First set pic?
By Winter Is Coming on in Production, Speculation.

Maybe. WiC reader Keith took the below photo a few weeks ago while on a bus tour of Belfast during a vacation to Northern Ireland. The tour guide told them there were two projects currently in production at the Paint Hall and that this set was for HBO’s Game of Thrones.


Winter Is Coming: I don’t know if I believe this tour guide who claims this set is for Game of Thrones. It seems a bit early to have set construction occurring on Thrones. Since this pic was taken a few weeks ago it seems much more likely that this set is going to be used for Your Highness (which began filming this week and is slated to last for 12 weeks). However, with Highness wrapping so close to when Thrones is scheduled to start filming there has been speculation that HBO may reuse some of their sets. So it is possible this set is being built for Your Highness, but may be used for the pilot as well. I can see it being the entrance to Winterfell’s Great Hall.

UPDATE: According to Adam Whitehead, this set is for Your Highness. It was shown on BBC Northern Ireland during a feature regarding the film.


113 Comments

  1. wabawanga
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    omg that place is massive! You don't get a sense of the scale from their website.

  2. t i a g o
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I am really excited for seeing this. The set is big – if is real.

  3. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    That is for YOUR HIGHNESS. BBC Northern Ireland was doing a feature on the movie last week and showed that set.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Great work, even if that sets is for Your Highness, it's crazy to see the size of the sets that can be constructed in the Paint Hall.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Haha that set makes that piece of construction equipment look like a Tonka Truck I used to play with as a child. When you put it next to cars and trucks and semi-trailers you begin to see just how big that building is!!!

  6. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Yup. It's huge.

    PS Cersei is Hooooot. I hope she is top heavy.

  7. WinterIsComing
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the info Adam. I figured as much. Seemed awfully early to be that far along in set construction.

    Still I am curious as to how they are going to be building sets for Thrones with Your Highness filming there for the next 12 weeks. I suppose it is possible that Highness is only taking up part of the facility and Thrones will set up shop in another part. It is a massive building.

    However, it does kinda seem like it would make sense for them to reuse sets. Especially with it being a pilot and all. If they get picked up they could always go back and design their own sets and reshoot whatever scenes they need to.

  8. Børre
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Uhm.. Maybe the Your highness production don't really need their castles and whatnot to be specifically like this and this and so they are okey with building stuff thats similar to what they need for Thrones…?

    Just a thought.

  9. Rer
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I wouldn't mind some stuff being reused as long as they don't make it obvious.

  10. Chris
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    It seems very likely to me that at least some of the sets will be reused. It'd be crazy for two large-scale productions set in Medieval settings to not take advantage of that because it would save both of them money.

    Your Highness looks to be a decently-budgeted Hollywood film, and I'm sure the sets will be of very high quality. GoT can "put a new face" on them, and make sure the architecture and details match the descriptions in the book, and there you go. Your Highness makes some money by selling them, and GoT gets them at a discounted price… (Of course, I have no idea how this stuff works, so that may not even be a possibility… just seems to make sense to me..)

    Anyways, I'm sure once they go into full-scale production mode, we will see many sets and leaked photos, etc. Part of me wants to be surprised and be seeing it all for the first time when it airs… but I know I won't be able to control the giddy geek in me..

  11. Legion
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Different lighting and decorations and a set will look completely different.

    I've been saying for ages that the whole reason HBO are fitting in at the end of October, right after Your Highness is so they can buy/rent and re-use the sets, or at least parts of it.

    BBC and HBO did the same thing with the Rome sets where they used it for a Doctor Who episode, so we know they have no issues, it'll just depend on whatever studio Your Highness belongs too and if they are willing to sell/rent.

    It would certainly make sense and with the Paint Hall being so huge, I can't wait to see what they do with some of the castles – although i'm firmly behind the need for long shots of the castles to be CGI so as to capture the size of Meagor's or Harrenhal (Harrenhal especially).

  12. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Chris, I like the way you think:)

  13. Brude
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I also think re-use (at least in part) is quite likely. Sets get re-used in Hollywood so much and none of us are seldom ever the wiser for it because good set designers, dressers PD's and DP's know how to disguise it so well they can look totally new.

    BBC and HBO did the same thing with the Rome sets where they used it for a Doctor Who episode, so we know they have no issues, it'll just depend on whatever studio Your Highness belongs too and if they are willing to sell/rent.

    On the other hand, this is true and I always seem to recognize these Rome sets when they turn up elsewhere (and I think they are still getting used). I see them a lot on Discovery/History Channel productions and I once even caught it being used in some HORRIBLE Beowulf movie on SciFi Channel as Herot. It was really weird seeing a Norse mead hall decked out with Corinthian columns.

  14. Lauren
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    So exciting! Even if this isn't GoT set work, it makes me look forward to seeing what it will look like when they reuse/build their own stuff in the future.

  15. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    "BBC and HBO did the same thing with the Rome sets where they used it for a Doctor Who episode, so we know they have no issues, it'll just depend on whatever studio Your Highness belongs too and if they are willing to sell/rent."

    The ROME set was actually meant to be a permanant standing construction that could be used for additional filming projects and also as a tourist attraction, I believe. The BBC and HBO co-funded the set and worked out a basis on which they and other companies could use it. Part of the set was damaged by fire last year, but I believe it's been repaired since then.

