Alfie Allen Casting Filming Press

Quick hits: Interviews, articles and an audition

Let’s take a quick trip ’round the web for some Game of Thrones news and notes, shall we?

To start with here is a short video interview with Alfie Allen over at ITN. Alfie talks briefly about his role on Thrones and reveals that he has to “do an accent” for the role. At first, I figured he was just referring to the RP affectation that all the noble characters are said to be adopting, however when the interviewer asked for more details Allen said he couldn’t talk about it. So maybe he is doing a slightly different accent than the rest of the nobles to indicate he is from the Iron Islands?

Second is this interview with Dothraki creator David J. Peterson over at the GeekDad blog on Peterson talks about many familiar topics, such as his inspiration for the language, his process of creation and how he was selected by HBO. He does however gives us a new Dothraki phrase and provides this tidbit about his involvement with the on-going filming:

As for the actors, they get a ton of material (including phonetic pronunciation guides and .mp3’s of me speaking all the lines), and are in good hands on set (I’ve been in communication with the dialogue coach there, Brendan Gunn, who’s done a lot of great work in the past). I’d love to be on set, but I haven’t found the time to jaunt on over to Belfast just yet… I’d love to see Malta, though.

Next up is an article over at Big Think that talks about the hype surrounding Game of Thrones and takes a look “inside the relationship between modern fan culture and entertainment marketing.” The article is a good read and contains some interesting analysis of not only the show’s potential but also the books themselves and the long wait for A Dance with Dragons.

Lastly, for those who may have missed it earlier in the week, Joseph Campo is back with part three of Get Joe on the Show. In this week’s episode, Joe tells us that his next video will be the audition itself and gives us a little taste of what’s to come. He also manages to work in a WiC mention!


  • Michael T: A Dance of Dragons?    

    Yeah, GRRM changed the name of the novel so when it comes out and people google it they don’t see a lot of negative articles.

    I kid, I kid. It’s fixed now.

    educatedpony, agreed, he has an air about him that seems very Theon-like to me. Looks wise he’ll never match what I had in my head (although the longer hair gets him closer) but I’m excited to see him in the role.

  • I never liked Theon, so I don’t really care what he looks like. Allen looks like he can play a bitchy rich kid, and that’s good enough for me.

    Loved Joe’s new video. It’s probably a lot more entertaining than any of the auditions from the name actors they have on board.

  • educatedpony,

    I agree completely. He wasn’t what I was expecting for Theon, but I’m definitely seeing it now. Can’t wait to see him. The accent news is interesting. I really want to know what that means. Giving the Iron Islanders a distinct accent is a neat idea.

  • He’s doing an Irish accent in GOT – southern Irish. He has Irish relatives and spent a lot of time in ireland when he was younger so he pulls off a convincing one.

  • deep_sea,

    But how do you know for sure it’s Irish he’s doing for GOT? I would like Irish if he can do it well. The Iron Islands and their rebelliousness is a good parallel to Ireland.

  • Wasn’t Theon like 10 when he left the Iron Isles? Anyone wanna comment on this in relation to the accent thing?

  • Yeah he was but isn’t he like only 19-ish in the series? He could still have an accent at that point, especially if he made it a point to hold onto it as some people do.

  • Yeah i guess, and yes he was. Little use checking TOTH though. How old is he in the show?
    I wonder how all these age changes will effect the backstory. HBO better be on top of it.

  • Interesting news about the accent! (I like when Alfie says “I can’t talk about it…”. Oh, the secrecy!).

    I also like how he simply describes Theon as “Sean Bean’s ward”.

  • Oh, and I also like his longer hair. I guess (based on the teaser) that’s probably the look Theon will have in the show.

  • I didn’t think there was any news about a specific accent for any group. Alfie Allen certainly doesn’t mention what accent he’s learned.
    I was glad to see his video as I can now picture the horrible Theon much better. I really disliked him in the books – an arrogant teenage prat I thought – and seeing Alfie Allen I’m sure that’ll come across well!

  • I was never keen on the idea that everyone, no matter which part of Westeros they’re from, has a British accent. That’s not necessarily to say that I ever envisioned a GoT in which King’s Landing inhabitants had Irish accents and Winterfell folk were more British, etc, because these are not a people really tied to one location. Cat relocated from Riverrun to Winterfell, et cetera. But this is a vast continent which for ages was truly divided into seven kingdoms.

    I feel like they may be limiting their casting choices (have they cast anyone outside of Britain yet?) based upon some unrealistic notion that they’re all going to need to speak with similar accents. Needless to say, I’m pleased to hear that Theon will be putting on an Irish accent. Hopefully it’s something more of the actors choose to do as well.

  • “Have they cast outside Britain yet?”

    Excluding our Syrio and the rest of the Braavosi people I mean :D Obviously outside of Westeros they look for other nationalities.

