Harry Lloyd confident Thrones will get green light

We have yet another interview with Harry Lloyd, this one from Wonderland magazine. In the interview, Lloyd talks Game of Thrones and it’s chances at aseries pick up.

…in March the execs at the American HBO company will decide whether or not to give the green light to Game of Thrones, which is based on George R. R. Martin’s mythical A Song of Ice and Fire novel series – something Harry Lloyd is quietly confident will happen. “It’s not a case of people throwing money into some kind of blockbuster with a rubbish script – it’s really gritty and character-driven and complicated with struggle for power in this kind of Middle Earth land with less magic and more backstabbing. It’s a size of film set I hadn’t been on, and it’s great there are people who can afford to tell this story on the scale that it deserves. And as it’s made by HBO, the people making it have a lot more control because it is a cable channel and not a huge corporation.”

Winter Is Coming: Lloyd’s publicist has been working overtime these past couple months. Lloyd really has done a great job talking up the series and it’s great to hear his thoughts on the reason he finds the story so compelling.

[Thanks to The Rabbit for the link!]


  • I love hearing Lloyd's take on the series, and how proud he is to be involved. I'm excited to see him in action!

  • $10 says HBO has already made their decision and it's a foregone conclusion at this point. Still, great praise from one of its central villains!


  • Wow I'd really disagree about ASOIAF having less magic than Tolkien. MUCH the opposite, and the magic is only going to be *more* pervasive in the next few books. In fact it's one of the rare few things I don't like about ASOIAF.

    On the other hand, awesome rumor!

    • Realy?
      Hobbits, Elfs, dead warriors, giant friendly eagles, Orks, Nazgul, Balrog, wizards, talking trees, invisibility ring?

    • When ASOFAI has magic it's a doozy. In Game of Thrones there's a tease at the beginning and a whopper at the end

  • I guess if there were good reasons NOT to go foward with this project, they would have already decided not to by now?

  • Oh man, I want to see the pilot allready!

    if the series won't get the green light, then HBO will release the pilot?

  • It’s only a matter of time till we get the greenlight confirmation, I’m sure. Or I hope xD

    Btw, you might wanna change that tiny picture to something more lightweight, it took a good while to load those 10Mb with my connection.

  • If he's only read the first book, I'd say the assessment is spot on. No wizards, no balrogs, no magic rings. When I first read it I looked at it as more science fiction than fantasy: Alien race beyond the wall, dragon eggs that have to be exposed to extreme heat in order to develop and hatch, long winters caused by highly elliptic orbit and so on. Maybe this was because I started reading Martin back in the 70s when he was one of the leading masters of science fiction but I've always seen the series as much less fantasy than most fantasy. It's still pretty much the only high fantasy I can enjoy.

  • As I've stated numerous times in the past, relax. Winter will be coming to HBO. Its not a matter of if as far as I am concerned, but when. The series and the particular network involved with airing it are just too perfect of a combo for this not to happen. Still, official announcement should would be cool.

    One of the best things I've seen that tell me AGoT will not only be picked up, but be great is the fact that from what I have seen, all the people associated with the show (actors and suits alike) really seem to "get it". From Harry to Esme to D&D to Michael Lombardo all seem to understand the guts of the series. It also seems they want to keep the story as tamper-free as possible.

    Great Story + Great Cable Netowrk + Visionary Collaborators = Big Hit!!!
    Call it the Lord Ned's Headian Equation if you like but whatever you call it, it is known!!!!

  • And what is next?

    Someone (but I do not remeber who) said it would be some 30 weeks of shooting, and that they would start in june/july?
    Was it a pure speculation by us – crazy fans or the source was more reliable?
    That leave only three months for prepare things, casting and so on.

  • Lloyd plays Vicerys right? He seems really hyped about the product considering *SPOILER* how few episodes his character will be in. Maybe you're right about his publicist going nuts with this to boost his exposure.

      • From what I've seen of Lloyd ( very litte, mind you ) he seems like he is incredibly talented, and I'm anxious to see him as Viserys. I'm thinking he's going to nail the part! If he does, I agree that it will be a bit disappointing that he's *SPOILER* not going to last through the entire first season. That we wont get to see more of him.

        I agree that I think he could have made a very good Theon as well, perhaps more of what I had in mind for Theon. But I also think that Viserys is one of those roles that needs a highly talented actor to really do it justice, so I dont know that, even with his limited screen time, he will be "wasted".

        That being said, with Lloyd on borad, I almost wish GRRM hadnt written him out so soon ^^

  • Always good to hear.

