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George R.R. Martin on finding the perfect Stark sisters for Game of Thrones

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They are as different as chalk and cheese, but also deeply connected. As far as generic medieval fantasy female characters are concerned, Sansa and Arya are a lot more layered and complex, and crucial to the larger scheme of the story. In this Rolling Stones interview, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin talks about the long quest to find the perfect Stark sisters and how they finally ended up with Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams.

Martin says that they were very clear from the outset that what they do not want is just a couple of pretty faces. In his words,

“These are not parts that require the girls to be cute, and deliver clever little one-liners to put down their idiot father, like you do in a sitcom. These are girls that are gonna go through really huge personal traumas. They’re gonna see death and war. They’re gonna see people close to them beheaded.”

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Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams as Sansa and Arya in a still from the upcoming Episode 3 of Game of Thrones Season 8.

The major hurdle in this quest, Martin reveals, was the casting of Arya. It was, Martin says, “particularly difficult, as I somewhat feared it would be; I think we looked at more potential Aryas than any other role in this show.” That is perhaps because Arya is very unlike what women were expected to be in the Middle Ages (from which ASOIF draws inspirations).

Martin says he based Arya on many women he has known in his youth – the 60’s and the 70’s – and the character has echoes of the Feminist Movement. There were hundreds of auditions, but that right mix of spunk and innocence was nowhere to be found, until they saw little Maisie. Martin remembers,

 “I saw Maisie’s tape, and it was like, “There she is. There she is. Arya.” She’s saying the lines, she’s alive, she’s got Arya’s spirit, you know? ] It was incredible. David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] and I said, “Yeah, we found her, hooray. Send up the skyrockets.”

Sansa’s casting was relatively easy, but they were no less happy with Sophie Turner because of that. What Martin particularly loved was how quickly Sophie and Maisie bonded. They instantly took to each other, during the audition itself.

Maisie was in fact so impressed with Sophie that she apparently told her mother, “I don’t know if I’m gonna get it or not, but I hope this other girl I met there gets it because she’s great.”

Sansa and Arya clashed a lot in the beginning, but seven seasons and eight years later, they have finally learned to work together and bond as a family. The bond that Sophie and Maisie had formed on their first meeting, however, has only grown from strength to strength. For instance, Maisie will be Maid of Honour to Sophie when she ties the knot this year. Martin does sound like a proud grandpa when he says,

“These young women have grown up together. They’ve become sisters, I think, in more than just the script. And the friendship that they’ve forged, that will endure.”






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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Game of Thrones grabs six Hollywood Professional Association Awards nominations

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Game of Thrones grabs six Hollywood Professional Association Awards nominations

Game of Thrones has always done well at the awards seasons, and it’s now in what is going to be the last awards season for the show. After a decent run at the Emmy awards 2019, the show now has grabbed a total of six nominations at the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Awards. Read on!

The nominees for the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Awards were recently announced, and Game of Thrones leads the pack with a total of six nominations, across four categories. These awards are given for achievements in visual effects, editing, sound effects, and color grading. Here are the categories in which Game of Thrones secured nominations:

Outstanding Color Grading – Episodic or Non-theatrical Feature

The Handmaid’s Tale – “Liars” – Bill Ferwerda // Deluxe Toronto
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – “Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy” – Steven Bodner // Light Iron
Game of Thrones – “Winterfell” – Joe Finley // Sim, Los Angeles
I am the Night – “Pilot” – Stefan Sonnenfeld // Company 3
Gotham – “Legend of the Dark Knight: The Trial of Jim Gordon” – Paul Westerbeck // Picture Shop
The Man in the High Castle – “Jahr Null” – Roy Vasich // Technicolor

Outstanding Editing – Episodic or Non-theatrical Feature (Over 30 Minutes)

Stranger Things – “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt” – Dean Zimmerman, ACE, Katheryn Naranjo
Chernobyl – “Vichnaya Pamyat” – Simon Smith, Jinx Godfrey // Sister Pictures
Game of Thrones – “The Iron Throne” – Katie Weiland, ACE
Game of Thrones – “The Long Night” – Tim Porter, ACE

