Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones season 4 posterSeason 4 Premiere Date: April 6, 2014

Executive Producers: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss

Written by: George R.R. Martin

Starring: Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harrington

Synopsis:

The War of the Five Kings is drawing to a close, but new intrigues and plots are in motion, and the surviving factions must contend with enemies not only outside their ranks, but within.

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Conleth Hill as Varys and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister

Fresh off about 12 hours of leaked footage from IMAX screenings, HBO has finally released the official version of the Game of Thrones season 5 trailer. It’s an embed from Facebook, so you might want to hit the little full screen button, put on some headphones and crank the volume, because this ride is about to get a little bumpy…

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Game of Thrones season 4 finale

It’s time to fire up the Blog of Thrones for another exciting year of talking about all things Westeros. Here in the real world, winter has come and that can only mean one thing: we’re getting dangerously close to Game of Thrones starting up again. In recent weeks, HBO has announced a number of exciting events that will serve as an appetizer for the upcoming season five extravaganza. The first is the Game of Thrones IMAX Experience, which hits IMAX theaters starting January 30. This is a showing of the final two episodes of season four (“The Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children”) in full IMAX glory along with the debut of the official season five trailer. The second big preview event was announced today: Day In The Life, an unprecedented look behind the scenes of the most massive television production on the planet. It airs Sunday, February 8 at 7:30p EST and HBO has just today released a juicy preview.

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Game of Clones

“A Song of Ice and Fire” books are long, they’re laboriously detailed, and if George R. R. Martin dies before the series is finished, it will be the greatest tragedy of modern fantasy storytelling. It is known. In fact, it’s so widely known that putting pressure on Martin to stop doing any activities other than ones that lead to the completion of the books has become a loud, necessary cri de coeur for fans. Not only is it accepted, it’s a fan’s duty — when he or she sees Martin at a Game of Thrones red carpet or at a signing event — to tell him to get the fuck back to work. Fortunately, a filmmaking team headed by Andy Young (of Keith and Heath fame) has taken inspiration from Multiplicity to toy with the cultural frustration in a fun, inventive way. As a bonus, Zero Charisma‘s Sam Eidson plays Martin (and all of his glorious personalities) in this sappy trailer imagining a world where clones help Martin speak at a book store and continue detailing what Tyrion breaks his fast on at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Multiplicity 2: Game of Clones.

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Game of Thrones

In an inspired bit of cinematic cross-promotion, HBO’s own Game of Thrones is about to become the very first television series to get the IMAX treatment. The hit series will make its way to the big, big screen at the end of the month, when two episodes of the series (sadly, not new ones, but still the final two episodes of season four, “The Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children,” which were awesome) and a brand new trailer for the series’ fifth season will be available in various IMAX theaters around the country. Per HBO, this is the first time that a television series will appear on IMAX screens and, as the episodes are being remastered specifically for the format and the exclusive new trailer was reportedly created precisely for the big screen, it seems they’re really doing this thing up right. But why should Game of Thrones have all the fun? And, if this is the start of a new trend, what other (currently airing) shows should make their way to the IMAX screen? We’ve got some ideas.

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HBO

Get your tissues ready, folks, because 2015 is offering up a bountiful feast of delicious television offerings…that are ending. 2015 will see the end of series like Parks and Recreation, Mad Men, Justified and Parenthood, and it should come as little surprise that some of those exact series are topping our most-hyped list. Will they end with a bang? A whimper? Both, with a bang-y ending and everyone whimpering on their respective couches? We don’t yet, people, but we’re going to find out soon. Although we’re super-excited for the new television our smaller screens have to offer this year (and, yes, we even made an entire list to prove it), there are plenty of returning shows to get us just as riled up, even the precious few that are sticking around for many more years to come. Take a look.

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2014review_tv

Television! The original moving picture-centric method of in-home entertainment. The boob tube has gone through significant changes over the past few years, earning some long-fought-for respect and gifting the world with the kind of bold and original programming that doesn’t always find its way to the big screen. Alternative networks, from Netflix to paid premium channels like HBO, continued to flex their creative muscles, and the result has so far been a new, if not golden, at least silver age of television. Of note: this year’s list is a combination of returning shows that exhibited some extra achievement and newbie series that display significant promise. It’s not perfect — no list is, after all — but it serves to illuminate the shows that, for various reasons, were truly the best of the year. From series approaching the end of their runs to recent debuts that have already impressed us, it’s a massively mixed bag, but the quality is consistent. These are the shows you should be watching.

