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‘Game Revealed’ takes you inside the making of Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1: ‘Winterfell”

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'Game Revealed' takes you inside the making of Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1: 'Winterfell"

Winter is here, folks.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1 takes us straight into a moment of grand convergences. All the key players have finally come together to make a final stand against the oncoming Dead and their personal dynamics is what takes up most of ‘Winterfell‘.

But how did it all come together, and how tough was it to handle so many diverse storylines at once? HBO’s feature ‘Game Revealed’ takes us behind-the-scenes of one of the most anticipated episodes in TV history and decodes all the action. Clocking in at over 17 minutes, the featurette goes deep into the making of ‘Winterfell’ and addresses several aspects of it. Let’s have look at some of the most important ones!

Daenerys arrives at Winterfell

As promised before, Season 8 Episode 1 had heavy callbacks to the Pilot episode from way back in 2011, including the soundtrack. The King’s Arrival is played for the first time again in 10 years as Jon and Daenerys are first visible among Unsullied soldiers. Another major callback is the little boy climbing on a tree and running below legs to get a better look – recalling both Bran and Arya from Season 1. The little boy’s vantage point was perfectly suited to capture the awe-inspiring scale of Dany’s army and dragons. “We thought the arrival was a way to capture what was at stake for Dany and for Jon”, says showrunner D.B. Weiss, “Everybody has a slightly different take on what’s happening here.” It was also a production nightmare with hundreds of extras with tight close-up shots.

Meet the Family

Inside Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1

Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, and Kit Harington talk about their approach to the super-awkward meeting between two power ladies. Dany is polite and courteous at first, as Emilia says, “You’re meeting the family. You want to do well, you want them to like you Goddamnit!.” Sansa, on the other hand, is wary of this new Targaryen queen and does not want to relinquish authority. Episode director David Nutter reveals his brief to Sophie for this scene, “You have to know one thing; this is your house.” Kit Harington sums up Jon’s feelings, “It’s not a comfortable homecoming, no.”

We’ve Got Company

Inside Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1

Game of Thrones might be the epitome of Fantasy storytelling now, but before all that, there was Star Wars. Showrunner David Benioff says he thought “It was some practical joke” when they first learned the legendary Star Wars creator Geroge Lucas wanted to visit the GoT sets. It’s a fanboy moment for Benioff as he says, “for so many of he was the who started our obsession with this kind of big epic storytelling.” The featurette shows Lucas watching the filming of Jon and Daenerys walking through Winter Town scene, looking at the monitor with Nutter, and speaking to the actors.

The Stark Family Tree

Inside Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1

The Godswood and its Weirwood Heart Tree have been an integral part of the Winterfell storyline since Season 1, but this is the first time we get a peek into how it is made to fit George R.R. Martin‘s unusual description. Production Designer Deborah Riley explained the care and hard work that goes in to make such an iconic piece, which is very unlike normal trees with white trunks, blood-red leaves, and carved faces on the barks.

This is also the setting of Jon and Arya’s reunion, arguably the most emotional moment on the episode. Director Nutter credits the amazing chemistry that Harington and Maisie Williams shared off-screen; “I didn’t have to do anything. We had two actors who hadn’t work together since Season 1 a chance to show pure true love.”

The Dead Strike First

Inside Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1

If the first episode is about setting up the key pieces and players, how can the Dead be left behind? In an episode dominated by lords and ladies talking, they make their presence felt and how! We see their handiwork in the Last Hearth, with poor little Ned Umber impaled as the centerpiece of one of Night King‘s ghastly severed limb-mandalas. The scene where the dead boy awakens and is put to fire was extremely tricky and risky to shoot, with multiple layers of VFX and stunt doubling to make it appear realistic. Stuntman Paul Lowe is the hero in this scene, although he is pretty gung-ho about it; “This is the first time I got a full burn so that’s a nice tick.” Phew!

Dragonflight

Inside Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1

Jon rides a dragon! That was an exhilarating moment for the audience and actors alike. Kit and Emilia, best friends in real life, had some opportunity for exchange here. Kit rode a dragon for the first time which Emilia has been doing for long, and Emilia came to Iceland, where most of Kit’s Night’s Watch shooting took place. This is kind of the first time where Dany is shown riding without a battle raging around her, so it was quite fun. “It just felt like a magic carpet ride!” Emilia exclaims. Kit’s first time on the dragon, however, was…uncomfortable. We suggest you watch the video to find out more about that!

The featurette also talks about the different Stark Reunions (Sansa-Tyrion, Arya-Gendry, Arya-Hound, Bran-Jaime). We are not including them here because the dynamics are pretty obvious if complex. There are also celebrity and crew cameos. Comedians Martin Starr (Gilfoyl from Silicon Valley) and Rob McElhenney (Ronald in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) joined the cast as Euron Greyjoy’s men only to die in about two seconds.

All in all, the featurette just makes us all the more excited about episode two. What’s your take? Let us know!







Writer, translator, and high fantasy nerd based in Kolkata, India. Would dearly love to own a pet dragon some day, but the black market isn't really helping.

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George R. R. Martin reveals the costume he wore for his unseen Game of Thrones cameo

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George R.R. Martin reveals the costume he wore for his unseen Game of Thrones cameo

When a show becomes a magnanimous success everything associated with it becomes a treasure for fans. Game of Thrones was a success of gigantic proportions and it is going to be quite sometime when the dust will finally settle down on it. Although the show finished its run about a year ago, it has continued to stay in the news. Almost every week there is something new being revealed about the show. Now, its the turn for a glimpse of an unseen cameo that is going to excite a lot of fans!

It is an open secret that George R. R. Martin had a cameo in Thrones that never came to fruition. Martin, as well, has teased us enough through his own posts about what might have been! This time he has gone the distance and even posted the pic of his costume that he was supposed to wear in one of the scenes.