    It's also worth noting that whilst 'production' of AGoT will begin in early October, they may have decided to film the outdoor scenes first (and even in Ireland, with pretty unreliable weather at the best of times, filming in October is a lot more straightforward than filming in November), which could give the set dressers an extra week or so to finish the sets. But on that timescale a reuse of existing sets does seem more likely. If they were building sets from scratch they'd probably need to be in there 4-6 weeks earlier.

    Also, YOUR HIGHNESS is not expected to hit screens until mid-2011, so, assuming its gets the pickup, AGoT should beat it to the screens.

  16. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, UK viewers can see the feature here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8143317.stm

    AGoT (or a "another large project, an American television series,") is mentioned as following on from YOUR HIGHNESS. Mark Tildesley, YOUR HIGHNESS' production designer, is briefly interviewed as well.

  17. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Ah, and here's something interesting:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markdevenport/2009/04/the_sopranos_in_middle_earth.html

    Apparently Northern Ireland Assembly head honchos Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson discussed the filming of both YOUR HIGHNESS and A GAME OF THRONES during their trip to Hollywood that got both projects into Belfast. It's possible there was some coordination going on between the two projects back then.

  18. Larry Fligtzer
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Since you keep bringing up Rome, I have to tell you that I was the artist who drew all the crude penises on the set backdrops that are seen during the opening sequence and other scenes. I have seen my penises from Rome on many other tv shows and movies, as the work for Rome is dissembled and redistributed to two-bit productions.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    That's… ah… interesting.

  20. Smoldering Hound
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    What's with the giant eyeball in the upper left?

  21. David
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    @Adam Whitehead

    Non-UK users can also see that piece. I also found the timeline strange when I was reading the news, I guess that explains it.

  22. Brude
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    What's with the giant eyeball in the upper left?

    That is just an industrial sized spool of cable (or some such thing) on another, nearby holding site. The area around Paint Hall is a place where a lot of merchant shipping piers are located. I don't think it's related to the shoot.

  23. Bilbo Baggins the Hobbit
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    It's Sauron.

  24. Rer
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    @Adam Whitehead

    Your awesome home slice, thanks for the heads up and the info.

  25. mosquito wenzi
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Yeah, the building's titanic.

  26. Anonymous Romantic
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    that set is already starting to look like crap. I'm very disappointed, if it is indeed for the Thrones.

  27. Lordnedshead
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    If Bilbo says its Sauron, Its Sauron! Yikes!!!!

  28. Lordnedshead
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Actually, I think it might be Drogon's eye! Awesome! They are already starting set pieces for seasons in the series that George hasn't even written yet! Talk about being committed to getting the series off the ground!;)

  29. Brude
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    that set is already starting to look like crap. I'm very disappointed, if it is indeed for the Thrones.

    All you are seeing is the back side of some sort of castle gate set, there is no way at all to know what it looks like from the front. I wouldn't worry about it. That's what every set in every movie you've ever seen looks like from the back.

  30. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    One of the funniest things about LotR is how many scenes they filmed in the studio car park with some astroturf and a crappy-looking greenscreen behind the actors, and it looked great, even though on the 'making of' documentaries it looked really lame (especially things like Sauron's death scene).

  31. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    So Sauron has relocated to Belfast.
    I wonder if that's good news or bad news for local buisiness.

    + Employes large well motivated work force.
    - Is evil incarnate.

    Oh well. The Titanic Quarter can use all the investment it can get.

  32. Ryan Dunn
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    thought it might be worth revisiting the number of scenes in the pilot alone, to get a sense of scope and scale HBO and BBC are putting into this effort. it's pretty immense when you look at it this way, bigger than rome pilot by far…

    1. SNOWY CLEARING – ICY CARNAGE
    2. TOWERING PINE FOREST – NORTH OF WALL
    3. GRASSY HILL – NED'S GALLOWS
    4. RIVERBANK – DIREWOLF PUPS
    5. LAVISH DRESSING ROOM – DANY INTRO
    6. STREETS OF PENTOS – ILYRIO'S PALAQUIN
    7. ILYRIO'S PALAQUIN – VISERYS INTRO
    8. DOTHRAKI ENCAMPMENT – TENTS / WEDDING
    9. KING'S LANDING – ROYAL CASTLE, RED KEEP, ETC.
    10. JON ARRYN'S BEDCHAMBER
    11. BROTHEL
    12. WINTERFELL – RAVEN FLY-OVER
    13. MAESTER LUWIN'S CHAMBER
    14. GODSWOOD
    15. WINTERFELL GATES
    16. WINTERFELL TOWER
    17. COURTYARD – KING'S COURT, SWORD PRACTICE, ETC.
    18. CRYPTS OF WINTERFELL
    19. GREAT HALL OF WINTERFELL – FEAST
    20. CATELYN'S BEDCHAMBER
    21. TOWER ROOM
    22. MEADOW – RIDING WITH DANY AND DROGO
    23. STREAM – DANY'S CONSUMMATION
    24. FIRST KEEP EXTERIOR
    25. FIRST KEEP INTERIOR – "THE THINGS I DO FOR LOVE."

  33. Operative me
    Posted July 25, 2009 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    HBO made a lot of mistakes with Rome, from what I saw in the first few episodes. For instance they focused too much on the wrong characters. The scenes were too long and drawn out. The Tudors is a show to look at with envy. Yes it started like a period piece porno, but not very long.

