September 28, 2017

Season 8: Directors and cinematographers

So now we know the names of the directors who will work for GoT in season 8: Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter, and David Benioff / D. B. Weiss. But there are some other persons who are just as important when it comes to making the show what it is: the cinematographers, or Directors of Photography.

Up to now we have confirmation that DoP Fabian Wagner will be part of the team in season 8, but still nothing about the other two. It seems highly probable that for the final season HBO will chose DoPs which have lots of experience with GoT, and have either worked closely with the S08 directors before, or worked recently (S07) for the show.

Let's take a closer look at the candidates:

  1. Miguel Sapochnik: From Fabian Wagner's Instagram post we know he will be back in the team, together with Sapochnik. Which could be expected, because Wagner shot *all four episodes* Sapochnik directed up to now, and he worked for the show during the last 4 seasons (in S07 he did some additional photography only).
  2. David Nutter: When it comes to Nutter, there is a very high probability that his director of photography in S08 will be Robert McLachlan. McLachlan shot 4 of the 6 episodes Nutter directed (during seasons 3 and 5), and he recently did the two Matt Shakman episodes in S07. So he both worked a lot with David Nutter and shot recently for the show.
  3. David Benioff & D. B. Weiss: The last one is also the hardest one: who might be the DoP for the final episode directed by Benioff and Weiss? As they only directed two episodes before (in S03 and S04), using two different DoPs, there is no clear precedent. Probably they will either use one of those two DoPs, or one who worked for GoT very recently:
    • Of the two DoPs they have worked with before, I guess Matthew Jensen (though he now has a name as DoP of "Wonder Woman") is rather an improbable choice: his cooperation with D & D back in S03 was his only contribution to GoT ever. Jonathan Freeman on the other hand has shot a total of 8 episodes for GoT; after 401 with Benioff & Weiss he shot 605 and 606 with Jack Bender, and 706 with Alan Taylor.
    • Of the S07 DoPs, we already have McLachlan and Wagner included in our list, and Gregory Middleton told us he won't be in S08 - which only leaves us with P. J. Dillon. He shot 5 episodes alltogether, four of them being the Mark Mylod episodes in S06 and S07.
    So probably it will be one of those two - Freeman or Dillon. My bet is on Freeman, because he has more GoT experience and D & D worked with him before on their S04 episode.

TL;DR: These will probably be the director / cinematographer pairings for season 8:
  • Miguel Sapochnik / Fabian Wagner
  • David Nutter / Robert McLachlan
  • David Benioff & D. B. Weiss / Jonathan Freeman (or, maybe P. J. Dillon)

June 29, 2017

More clues and details from the official promotion pictures

Browsing through the official pictures we got, I looked a bit closer into the files to see if we could get more clues about episodes and storylines (as we did before season 6).

And while most of the pictures have been renamed and scrubbed of all specific information, a bunch of them still carry interesting details: mainly episode numbers, scene numbers, location description, characters shown and shooting date.

Some location names are revealing - for example they confirm that the shot of the Brotherhood members is taken at the FARMHOUSE we know from season 4, and one picture of Sam takes place in the AUTOPSY CHAMBER of the citadel.

Additionally, we learn the name of young Lord Umber, who together with Alys Karstark takes part in the meeting of the Northern lords: he is called Ned Umber - which may sound strange at first, but is not too surprising, as the Umbers were always loyal bannermen to the Starks; at least until Smalljon Umber switched sides and joined Ramsay Bolton.

