Blog of Thrones

Game of Thrones cast at Comic-Con 2014

Yesterday we brought you news from the big Game of Thrones panel that took Comic-Con by storm — the new casting for season 5 and season 4 blooper reel. Today the Lord of Light hath gifted us the opportunity to share the entire panel featuring cast and creators. Over 6,000 fans packed into the San Diego Convention Center’s monstrous Hall H for what has been called the most entertaining and epic panel of the weekend thus far. Fortunately for those of us who didn’t make the trip this year, we can relive the magic via Internet streaming video.

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Game of Thrones

As they’ve done in years past, the folks at HBO and show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss used the annual Game of Thrones panel at Comic-Con to make a number of casting announcements. As we’ve talked about over the past few weeks, season five of Game of Thrones will spend a lot more time in the kingdom of Dorne, where the late Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) was from. And a lot of the storyline will revolve around the fallout from his death, including the reactions of his older, calmer brother Doran and his significantly less calm and far more aggressive daughters, known as The Sand Snakes. With casting rumors swirling all summer alongside reports of new shooting locations in Spain, information was bound to be released sooner or later. Today was that day, with the panel showing a video of new cast members. We’ve got the breakdown after the jump, along with a wonderful season 4 gag reel.

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Obara Sand by Erik Wilkerson

I need my fix. Periodically throughout the Game of Thrones offseason, should you be interested in indulging me, I’m going to check in with a spoiler-intense look at some of the goings on behind the scenes of the show. Between casting, new locations added to the shoots and all kinds of rumors about what future books will contain (and heaven forbid another book get released), there seems to be plenty to talk about. Consider it a chance for all of us to keep the conversation going while I use it as therapy to help quell the sadness of not being on a weekly GoT podcast with Joanna and Dave. It’s something for everyone. Well, not exactly everyone. If you’re not a reader of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, you may want to stop here. Passing beyond the next seal (a fortress held by Walter White Walker: Lord of Spoilers) puts you in grave danger of being spoiled. Everything is on the table: book spoilers, insider info, wild speculation and crackpot conspiracy theories. Consider yourself thoroughly warned.

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Game of Thrones

Editor’s Note: The following guest blog comes from Patrick Sponaugle, who blogs extensively about Game of Thrones on his own site, PatrickSponaugle.com. As we’re a big fan of his work, we asked him to share some thoughts about the recently concluded fourth season. Beware that this article includes spoilers for all of season four, but is also safe for those who have not read the books. Season Four of HBO’s Game of Thrones just ended, more or less wrapping up the adaptation of the first three books in George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga. I’ve been waiting a long time for this season to be presented because there were things that I really wanted to talk about. Not being able to do so was killing me.

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Game of Thrones season 4 finale

How are you feeling, fellow book readers? It’s entirely possible that, like many of those who have read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series to-date, you are feeling left out in the cold a bit. You might find that your hands are cold. Your blood may be turning black. Your Belwas might not be so strong. Your honeypot could have run dry. Your heart, full of stone. If you’re caught in that ever-frustrating book reader loop that involves focusing on what the show didn’t give you rather than enjoying what it has given you, this season four finale of Game of Thrones might spell trouble. But enough of this advanced recapping cryptology. Let’s get into these Game of Thrones spoilers.

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Game of Thrones: Episode 410

When Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said this past week that their season four finale was their finest yet, it was easy to disregard at the time. Of course they thought it was their best, as any creator might. Little did we know at the time that they were absolutely correct. Season four’s final frame wasn’t just the end of a long, bloody and brilliant season of television. It also serves as an unexpectedly hopeful and wondrous start to the next chapter. When does season five start, again?