  34. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    @Operative me

    I respectfully disagree in entirety.

  35. David
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    @Operative me

    No, just no.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Sauron is not in Belfast. He is still in Redmond, WA…

  37. Operative me
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Anon and David.

    I'd like to hear why or what you disagree with.

  38. David
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    HBO made a lot of mistakes with Rome, from what I saw in the first few episodes. For instance they focused too much on the wrong characters.

    Rome is one of the best historical series ever done, period. Well made, well acted, compelling story all played out in exception settings. It's only problem you can say is part of the second season, where they knew they were going to end so they crammed the story for 3 seasons all in one. But you didn't even reach it, so I really don't get your criticism.

    The Tudors is a show to look at with envy. Yes it started like a period piece porno, but not very long.

    The Tudors is an excellent show, no doubt about it. But way more than a period piece porno. Way more.

  39. David
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Ohh, too bad I can't edit my last post, but…

    Rome is, most likely, the closest thing TV ever got to A Game of Thrones… At least in the sense that characters aren't Black or White, but gray (be it the winners or the loosers, everyone has good and bad traits) and the story, unlike most historical dramas isn't too romanticized and overly glamorous.

  40. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    What David said:) Seriously, I couldn't find a single flaw watching Rome, unless I was just trying to be malicious. I have nothing against The Tudors though.

  41. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    The other thing about ROME is that every little character and small subplot ends up being pretty important to the main story later on. If you're tuning in to see Caesar and Mark Antony kicking ass, you might be thinking, "Why are we spending so much time on these two minor soldiers?" but their stories become critically important and impact on the main story at the end of Season 1 and throughout Season 2.

    Plus Pullo and Vorenus are totally badass. Their fight in the gladitorial arena in episode 10 or 11 is easily the most impressive fight sequence I've ever seen on a TV show.

  42. Operative me
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    You may be right, but a person has to keep tuning in. The beginning of season really pushes for the minor soldier characters to be interesting in their own family drama, and it didn't work for me. That and all the horseback riding in the woods. All that and the same nihilistic feeling that worked better in Sopranos.

    The world may be not black and white, but people's beliefs and motivation are. HBO shows avoid ever 'agreeing' with character views, and always makes their actions seen externally and without cause. so they are barely likable.

    The king in Tudors is both more likable and horrible. Maybe because the actor is brilliant or the writing and editing is good. Anyway I can't watch a show t
    is always going against it's characters.

  43. Anonymous Romantic
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Tudors is well-acted but its sleazy,low budget look (except for the costumes) turned me off after the first episode, which I mainly watched for all the hyped sex to be honest. I trust that HBO production will be superior to Tudors in every way. They do tend to spend more money on their shows right?

  44. Operative me
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The beginning of season 1 of Tudors has a lot of sex. But the porno wanes as all the characters get older, die, get married. I think Tudors is and incredible, well plotted, edited, and executed show, and because of all the people dying all the time, and the court intrigue, it's a lot like what I imagine Thrones is going to be.

    I'm going to keep watching Rome. But so far it's like Asterix & Obelix without any sense of humor, and too much WT domestic disturbance.

  45. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Rome is character driven stuff with a back drop of history. Tudors is a decent show that is getting better but that sacrificed any real historical backing for smut and and sensation.

    While they could certianly do worse than looking at the careful story telling in Tudors, I don't anyone wants them to throw the real storyline away so much for the chance of a quick smutty side story.

  46. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    @ Operative me

    "HBO shows avoid ever 'agreeing' with character views, and always makes their actions seen externally and without cause. so they are barely likable.

    I disagree that they make people seem to lack a cause. Also how can you say Titus Pullo was unlikable?!!?! Watching the gladiator scene I remember being on the edge of my seat when Lucius jumped in to save Titus, it was awesome and full of purpose and cause.

    As far as focusing on the non-historical figures in "Rome", that's what made the show so great. It's something similar to what Bernard Cornwell did in his Saxon series. You follow the lives of great historical figures through the eyes of someone close to them.

  47. Alex
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Rome is perfect. There's nothing to nitpick about except historical accuracy, but it's a TV show, so no one cares …

    If AGOT turns out to be even half of what Rome was, the show will be great.

  48. Operative me
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I also don't care about historical accuracy. Hearing the strengths of the show Rome being a gladiator scene later on isn't very convincing. I just hope Thrones will be more interesting to watch to me. I admit I have only seen three episodes of Rome, but the smut and sex comments against Tudors tells me some commenters have not watched the show very far. The show is about the shift of power, that is why I bring it up against Game of Thrones.

  49. Thor
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    But Alex I don't think you understand. AGOT absolutely has to be better than Rome in production, critic ratings and popularity. Or it won't last for more than a season or two. Meaning that the best scenes in the book,like Red Wedding, will never be seen. And that would be a shame :(. HBO is somewhat trigger-happy when it comes to "firing" unprofitable shows. I would expect that trend to increase with all the worries about economy.

  50. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    @Operative me:

    I've seen the whole of the first series of Tudors and half of the second series.

    The whole of the first series was all about sex who gets some, from made up romances between couriters, to random gay romanaces, to wedding night assassinations. I'm bias because i'm a history teacher, but it threw away an interesting true story for smut and sensation.

