Season two rumors: Where there is smoke, there is fire?
By Winter Is Coming on in Rumors, Speculation.

The rumors and signs of HBO giving an unofficial green light to season two to Game of Thrones have been swirling for the past couple months. It started back in Feb when the cast assembled in London for a screening of the first two episodes. We heard an unconfirmed rumor that HBO announced to the cast that season two was green lit. [We’re now sure that this didn’t happen. Like we said, unconfirmed.] Around the same time, word came that the necessary crew in Belfast was also notified of the go-ahead. We also heard from a London casting agency that auditions for season two were going to start “soon”.

Since then, things have been relatively quiet. We’ve tried reaching out to some of our sources for more signs of behind-the-scenes activity but have heard nothing. Until the other day, when a call for crew popped up on Northern Ireland Screen’s website, looking for a travel coordinator for Fire And Blood, the production company behind Thrones. The beginning of the necessary crewing up? Possibly.

Today, Norther Ireland Screen published minutes from a board meeting that took place back in December. At the meeting, the CEO was said to have been “optimistic” about the chances for season two “going ahead in Northern Ireland.” And that “a formal decision by HBO is likely in January”. Interesting.

Winter Is Coming: Obviously, nothing is official until we get the word directly from HBO. But were I a betting man, I would wager that HBO did make a formal decision in January and that decision was to go ahead with season two. This then trickled down to the cast and crew a couple weeks later, and planning and preparations have been underway ever since, with the intention of hitting the ground running once we get the official announcement on April 18th. Time will tell, I suppose.


105 Comments

  1. digtastik
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    The only thing that would make me happier than a Season 2 announcement is a Season 3 announcement.

  2. John Engedal
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Yes please! :)

  3. GaR
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Wild speculation go!

    I’m inclined to agree though. I’ve also read some compelling arguments regarding the investment so far (in sets, etc) making season 2 damn near a foregone conclusion.

    Well, if it’s as good as we hope (and the critics’ comments on the screeners would indicate it is) then I can’t see them not greenlighting season 2. err, double negative go!

  4. The Rabbit
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I am pretty sure that we would hear the good news a day or two after airing.

    The only thing I am wondering is about when all those critics would get the greenlight to speak up what they have seen (first two episodes most of them).
    It is pretty hard to read their teases on daily basis. :)

  5. Johan Sporre
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    How many HBO-shows have only gotten 1 season? I’m quite new to the HBO-verse but I can’t think of any. Has any of their larger investments been pulled before a second season?

    Especially now after reading some of the critics’ reactions I can’t imagine this not getting the greenlight for further programming. Whether we get to know it now or in a month doesn’t matter that much to me.

  6. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit: The only thing I am wondering is about when all those critics would get the greenlight to speak up what they have seen (first two episodes most of them).

    When their reviews of Episode 1 are published the day before/day of the series premiere, many critics will acknowledge that they’ve seen the first three episodes, without divulging spoilers. This is SOP so critics can speak intelligently about the acting, pace, direction, and overall quality of the show based on more than just the pilot/first episode.
    If we don’t get the “overwhelmed by the viewership, we’ve renewed for Season 2″ HBO press release within 48 hours of April 17, I’ll eat my scabbard and wimple.

    Oh, and as I mentioned on another thread, I saw the DirecTV two-hour preview of Showtime’s The Borgias late last night and I don’t think GOT fans have anything to worry about other than costume overload. Jeremy Irons is 15 years too old for his part and Derek Jacoby was dispatched within the first hour. (or shall I assume that non-GOT spoilers are okay?)

  7. Hear Me Roar
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Whatever the actual situation is, all the signs are good!

  8. Alyssa
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre: How many HBO-shows have only gotten 1 season? I’m quite new to the HBO-verse but I can’t think of any. Has any of their larger investments been pulled before a second season?

    Off the top of my head, John From Cincinnati only got one season. It also made for a great scapegoat when Deadwood was canceled after its 3rd season. Also the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

  9. David Thomas
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to be so OT, but quick question: I’m trying to find a good new fantasy book, and I have heard mention of a GRRM-like writer who’s got three names, and one of them has three letters, like Per or Guy. And his names seems vaguely Spaniard maybe? I’ve checked out pages of “if you liked this, you’ll like…” on Amazon.com for GRRM and Joe Abercrombie, but I can’t find it. If anyone can think of whom I’m talking about, I’d appreciate it…

  10. Ramah
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    digtastik,

    Quoted for great truth. :)

    Edit: Except bah! I’m too stupid to press quote instead of reply so ignore me… :(

  11. Keaton
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    David Thomas,

    Guy Gavriel Kay. Fantastic author. I recommend Lions of Al-Rassan.

  12. grandmaFunk
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    David Thomas,

    Guy Gavriel Kay

  13. Tyler
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Lions is great, but Kay’s best work is the Fionavar Tapestry.

