Tag Archives: ‘Game of Thrones’

U.S. charges Iranian hacker for stealing unaired episodes of hit HBO shows

While it didn’t dampen enthusiasm for everyone’s favorite dragon-oriented political drama, HBO certainly wasn’t happy when the major twists from the seventh season of its hottest show popped up online before they aired.

According to a newly released indictment, an Iranian man named Behzad Mesri faces charges for the hack. The document notes Mesri, who also goes by the alias “Skote Vahshat,” has worked for the Iranian military on hacks targeting Israel and that he belongs to an Iran-based hacking collective known as the Turk Black Hat. Mesri can’t be arrested now, but if he moved between countries that could become an option.

The indictment alleges that Mesri began his efforts to hack HBO in May 2017, feeling out the network for a way onto its networks. It goes on to describe how between May and July of this year, Mesri hacked into the accounts of multiple HBO employees, using that access to steal files, including episodes of “Barry,” “Ballers,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Room 104” and “The Deuce,” as well as scripts from Game of Thrones and confidential HBO financial documents.

The case is being pursued by the Southern District of New York’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit, with Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy T. Howard, Richard Cooper and Jonathan Cohen leading the prosecution.


“American ingenuity and creativity is to be cultivated and celebrated — not hacked, stolen, and held for ransom,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said of the case.

“For hackers who test our resolve in protecting our intellectual property — even those hiding behind keyboards in countries far away —  eventually, winter will come.”


US charges Iranian hacker for stealing unaired episodes of hit HBO shows

Amazon wants to turn Lord of the Rings into the next Game of Thrones

Amazon Studios has been looking for a way to duplicate HBO’s success with Game of Thrones, and the company may have found a solution: adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings into a TV series. Variety reports that the company is currently in talks with Warner Bros. Television and the late author’s estate, and while discussions are said to be in “very early stages,” it is clearly a high priority, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos himself involved in the negotiations.

Amazon isn’t the only looking into the rights, according to Deadline, which reports that the Tolkien Estate is looking to sell the television rights to the iconic fantasy series to the tune of $200-250 million, and has approached Netflix and HBO as well. There appears to be some strings attached: the rights might not encompass all of the characters in the story. HBO has reportedly passed on the project.

Amazon Studios has unexpectedly found itself in the midst of a transition. Earlier this year, Bezos reportedly got involved with the creative direction of the studio, tasking the group with finding high-profile dramas like the hit HBO series that could have a broad, global appeal. Then last month, Amazon Studios executive Roy Price resigned in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, a move that led to additional resignations and a reshuffling of the studio’s executive ranks.

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If finding the next Game of Thrones is the goal, it’s hard to imagine a property more suited to the task then Tolkien’s series. The Lord of the Rings tells the story of Frodo Baggins, a young Hobbit who is tasked with destroying an artifact called the One Ring in the hopes of saving the world of Middle-earth. The books have been adapted multiple times over the years, with the most commercially — and critically — successful adaptation coming in the form of Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. (Jackson’s films adapting The Hobbit were markedly less successful.)

While the adaptation is far from certain — the deal hasn’t even been closed yet — this is the kind of project that could bring Amazon Studios a significant amount of attention, and draw in viewers across the world. While Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu have all made huge strides as original content creators, Amazon has yet to score with a far-reaching, cultural conversation piece the way that Netflix has with something like Stranger Things.

While The Lord of the Rings would certainly check all the Game of Thrones boxes when it comes to fantasy and adventure, it is also worth noting that the books aren’t really known for being filled with the kind of sex-and-violence antics that HBO’s show has become synonymous with. On the other hand, Rings has one huge advantage: the books are actually finished.



Game of Thrones Actor, Audiobook Narrator Roy Dotrice Dead at 94

Roy Dotrice, who played Game of Thrones‘ pyromancer Hallyne, has died, EW.com reports. He was 94.

Appearing in two Season 2 episodes, Dotrice portrayed one of the men charged with creating King’s Landing’s stores of wildfire. He helped inform audiences about what Mad King Aerys did with the substance, and Hallyne also was involved in Tyrion’s plan to use wildfire at the Battle of Blackwater.

Dotrice also was the voice behind all of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire audiobooks. Performing that duty for the first novel, A Game of Thrones, earned him a Guinness World Record for the most characters (223!) voiced by a single actor in an audiobook.


The British actor also appeared in several other TV series, including Beauty and the BeastAngel (in which he kinda played Wesley’s father), Just Shoot MeTouched by an Angel and Picket Fences.


<I>Game of Thrones</I> Actor, Audiobook Narrator Roy Dotrice Dead at 94

Jon Snow went to costume party dressed as Jon Snow

Kit Harington has revealed how he recently went to a costume party dressed as his “Game of Thrones” character Jon Snow.

The actor claimed that fiancee Rose Leslie forced him to commit the faux pas.

Speaking to Heat Magazine, Harington explained: “Recently I went to a 30th birthday party and the theme was ‘bad taste.’ I was in Aberdeen, and I left it really late to get a costume.”