    While there is some interesting stuff in terms of the real reformation and the power shift there, and some decent performances from the cast, it's not a show I'd really want GoT based on in terms of sexing it up. Rome suffers from the same thing, but at least that is based on historical sources that claim the smut was actually happening (Suetonius, Dio and to some extend Tacitus as examples).

  51. Ausir
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    After watching Rome, one of the first things that came to my mind is that this is how AGoT should be filmed.

  52. SNA
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Lmao. Rome >>>>>>>>>>>>> Tudors. Seriously.

  53. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    @ Operative me

    "I also don't care about historical accuracy. Hearing the strengths of the show Rome being a gladiator scene later on isn't very convincing. I just hope Thrones will be more interesting to watch to me. I admit I have only seen three episodes of Rome, but the smut and sex comments against Tudors tells me some commenters have not watched the show very far. The show is about the shift of power, that is why I bring it up against Game of Thrones."

    I like Tudors and I like Rome. Just so yah know. You should give Rome another look, maybe try another episode or two and see what you think. It didn't get very deep into Titus and Lucius in the first couple of episodes.

    Also everyone has their likes and dislikes, so don't take it personally if people here disagree with you. Just shrug it off. Everyone one has their opinions and that is exactly what they are OPINIONS! Hell, even Xena and Hercules the legendary journey has fans :)

  54. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    P.S.- I'm not comparing Xena and Hercules to the Tudors or anything else other then to point out that everyone has different tastes.

  55. Anonymous
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Rer, you are a gentleman and a scholar:)

  56. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Xena was a great show until the last few seasons when they went to Rome….

  57. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Can we all get off of his back now about what show is better then some other show and start talking about the set again?

  58. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    @ Legion

    I used to watch that show back in my Army days just for the fact that it was almost softcore porn with all the scantly clad woman running around with swords. It was like a fantasy hotty nerd showcase!!! Other then that I had no interest for the show what so ever lol.

    P.S.- Calisto was uber hot!!

  59. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    That gives me a thought, what does the actress who played Calisto look like now?

    Can anyone say Cersei?

  60. Thor
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    How about Lucy Lawless as Catelyn. And don't tell me she is too old. If she looks hot enough to be filmed in a threesome with Tricia Helfer (Battlestar, its best episode ever)she should be more than adequate to play AGOT's resident cold-hearted bitch.

  61. Thor
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    edit: Guess I should have said stone-hearted :P

  62. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    she was played by Huson leick, I believe she is in her late 30's. I saw on Wikipedia that she has done some acting up until late 2007 at least.

    Pictures from 2006

    and

    pictures from 2005

    She needs to fire the guy who runs her website, lol

    I'm about to go fishing so I don't have time to look up anything more recent.

  63. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    corrections—-

    Heidi Hudson Leick
    May 9, 1969 (1969-05-09) (age 40)

    Probably to old :(

  64. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Blone Lucy Lawless would also make a decent Cersei. Maybe a bit old to book ages, but then we are seeing the characters getting ages getting raised, so I think it could work.

    Google Lucy Lawless and the first image is her blonde. Tell me then it wouldn't work? ;)

  65. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Wow, I seriously can't type today…. :S

  66. Operative me
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I'm not understanding you, but the general feedback I'm getting about Rome is that "it's good, we don't need to tell you why". Then again you liked Xena.

    Partially I'm guessing HBO did Rome because of the Italian community was all in an uproar about The Sopranos and the Italian stereotype. Yes I'm sure there's an italian out there who will reply that it didn't bother her.

    On the internet, I see a lot of internet user one liners like "It's amazing" "Incredible". That's marketing for you, in the wake of movies like 300 and the Illiad movie.

    But also there are reviews along the lines of "HBO's Rome is an expensively mounted, lovingly researched snore." and "Some critics have pegged Rome as The Sopranos in togas."

    Anyway, I'll stop attacking this show, and I will watch more than 3 shows of it. I just hope GoT will be much much better than that, even if it costs less than the ridiculous amount of money they put in Rome.

    Honestly, with Sean Bean and Dinklage on board, I can guess that the first few episodes will not make me sleepy–I'm shallow like that; I like movie stars. (I fell asleep many times while trying to watch eps 1 2 and 3 of Rome, and still haven't gotten through episode 3.)

  67. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Then maybe Rome simply isn't for you. You dont have to like the show.

    You obviously prefer something different from your shows than the fans of Rome do.

    Just for extra information, the Italian's hated Rome for showing all the sex and smut as fact and attacking certain national heroes, rather than what they did which was use certain sources to get the smutty stuff in.

    I don't think that GoT will be anything like Rome or The Tudors. Rome focused on two characters and what happened to them, with focus expanding as the series continues to about 5 key characters. Tudors keeps the focus on the central character of Henry and then shows what his actions do to those around him.

    GoT is about 10 or so characters and my biggest fear will be the loss of certain POV's or events to squeeze everything in or they go down the route of throwing in lots of sex, which both Rome and Tudors has suffered from when in the books we do get sex scenes, but if they are going to go with a young Dany, i'm hoping half of that won't be shown.

  68. Operative me
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Legion, that is what I have been talking about since my first post. Thanks for understanding. Then, I also expressed the hope that HBO doesn't give GoT that same empty feeling. Do you have a link about Italians getting angry at HBO's Rome? I'd love to read it and must have missed that bit.