    He's wrong about HBO not being a huge company, though; it's a subsidiary of Time/Warner. Whatever the case, they have their own way of doing things that works incredibly well and because of the way the company makes its money and that it's a pay channel, they aren't as beholden to the kinds of limitations or censorship that other kinds of TV channels have to deal with.

  • Hey guys! I hope I have some news here. I was just watching HBO and saw a teaser for Treme. Basically it was a male singing (sounded like some type of african song) and a couple of shots of a piano.
    While not stricly GoT related, the news (if it is news) might help get a further target as to when we can expect the Thrones pilot.
    I've also been seeing things for The Pacific but I think they have already been mentioned.

  • I agree about the series being a sure pick up.

    Just wondering… When the casting for the rest of the season start, can we expect more teasing by GRRM?

  • Not really Thrones related but the Hurt Locker's director is now developing a pilot for HBO. It's too bad I was hoping they could nab her for a few episodes of Game of Thrones. Who knows maybe they still can.

  • Not on-topic, but I wanted to re-big-up Donald Sumpter's role in BEING HUMAN. He had a big revelatory backstory scene in last night's episode and was brilliant in it, bringing real pathos and understanding to what had previously been merely a black hat villain. Very impressed, and can't wait to see him as Maester Luwin :-)

  • He may be chatting up the project in the hopes of winning new fans. I certainly don’t usually follow actors, but based on the bits here and there, he seems like a nice guy with good taste and judgement.

    And remember there are no small parts, only small actors. With all of the characters who die in the books, all of them are given lives and deaths that matter to the plot. Who cares if you get killed in act one so long as everyone thought your performance was so brilliant and your character so pivotal that they keep talking about you for years later? Because that’s possibly what will happen with actors in ASOIF.

  • Great work WiC and cie!
    I stay away from the computer for one long week-end and I come back to 3 new posts and lots of speculation and comments! This blog will never slow down while we wait, mark my word!

    In my opinion, people read too much into the bits we get here and there from the cast or other people involved. I think we are still waiting for official green light, although some preparations may be underway in case the series gets picked up. I'm not being pessimist… I just don't like to get my hopes up and get them crushed after.

    The Friday post on whether or not GoT would become a hit got me thinking. This blog has already provided lots of suggestion for ways to encourage viewership of the first season (early re-runs, selling the first episode on DVD/Internet before season start, picking the right night/time for airing, etc.)

    I say we could do more to boost the viewership of the first episode and season and insure a second season order.

    We could spread the word in other blogs, like one commenter already mentioned she's doing, but do it in mass. We could put our heads together to find the perfect tag line that would sell it to general public who aren't so fond of fantasy… who knows? Maybe D&D would use some of our tag lines in their trailers… Of course, "Winter is Coming" is already spreading a nice one :)

    let's do some brainstorming while we wait and do somthing more useful than (although fun) speculation!

  • Nymeria, the suggestions provided by this blog as you say are exactly what HBO already does with its shows because HBO MUCH SMART. As for spreading the word to other blogs, I did just that at a Christian Bible Study blog and they pitied me, or so they said, and I hate that. So I stopped. But I do have my eye on a terminal cancer support group blog. I believe they need to watch this show before they die (not literally). I have yet to post there.

    I think we should start discussing how Gillan Anderson would be an asset to the show were it greenlit. Also we should discuss how Esme Whatever will be official adopted by Martin as the GoT mascot.

  • I posted this before, but I'll say it again: the reaction was not positive to the screening. Their back editing, trying to make it work.

  • I should probably elaborate since I'm sure I'll be attacked, but HBO just wasn't as positive as they thought they would be. That doesn't mean it won't receive the light, but the show is so expensive that it just doesn't bode well. I am told that Sean Bean is terrific, though.

  • Michael
    All you are doing is getting this rabble all roused up. The less I have to read their predictable, drooling comments, the better. So please stop. No one cares if the show doesn't get green lighted. We're just here from the gang bang.

  • Michael
    If you don't provide a source your comments are just seen as inflamitory and therefore not needed. So if you want to be taken seriously give a reliable source and this wont happen.

  • "Giving a source" is certainly not what I intend to do. I am simply here because of love for both the books and the potential series. I just happen to know certain information about the pilot and I thought the fans, who always seem appreciative of new information, would be elated that someone was actually telling the truth. But, alas, it seems… not.

  • Michael,
    Regardless of whether it's true or not, you must realize its pretty ridiculous to come onto a message board and suggest vague news alluding to what everyone here would be dreading to hear, citing "a source." Then to follow that up with some weird guilt manipulation when someone calls you out for it. Most of us have been on the internets long enough to naturally translate "i heard from a source" => "I don't know how else to get the attention I crave, so I made something dumb up." You may be telling the truth, but just sayin'.