  14. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Alyssa,

    I’ll be interested to see the ratings for last Sunday night’s two-hour premiere of Mildred Pierce, in the Sunday 9 PM timeslot, which should be announced late this afternoon EDT time. We know Boardwalk Empire pulled a 4.3 (with some hocus-pocus, free-weekend hijinks to fluff those numbers) and the MP ratings, even though they are for a miniseries, not a continuing drama, may give us an idea of what the suits are hoping for for GOT.

  15. Regina Thorne
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I too watched “The Borgias” last night, and I’m wondering why anyone thinks it’s more “accessible” than “Game of Thrones” (especially the names of the cardinals and warring families and the fact that they all look alike and they keep having to explain all the things about the conclave of cardinals does not make for ease of viewing. And I actually love Renaissance Italian history and recognized many of the names of the cardinals at that. But Ascanio Sforza is just not “more relatable” than “Ned Stark”!!!) I feel as if “The Borgias” has many of the same difficulties for new viewers who are not steeped in the source material.

    That said, I really enjoyed it, particularly Jeremy Irons and the actors who played Cesare, Lucrezia and Vanozza dei Catanei.

  16. Regina Thorne
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Tyler:
    Lions is great, but Kay’s best work is the Fionavar Tapestry.

    Heh! I was about to say “avoid that one” because I found it an annoying mishmash of Tolkien and King Arthur with a side-helping of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond books. My personal favorite of Kay’s works (and IMO, the most Martin-like in terms of the characters’ complexity and the political machinations) are the “Sailing to Sarantium” duology. Kay tends to use actual history only very slightly altered, and the Sarantium books are basically Byzantium during the reign of Justinian and Theodora (Lions of Al Rassan is about El Cid).

  17. McSherrie
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Tyler: Lions is great, but Kay’s best work is the Fionavar Tapestry.

    I agree, although I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Tigana.

    Just started Under Heaven – as a stop gap measure since I finished my re-read of ASOIAF just over a month early – and have been enjoying it thus far as well.

  18. Johan Sporre
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Alyssa,

    Thanks; John from Cincinatti I’d at least heard of (since I’m in the middle of watching Deadwood I guess). Were any of them high-profile shows with expensive sets?

    Perhaps the 15 minute preview of GoT will get some critics to post early reviews? @televisionary tweeted that he’d probably post a review late this week or beginning of next.

  19. Alyssa
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    DH87: I’ll be interested to see the ratings for last Sunday night’s two-hour premiere of Mildred Pierce, in the Sunday 9 PM timeslot, which should be announced late this afternoon EDT time.

    I’m definitely interested as well, but would guess that expectations won’t be linked to Mildred Pierce at all. The demographic is totally different (my husband had ZERO interest in watching MP with me, but will of course be watching GOT with enthusiasm).

    Boardwalk Empire stats will probably make more sense for comparison, because the budgets and demographics are probably closer. Their expectations are probably even higher for GOT than BE. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m paying closer attention to GOT, but they sure are promoting the hell out of GOT in a way that I haven’t noticed on other recent HBO productions.

  20. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre: Perhaps the 15 minute preview of GoT will get some critics to post early reviews?

    Every media outlet has a different protocol, but usually the reviews are posted no more than 48 hours before the premiere as a maximum benefit to the outlet’s readers, who typically don’t plan their live viewing habits much sooner than that (oh, for the pre-Tivo days of “appointment TV:))

  21. Alyssa
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre: Thanks; John from Cincinatti I’d at least heard of (since I’m in the middle of watching Deadwood I guess). Were any of them high-profile shows with expensive sets?

    Nope, they were probably cheap (by comparison). I don’t know how much they spent, but John from Cincinnati was a contemporary surfer show set in Ocean Beach, no obvious special effects. I believe No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency was actually shot in Africa, not sure how much they spent on that, but it also had no special effects and I would guess most shooting was done on location.

  22. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Alyssa: I don’t know if it’s just because I’m paying closer attention to GOT, but they sure are promoting the hell out of GOT in a way that I haven’t noticed on other recent HBO productions.

    Well, I’m using Mildred in the context of tracking current (meaning early spring) viewing habits.
    And you must not be a True Blood fan—-spoilers/teasers have been running on all HBO channels for several weeks, 2 1/2 months before the new season starts. :)

  23. dizzy_34
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Fabio has his own production company? Dang dude … you’re big time :)

  24. Nick
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre,
    #1 Ladies Detective Agency was cancelled because of low viewership. Positive rating in general, and a Peabody award. Also i believe because the author of the books they were based on died. Nothing really to do with cost (it was filmed on location in Botswana, interestingly).

