June 11, 2012

Game Over…For Now

Filed under: Books,TV — DB @ 2:01 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I turned on HBO last night, ready for yet another exciting installment of Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, it was an act fueled by wishful thinking. Game of Thrones ended the previous week. It was quite a blow…and it totally blows. That was much too fast. It seems like the show had barely been back on the air. Ten episodes just isn’t enough. Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have said that ten is probably the most they could do, given how ambitious the scale is, but I’m sure that if HBO ponied up the cash for a normal 13-episode run, and gave Benioff and Weiss the additional time to produce three more episodes per season, they would gladly take up the challenge. (Hollywood Reporter TV critic Tim Goodman makes his case for a longer season here.) Still, they packed a lot into those ten episodes, and with about a dozen plot threads currently unfolding, there’s plenty to look forward to in Season Three.

There isn’t a lot of intel out there yet about what Season Three promises. Benioff and Weiss have said that the third book, A Storm of Swords, is too dense to adapt in one season, so the events of the story will likely be told over the course of two years. Benioff said at last year’s Comic-Con that the third book contains a scene they can’t wait to get on film, referring to it only as the “RW” scene. But whether it will come in Season Three or Season Four of the show, I don’t know. Those of you who’ve read the book probably have a better sense, based on how early or late in the volume this mystery scene falls. As for what we do know about Season Three, Benioff and Weiss recently revealed names and brief descriptions of new characters we’ll be meeting. One friend of mine who has read the books said there were two characters who were introduced in the second book and continue to play major roles going forward, but who have been totally absent from the show. Perhaps they’re on this list? (A couple of these characters – the two Tully’s – first appeared in Book One, but were likewise omitted from the show. At least, I think they were both in Book One. I can’t recall if Edmure appeared or not, but Ser Brynden was definitely around.)

If you enjoy hearing from Benioff and Weiss, here is an interview they gave to Entertainment Weekly about the making of the epic episode “Blackwater”, including their thoughts on needing to ask HBO for more money and still not getting enough to do everything they would have liked. Without being able to compare it to what happened on the page, the scale of “Blackwater” definitely impressed me. And as Steven Spielberg and the crew of Jaws can forever attest, sometimes money shortages result in more creative thinking and solutions. Still, HBO really should fork over some more money to these guys. After two seasons, effusive reviews, award booty (including a Peabody) and huge ratings, Benioff and Weiss have clearly shown they deserve it.

Anyway…now the wait begins. Season Three won’t arrive until April 2013. That’s a depressing thought. I’m going to stick to my plan of not reading book two, A Clash of Kings, until early next year, as the hype for Season Three is ramping up and I really need something to hold me over. In the meantime, there will surely be Emmy nominations and casting news to offer brief spurts of appeasement. And of course, I give you this blog post, for what follows is a Game of Thrones potpourri – some links and videos – that can provide a quick fix anytime you need a small hit over the next ten months. Just speak the words “Valar Morghulis,” and this post will appear on your computer. *

To begin with: on the strength and popularity of Season One, the show achieved pop culture saturation this year. I previously linked to the opening credits homage offered up by The Simpsons (here it is again), but South ParkParks and Recreation and Saturday Night Live (couldn’t embed it, sorry – click here) all paid tribute as well.


Ben Wyatt speaks the truth.

HBO has provided a site called Cast a Large Shadow as a venue for fans to submit paintings and other artwork depicting the show and its characters. There’s some really impressive stuff in this ever-growing gallery, including the pictures I used at the top of the post. Definitely worth checking out. On the more humorous side, a friend of mine created this site that imagines what the people of Westeros might have done with Instagram. (No pressure Ryan, but you gotta get some more stuff up there!)

This made the rounds on Facebook and the like a while back, but it’s still good for a laugh, and provides a nice snapshot in time:

Here’s a cool video, made during Season One, showcasing the work of the series’ lead visual effects house. It’s amazing how frequently – and seamlessly – effects are utilized to create Westeros and beyond. (If for some reason you’re looking at this but have yet to read the books or watch the show, be warned that a Season One spoiler is revealed just after the 2:40 mark.)

Winding down, let’s give it up for show MVP Peter Dinklage, already the winner of an Emmy and a Golden Globe, with more awards likely on the way. Here he is in a vintage Daily Show appearance from 2003, promoting The Station Agent.

And if you just can’t get enough of Dinklage, well…you could go out and watch his other movies (or track down his guest appearance on 30 Rock‘s third season episode, “Señor Macho Solo”, which is a classic). For more immediate gratification, here’s a profile from The New York Times that came out a few months ago as GoT Season Two was starting.

And finally, because it never gets old, here are three choice moments of that little fucker Joffrey getting slapped across his stupid face.

If you really like that last one, you can see it repeated for about ten minutes, set to Led Zeppelin’s “Achilles Last Stand.” No joke.

And with that, I now move on to other pop culture offerings. True Blood is back, which is cool. Soon enough, The Dark Knight Rises will be here. Not long after that, Homeland returns, and then we’re into the fall movie season (Paul Thomas Anderson!) and then holiday movies (The Hobbit! Lincoln! Django Unchained! The Hobbit!), Oscar season…see, it’s practically April 2013 already!


* The “Valar Morghulis” method is untested, so you might be better off bookmarking the page.


  1. Thanks for the Instagram shout-out. I know I’m super truant with updates, but I didn’t think anybody was paying attention. Adding more stuff is a great reason to revisit Season Two, though, so not a bad homework assignment at all.

    Comment by Ryan — June 11, 2012 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

    • Now the world is paying attention! Your public awaits…

      You’re welcome. Hmm…that’s two consecutive posts you’ve been referenced in (thought you were only named in one). I didn’t even realize what an inspiration you are. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

      Comment by DB — June 13, 2012 @ 12:21 am | Reply

  2. There are so many epic things to come in season 3, which could also be a melding of books 3 and 4 since the timelines actually parallel each other (but expand upon different character arcs).

    So many of us have been looking forward to the secretive “RW” and I know the onscreen adaption will not disappoint. The Blackwater Battle definitely heightens the bar, though, but the creators are totally up to the task 🙂

    Comment by casey plus jason — June 11, 2012 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

    • Yeah, I’ve heard that books 3 and 4 take place over the same time period. I wonder if the show will mix up the events, or stick to portraying them on film in the same general order they take place in print.

      I did come across an interview with a cast member where the RW scene was discussed. No spoilers, other than finding out what RW stands for. Benioff says in that TV Guide interview that the name itself is a spoiler, but I still have no idea what to expect from it. I have some super vague guesses about what the setting might be, but other than that I remain blissfully ignorant.

      Comment by DB — June 13, 2012 @ 12:28 am | Reply

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