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February 06 2014

Season 4 Foreshadowing: 6 Reasons to Watch Sunday's Preview

It’s been almost a year since the Red Wedding ushered in a new, icy reality for the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. Eager to know what’s next? Watch 'Game of Thrones: Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing' this Sunday, February 9 at 8:45pm ET to get a glimpse of Season 4. Here are seven things to look forward to:

1. Fan Questions Are Answered
Get the dish from GOT actors.

2. Difficult Underdog Days
Get a taste of what your favorite characters are up against.

3. The Arrival of Oberyn Martell
Meet the game's newest player.

4. Dragon Drama
Emilia Clarke talks about her quickly growing children.

5. More Action Than Ever
The series creators speak to the amped up velocity.

6. Quality Quips 
Cast members share their most badass quotes. 

Tune in on Sunday to see if your favorites made the cut. Season 4 of ‘Game of Thrones’ returns on April 6. 

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January 31 2014

Step Inside Game of Thrones With New Exhibition

Copyright Ashley SearsA new 'Game of Thrones' exhibition will pull back the curtain to showcase over 100 artifacts from the first three seasons and offer a sneak peek at items new to Season 4.  

This year’s exhibit will feature costumes including cloaks, dresses, furs and armors; weaponry such as crossbows, daggers, spears and swords; accessories like jewelry, crowns and headdresses -- not to mention dragon-related items including eggs and model creatures. You can also get a closer look at the house banners, letters and maps seen on screen, along with behind the scenes elements like storyboards. Attendees can immerse themselves in the realm through an interactive experience or fulfill their dreams of ousting Joffrey by snapping a photo on the Iron Throne.

This year's exhibit will visit eight cities across the globe. Check out the schedule below to find a city near you: 

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July 19 2013

7 Things We Learned at the Game of Thrones Panel

 Credit: Albert L Ortega / Getty Images

Friday was the long-awaited 'Game of Thrones' panel, which kicked off with the “In Memoriam” video. While the lustiest cheers were for the fallen Starks, the family's direwolves, Lady and Grey Wind, also evoked an emotional response. Once the video wrapped up and the crowd quieted, the questions came at a quick pace. Here's what came up:

1. Khal Drogo still pines for his khaleesi.

Jason Momoa stopped the show by rushing on to the stage and planting a big kiss on Emilia Clarke. “I'm not dead yet,” he told the audience. Clarke responded by calling him her “sun and stars.”

2. Dan Weiss talked David Benioff out of using “The Rains of Castamere” for the show's theme song.

Weiss suggested they trust composer Ramin Djawadi to come up with something. Marvels Benioff, “What would the show be without that and Angus [Wall]'s title sequence.”

3. Pycelle is faking it.

The Season 3 DVD set will feature a deleted scene between the grand maester and Tywin Lannister in which Tywin tells him to knock-off his act. As it was Pycelle who convinced the Mad King to let Tywin's forces into the city during Robert's Rebellion, Pycelle emphasizes, “I have served the interest of House Lannister unfailingly.”

4. Kit Harington thinks Jon Snow needs a mother figure.

In reciting a list of Jon's father figures: Ned Stark, Benjen Stark, Lord Commander Mormont, Qhorin Halfhand and Mance Rayder, Harington paused and said, “You'd think he want to find someone maternal.”

5. Charles Dance gives shoulder rubs.

During the tense scenes between Tywin and Tyrion, Charles Dance will give Peter Dinklage shoulder rubs. “To make sure we still love each other,” explained Dinklage anout his TV dad.

6. John Bradley thinks Sam Tarly should get out of his own head.

Bradley pointed out that Sam's defining moment – killing the white walker with dragonglass – was based purely on instinct, and not a matter of Sam applying knowledge he had read in a book. “Sam needs to get out of his brain,” says Bradley. “When he goes on gut instinct, he's a bit of a dude.”

Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images7. Peter Dinklage has not gone on vacation in years.

“I haven't taken a proper vacation because I get to go to these places,” said Dinklage about the show's exotic locales. Dinklage, was responding to a fan question about what's great about being on the show. The fan wore a shirt emblazoned with an image of the youngest Lannister that said, “Keep calm and Tyrion.” Another benefit, noted Dinklage: “I get to be on T-shirts.”

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GOT Comic-Con Panel Honors Their Dead

Arya Stark’s assertion that “the one true god is Death” rang true at the ‘Game of Thrones’ Comic-Con panel; the event included a tribute to the fallen members of the realm. Things got emotional as fans relived the loss of a multitude of characters from the past three seasons. View the memorial montage below to pay your respects. While there’s no shortage of guts and glory, the footage is also full of spoilers. Please watch at your own risk.

The North remembers… who will you not soon forget? 

New Thrones Merchandise Pops Up at Comic-Con


Panels are informative, but you can't bring them home and play with them. To satisfy that need, there are the 'Game of Thrones' products being featured around the exhibition hall. Funko's latest is already moving fast -- Ned Stark with a magnetic pop-off head. The limited quantities have been selling out each morning. Factory Entertainment has a cuddlier interpretation of the epic story with plush dragon eggs, direwolves, and a three-eyed raven on display. The booth for Dark Horse Comics features prototypes of their New action figures of Daenerys Targaryen (with dragon eggs) and Jon Snow, both available in January. Also in the offing, 'Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros' due in March from Insight Editions, for fans who want to make the Red Keep appear the same way it does in the show's title sequence. Not to be outdone, Diamond Comic has a 4D Cityscape of Westeros. The 1500 puzzle piece has three different layers: the regions of Westeros, the terrain of Westeros, and the actual castles and landmarks of the series. If you didn't get a chance to check out these booths, get a look at the goods here.

Kit Harington Makes a Ballroom Swoon

As part of Entertainment Weekly's panel of “Brave New Warriors,” Kit Harington elicited a collective “Awww” from the room when he recalled a defining moment for Jon Snow. “When he had to leave,” he said, referring to Jon's abandonment of Ygritte. “It wasn't a sword fight – it was leaving the girl.” Harington was joined on the dais by Matt Smith ('Doctor Who'), Steven Yeun ('The Walking Dead'), Tyler Posey ('Teen Wolf'), and David Giuntoli ('Grimm').

Other choice bits from Harington:

His unsexiest moment: Harington said his love scene with Ygritte was “possibly the most humiliating.” Because his ankle was broken, the actor had to “crutch on to the scene naked, not being to hide anything with 100 people around trying not to laugh.”

His feelings about social media: Harington prefers not to participate. “I'm useless with anything with buttons.”

What qualities he shares with his character: “I can be quite emo at times. If Jon had an ipod, he'd have exactly the same type of music.” 

His Comic-Con undercover outfit of choice: Harry Potter

How he would like to see his character die, should it come to that: “It would be a Sunday afternoon. Jon would be 85 years old, resting his head peacefully … on the side of a big iron chair.”

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David J. Peterson Says to Learn a Language

Each year, Comic-Con stages an “I Can't Write, I Can't Draw but I Love Comics” panel to inspire those who want to break into the industry through less traditional means. Who better to take part than David J. Peterson, the linguist who helped put words in Khal Drogo's mouth? Peterson – who sat alongside motion capture artist Derron Ross, previsualization artist Kerry Shea, and weapons maker Tony Swatton – recounted how he got his 'Thrones' gig after a two-month, two-round application process, an opportunity he heard about through the Language Creation Society. Although just one of many members in the Language Creation Society, Peterson is the only person currently creating languages for TV shows. “Hopefully the number of opportunities increase in the future,” he said. “It's on me to do a good job.”

