WiC on Television Zombies podcast

The special Game of Thrones edition of the Television Zombies weekly podcast is now online. It, of course, features yours truly as a guest host. You can check it out at the TVZ website. We talk for an hour about the show, the books and this website. It was a lot of fun and the TVZ crew were gracious enough to invite me back in the future, once we have more news to discuss. Hoping for a series pickup so I get a chance to do it again!


  • I have just listened to it.
    Nice one WiC!

    It was both interesting and funny.
    Nothing new for the hardcore fan like me :)
    But I think that it will be great and interesting enough for the potential newbies to the books and the series.

    You presented lots of importnat things, but not reveal too much or spoil too much.

    Congrats, once again!

    And I was pretty excited when I heard the pronounciation of the characters names.(It was first time for me to actually heard it pronounced by somebody else).

  • Just finished listening. Good stuff. That must have been a blast.

    Interesting that Winter pronounces the name Varys like "varies."

    … whiiiich I'd never even thought of (it was always "VAIR-iss" to me), and "varies" actually pretty appropriate.

    Because Varys varies – in his appearance and in his (to many) seemingly shifting loyalties.

    Anyway, thanks for that, Winter, and for everything else you've done. Like the Television Zombies, we all appreciate the work that goes into making this site awesome.

  • Yeah, right, I must to thank you too, WiC, for everything you have done so far!
    You must be proud!

    You came on the net with the site, with almost nothing, but it tha way this site has developped, it is just amazing!

    ha ha ha
    Got that schock with Varys, too.
    It was like for a second: Who? Who the hell is Varies?

  • I posted my feelings about podcast in previous topic discussion, so to sum it up, it was great, even though there was nothing new, but i didn't expected anything else. I just expected great discussion about my favourite book and tv series (hopefully), and it fulfilled my expectation.

    Like others said before, it was funny to hear pronounciation for the first time.
    Because for example Jon wasn't "John" for me. He was always sort of "ion" but very quicky read and even then its not exactly how i pronounce it. But that's just because i am Czech and also because fantasy names can have various ways of pronounciation.

    Also Varys was always "Vharys" for me :) But i will stop it rigth now, because i dont know any suitable way to type and describe my pronounciation of some of these names in english :))

  • I've managed to think of a way to describe it :))
    Imagine, that you are saying CAR, and just replace the C with V but dont change the pronounciation. And then imagine IS (like the verb) And then join it together VAR – IS = VARIS = VARYS. :)

  • "Varys" was always "Heiress" but with a "V". At least in my head.

    I look forward to giving the podcast a listen. Thanks for posting Winter.


  • Great interview ! Some thoughts came to mind as I listened ::

    I had agree with Chris – when it comes to the Direwolves, I would much rather them use real wolves for the series and have it look good, than have fake looking CGI wolves. Thats a compromise I could live with.

    There was also a comment made, almost in passing, that I have been wondering myself … Where is Rikken? Has he been written out, a non-essential character? Or will he show up later in the series?

    Visually, I'm most excited to see the Wall … I hope it looks as epic as I see it in my mind.

    Lastly … Varys was always "varies" for me, as well.

    Hopefully there will be future podcasts for Winter!

  • Nitpick! Jennifer Ehle was in Pride and Prejudice, not Sense and Sensibility!

    I'm interested to see what the "official" pronunciation of several names are. I've heard GRRM speak and I'm always wrong!

  • Great podcast, WiC :)

    I wish I'd quizzed the cast a bit more about the pronunciations they were told to use. I only found out the pronunciation of Arya.

  • Great Job Winter. The girl in the interview seemed a bit lost in the whole discussion but otherwise it was a good interview.

  • Thanks all! It was a lot of fun.

    strangerface: Nice catch. Couldn't remember which Austen novel it was at the time.

    Silverstar: How was Arya pronounced? My wife and I have a dispute over that one, so I'm curious.

  • thanks for being on our show, phil! and thanks to your readers for tuning in. television zombies is really excited about the future of this show and would love to have phil back when it gets picked up!

    (the "girl" in the conversation was me and i was quiet because i have not read the books!).

