The WiCnet Awards: Season 4′s Best Performance as a Politician

By Cameron White on

WiCnet Awards Banner

The WiCnet Awards continue! Last week’s Best Special Effect went to an absolutely jaw-dropping over-the-Wall shot from the epic penultimate episode. This week, we’re looking at the season’s Best Performance as a Politician. Find your inner Machiavelli when you vote this week.

This week’s poll will run a little longer than usual thanks to the long American Thanksgiving weekend; we’ll be closing it at midnight EST on Monday, December 1st. Vote early and argue often, as always.

Telltale reveals new characters for Game of Thrones adventure

By Rowan Kaiser on

Family-Week-Maester-660x371

In addition to releasing their trailer for “Iron from Ice” yesterday, Telltale Games also included character information, with a different reveal being given to a different game or entertainment site, for a total of 13 characters associated with House Forrester. Combined with the four characters from the show revealed in the screenshots and trailer (Margaery, Cersei, Tyrion, and Ramsay), the cast is starting to look quite crowded–although I doubt all of them will be included in the first episode.

One of the revealed characters, over at Game Informer, is Asher Forrester. He appears to be a hotheaded youth: “His life took a dark turn when, at age seventeen, he fell in love with Gwyn Whitehill, the eldest daughter of his father’s bitter rival. Bloodshed ensued and Lord Forrester faced a grim choice: go to war, or exile Asher across the Narrow Sea.

Given that Telltale has promised that the story would span the Seven Kingdoms and Essos, it seems reasonable to assume that Asher will be one of the five playable characters. Check out the other twelve reveals after the jump….

And the WiCnet Award for Best Special Effect in Season 4 goes to…

By Rowan Kaiser on

watchers on the wall mance's army

…the over-The-Wall shot from “The Watchers on the Wall”! It joins the wildfire explosion from “Blackwater” and the dragon attack from “And Now His Watch Is Ended” as winners in this category, and fits marvelously alongside those.

There are two things you need to do a good battle scene. First, it needs to be impressive. Quality stunts, good costuming, sense of scope, great effects. Second, it needs to be comprehensible. Viewers need to be able to grasp who’s fighting, where, and what the goals are. What is the story of the battle, beyond simple fighting and killing?

As the battle is joined early in “The Watchers on the Wall”, Game of Thrones manages to accomplish both of these in less than a minute with a single magisterial shot….

First trailer for Telltale’s Game of Thrones released

By Rowan Kaiser on

telltale game of thrones iron throne

Telltale Games has released a trailer for the first episode of its Game of Thrones adventure game, “Iron from Ice”! There are three big pieces of news to go along with it as well.

First, the trailer is fantastically narrated by Lena Headey, whose Cersei Lannister inflections prove to be superb for voice work as she sneers and bites the end of each word. The announcement also includes the news that Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, and Iwan Rheon will be voicing their characters from the show–and it promises more authentic show characters to come. This is a big change from the last major narrative Game of Thrones game, a role-playing game which had just Conleth Hill (Lord Varys) and James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont). Theoretically, it’s fantastic news for making sure that the game feels like part of the show’s world–but we’ll have to see if the great on-screen actors are also able to be great voice actors.

Second, the trailer confirms that the leaked screenshots from earlier this week are authentic. It would have been a surprise had they not been, given how they aligned with Telltale’s previous work. This is also confirmation that the guy I’d pegged as an untrustworthy Frey-looking creep is, in fact, untrustworthy Frey-aligned creep Ramsay Snow.

Finally, and most excitingly, Telltale usually releases trailers like this a week or two before the game episode comes out. My birthday falls in that span, and I would be delighted to have this as a present!

Check out the full trailer after the jump….

The Reality of Filming Dragons

By Ani Bundel on

Dragon

According to A Wiki of Ice and Fire: Dragons are magical creatures, which existed on the continents of Westeros and Essos, and up until recently were considered to have been extinct for over one hundred and fifty years. The only remaining traces of the dragons were skeletal remains and dragon eggs which were thought to have turned to stone, until Daenerys Targaryen managed to hatch three of these dragon eggs.

According to The World of Ice and Fire, Dragons most likely were born from the a chain of volcanoes referred to in ancient texts as “The Fourteen Fires.” (The eruption of said chain all at once is the generally accepted theory behind the Doom of Old Valyria.) Though there are other theories as to where dragons came from, including hatching from a second moon that once hung heavy over the planet, the presence of dragon fossils in all parts of both Essos and Westeros suggest that they lived for thousands of years before the ancient Valyrians learned to tame them.

According to Making Game of Thrones, they are “ornery creatures. Some days, no matter how hard you coax them, they just continue to not exist.”

“Fire and Blood”: WiC Remembers Season 1, episode 10

By Rowan Kaiser on

Fire and Blood Sansa

One of the unsurprising themes to emerge over the course of these reviews is the disruption of viewer expectations. This is obvious with Ned’s death, as most shows don’t kill their heroes so abruptly. But I think even that doesn’t get to the source of the issue. Game of Thrones’ first season holds its shocking power because it kills its patriarchs; it kills the exact sort of people who survive other shows and other stories.

Consider: there are four major deaths in the first season. In order, they are: the rightful King Viserys, the sitting King Robert, the Hand of the King, and the Great Khal, Drogo. Tywin Lannister aside, you could make the argument that these are the four most powerful/important men in Westeros and Essos. They are the patriarchs who are supposed to be leading the story. And they are the ones who end up dead.

Most TV shows prefer to kill the weak. They abide by unspoken rules that if a character is important, he or she is too important to die. Certainly some dramas do kill off their cast members, but far more often than not, they’re side characters, while whoever the main core is moves through until one of the actors bails. Game of Thrones, on the other hand, abides by the rule that the more important a character is within its world, the more likely he is to be a target.