    The internet community still has the mentality of a very small village.

  69. Cristiano Bernardini
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    As you can see from my name I'm italian, an italian from Italy.

    I can tell you that many season one episodes aired on the national television second channel (RAI, that co-produced only the first season) were shown (midseason, not exactly the biggest tv event you've ever imagined) with an average of seven minutes of cut scenes, the second season is only available on DVD.

    So @Legion, italians didn't love Rome because they didn't had the chance to watch it.

    The reason of these cuts was mainly the censorship from the catholic church, you can't really understand this if you don't live here, trust me, that's the truth.

    When I re-watched Rome's first-season-original-english-language-version I saw a completely different, dirtier, better show, as it was originally meant to be. I've never seen a better single episode than the season one finale, a perfect web, everyone took part in the death of Caesar, it's a bit like Ned's death (think about Sansa's role).

    Here in Italy, the Sopranos aired at 12 PM in the summer, can you believe this?

    @Thor, the former HBO management got fired because of this, they just kept cancelling great shows with great ratings without replacing them, so they remained empty hands after The Sopranos ended, now this new management is doing things right and I'm sure that GoT will do great.

  70. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    @Operative me:
    Your comments indicated that you wanted things to be less like Rome and more like Tudors. I would prefer that it is not like either. The IC may have the mentality of a small village, but it would appear you live here too…

    @Christiano:
    I didn't realise it was that limited in distribution, but I was going from this as a source in saying it wasnt at all well recieved in Italy: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117940324.html?cs=1&s=h&p=0

  71. Cristiano Bernardini
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    If a network wants a show to fail they know how to do, you can think of Kings, recently, on NBC.

    We're also not in the UK, very few people are used to read newspapers, the one that's cited in the article it's still the most popular nationwide, nobody really cares of those opinions, the truth is that they wanted this to fail.

    Looking at the article title, I first thought about some sort of uprising on public squares, come on!!

    Another question is the historical accuracy, Rome was pretty accurate, but don't forget it's still fiction, something was actually rushed late in season 2, we know why.

    It's true that we don't usually like and respect some adaptations of our history, we think that "the americans" are too incline to clichés and to mess up things, just think about The Gladiator, where Marco Aurelio turns up to be Commodo's father.

  72. Legion
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Oh, don't even get me started on Gladiator.

    I'm an Ancient History/Classics teacher, I know how they screwed up some of the history. Heck, the character of Atia is the best example in Rome.

    I can't believe someone else actually watched or even heard of Kings. I loved that show! It was obvious it was going to get cancelled from the start though as you say, and the network, NBC in that case, really didnt give it a chance. Shame, because it was really good.

  73. Larry Fligtzer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Having the 'right' to not like Rome is like enjoying the privilege of not eating cat poops from a litter box.

    tee hee

  74. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I remember one of the UK newspapers reporting that the Italians were very annoyed that ROME was being filmed in Rome (or just outside it) about Roman/Italian history but didn't cast any major Italian actors in it and it was all in English (as opposed to Latin, presumably). However, the paper in question was the DAILY MAIL, so I assumed that was just BS.

  75. Shelbourn
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Yeah… As a history teacher I can sympathize with the knocks on Gladiator.

  76. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    "Maybe I'm not understanding you, but the general feedback I'm getting about Rome is that "it's good, we don't need to tell you why". Then again you liked Xena.

    Partially I'm guessing HBO did Rome because of the Italian community was all in an uproar about The Sopranos and the Italian stereotype. Yes I'm sure there's an italian out there who will reply that it didn't bother her.

    On the internet, I see a lot of internet user one liners like "It's amazing" "Incredible". That's marketing for you, in the wake of movies like 300 and the Illiad movie."

    I don't like xena!! lol. I used to watch it here and there back in the day when I was younger because of the half naked women on it!

    I was very disappointed by "300". I've read the ten thousand and several other historical fiction novels concerning the ancient greeks, plus college western civ and junk like that. After the first 30 minutes of "300" I was horrified (I never read the comics so I didn't know) that it was so inaccurate and retarded. The Spartans on screen weren't Spartans. I guess I was just flabbergasted by the fact that they where half naked, where was the heavy bronze breastplates and greaves they were known for!?! Then when they showed him growing up he fought a wolf or some BS, wtf? Where's the bit where a young Spartan went out and murdered a slave, huh? I guess it wasn't PC enough for the good guys to be murdering slaves in the night as a test of manhood. Then they romanticized the battles to the point that they where unwatchable. Another thing was they made the Persians into monsters, if I was Persian and saw this movie I would have been insulted gravely by that. We all know a Spartan by himself is nothing but in a shield wall in formation they where bad asses (assuming they decided to actually wear their armor!). "300" = the most historically inaccurate account of Spartan lifestyle ever.

    So we have the movie "300" about the battle of Thermopylae, but the movie didn't have any actual Spartans or Persians in it and the other 7,000 greeks that fought with the Spartans weren't even represented in true form in the movie at all. WTF, just call it die hard : Thermopylae or Thermopylae : first Blood or something, not "300".

    /rant off

    I know it was based off of a comic book so if your a comic fan I'm sorry.

  77. Brude
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Wait, Marcus Aurelius WAS Commodus' father…oh, I know there are huge historical problems with that movie, but that wasn't one of them.