  • Actually, I enjoyed Tina's perspective as much as anyone's. She would be the sort of viewer this show would have to woo in order to really be successful – the "Oh, I've heard of that, but know nothing in detail" sort.

    Game of Thrones will not long survive with only our support.

    I'm going to check out some of the older Television Zombies podcasts. And remember to support the people who help to pay the bills, WiC fans! I make sure to click an ad at least once a day.

  • Great podcast WiC & television zombies. Funny, intelligent and interesting, even if there wasn't anything new.

    I second About Yea High's opinion – I enjoyed Tina's perspective too. I figured out that she was not familiar with the books and actually thought that it was kind of her that she didn't intrude the flow of the conversation just to let people know that she is there too :)

    Those bits where she spoke were funny and interesting.

    I'd probably check other podcasts on that site since this one was really good and we share the same opinions on both Game of Thrones and Heroes :)

  • Pretty good podcast. Would have liked to hear WiC get to speak a bit more.

    No offense, but I found the female speaker on the podcast extremely annoying. Especially her comments about Sean Bean, which displayed some pretty shocking ignorance.

  • Funniest moment.

    Tina: "Um, I don't really think there are any really big Sean Bean fans out there, haha…"

    WiC: "You'd be surprised."

  • Nice Podcast. It seems we both gave up on Heroes at the same point, WiC. :P

    And for any of the TV Zombie people who may be reading, I've added you to my itunes :)

  • I agree with AYH, nice to hear a non-ASoIaF fan's perspective.

    On the opposite side of the coin, great to hear folks who know what they're talking about, too.

    Good work by the whole crew, and awesome job, Winter!

  • So far I got through half of the podcast (so much to do, do little time), it was nice to hear the pronouncing of the name "Jamie" – almost as I'm used to. Russian for the Lannister is [Jejme], whilst hebrew is [Jejm], so wasn't sure which one is closer to the origin.

  • Tina's perspective is about right for the average American Viewer.
    Bean just has a bigger presence in Europe due to Sharpe, which is pretty much unheard of in the states.

  • @WiC

    Silverstar: How was Arya pronounced? My wife and I have a dispute over that one, so I'm curious.

    I was told it was being pronounced similarly to "Are ya". I've always said it more like Aria, so that will take a bit of getting used to.

  • Not meant to be a jab at you Tina. Your perspective was welcome you just seemed a little out of the 'loop', which is understandable. Hope you continue to show interest in this series getting picked up.

  • Very nice podcast, surprised by how long it's.
    I like the light tone of the whole thing, though they do spoil a lot :).
    Been surprised by how he said Cersei (I tend to pronounce it Cers-hey hehe)
    and happy that interest for the show is there around and you get the credit you deserve^^

  • Phil, your readers are fantastic. We do very well for downloads normally but within just 24 hours this episode has surpassed any others. I think this speaks volumes to the GRRM fandom.

    I hope some of you do stick around for TVZ. We talk about a wide variety of shows normally, from Doctor Who to Lost. But we normally start with news of the week so if anything official gets mentioned on, say, Variety, we pass that along.

    Personally, I'm just hoping hoping hoping HBO picks the show up for series. It has so much potential. It's easily the tv project I'm most interested in right now. Hopefully it goes to series and Phil can join us again!

  • silverstar – GRRM pronounces Arya "Are ya" at his readings too. I always thought it was more like Aria as well. I've tried correcting myself but I can't undo it.

    I never thought about Varys though. I always had it like "Vars" but that must be wrong now that I think on it.

    I know Jaime is "Jamie" and Cersei is "Sir say" and Brienne is "Brie-en-ee" and that Petyr is just "Peter" (I remember GRRM saying they pronounced it funny in the audio version).

  • Varys for me is something like VAH-riss.

    I'm waiting to find out if I'm vindicated in my pronunciation of Catelyn, as I'm in the minority in how I pronounce that.

  • Chris: That's awesome! Never underestimate the obsession of the ASOIAF fandom. Just ask HBO. ;)

    Hopefully you get quite a few regular listeners through this. I know I'll be checking in each week. Thanks again for having me on!

  • Awesome podcast, Winter! The other guys were fun too.