  • Coming back to share more information should tell you I'm not starved for attention.

    Feyrband — I love Thrones and Storms, but was a bit lukewarm on Clash and Feast.

  • I'm inclined to believe Michael's word that some things weren't seen as perfect by the powers-that-be. I would even hazard a guess that they may have been caught up in some of the early buzz themselves, expecting the moon. I've dealt with enough (not many, granted, but enough) parent company suits to know that they usually overplay their enthusiasm before seeing something and then overplay their worries once it's actually out there for others to opine upon.

    Par for course, really. And with a cast this big, and effects that need to be just so to be believable…

    I would not be surprised if they they requested this tweak or that. And I don't think a few nay-sayers or hand-wringers will kill the project. This has potential HUGE windfall for them, and they've already spent a good chunk of money on it. If something were considered a "problem," they would likely pay to fix it rather than scrap the entire thing.

    Michael, do you know if there were issues with the script–the fact that the story is ongoing rather than tucked into neatly wrapped little episodes–or was it the performance of certain people, the visual effects, or what?

    • Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted a few changes as well. (FWIW, Michael's IP address is in the LA-area, if that lends any more credibility to his statements.) Any more info you could give us Michael?

      Still I don't think their less-than-ecstatic reaction to the pilot means they aren't going to pick up the series. Just means that they want it to be perfect before they go ahead with it.

  • Consulting my own sources suggests that whilst Michael's comments that the pilot may not be 100% perfect (and no pilot ever is) and some elements may need further work might be correct – I'd be surprised if this was not the case – the overall vibe and enthusiasm for the project remains quite high at HBO.

    From existing sources, we also know that HBO threw together some rough cut scenes and sequences a month or more ago for various purposes (such as screening material for the CONAN producers as a professional courtesy as they wanted to see Jason Momoa in action as Drogo) before the full screening of the pilot took place in late January/early February. We also know that post-production and effects work on the pilot remains ongoing. So the process of working on the pilot is an ongoing process of refining and re-editing, which may be what Michael's source is commenting on rather than the "Argh! The pilot is duff! Re-edit it!" approach.

    The only other sliver of information I can give out is that peope might want to look towards the first half of March rather than the end for an announcement one way or the other on the project, but that is not set in stone.

    For pilot comparison purposes I suggest checking out TRUE BLOOD's original pilot, which was not that great before it was reshot as part of the first season proper. THE WIRE, ROME, and DEADWOOD are also not best served by their respective pilots either (THE WIRE's improves immensely on a re-watch though), whilst, as an extreme case, it's hard today to watch ST:TNG's 'Encounter at Farpoint' or BABYLON 5's 'The Gathering' (or BUFFY's 'Welcome to the Hellmouth') and imagine them spawning multi-billion-dollar franchises. I have a hard time imagining that the GoT pilot is comparable in quality to any of the above's given the source material.

    Also, although LOST's pilot episode was pretty good, the execs at ABC had panic attacks at its cost and the quality of the material in the dailies and were so convinced it was going to bomb that they fired the guy who commissioned the show in the first place. Then it aired and got 25 million viewers, leaving ABC feeling a bit stupid. So these situations in the TV business are fairly commonplace and shouldn't be the cause for concern.

    I am hoping that GoT does overcome the slight problem a lot of HBO shows have had with their first episode or two being a bit pony and having to wait several episodes for them to start gelling together (it's not until Episode 4 that a lot of people 'get' THE WIRE, for example, or until about Episode 5 of TRUE BLOOD for the same).

  • Well thanks to Michael, About Yea High, WiC and Adam W for these enlightments.

    Interesting, I didn't know you had a foot in the industry. Early March sounds awesome!

    I get what you are saying. I was one of the first to "attack" you the first time around…. if by "attack" you mean my asking you to give us a hint about your source if you want to be taken seriously.

    Of course, you can't "name" your sources, and we don't expect you to if those are compromising, as you need to protect your ass first of all. But you must understand that you can't just post something like that on a blog with no clue whatsoever as to why we should believe you supporting your statement. Other people have posted information here without revealing themselves completely but managed to gain our trust with hints as to where they work or how they heard their news.
    There is also the fact that we are naturally suspicious of non-regular posters who could just happen to be messing with us.

    Anyway, now that you insist, although we still don't know much about you, I am willing to believe you, and would welcome any more information you are willing to share with us.

  • You have to understand (in reference to the Lost comment) that ABC is a massive network. HBO is a bit smaller. A show like Game of Thrones is a risk, especially because of the cost.