  78. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    @ Adam Whitehead

    "I remember one of the UK newspapers reporting that the Italians were very annoyed that ROME was being filmed in Rome (or just outside it) about Roman/Italian history but didn't cast any major Italian actors in it and it was all in English (as opposed to Latin, presumably). However, the paper in question was the DAILY MAIL, so I assumed that was just BS."

    I don't see why they where so mad? We Didn't get angry at Sergio Leone (Italian) casting a movie about fictional America in SPAIN!!

    I guess it had American actors, but still!! lol

  79. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    300 is nonsensical until you realise that David Wenham's character is basically the Spartan version of Goebbels, making up a ridiculously OTT propaganda piece to fire up the troops. Admittedly this is made more clear in the comic and the film confuses it by showing the Spartans still dressed in their battle-speedos in the final scene, but the propaganda angle was the general intent of the original story. The movie didn't make that point clearly, nor did it impact on the story in the film in any particularly interesting way. They could have done something interesting with a myth versus reality angle, but in the end backed off to just do a daft OTT action film. That said, I kind of liked it for the ridiculous hokum it was.

    @ Rer, like I said, the paper reporting that story is not very reliable so it might not have been true. There were a few Italian actors in ROME (I think Atia's gay house-slave and Titus Pullo's love interest were both Italians) but obviously they were limited to actors who could speak English.

  80. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    "300 is nonsensical until you realise that David Wenham's character is basically the Spartan version of Goebbels"

    Yeah I didn't know anything about the comic or anything else when I had gone to see it. I was so excited to see a movie based on the Spartans that when I realized I was watching "what it was", I was disappointed. On a side note, This airheaded chick behind me in western civ actually recommend to out professor that she watch "The 300" since she said it was a great historical piece (The teach hadn't seen it). By the next class our teacher had rented it and watched it, and had a short discussion with us in class to make sure everyone knew it wasn't a historically based piece. We went on to have some interesting discussion on whether a society who had slaves and women and vassals that aren't allowed to vote and if they are a true democracy or not (Turns out it is a democracy but not a Representative democracy blah blah blah).

    "@ Rer, like I said, the paper reporting that story is not very reliable so it might not have been true. There were a few Italian actors in ROME (I think Atia's gay house-slave and Titus Pullo's love interest were both Italians) but obviously they were limited to actors who could speak English."

    It's cool man. I only threw that bit out about Sergio Leone for irony. Granted I would like for the Italians to embrace "Rome" but in the end it was an American backed series aimed at Americans so whether they liked it or not … /shrug.

  81. Rer
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    correction- backed by HBO and the BBC correct?

  82. Spadey
    Posted July 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    @Rer

    The comic book 300 was important. The style that Miller used in drawing that book was very influential. And that is the true value of it in my opinion, not the horrible historical inaccuracies or the somewhat simplistic plot. The movie tryed to replicate this style and somewhat achieved it. And I think this might have been the real purpose behind the movie. I don't think Snyder intended it to be a historical piece, I think he was interested in capturing the style of the comic and making a fun action movie.

    In my opinion Snyder seems to love to make movies based on comics that are really good, but as comics not as stories. His movie Watchmen had the same problem, it took a very important and influential comic and when adapted to the screen, it lost a lot of what made it so important in the first place (I did not hate that movie either though).

    As you say, they might have called it different, but since the movie carries the title of the book it is based upon…

    Taking this to Game of Thrones: I do not think ASOIAF will suffer from this problem as the things that make it good can be transfered to the TV screen and are not exclusive to the written form. ANd also since it takes place in a fictional land it cannot be historically inacurate either right? =)

  83. Anonymous
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    The comic book 300 was important. The style that Miller used in drawing that book was very influential.

    Didn't Miller use the art same style in all his Sin City books? Anyway Frank Miller is untouchable.

  84. Spadey
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    I mean how he drew everything in two pages in 300 and pretty much always in motion giving an "action" and "strenght" feel to the characters.

    Sin City I always felt his drawing to be more suffocating, grittier, "ugly". Which suits it fine since it takes to the spirit of the place where the stories happen.

    And now that you mention it, I think Sin City was a pretty decent movie. Maybe one of the best comic book adaptations. I found it better than 300 and watchmen.

  85. Anonymous
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Oops… I wrote that at 2 in the morning, I guess I'm excused…

  86. Legion
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    I think the thing with 300, Gladiator and to some extent Rome is that these are not documentaries. I get wound up about Gladiator, but in the end, it's meant to be a film, not a truthful account. 300, being based on a comic book is obviously not – they have monsters!

    We have slightly gone off topic from the original worry – which was more that GoT will be glamourised from it's source material when it appears on screen.

    The lucky thing we as fans have their is that GRRM is actually working on this show, rather than just watching after signing away the rights and bitching about it later while collecting the royalities (yeah, i'm looking at you Alan Moore).

  87. Yackal
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Er yeah the people who get worked up about 300 historical inacurracies, wouldn't that be like getting pissed off about any fantasy movie? Like Cloverfield, or Jurassic Park? (first two that came to mind for some reason) Those things never actually happened. 300 was a fictional fantasy movie, just set in a real time / place… My 2c.

  88. Ryan Dunn
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Man talk about an OT thread!!! It was entertaining to see you guys go at it about Rome vs. Tudors vs. Xena!?!? And casting Lucy Lawless as Cersei? You guys are inspiring!! Heh.