“So I went to the one costume shop that was open … and the woman who worked there said, ‘You know, you really look like the guy from ‘Game of Thrones,’ and I’ve got a ‘Game of Thrones’ outfit.”

“And she pulled out a Jon Snow costume, and Rose just whispered in my ear, ‘I won’t love you if you don’t wear it … You should do it.’”

Harington described the experience as “really embarrassing.”

He added: “The people bringing round canapes were looking at me, thinking, ‘You sad man! You’ve come dressed as your character.’ I think the woman in the shop realized who I was as I was leaving.”

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“But that’s even sadder – me going to a fancy dress shop and buying a Jon Snow costume.”

Harington recently revealed how he “blew his load early” when proposing to his fianceeand “Game of Thrones” co-star Rose Leslie.

The couple has been dating since they met on the set of the fantasy series in 2012 and confirmed their engagement with an announcement in The Times.

The proposal didn’t go exactly to plan, as the famous actor got so excited that he asked Leslie too early.

Appearing on “The Jonathan Ross Show,” Harington said: “We did a little announcement in The Times…”

“I did have some plans to do it, I was going to string up some lights in some trees and do all the romantic stuff but we were in the country and we were under this beautiful night sky and had a log fire burning and red wine and I blew my load early.”

Realising what he’d said, he laughed: “Sorry that’s a really bad expression.”

“I was meant to do it the day after with the lights. What I meant to say was, I popped my question a bit early. Not blew my load.”



Amazon is developing three new sci-fi shows in an attempt to find the next Game of Thrones

Earlier this month, Variety reported that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos issued a mandate to the company’s studio: produce more “high-end drama series with a global appeal.” This morning, Variety reported that the company is following that order by moving forward with three major science fiction shows: adaptations of Larry Niven’s Ringworld, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, and Greg Rucka’s Lazarus.

Since launching the studio in 2010, Amazon has earned considerable acclaim for its shows, such as The Man in the High CastleTransparent, and The Grand Tour, but it seems that Bezos is setting his sights a bit higher. In an interview with Variety earlier this month, the head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price, said that Amazon is looking to create “big shows that can make the biggest difference around the world,” by working on shows that appeal to a global audience.

Price compared their efforts to trying to create the next Game of Thrones, saying that HBO’s fantasy drama is akin to Jaws or Star Wars in the television world. “Everybody wants a big hit and certainly that’s the show of the moment in terms of being a model for a hit,” he said. Variety also says that Price sent an email to Amazon employees, saying that 2018 and 2019 are shaping up to be major years for the company. “Our overall content investment is increasing, which will allow us to continue to meet customer demand around the world for high quality and engaging programming,” he reportedly wrote in the email.

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Earlier this year, the studio brought on former Fox executive Sharon Tal Yguado as head of event series. She was tasked with bringing major science fiction, fantasy, and horror television shows to the studio and Amazon’s Prime subscribers. Amazon has dipped its toes into science fiction television with with The Man in the High Castle, its forthcoming anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, and a pilot for a show called Oasis, which debuted earlier this year. The three shows that Amazon is developing could certainly become the same type of television juggernauts as Game of ThronesStranger Things, or The Handmaid’s Tale, and Variety notes that the studio is putting “significant production investment,” into each.



The six-episode final season of the hit HBO drama will cost an otherworldly $15 million per episode

Westeros might have a debt problem, but Game of Thrones is rolling in dough.

The six-episode final season of the hit HBO drama will cost an otherworldly $15 million per episode, Variety reports, while others have hinted that each installment could actually cost significantly more than that.

That would make the show’s last season the most expensive television season of all time on a per-episode basis. A few individual episodes of other TV shows have cost more—the pilot for HBO’s Westworld, for instance, reportedly cost $25 million—but no series has ever been so consistently costly across an entire season.

Some networks have come close. Netflix’s The Crown and recently-canceled The Get Down both cost about $10 million per episode. Many other shows on American cable and streaming TV cost in the $6-to-$8 million range. But when it comes to spending, no one does it better than Thrones.


Compared to its current inflated production costs, the fantasy series was produced quite modestly when it first aired, at just $6 million per episode—on par with the first seasons of Netflix’s Stranger Things and FX’s American Crime Story. As Thrones has become more popular, though, it’s invested in more shooting locations, bigger and better visual effects, and an ever-growing list of talent. The series has filmed in Northern Ireland, Croatia, Malta, Spain, Iceland, and Morocco.

Elsewhere across TV, rising production costs are due to a confluence of factors:

  • more investment by deep-pocketed streaming services like Netflix;
  • increasingly competitive bidding wars over talent;
  • a shift in focus to big, bold, original dramas;
  • growing concern over growing subscriber numbers than improving dwindling ad revenues.

Variety offered another theory: Inexperienced filmmakers and crew members don’t know don’t know how to run a tight ship.

Industry insiders privately speculate that the strain on the talent pool of line producers and technical, craft and stunt crew members has been a factor in what seems to be a jump in the number of on-set accidents in recent months.