    I just think that even for Westeros casting, they should be of the mindset that great talent can come from anywhere.

  • Ingemar Svensson: Am I the only one that loves the greyjoys?    

    Not by a long shot. One of my favorite chapters in the entire series in one of Theon’s. Specifically, his encounter with “Esgred.” The two of them have some of the greatest dialogue of any characters. Not just in that one chapter. I find in subsequent chapters with those two around I’m constantly smirking at how well-written they are.

    P.S. I truly don’t mean to spam up the boards here! I’ll go away for awhile now :)

  • Gah! Okay, okay. Point made, Lex and sjwenings!

    I could have written off Tyrion and Conan as “Well, they need a talented person of a very specific physical stature” and might have *had* to look elsewhere for them, but Jaime doesn’t require the same specificity. Interesting that we have Lannisters from at least 3 nations!

  • Zack,

    Many people consider the Lannisters to be the most American of the Westeros houses, so it isn’t surprising they are getting actors from everywhere.

  • Zack, not to pile on or anything but Sibel Kekilli is from Germany. And of course, Momoa is American, Dar Salim is Danish and Amrita Acharia is Norwegian. ;)

  • I like the idea of the people of Westeros having different accents, etc, but I think I’d either want them not to sound exactly like any real-world accent, or draw very closely from the culture. Despite it being an island nation, for example, I always felt like the Greyjoys were more of a dark-ages, anglo-saxon type of people, as one of their major cultural ideas is the kings-moot. For some reason I always pictured the Tullys having Irish accents.

  • WiC, I knew about those ones, but I feel like that’s not quite the same.

    I was merely speaking of people cast in Westeros. We’d expect HBO to broaden their search for actors in the Free Cities or across the Dothraki sea, because of the spread of other languages besides the Common Tongue in those places.

    Still, it’s a good point anyway. Maybe HBO’s logic is to keep all the people together in one continent with the same basic accent, as a way of differentiating the Westerosi from the Tyroshi or the Iron Islanders or those from Braavos or Asshai. So I’ll put aside fears of homogenization for now. They’ll cast a suitably ethnic Melisandre, I’m sure :)

    I still think it would be neat to hear some accents similar to Irish or Scottish in Westeros, though.

  • Alfie has always (since I knew who he was anyway) been a dead-on pick for Theon as far as I am concerned.

    Joe deserves to geta role. The guy is very talented, positive, persistent and seemingly willing to do whatever it takes to be a part of the project. I really don’t know if Mance is the role for him (though he sings the song really well), but if I were in charge of the project I would definately want to surround myself with as many Joe’s as possible.

  • I dunno. I’m still not too keen on Alfie as Theon. I hope he proves me wrong once the show begins, but he takes me as slightly anorexic, and very posh.

    He’s not the match for Robb, hunter, potential warrior, womanizer that Theon is suppose to be, in my little opinion.

    Again, here’s to hoping!

    Also, YAY Joseph Campo videos! lol

  • This comment is probably better posted in the fous group post below, but as later threads tend to peter out, I’ll post it here. If HBO execs are interested in knowing what the fans want to see (or not see) in GoT I believe I can sum it up in one sentence. CUT DON’T CHANGE. There. That’s as simply as I can put it. I think that most reasonable fans undertsand that due to budgetary issues and also to some extent jumping from one medium to another that there will be differences from book to boob tube. We understand that we won’t get every line or see every character. We are okay with Ser Vardis Egen standing in for Ser Brynden Tulley (well, except for maybe the die-hard Blackfish fans ;)). It might raise an inconsistency alert in our brains when we view it, but from a logical standpoint, we can accept the difference as a neccessary edit(evil ;)).
    What we do not want to see however, are wholesale changes to the script in order to “spruce” it up for the small screen. GoT has more than enough twists and turns to keep people interested. I don’t need to see Cat and Ser Rodrik have a dalience on the ship out of White Harbor to pass the time till King’s Landing because some suit somewhere thinks the episode might need a little more “oomph”.
    While this might sound dramatic, I point to Stars recent debacle of Pillars of the Earth as prime evidence that this can happen. Pillars spoilers follow so beware.Bigod torturing Prior Philip and poisoning several people. Incest between Lady Hamley and William. Lady Hamley murdering Lord Hamley. William Hamley murding Lady Hamley. Jack Jackson “dieing” and then coming back to life to do God’s work. Waleran Bigod Taking a nose dive off of the cathedral None of it was in the books and the addition of it to the show came off as a sophomoric attempt at shock value. The changes were so wholesale and infantile that I am surprised Ken Follet stayed attatched to the project.
    Fans can accept cutting things out. Some of us (myself included), are also very interested in seeing off the page events from the books that were cut due to length or PoV problems. New scenes like the reported whorehouse scene work as well because they enhance the original material without altering it. What we won’t be able to condone however, are wanton shifts in plot and sensationalism for the sake of the “wow” factor. If anyone from HBO is reading this, this is a very simple roadmap to keeping us happy. Cut don’t change. Make it your mantra!

