More Game of Thrones press
By Winter Is Coming on in Press.

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!


47 Comments

  1. Marko
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I love the attention given to the production as well, just as much as the fact that our community is instrumental in directing it to the project and getting its deserved recognition. Proud to be here from the start, and priviliged to be able to follow it so closely.

  2. dizzy
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Ditto to what Marko said.

  3. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    And I am finally back, having missed what appears to be the busiest week in ages.

    Typical.

    Got a lot of catching up to do!

    On the plus side, go me for getting 4 correct guesses.

  4. Marko
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    @WiC: This is a comment of the meta / household keeping type :) What I would like to see at some convenient point in the near future, before the next flurry of news and announcements takes us away, and whenever you have time:

    a) First, good move introducing the Press label. It should be added to some earlier posts as well.

    b) The FAQ needs updating.

    c) Martin has commented on the casting – Drogo, Bran and Benjen, Illyrio and Ros. Somehow this should be linked to in the blog, some as an update in the appropriate posts, for others I don't know … Just to keep record of everything.

    d) Some of GRRM's comments contain lines that cound be used in the cast list under 'What do the producers think'.

    e) A banner for the Drogo news post.

    f) The cast list looks great, all of those fine actors nicely together. The formatting of the section titles looks off, though: each of the three (Cast, Minor roles, Crew) looks different, and only the first one fits typographically.

    g) Thanks, and well done so far!

  5. brhodes
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I'm not a nerd!

  6. brhodes
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    My mom says I'm super-cool even though I check "Winter is Coming" every 2 hours!

  7. Manda
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Erm…posted my congrats on the wrong thread. Soooo, congrats to Guda again and legion (since you're around now)!

  8. Lauren
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Grats guys! And go team! WiC is an awesome community and I love having been here (even if I don't comment often) from the start! Good times!

  9. christlwistl
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    To shorten the time, try and check out this site:
    http://www.thewall-film.com/
    A friend of mine made this film as a project for university.

  10. Marko
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    @WiC: A short further note on the FAQ – the question whether George R.R. Martin is involved is missing a bold question mark at the end (you can't get more picky than that, haha). One other thing, though, and the proper reason to write this: the FAQ cast is one Mawle short.

  11. Castamere
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    The buzz is good, hopefully there enough of us rabid fans to encourage HBO to think there is a market for a full season's run.

    My only concern is that, being a story that will need sets and costumes, and potentially special effects, and given HBO's track record of prematurely ending such shows will we see a multi-season run? I think one season is certainly a given!

  12. sjwenings
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    @christlwistl

    Nicely made, but it only really leaves me wanting more.

  13. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I would be very suprised to see the show not get one season.

    I would be very suprised to not see it get two.

    It's when we get beyond that that I begin to worry, as the cast will grow, the settings will grow as Dany moves further east, by then fan favourites might be dead, which may turn some fans off…..

  14. Marko
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Agreed, it's after season two we can start getting slightly worried (but by then we'll know how successful the show is).

    @christlwistl: Nice and teasing, and I like the atmospehere. HBO could well use the idea for one of the teasers.

  15. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Curse you Gude! You get the quotes when I did the work!

    Lol. Just kidding, I can see you gave me the credit, which is what counts, and i'm impressed I get a mention in a proper news article like this, awesome.

    Still, its very cool that the blog is getting so much press along with the series, maybe it'll land WiC a job as official blogger.

    Course, if he doesn't want it, I'm avaliable ;)

  16. TickTock
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Hi everybody. First time poster but long time fan of this and all the other GOT sites out there. I've read all 4 books and have to say they are some of my favorites. Great to see all the attention the TV series is garnering and I'm trying my best not to get too excited for a season pick up but i have to say it looks very promising. I'm looking forward to contributing here as much as possible, especially if we get new clues to casting from George should the series get a season order.

    TickTock

  17. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Welcome TickTock.

    Join our obsession, before you know it, you'll be checking WiC every 10 minutes or putting it in an RSS feed and asking that to alert you to any new posts…..

    Not that I do that……

  18. Brude
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Dave and Dan have posted again over at Westeros.org. They mentioned something about trying to figure out what George's "Stan Lee" moment should be (i.e. his cameo in the show).

  19. The rabbit
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Yes, Brude, a cameo for George!

    I would like to see him at the feast for the king at Winterfell.

  20. -1-
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    WiC, you deserve a massive pat on the back. A lot of this wonderful buzz is your doing. Have you received a gazillion PR job offers yet? :)

  21. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    GRRM should be Lord Hoster.

    Old guy, big beard, lay in bed for a bit.

    Simples.

  22. Brude
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    It's funny how all of these articles keep neglecting to mention the westeros.org forum.

  23. dholds
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    It's awesome to see how much buzz this is getting. And now with the pilot filming in a couple days, it's only going to grow. I can't wait until we all have actual episodes to discuss!

    As for GRRM's "Stan Lee" moment, I seem to remember someone here suggesting that he should play Jon Arryn. He's the one who gets the whole sequence of events in AGOT going so I think it would only be fitting for GRRM to play him. And it would be an easy role … lie down, play dead George.