Simply put, it’s impossible to have seasoned people at the helm of every show when the volume of scripted series production spiked 71% between 2011 and 2016 — or from 266 series in 2011 to 455 in 2016, according to FX Networks Research. The 2017 tally is projected to top 500.

The $90 million final season of Game of Thrones will debut on HBO in either 2018 or 2019.


The age of $15-million-per-hour TV is upon us

George R.R. Martin is “co-creating” Bryan Cogman’s Game of Thrones prequel

Earlier this week, news broke longtime Game of Thrones staff writer Bryan Cogman would be developing his own Game of Thrones prequel series. That’s in addition to the other four writers already working on prequel shows, bringing the total number currently in development up to five.

Of all the writers involved in these projects, Cogman has the most Thrones experience, and the most face-time with Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin. Martin weighed in on the news on his Not a Blog.

Bryan Cogman should need no introduction for any GAME OF THRONES fan. He’s been part of the show since the beginning… since before the beginning, actually, since he was first hired as assistant to David Benioff and D.B Weiss way before the series got on the air, before even the pilot had been filmed. From those humble beginnings, he advanced to staff writer, to story editor, to co-producer and producer and supervising producer.

Martin went on to praise Cogman’s work (Cogman wrote episodes such as “Kissed by Fire,” The Laws of Gods and Men,” and “Stormborn”) on the show, noting that Cogman has become the “‘Keeper of the Lore,’ the guy who knew the canon better than anyone (except me, though sometimes I am not even sure of that).” High praise from the man who created the novels on which the series is based.


As for what Cogman’s project will cover, Martin was characteristically short on the details, though he did tease that “Bryan’s series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history.” Is there a boring part of Westerosi history?

Martin is involved in all of the prequel projects, which include shows developed by Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, Max Borenstein and Carly Wray. However, he admitted that he’ll be working with “some more closely than others.” But by the sound of it, Cogman will be enjoying his full cooperation. “I’ll be working with him every step of the way; we’re going to be co-creating the show.”

Martin did caution that not all five of the prequel projects will make it to air. “[B]ut we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020.” And that’s his best guess — he stresses that no one knows for sure.



How ‘Game of Thrones’ plans to avoid leaks of season 8’s ending

Game of Thrones” producers will shoot multiple versions of the ending of season eight to try to avoid leaks.

That’s according to HBO’s president of programming, who said last week:

“I know in ‘Game of Thrones,’ the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really know what happens,” HBO’s Casey Bloys said.

“You have to do that on a long show. Because when you’re shooting something, people know. So they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end.”

So even “Game of Thrones” stars will have to watch the show’s final episode to see who survives the bloody blockbuster series.

Other hit shows — including AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and HBO’s “The Sopranos” — have kept their endings secret by shooting different endings.


Going back to 1980, “Dallas” producers shot many endings for a season four climax episode, with almost every major character filmed firing the gun that would resolve the cliffhanger of “Who Shot J.R.?” That “Who Done It” broadcast remains among the most-watched TV episodes ever.

Bloys, in a talk at Bethlehem’s Moravian College, discussed the challenge of writing a great ending.

“Finales are tough,” he said. “If you think about, ‘Six Feet Under,’ well that was a pretty good finale. But if you think about ‘Seinfeld,’ if you think about ‘The Sopranos,’ if you think about ‘Breaking Bad.’ Everybody has an opinion about how a show should end.”

About that “Sopranos” ending: Bloys said he still doesn’t know for sure what happened to Tony Soprano.

“The thing that was interesting about ‘The Sopranos’ was it did make you think,” he said. “In a way everybody got their own version of it. I think he was probably shot, but I don’t think David [Chase] has really told anybody what really happened in his mind.

“But I think that’s his point. It can be whatever you think it should be as a fan.”

Production on the six “Game of Thrones” episodes in the final season will begin in October and could continue until as late as August 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That could mean the season might not start until 2019. HBO has not announced a date.

“Our production people are trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take,” Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter.

Production is complicated by the fact the medieval fantasy drama is filmed on different continents. Past locations have included Malta, Morocco, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Game of Thrones” is gaining audiences — the season seven finale on Aug. 27 was the show’s most-watched episode. Season seven averaged more than 30 million viewers through live and delayed viewing, Bloys said.




Ed Sheeran Got Extremely Dark About His Future as a Game of Thrones Character

One of the most talked about moments on season seven of Game of Throneswas a cameo from Ed Sheeran. As it turns out, Sheeran — who’s better known for his musical chops than acting ability — had a little insider help in getting the role.


“It was Maisie [Williams], who plays Arya [Stark],” the “Shape of You” singer explained to MTV News about his connection to the show. “She’s come to gigs for years. They basically put me in a scene with her to be like ‘Hey, thanks for doing the show for so many years. Ed’s gonna be in it.’ I think, anyway. That’s what I was told.” (Sheeran popped up as a friendly singing Lannister soldier in a low-key scene with Williams.)