  • On another note, I’m excited about Boardwalk Empire starting soon! True Blood in the Summer. Boardwalk Empire in the Fall. GoT in the Spring. Add something cool for the winter (or better yet shift GoT to winter for year 2 and add something to the spring) and HBO has a year long of must-see TV! Being subscription based, this yearly lineup could do alot to keep their base high while adding new subscription throughout the year.

  • Kelsey. I never really pictured Theon, or any of the Ironborn for that matter as lookers. Remeber, Theon is a Lord’s son and current ward of the lord in which he dwells. Dashing looks wouldn’t be neccessary to succeed as a womanizer for Theon.

  • Lord Ned’s Head,

    Nice insightful comments, ‘Head. On the mark as usual.

    Theon is one of my top three favorite ASoIaF characters, and that’s saying a lot (my top five would be Daenerys, Theon, Sansa, Tyrion, Arya–in that order). And I personally think Alfie Allen is an excellent choice. I think he will be able to channel a lot of personal stuff straight into Theon. (His father is a powerful figure, sister is far more popular, etc.) Theon just wants to bloody well prove himself–and I think Alfie does too.

    And his sneer is great; he’s got one of those mouths that you just want to punch. Admit it! The only thing left to test is his talent–and In Nina Gold We Trust.

    It’s interesting to me that, for many of the main roles, they seem to have gone against type. At least for the older characters. Sean Bean playing someone who does not wear his emotions on his sleeve; Lena Headey and Nicolaj Coster-Waldau playing antagonists; Peter Dinklage playing … well, Tyrion (there is no “type” like Tyrion–it’s the role of a lifetime). I think they would see these roles as challenges, and rise to it.

    And yet the younger cast members seem to fit right into their respective roles. Alfie as I mentioned. Kit has experience playing “emotional but quiet”–and believably connects with animals (even if they are man-made, like the “horse” he acted with in War Horse). The three Stark kids feel tailor-made too: Maisie (rambunctious and confident), Sophie (very pretty, dreamy, and perhaps a little naive), and Issac (optimistic and extremely likable). For them I think it will require less acting and more simply becoming the characters.

    So as far as the central cast goes … I remain extremely confident, even though we’ve seen the barest ounce of footage.

    Time will tell, of course.

  • Lord Ned’s Head, good points. I was enjoying Pillars at the beginning but afterall it didn’t click for me. I thought the budget was quite good, but with every episode they proved me I was wrong. Main reason is because it had mediocre writer (it was only written by one guy).

    And yeah, HBO is getting strong lineup. Boardwalk, GoT, Luck, Miraculous Year.
    Good stuff coming on.

  • Lord Ned’s Head,

    Great post, Ned. I just wanted to add to the topic of adaptation. I know changes have to be made and I am okay with that. Certain aspects of the books will be either glossed over or not included at all. I just don’t want HBO to do any crazy and outlandish changes –like if they have Bran walk after he wakes up from his fall…….so not following the books!

    I think one to the best examples of book to film (or tv) adaptations is the mini-series Lonesome Dove. The actors, the locations, the sets, the costumes and even all the horsemanship were all wonderful and very faithful to the story. There were some slight changes but for the most part, the mini-series stayed very true to the book. If HBO could come close to that type of adaptation with ASOIAF, I would be thrilled.

  • SteveThePirate2:
    Loved Joe’s new video.It’s probably a lot more entertaining than any of the auditions from the name actors they have on board.    

    Lord Ned’s Head: Joe deserves to geta role. The guy is very talented, positive, persistent and seemingly willing to do whatever it takes to be a part of the project. I really don’t know if Mance is the role for him (though he sings the song really well), but if I were in charge of the project I would definately want to surround myself with as many Joe’s as possible.    

    Kelsey Catherine Schmitz: Also, YAY Joseph Campo videos! lol    

    Lady and Gent and Pirate,

    Thanks so much! I’m giddy like Sansa after glance from the Knight of Flowers.


  • Zack: “Have they cast outside Britain yet?”Excluding our Syrio and the rest of the Braavosi people I mean Obviously outside of Westeros they look for other nationalities.
    I just think that even for Westeros casting, they should be of the mindset that great talent can come from anywhere.    