The benefit of having a living language on the show, believes Peterson, is that it's like a prop that fans can use too. “Anyone can use and build on it,” he said. “It's a really neat way for fans to engage in a dynamic way.” For those looking to break into the field, Peterson says to “study as many languages as possible” – it's the best way to “understand what makes a language realistic.”

Peterson told Making Game of Thrones that of the two languages he's created for 'Thrones,' his Dothraki is stronger, but he prefers the sound of Valyrian. He has favorite phrases in each tongue: “A dragon is not a slave,” and “It is known.” His go-to phrase? “Where's the bathroom?” he said. “Everything else is less urgent.”

Westeros Comes to San Diego

Although the 'Game of Thrones' panel event doesn't take place until Friday, momentum was already building across the city. At the Omni Hotel “Join the Realm” event, fans made themselves comfortable on the (replica) Iron Throne, designed T-shirts for their own houses, and took a shot at the Battle of the Blackwater archery station. Horse lords in need of a trolley around the convention center found themselves on familiar terrain-- the signage had been converted to Dothraki. And parched travelers with access to the Wired Lounge were able to quench their thirst with swigs of Iron Blonde Ale, served up by Oath-wearing bartenders. Here's a look.

July 17 2013

Winter Is Coming to Comic-Con

Fans in Westeros withdrawal are in luck: Game of Thrones is going to Comic-Con. As in past years, the series’ cast and creators will be in attendance to discuss all the suspense and intrigue of the seven kingdoms. For more updates check back here, or follow 'Game of Thrones' on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation using #JoinTheRealm. All times below are listed in Pacific Standard Time.

Join the Realm Event Space
Thursday July 18– Saturday July 20, 11am – 5pm; Sunday July 21, 11am-2pm
Omni Hotel, Gallery 1 & 2
Become a part of Westeros with a complete fan experience at the Omni Hotel. The event includes a Battle of Blackwater Bay virtual archery station, a replica Iron Throne for fan photos, fan art, custom “house” T-shirt design giveaways, and artists on-site to sketch fans into some of ‘Game of Thrones’ most iconic scenes from Season 3. 

I Can’t Write, I Can’t Draw, But I Love Comics!
Thursday July 18, 3:00pm – 4:00pm 
Room 32AB
Sharpen your Dothraki skills with David Peterson, a linguist and president of the Language Creation Society. Peterson created the Dothraki language for ‘Game of Thrones’ and will be joining other panelists who hold nontraditional roles within the industry.

Entertainment Weekly’s Brave New Warriors
Thursday July 18, 4:45pm – 5:45pm 
Ballroom 20
This panel celebrates television’s newest fleet of heroes and includes Jon Snow himself, Kit Harington.

Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A Session
Friday July 19, 2013 2:50pm – 3:45pm 
Hall H
Author George R.R. Martin along with series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss join ‘Game of Thrones’ cast members for an hour-long discussion. The panel will include cast members John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and Richard Madden (Robb Stark). Elvis Mitchell of KCRW will moderate.

Game of Thrones Autograph Signing
Friday July 19, 2013, 4:40pm
WB Booth #4545
Break out your quills and get a signature from your favorite Iron Throne contender. 

June 07 2013

Saying Goodbye: Behind the Scenes of Episode 309

By Cat Taylor


There are moments on 'Game of Thrones,' when you know something coming up in the filming schedule will be different. The apprehension in the days leading up to the filming of the Red Wedding was a palpable feeling – this scene, this moment was one that would shift the direction of so many of our main storylines, and for some, it was the coming of an abrupt end. Readers of the books have known the Red Wedding was imminent, but followers of the show would only know that something, something was reaching a climax.

Before we get to the filming days in the hall at the Twins, let me tell you a few facts from the episode you might find interesting. The Great Hall at the Twins, where Robb Stark holds audience with Walder Frey, was also the Council Chamber at Riverrun where Edmure claimed his victory at the Stone Mill – much to Robb's disgust in Episode 303. The set was completely reworked so that the light and airy rooms of House Tully became a dark, menacing and oppressive space; the walls were refinished, the Tully fish removed, the balcony added and the windows covered. Then Set Dec went to work to bring in the finished elements in just under two weeks, from start to finish.