As for his shot at survival in the hard-knock world of Westeros? “We were all quite young, those soldiers,” Sheeran said. “I doubt I’m going to survive for that long, to be honest, when there are dragons in the world.” Indeed, Sheeran’s kind-hearted, music-loving character may not be a match for the fiery conditions at hand. And besides, he’s not interested in making a repeat appearance.

“My whole thing was like, I didn’t want to be in it for that long. because I’m not an actor. I wanted to be in it for like 30 seconds or whatever, which I kinda was, so happy days,” he added. “No one wants to see me come back.”

Sheeran’s cameo inspired a torrent of responses online, although the star has shrugged off the buzz. He’s currently on the U.S. leg of his world tour for his latest album, Divide.



Don’t Cry for Game of Thrones’ Littlefinger—He’s Already Found His Next Move

Littlefinger got a—spoiler!—rough surprise goodbye on Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones. But if it’s any consolation, the actor who plays him—Aidan Gillen—has already lined up his next gig. He’s set to play the famed Irish author James Joyce in James and Lucia.

The film will center on the Ulysses author and his daughter, Lucia, a professional dancer who was diagnosed as schizophrenic in the mid-1930s. (Lucia has yet to be cast in the film.) Viewers will watch the last years of Joyce’s life unfold as he writes Finnegans Wake while his daughter’s mental health deteriorates. Its writer-director, Robert Mullan, hopes to portray the heroic struggle that the nearly blind Joyce underwent in order to protect and support Lucia, whose own struggle was heroic in its own right.

In addition to James and Lucia, Gillen also has a role in the upcoming season of Peaky Blinders and will reprise his Maze Runnerfranchise role in the upcoming Maze Runner: The Death Cure as well. The actor has long jumped from one hit show to another, including Queer as Folk and The Wire,so needless to say, he was already prepared to take his next steps. Still, based on what he told Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson in July, we’re guessing he may have snagged one small souvenir from the set: “I definitely want the mockingbird pin,” he admitted. As routine as it is for an actor to switch jobs, we can hardly blame him.



Here’s Everything That Happens In The Latest Leaked Episode Of Game Of Thrones

Okay so, we begin north of the Wall with Jon Snow’s zombie-snatching party, where Tormund jokes that he’s going to fuck Gendry and then warns Jon not to be so proud that he ends up dooming the North. It’s a pleasant enough scene, where the disparate party all settle scores and do some catching up as they march to purposefully hang out with the scariest motherfucker on the continent. For some reason, Jon also tries to give Jorah back his family’s Valyrian steel sword before Jorah wisely tells him he doesn’t deserve it.

Back in Winterfell, Arya and Sansa have their inevitable confrontation over Sansa’s old letter to Robb Stark assuring him that the Lannisters were good, and it plays out about how one would expect, with Arya getting in Sansa’s face and calling her a fake Stark for betraying her family. Sansa makes the obvious and true point that she was under duress and that she had to do it to stay alive, which, Arya being Arya, doesn’t sit well with her sister, who insists she’d have died instead of writing the letter. Both sisters have valid points and even after Sansa points out that infighting is exactly what Stark enemies want, Arya is stubborn enough to hold onto her antipathy.

Tyrion and Daenerys hold a debrief after Tyrion’s (still rather baffling) summit with his brother in the Red Keep, during which Tyrion tells Dany that Jon is horny for her. Tyrion and Dany are an odd pair, since she is the all-consuming conqueror with three dragons/children while Tyrion is the intellectual realist who knows the importance of the gritty process of diplomacy. The question of conquering vs. ruling that’s defined Dany’s arc for seasons now hasn’t melted away, and if anything, now that her dragons are explicit bearers of an apocalyptic power, it’s become even more prominent. She can win the war at anytime if she wants, but that won’t be enough. She has to, in her own words, break the wheel and ensure a better future. It will not be easy, especially when pitted against a sadist like Cersei.


When we return north of the Wall, everything is much more ominous, and the party spots a big hulking bear. All of a sudden they realize it’s a zombie bear and HOLY FUCKING SHIT. We’re now basically in a horror movie as this big fucker is biting people in the ass and generally destroying the tiny party of bandits and wildlings. Zombie Bear is more terrifying than Dany’s dragon, and even after Beric sets him on fire, he bites the shit out of Thoros of Myr, who later succumbs to his wounds.

There’s a short Winterfell interlude where Littlefinger reveals his plan, which is to put Brienne in between Arya and Sansa, ideally killing Arya in the process. This matters, but also, the zombie army is a much more pressing matter.

And there they are, a small detachment of ice zombies led by one of the Night King’s blue-eyed lieutenants. They fall into the party’s trap, and as soon as Jon slices open the white walker, all the wights but one immediately crumble into dust. Who knows why this happens, but it is convenient for our band of heroes, who are out to capture one wight. Tormund punches the remaining wight the face and the party captures it, but not before it lets out an ominous shriek, which inevitably means the rest of the army of the dead are coming.