    I know people have touched on this already Zack, but I fully agree. And while they HAVE cast from many countries, I see what you’re saying, too. Hopefully they don’t limit the search for casting so long as the actors are able to perform; look at True Blood, for example. You’ve got Brits, Aussies, Canadians, Americans, Swedes, and God knows what else all being small town Louisiana residents…and it WORKS, because the actors do a great job. Fingers crossed that the same will continue to be said for GoT :)

  • Just stumbled upon another Ice and Fire: influenced band: SEVEN KINGDOMS from Florida. Check out the lyrics of Watchers On The Wall:

    Imprisoned for so long
    I forgot the light of day
    Until the man in black came for me
    He said he wanted me for the wall
    I gladly agreed
    To save my life and be free

    So now I will take the black
    For my freedom and honor
    I shall give my life
    Brothers now join in this watch
    We will walk on the Wall
    for the rest of our lives

    I’ll be one of the brave and few
    Speak this oath by old gods and new

    By the walls of Castle Black
    I swear to raise my sword
    and defend all of Westeros

    We are watchers on the Wall
    We are the brothers of the night
    We are the ravens in the snow
    We are the keepers of the light
    Night gathers, and our watch begins.

    Tonight the dead shall rise

    This night is colder than ever
    The Wall stands silently
    I smell a stench on the breeze
    A soft noise from behind
    I hear distant shuffling
    Something evil is coming for me

    It shall not end until my death.
    I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children.
    I shall wear no crowns and win no glory.
    I shall live and die at my post.

    I am the sword in the darkness.
    I am the watcher on the walls.
    I am the fire that burns against the cold,
    the light that brings the dawn,
    the horn that wakes the sleepers,
    the shield that guards the realms of men.
    I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch,
    for this night and all the nights to come.

    Check the Metal Archives for more lyrics.

    I know Metal is not everyone’s cup of tea, but some of you may dig this.

  • I don’t see what’s wrong with casting British. For one, Westeros has one Common Tongue and while they may be ‘dialect’ variations it sounds like they are pretty much ethnically homogeneous. So they need to have a common basis, like British English, even though they could vary a bit between Scottish, North England accents and Queen’s English. Secondly, having a lot of radically different accents would be confusing to the viewer, particularly for Americans who are not so used to hearing tons of accents on TV.

    Even so the series will probably offer enough bewildering accents to satisfy seekers of diversity (not to say a completely alien tongue, Dothraki, which I assume will be translated in subtitles).

  • I personally, have always seen the Iron Islands like the Vikings of Westeros.

    I would also like to see HBO expand in a few areas, cut other (not main story related). But like anything else I know that some things will change, and have to. Whenever you convert a book to TV/movies you are generally asking other artists to weigh in and interpret things – which means they will change. Maybe we’ll see more Cersei (I mean they are paying a lot for a name actress there), and see more about what drives her in series 1.

    That’s my 2c worth.

  • Crystal Sky,

    My reasoning is that Westeros is quite literally a “United Kingdom,” and when thinking about how best to translate that to film I can only compare it to our own world. Our UK is comprised of a number of areas with an underlying common tongue with nevertheless quite different dialects commonly found in each area and to attempt to mirror that in a TV world could only help with the realism. At the very least, even if they want to have most of the Westeros citizenry with British dialects, now that Theon is said to be affecting an Irish accent, it has to be noted that there are plenty of skilled Irish actors, popular in America even, who could fit in with him on the Iron Islands. Brendan Gleeson as Euron Crows-Eye?

    And to keep all of my replies contained within a single post…
    2-thanks for the support, Jake Stormoen! :)

    3-Lord Ned’s Head, that is a pretty good way of putting it. Undoubtedly material will need to be cut, and other material will be added in as needed. Direct translation is not feasible. Stuff that works in printed form (inner monologues, for example) may not be transferable to film, and they won’t have the time to cover every plot detail. When adding scenes, as long as it keeps true to the spirit of the story and characters, I’m fine with it. And like you, I’m also looking forward to Boardwalk Empire. Should be fantastic. I haven’t seen a single episode of True Blood, though. Maybe I’ll try the first season and see how I like it.

  • Zack,

    For Brendan Gleeson as Euron, though he is Irish, I just don’t see it as a possibility look wise. There are other Irish actors though, even Cillian Murphy could be a closer fit. Though probably just as hard to get.

  • Syleon,

    Isn’t Cillian Murphy a bit young for Euron? He’s only 10 years older than Alfie Allen, and for an uncle, I’m not sure that’s the best fit. Brendan Gleeson would be more the age I imagined.

    Not that I wouldn’t mind seeing Murphy, or Colin Farrell as others on the Islands, of course!

  • Fire And Blood,

    Wow. You may be the world’s only SoIaF fan who doesn’t include Tyrion in your top three. And beat by both Sansa and Theon? You’re truly a Maverick.

    I think I’m pretty standard. My favorites are Tyrion, Jon, Arya, Dany, and Bran in that order.

  • Actually, scratch that. I’m looking at fan art of Euron via Google and he looks pretty young. I could see Murphy pulling that look off.