Perhaps the best metaphor for this in “Fire and Blood” occurs in the show’s oddest scene, when Pycelle speaks to Roz and then prepares to meet the Small Council….

George R.R. Martin on direwolves, charity, and killing off characters

By Cameron White on

grrmedbookfest

Wolves were the subject of discussion, in more ways than one, at a recent event George R.R. Martin hosted at Jean Cocteau Cinema in New Mexico. Martin was hosting an event to present the checks for his Prizeo charity recipients. During the event, he spoke about the importance of charity, the thought process behind the high body count of A Song of Ice and Fire, the special Prizeo donation prize of becoming a killed-off character in the upcoming books, and a few choice words about direwolves. (Spoilers for the books ahead!)

Charles Dance and Sean Bean find new roles after death

By Ani Bundel on

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Charles Dance, who ended his run on Game of Thrones with Season 4′s finale, has been moving on to the more traditional good-guy roles he did before GoT–he’s playing Commander Alastair Denniston, head of the Government Code and Cypher School during World War II in the Benedict Cumberbatch Oscar-bait movie, The Imitation Game. But of course, all anyone wants to ask him about is Game of Thrones. In particular, that comment he made last month that he’s not quite done with filming the show.

“Well, only my body!” Dance says of his fifth-season cameo. “I don’t wake up in the shower having had a dream about it all.”

Turns out it’s not as much of a conspiracy as all that. Much like Joffrey, whose body was laid out in state for a week/an episode post Purple Wedding, Tywin will too be laid out for King’s Landing to pay their respects. It’s only right, since Tywin actually was the one running the joint. (And I think i speak for everyone when I say we all hope that Cersei and Jaime aren’t left alone with the body this time.)

But Dance can’t seem to help himself when it comes to teasing the fans. He lays one rumor to rest and then immediately starts another….

The Small Council: What’s your pick for Best Special Effect in Season 4?

By WiC Staff on

Meereen

In this week’s Small Council, we discuss our picks for Best Special Effect in Season 4!

Cameron White: I’ve had people tell me that the scene where Dany chains up her dragons is one that made them tear up, and it’s rare for special effects to be able to accomplish such a feat. Once again, Emilia Clarke does so much with so little, using her eyes as the windows to Dany’s soul as she wraps the chains around the creatures that have become as much a part of her identity as her actions in Essos. And the dragons are exquisite, excitedly fighting for scraps in their Meereenese dungeon, then confused and upset, wondering why their mother is suddenly locking them away. It’s disturbing to hear their tiny roars and cries–they almost sound human. It’s that little detail, the almost-humanness, the heartwrenching pain of the dragons, that makes all the work really worth it. To be able to impart an emotional connection to fictional creatures, to things that don’t really exist, is a gift reserved only for a select few in the film and television industry. Thrones has one of the best FX teams in the biz, and this scene is a pretty clear example of why that is the case.

Rebecca Pahle: There is no reason “The Children’s” skeleton fight should have worked. This is for a couple of reasons. One: Game of Thrones just doesn’t seem like it’d be a show with a skeleton fight, and I don’t mean that just because the fight wasn’t in the books. You might disagree with me on that front, and that’s fine, but if you’d have asked me at the beginning of the season whether Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds might fight gosh-darned warrior skeletons, Jason and the Argonauts-style…

Westeros’ weather inspires political, scientific discussion

By Cameron White on

moatcailin

In the world of Game of Thrones, as in our own, the residents are forced to adapt to shifting weather patterns. Unlike our world, however, the seasons in Westeros are much less predictable. This chaotic behavior is engaging both on a scientific level (how is this possible?) as well as a political level (how do leaders deal with climate change?).

Two recent pieces tackle these issues: one from CNet’s Eric Mack, the other from Al Jazeera America’s Christopher Shay. Read on to find out more…

Dormer and Gleeson ponder death in interviews, also cats and dogs

By Ani Bundel on

Margaery Olenna Sansa

As we reported last week, Natalie Dormer did a Reddit AMA yesterday. Ostensibly to promote The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, it still managed to generate a decent amount of Game of Thrones news. Under questioning from fans, she revealed her love of working with Diana Rigg, as well as her favorite actors and actresses to work with on the production. She mentioned Peter Dinklage as the funniest between takes, and admitted for her character to watch him on trial was difficult because she knew he was innocent. She also said that Gwendoline Christie, Pedro Pascal and Lena Headley were the other people who made her laugh most on set. As for her least favorite:

Oh, the CAT! Hahahah! Actually, Ser Pounce was a bit of a diva that day, he didn’t want to stay on the bed, he was very difficult to work with.

Well, I’m sure Ser Pounce probably was displeased with his staff as well. it probably why he’s refusing to come back to the production next year.

We’d heard rumors that Dormer had finished filming Season 5, but she made it official on Conan last night that her time filming is indeed done on the show for this round. Below, how she would like Margaery to die in the production, if and when it comes to that.

Inside Game of Thrones offers behind-the-scenes appetizers

By Rowan Kaiser on

inside-hbos-game-of-thrones-season-3-4-hardcover-book-880_500

I’ve been checking out Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones Seasons 3 & 4 for the past week, and liking it surprisingly more than I’d expected. There are two big reasons for this: the photos, and the anecdotes.

The photographs are, as you might expect, largely great. About half of the full-page pictures are utterly fantastic, done in a slightly washed-out, darkened style that makes the character and costume stand out from the background. I tried to capture this one of Jon and Ygritte from “The Climb” but it really should be seen directly if possible. Not every one is like this, and some of the ones taken directly from the show can be blurry. But there are enough to make it a big selling point for the book.

Inside also stands out by having almost every page include an anecdote or behind-the-scenes description that reveals something fascinating about the process….



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