Fleeing, Jon and friends run onto the surface of a frozen lake, and though they immediately try to stop and turn around to keep from breaking through, the ice zombies are now in attack mode, forcing them to make for an island in the center of the lake. Thankfully, the ice cracks, and hordes of undead are swallowed up by the lake. Still, a bunch of zombies remain on the shore, trapping our heroes on the rock.

Gendry, who Jon dispatched immediately to run back to Eastwatch, somehow avoided the ice lake and reaches the Wall after an insane snow marathon. He tells the men there they need to get word to Dany because Jon and his crew will all be dead “unless the Lord of Light sends us a bit of fire.”

And oh, would you look at that, there’s Dany in an extra-cool looking winter version of her battle dress telling Tyrion to shut up so she can fly north. Somehow, Jon and his buddies have survived (Thoros of Myr excepted) on a barren rock in a frozen lake surrounded by an army of thousands of ice zombies long enough for a raven to get from Eastwatch to Dragonstone and for Dany to ride north with all three dragons. Worrying about space and time is pretty much a lost pursuit at this point in the season.


The Hound, bored out of his gourd, starts throwing rocks at the army, which leads one particularly skeletal looking one to learn that it can just walk across the frozen lake, which has now re-frozen during the time that the heroes have been chilling on that rock. Now it’s time to fight again, and they somehow resist the onslaught and seem to be pretty efficient at killing ice zombies, although the scary thing about zombies isn’t that each one is particularly threatening, it’s that there are just so many of them. I don’t know how it’s plausible that this group of maybe a dozen frozen dudes kills as many zombies as they do, but Game of Thrones is more or less a pure action show this season, so I suppose it works.

All of a sudden, IT’S DRAGON TIME! Ice and fire are finally battling and it goddamn rules, even if it is the sort of deus ex machina device that the show staunchly refused until Season 7. Dany melts a ton of zombies and things appear to be working out until the Night King grabs a javelin and hurls that fucker into one of the minor dragons, sending it crashing into the ice. Big Crossbow may not have been enough to stop a dragon, but the Night King just Randy Johnsons that fucker right out of the sky. It’s hard to watch as its eyes close and it slips into the lake, dead as bricks.

Jon thinks about maybe dueling the Night King, but his buddy grabs him another javelin and Jon books it, only to be tackled into the lake by a trio of zombies. Dany and everyone else board Drogon and beat it, presumably leaving the King in the North drowning and soon to be recruited to the army of the dead.


Somehow, Jon pulls himself out of the lake, which is only just a slightly better position to be in since he’s wet, alone, and still surrounded by an undead army. But he’s saved by his uncle, Benjen Stark, who you’ll remember is the Nice Zombie who saved Bran in Season 6. He makes it back to Eastwatch, and somehow no major characters died in that ludicrous battle.

Despite the dragon vs. zombies extravaganza, there are still nine minutes left in the episode, which begin with Sansa sneaking into Arya’s room to find her unsheathed Valyrian steel dagger lying ominously on her table and a bag full of faces of Arya’s dead enemies. Arya, now a swaggering uber-assassin, is scary as shit as she threatens to skin Sansa and forces her to play the game of faces before leaving her with a wink and the dagger.

Daenerys tells Jon that she’s now fully radicalized against the army of the dead after they claimed one of her babies. Jon, whose scars are now exposed, tells Dany that he wants to bend the knee and the viewer is made to believe that they’re about to bone.

They do not bone.

Instead, the episode ends with the Night King’s army corps of engineers dragging the dead dragon (pretty sure it’s Viserion) out of the lake. The Night King gently touches his head and an icy blue eye opens, and that means we got a dang frost dragon on our hands, folks.


Dany now has two dragons and also has to fight against a resurrected ice dragon someday when they inevitably fight the army of the dead. I don’t think Cersei is going to listen when they show her the wight, but at least Dany knows the stakes.



‘Confederate,’ From HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Team, Is Already Drawing Fire

The creators of “Game of Thrones” triggered an online uproar on Wednesday with the announcement of their next HBO series, “Confederate,” set in an alternate timeline where the South successfully seceded from the United States and slavery is a legal, modern-day institution.

In a statement, HBO said that the show would portray events leading to a Third Civil War and follow “a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone — freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slaveholding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.”

The “Thrones” team, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, will be showrunners on the series and collaborate with Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“The Good Wife,” “Justified”) and Malcolm Spellman (“Empire”), who will be executive producers and writers.

“We have discussed ‘Confederate’ for years, originally as a concept for a feature film,” Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss said in a statement.


“But our experience on ‘Thrones’ has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO,” they said. “There won’t be dragons or White Walkers in this series, but we are creating a world, and we couldn’t imagine better partners in world-building than Nichelle and Malcolm, who have impressed us for a long time with their wit, their imagination and their Scrabble-playing skills.”

The reaction on social media was less than friendly, with some questioning the need for a show that would depict institutionalized slavery and whether it would glorify the Confederate cause. “Game of Thrones” has come under its share of criticism for its depiction and graphic scenes of rape and slavery, even while it is one of the most popular shows on television.