    Seriously though, HBO is searching for it's return to form after losing Sopranos, and losing it's gutsy CEO to a crazy scandal. They are building a new stable of seriously notable shows, as indicated by the shows they have green lit (AGoT, Boardwalk Empire) and some they have picked up like David Simon's Treme, which should be great!

    They are taking the casting and pre-pro of AGoT very seriously, the buzz is growing, and legions of book buyers all give it a true shot. Rome was a beautiful, unique look at the characters from history, but seemed (to me) to be trying to HBO-ize Ancient Rome the same way Deadwood and Milch did (to better effect I thought). Both of these shows suffered from lax plotting and a heavy focus character.

    They should have followed the cues of Alan Ball, David Simon and David Chase before them and used the characters to elevate the plot. AGoT has this going for it, since the season arc's have already been diligently considered by the original author. I think this was why I loved Band of Brothers. Even when we spent almost an entire episode in the foxholes outside a snowy Bastogne, we felt we were headed somewhere with these unforgettable characters. The same should ring true when we spend nearly an entire episode in the horse cart with Arry Lumpyhead, Lommy, Gendry and Hot Pie.

    Or so we should hope.

    And sidenote, how the hell did I make it all the way through season one of Legend of the Seeker!?!? I must have been yearning for GoT. Honestly I spent a lot of time analyzing the things that make a production either amazing or amazingly terrible. Things like wardrobe, locations, acting, casting, etc. And it always came back to the same thing for me: WRITING.

    Hopefully tbat logic applies to AGoT!

    …ryan

  89. Brude
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I like Lucy Lawless rather a lot, but I think it would be a bad idea both for the show and for her to do AGoT. Because of Xena, her career has been caught in a genre 'gutter,' where she is associated almost exclusively with sci-fi and fantasy and doesn't get to do other things, so much. She is a very capable actress, but she needs to get a good role in something so far removed form fantasy or sci-fi that people stop thinking of her only for those roles. Likewise, AGoT needs as many non-genre associated actors as it can get to help it rise above the sense that many have of the genre as being something of a lesser form. The LotR and Harry Potter movies did this, in part, by having many top actors in important roles – they have transcended the genre.

    It's not meant as a knock on Lawless' abilities (as I said, I like her), but the show needs to 'aim higher' in terms of the kind of profile and esteem their actors have, especially if they are going to spend a lot of money on someone who is as big a TV star as Lawless (she apparently cost BSG a fair bit of money, though not nearly as much as some rumors had it, apparently). Lawless needs to raise her profile by taking roles that have nothing whatsoever to do with fantasy – much as Gillian Anderson did after X-Files with productions like "Bleak House."

  90. Legion
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I was kinda joking with the casting suggestion of Xena for Cersei; it just went with the flow of that particular set of comments, lol.

    I do still stick my by earlier suggestion from another thread that Cersei needs to be a known actress though.

    Speaking of which, is it just fan spectulation that had the Lannisters as being American, while everyone else would be English? I thought that sounded an interesting proposition as it's usually the other way round; namely that English = evil. Would be interesting to see it go the other way….

  91. Anonymous
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Before these posts on the possibility of Gillian Anderson as Catelyn, I'd never heard of "Bleak House." I only know Anderson for The X-Files and I suspect the same is true of most people. Anderson is a bad choice for the same reasons given for Lucy Lawless.

  92. Ser_not_appearing
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The knocks on 300 are slightly undeserved imo, and reason being is that people failed to understand what the movie actually was.

    It was the tale of thermopylae written in the style of a greek myth, from the perspective of the spartans. It was never meant as a historical portrayal. It was a recreation in the style of myth. And as such was fairly entertaining.

    That said, i'd have SO much preferred a recreation of 'gates of fire', but ah well.

  93. Rer
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    @Brude

    "I like Lucy Lawless rather a lot, but I think it would be a bad idea both for the show and for her to do AGoT. Because of Xena, her career has been caught in a genre 'gutter,' where she is associated almost exclusively with sci-fi and fantasy and doesn't get to do other things, so much. She is a very capable actress, but she needs to get a good role in something so far removed form fantasy or sci-fi that people stop thinking of her only for those roles."

    Brude that's an awesome point

    @Legion

    "Speaking of which, is it just fan spectulation that had the Lannisters as being American, while everyone else would be English? I thought that sounded an interesting proposition as it's usually the other way round; namely that English = evil. Would be interesting to see it go the other way…."

    That is a very cool idea. Of course I could see the critics going nuts with that though.

    @The fans of "300"

    I didn't mean to knock the movie. When I went to see it I didn't know it was based off of a comic!! I thought it was a historical fiction type of movie. So not being a comic fan I had no idea what it was actually about and was under a false pretense.

  94. Rer
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    @Ryan dunn

    "And sidenote, how the hell did I make it all the way through season one of Legend of the Seeker!?!? I must have been yearning for GoT. Honestly I spent a lot of time analyzing the things that make a production either amazing or amazingly terrible. Things like wardrobe, locations, acting, casting, etc. And it always came back to the same thing for me: WRITING."

    I sometimes watch it for the same reasons.