June 03 2013

Michelle Fairley Loved the Red Wedding

This season's major turning point – the wedding day massacre at the Twins – also happens to be Michelle Fairley's favorite scene of the past three seasons. The actress talks to about filming the scene, Cat's issues with Jon Snow, and why she's always making those prayer wheels.

HBO: What was going through Cat's mind when the "Rains of Castamere" starts to play?

Michelle Fairley:  I remember shooting that and having to turn. She's thinking, "What is this music?" It says something ominous to her, like something has walked over her grave; her hackles are up. But she doesn't know what it is because she's an honorable human being. The last thing on her mind is that Walder Frey would use this occasion to seek his revenge.

Read the full interview with Michelle Fairley on

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May 29 2013

Leeches, Dragons and a Bear: Behind the Scenes of Episodes 307 and 308

By Cat Taylor

One of the things that I’m always amazed by when I watch the show is how easy it is to forget the amount of work that goes into creating each set. The tent in which Robb learns he’s about to be a father was actually built on ‘A’ Stage, one of two new sound stages at the Paint Hall Studio in Belfast. It was designed by Gemma Jackson and then decorated by Set Dec and the Props departments with fabrics and furniture brought in from as far away as India – each piece was specially chosen to reflect the feel and style of House Stark. The scroll Talisa is writing was actually written in the Valyrian language, translated by our wonderful language creator, David J. Peterson.

In the same way that so many departments are involved in a short scene, many locations are often used to tell a single storyline. By now you will have seen the spectacular Ice Wall climb in Episode 306 and so much of Iceland's stunning scenery in the wildlings' approach to it. But by the time we see Orell and Ygritte in the woods, we are back in Toome, Northern Ireland. The scene was filmed back in September, six weeks before we went north of the Wall.

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May 20 2013

Blood, Sex and Magic: Carice van Houten Talks Melisandre’s Mission

We already know Melisandre isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty for the Lord of Light. This past Sunday, the Red priestess whipped up something new: Take one Baratheon bastard, prime him sexually, sprinkle on some hungry leeches and voila—king’s blood. In an interview with, actress Carice van Houten discusses the scene, on-screen nudity, and what she really thinks of Davos.

HBO: How does Melisandre view her relationship with Stannis?

Carice van Houten:  She’s convinced that he’s the chosen one. She believes he’s going to defeat the “Great Other," so she loves him—but not necessarily in a sexual way. She respects him, but it’s not a romantic relationship. I wouldn’t say either of them are the romantic kind, per se.

Continue to for the full interview with Carice van Houten.

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May 14 2013

The Making of a Bear Fight

Westerosi tavern-goers know “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” is a popular drinking song. But the phrase took on a new meaning Sunday night when Jaime Lannister rescued Brienne of Tarth from a bear pit. Wondering how stars Gwendoline Christie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau tangled with a bear and made it out alive? This video takes you behind the scenes.

In his interview with, Coster-Waldau jokes the bear was a bit of a diva.  

The fight's intricate storyboard will give you a sense of how much teamwork was required. 

What was your reaction to this bear and his maiden fair?

May 13 2013

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Doesn't Trust Daenerys Targaryen

This Sunday, the Kingslayer faced one of his fiercest opponents to date—a bear. In an interview with, actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau opens up about Jaime’s secrets, his relationship with Brienne of Tarth, and what's so scary about Dany.

HBO: What attracts Jaime to Brienne? Why does he trust her?

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: She lives by a code that Jaime also believes, but he’s become a very cynical person. He’s learned that all these beautiful words like "honor" and "dignity" don’t mean anything in this world. Then he meets someone who says, “Well, I don’t care because that’s how I am. I have to stand up for what I believe is right.” Which is what Brienne does, she reaffirms there’s a place for dignity… I think it reawakens something inside of him. He just knows she can be trusted, it’s instinctual.