Why You Should Prepare Yourself For Daenerys’s Death This Season on Game of Thrones

As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I think there may be a certainty about Game of Thrones season seven we may have to face: that it may spell the end for our heroine, Daenerys Targaryen. As we know all too well, all men must die, and that sadly includes badass women we’ve been rooting an entire series for. I don’t want it to happen — I am one of the many who really wants to see Daenerys claim her birthright and end the entire show with her on the Iron Throne (preferably with Jon Snow by her side). Alas, that all may be for my fan fic, because there are several signs that actually point to the death of Daenerys Targaryen — and this season to boot. Let’s talk about why the Mother of Dragons may actually be doomed.

The Hints About the Big Season 7 Battle

Forget the clash for the Iron Throne; Ser Davos reminds us that White Walkers are the real threat in one of this season’s trailers. Given that the show has been building up to a showdown of the living vs. the White Walkers since, oh, the first scene of the entire series, we know it’s going down this season. Time reported that they witnessed an epic battle when they went to the set, which has got to be the big dead vs. living war. The on-set reporter wrote that he witnessed Emilia Clarke as Daenerys riding around on a mechanical rig during the battle (likely this scene of her on a dragon from the trailer). If she’s central to the battle, that means she’s also a target . . . and likely not to survive.

The House of the Undying Prophecy

A recent theory about Daenerys’s vision in the House of the Undying back in season two suggests the vision is now relevant, reminding us that in said vision, she enters a tent in snowy territory — signaling the aforementioned upcoming battle with the White Walkers. In that vision, Drogo and the child they lost are there, waiting for her. The symbolism is strong: Daenerys will emerge from the snowy challenge to her destiny, a happy afterlife with her true love and their child.

It Would Make Her the Most Important Character in the Series

Think about it: if Daenerys dies in the most important battle Westeros (and this series) has ever seen, it would be poetic. Westeros has to get those White Walkers out of the way before they can get back to the matter of who’s getting the crown, and Daenerys sacrificing herself to save the world is even better than sitting on some throne that even Joffrey had a turn at. Again, to quote Davos: “If we don’t put aside our enmities and bound together, we will die. And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”


Daenerys has to redeem the Targaryen name some way — the madness of her father helped perpetuate this mess they’re all in, after all. But rather than take back his position (and allow the potential for her, too, to eventually go mad), what if she instead saves the whole damn world?




‘Game of Thrones’ star Kit Harington says Jon Snow is a ‘psychopath’

Jon Snow has survived battles with White Walkers, been resurrected, returned to his childhood home, and was declared King in the North. But despite all of this, actor Kit Harington isn’t convinced Jon can be happy.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter for the upcoming season seven premiere of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Harington said his character is basically a “psychopath.” 

“I actually think secretly deep down, he’s a bit of a psychopath, weirdly,” he said. “He looks for violence. In a strange way, and I said this to [director Miguel Sapochnik] during ‘Battle of the Bastards,’ I think that in a weird way this could be Jon’s natural home, on this battlefield, where he comes to life. For all of his good, he’s a violent man.”

And the battlefield is probably where Jon is going to spend much of the series’ final two seasons. At the end of season six, Jon was given the responsibility to lead the North in a fight for survival after being declared to lead Winterfell. Cersei sits on the Iron Throne in the South, Daenerys and her dragons are crossing the Narrow Sea to Westeros, and the threat of White Walkers lies to the North. 

Harington thinks it’s going to be hard for Jon to find his own version of “happiness.”


“I think happiness is a very strange term to associate with Jon,” he said. “He has a very odd sense of what ‘happy’ is. It might not be everybody else’s ‘happy.’ I don’t know what happiness is for Jon.”

Though he has come so far since joining the Night’s Watch on season one, Jon still has much to learn about the threats he and his army face, as well as the truth about his own lineage. 

“He seems to be the one person who’s gotten to leadership without actually asking for it,” Harington told The Hollywood Reporter. “He started the series as an illegitimate black sheep in the family who’s just going up to this, back and beyond, to achieve nothing. And now he’s the King in the North. He never aimed for that. He never expected it. He never asked for it. I think he’s proud of it, but I think he’s going to have about 10 seconds to be proud of it before he’s right back in the proverbial poop.”



Hodor surprises fans, holds the door one last time on a ‘Game of Thrones’ tour in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland actor Kristian Nairn surprised a Game of Thrones tour group in Co Antrim on Wednesday and recreated his character Hodor’s famous ‘hold the door’ scene.


The unsuspecting group of fans were at Ballintoy Harbour on a guided tour arranged by Belfast company McComb’s Travel.

The area is well known as one of the main locations previously used during production of Game of Thrones.

After surprising the group, Nairn recreated the iconic scene from season six of the HBO series.

McComb’s Travel posted pictures of Nairn’s appearance on their Facebook page on Thursday, captioning the images: “It’s not every day that Kristian Nairn aka Hodor from Game of Thrones arrives on our Game of Thrones Tour!

“Kristian gave both Derek our guide and all of our tour passengers the fright of their lives when he held the door of Ballintoy Boat House.”