Almost all of those pictures are from episode 1, which allows us to have some insight in the order the scenes will be shown in the first episode. Here's what we have:



The army of the dead
trudging towards the wall

(According to u/awayforthelads)

Bran and Meera arrive at the wall


Arya murdering
the remaining Frey men

(According to u/awayforthelads)

Exterior shots of the winter landscape

(According to u/awayforthelads)

Meeting of the Northern lords

Jaime and Cersei
look at the new map

The Brotherhood arrives
at the farmer's cottage

Conversation between Tormund and Brienne, Podrick also being there

Cersei receives visitors

Sam in his laboratory clothes

Gilly and Sam reading

Daenerys and her team landing on the beach of Dragonstone

Daenerys and her team entering the throne room of Dragonstone


Daenerys in the war room
(According to u/awayforthelads)



June 26, 2017

GoT Season 7 Episode Guide

This guide contains
  • official information and pictures from HBO,
  • on-set photos and videos by journalists, paparazzi, and fans,
  • information and photos brought to us by fansites and individual fans,
  • leaks from September / October 2016 by reddit user u/awayforthelads,
  • leaks from January - May 2017 by reddit user u/awayfortheladspart2,
  • leaks from October 2016 by an anonymous leaker on 4chan.
As new information shows up, this guide will continually get updated.


Overview of shooting locations

Episode 1: "Dragonstone" (Director: Jeremy Podeswa)

Episode 2: "Stormborn" (Director: Mark Mylod)

Episode 3: "The Queen's Justice" (Director: Mark Mylod)

Episode 4: "The Spoils of War" (Director: Matt Shakman)

Episode 5: "Eastwatch" (Director: Matt Shakman)

Episode 6: "Beyond the Wall" (Director: Alan Taylor)

Episode 7: "The Dragon and the Wolf" (Director: Jeremy Podeswa)

Images and scenes from unknown episodes

June 01, 2017

About an unidentified trailer scene

One scene in the first season 7 trailer that wasn't totally clear was the one where we see someone grinding his / her weapon in a dark room. We do not see much of the person (nor the room), only a hand moving over the tip of a weapon:

As the hand in this scene does look a bit feminine, and we hear Cersei mentioning her "enemies to the South" in the background, one may get the impression this might be one of the sandsnakes sharpening her spear. After looking into it again, I am quite sure that this scene shows another person though:  

Grey Worm sharpening his dagger before his departure towards Casterly Rock.

And I think this scene directly precedes his sex scene with Missandei - she probably enters his room while he is preparing his gear for the assault on CR.

Why? Have a look at these pictures:

1. The blade is the typical dagger worn by the Unsullied; we can see it on Grey Worm's hip at the fighting scene at CR in the trailer, and he's wearing that dagger in earlier seasons too:

2. The sleeve in the "grinding" scene has a structure that is very similar to what Grey Worm is wearing when Missandei undresses him. And Grey Worm indeed seems to have rather "feminine" hands:

3. The open flame that is visible behind the hand in the first scene could be the same we see behind Grey Worm in the sex scene; plus, the colors and tone of both scenes look very similar: 

Everything seems to fit together in those two snippets from the trailer.

What do you think?

May 23, 2017

Second batch of S7 promo pictures released

Yesterday HBO released another small batch of promo pictures via Entertainment Weekly.
Unfortunately, those pictures do not reveal much new information - the only "real" new picture is the battlefield scene with Drogon.

Anyway, here's what we can tell about those pictures:

1. Cersei and Jaime in KL
Exactly the same scene as in the April promo picture, so nothing new here.
2. Tormund in WF

Behind the camera we can see Sean Savage, who has been working as a camera operator in every single episode since S02E01. No director or DoP to be seen, so unfortunately no hints about episode number here.
On the left there are some Vale soldiers with capes.
And Brienne has a male body double...
3. Sansa and Littlefinger in WF
Exactly the same scene as in the April promo picture, so nothing new here.
4. Brienne in WF

She's at the same location in Winterfell where Sansa and LF stand (in fact, you can see both of them behind her in the background.
5. Jon on horse in WF (E02)
We see him waving goodbye (to Sansa?), accompanied by Davos (wearing the same coat as in the April promo picture and Stark soldiers (dressed like the Stark soldiers who arrive with Jon and Davos at Dragonstone).
So this is probably the departure scene when they are leaving WF in S07E02 towards Dragonstone.
6. Arya on horse (E01-E04)

She's wearing the same clothes as in the short November teaser and in the April promo picture at the Inn. This time Needle is - correctly - on her right side, meaning the November teaser scene was mirrored. 
The location is definitely the Inn at the Crossroads.
7. Daenerys on Drogon (E04)
Battlefield with Dothraki, Lannister and other soldiers fighting between flames. Daenerys is wearing her royal outfit and her hairdo seems immaculate and absolutely unimpressed by all the action around her. 