Read the full interview with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on

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May 08 2013

Faking, Baking and Quaking: Behind the Scenes of Episode 304, 305 and 306

By Cat Taylor

Poor old Jaime, having to fight with only one hand. Don’t worry – those three men taunting him weren’t extras with vicious natures, but rather part of the stunt team.

As for Varys' special delivery, our man in the box required no stunts. The sorcerer was played by a local actor and the crate he arrives in was specially made – as so many of the props are – to a finish of appropriate roughness. One of a few designs, it was eventually chosen for its sturdiness.

On the other end of the scale is the perfect finish and grandeur of the Sept of Baelor. The Sept is actually a little over half a sept; the appearance of a full circle was created using camera angle tricks and VFX. The massive space where the Sept was built in is shared with something unexpected, that you don’t get to see until Episode 306: the huge ice wall that Jon and Ygritte must climb with the wildlings.

The ice wall was built by our amazing construction team and it took six weeks of testing and sampling to find a construction method and materials that worked. This was then tested by stunts for safety, and once filming of the climb began, we had crews working through the night to repair the damage done during the day's shooting.

In Westeros, the Wall and King's Landing are thousands of miles away from each other, but things are a little different in the real world. In Belfast, you’ll find the Wall sandwiched between the Throne Room and parts of the Red Keep, and more specifically Tywin’s new chamber, where Cersei confronts her father.

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May 06 2013

The Rise and Fall of Ros

This Sunday's episode, "The Climb," marked the end of the line for Ros. In an interview with, actress Esmé Bianco discusses the evolution of her character, why she spied for Varys, and what's so appealing about life in King's Landing.

Ros managed to gain the confidence of both Varys and Littlefinger. What is about her that made them trust her?

Everyone thinks she has lower expectations. I think people underestimate her because she's not someone who's trying to marry the king or steal the throne. She's on a different level. But she is so clever at being a woman. She knows how to use her feminine wiles to gain trust, so people have that confidence in her, but they're underestimating how ambitious she is.

Continue to to read the full interview with Esmé Bianco.

April 26 2013

Bryan Cogman Has His Own Dark Dreams, Wouldn't Want to Warg

This season’s fifth episode, “Kissed by Fire,” was penned by Executive Story Editor and writer Bryan Cogman. Wondering why things happen when they do in the season? In an interview with, Cogman explains how scenes are mapped out, his take on Jaime’s turning point, and who he thinks is the richest family in Westeros.  Photo: Riley Stearns

How did you come to tackle Episode 305? Are there any benefits or drawbacks to writing the midseason episode?

Well, the benefit was certainly that, at this point in the season, the storylines are really cooking and I had several juicy scenes to play with. And, of course, it’s 'Game of Thrones,' so we’re still introducing new characters (Selyse & Shireen Baratheon) so it had a little bit of everything. I suppose the biggest challenge was that I was writing it without having the benefit of seeing 303 or 304 (I think I had seen drafts of 301 and 302) so it’s kind of difficult building on arcs that haven’t been written yet, but we even all that out in the revision process.

Continue to to read the full interview with Bryan Cogman.

April 24 2013

How Daenerys Unleashed Dragonfire

Still reeling from Dany's big moment Sunday night? Maybe you have a few spears, a flamethrower and an army of slave soldiers you want to put to use to recreate the scene? Here's the storyboard featured in this week's Interactive Features on HBO Go.  

Still hungry for details? Here are some handy phrases in High Valyrian to put a merciless slave master in his place.

"Zaldrizes buzdari iksos daor." – A dragon is not a slave. 
"Ydra ji Valyre?" – You speak Valyrian?
"Vayrio muño engos ñuhys issa." – Valyrian is my mother tongue.

