HBO Press

Entertainment Weekly mentions Thrones

Entertainment Weekly touched briefly on Game of Thrones in an article about HBO sustaining their current momentum. The article first discusses Treme and The Pacific and then moves onto Thrones.

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.

Winter Is Coming: Despite the somewhat pessimistic quote from Lombardo, I think this is a good thing. First off, to get mentioned in Entertainment Weekly is a pretty big deal. It is the premier mainstream entertainment magazine. Secondly, the quote doesn’t seem to be specifically referring to Thrones, but rather HBO’s new development policy in general.

Also the comparison in budget to Rome is probably a bit of an exaggeration. Generally, the production has done a good job keeping the costs down. Sure, the budget is probably closer to Rome than it is to Sex and the City, but I don’t think it is so exorbitantly high as to be concerned. Not yet at least.

So yeah, I see this mention as a very good thing as it helps sustain the buzz during this current downtime. Now if only HBO could really get things going by giving a series order!

[Via Westeros. Thanks to About Yea High for the transcription!]


  • Happy New Year to everyone on this blog.
    Wish you all a lots of love, health and success in 2010.

    And of course, I have one big wish to us all.
    I am not going to mention it, cause IT IS KNOWN!

  • "Epic" doesn't usually do well without a big budget – if they are going to make the whole season and do it right, it'll be expensive.

    But Rome wasn't cheap mainly because the sets they built were meant for way more than 2 seasons and to be rented for future productions to use. In the end, the cost of Rome isn't all it is said to be and will pay off in the long run.

  • just now watching the 2 day doctor who marathon on BBC America … watching the Human Nature/Family Of Blood episodes which contain our very own Viserys. Must say he is pretty good. Brother Of Mine.

    As for the budget for GoT I think it is probably much less than the mainstream media may think given that the vast cast isn't "superstar studded" and that alot of the CGI that will be needed is well established and won't cost groundbreaking amounts. well maybe the dragons will but that is down the road. and the sex in the city budget was higher than you might think. their wardrobe budget alone would stagger the mind, lots of super expensive designer gear that cost the show a fortune.

    anyway this is also the episode with "Sophie Williams" in it but I haven't seen a little girl matching our sansa … i was hoping maybe we had been wrong all along and she would be some background extra in this episode. oh well.

    it is nice to have seen harry now in two totally different roles (this and as will scarlett) … the kid can definitely act.

  • No, Sophie's mum was laughing about the DOCTOR WHO mistake in Belfast. The 'Sophie Turner' in that was some 40-year-old actress and definitely no relation to GoT's Sophie.

  • oh. i know. i remember that from when it was announced. but i was curious to figure out who this sophie was. but as it turns out staying up for a 2 day marathon leaves one a bit inattentive and lacking focus so i couldn't figure out which one she was. anyway it was good to watch harry.

  • Here is the link to a feature video on YouTube detailing some of the current productions of returning and new shows coming soon to HBO, sadly there was nothing on ASOIF "A Game of Thrones".

    Will be a good old fashioned cut-and-paste job. It shows some behind the scenes footage of "Treme" and "Boardwalk Empire", plus other shows. Those are a LOT of productions going on at the same time, let's hope for our sakes, HBO doesn't chicken out on the one we want most!

  • Another nice catch, Wabbit.

    Interesting the blog said GoT will be following "three storylines." (Pentos / Winterfell / King's Landing? Can't forget the Wall. Starks / Lannisters / Targaryens? Can't forget the Baratheons. Nothing really adds up to three.)

    I doubt the blogger has any inside information that would lead her to saying three storylines.

  • AYH: No, not any inside info. Just the ability to check Wikipedia.

    A Song of Ice and Fire follows three principal storylines, divided by geography and participants. It is believed that the television series will follow the storyline of the books closely.

  • Heh!

    Well that's what you get by going with Wiki. How the Hell did they get only three?


    A few weeks ago, in the interest of keeping discussion going, I decided (wisely or not) to throw a loose script outline onto the boards over at Westeros. If you regularly read the boards over thar – please ignore. This is just a reprint.

    The idea is to see how many folks here agree on what would make a watchable Episode Two.

    Going on the assumption that Game of Thrones will be picked up, I have picked through my dog-eared copy of A Game of Thrones (U.S. softcover) and put together, in loose screenplay format, the scenes I believe are in the running to appear in Episode Two.