    Alyssa,

    You beat me to it…

  25. Alyssa
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    DH87: And you must not be a True Blood fan—-spoilers/teasers have been running on all HBO channels for several weeks, 2 1/2 months before the new season starts. :)

    True Blood is a guilty pleasure of mine (I watch basically everything on HBO). I can only think of one time I’ve caught a promo for TB this month, but I basically DVR everything. I usually get the tail end of a GOT promo when I am firing up something from the DVR. Also MP promos, and a movie/series with James Gandolfini…

  26. Tysnow
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Well; for you Christina Hendrick fans who were loving the lady as Melisandre, AMC announced they are pushing the next season of Mad Men back till late 2012. Which of course means a certain actor will be available this year for season two filming of GoT.

    A little pic to spice things up.

  27. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    Yes, comparing a contemporary series to a costume drama (1960s or earlier) is comparing apples and oranges, cost-wise, no matter where the filming takes place. True Blood is the gold standard (contemporary, mimimal CGI, plus monster ratings); Treme, Big Love, Bored to Death, Entourage etc., were extended beyond their ratings’ shelf lives because they were relatively cheap. I’m still not convinced BE will live beyond S2 with its ratings in the 2.8 million range—not if a contemporary like TB could be found to bring in a 5.2 million in the same slot. (“Luck,” anyone?)
    Mildred Pierce, GoT—any period/costume piece—has to do better than BE has if it’s going to last, in my opinion, or at least start slowly and build, as did TB. It cannot drop off by 50 percent, as BE did, Sunday Football or no Sunday Football.

  28. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Okay: just in:
    Mildred Pierce pulled a 1.27 million viewership for its 2-hour premiere on Sunday.
    That’s a weak timeslot lead-in for GOT.
    Perhaps even very weak. :(

  29. Knurk
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I do hope this tweet doesn’t imply there won’t be the crowning we all desperately want to see.

  30. Catherine Henry-Greskovic
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Alyssa,

    Carnival only had two seasons and was fantastic!!

  31. Knurk
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Is that the 18-49 rating or overall? (I guess HBO doesn’t care about the 18-49 specific of course so I’m assuming it’s overall)

  32. dizzy_34
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    He melted the gold plates on his belt to make the crown. I’m betting that’s the case.

  33. tek
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Didnt he melt down a belt to do the crowning? I think that was the case, which would still make the tweet accurate.

    And i have been beaten to the response! lol

  34. Mormegil
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Nick: Also i believe because the author of the books they were based on died

    You may be thinking of Anthony Minghella the film Director and screenwriter who owned the film rights to the books and cowrote/directed the pilot episode.

    He died before the series went into production.

    Alexander McCall Smith the author of the books is alive and well.

    HBO are (as of last years anyway) thinking of continuing the series as films.

  35. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Sorry to say, it is overall:

    1.270 million viewers
    – 0.8/1 HH
    – 0.3/1 A18-49

    And, yes, since HBO doesn’t sell ads based on the demos, as does basic cable, it doesn’t particularly care about the 18-49s (although any basic cable channel that eventually buys Mildred will—Lifetime or Oxygen or OWN, anyone?).
    I doubt HBO is surprised: Mildred was just a star vehicle for Kate Winslett and was never going to pull male viewers—the original was a creaky tear-jerker from the 1940s.

  36. DE
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Family member who worked as crew (won’t say as what :)) on season 1 was asked recently if they’d be able to do season 2. :)

  37. Knurk
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34,

    tek,

    how could I forget that?! Move along people.

  38. Alyssa
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    DH87: Mildred Pierce pulled a 1.27 million viewership for its 2-hour premiere on Sunday.
    That’s a weak timeslot lead-in for GOT.
    Perhaps even very weak. :(

    That’s too bad. Hopefully there isn’t a high correlation. Obviously a better lead-in would be beneficial. I can’t imagine they had their hopes set too high for Mildred Pierce. Seems like Emmy-bait to me.

  39. GaR
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    DH87: Knurk, Sorry to say, it is overall:1.270 million viewers- 0.8/1 HH- 0.3/1 A18-49

    Can you explain what that breakdown is? I’m pretty noob at ratings stuff.

  40. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    GaR: Can you explain what that breakdown is? I’m pretty noob at ratings stuff.

    No problem, but a good explanation can be found here:
    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/demystifying-the-s

  41. Alyssa
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    GaR: Can you explain what that breakdown is? I’m pretty noob at ratings stuff.

    I think It’s basically % houses with TVs that were on that station / % TVs (that were actually turned ON during the time the show is on) that were on that station.

    Wikipedia on Nielsen Ratings. The Zap2It link above might explain things better.

  42. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Alyssa: Obviously a better lead-in would be beneficial.

    Yes, I’m sure HBO plans a GOT blitz during the Mildred Pierce finale on that pre-GOT premiere weekend and a couple million more pairs of eyeballs would have been nice.

  43. Avalanche3319
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Is there any way to make our viewing count toward the ratings if we don’t have a “Nielson box”? I specifically subscribed to HBO for GOT (and informed them of that) but looks like me watching won’t count for Nielson ratings.