  • Hi all, just got back from my costume fitting at the Paint Hall. This is the most secretive production I have worked on.And judging by the security,which starts 100m before the main gate and the serious warning of a law suit for any breach of contract,I would say HBO mean to keep it that way. I can tell you the massive Paint Hall site is full to capacity with temporary buildings,offices,workshops,trucks,vans,etc. And a hive of activity. There is also lots of used props and bits of sets,large and small,exotic and ordinary. As for my character all I can say is, he wouldn`t be fighting for any southern lord. And my costume, well it would certainly keep you warm if winter was coming and would protect your head,chest and shoulders if say, a sword or an arrow should happen to fall from above. The Winter Rose and others expressed a specific interest in the costumes, all I can say is when I read GRRM`s graphic descriptions I visualised them to be 90% historical and 10% fantastical. Sorry I cant be more descriptive but it is not worth the risk. Looking forward to my day on set this weekend and that Narnia moment when you step through a small wooden door, in full costume , and are transported from 21st centuary Belfast to a time long ago and far away.

  • Two Feathers, thanks for the report! And I understand about not wanting to be more specific. From what I hear HBO is taking the matter of leaks very seriously.

  • Isaac Moyer,

    Yep, me and John McCain. We’re mavericks. Mavericks!

    I judge “favorite” characters by how much I look forward to their PoV chapters. Dany’s chapters are the best, in my view, because not only are we watching her grow from a frightened young girl into a strong, savvy ruler, the chapters are also the most far-ranging; we get to see so much of the world outside of Westeros through her travels.

    With Sansa I get my Machiavellian fix; if it’s not Cersei’s many missteps, then it’s Litterfinger’s conniving. I also see the most growth in Sansa as a character, and am hedging my bets she will one day learn to turn to tables on those who would use or prey upon her.

    Theon is just straight-up asshole-awesome. There’s a little Lady Macbeth goin’ on in that dude, and his path entertained me the most.

    Tyrion is great, goes without saying. And Cat of the Canals may very well be GRRM’s best-written chapter ever. There’s my top five.

    I like Bran as a character, but find his chapters a little dull. I’m probably one of the few who do not get excited by the idea of “warging,” and the three-eyed crow dreams are just plain odd.

  • Speaking of having a wee problems in such great book, it is a litte hard.

    But if I have to choose what I find a little bit odd – it is the whole R’hllor & Mel stuff.
    I am not sure I can explain in a rational way, but the whole thing is irritating me a little bit.

  • About the Greyjoys, after watching Pillars of the Earth, I can’t see anybody but Ian McShane as Balon, Anatole Taubman as Aeron and Gotz Otto as Euron. Now if only there was a fitting Victarion…

    (BTW, nobody from POTE would make a good Asha in my opinion)

  • Fire And Blood,

    I’m with you. Bran seems like a good kid, but I always kind of dreaded his chapters. If I got to one I’d go to bed and read it the next morning. And what you say about Sansa rings true as well. I may not be a huge fan of her character, which led to me not really wanting to see her name at the top of a chapter, but eventually she’s our window into some of the more conniving ‘players’ and it really did make for fun reading.

    All this talk about favorite character chapters…has there been anyone you started out disliking/liking but as the series progressed your opinion has altered?

    For me that person would be Samwell. Started out kind of hating him for his constant stream of pessimism. But at this point I absolutely love his journey, especially that he can’t seem to get over his weight/cowardliness issues *mentally,* but in reality, he’s pretty damn awesome. He keeps referring to himself as spineless but he’s totally not. I hope we eventually get to see him accept himself for who he is and take some pride in his many accomplishments. Fear is universal. It isn’t how we feel inside, but our actions, that make us who we are. Did I just quote that Batman movie? Anyway. Samwell FTW.

    I’m not sure if there’s someone I started out liking but the story has made me turn away from them, though. Maybe Ned, with his utter foolishness?

  • Welcome back, Rabbit, hope you had a good vacation! I too have some misgivings regarding R’hllor and the red woman. R’hllor seems akin to the dark arts to me. think of that shadow creature. That can’t be good. What is disturbing is that of all the people praying to their various gods, Mel is the only one who gets any response. If there is a supernatural force on the dark side there should also be some force for good too. Maybe Arya will find it.

  • Zack,

    Maybe Bran actually. He started getting more interesting toward the end as he approached the Wall. And it definitely sets up a lot of interest going forward.

  • OldGran,

    The interesting part for me is, is R’hllor real? The magic is real obviously, but lots of people have magic (although Mel’s is better than most). I would like to know if R’hllor, the Seven, the Old Gods, any of them, are real in this world. I’m not sure if we’ll find out.

  • Josh Parker,

    One of the Greyjoy brothers absolutely must (in my opinion) be played by Christopher Eccleston. He could be convincing as any of them (but I think is too young for Balon, also the others are more interesting), I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t end up in the show! Would make a great Damphair.