    I've described them only in brief and left out 99% of the dialogue, but you probably get the picture. I have approximated how many pages each scene might take (the industry standard is a page per minute, so we're looking for around 60 pages of script), and I made note at the end of each scene. Obviously I'm going on the assumption that portions of the book's dialogue will be left on the cutting room floor. (Hey, me personally — I would watch ten pages of nothing-but-Ned talking to Robert on a hill, but I'm not sure most HBO execs would find it too thrilling.)

    From A Game of Thrones I chose seven chapters that encompass pages 86 to 98, and then pages 109 to 159 (the Daenerys scene from pages 99 to 108 was seen in the leaked script for Episode One). My early approximation right now is at 58 pages of script for Episode Two. Obviously this is only a preliminary thing, and open for discussion. I'm only correct 92% of the time.

    So without further ado, here's what I have guestimated:




    Tyrion Lannister puts a book aside and wakes his sleeping servant as dawn breaks. Tyrion himself couldn’t sleep because of the wolves howling outside his window all night long, and instead spent his time sorting through Winterfell’s various tomes. Tyrion leaves. [1 page]


    Tyrion encounters Prince Joffrey and The Hound. After hearing more than a few snide comments about Bran “dying quietly,” Tyrion slaps Joffrey and admonishes him. Joff runs off. The Hound implies a bad end for Tyrion if he treats the future king poorly. [2 pages]


    Tyrion joins Ser Jaime, Queen Cersei, Princess Myrcella, and Prince Tommen for breakfast. They discuss Bran’s injury, and the fact that he is still alive; it is clear Tyrion does not know the details of the past day’s events (or his brother and sister's direct involvement), but he seems suspicious of something. [3 pages]


    Jon Snow enters to say his goodbyes to Bran; he is leaving today to make his journey to the Wall. Lady Catelyn Stark is with Bran, dead-eyed with grief. “It should have been you,” she tells Jon. [2 pages]


    Jon encounters Robb Stark amidst the hustle and bustle of leaving. They say their goodbyes; Robb says Benjen is waiting, but Jon has one more goodbye to make. [1 page]


    Arya is having a packing disaster, and Nymeria’s “help” isn’t helping. Jon gives his favorite sister a parting gift: Needle. “Stick them with the pointy end.” [2 pages]


    Lord Eddard Stark is awakened by King Robert Baratheon; the king desires to speak in private with him, and wants to ride. [Half page]


    Ned and Robert outdistance their guards, coming to a halt on a hill far off the kingsroad. They talk of fond memories growing up in the care of Jon Arryn, and Robert speaks of his wish to simply ride away and forget his responsibilities. The subject of Jon Snow’s parentage comes up and Ned immediately halts that line of conversation. They argue about Robert ordering the death of Daenerys Targaryen, and about Robert making Jaime Lannister the Warden of the East. Ned is vocal about his distrust of the Lannisters. [Possible flashback inserts: “Promise me, Ned,” and Eddard encountering Jaime sitting on the throne] [6 pages]


    Benjen Stark remains aloof and unwelcoming to Tyrion as the Wall-bound party stops outside a holdfast. Introduction of YOREN and the two rapers he’s bringing to the Wall. Tyrion notes Jon’s ill look once the boy realizes these criminals will soon be his “brothers.” [1.5 pages]


    [Possible flashback beginning: Tyrion first discovering the massive dragon skulls at Kings Landing.]

    Tyrion is tucked within the roots of a tree outside the camp, reading a book about dragons. Jon walks up with Ghost in tow, and they talk. Tyrion mocks the “nobility” of service on the Wall; he reaches to pat Jon in apology, and Ghost nearly attacks him. It’s soon forgotten amidst quietly-placed barbs. It’s clear the two get along relatively well. [5.5 pages]


    Catelyn continues to sit with her unconscious son. Maester Luwin tries to rouse her with talks of everyday business but she will have none of it; even the appearance of Robb does nothing. Catelyn finally stirs when Robb notices the glow of a fire in the distant stables. Robb and Luwin rush out. Moments later a KNIFE-WIELDING MAN enters, clearly intent on killing Bran. “You weren’t s’posed to be here,” he mutters to Catelyn. He comes at her; Catelyn is able to fight him off until Bran’s wolf charges through the door and kills the would-be assassin. [5 pages]