  44. Alyssa
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Avalanche3319: s there any way to make our viewing count toward the ratings if we don’t have a “Nielson box”?

    Nope, you have to be a Nielsen family. Recent “Save our show” campaigns have encouraged viewing their show through other means that can be counted to show support (view On Demand, stream online, buy the DVD). Maybe our cable companies track how many times On Demand shows are accessed. I’m guessing GOT will stream online at http://www.hbogo.com.

  45. Lex
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, but HBO reduced the price of their Beer Steins from $40 down to $25. Awesome!!! I went a little crazy and bought 5 of them (every stein except Tully).

    I can’t wait for my Game of Thrones beer steins!

  46. Mormegil
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Avalanche3319: Is there any way to make our viewing count toward the ratings if we don’t have a “Nielson box”? I specifically subscribed to HBO for GOT (and informed them of that) but looks like me watching won’t count for Nielson ratings.

    HBO will be just as interested in the number of new subscriptions they get due to GoT as they would be in the Ratings (maybe even more so).

  47. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Avalanche3319: Is there any way to make our viewing count toward the ratings if we don’t have a “Nielson box”?

    Don’t worry. For HBO’s internal purposes, HBO is interested only in new and retained subscribers, not these Nielson ratings, which are a hold-over from the pre-basic cable, pre-premium cable days of broadcast TV. Despite pressure to overhaul the Neilson system, it’s the best the industry has for now. The folks who DO care about demographers, strictly to pitch to advertisers (broadcast and basic cable networks) the age break-outs are important—-but as we have said before, that isn’t HBO.
    HBO reports its ratings in the Neilson format, knowing that it isn’t an accurate reflection of its shows’ performance from its own internal standards.
    If you’ve told HBO you’ve renewed or signed up because of GOT, that is the most important thing you can do—-that and completing the viewer series questionnaire when HBO gives the link to Winter is Coming after the first season is completed! That questionnaire will ask specifically if you bought HBO for GOT and if you will continue to re-up for the next season because of the show.

  48. Lars
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Avalanche3319,

    No, but HBO knows. The # of subscribers is the number of significance for HBO.

  49. Shinyteapot
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    So (Borgias spoiler) Jacobi’s character in the Borgias is killed off already? I’d love it if he were in GOT :)

    Nick,

    I rather enjoyed #1 Ladies Detective Agency.

  50. Avalanche3319
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Good on HBO. $25 seems like a good deal now and I’ll probably get one. I wasn’t even considering it at $40. Even at $25 I’m sure they’re making a great profit.

    And thanks to all the replys about the ratings. Just want to do everything I can to see the show continues to be made.

  51. Petter Kristian Vikestad
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I for one am certain of a second season. A third on the other hand…

  52. Luca Corradini
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Fact is, ok, networks of course want money: in case of HBO, beside other activities, that comes from subscriptions.

    Still, as we have witnessed with Lost and other series, the “pop-cult” phenomena is also important, the following a show manages to create and that goes beyond simple viewing ratings.

    For example, I live in Italy, there is no announcement about any broadcast date for GoT here. Like MANY other fans around Europe, also because *I like to watch shows in native language*, I’ll find other means I’m sure you can imagine in order to watch GoT and be on par with american viewers. And any network would be foolish to underestimate the amount of people who watch shows like me (in fact, from what I understand Nielsen will soon start to track “official” online views too or something like that?)

  53. Nick
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil,

    Wooops! Sorry McCall-Smith!

    Thanks for the heads up

  54. Eric Jones
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Lex,
    yeah I noticed that they did that on the same day that it was linked in the quick hits post.

    I figured the first price was a mistake. Either that or they saw people (myself included) complaining about the price and they lowered it to a reasonable level. (while I would like to believe we have that much power I feel the former is probably more likely)

    Really though what I would love to see is some sort of deal for buying the full set. That would be awesome.

  55. Abyss
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Off-Topic:
    HBO has the hi-res version of the costumes-video up on youtube.

  56. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot,

    Yes, that happened at the end of hour #1, as I recall….that would be great casting.

  57. Knurk
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Very good news indeed! Thanks for the heads up, I heard everyone saying it was the best one.

  58. Joakim
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    A possibility is that they are favourable towards a second season, but want to continue evaluating it before making a binding decision in April. The smoke we are seeing are probably parts of the production they need to hit the ground running if they approve a second season, but they are probably also “cheap” to pull out of in case they decide against it. These are smart business people.

  59. Joakim
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be a devil’s advocate for a second and add something to that idiom..

    Where there is smoke there is fire, but a bucket of water may easily quench it >:)

    Seriously though, I would be very surprised to see HBO do such a thing. I’m sure they’ve learned a lesson from Rome.

  60. Regina Thorne
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Nick: Also i believe because the author of the books they were based on died.

    No, Alexander McCall Smith is alive and well and writing more #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books. They’re just not particularly dramatic, and I think that was a BBC or ITV co-production and they also pulled out.