    On the subject of pronouncing names, though: does anyone know how to pronounce the name Davos? (or, for that matter, how GRRM does pronounce it?) I've always thought of him as DA-VOS. Like, beginning with the Russian "yes" and ending with… I dunno, the "wisard of [os]" :D I suppose it would be possible to pronounce it like Dave-Ose (rhymes with nose) too… Or some third way?

    So how does George pronounce it? Anyone know?

  • That chick on the show is so fucking retarded. I would have LOVED listening to the show minus that hag harping that Game of Thrones is somehow correlated to New Moon and Harry Potter. HOLY HELL….If you know literally NOTHING about the subject you're talking about in a podcast maybe you should respectfully BOW OUT.

  • Really enjoyed the show, nice job to all….

    Got me super curious about the Martin "anti-sites" though….anyone got a link? I'm surprised these exist.

  • More like anti-comments, I think. Or individual complaints on personal websites. Not anti-sites as such …

  • Great show, as ever. Thanks to winter-is-coming TVZ is my new favorite podcast! (I started listening a few weeks ago when this was announced) This was pretty light on new topics, but would be a good place for someone new to the show (maybe not new to the books) to start.

    Wow, what's with people ragging on Tina. She was talking about the fact that it's not popular the way new moon or harry potter are. Your comments make me think you weren't even listening to the podcast.

    Anyway, here's one amusing anti-grrm site that I think may be one of the ones they were talking about:

    I think people need to get a life and let George enjoy his at his own pace. It's not like there aren't any other books we can read while we wait…

  • I pronounced Davos with the DA sounding like the a in "Dad" and the os sounding like the os in "close". I pronounce the end of Westeros (Weh-STAIR-ose) the same way.

  • Thanks, saluk. Appreciate the support and good job sharing that link (since folks were asking).

    The "anti" sites are weird. I don't think you need to like everything someone does to be a fan, but I also don't understand how you can claim to like something and slag the creator.

  • Out of topic, but where else to post it:

    Movic critic James Berardinelli sums up the first decade of the 21st century on his site

    The Big Winner of the decade was fantasy. Once the bastard step-child of science fiction, fantasy came into its own during the 2000s with the blockbuster successes of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter franchises. Interestingly, however, there haven't been many notable fantasy titles outside those two umbrellas. New Line Cinema's failed attempt to create a series based on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials brought down the studio. Other fantasy endeavors have been plagued by poor stories, mediocre reviews, and minimal interest. Many of the best-known fantasy book series have been optioned, and George R. R. Martin's epic Game of Thrones saga is being prepped for HBO, but it's unclear how many more fantasy movies will make it to the big screen. After all, done right, they are expensive, and they remain gambles. Studios don't like gambles – that's why there are so many sequels and remakes.

    That's interesting because otherwise he kind of NEVER writes about TV… :-)

  • Hey everyone. Been a bit. Just got back from PA where I celebrated the holidays with my family. I hope everyone had a great Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) and are looking forward to a smashing NYE. Hopefully 2010 will bring us a series pickup, possibly even a few aired episodes and most importantly of all ADWD! I just bought the new Busted Flush TBP and it looks fun so far. Aside from ADWD and HBOGoT, I'm eagerly awaiting the next Dunk & Egg novella. Its stacking up to be a great year!
    Winter! I didn't realize you lived in Jersey and grew up in Philly. Are you an Eagles fan? I was lucky enough to take my whole family to the Link to watch the return of B-Dawk! It was sad to see him in Denver orange, but his entrance didn't disappoint! My little girl had on an Eagles colored monster mask and a big foam finger and she led our entire section in the E-A-G-L-E-S chant after every score. It was her first game but she fit right in with all the Philly lunatics ;P
    heh I'm starting to sound like a Midnight Green version of GRRM! I'll beg off with the football stuff and just wish everyone a perfect 2010!

  • NICE Podcast Phi! Really enjoyed the Television Zombies show.
    Hope there's more, Heres wishing some happy new yearS !!

