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Game of Thrones FAQ

What Game of Thrones is?

Game of Thrones is a TV series by HBO, which is created based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series.

What A Song of Ice and Fire is?

A Song of Ice and Fire is a medieval fantasy novel series, written by George R.R. Martin. So far, 5 books have been published and Martin is planning that the book series will span to 7 books. The title of the TV series comes from the title of the first book, A Game of Thrones.

What is the story about?

The story revolves around a realm, called the Seven Kingdoms. This realm is at war because of many different families are trying to get control of the throne and thus, the realm. It is a dark and realistic story, and the characters cannot be easily classified into good or evil. It is categorized as a fantasy story, but is actually more like historical with the elements of fantasy.

Any official website?

The official website is launched by HBO as a part of their portal. Besides, they also launched a production diary, in which there are various updates about the series. There is also a Twitter account @GameOfThrones.

About the Production

Who are the show runners?

The show runners are David Benioff and Dan (D.B.) Weiss. They are the people who write most of the episodes and decide many things related to the show. As for the financing, it is HBO’s responsibility.

What about other people in the production of the show?

The details on the creative team, including the show runners, directors, art directors, and production designers, along with the background and credits, are presented at the Crew page.

The show looks very expensive. What if Game of Thrones is cancelled prematurely in the future just like some HBO series? How can we know that this won’t happen?

HBO regrets that they had to cancel some of their shows. Actually, when they calculate the bottom line, they haven’t include the DVD and other stuffs sales. That is why HBO will give more time to series so that they can justify the investment.

What should I do if I want to be a part of the show?

If you are an actor and have an agent, you can have your agent to submit your info the casting directors. The casting director for the series is Nina Gold. After that, just hope that they call you for an audition. Sometimes there are open auditions, but it is rare. You can also try to be an extra if you don’t have an agent. You can sign up to Extras NI, as they are supplying for the extras. However, living in Northern Ireland is a requirement to join.

What about a work only as a PA or intern or someone who just makes coffee?

Usually they hire these people locally. If you live around Belfast, then you can contact the production office in the Paint Hall. You can ask whether they need any on-set PAs or interns.

About the Adaptation

How is HBO’s plan in the adaptation?

The entire story will be adapted, as Season 1 and 2 are the adaptations of Book 1 and 2. However, in the future, the lines might be blurred as the show runners intend to adapt the story as a whole, and not as individual volumes.

Does the adaptation involve George R.R. Martin as well?

Martin is the executive producer of the show but he is not involved in every day production. One of his jobs is reviewing audition records and he also plans to write one episode every season. The people in the production always consult him for the plot issues, as well. Therefore, he is still an important part of the show.

How do we know that the series won’t go far from the books just Legend of the Seeker?

The first thing to remember is that Martin is involved in the adaptation, while Goodkind is not. The show runners are also sure that they will stay to the original story as Season 1 has proven it. Martin also stated that his story will work only on television and on pay channel like HBO. This is because they still can show the dark aspects of the series on the channel. Therefore, the adaptation will stay faithful to the story in the books.

A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons are two parts to one book. Will they be in one season?

Those two books will be merged and the story will be presented chronologically for two seasons. The producers decided not to suspend half of the plots and the character for a season.

Does the adaptation also use point-of-view structure like the book?

The show doesn’t use the POV structure. So we can see the scenes that are not in the books because there are no POV characters present.

Do the characters’ ages are the same as those in the books?

No. Many young characters were aged up a few years. This is because they want to make some scenes look natural and believable for audience. Martin himself said that it would have been better if he made the children older at the beginning. Besides, logistical reason also takes part. Young actors have restrictions on how many hours they can work and finding good child actors is a difficult job.

Are we going to see flashbacks of the events happened before the beginning of the book series?

The show doesn’t show the flashback on screen. Instead, it is told by the characters, which will show us their roles in the history.

Is the budget expensive enough to create the battle scenes and epic elements properly?

