, an Unsullied viewer during the show’s first season, that this cute kid would become one of the linchpins of the entire series, nor that this his clambering antics would have any consequences other than giving Catelyn the heebie-jeebies. His discovery of Jaime and Cersei together sets off a change of events that will alter the course of the Westerosi landscape.

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In his early appearances, Hempstead Wright is remarkably adept at balancing the emotional sides to his character. His bitter realisation that he will never walk again and declaring that he’d rather be dead is utterly distressing as are his tragic scenes with Theon in Season Two, asking the man he grew up with as family whether he hated him the whole time. Bran’s scenes with Maester Luwin, Osha and Old Nan provide viewers with much needed exposition and back story which help to flavour the extraordinary world this show is set in. At the same time as he’s playing a tutored child, Hempstead Wright is already giving us glimpses of what was to become his fate as the Three-Eyed Raven; it’s an exceptionally mature and accomplished performance from such a young actor.

Hempstead Wright takes us with him on Bran’s journey to learn more about his mystical abilities. Guided by Jojen to use his warging and green-seeing powers, this is a magical twist in Bran’s tale that might have seemed outlandish or out of place if it wasn’t for an assure but understated performance from Hempstead Wright. It becomes clear the viewer that Bran’s destiny lies beyond being the heir of Winterfell and is something far greater, as his visions begin to offer us tantalising glimpses of Westeros’ past and future.

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I’d almost forgotten, when I came to writing this article, that Bran didn’t appear on our screens for an entire season, so much was his presence felt throughout the show. When he returned to us in Season Six, Hempstead Wright has almost become a proxy for the audience; as he learns about the events which shaped his world, so do we. Through Bran we learn about the Tower of Joy, Jon Snow’s true parentage, the creation of the White Walkers and, of course we are witness to one of Game of Thrones’ most tragic and unexpected twists, the origin of Hodor.

Bran is now a changed man, and Hempstead Wright puts in an eerie, almost sinister performance in his final seasons, having finally become the Three-Eyed Raven. Playing a character who can experience everything, except emotion, seemingly, is not an easy task, but one he manages with aplomb, becoming a calming and occasionally chilling presence among the chaos of the last few episodes.

I’m still not sold on Bran the Broken as a title (Bran the Badass would have been much cooler and still alliterative, let’s be real) but I was absolutely sold on him becoming king. He’s ushering in a new era and a new style of leadership, and while his experiences may not be what one would immediately look for in a ruler, his was undoubtedly one of the greatest stories from our time in Westeros. Plus, as one of the most consistently positive portrayals of a disabled character in fantasy fiction, I was thrilled to see Bran gain legitimate acceptance and recognition from his peers. Hempstead Wright took us on an extraordinary journey with Bran, with what was unarguably one of the most emotionally complex characters on the show, and it’s one I can’t wait to revisit when I watch the show over again. All hail King Bran the Badass! (or Broken. Whichever!)

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The Night’s Cast Episode 23: Series Finale, “The Iron Throne,” Recap and Reactions

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All hail the Starks — can we safely say they won the game of thrones? I think we can.

Well…it’s come and gone, folks. The series finale of the most epic, incredible series we’ve ever seen splash across our TV screens. We here at The Night’s Cast, the official podcast of Watchers on the Wall, have had time to let our Thoughts and Opinions marinate, and this week we recap and react — for the last time — to Season 8, Episode 6, “The Iron Throne.”

Join Axey, Vanessa and Samantha as they talk through happy endings, not-so-happy endings, their feelings on the show coming to an end, and what being a part of the incredible fandom has meant to them.

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The Night’s Cast will be taking a short hiatus until July, when we’ll be recording a live episode at this year’s Con of Thrones in Nashville! Please join us in person if you can (you can get $25 off General, Valyrian and Kingslayer passes until the end of the day today) or keep an eye out for the recording to be released the week of July 15!