    Catelyn awakes to discover she’d slept for four days. She is much more lucid now, however. Maester Luwin, Robb, Ser Roderick Cassel, and Theon Greyjoy visit, discussing the attempt on Bran’s life. The assassin wielded too fine a blade; Catelyn suspects the Lannisters are behind the attempt. Catelyn determines she and Ser Roderick will take a ship to Kings Landing in order to show the knife to Eddard. [3.5 pages]


    Sansa picks at her breakfast fare, feeding her wolf Lady scraps beneath the table. Septa Mordane reminds her they are invited to travel in Queen Cersei’s wheelhouse today, and tells her to go make sure Arya is dressed for it. Sansa leaves. [1 page]


    Sansa moves through the camps set outside the inn, looking for her sister. The sprawl of tents and wagons is impressive, and the queen’s wheelhouse, in the distance, is massive. [Half page]


    Sansa arrives at the riverbank, none too pleased by the sight of muddy Arya trying to brush mud from the pelt of her wolf Nymeria. Nymeria uses the opportunity to wriggle free of Arya and escape. In typical fashion, the sisters argue; Arya refuses to travel in the queen’s boring wheelhouse. Arya runs off to chase after her wolf. Sansa leaves, furious. [3 pages]


    Sansa notices a crowd has gathered outside the queen’s wheelhouse, and wanders over. Introduction of RENLY BARATHEON, SER BARRISTAN SELMY, and SER ILYN PAYNE, all come to give a proper escort to King’s Landing. Ilyn Payne frightens Sansa, as does an appearance by the Hound, but soon Joffrey is there, supporting her gallantly. Sansa summons her courage and identifies Renly and Barristan, showing her knowledge. Queen Cersei suggests to Joffrey he should take her riding; Sansa happily leaves with her noble prince. [4.5 pages]


    TRAVEL MONTAGE: Sansa and Joffrey ride horses through fields and lightly-forested woodlands.

    Sansa and Joffrey pause while cresting a hill on their horses. They both hear the sounds of wood hitting wood, somewhere down near the river. Sansa is suddenly nervous, but Joffrey wants to investigate, so they ride toward it. [1.5 pages]


    [Possible flashback beginning: Robert fighting Rhaegar in the waters of the Trident. Rhaegar falls, Robert’s hammer descends, crashing into his chest. Rubies and blood join the rushing waters… ]

    Arya is practicing fighting with wooden swords, dueling with MICAH the butcher’s boy on the banks of the Trident when Sansa and Joffrey arrive. Joff mocks Mycah, who is older and larger than Arya, and challenges him to fight someone with a real sword, drawing his blade “Lion’s Tooth.” Mycah, clearly frightened, refuses. Joff cuts him on the cheek — and then Arya hits Joffrey over the head with her sword. When Joffrey spins to attack her in a fury, Nymeria savages his arm, dragging Joffrey to the ground. Arya calls Nymeria off while Sansa screams at her. Arya, still enraged, picks up Lion’s Tooth and hurls it into the river. Mycah is already gone, so Arya runs off. Sansa tries to help Joffrey up, but he jerks away from her in contempt. [5 pages]


    Eddard Stark is notified that after a two-day search, his daughter Arya has been found by Jory Cassel. [Half page]


    Eddard strides across the courtyard calling to his men. We get an idea this is a strange new place (Darry-liveried guards, etc.), and tension is in the air. [Half page]


    Eddard enters. King Robert is there, as well as Queen Cersei, Prince Joffrey, and Renly Baratheon. JORY CASSEL is here, standing with Arya and Sansa. Arya runs to her father. She’s filthy and crying. The events are retold by her, but Joffrey calls her a liar, as his version of the events are quite different. Sansa is asked which is the truth but she says she can’t remember. Arya is furious with her. Cersei demands the pelt of Nymeria as payment for her son’s scarring, and Robert acquiesces, but Nymeria has not yet been found. Cersei instead demands the pelt of Sansa’s wolf Lady. Ned is forced by Robert to comply. Cersei calls for Ilyn Payne, but Ned insists he will do it himself. [6 pages]


    Ned executes Lady with Ice. He tells Jory to have Lady’s corpse delivered to Winterfell. [1 page]


    Ned encounters Lannister riders in the yard. With them is the Hound, who has a bloody bag slung over his horse. It’s opened, but within is not the corpse of Nymeria, as Ned feared — it’s Mycah. The butcher's boy as been cleaved in two. “You rode him down,” Ned accuses the Hound. The Hound laughs and replies, “He ran. But not very fast.” [1.5 pages]



  • AYH: Interesting. Should make for some good discussion. You mind if I make a new post with your speculative script?