HBO gets several contributions regarding the money. The filming locations usually came with financial incentives. This also gives proper epic feeling to the show. The Grren Fork and the Whispering Woods battles in Season 1 are not shown on screen. Instead, the Battle of Blackwater becomes the center of Season 2.

How do they manage the direwolves?

To fill the place of the direwolves, they use dogs of the Northern Inuit breed. They are bred to resemble the appearance of wolves. The ancestry has been traced to Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamuts, and German Shepherds, among others. When the direwolf pups are found, a prop of a female direwolf corpse is used. When the pups grow older, the producers used CGI to enhance their appearance.

How do they manage the different languages in the series?

For the common tongue of Westeros, British English, along with some of its dialects, is used. David J. Peterson of the Language Creation Center has developed the Dothraki language fragments in the books, so it can be used in the adaptation. There will be other languages invented in the future as well.

Season 1 Overview

About the Scripting

How long is the Season 1?

It has 10 episodes, one hour each.

Who wrote the scripts for the series?

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wrote most of the episodes. The exceptions are episode four (written by Bryan Cogman), episode six (written by Jane Espenson), and episode eight (written by George R.R. Martin.

What part of the story does the show premiere cover?

The show premiere starts with the prologue of A Game of Thrones and ends with Jaime Lannister saying “the things I do for love”. The wedding scene is also included, but in the book, it comes later.

What about the other episodes?

The rest of the episodes, certainly, cover the rest of the first book. There is also a scene from the beginning of the second book included in the Season 1, in which it introduces Hot Pie and Lommy Greenhands.

About The Casting

Who have they cast?

Many actors were cast for the Season 1. Some of the established names are Sean Bean (as Eddard “Ned” Stark), Peter Dinklage (as Tyrion Lannister), Charles Dance (as Tywin Lannister), Lena Headey (as Cersei Lannister), Aidan Gillen (as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Peter Vaughan (as Maester Aemon), Mark Addy (as Robert Baratheon), and Jason Momoa (as Khal Drogo).

Were there any recasts after the pilot episode shoot?

They had two major roles recast; Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn was replaced by Michelle Fairley, and Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys was replaced by Emilia Clarke. This demanded some reshoots as well. They also reshoot the prologue, in which two of the three members of the Night’s Watch were recast. Some minor roles were also recast (they were filled by extras). Grand Maester Pycelle, who was originally played by Roy Dotrice, was replaced by Julian Glover due to health problems. Similarly, Derek Halligan that should have played Alliser Thorne was replaced by Owen Teale.

Will I see my favorite minor character in the show?

Indeed, some minor characters were cut in the adaptation, but they are mostly the obscure ones. So the chances are still good. Some minor roles were made into featured extras. Others were set to appear in the next seasons.

About the Filming

When was the filming of the Season 1?

The filming for the pilot episode was from October 24, 2009 to November 18, 2009. Then, the filming of the Season 1 was from July 23, 2010 to December 16, 2010 (about 5 months in total).

Where were the locations of the filming?

The pilot episode scenes were shot in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Morocco. Daenerys’ scene was supposed to be in Morocco. However, it was moved to Malta. King’s Landing exteriors were also shot in Malta. Then, the location in Scotland, which is Castle Doune, was also cut. The sets for the show were created in the Paint Hall studios in Belfast, while Castle Black’s set was created in the abandoned Magheramorne quarry in Northern Ireland. Several other locations in Northern Ireland were also used for the production.

Who directed the series?

Five directors directed the Season 1. Thomas McCarthy directed the pilot episode, while the ten episodes of the season, including the reshoot of the pilot, were directed by Brian Kirk, Alan Taylor, Daniel Minahan, and Timothy van Pattern.

Viewer Experience

When did the Season 1 air?

The Season 1 aired on HBO from April 17 to June 19, 2011.

Is there a teaser or trailer for the show?

Of course, there were teasers, trailers, behind-the-scene videos, and character introduction featurettes released before the premiere. There was also a 14-minute preview of the show, two weeks before the premiere.