Reposted bylalooczinok

April 17 2013

Behind the Scenes of the First Three Episodes

By Cat Taylor

It’s here, it’s finally here! We are a few episodes into the third season of Game of Thrones, the season that David Benioff and Dan Weiss were determined to get to from the beginning. For those amongst you that have read the books, you know that Season 3 features some of the most game-changing, event-filled storylines to date. For those who haven’t…brace yourselves.

In Belfast, preparations have already begun on the next season, but before I get to that, let’s look back at some of the behind the scenes action for the three episodes that have aired so far. After every few episodes, I’ll be filling you in on some of what went on behind the camera and, hopefully, a few little extras you may have missed.

If you've been following the blog, the opening scene may have seemed a little familiar. An ending for us was the beginning for you—that opening was shot on the very last day of filming in Iceland.

Other travellers: The first time you see Daenerys, she is on the deck of a ship sailing over open water. In reality, the ship was built in Banbridge for a very different purpose. Because Production Designer Gemma Jackson and her team have super powers, you probably didn’t notice that ship spent a good deal of the Battle of Blackwater on fire. It was the only scene that Emilia Clarke shot in Belfast this season; everything else was on location in Croatia and Morocco. It took one day.

In the second episode, "Dark Wings, Dark Words," Bran has a dream in the woods. It was a two-splinter-units-in-one-location day, which always makes things crazy. That's a real raven Bran is chasing, brought in especially for the scene by our team at Birds and Animals. (From not quite as far as our white raven in Season 2— that bird had to be brought in all the way from Austria!) The main unit was just down the road in Gosford Castle, where we were filming a scene in Littlefinger’s brothel—one from this Sunday's episode. Daniel Portman (Pod) was having a very busy day indeed with several new friends, including the very bendy Pixie Le Knot. Two ends of the kingdom on a single driveway. What luck.

Season 3 introduces us to several new and important characters and I don’t mind admitting that one of my favourites is Lady Olenna, played by the incomparable Diana Rigg. There was palpable excitement in the office on the day she was confirmed, and more than a few extra people came to set on her first filming day. We also get to meet the Brotherhood Without Banners; we’ll see more of them as the series progresses. What I can tell you is this: The day we filmed that meeting between Arya, Gendry, Hot Pie and the BWB was not nearly so pastoral and spring-like as it appeared. It was just bloody wet.

Did you spot someone in a cameo? The soldier singing lead in "The Bear and Maiden Fair" is local boy Gary Lightbody, of Snow Patrol fame. He taught the song to the extras before they rode down the track, a song that we’ll certainly hear again. If you were wondering, Jamie and Brienne really were riding back to back on a single horse—the dismounting was something of a process.

Speaking of horses, did I mention the ring the White Walkers laid out got covered by a snowstorm the night before filming? The Art Department had to take an industrial blow torch (also known as a flame thrower) to the horse models to defrost the "flesh." The blood then had to be re-splattered onto the snow so that it was visible. That’s a fun day at work, but all our days are. If you're a regular reader, you’ll know what was happening the day Melisandre and Stannis said goodbye on the beach– and not a tractor track to be seen!

The Greens Department—the crew that insures the scenery is as it should be, adding trees and vines, or flowers and hedges— is also responsible for things like the beach. But the most amazing transformation I saw firsthand was the Master Torturer's chase of Theon through the woods. The chase was actually filmed over several locations, on the open grounds of Tollymore Park and in the woods of Shane’s Castle. When we first scouted the woods, the ground was thick with foliage that stood taller than our heads. There was no clear space for our tracking vehicle and the ground was unsafe. In days, the team had cleared it to a flat forest glade and placed our stunt branch. The difference was amazing. Almost as amazing as one of our stunt riders yelling, "WEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" at the top of his lungs as they thundered over the steep open fields at the start of the chase… I’m not sure, but I don’t think he was at all scared of speed.

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