  • pualo,

    Its been a while since I’ve read this comment, but I distinctly remember reading something to the effect that GRRM said that we would never see the Gods of his world (and I hope that this is true). Whether or not they exist and to what degree they exists is open for interpretation much like it is in our world today. R’hollr may indeed be guiding Mel’s hand, but from what I know we’ll never see him take a fiery chariot down to King’s Landing for a bowl of brown with a side of hot pie.

  • Euron is second oldest to Balon, so he must be in his early 40es. For some reason , I see Mads Mikkelsen as a perfect Euron. ( As compared to Valhalla rising, for example. )

  • Ula,

    Mikkelsen would rock as Euron, but he’s probably getting enough film work as to make this look like small potatoes to him.

    How about this: Ian McShane for Balon, Christopher Eccleston for Aeron, Gotz Otto for Euron and…I got nothing for Victarion.

  • McShane is okay, Eccleston almost perfect ( nice mix of good-looking and zealously mad, heheh ) … but I always imagined Euron much like Amok’s drawing. Tall, dark, evil and drop dead gorgeous :)

    Wait, I got it , Gerard Butler as Victarion :D

    Btw, this might look like small potatoes to Mr. Bean as well, ya know, but he’s still in it ;p

  • Ula,

    Yeah, as the star. A much smaller supporting role that will likely only appear in a handful of episodes isn’t going to attract the caliber of Gerard Butler.

    Gotz Otto is a very good looking man, but in a hard, don’t-fuck-with-me sort of way.

  • Fire And Blood,

    Yeah I’m not too interested in the warging, or the Reeds, whom everyone seems to love. The Bran journey is my least favorite of all the major POV storylines. I’d rather read a scene with Tyrion and Bronn sitting in a bar, and talking shit to each other, than a chapter full of Hodor-Hodor?-Hodor!

  • Two Feathers,

    Nice one Two Feathers!

    I know what you mean about security. We were given a very specific talking too on our first day about what HBO would do if they caught anyone leaking info. It’s just not worth the risk. It is amazing that this production has been ongoing for over a month now and has used several hundred extras yet no pics have been leaked.

    Enjoy your first day on set and maybe our paths will cross again in Westeros! A mate of mine is also on set tomorrow and Friday.

  • Oh yes…they are pretty successful in their hyper-security.
    Somehow it seems that they are in the midlle of high- security nuclear project, not the fiming of the fantasy – series :D
    It is amazing, but yet frustrating fo us.

    But, I guess, we must be patient, as always…

    You guys on the set, be careful, we are cheerful and greatful for every bit of news you bringing in, but the last thing I want is the hearing of you getting in trouble with HBO.

  • See, I do not quite understand their level of secrecy. Apart from releasing that tidbit preview, HBO seems to have spent a lot of effort fending off fandom rather than embracing it. I wouldn’t mind it so much if they had released 1-2 pictures at least (as Camelot did) but – nothing. I’m also trying to think what is so awfully wrong about letting some site photos leak. Such photos should help them as they would increase or at least maintain the excitement level. Or is HBO’s just a typical corporate reaction of secrecy?

  • Bear in mind that Camelot started filming a month earlier than GoT. They have a different timeline for their publicity; they had more material to show at TCA, for example, and so they did.

    Having spoken to some of the people involved in making such decisions, I think come a month or two from now, no one’s going to be concerned about HBO missing a beat. The high level of security plus the recent focus group we advertised and had reports from indicate to me that HBO is intensely aware of how valuable a really strong marketing push may be.

    The security means they’re going to be able to hit the ground running with fan anticipation (because, seriously, no one’s going to boycott a series airing in the Spring because you didn’t get some random stills in August — well, except maybe that one dude I saw complaining about the focus group :P) + images and so on which we won’t be able to go, “Yeah, it’s okay, but so-and-so leaked much better pictures four weeks ago.”

    HBO had 101 Emmy nominations this year. Almost more than #2 and #3 combined. 25 Emmy wins, again almost more than #2 and #3 combined. That’s a testament to great quality, yes, but anyone who knows the industry knows that marketing — selling these shows to an audience and critical community — is a part of it too. So … my advice is to trust them. They know what they’re doing.

  • Elio & Linda:

    Definitely not questioning the quality of HBO programming (except for True Blood hehe :)) or their traditional marketing techniques, which seem excellent.

    However, I hope I’m allowed to question that HBO ‘knows what they are doing’ at this stage in the game. This is by their own admittance the first time they had such pre-hype for a show, so they do not exactly have the experience on how to deal with it. Their response seems to have been a bit of a knee-jerk: keep the fans away! allow us to control the marketing! and I’m not sure it was the best / most money-wise solution. Such a level of security and policing costs (for instance, it sounds like they have people hired to scour the internet for extras leaking information!!). I would have rather had their money go elsewhere (getting great actors/directors etc) and given the fans some satisfaction.