Is the soundtrack available?

Yes. Ramin Djawadi’s score as the soundtrack is available on iTunes and in CDs.

Is it possible to buy Game of Thrones episodes through iTunes without subscribing to HBO?

No. HBO has some deals with broadcasting partners abroad that do not make such arrangement possible. You can watch the episodes on demand with HBO GO. The episodes will be available on iTunes only after the DVD/BluRay is released.

When will the DVD/BluRay boxset of Season 1 going be released?

It was released on March 5, 2012 in the UK and on March 6, 2012 in the US.

Season 2 Overview

About the Scripting

How long is the Season 2?

The same as Season 1, Season 2 consists of 10 episodes.

Did George R.R. Martin write another episode in Season 2?

Yes. He wrote episode nine, Blackwater.

Who are other writers for Season 2?

Just like Season 1, most of the episodes in Season 2 are witten by David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Besides, Bryan Cogman wrote an episode, and Vanessa Taylor wrote two episodes.

Do they change the name of the show to Clash of Kings for Season 2?

No. HBO has invested so many into the branding and name recognition. Therefore, the show is still named Game of Thrones.

About the Casting

Who have they cast?

The cast for Season 2 includes Carice van Houten (as Melisandre), Stephen Dillane (as Stannis Baratheon), Liam Cunningham (as Davos Seaworth), Natalie Dormer (as Margaery Tyrell), and Gwendoline Christie (as Brienne).

About the Filming

When was the filming of Season 2?

The filming was started from July 25, 2011 and lasted to December 11, 2011 (about 4 and a half months in total).
Where were the locations of the filming?

Three countries were used for the locations of the filming. The main location was still Northern Ireland. Besides, there were two new locations, Croatia (Dubrovnik and the area) and Iceland. The filming in Croatia ended in mid-October, while the one in Iceland was at the end of November and the beginning of December.

Who directed the Season 2?

There were five directors for Season 2. Alan Taylor directed four more episodes in Season 2. Neil Marshall directed episode nine, Blackwater. Three more directors were David Nutter, David Petrarca, and Alik Sakharov.

Viewer Experience

When did Season 2 air?

Season 2 aired on HBO from April 1, 2012 to June 3, 2012.

Is the soundtrack of the show available?

Yes. It has been available since June 2012.

When was the DVD/BluRay boxset released?

The boxset is already available from February 19, 2013 in the US, and on March 4, 2013 in the UK. You can also buy a digital copy of Season 2 via blinkbox in the UK.

Season 3 Overview

About the Scripting

Who wrote the script for Season 3?

The writing team in Season 3 is still the same as the one in Season 2; David Benioff and Dan Weiss, George R.R. Martin, Bryan Cogman, and Vanessa Taylor.

Which episode did Martin write in Season 3?

He wrote episode seven. The initial title was Autumn Storms, but it was changed to Chains.

About the Casting

Who have they cast?

The cast for Season 3 includes new cast members. They are Diana Rigg (as Olenna Tyrell), Iwan Rheon (as Boy, probably Ramsay Snow), and Ciáran Hinds (as Mance Rayder).

About the Filming

When was the filming of Season 3?

The filming was started on July 9, 2012, and ended on November 24, 2012. That makes the total time for the filming in 4 and a half months.

Where were the locations of filming for Season 3?

For the Season 3, the locations were expanded. There are several locations added to the list. The show went back to Morocco again for the first time after the pilot episode shoot. Northern Ireland, Iceland, and Croatia were still in the list of filming locations. A new location was also added. It was in Los Angeles. There were two additional shots taken in January 2013. That makes the US as the fifth country where Season 3 was filmed.

Who directed the Season 3?

In Season 3, finally David Benioff and Dan Weiss became directors for the first time. Dan Minahan, David Nutter, and Alik Sakharov were still directors. They directed more episodes in Season 3. This season also welcomed two new directors to the team. They are Alex Graves and Michelle MacLaren.