With the start of filming closing in (only two more days!), the buzz for the series continues to build in the main stream press. First, TIME television critic James Poniewozik weighs in with his thoughts on the project and the potential for a series pickup. I would categorize his feelings as “cautiously optimistic.”
Game of Thrones—the HBO pilot based on George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels—is getting ready to shoot next week in Northern Ireland and has cemented its cast. If you’re not familiar with the show, you have a good excuse, since it does not yet exist and there’s still no guarantee that it ever will.
Still, as James Hibberd notes at The Hollywood Reporter, HBO does not generally like to shoot (presumably) expensive pilots like this for nothing. I’m basing this on no inside information, mind you, but just considering HBO’s history, I would guess that the pilot would have to pretty badly screw the direwolf, as it were, not to get a shot at the air.
There is also a great article from Nicole LaPorte over at The Daily Beast in which she goes into detail regarding the online buzz surrounding the pilot. In particular she focuses on this here blog quite a bit and the ever-present Paul Gude even gets quoted in the article.
Martin is himself an avid blogger, and he regularly feeds his followers casting news in the form of mysterious clues that Thrones fans attack like starving piranhas, and generally figure out in no time.
One of the latest hints (“The gray man once had groupies. Yes, girls. Who?”) was posted on the winter-is-coming website at 7:43 p.m. By 8:04, it had been cracked.
Explaining the methodology, Paul Gude, currently ranked as the site’s No. 1 commenter, told The Daily Beast:
“‘The grey man once had groupies’ was a reference to Luwin, who is described in the book as being a grey-haired man with grey eyes. Legion—another commenter—figured out that Donald Sumpter was in a film called Groupie Girl, and he was also in a couple episodes of Doctor. Who.”
HBO has yet to confirm Sumpter being cast. Nonetheless, Gude said confidently, “We think we’ve solved it.”
Winter Is Coming: I am loving all the attention this project is attracting. The series pick up seems like almost a foregone conclusion at this point, but I really don’t want to get a head of myself. Poniewozik does make a point in the comments of his article that HBO has gone so far as to filming an entire season of a series before deciding not to air it. So just because there is a lot of buzz and they are spending a lot of money on the pilot does not guarantee a series pickup. But things are looking good.
Also, great job by Paul Gude representing the WiC community in that Daily Beast article. Nice to see you guys getting some much deserved love for your ability to decipher GRRM’s clues. Hopefully a series pick up is around the corner, so we can flex our clue cracking muscles once again!