In fact, Martin tweeted about it and linked it to his recent blog on not a blog. He wrote:

On his Not a Blog, he talked about the various cameos that he had been in so far and why some of his cameos never saw the light on Thrones.

“I’ve done my own cameos over the years as well.   You can catch a glimpse of me (young, dark-haired me) in two different episodes of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  The first one you’d need to be blind to miss; the second one you’ll miss if you blink.   More recently, I played a zombie version of myself in Z NATION (still signing books), and had my head bitten off by a shark in SHARKNADO 3 (though they cut all my lines, pfui). “

He added:

“I wanted to be a severed head on the walls of the Red Keep next to Ned Stark (and David & Dan, ideally), but our budget was not so robust first season, and those severed heads are damned expensive.   I also campaigned to die horribly at the Red Wedding, which seemed only fair since I was responsible for it, but it was felt that my presence in that powerful, wrenching, bloody scene might have taken the viewers out of the moment.   Fair enough.   And not wrong.”

Well, with all due respect, Martin being in the red wedding would have seriously distracted the audience. However, we do sometimes wonder, how that unseen pilot would have looked like.

In the current doom and gloom, Martin did recently provide us with some positivity when he confirmed that he is writing daily in the quarantine. We hope, unlike his cameos, The Winds of Winter do get to see the light of the day soon!

How did you like the costume? Do you wonder about that unaired pilot as well? Write to us in the comments below!







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Poor visibility in Game of Thrones’ ‘The Long Night’ inspired Panasonic’s latest HDR TVs

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Game of Thrones has had a lot of cultural influence, but it’s really hard to quantify the exact impact it has had on the world. Every now and then one will notice something that will make them realise how far the show’s ripple effect really goes. Case in point — the show actually made Panasonic and Dolby make better HDR TVs. Here’s how!

If you remember, the show aired the third episode of Season 8, titled “The Long Night”, featuring the Battle of Winterfell, and despite the many happenings in the episode, the talk of the week was about how dimly lit the whole episode was, and how everybody had trouble keeping up with what was going on.

Many tech pundits, including Thrones cinematographer Fabian Wagner, made the argument that the brightness was intentional, and that the episode would look good on HDR TVs with good brightness levels, but not all HDR TVs were equipped enough at the time to display the episode like it was meant to be seen.

HDR has been all over the place, but Panasonic and Dolby have joined forces to make sure that ‘The Long Night’ doesn’t happen again. Now, stepping HDR up a notch, Panasonic has come out with TVs equipped with a new technology called Dolby Vision IQ. Basically, it adds a new factor to the adjustments needed when playing an HDR video — ambient brightness. That means that the TV will read the brightness levels of your room and make sure you’re seeing the picture just right.

Techradar spoke to Paul Darch, TV Group General Manager at Panasonic Europe, who namedropped the Game of Thrones episode while talking about how the feature came to be. The technology is expected to be added to cheaper TVs in the coming years, so don’t worry about having to spend too much to be able to get a TV that can display such content well.

Talk to us in the comments, down below!







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Emilia Clarke narrates a story with her puppy Ted as part of ‘Save with Stories’ movement

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Let’s be honest, these are excruciatingly difficult times for us. A virus has wreaked havoc in our lives and there is pretty much nothing we can do about it other than sitting patiently within the confines of our homes. Our favorite stars too are doing the same, although some of them have found a way to still work for some noble causes even while staying in quarantine. Emilia Clarke is one of those stars and she is working for a fine cause in quite an unusual way! Read on to find out more.

We know that, schools in the U.S. have been closed down due to the Coronavirus outbreak and as a result, a lot of kids have been deprived of schooling as well as the food. Hence, a new campaign ‘Save with Stories‘ has begun that will raise funds for children.

Game of Thrones’ star Clarke is the latest celebrity to join the movement and recently she took to her Instagram and read a story for kids’ live. However, a surprise guest joined her as well and brought a welcome smile on a lot of faces around the world.

View this post on Instagram

“Bear’s Loose Tooth” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman (published by @simonkids) – read by @emilia_clarke and Ted 🐶 . THIRTY MILLION CHILDREN rely on school for food. Responding to the needs of kids during these school closures, @savethechildren and @nokidhungry have a new fund @SAVEWITHSTORIES to support food banks, and mobile meal trucks, and community feeding programs with funds to do what they do best—and also—with educational toys, books, and worksheets to make sure brains are full, as well as bellies. . If you can manage a one time gift of $10, please text SAVE to 20222. If another amount would work better for you, please visit our website—link in bio. There is no maximum and there is no minimum—together we will rise and together we can help. . Thank you and stay safe. XX #SAVEWITHSTORIES

A post shared by #SAVEWITHSTORIES (@savewithstories) on

Clarke and her puppy Ted read a children’s book called ‘Bear’s Loose Tooth’ but not before the latter took his own sweet time licking Clarke’s face. Once the adorable Ted settled down, Clarke read a four-minute story for the children.

In the video, Clarke can be seen saying “This is my Teddy.”

Emilia Clarke read a story with her puppy Ted as part of Save with Stories movement

She added:

“He is called Ted and he’s a little puppy. And we’d love to read you a story. So – are you sitting comfortably? Are you lying? Are you cuddled next to someone really big and squidgy or someone really little and furry, like this boy here?”

After ending her story, Clarke signed off by saying:

“I hope you’re all doing very well, And I’m sending you lots and lots of love. Bye!”

Clarke had recently declared that she is single right now and it seems like she is spending some quality time with her puppy. Anyways, isn’t it nice to see our favorites still trying to do their bit for the society when everything around is so grim? We absolutely loved Clarke’s video. How about you?

Let us know in the comments below!







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