  61. sjwenings
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Abyss: Off-Topic:HBO has the hi-res version of the costumes-video up on youtube.

    Great! HBO are pretty darn cool to us, to give us this On demand-thingy.

  62. The DarkStar
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    This whole thread is QUITE a bit of speculation.

    I would worship Rhollor for the rest of my days if Christina Hendricks were to be Mel.

    I watched Mildred Pierce, it was good, and I also watched ten minutes leading up to it and did not see the infamous trailer with the direwolves.

  63. Kevin W.
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    There is no way I can imagine just one season of the show.

    Seriously, how many people can read the first book and not go on to the second? It’s like a addiction. Even if the budget was tiny they would still get viewers.

  64. OhDanyBoy
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    The DarkStar,

    Did you watch it on HBO Canada? I did, and they did not show the same commercials (I still haven’t seen any promos for the 15 minutes preview). Seems like it might have only been the main HBO channel.

  65. Mike Chair
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so let’s speculate. What if I move on from “if” and on to “when”? As in when is HBO going to air the second season? Does anyone know how long it took to shoot the first season? Is there a chance we may see season two in 2011 or early 2012? I know True Blood’s second season aired only 7 months after the first seasons finale. Same with Six Feet Under. Deadwood — 8 months. So, when?

  66. Darkenmal
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    David Thomas,

    Robert Jordan.. I don’t care.. run to your nearest bookstore and buy Eye of the World… its an amazing series.

  67. The DarkStar
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    OhDanyBoy,

    No. Watched it in America. I did see the preview for the preview(it was very short), and I saw either the full trailer or the fire and blood trailer during the ten minutes leading up to the episode.

  68. saluk
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    The DarkStar,

    I think people mentioned it being at 8:40 or so, so you would have been too late.

  69. Avalanche3319
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    The DarkStar,

    Did the trailer you saw have the Stark and Lannister sigils in grey behind the Game of Thrones logo at the end? If so it was the new trailer, which really didnt have much that was actually new. The only thing new I remember off the top of my head was a line from Jaime about the throne, don’t even remember what he said.

  70. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts once again on Season 2: Done Deal.
    With the huge outlay of miney they’ve already spent on the project cancelling now would cost them too much. Never-mind the fact that every single indication for GoT has me thinkig “hit” for te network. I’d be compeltely floored if we didn’t get a second season. I’m talking Bran at the end of the “The things I do for love” scene floored. In fact, I would be elated, but not super surprised if he did get an announcement for a third season.

    Christina Hendricks is hot and all, but I just think she looks too young for Mel. I doubt I’d be upset if she were cast, but its not how I picture her.

    I agree that the Mildred Pierce numbers aren’t really anything to worry about. That whole mini-series seemed like an attempt to grab a few more Emmy statuettes for the network as opposed to being a big ratings show from the minute I frst heard of it. Also along these lines, Treme will premier the week after GoT does. That is a pretty nice one-two punch and may help Treme’s numbers.

    Whomever was looking for some good reading above, I’d like to suggest Patrick Rothsfuss’ Kingkiller trilogu. I just finished book two and its a great read. Also Joe Abercrombie has a new book out as of last week called The Heroes. I jusy started it so I can’t give any critique, but if his past efforts are any indication, it should be a fun, bloody saturday matinee-type read.

  71. James
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    Considering the slogan is “Winter is Coming” it would be nice if HBO had the 2nd season ready to air by next winter. Big Love usually always started in January but now thats over so hopefully they could have the 2nd season ready by next January.

  72. Steel_Wind
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Abyss:
    Off-Topic:
    HBO has the hi-res version of the costumes-video up on youtube.

    This was the most interesting “Making of” video yet. Thanks for this.

  73. Steel_Wind
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    On the whole “greenlight” issue…

    Please appreciate that this isn’t like being pregnant (you are greenlit or you are not greenlit). What we are discussing is simply a matter of contracts being put in place with a renewal or option to renew, and whether or not HBO has had to exercise that option already.

    When it comes to the actors, HBO has an option on greenlighting the second season by delivering a notice in writing by “x” date and the actors are contractually obligated to commit. My guess is that HBO has to tell most of the actors on or before April 30, 2011 whether they are picking up their option for season 2.

    With other talent, it’s much the same, but it depends upon the individual nature of the contract.

    With the Paint Hall and Malta, I’m sure there is an option clause. Unlike actors, these assets have to be reserved further ahead in time — and you pay for that privilege sooner that you might prefer to. I expect that HBO has probably already had to exercise those options even though a season 2 has not yet been ordered.

    So my point is, there can be staggered degrees of contract renewal and exercising the various options HBO has in a production of this kind. There is more flexibility on some option contacts, less in others. A full “renewal of season 2″, which is what we really mean by saying “greenlit” is a commitment across the board to pick up every option they have.