May 07, 2017

Season 7 promotion timeline

Bored from waiting for the first season 7 trailer? Here's a quick overview about the promo stuff we got before season 6 premiere to have some orientation about the possible timeline:

Up to now, we got the same stuff roughly in the same order and period of time as we did last year:
a teaser poster, two teaser videos and a bunch of promo pictures. If they follow a similar pattern as last season, next in line we could see
  • another teaser (next week?) 
  • the official season 7 poster 
  • maybe some "Inside GoT" / "Behind the scenes" clip 
  • the first trailer (around May 31st / June 1st?)
But maybe we'll get even more stuff this year - to lighten our long dark night of waiting!

(Or less - to punish us for the leaks ;-) )

April 21, 2017

First official season 7 promo pictures released

Yesterday HBO finally released the first bunch of official promotion pictures showing "real" content from the episodes.

Here's what we know about those pictures:

Shooting Date: Aug 31, 2016
Location: Belfast
Episode: Probably E01
Context: Cersei and Jaime in the Throne Room. Jaime has Widow's Wail, the Valyrian steel sword formerly owned by Joffrey.
Shooting Date: Sep 13, 2016
Location: Shane's Castle
Episode: E01 or E02
Context: Jon Snow standing in the crypts of Winterfell.
Shooting Date: Sep 24, 2016
Location: Linen Mill Studios
Episode: E01
Context: Lyanna Mormont, Littlefinger and Northern lords in Winterfell, discussing how to deal with those who betrayed the Starks.
Shooting Date: Sep 24, 2016
Location: Linen Mill Studios
Episode: E01
Context: Davos in Winterfell during the discussion on the fate of those who betrayed the Starks.
Shooting Date: Sep 28, 2016
Location: Northern Ireland
Episode: E01-E05
Context: Sam studying and Gilly practising her reading skills in Oldtown. The text in her book is a passage from "The World of Ice and Fire".
Shooting Date: Sep 29, 2016
Location: Northern Ireland
Episode: ???
Context: Daenerys in the Throne Room of Dragonstone.
Shooting Date: Sep 30, 2016
Location: Northern Ireland
Episode: ???
Context: Varys in the Throne Room of Dragonstone.
Shooting Date: Oct 5, 2016
Location: Magheramorne
Episode: E01
Context: Meera pulling Bran on a new sled towards the Wall.
Shooting Date: Oct 21, 2016
Location: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
Episode: ???
Context: Missandei in Dragonstone, wearing a dragon brooch.
Shooting Date: Oct 24, 2016
Location: Moneyglass
Episode: ???
Description: Tormund and Brienne in Winterfell
Shooting Date: Oct 24, 2016
Location: Moneyglass
Episode: ???
Description: Littlefinger and Sansa in Winterfell
Shooting Date: Oct 25, 2016
Location: Mourne Mountains
Episode: E01
Context: The Hound with several other riders (probably from the Brotherhood without Banners) on their way North.
Shooting Date: Oct 28, 2016
Location: Zumaia
Episode: E01
Context: Team Daenerys after their landing in Dragonstone. Grey Worm is wearing a dragon brooch.
Shooting Date: Oct 28, 2016
Location: Zumaia
Episode: E01
Context: Tyrion after the landing in Dragonstone
Shooting Date: ???
Location: ???
Episode: E01-E03
Context: Arya in a tavern, probably the Inn at the Crossroads. In front of her seems to be a tablet with bakery wares or other food.

March 02, 2017

GoT Season 7 Episode Guide

Shooting for Game of Thrones season 7 has finished, and now long months of waiting lie ahead until the first episode will finally air.

Time for a résumé and something to shorten the idle time: a visual GoT Season 7 Episode Guide.