    One of the problems is also the cast: how do they execute it? And well? You're dealing with sprawling locations, a massive cast and by the end of the first season, story lines that aren't wrapped until the third. In many cases, not even. It's an issue.

    Oh, and if people wish for me to stop commenting, I will. I'm a huge fan of the series and I love this site, so…

    • All shows on HBO have high production values and a MASSIVE budget. Why should the risk on this show be any different from that of Rome, Carnivale, True Blood, The Sopranos, Band of Brothers, etc… HBO has a cinematic approach to how they present their series. Certainly, when it comes to the subject matter, movies about medieval warfare and intrigue (and specifically those in a fantasy setting) have as proven a track record as movies about ancient Rome, traveling circuses, and vampires. Ever heard of The Lord of the Rings or Braveheart, how about Monty Python and the Holy Grail or the Seventh Seal? GoT has elements of all of those films in it. Just up the dial on Showtime you've got The Tudors entering it's third season, and Avatar (which in my opinion is more accurately described as fantasy rather than SciFi) is the largest grossing film of all time.

      Also, using the books as the presumed template for the screenplay and given this is a series and not a movie, as well as the massive success of Lost (which is notorious for its cliffhanger endings as well as never really wrapping up a single story-line) I'd say the Song of Ice and Fire books were tailor made for this genre. Especially given its built in audience from the books. I imagine anyone who has read the entire series will likely be subscribing to HBO specifically for this series if they pick it up. I know that I, for one, would.

      So keep commenting all you like. For all we know you may well be connected to HBO or the series in some way, but unless the pilot was absolutely horrendous, your arguments and reasoning behind them not picking it up just don't ring true.

  • @ Nymeria: I don't really, but I know some other bloggers and people who do have contacts etc in the industry, so the info I get tends to be 2nd or 3rd hand but still pretty reliable.

    @ Michael: Agreed on the ABC/HBO difference, although the amount of money spent on LOST's pilot may be comparable to what was spent on GoT's.

    A lot of the issues you raise have been seen in other HBO shows, such as THE WIRE, ROME, DEADWOOD etc, which were all very heavily serialised. The principal storyline begun in the first episode of THE WIRE, for example, is not resolved until the final episode of Season 3, and in the process other stories are begun in Seasons 2 and 3 that are not resolved until the end of Season 5. Structurally, GoT should not be new or problematic territory for HBO, and Season 1 does have the (somewhat) self-contained arcs of Ned's investigation of Jon Arryn's murder and Tyrion's captivity which are resolved at the end of the season, even if they are part of a much larger storyline.

  • Wow. I had not idea this site existed until today. While I'd love to see AGoT get picked up, I have had my doubts. This is a massive story, and even if it does (hopefully) receive the go-ahead, will it be renewed from season-to-season? I am not sure the profits will meet whatever they need to be when compared to the expense of the project.

    However, I was surprised they gave the nod to the pilot. I'm just not sure they realized at the time all that was going to be entailed in the venture, considering what Michael said about sprawling locations and a massive cast. I'm not quite sure about what the cast execution comment means, though. But overall, what Michael seems to be saying is that it's not really a problem with the pilot, but what will be entailed to keep the series going.

    I think they read the pilot and liked it. I don't think they read the books until after giving the nod to film the pilot. It's going to be disappointing, but I will be greatly surprised if we get to see the story in its entirety for a long time. But I do want to see it.

    I suppose the big question is whether HBO is going to take the gamble, cas it really is a big one. Spending millions on a pilot without continuing onward may seem absurd, but it's even more absurd to continue spending millions at a loss.

  • "I don't think they read the books until after giving the nod to film the pilot."

    That's extremely unlikely. Having worked in that world for many years, I know they wouldn't start making major commitments like that without having read the books. Most of the development executives I knew were extremely fast readers. It's hard to do that kind of job unless you are fast, and most of them love to read. It was one of the great banes of my own existence in the business that I read at about 1/2 to 1/3 the speed of everyone else – on average a script took me 1 1/2 hours to read, whereas most of my friends could do it in about 30 to 45 minutes flat. That makes a big difference when you go home in an evening with 8 scripts you're supposed to have read by the next morning…

    Anyway, most (but certainly not all) decisions of the magnitude of putting a show like this into production are done pretty rationally. They don't base it on just a pilot script if there is more source material to base it on. I'm not saying that sort of thing hasn't happened before, but it's not the norm. Also, most TV shows are sold only after a series "bible" has been put together which outlines the plot of at least the first season, usually with more brief descriptions of how the story arc is likely to unfold over successive seasons. From this, the executives can get a good idea of what sort of budget, production size they are looking at.