  • Excellent AYH.

    I would add just two things to it.

    I bet there will be a couple of new-written Dany scenes in there. (probably her first Dothraki days till the first "dragon dream")

    And another is my humble idea: An end to episode with Brans flight with a crow, and : "His name is Summer".

  • About Yea High…

    Let me just clarify this. GRRM said when he came to Portugal last year that the story had three main arcs, hence, it was originally planed for three books. Then it was six. Most of those you described fit into a main storyline (for example, one of the main ones was the feud between the Lannisters and the Starks, but we all know that feud transcends it and it's more about the fight for the control of Westeroos).

  • Wabbit: I bet you're right. There will probably be a scene or two added. We still have 2 pages to play with to get to 60, unless we cut something. Adding the Bran dream / wakeup scene at the very end would probably fit. End it with "His name is Summer."

    One of the things that struck me during an older conversation was the fact that the leaked pilot script encompassed 95 pages of an 807-page book, and was even able to add some additional scenes. So if we take the book-to-script example verbatim, we'd be looking at a 9-episode series. And it's not going to be nine episodes – multiple sources have told us we're looking at 12.

    So while extended bouts of dialogue would still likely be shaved down, there still needs to be something. So I'm betting on more Jaime and Cersei scenes, as well as more stuff for Daenerys.

    If the production is looking to save money, they can drop the Darry Holdfast location and just keep the Arya/Ned reunion / Lady's execution at the Crossroads Inn. I always found it a little odd that they had all left the area Arya had last been seen anyway.

    David: I'm still struggling to see how it's three arcs in its present form. One book does not represent one arc. Unless we can loosely say the big picture is:

    1. Starks vs. Lannisters
    2. The invasion of the Others
    3. The return of the Targaryens (Dany / dragons)

    But that still forgets:

    4. The Ironmen's Rebellion
    5. Melisandre's influence (Rh'llor)

    And probably others.

    I think I prefer it in its current 7-book format.

  • Couple of things.

    There was an added scene between Cersei and Catelyn that was used as one of the Cersei casting sides (Cersei talking to Cat in Bran's bedchamber about a child of Robert's that she lost – remember the outcry?). That would, I assume, need to be added somewhere.

    The three arcs to me were always:

    * The Game of Thrones – everything that happens in Westeros, involving Ned, Catelyn, Robb, Sansa, Arya, Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion et al

    * The Battle against the Great Other – everything that happens beyond the Wall, involving Jon, Sam, the Night's Watch and the wildlings

    * The Rise of the Last Dragon – everything that happens in the east, involving Dany, Jorah, Drogo, Barristan, Strong Belwas, Mirri Maz Duur and the Dothraki.

    Some characters move between the various arcs a little, but for the most part, those are the three storylines. The Ironborn Rebellion would be part of TGoT. Melisandre and Stannis would start as part of TGoT and move into TBatGO. Tyrion's story will go from TGoT to TRotLD.

  • Silverstar, do you remember how many pages that additional scene between Cersei and Catelyn was? It should be added.

    Most of what I did was just direct transcription from the book chapters. We can play around with it as needed; I doubt they will keep every scene sacrosanct.

  • No clue. I just remember it existing. You could do a search over on Westeros and see if whoever downloaded it put a page number on there?

  • About Yea High, GRRM said so when he was here last year and the story is exactly the same we had there…


    And, for example, the Others are lifeless "zombies" created by the "dark" god (can't remember the name), same way Catelyn and lord Beric (I think those were the names, read it long ago) are "zombies" created by the god of light (Rh'lor or whatever). Notice how them both behave a bit, not like rational beings, but as "things" reacting to big emotional events (Beric, the betrayal and Catelyn the death of her sons/daughters).

    If you nitpick, sure, there are lots of small threads, but there are clearly three main "stories".

    And just to clarify, a post I made right after the interview, july 2nd 2008:

    "Lots of comparison between him and Tolkien, the why of fantasy in the middle of normal historical fiction, the reason for the initial 3 book plan (that then became 6 and 7), since there were 3 main "plots", the stark-lannister feud, the Others and stuff beyond the wall, and Dany with her dragons."

    his words, mostly.

  • it is interesting to read above comments. as now got is megahit(megamegamega) on hbo. cool stuff, scripting abt episode 2. nice and funny(@present). good work wicnet