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 23: Series Finale, “The Iron Throne,” Recap and Reactions appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Game of Threads: The Iron Throne

(19) Helen Sloan - HBO

We’ve come to the final official Game of Threads.  It’s been a great ride.  I want to take a quick minute to thank everyone at Watchers for this wonderful opportunity to nerd out over the costumes and flex my writing muscles in ways I usually don’t get to, and to be able contribute this small offering to a fandom that I feel so privileged to be a member of.  It blows my mind to think that almost 10 years ago, I was posting my fanart on Tumblr and Twitter, which led to me to meeting the site-runners here, and the rest is history.

But I digress…we are here to talk costumes!  I know that there are many differing opinions on how the story wrapped up, but one of the things that we can all agree on is the consistently beautiful work coming from the wardrobe department, and Michele Clapton delivered everything in the final moments of heading this mammoth project since Season 1.

(4) Helen Sloan - HBO

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We open post-sack of King’s Landing, where Tyrion, Jon, and Arya, look on as Daenerys steps out to address her forces on the steps of the Red Keep.  She is wearing the same embossed leather coat that she wore in last week’s episode, but the “becoming the dragon” motif is driven further home with the epic shot of Drogon’s wings unfurling behind her.  Her hair is even arranged in a way that it actually looks like a dragon spitting fire.  A reader last week commented that the color treatment of the coat looks as if it’s been charred with the red at the hem, which is an amazing observation, and I would also add that it looks almost blood-soaked- as if she’d been wading through the bodies of those she’s massacred.  As she enters the throne room, it’s interesting to juxtapose the costuming between this scene and the vision of this scene back in the Season 2 finale.  Then, she still wore leather, but it was created in lighter colors.  She still had an innocence to her and an indefinite plan as to how to get what she wanted.  Here, we see a ruler, hardened by the atrocities she’s endured, wearing an equally hardened outfit.

(5) Helen Sloan - HBO

Attention should be paid to the fact that Jon is still wearing the Stark sigil, even after accepting that his parentage is half-Targaryen (“Then I’d be fire and blood too!”).  Granted, he didn’t have much time to create a new set of armor after the battle of Winterfell, but stranger things have happened at an even quicker pace in the GoT world.  Still, when Dany meets her end at the hands of Jon, they are very much embodying their sigils- her in black and red, and him in grey and black.  They are visually the song of ice and fire.

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With the aftermath of Jon’s queenslaying, we cut to a few weeks later where the lords and ladies have gathered in their finest to figure out what comes next.  Sansa is naturally wearing her leather armor, showing the group of mostly men that she will be heard and respected.  Gendry gets a nifty new lordly, Baratheon outfit, rendering him a dead ringer for a younger Robert.  The claw-like slashes in the leather could be paying respects to Dany, who elevated his to the position he’s in now, but it’s also symbolic of his father’s warrior status, and brings to mind the warrior paint that Drogo wore on his shoulders.  The reintroduction of the beautiful costumes of House Arryn is always a treat.

(5) Macall B. Polay - HBO

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Edmure, bless him, is wearing a beautiful brownish-gold tunic that creates the illusion that the textile is fittingly made of fish leather.  The rest that we do know are wearing what we’d expect them to, and those that we don’t know, all seem to be following suit.  I do find it curious, and this is just my assumption, that Sam seems to be the only representative from the Reach, the largest region in Westeros.  Aside from the new prince of Dorne, most others look like they exist further up the map.

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(13) Helen Sloan - HBO

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As Jon readies himself to rejoin the Night’s Watch, he meets with his three siblings before shipping off.  Sansa and Arya are still in their leathers, but Bran has taken on his kingly role is beautiful fashion.  This might be one of my favorite male character’s costumes in the entire series.  The lush, royal, deep blue velvet is embroidered with feathers that seem to rise up towards his head, evoking all of the world’s stories that reside inside Bran’s head.  The feathers are obviously representative of his role as the Three Eyed Raven, but the color still ties him to his family and his Stark name, while also conveying the “hope” of blue that Clapton employs when characters are faced with new life paths.  I only wish we could’ve seen what his crown looks like…