GoT season 7 was filmed for 6 long months in at least 24 locations in 5 countries. We had
  • lots of on-set photos and videos by journalists, paparazzi, and fans, especially from Spain; 
  • as usual, many hints and leaks brought to us by Watchers on the Wall, Los Siete Reinos and other fansites and individual fans; 
  • plus, big parts of the season 7 storyline were leaked back in September / October 2016 by reddit user u/awayforthelads and confirmed numerous times since then (as you can judge by yourself when flipping through these pages). 
So, I tried to put all of this together to give a comprehensive visual overview about what to expect in season 7. This of course is totally a work-in-progress, and there surely will be more stories and details than those included in this guide - but this is what we know of right now.

NOTE regarding the leaks: Later, there were several other "leakers" who claimed to have inside information. But as all of them were much less credible imo, I only included leaks by u/awayforthelads into this overview. Information delivered by u/awayforthelads himself is marked green, second hand information (PMs supposedly from u/awayforthelads published by other users) is marked red to make it easier to distinguish them by level of authenticity.

EDIT 2017-05-25: As the first official trailer proved several of u/awayfortheladspart2's leaks true, and him being identical with the original Lads can now safely be assumed, I added u/awayfortheladspart2's information and marked it yellow.

EDIT 2017-06-22: As the second official trailer showed us a flock of ravens controlled by Bran, 
I added the October 2016 leaks by an anonymous leaker on 4chan.


If you want to stay unsullied, do NOT click the following links.

Overview of shooting locations

Episode 1 (Director: Jeremy Podeswa)

Episode 2 (Director: Mark Mylod)

Episode 3 (Director: Mark Mylod)

Episode 4 (Director: Matt Shakman)

Episode 5 (Director: Matt Shakman)

Episode 6 (Director: Alan Taylor)

Episode 7 (Director: Jeremy Podeswa)

And finally, a collections of images, scenes and characters from Season 7 which can right now not clearly be atttributed to a specific episode: Unknown Episodes.


February 19, 2017

How to film a wight polar bear?

So in the leaks we heard that there will be a fight not only with lots of conventional wights north of the wall, but also with a wight polar bear - and that Thoros of Myr will be killed by this beast.

This promises stunning action scenes - but how in seven hells do you film such scenes? Basically, there are two possibilities:
  • you either create that bear completely via CGI (like the dragons), or 
  • you use a real animal and adapt its look in post production (like the direwolves).
While the first way is quite laborious and expensive, the second one seems to be completely impossible. Polar bears are extremely dangerous and fierce animals and surely can not be trained to act in front of a camera or even work with actors, can they?

Well, the first surprise when researching this topic was this: Remember that scene from season 3 where Brienne has to fight a bear? In fact this was filmed with a real bear, and Gwendoline Christie & the bear did film the scene closely together, only separated by a small electric fence!

So would this theoretically possible with a polar bear? As it seems there is at least one crazy animal trainer who lives and works very closely with his 800+ pound polar bear named Agee:

"Mark Dumas is the only man in the world who can chill out with a polar bear"

This guy not only wrestles and swims with his bear, but they also spend their time together "on the road working on TV and film sets". Agee even has her own IMDb entry, and according to this site she has lots of experience being filmed for movies or commercials.
To complete the picture: Now guess who worked with Agee in a Norwegian movie from 2014 called Operasjon Arktis? Good old Tormund Giantsbane - he even has a short fight with that bear:

Kristofer Hivju Kristofer Hivju and Agee

So if D & D were thinking about how to shoot that polar bear scene, they only had to ask Kristofer Hivju about his experiences with Agee. And if they chose to book her, the scenes would probably have to be filmed either in British Columbia, Canada (where the bear lives) or at the west coast of the USA. Transporting the bear to Europe would be both very difficult and illegal, which was the reason why the scenes with Brienne and the bear had to be filmed in a Los Angeles studio.

I doubt we'll get any information on this topic before the season airs - but if Paul Kaye or other actors of the wight hunting team would be sighted in Canada or around LA, that could be a clue.

Until then, we simply have to imagine the head of Thoros of Myr in the picture to the right...