  • They had fan pages before, but I didn't know about an official one, otherwise I'd have joined it earlier :-)

  • Knew this would eventually happen:

    Entertainment Weekly, one of the most widely distributed magazines in the U.S., finally gave its first Thrones mention in a column by Lynette Rice:

    HBO's Plan for Building On True Blood's Buzz

    (After mentions of Treme and The Pacific…)

    … Meanwhile, HBO–which, like EW, is owned by Time Warner–is generating heat for a pilot it hasn't even picked up yet: the network's adaptation of the fantasy book A Game of Thrones, starring Sean Bean and Lena Headey. Filmed entirely on location in Ireland and Morocco, Thrones supposedly boasts a budget that rivals that of the famously lavish Rome, but HBO co-chairman Michael Lombardo is quick to point out that all the network's shows have to meet high expectations–especially in light of stiff competition from the likes of Showtime and USA. "We are taking shots at shows that we wouldn't have taken a shot at five years ago," says Lombardo, who, with co-chairman Richard Plelper and entertainment president Sue Naegle, has developed an unprecedented number of pilots. "We opened our arms and invited people to come in and pitch things even if they didn't think it was HBO. We stopped second-guessing ourselves."

    What does this mean? It's mostly good. One, Thrones is on everyone's tongues, and with all the mentions it's getting (EW is pretty much the weekly industry leader) … well, they'd pretty much really have to screw the pooch in order for it not to get picked up.

    The negative is, with all the pilots they seem to intend on making, that's just less space for Thrones to find its breathing room.

    But I'm confident with a good show, it'll all work out. I'm pretty much set in my mind we'll get at least one season.

    I want it all.

    Buzz is good though!

  • Not sure why there is such discussion about the direwolves. They don't show up that much in the books, and they probably do like Peter Jackson did for LOTR by using different techniques: bit of close up models, bit of CGI, bit of actual wolves shown in differential perspective. No biggie.

  • This was great WiC!
    I agree with your suggestion that Richard Madden will be a break out star in this series, popularity wise, and also Kit's ever expanding role of Jon, the popularity of being this underdog character will propel him…he will keep viewers around after Bean gets the ax.

    This was an interesting podcast…though I kinda wish the girl hadn't contributed. Made it seem like girls only read fantasy like Harry Potter and Twilight. FRUSTRATING.

  • Regarding the wolves, Tina said something on the podcast along the lines of "Why don't they just use real wolves and shrink them? They did it for the hobbits in LOTR."

    Unfortunately, the hobbit "shrinking" was in EXTREMELY difficult and complicated visual effect, usually done with forced perspective. It is very hard, and by no means a simple matter of "shrinking" them.

    People who think otherwise clearly have no idea of how the hobbit effects were actually accomplished, in which case I recommend watching the documentaries on the Extended DVDs.

  • The hobbits in LotR were done by a very small number of 'glory shots' involving greenscreens, then the rest was by false perspective, scale doubles facing away from camera or the hobbit actors down on their knees in front of the standing human actors. It's a very clever battery of tricks, actually, and avoids most of the problems with eyelines that greenscreen invokes.

    There's actually a notable continuity error in FotR where Gandalf is talking to Bilbo (during their argument in Bag End) but he's not looking at him, he's looking at where he's going to be, and then Bilbo walks into his eyeline later. It's a bit weird and shows the problems using greenscreen.

    False perspective has its own issues though. Both when Gandalf is having tea with Bilbo and later with Frodo he knocks his half of the table – as Ian McKellen is sitting at a small table right in front of the camera whilst Ian Holm and later Elijah Wood are sitting at a big table in the background, with the two tables lined up to look like the same table – resulting in half the table wobbling and the other half not.

    Since I don't recall a tea-drinking scene with the direwolves, they should be fine ;-)

  • Oops, I meant "enlarge" the wolves, not shrink them. But yes, Adam is right, the effects were done in a variety of ways… but it was never simple or easy.

    For one thing, they had to build multiple scale replicas of every single prop and set!

    Yes, the scene with Bilbo and Gandalf in Bag End is one of the worst blunders. I can't even watch it, I always look away from Gandalf's eyes at that moment. :)

    The thing with forced perspective, however, is it usually only works with a stable, motionless camera. If you want your camera moving around, and you don't want to spoil the effect, then the actors ALSO have to be moving in perfect sync with the cameras. In the scene where Gandalf is talking at the table, he is actually MOVING: his chair is sliding along a track, at the precise speed that the camera is moving, to maintain the illusion.