    But it can be — and probably is the case when it comes to Malta and the Paint Hall, that HBO has had to reserve that space and is obligated to pay for that option to reserve it well ahead of time. This means that HBO probably has already entered into binding commitments for their studio and location shoots to permit HBO to shoot a second season. That costs HBO money — or at least incurs an obligation now that they will have to pay later — whether they actually order a season 2 or not. The actors are already tied in, so they’ll trigger that option when they have to.

    I do agree that I am not much truly bothered with the question as to whether or not there will be a season 2. Barring a complete ratings disaster and an unleashing of scorn from the critics, the money has in all likelihood already been committed for Paint Hall (and Malta) and so much of the fixed costs — and a large number of the variable costs — will have already been committed to or otherwise incurred with the extensive costumes, sets and props to date.

    The real question is whether or not there will be a season 3. HBO may know the answer to this before season 2 even airs. If DVD sales are very strong for the season 1 disc set — before season 2 airs — we’re pretty much assured a season 3. If not, then it will come down to bums in seats for the premiere of season 2.

    Jury’s out until then.

  74. Zack
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    James:
    Mike Chair,

    Considering the slogan is “Winter is Coming” it would be nice if HBO had the 2nd season ready to air by next winter. Big Love usually always started in January but now thats over so hopefully they could have the 2nd season ready by next January.

    Why are you trying to rush it? GRRM still has books to write, you know. I think a solid 12 month year-on-year turnaround is good. If next season started in January, and you’re going by taglines, wouldn’t that be “It’s Winter already.” or “Spring is coming”? So to do proper service to the tagline you’d have to move it back to fall, thus causing the season to end earlier and the next season to begin sooner.

    I’d rather we go slow and steady. Give Martin time to weave his whimsically wonderful wordmagic.

  75. DH87
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head: Also along these lines, Treme will premier the week after GoT does. That is a pretty nice one-two punch and may help Treme’s numbers.

    What is more interesting is that, since GOT is slotted for 9 PM on Sundays, it’s either going to overlap with the kick-off of True Blood (for two or three additional eps), since TB has been widely expected to have a June 14 start, or TB is going to slide to accommodate GOT. HBO hasn’t confirmed June 14, but TB has been locked in at 9 PM since it began.

  76. Zack
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind: The real question is whether or not there will be a season 3. HBO may know the answer to this before season 2 even airs. If DVD sales are very strong for the season 1 disc set — before season 2 airs — we’re pretty much assured a season 3. If not, then it will come down to bums in seats for the premiere of season 2.

    Jury’s out until then.

    I’m pretty much going to be buying season 1 on Blu-ray for everyone on my holiday/birthday gift list for this very reason. And t-shirts and mugs and calendars for myself.

    I HAVE TO get season 3 to air.

  77. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Um… I just found this on Youtube. Warning! It might be viewed as offensive and I’m not trying to troll. I just was so amusingly bewildered by it that I thought I’d link it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6QyXl6d2M&feature=related

  78. Dreesen
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head, the link you posted has a Trojan Virus attached to it. So everybody beware!

    Dreesen

  79. GameofThronesChris
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I just posted an introductory video explaining my desire to play Jaqen H’ Ghar for Season 2! I should have the rough audition video up tommorow! Please watch my vids and feel free to offer advice and what not! Here’s a link to the intro vid, enjoy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnCWzoaueBA

  80. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Dreesen,

    Huh? Its a direct link to Youtube. Anyway I’m not getting any warnings when I hit the link.

  81. Dreesen
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Your right. I went to Ain’t it cool and that was where I picked up the Trojan. I just thought it was his link because I went there just before.

    Dreesen

  82. Brad Villane
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    I seem to remember Cogman blogging about rereading Clash of Kings for the fifth time. If he was pouring over the text like that, probably means he’s fairly certain of season 2.

    I’ll tell you what I want…a 10 episode season 2, followed by a theatrically released movie with a mega budget for the Battle of the Blackwater!!!

    A man can dream

    If the show is as good as early word is, might be a good move by HBO to greenlight season 2 before the premier. Would show a lot of confidence in the series that could translate into positive buzz.

  83. TastesLikeTheSea
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Televisionary just tweeted:

    Moving on to Ep 5 of #GameOfThrones in a few minutes. Mrs. Televisionary now a full-fledged ASOIAF convert.

    good sign :)

  84. Meg
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Hey guys. Just trying to gauge the buzz out there, 2 1/2 weeks away from the premier. TV.com has rated Game of Thrones their most highly anticipated show debuting in April.

    Also, Wired has a short post touting Thrones as a “medieval Wire.” Fun for Wire-heads (like myself). Makes me want to recruit more ex-Wire alums for GOT – Andre Royo (Bubbles) for Mance?

  85. nsk
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Every big budget series on HBO had atleast 2 seasons, but there were some shows which didn’t make it to the second season. The Comeback with Lisa Kudrow, Lucky Louie with Louis C.K, Tell Me You Love Me, John from Cincinnati.