Hodor actor Kristian Nairn surprises Game of Thrones fans. (McComb’s Travel)
Hodor actor Kristian Nairn surprises Game of Thrones fans. (McComb’s Travel)
Hodor actor Kristian Nairn surprises Game of Thrones fans. (McComb’s Travel)

Belfast Telegraph Digital



Game of Thrones: What is the R+L=J theory?

If you’ve been fighting your way through the thickets of Game Of Thrones internet fandom for the past few years, you’ll probably have come across the R+L=J theory already. 

If, on the other hand, you know nothing (Jon Snow) then allow us to explain: the theory is a plausible bit of speculation about past and future events of the series, and after the season six finale, well, shit just got a whole lot more real.


What we’re about to explain could very well spoil a surprise or two in the coming series, so tread carefully if you want to stay pure.

R+L=J: what is it?

Let’s start at the end: J is for Jon. The theory aims to explain who Jon’s real parents are. From the start of the show (and the books) it’s been obvious to everyone except the characters that Ned Stark is a really unlikely person to have fathered a bastard. Given that his honesty, nobility and integrity got him executed, how likely is it that he sired a boy on a random wench while out warring with Robert Baratheon under the reign of the Mad King Aerys II?

Ned promised Jon that when he returned from King’s Landing he’d tell him the truth about his mother, but sadly Ned never came back and Jon never found out.

But Bran did.

In his visions of the past, Bran saw the young Ned (and Howland Reed, father of Meera and Jojen Reed, the brother and sister who helped Bran get to the Three-Eyed Raven) slay the legendary Sir Arthur Dayne and enter the Tower Of Joy. Inside the tower he finds his sister, Lyanna, who, we know from series one, was kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen, Aerys’ eldest son, precipitating Robert Baratheon’s war on Aerys.

In the tower, the dying Lyanna hands over a baby to Ned, muttering words about someone wanting to kill him. 

Ned and Lyanna in Game of Thrones

While the show is coy about it – Rhaegar rarely gets a mention – book-readers will be under no illusion that the baby is Rhaegar’s. R+L=J, QED. OMG. WTF. LOL.

R+L=J: so what?

If Rhaegar and Lyanna are Jon’s parents, then Jon is a Targaryen. The Targaryens ruled Westeros for centuries. Not only does Jon have a strong claim to the Iron Throne, being the Mad King’s illegitimate grandson, but he’s also Daenerys’ nephew. (She was Rhaegar’s baby sister).


Targaryens, as we all know, share an affinity with dragons. They also practice marriage between siblings, though whether that flexibility extends to aunts and nephews remains to be seen. Dany is looking for a husband in Westeros, after all, and Jon is King In The North…

And on that point, let’s not forget that Jon is not only a Targaryen but a Stark as well, which makes him the living embodiment of a united Westeros.

Seems like that would be important, no?



Game of Thrones alum Oona Chaplin joins Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5

Former Game of Thrones and Black Mirror star Oona Chaplin has been tapped to star in all four of James Cameron’s Avatar sequels.

Chaplin, who played Talisa Stark, joins returning cast members Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington for the follow-ups which will hit cinemas from 2020.

The sequel’s plots are still under wraps although, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Chaplin will play Varang, a strong and vibrant central character who spans the entire length of the instalments which Cameron has stated will “create a saga.”


Avatar was released in 2009 meaning the first sequel will arrive a whole decade later. All four films have already been written.

Avatar 2 – 18 December 2020

Avatar 3 – 17 December 2021

Avatar 4 – 20 December 2024

Avatar 5 – 19 December 2025

Chaplin, the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin, was most recently seen in BBC series Taboo alongside Tom Hardy.



Time Warner Signs $100 Million, 10 Show Deal With Snap

Time Warner has struck a significant content deal with Snap, the company behind Snapchat, both companies announced Monday morning. Under the terms of the deal, which is valued at $100 million, Time Warner will produce up to ten original shows for Snapchat per year.

Time Warner also committed to buy ads for HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros. on Snapchat. The deal is set to last for two years.

“This is an exciting and natural move as we bring together some of our leading video properties and brands with Snapchat’s dynamic platform,” Time Warner marketing EVP Gary Ginsberg said in a statement. “We’re confident this partnership will help drive larger audiences to our shows and to the new direct to consumer platforms we continue to rollout.”

“This partnership is another exciting step as we continue to branch out into new genres, including scripted dramas, comedies, daily news Shows, documentaries, and beyond,” said Snap’s VP of content Nick Bell.


Episodes of the shows produced by Time Warner will last three to five minutes each. Some of the genres Time Warner is looking to produce in include comedy and drama.

This isn’t Snap’s first content deal with a major media company. In March, Snap inked a deal with MGM to produce original short-form video. The company also has deals with ABC, NBC, ESPN, the NFL, Turner, the BBC, Vice Media, A+E Networks, and Discovery Communications, among others.

By adding Time Warner to this roster, Snap is looking to significantly increase the number of originals on its platform. Currently, Snap and its content partners publish about one new original episode per day on the service. The company is aiming to have three new episodes per day by the end of the year.