  95. Jaimee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    If they do decide to cast the lannisters in america and they have an american accent…what does that make the accents of the ladies of the court and Robert? I ask because I seem to remember a comment in the book about the "high speech" of the queen…or are my wires crossed? …if not will the ppl in westeros be talking in an american accent as well? I hear a British accent in my head when I read Cersei and Tyrion…

  96. Jaimee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Perhaps it's the look of the American and not so much the accent at all but I am just curious…

  97. Ser_not_appearing
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    jaimee, i saw your audition and it was pretty good (though not good enough for the part). Thought i'd say since i cant comment on youtube videos for some reason. ;)

  98. Legion
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    It would make everyone at court still English.

    You'd just have the people of the west as American, so the Lannisters and their sworn houses would be the American ones. For this season then Cersei, Jamie, Tywin, Kevan and Tyrion would all have the accent, along with The Hound and Gregor, plus any of his men.

    Dunno if it would actually work, I just like the sound of it.

  99. Jaimee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    @ Ser…
    Wow thank you! That means a lot considering I've never done any acting (not professionally anyway..although I do give a pretty good performance on Thanksgiving when I have to act like I don't want to deck my brothers lol!)hmmm I don't know why it wouldn't let you comment. There are a couple on there. You tube glitches on me a lot. I wish I had had more time to make the video but as it was I only had 30 minutes to get it on tape as the video camera was borrowed. Each time I watch it I see more that I could have improved. Maybe I will be able to borrow the camera again. You never Know. I was sorely unprepared to do it when I did. I didn't have the sides with me so I had to go from memeory and I messed up the lines in a few spots but I really apppreciate you takin the time to view it. I know I'm no T Helfer hehehe. I am just so excited it's being made into a movie and really I just love to hate Cersei.

  100. Jaimee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    @ Legion
    I can see that….yes that would work and it would further set them apart from the others…

  101. Legion
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    @ Jaimee
    Yeah, It would also give them that Hollywood glitz rich feel to it which is what the Rock is meant to be in terms of being rich.

  102. Jaimee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    @ Legion
    OH indeed. The Lannisters feeling they are better that everyone, haughty, entitled…reminds me of some of my countrymen…and nieghbors for that matter.

  103. Rer
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    @Jaimee

    "Perhaps it's the look of the American and not so much the accent at all but I am just curious…"

    The look of an American? Come on, let's not get into that. I've never been one for the stereotypes and it's insulting in a way. Like saying everyone from the middle east is a terrorist, let's get past that please because you can't tell the difference between the "look" of an American and a Brit any less then anyone else. We are the same blood of the same people living on separate continents.

    P.s.- I liked your audition stuff BTW.

  104. bardamu
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    @ "Before these posts on the possibility of Gillian Anderson as Catelyn, I'd never heard of "Bleak House." I only know Anderson for The X-Files and I suspect the same is true of most people. Anderson is a bad choice for the same reasons given for Lucy Lawless."

    I totally agree. Brude's argument against Lucy Lawless is exactly how I feel about Gillian Anderson. I watched Bleak House after reading these posts, and that show is probably a good BBC production (I don't watch BBC, I live in the US). That to me, Bleak House didn't elevate Anderson past her X-Files status doesn't matter because very view US viewers (vs. the bulk of viewers that will tune in to HBO) haven't seen Bleak House.

    @ "Speaking of which, is it just fan spectulation that had the Lannisters as being American, while everyone else would be English? I thought that sounded an interesting proposition as it's usually the other way round; namely that English = evil. Would be interesting to see it go the other way…."

    I think it would interesting, but not in GoT myself. Plus it will alienate American viewers more than an already mostly British accented cast. Although, since Tyrion and Jaime aren't truly evil, it's a moot point.

  105. Ausir
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I'd love for the people from the North to have Scottish accents.

  106. Jaimee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    @ Rer

    Yes I thought about that after I posted it because really, which of us has "the look" of the great smelting pot… So yes, let's dont get into that LOL.

    P.S. Thank you BTW I'm glad you watched it. :)

  107. Jaimee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I think Mark Harmon http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001319/
    would make an excellent Tywin. He's definately got the chops and he has that cold hard stare down to a science. He carries himself as though he has had a career in the military (composure, discipline ect…) which would lend credibilty to his position as a military leader in Westeros…as it does in NCIS. Tywin is an important character but isn't seen as much as others so maybe he could work it around his current show.

  108. Jaimee
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Here is a good pic of the stare of which I speak…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Harmon_1_edit1.jpg

  109. Rer
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    <— x soldier that's not sure what you mean by the stare, but I've seen this guy on TV in movies and dramas, and I agree that he could play the part well, right look and ability and such.

  110. Ryan Dunn
    Posted July 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    only problem with mark harmon is i wouldn't be able to shake my image of him in summer school!

    - Youtube Clip

    also, does anyone have insight as to talent exclusivity between networks, when a show is active? it begs the question, re: harmon, or anyone else for that matter, making cameo appearances, or small role castings for GoT.

    …ryan

  111. Rer
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    @ Ryan Dunn

    I totally forgot about that movie, to funny.

  112. Anonymous
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Holy shoot!
    Thomas McCarthy is directing!?
    I hadn't noticed him before but I watched the first episode of The Wire season 5 today and noticed that he is playing that fishy reporter from The Baltimore Sun.
    If he got just the slightest bit of directing influence from working on that show he should deliver and exceed all expectations.

  113. steph the plumber
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    I found this very informative


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