The Bodyguard – “Episode One” – Steve Singleton

Outstanding Sound – Episodic or Non-theatrical Feature

Chernobyl – “1:23:45” – Stefan Henrix, Stuart Hilliker, Joe Beal, Michael Maroussas, Harry Barnes // Boom Post
Deadwood: The Movie – John W. Cook II, Bill Freesh, Mandell Winter, MPSE, Daniel Coleman, MPSE, Ben Cook, MPSE, Micha Liberman // NBC Universal
Game of Thrones – “The Bells” – Tim Kimmel, MPSE, Onnalee Blank, CAS, Mathew Waters, CAS, Paula Fairfield, David Klotz
The Haunting of Hill House – “Two Storms” – Trevor Gates, MPSE, Jason Dotts, Jonathan Wales, Paul Knox, Walter Spencer // Formosa Group
Homecoming – “Protocol” – John W. Cook II, Bill Freesh, Kevin Buchholz, Jeff A. Pitts, Ben Zales, Polly McKinnon // NBC Universal

Outstanding Visual Effects – Episodic (Under 13 Episodes) or Non-theatrical Feature

Game of Thrones – “The Long Night” – Martin Hill, Nicky Muir, Mike Perry, Mark Richardson, Darren Christie // Weta Digital
The Umbrella Academy – “The White Violin” – Everett Burrell, Misato Shinohara, Chris White, Jeff Campbell, Sebastien Bergeron
The Man in the High Castle – “Jahr Null” – Lawson Deming, Cory Jamieson, Casi Blume, Nick Chamberlain, William Parker, Saber Jlassi, Chris Parks // Barnstorm VFX
Chernobyl – “1:23:45” – Lindsay McFarlane, Max Dennison, Clare Cheetham, Steven Godfrey, Luke Letkey // DNEG
Game of Thrones – “The Bells” – Steve Kullback, Joe Bauer, Ted Rae; Mohsen Mousavi // Scanline; Thomas Schelesny // Image Engine

The awards ceremony will be held on November 21st, and while the competition is great, Game of Thrones is likely to walk away with a win across all four categories. What do you guys think? Talk to us in the comments, down below!






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A second Game of Thrones prequel about the Targaryens is close to getting a pilot

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A second Game of Thrones prequel about the Targaryens is close to getting a pilot

Game of Thrones might have permanently ended, but the universe isn’t done telling its stories. The last we checked, there were multiple prequels under construction, with one prequel — Blood Moon, having finished filming the pilot. Now, it seems like the second prequel is getting close to a pilot order, and it’s about the Targaryens. Read on!

Deadline recently revealed in an exclusive bit that a second Game of Thrones prequel being developed by Ryan Condol with George R. R. Martin, and based upon the downfall of House Targaryen is close to getting a pilot order from HBO. The series is supposed to be based on GRRM’s book, Fire & Blood.

Now, if you’re wondering if you saw Condol’s name among one of the developers of the five prequel series that were initially revealed, let’s save you the time — you didn’t. Condol’s idea is apparently not a sixth prequel, but a revisit to Bryan Cogman’s preuqel idea from a different angle. Cogman had revealed a few months ago that his prequel idea had been scrapped.

Fire & Blood goes from Aegon the Conqueror’s conquests right to the Dance of the Dragons, that marked the fall of the Targaryens, which apparently is expected to be a big part of the series. There is no official information yet, but it looks like the show could get a go for pilot filming anytime now.

What do you guys think? Excited about this one? Tell us in the comments, down below!






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Some fans are angry with the Emmy Awards for giving major Game of Thrones spoilers

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The Emmy Awards 2019 revealed major Game of Thrones spoilers, and fans are pissed

Game of Thrones has been the greatest TV phenomenon of all time, and it has fans all over the world. However, not everybody has watched the show, while some of that fans have still not watched the dreaded final season and others that just haven’t gotten around to it, were all in for a shocker when the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards spoiled key moments from the show. Read on!

The 2019 Emmys didn’t have a host and opened with a sequence instead. It was all great until the Game of Thrones part of the sequence came up, and it had some major spoilers. The sequence showed Jaime knighting Brienne, Arya killing the Night King, a dead Daenerys and the Iron Throne burning, all of which would spoil the show enough to just not watch it anymore. Fans were pissed:

 

 

Well, in all honesty, it’s kind of unfair to expect to be fully safe from spoilers this long after the show has ended. On the other hand, that montage could have totally done without all the spoiler-y bits.

What do you guys think? Talk to us in the comments, down below!






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