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Telltale Games

If you’re at all into this Game of Thrones thing, you might’ve heard rumblings of a Game of Thrones video game released this week. That, in itself, is nothing surprising. Only the peak of game franchises are rewarded with their own movies (and even then, those movies are almost exclusively crushing disappointments). On the other side of the curtain though, it seems like every movie from Mean Girls to The Penguins of Madagascar is given a cheap tie-in game that’ll just end up in a landfill somewhere. But Game of Thrones (or, to use its full, regal title, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, Episode 1: “Iron From Ice”) is, in fact, not crappy. It’s actually pretty great — not entirely a surprise, considering that Telltale Games was responsible for a previous The Walking Dead game that blew the doors off both the comic and the TV series of the same name. Also, HBO personally plucked away George R. R. Martin’s personal assistant, Ty Corey Franck, and handed him to Telltale as a story consultant just to keep things up to snuff. But is it worth it for those Game of Thrones aficionados that might not dig on video games? Is GoT:ATGS, E1: “IFI” a worthy companion during these long months away from the Seven Kingdoms? Well, let’s find out — and judge Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series not on its merits as a video game (that’s a job for Video Game School Rejects, and that site doesn’t […]

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"Hail Hydra" (HBO)

It’s October, and we’re a little more than six months past the Season Four premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and therefore less than half a year away from the Season Five premiere. We just have to make it through Winter. Which is coming, the Stark meteorologists have assured us. October is also the month terminated by the holiday of Halloween, with all the attendant ghosts stories, zombie hordes hunting brains (or candy – one of those), and the appearance of other undead creatures too ornery to quietly stay dead. A fine time to talk about Game of Thrones. And resurrection. Heads up, I’ll be talking Season Three details, so if you’re behind, Spoiler alert. Game of Thrones is a fantasy, but in general magic isn’t heavily emphasized. Sure, we’ve seen a magical assassination and some Penn and Tellerstyle shenanigans from the Warlocks of Qarth, but usually swords are more reliable than spells. That is, until Season Three, when the Hound’s sword only mostly killed Beric Dondarrion, who came back to life as he had six times before. Resurrected by badass priest Thoros of Myr. Critics were quick to complain that if resurrection in Game of Thrones is possible, then the dramatic stakes are lost. Death, where is thy sting? and all that. This was particularly relevant for a show that two seasons before had highlighted the deadly serious stakes when Ned Stark, the literal poster boy for the series, had his life cut short. But is the example of Beric Dondarrion’s resurrection really a negative game-changer for the story’s […]

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Joffrey in Game of Thrones

For as long as I can remember, HBO was cable TV. It was the best reason to start paying for television long before it was synonymous with the new wave of quality series programming. But a lot of its success and popularity had to do with how it was packaged for subscribers, always the primary premium channel offered in the tiered-pricing model. Most of us who grew up in the first decades of cable would have HBO before we would have Showtime and the rest, even before we’d have HBO partner Cinemax. Now, HBO could be the first blow that kills cable. There have been non-lethal jabs in recent years in the forms of Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and networks that offer shows on their own websites, but Time Warner’s announcement that HBO GO will be offered as a standalone service next year, that’s a deadly punch. All the people who have cable mainly so they can watch Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and whatever hits come about in the wake of the departure of the latter two can drop it and go a la carte. What that means for the cable companies isn’t certain yet, especially when details of this announcement are slim on account of “proprietary concerns,” which may be referring to those various providers. Will there really be a massive cut in subscriptions, or do most people with cable recognize that they also enjoy House Hunters, The Walking Dead, Duck Dynasty and of course sports, not […]

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Nightcrawler Movie

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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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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Sons of Anarchy

Spin-offs have been a part of television since the very beginning. These include not just those series that branched off from popular shows focusing on a favorite supporting character but also those that continued following the leads. The latter could be thought of as TV show sequels, like Archie Bunker’s Place. Prequels, however, have not been as big a part of television tradition. There were Saturday morning cartoons offering origins of live-action TV characters like Alf and the Muppets, as well as some jumping onto the “__ Babies” concept for classic animated series like Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones. Around the same time, ’80s drama Dallas got a legitimate prequel, but it was in the form of a TV movie. Outside of shows that were prequels to movies — a current trend in and of itself that has its roots in series like Freddy’s Nightmares (some of its episodes, anyway) and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles — the earliest American live-action spin-off of a live-action series to go backward in focus was probably Young Hercules, in which none other than Ryan Gosling portrayed the teenage version of Kevin Sorbo’s legendary hero for 50 episodes between 1998 and 1999. Unsurprisingly,  the Star Trek franchise eventually got into prequel territory with Enterprise. Later, another sci-fi series, Battlestar Galactica, tried it with the unsuccessful Caprica. 

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Game of Thrones: 409

HBO’s mega-hit Game of Thrones isn’t even currently on the air (we miss you so), but that doesn’t mean that there’s not plenty of information and buzz and chatter about George R.R. Martin‘s heartbreaking baby to share until the show returns for its fifth season sometime next year. Today, however, has brought us a pair of perfectly timed news items that center on the very same (hotly contested and debated) subject: just who Jon Snow’s parents really are. Wait, are you already shocked because you didn’t even think that was a thing? Oh, you’re not ready. So, what do you think you know about Jon Snow’s parentage? Hey, you might know something, but you’ll definitely know more than nothing after the break. [Possible spoilers ahead.]

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Oberyn is My Champion

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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Varys and Oberyn

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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Space Jam Website

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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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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