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In the final montage between the other three siblings, we see a shift in their respective styles- most notably their hair.  Both Jon and Arya have put to rest the wearing of Ned’s signature style.  They’ve been able to close that bloody chapter of their lives that arguably began with his death.  Jon lets his hair return to how he wore it before he was killed and brought back to life, making his resurrection, visually, come full circle.  He’s able to let his hair down (literally) and leave his past behind him.  Arya’s hair is swept back in a no-nonsense bun, fit for an explorer.  Sansa also leaves her past behind her with her hair.  She’s no longer wearing the hybrid Cersei-Catelyn-Margaery braids she’s been cycling through on her brutal journey while coming into her own.  I was getting heavy Elizabeth I imagery throughout her portion of the montage, and Renaissance expert Anthony Oliveira illuminated beautifully in a Tweet that

“Elizabeth wore [her hair] down at her coronation to signal sexual purity, in open hostility to those who said her sexual abuse ruined her.”

Quite a fitting allusion for Sansa.

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Then we get to the DRESS!  This stunning dress.  This absolute work of art.  Unlike her unburdening herself with the history of her hair, she chooses to pay homage to all of the important people that shaped her life and lead her to become Queen in the North.  First and foremost, the color calls back to her Season 1, Episode 1 pale blue dress, where she discusses her excitement of one day becoming queen.  The metal bodice, cut in the shape of her leather armor bodice, features a Weirwood Tree motif, a symbol of her family, which is also represented in the red leaves that are embroidered into the inside of one of the sleeves.

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The fabric itself is the same exact silk with woven leaves that was used for Margaery Tyrell’s wedding dress from her marriage to Joffrey.  I have to have an aside here because I saw it immediately and it warmed my heart so much that my two favorite characters were connected at the very end.  I thought maybe it could’ve just been a fluke, until Clapton confirmed it on her Instagram page, stating that they shared a bond (that Sansa clearly wanted to honor), and then my heart exploded.  Anyway, moving on.

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The most obvious homage is the beaded direwolf pelt over her shoulder, honoring her family.  The delicate beading features black feathers, which have layered meanings.  It represents her past when she once was a “little bird”, it represents Jon’s reinstated “crow” status up North, it represents Bran, the Three Eyed Raven, down in King’s Landing, and to an extent, it represents Littlefinger and his mockingbird sigil.  The direwolf seems to continue down into the other sleeve, but the embroidery also evokes fish scales, which call back to her mother’s Tully roots.  Finally, and maybe a bit eerily, her direwolf crown has a similar feel to it as Cersei’s coronation crown.  Cersei had such an impact on her and, for better or worse, Sansa will always carry her lessons with her.

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The fact that Michele Clapton’s hands are the ones dressing Sansa is a single-tear moment :’)

It truly blows my mind that this is the end of the consistently gorgeous work that comes from Michele Clapton, Michele Carragher, Kevin Alexander, and the rest of the wardrobe and hair team.  I want to personally thank them for bringing Westeros to life, and thank you to the readers here for joining me these past few seasons.  It’s been an honor.

Don’t forget to pre-order the Game of Thrones: The Costumes book!

The post Game of Threads: The Iron Throne appeared first on Watchers on the Wall.

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Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 6 “The Iron Throne” Video Recap Roundup

(25) Courtesy of HBO

Guys, I honestly can’t believe I’m saying this.  What an incredible ride this has been.  But, here it is, your final ever Game of Thrones Video Recap Roundup!

Firstly we have Westeros History with their Show Only Review (Book to Show Review is here)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6kGtc8cr-M?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

HappyCool are here with special guests Erik ‘Blackfyre‘ Kluth, A Podcast of Ice and Fire’s Kyle Maddock and WotW’s very own Axechucker!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fis3VraBqvI?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

Got Academy discuss whether Game of Thrones was a historical, political or fantastical story in their final show review.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wxs0dAykqY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

A final Thrones Talk from Collider Videos

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzgQyCfORt4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

A finale review from Smokescreen.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1yMgTJfsVw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

Rawrist’s Review/Reaction of that last episode.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY6L4uzVXmk?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

The Young Turks have a Review Special…

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

We also have some awesome reaction videos like this on from the chaps at Blind Wave

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCgOU-9gk8M?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent&w=700&h=424]

And this one from The Normies (Part Two is here)

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

And one final Burlington Bar reaction series (Parts Two and Three)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHCTjlpmD10?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&