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Game of Thrones Spoilers: The Watchers on The Wall

What’s going to happen in the season finale? Who else has to die to satisfy the bloodlust of gods old and new? Plenty of questions will be answered in the next week by Game of Thrones, but so many more will likely be posed as the show finishes its massively entertaining fourth season. In this week’s spoiler discussion, I’m opening it up to all of you to discuss your theories about how GoT will finish season four. With not a lot of spoilery talk to be had about episode 9 — it was a big battle with a few logistical changes, but overall it was in line with the tone of what happened in the book — perhaps it’s best to look forward. But first, the spoiler warning…

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Game of Thrones: 409

This review of Game of Thrones is intended for those who are show watchers and not book readers. Please refrain from putting spoilers in the comments. There will be a separate article marked Spoilers Discussion for that in the coming days. And you thought after last week that Game of Thrones wouldn’t have any big moments for episode nine… Believe in one thing when it comes to season four: there are plenty of moments to go around. It’s a testament to just how great the third book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire was in comparison to the others. It needed two full seasons and it has been gripping down the stretch. This episode nine, thanks in large part to some operatic directorial work from the series’ hired gun of epic battles Neil Marshall, feels like the well-earned big finish this season was working toward. As a bonus, there’s still one more episode to go.

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The Viper and The Mountain

Moving is hard work, especially when you’re a chubby blogger who doesn’t normally lift things and has an affinity for buying heavy things. Though even through all the strife of moving into a new home, there’s no large bookshelf that’s quite so heavy as the weight of the nice man from the cable company telling me that my cable wouldn’t be installed in time to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones. You see, it wasn’t just about being timely or being able to come through with my weekly column on the subject, it was about knowing what was coming… There was no way I was missing the fight between The Mountain and The Viper. Luckily I’ve got great friends with quality internet connections and HBO Go logins, so the day was ultimately saved. Weary from my moving adventure and with a system pumped with muscle relaxers, I settled in for what I and any book reader knew would be one of the more brutal and explosive episodes of the entire series. And now it’s time to have a little Game of Thrones spoilers chat about it.

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Game of Thrones: The Mountain and The Viper

This review includes details up to and including Game of Thrones season four, episode eight, “The Mountain and The Viper.” It does not include book spoilers, but does include a book reader sobbing softly over the death of his favorite character. Why does the simple man keep smashing the bugs? That’s the question asked in the unpredictably jovial and lighthearted scene between brothers Jaime and Tyrion Lannister right before the latter’s fate is decided. Because perhaps it’s his purpose, the show seems to answer several minutes later as it executes an excruciating scene with shock value rivaled only by the much famed Red Wedding. Some men smash because it’s what they know, others live with much greater purpose. Prince Oberyn Martell lived with a much greater purpose… and look where it got him.

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Game of Thrones: Mockingbird

I have some spoilery thoughts, as you might imagine. “Mockingbird” is easily one of the busiest and often most poignant episodes of the season, littered with subtle changes from the books and plenty of big moments ripped right from the pages of A Song of Ice and Fire. But before we get to this week’s rambling of book knowledge nonsense and wild speculation (mostly the latter), let’s give everyone who isn’t spoiler savvy a chance to get out while there’s still hope.

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Game of Thrones: Mockingbird

The best Game of Thrones episodes are those that find a unifying thread between all of the jumping around from storyline to storyline. Then there are those rare episodes that find multiple unifying threads and weave them delicately around a series of major moments up to which the show has been building for most of a season. “Mockingbird” is a fine example of this rare episode. It moves our story forward, never overplays its hand, is paced wonderfully and ultimately delivers some nice surprises. It’s a joy to watch this show operate at such heights.

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Game of Thrones spoilers: season 4, episode 6

“But now the rains weep o’er his hall,with no one there to hear.” It was quite the eventful week on Game of Thrones, so let’s talk some spoilers. But first, some ground rules for our spoilers discussion. Rule #1: if you don’t want to be spoiled with book knowledge, wild speculation, unfettered access to wikis and message boards and other guesswork informed by our deep analysis of George R.R. Martin’s psyche, you may want to stop reading. No really, stop here where it’s safe. Rule #2: Always choose trial by combat.

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Game of Thrones: The Laws of Gods and Men

This review includes a show-only discussion of Game of Thrones through season four, episode six, “The Laws of Gods and Men.” No book spoilers in the comments — we’ll have another thread for that. Beyond that, please feel free to discuss.  You have to hand it to the writers of Game of Thrones — most notably this week’s episode scribe Bryan Cogman, who serves as the show’s story editor — they have done a masterful job of throwing three seasons of working formula out the window and delivered a sneaky, slithery, brilliantly gut-punchy fourth season. If season four has accomplished any one thing by this, its sixth episode, it has been limiting the waiting game. It’s not about one big ninth episode this year. Each frame of season four has given the audience some pause, and a reason to discuss at length. This week is no exception.