    As re. photos, I still think letting some leak is harmless, precisely because once the official stills come in the ‘unofficial’ ones would be forgotten. I thoroughly doubt that leaked photos could possibly have the same quality as the official ones!! Not to say, they don’t have the same gravitas or scope.

    I totally agree all this will be forgotten closer to the airing date, because by then the traditional high-calibre marketing of HBO will have kicked in full gear, and I don’t think we will be disappointed. I’m simply questioning this early stage secrecy which seems a bit exaggerated and not so efficient to me.

  • Crystal Sky: Such photos should help them as they would increase or at least maintain the excitement level. Or is HBO’s just a typical corporate reaction of secrecy?

    It’s pretty typical. However, I think, in this case, it is warranted. It’s unfortunate but sometimes the fan bases have to be protected from themselves. If HBO just let any ol’ set photo leak to the web and some of those photos were less than flattering towards the production, HBO could end up with a lot of negative fan reaction. It has happened before on this production with a leaked photo of a costumed extra that looked a mess. The fan reaction was predictably negative.

    Would that negative reaction mean much 7 months from now when Thrones is about to premiere and we’ve been inundated with photos and trailers that look amazing? Probably not. But why take the chance? It’s all about controlling expectations and building positive buzz in a sustained manner. As long as HBO controls how the show is marketed, they can manage that buzz how they want. If things become a free-for-all with set photos leaking all over the place, they have no control and are left being reactionary as opposed to being proactive in Thrones‘ marketing.

    As Ran says though, I think the fans will be pleased with the way HBO markets this show in the end. The lengths they are going to protecting the shoot is proof enough of that. HBO spent $10 mill on marketing Boardwalk Empire, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that sort of money spent on Thrones as well, if not more. From all reports, HBO thinks they have a mega-hit on their hands and they want to make sure they give it the best possible chance to succeed.

  • Also, I don’t think we have too much longer to wait until HBO releases some new photos. Using Boardwalk Empire as a guide, they released a bunch of promotional images of the main characters in costume about a month into filming the first season and a full 10 months prior to the show airing. Thrones is over a month into filming and is only about 7 months away from transmission.

    I’m hoping for a batch of promotional images soon followed up by a proper trailer in the next couple months.

  • It is not leaked images or stills that I am wondering about, I think it is pretty usual and normal to keep that stuff secret.
    I am also absolutely sure that marketing campaign for GOT will be powerful and effective.
    I am wondering about small stuff such a:
    – Alfie Allen can not talk about his accent.
    – We still do not know definitive list of confirmed characters in S1 (characters, not the cast – I know casting is still ongoing)
    – If someone posts and describes the filmed scene (which we, btw, know by heart from the books) – here comes the panic right a way and so on…

    I mean, all the stuff, mentioned above is the stuff for the fanbase, not for the potential larger audience…which does not give a damn for who s gonna play Walder Frey, they even do not know who the guy is.

    I do not see how some more details on Theon s accent could possibly destroy HBO plans with larger audience

    Maybe I am just a little bit to frustrated of waiting, but sometimes I think they are overreacting, I am probably wrong, but that is how I feel at the moment.

  • The Rabbit, you make some good points. Leaked set photos is one thing, but describing a scene which is basically just a complete copy of how it happens in the books doesn’t seem that out of line.

    I think the reason we’re not getting any little reports is HBO has just done a really good job of putting the fear of God in the extras, cast and crew. I mean the pilot was essentially an open shoot with all the leaked photos and set reports and it seems like HBO has reacted to that by going so far the opposite way as to cause everyone within the production to walk on eggshells.

    I don’t necessarily think HBO would take huge issue with extras describing what scene they are in but since they’ve been given stern talkings-to about leaks, it makes them wary to share anything but very vague comments. And I don’t really blame them. Basically because of HBO’s strong efforts to keep leaked set photos from getting out, they’ve effectively scared the cast and crew from sharing any sort of details about the production.

  • The Rabbit,

    But we have to remember, HBo isn’t just marketing this show to us. If someone posts a description of the scene they’ve just filmed, we know where that fits into the plot, who every character is, etc, but, well, normal people don’t. If I were HBO I’d want to stop those leaks too. Reports like that will be spread around, and end up all over the internet, and people who don’t know the books and are just waiting for the show a) get the wrong idea about something b) be spoiled. True, the book plots are all over the internet but not everyone seeks out spoilers for things with source material (I didn’t for true blood…).

  • Phoenix_torn,

    Everything you said is true, but I am not sure how many of “normal people” (ha ha had to laugh to this ) is going to read all that minor stuff at all.

    I can tell from my point of view: if I was not a fan of the books, I would never go into such a detail reading, and searching stuff just to find out what colour Cersei s gawn would be. (I would not even know who Cersei is).