    I am pretty sure that HBO wanted the second season of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, because it was co-production and it was cheap. They’ve had some problems and it didn’t work out, there were some talks about maybe doing a two movies.

    Anyway, my guess is that HBO will roll with Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones to the end. Why? Well, because they technically suffered a lot, because of cancelling the high-profile budget series in the past. They didn’t control the budget on previous series, now it seems they are doing it in the smart way and I am almost positively sure that from these high budget series only Carnivale was cancelled because of low ratings. Rome and Deadwood had very decent ratings (wasn’t Rome pulling 7 millions?) and they cancelled because they didn’t have money.

  86. Martin
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    Very good points.

    I suspect the first key in the puzzle are the efforts to secure funding from the Assembly here (I believe they received over £2.5m for S1) in the form of breaks etc. I would imagine that was probably tied into the Paint Hall – as that is probably the lynchpin in securing at least some of the filming for S2 within Northern Ireland.

    I don’t know whether we are putting too much hope in the DVD sales figures to bolster any decision for subsequent series. I was listening to a discussion on the radio here on the profits from CD/DVD sales in the UK market – and the outcome was somewhat surprising, there are so many fingers in the DVD pie that profitablility for all concerned is pretty minimal.

    CDs were a lot worse than DVD, but the impact of Amazon / mega-stores has apparently stripped much of the initial profitability of the DVD market away as well. Maybe series box-sets are different as they tend to be higher priced per unit and probably carry higher profitability.

    The one very surprising stat – how many albums does a musician need to sell to get an annual income equivalent to serving burgers 6 days a week ? – answer 44,000. In the UK only just over 200 albums did that in 2010.

  87. Rimshot
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    So here’s what I can say about season 2…

    I have heard from 2 independant sources which I can’t name that Season 2 is a go. This isn’t a greenlight but these people are very reliable sources who are right in the middle of the industry. If they say it’s a go – then it’s a go!

    On Sunday I drove past Magheramorne. Castle Black is still there. The quarry is a prime location and I’m sure alot of productions would like to use it so CB is being kept for a reason.

    All the Paint Hall sets are still there. Can’t say how I know this but I do. I’ve seen evidence.

    It would take a monumental catastrophe for S2 not to happen.

  88. Knurk
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    GameofThronesChris,

    I don’t want your first reply to be a negative one, but you have two problems going for you: you are american (so is Joe, but he lives in Belfast) and you look too young (20?) to play such a strong character, I can’t find his age in the description of Jaqen but I always pictured him between 30 and 40.

  89. Knurk
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Rimshot,

    and this my friends is a very positive sign. Rimshot is the man!

    HBO is probably not making it public because of the negative buzz it will create: when thinking your show is soooooo good that you’re certain it’ll be a hit people are more eager to hammer it down. Simply said, it can look quite arrogant if they greenlight season 2 before the pilot.

  90. OhDanyBoy
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    GameofThronesChris,

    I agree with Knurk above – being American will hurt you, and you absolutely HAVE to be good with accents – I don’t even know what kind of accent they will be looking for with Jaqen, but it will be similar to how Miltos Yerolemou speaks as Syrio, as they are both Braavosi.

    If I can make another suggestion – use a high-def camera for your audition video.

  91. Blackfish Blues
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Abyss:
    Off-Topic:
    HBO has the hi-res version of the costumes-video up on youtube.

    Thanks! See, I understand nothing of ratings but this above is one of the reasons why I think not making a Season 2 would be crazy. They’ve spent so much effort and talent on it. This entirely apart from my own interest in seeing a Season 2, of course.

    DH87:
    Oh, and as I mentioned on another thread, I saw the DirecTV two-hour preview of Showtime’s The Borgias late last night and I don’t think GOT fans have anything to worry about other than costume overload. Jeremy Irons is 15 years too old for his part and Derek Jacoby was dispatched within the first hour. (or shall I assume that non-GOT spoilers are okay?)

    DH87, why do you say Irons is too old? Borgia was 61 at the time of the pilot and Irons is 63, if I can count. If ever, he’s too thin. :)

    I did catch the Borgias’ pilot. I found it very very good, too good for TV. Neil Jordan is doing his usual good job, but (judging only from GoT’s promos) Borgias is much slower than GoT. It plays like a movie; it can only go downhill from here. The endless debates between cardinals are enjoyable because of the excellent actors and the dialogue; however I wonder how it will fare in the long run, compared to the much briskier GoT.

    For the rest, I really liked it. I’m not sure about historical soundness because it’s not one of my favourite time periods, but the scenery and the costumes are dazzling. And see all these shavings of wood here, it’s what remains of the scenery after Irons’ passage. I loved his interpretation of the power-mad Borgia, half-bedazzled, half-tongue-in-cheek. The scene of the CHAIR is hilarious. I’ve come to appreciate Irons and his humorous vein more now than when he was younger (yes, as a possible Blackfish too).