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Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

This Game of Thrones review contains information about events through season 4, episode 5, “First of His Name.” It contains spoilers up to including that episode, but no further. For book readers, please tune into our spoiler discussion on Monday. Long may he reign, indeed. For a moment, it’s easy to get lost in the idea of a gentle King Tommen and the cute crush he has on Lady Margaery. But as things go in the wild world of Westeros, something much darker is at play. In “First of His Name,” the show places focus on the idea of people understanding and accepting the roles they are meant to play. From Queen Cersei inviting Margaery to marry her younger son to events well beyond The Wall, this week’s episode was all about making choices for the greater good. Or at least the greater good as these characters understand it.

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Tyrion in Oathbreaker

Even after writing 1,200 feverishly-typed words last night in my Game of Thrones recap, there is still more to say. In this instance, I’ve taken a second long look at this week’s episode “Oathkeeper” and decided that I need to speak to my fellow book readers for a moment. Why? Because these are thoughts I need to share with the world and because there’s so much in last night’s episode that is intriguing beyond what we know from the books that it feels like the right time to get spoilery. That said, consider this your very last warning. If you continue reading beyond this point you will be subjected to knowledge of all books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, all aired episodes of Game of Thrones and plenty of wild speculation mixed with educated guesses about what is going to happen next.

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Game of Thrones: Jaime Lannister

This review includes spoilers for all Game of Thrones episodes that have aired, including season four, episode four, “Oathkeeper.” Do not read any further until you’ve watched the episode. Don’t worry, we’ll wait… Up to this point, the most fresh and original elements of the adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire into the show Game of Thrones have made it more horrible. Adding unborn baby murder and turning mostly normal sex into rape scenes seem to be the limits of the chances show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were willing to take. That is until tonight. In this fourth episode of season four, the show went well off-book and took some hard left turns, leaving mouths agape of book readers and neophytes alike.

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Game of Thrones: Breaker of Chains

This recap includes spoilers up to and including season four, episode three, “Breaker of Chains.” Watch the episode first, then come back. We’re not going to tell you again. Last week’s episode of Game of Thrones is getting plenty of attention for its final moments — a nice little shocker that we hope you were able to enjoy unspoiled — but it worked best because of simplicity. The writers (in this case George R.R. Martin himself) dedicated about half the episode to The Purple Wedding, allowing the boy king to become his worst self right before his curtain call. It delivered a maximum amount of emotional punch on a death that was already going to be a big one. This week we come sliding back down from the high and are thrust immediately into the most dense episode of the season thus far. There are plenty of pieces to pick up, plenty to move around and plenty of storylines to join already in progress toward more bloodshed…

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Game of Thrones: Joffrey

This recap includes spoilers up to and including season four, episode two, “The Lion and a Rose.” Watch the episode first, then come back. We’re not going to tell you again. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: this episode changes everything. In past seasons, the single episode written by author George R.R. Martin has always been one of the pivot points of the show. He penned the “Blackwater” episode in season two (source of a monumental battle) and “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” (an episode that was packed with foreshadowing). For his season four work, he’s given us a royal wedding and perhaps the show’s most triumphant death. But before we get to the big nay, huge moment at the end of “The Lion and the Rose,” there is so much else to talk about. Because so much happens all over Westeros before the wedding.

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Game of Thrones: Season Four, Episode 1

As it has done in previous seasons, Game of Thrones has used its first hour of the year to give us plenty to talk about. Because even after so many of the characters we love were killed off at the end of last season, there are still plenty of people with whom we need to catch up. The other primary goal of episode one — a goal it accomplishes swimmingly thanks to the ever-sharp writing of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss — is introducing season four’s new faces. As Westeros takes a deep breath and begins to pick up the pieces left by The Red Wedding, the world of its fans lets out a long sigh of relief. It’s good to have Game of Thrones back on our TV screens, even better to have it back in top form.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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