  24. Jillian
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Someone on Westeros suggested George play the (although written out of the pilot) Nameless Eunuch. Lol

  25. TickTock
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    @legion_quest666: Thanks, currently I only check WIC every half hour so I guess I gotta find more time in the day lol

    @dholds: I think George playing Jon Arryn is a perfect fit for all the reasons you mentioned. I wonder though if there will be any flashback scenes featuring Jon Arryn, which George may or may not be able to shoot due to his schedule, though the possibility of using old shots is certainly plausiable.

    TickTock

  26. dholds
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    @TickTock – true, that might get tricky if there are any flashbacks with Jon Arryn but through AFFC, I don't think there are any.

    And if there happens to be any in future books and they need to cast someone else in the show, I'm sure most regular fans won't remember George playing him way back in the pilot episode.

    But hey, that would be a good problem to have, right? It would mean the show's been a success and we've had a least 4 seasons of it!

  27. TickTock
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    @dholds: Absolutely, I think it would be the least of our concerns. I think we would all be more concerned about the release date of any new books and what actors/actresses will be cast for what parts, very similar to our concerns now lol.

    TickTock

  28. gofalcons
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    @Paul Gude – kudos to you for getting into the press and sharing the limelight. Nice job on the Esme stuff. I can't imagine she ever thought she'd get this much attention for doing a dwarf. LOL I do hope she gets to be a regular at Chataya's if we get the series. She could show up in crowds in King's Landing then as well.

    @chistlwistl – tell your friend great job on the short! Can't wait to see his first feature film.

    @legion – welcome back.

    @general discussion – George's cameo needs to be something noticeable. Maybe the guy who leads Gared to the chopping block? Hoster Tully wouldn't work, there's all that screaming about Tansy and his deluded conversations with Cat on his deathbed.

  29. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    @gofalcons, cheers, nice to get a welcome back

    I forgot Hoster talks and has a talk with Cat.

    Does GRRM have any acting talent? Could he work as a Manderlay or something like that?

    If not, and it's just a walk on role, maybe he could play a brother of the Nights Watch who dies on the Fist? I'm sure he'd enjoy doing a death scene.

  30. dholds
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    On westeros.org there's talk of the Jon Arryn scene being deleted from the pilot. Did we get confirmation of that?

  31. gofalcons
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    @legion

    I don't know if GRRM has any acting talent or not but I have heard that he has a "distinctive" New Jersey accent and probably couldn't fake an English one. That would limit us to non-speaking roles. My dream cameo was for him to play Gared and get a taste of his own medicine.

  32. Paul J
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    @dholds

    We know Pycelle was in that scene, and that his character was cut. I think that's all the evidence there is.

  33. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Lol, if im free I might try to get up to London for his signing and ask him who he'd like to play.

    Anyone else thinking of going?

  34. WinterIsComing
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Legion: Chances are by the time he gets to London he will have already made his cameo appearance. So you could just ask him who he ended up playing. :)

  35. gofalcons
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    But, but….

    George is a monster of human cruelty. He'll never tell Legion who he played. He'll just give him cryptic clues and make us figure it out.

    Wait, that might be fun…

  36. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Lol.

    If he gives me cryptic clues, I'll solve them in front of him cos I solved 4 of his previous ones and explained how the Mr Myagi clue worked before GRRM did.

    I'm the Wrong person to play Monster of Inhuman Cruelty with!

  37. gofalcons
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Legion, good lord, don't wake the Dragon! How many Starks has he killed? You would be as nothing in the face of the storm.

  38. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    LOL.

    If winding him up led to the death of another Stark…..well……let's just say I might go out of my way to wing him up!

    Arya death in……3……..2……..

  39. dholds
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Well, either way, if the Jon Arryn scene is still in it or not, I think GRRM has to play a dead guy. And the more gruesome the death, the better.

    It would suit his style and differentiate him from the Stan Lees and Hitchcocks of the world with their plain old living/breathing cameos.

  40. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I just suggested the idea of GRRM as a scribe at the Illyrio banquet in the other thread.

    More I say it, the more I like it.

  41. dholds
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    If the series gets picked up, then my vote's for him to be a prisoner at the Eyrie and fall to his death from a sky cell … SPLAT!!

  42. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Lol.

    Could make him Mord. Mord can have an accent. Blame it on a speech defect……

    I liked the idea someone had of having him be a head on a spike, but that would likely be a S2 thing.

  43. dholds
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Who was Mord again?

  44. Manda
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Mord was the jailor in the Sky Cells at the Eyrie.

  45. legion_quest666
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I was joking about making him Mord. Mord is just a random character that amused me no end when I first read the books.

    Gotta love Mord, you know where you are with Mord.

  46. dholds
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I think Mord's a great fit then. I can't remember though, does he die in the book?

    If not, maybe they could re-write the script a bit so that Tyrion tricks him somehow and pushes him out of his cell. That would be sweet … George being killed by his favourite character!

  47. Kelsey Catherine
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    @christlwistl
    Tell your friend that video was wicked, but too short of a short!! lol I was like nooo I want to see more! The music was "scored" well too!

    @dholds…you seem pretty keen on killing poor ol' George!
    I can't really think of a clever cameo for him…too bad he couldn't be the would be bran assassin, horse smell and all!


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