    Maybe it is due to the fact which WiC brought: Experiance of the pilot filming – but I still think that apart from the dead big fake wolf we have not seen such a big stuff around it.
    I just can not believe that our reaction on the silly skirt (was it purple ;) ? ) has provoked such a panic at HBO side.
    Maybe, they (HBO) are just for the first time in such a production with rabid fanbase sneaking around it, and they took all the precaution they could.

    I would not want to see some of our spies ended in HBO s black cells, I heard that is dark and sinister place :D

  • Isaac Moyer,

    I think Tyrion’s a wonderful character, but he’s not in my top three. Those would be Jaime, The Hound and Jaqen H’gar. Now if we are talking only those with narrative chapters, Tyrion would make the top five! GRRM has so many awesome small characters – like Jaqen, Syrio, The Red Viper, etc. that some of them pack more of a punch than the main characters!

  • Winter Is Coming,

    I have to say I’ve really enjoyed reading this debate. It is really refreshing to see the sustained optimism and excitement that you guys and gals have about the show.

    Let me through my tuppence into the ring as one looking from the inside out.

    Firstly, I am totally aware of the incredible privilege I have been given to witness some of this show being made. I wasn’t aware of these books until someone mentioned the possibility of a big ‘HBO’ show coming to town. I’m really glad that they have set up camp in my neck of the woods as the extra work for someone from NI was pretty dry for a while.

    Now, about leaks.

    Firstly, I thought that HBO were too strict regarding leaks and that surely a few harmless descriptions or the odd photo wouldn’t hurt. In fact I did put some descriptions on here in the earlier days which I’ve now had removed. I could be annoyed that I can’t tell you guys anything. I could just take a chance right now and tell you about the time that Gregor…but I now come to believe that I wouldn’t be doing you guys any favours.

    There were several times during my filming week when I looked at something and thought ‘that would make an incredible picture’. There was a moment when Conan’s costumed stunt double was on his horse, about to shoot a scene, and the horse reared up on hind legs and for a few seconds I saw this huge armoured mountain on his massive horse thrust into the air with his shield in one hand and his lance in another while the sun shone through the trees behind him. I won’t ever forget that image. Also there was another time when, in between shots, five of the principal actors in the scene were all standing together just looking outwards. I said to an extra beside me ‘look at that – that’s a poster right there’. It looked amazing.

    But if anyone had taken a snap of these moments on a phone it would have cheapened the look. No doubt there are people on here who would say ‘I’ll be the judge of that’ and that ‘it’s easy for Rimshot to say that as he was there’ but I really think the power of seeing these images for the first time in a prepared manner will have a far better impact.

    As was said, I really don’t think you guys have much longer to wait for images or trailers and in 6 months you will have loads.

    For the 6 days I was on set I saw the official stills photographer all over the place taking photos and the Documentary crew was everywhere too. Rest assured, this is being well documented.

    I cannot wait for you guys to see what I’ve seen and in a way, you will have a better experience than me as I saw what was maybe a 5 minute scene put together over several days with loads of stops and starts so I know how the scene pans out but you guys will get it for the first time in several amazing action scenes.

    Hope this helps!

  • No job is worth losing for the sake of a few leaked photos, so I understand and advise caution. And I absolutely agree with Rimshot about the questionable value of a cell phone photo in this circumstance. You’ve done a fantastic job, and no one could ask any more of you.

    At the same time, I don’t think there’s any question that HBO could stand to act a touch more proactively in whetting fan appetites. I know we’re half a year off, but they’re filming, they’ve got the costumes. Release some publicity photos of the characters already!

  • Rimshot,
    Yeah Rimshot, Everything you’ve done is greatly appreciated.

    The Rabbit,

    Agree that “normal people” probably won’t be seeking out minor things, but it could be a matter of drawing the line for HBO. If they allow one extra to discuss with the fans the colour of Cersei’s dress and the style of Peter Dinklage’s hair, what’s stopping another from adding to that about specific information about the scene, who’s involved, and what happens. It’s probably easier for them to say “no talking” than “you can talk about stuff only the crazy fans over on WiC and Westeros would care about”

    I’m surprised about how respectful our fandom has been to the wishes of HBO. There really haven’t been that many leaks. A few extras costume photos, the wolf, those set photos with the wolf carving and the wagon (i forgot about that until right now)…

  • Rimshot,

    As always, thanks for your contribution!

    Now what I found interesting is that Rimshot mentioned a stunt double for Conan… I had just assumed Conan would do his own stunts since: a) he’s a stuntsman himself; b) a 7 feet stunt double is surely not that easy to find…

    oh, well, I guess Conan gets the big star treatment. Good for him, he deserves it! :)

  • Nymeria, my guess is for the fight scenes Conan did his own stunts. But when it came to riding a horse and actually jousting (or pretending to anyway) he probably wasn’t good enough at it, since he only had like a week of horse riding training.

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