Time Warner Signs $100 Million, 10 Show Deal With Snap

‘Game of Thrones’ Forever: HBO Developing 4 Different Spinoffs

If anyone was wondering why George R.R. Martin hasn’t finished that next “Game of Thrones” book yet, he’s probably been a little busy.

HBO announced on Wednesday that four — count ’em, four — series relating to the dragon-and-magic filled fantasy land are potentially on the way. No word yet on whether they’ll be spin-offs, prequels, sequels or just shows set within the same world of “Game of Thrones.”

“We’ve closed deals for four very talented writers to each explore different time periods of George R. R. Martin’s vast and rich universe,” HBO said in a statement. “There is no set timetable for these projects. We’ll take as much or as little time as the writers need and, as with all our development, we will evaluate what we have when the scripts are in.”


But the co-creators of the current show, which launches a seventh season July 16, will still concentrate on that project rather than jumping ship to the new offerings.

“(Creators) Dan Weiss and David Benioff continue to work on finishing up the seventh season and are already in the midst of writing and preparing for the eighth and final season,” HBO’s statement went on to say. “We have kept them up to date on our plans and they will be attached, along with George R. R. Martin, as executive producers on all projects. We will support them as they take a much deserved break from writing about Westeros once the final season is complete.”


The four writers are Max Borenstein (“Kong: Skull Island”), Jane Goldman (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”), Brian Helgeland (“Legend”, “A Knight’s Tale”) and Carly Wray (“The Leftovers”). Martin himself, the author who started the whole tangled tussle for the Iron Throne with his books, is listed along with Goldman and Wray as a writer on their series.




Hodor actor Kristian Nairn teases return to Game of Thrones as a White Walker

‘As a fan, I’m not sure I would love that,’ he told the Belfast Telegraph, before adding: ‘But as an actor, I would absolutely love that and it would be so much fun to play that.’

He then basically s**t on everyone’s dreams as Kristian then added he was pleased with the way his character died in the hit series and doesn’t think another ‘Jon Snow-style resurrection’ would work again.

‘But I kind of think it’s nice the way it’s left. There have been enough rebirth moments in Game of Thrones,’ he said.

Keeping us on tenterhooks he then added: ‘I’m just going to say no, but I might be lying. I can’t give anything away. I have let things slip before by accident, and I’ve learnt the hard way.’

The actor has revealed performing as a drag queen helped combat shyness while giving a ‘two-fingered’ salute to the haters.


Long before finding fame as Hodor on the HBO fantasy series, the 41-year-old openly gay actor said performing as a drag artist in Moscow helped him to come out of his shell.

‘I ended up working in the Kremlin, I actually started working as a drag artist and that changed into being a DJ. I had a lot of fun doing both,’ he told the Belfast Telegraph.

‘I was quite a shy person growing up and drag was very much a shield for me to perform behind. My drag name was Revvlon.

‘In a way for me it was a two-fingered salute to the people who said I couldn’t do that kind of thing.’

And if he could give a piece of advice to his fans, Nairn said the meaning behind his ‘two-fingered’ salute would be just that.

‘Just do what you want to do and don’t worry about what people say,’ he said.

‘Any sort of performance was always what I was really born to do.’


Hodor actor Kristian Nairn teases return to Game of Thrones as a White Walker

‘Game of Thrones’ author finally addresses next book’s date

Getting George R.R. Martin to discuss his next book’s publication date is as tough as convincing Cersei Lannister to join the PTA. That’s why it was so surprising on Tuesday when the author actually answered a reader question about “Winds of Winter,” the scheduled sixth book in the “Song of Ice and Fire” saga that inspired HBO’s hit show “Game of Thrones.”

The fan certainly knew how to wheedle an answer out of the author, writing on Martin’s blog: “I respect you immensely and do not want you to rush or release anything until you are completely satisfied with it. That being said, it has been a whole year since we have received an update. You have placated our hunger with another superb sample and for that, we are grateful. But unless you want to be bombarded with (messages) like this, I would suggest another update.”

And Martin actually responded! Not exactly in the way fans might hope, but it was still a response!

“Not done yet, but I’ve made progress,” Martin wrote. “But not as much as I hoped a year ago, when I thought to be done by now. I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year).”

That might not be a lot in most fandoms, but since Martin’s fans are perennially stuck in a game of “Where in the World is the Next Chapter of Westeros?” even the inkling that the book might come out in 2017 was huge.


Readers have been waiting for “The Winds of Winter” since 2011. That was when “A Dance With Dragons,” book five in the saga came out, and some fans hoped Martin was on a five-year cycle.


But 2016 came and went with no new book. Back in September, an incorrect listing on Amazon France claimed “Winds” would be out in spring 2017, but that rumor was shot down like Tywin Lannister in his privy.

With two seasons left, the HBO show has already broken away from sticking to Martin’s written works, passing up the stories in the books. Two seasons of the show remain, with one likely to start mid-2017, whether or not “Winds of Winter” has blown onto bookstore shelves.