24 hours to London – A Game of Thrones screening adventure!

HBO UK Screening

On Tuesday, HBO UK held a preview screening of some bonus content from Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season. Long-time WiCnet reader JacMac was invited to attend and wrote up this report for us of the screening and her 24 hour whirlwind trip to London.

24 hours to London – A Game of Thrones screening adventure!

Last week I was surprised by HBO UK with an invite to attend a special screening in London. The screening was of some of the DVD extra content from the soon to be released Game of Thrones Season 3 DVD box set. Coincidentally WiCnet was also asked if they wanted to send a representative, hence me now sitting down and writing up my 24 hour pilgrimage to London.

Soho HotelI set off on Tuesday morning and after a pleasant 6 hour train journey I arrived in the capital at 3pm. Not long after I met up with @AKA_Qthulhu, @Westerosorg, @TitanConBelfast and @GusAndLeo for pizza before we headed to the Soho Hotel for the special screening.

On arrival we were directed to the hotel’s own screening room area where we were signed in by Julianne who works for HBO UK’s PR company. They had invited a number of bloggers, hosts of websites and ‘super’ fans (guess that’s me!) to the event.

We had a short time to mingle where we met Colin who works on Throne Cast. He filled us in on some of the changes coming up this year on the show. Not sure how much I’m allowed to share. It’s going to be longer, meaning they will be able to more special reports e.g. fan events and the presenter line up has changed.

Red Wedding CakeChoccywoccydodah had created a fantastic Red Wedding themed cake which was on display. Sadly I only got a quick glance at it but thankfully @AKA_Qthulhu took some great pics.

At 6:30pm we were ushered into the screening room where we settled down in front of the large HBO sign. At 7pm Ian from HBO UK entered and introduced the evening. He explained that we were going to be shown the documentary special on the making of “The Rains of Castamere” which is available on the new Season 3 DVD release (WiCnet has already shared a clip of some of it).

He then introduced our Game of Thrones guest of the night Maisie Williams. Maisie was bubbly as ever and answered a few questions from Ian. Quoting loosely (I’d been busy taking photos when the questions started), she feels Arya is developing and changed significantly from the character she auditioned for. Regards the Red Wedding reactions, she’s never known people to video their friends reactions to a show before. She particularly liked the one of a woman sobbing on a blanket. She felt the show had got it right if they managed to make the viewer cry. She repeated her left/right handed story and said it was great to work with Needle again in Season 4. Talking of season 4 she mentioned working with Rory and how much she enjoys it. The Hound and Arya’s relationship has changed. She no longer hates him as much. They’re not friends but they’re getting on better. He’s helping Arya to toughen up. She’s now mixing some of his fighting skills with those she learnt from Syrio. HBO UK have tweeted some of Maisie’s quotes if you want to see more.

Maisie Williams at HBO UK Screening

Maisie then left us and the screening began. It lasted close to an hour. The episode played in one corner of the screen and they would have commentary in an overlay discussing aspects of each scene. For the Red Wedding scenes they went into much more detail and showed many behind the scenes shots overlaid on the main shot.

I didn’t take notes as I wanted to see it, however particular memories are:

David Nutter praising the child actors in the show especially Art Parkinson (it was during the scene where Bran and Rickon part. He said he was impressed how they have developed as actors.

The description from David on how they used the extras in the room to help adjust the lighting ready for the more sombre scenes to follow. The extras took the candelabras out with them when they followed the bride and groom in the bedding scene.

The cast and crew recounted how the tension and emotion built as they neared the final scenes as they knew they were going to be saying goodbye to people they thought of as family.

They all praised David Bradley’s delivery of Walder Frey. They found it hard not to laugh at the humorous way he delivered the lines and were glad they got all the giggles out of the way in rehearsal. Oona Chaplin seems quite funny too. She certainly made a few amusing comments.

The two scenes that always get me are Rickon’s crying with Bran (not helped by seeing Art’s big eyes on the big screen!) and the killing of Grey Wind.

HBO UK Goody bagOnce the airing finished we left the screening room and were handed a goody bag. The contents varied a little from person to person but in mine was a t-shirt, Storm of Swords Part 1, Game of Thrones coasters, a book mark and a piece of the wedding cake. Some people got a Longclaw letter opener instead of a t-shirt.

We mingled a little longer then headed to a pub to discuss the evening before we all had to head our different ways. I left for my overnight coach where within 5 minutes I was sharing my wedding cake with a GoT fan (hello Dominic) and informing another non-viewer/reader (hello Chrissy) really why she should be watching/reading it. Dominic even took a picture of the cake to show his friends!

I arrived home almost exactly 24hrs from when I departed on my Game of Thrones journey. Huge thank you to HBO UK for inviting me (and the little GoT fairy that made that happen). I had a great day. It was worth the effort and the sleepless night on the bus!

I’m sure those that were with me will be frustrated at how much I’ve forgotten/left out. Check out their Twitter feeds for more details on the day!

HBO UK has been posting photos from the evening including ones of Maisie with the cake. Also more of mine can be found on my Flickr page.

Winter Is Coming: Thanks for the report, Jackie! Sounds like it was a fun time. And that cake looked amazing. Hope it tasted as good as it looked!

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