    The rest of the cast is very interesting too. Colm Feore in particular as Della Rovere, the future Pope Julius II (Michaelangelo’s employer). Pity he’s American, or he might find a place in GoT too. And how about a suitably uglified Joanne Whalley (Vannozza) as Lady Maege Mormont? She’s British.

    Despite all this, I think GoT is superior for pure entertainment. As personal tastes go, they are two entirely different products; I like them both, but I think that the average viewer might be more attracted to GoT. Heck, I hope so, if it means we’ll get S2.

  92. dizzy_34
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Man all this season 2 talk has me wanting another casting speculation post. Who’s next? Asha, Ygritte? If you want to go dudes, Quorin Halfhand, Roose Bolton, any of the Tullys?

  93. Maxwell James
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Where there is smoke, there is fire?

    Ahem.

    I believe that should read: “Where there is blood, there is fire?”

  94. DH87
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues: DH87, why do you say Irons is too old? Borgia was 61 at the time of the pilot and Irons is 63, if I can count. If ever, he’s too thin.

    I’m sorry: I meant as a lead actor carrying a major vehicle, not too old from the standpoint of historical accuracy. Leads, Gandolfini excepted, have to be relatively young, well-known, and charismatic if the truly young actors (such as the gentlemen playing the Borgia sons) are . . . unknown and their charisma is unproven.

  95. Blackfish Blues
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    DH87: I’m sorry: I meant as a lead actor carrying a major vehicle, not too old from the standpoint of historical accuracy. Leads, Gandolfini excepted, have to be relatively young, well-known, and charismatic if the truly young actors (such as the gentlemen playing the Borgia sons) are . . . unknown and their charisma is unproven.

    Oh yes, I see what you mean! Hmmm, but Sean Bean is not young either, and GoT’s young actors are unproven too. Then again GoT has a million characters, so it’s hard to compare. It will be interesting to see how the balance between established leads and young newcomers will change in Season 2 with no Sean Bean anymore.

  96. GameofThronesChris
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Yeah the American thing is an issue but I’m just doing this because I just want to see how far it will go! And it always said he was the youngest of the prisoners heading to the watch and a majority of the watch seems to be late teens to around 40 so I always pictured him more in his twenties! I’m 17 btw (the 2o comment made me feel accomplished in a slight sense haha) but I just recorded my rough Audtion and would appreciate it if you can offer pointers and if you feel fit suggest another character! Thanks and here’s the link! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN2ZRCmbh4I

  97. GameofThronesChris
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    OhDanyBoy,

    Thanks and I’m working hard on accents (which is sadly kind of my weakest point, but I’m good at making them up from random, just not good at mimicking say British, Irish, Italian, French, and what not haha) but here is my rough audition vid which was made for viewers to criticize (offer advice and other comments) and suggest another character if you don’t see me playing Jaqen fit! I haven’t seen much of Syrios accent which I have wanted to mimic but I just can’t find a clip with him talking! Here’s the link to the rough audition! And don’t feel bad about negative comments, I’m just doing this to see where it goes so I don’t mind if it turns out to be bad but atleast I put fourth an effort. Oh and I don’t have a Hi-def and can’t afford one right now, otherwise I totally would! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN2ZRCmbh4I

  98. Peltast
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Zack: Why are you trying to rush it? GRRM still has books to write, you know. I think a solid 12 month year-on-year turnaround is good. […] I’d rather we go slow and steady. Give Martin time to weave his whimsically wonderful wordmagic.

    Well, one reason for rushing is that the child actors won’t stay children forever, especially since they’ve cast them older across the board. If you take it slow, like one year per season, Maisie and Isaac (for example) will probably begin to outgrow their roles by season four.

    And even if GRRM takes another five years for each of the last two books, it’ll still be some time before we have to worry about that.

  99. Jarred Melancon
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Honestly it all depends on how fast Martin can write. If he can finish the last two books in six years, three a piece, then I say take it nice and slow. If not then might as well speed it up as there will be a delay anyway.

  100. heroine addict
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    With the premiere so close it makes sense to me that they would hold off on a formal green-light until the first few sets of returns are in.

    I am 100% down with this. If the audience doesn’t appreciate a bangin’ and devoted rendition of one of the greatest literary works of the last century I don’t want a second season.

    Pearls before swine.
    I’m looking at YOU Gawker media.

  101. Spider
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Greenlit!

    Production to begin late Sept.

    Apologies for missing the WiC get together, was away with work.

  102. Lex
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Spider:
    Greenlit!

    Production to begin late Sept.

    Apologies for missing the WiC get together, was away with work.

    What? Provide a link, otherwise you’re just spreading rumors.

  103. Spider
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Lex: What? Provide a link, otherwise you’re just spreading rumors.

    No link

    WiC can verify.

  104. avanka
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    where there is ICE there is fire …:-)

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