Press Round-Up: Kit Harington on Jon handling kings, and Game of Thrones hits 19 million viewers

Kit Harington

  • Kit Harington shares his thoughts with Zap2It on Jon Snow being up to the task of dealing with Stannis and Melisandre. “I think it’s going to be really interesting watching Jon have to deal with politics in a way he’s not had to up until now,” says Harington. “He’s very much having to deal with a king and like we heard him say at the end of last season, he doesn’t have a king.” Check out the full interview for Kit’s opinion on how Jon is handling Ygritte’s death.

  • According to Time Warner’s quarterly earnings report, Game of Thrones has reached 19 million viewers, says Entertainment Weekly. GoT is currently the most-watched show on premium cable. While it’s difficult to compare ratings with other networks because of HBO’s premium status, and because Game of Thrones is also the most pirated show around, it’s safe to say the show’s popularity won’t be waning any time soon.
  • The “Creating Brave New Worlds” event with George R.R. Martin may have sold out, but BBC Arts Online will be livestreaming the talk for fans. The event, part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, will feature Martin discussing his work with journalist and critic Stuart Kelly. “Creating Brave New Worlds” is scheduled to take place on Monday, August 11th, from 8:00pm – 9:00pm (British time, of course. That’s 3:00PM EDT.)

Transit map

  • Barristan the Bold himself, Ian McElhinney, talks to the Telegraph about who is behind his Twitter account, and keeping a role on a long-running show. “There was a time in television when I always tended to be bumped off in everything I was in. […] Now I’ve made it into the fifth series of Game of Thrones so I’m a very happy man.”
  • Getting around Westeros would be a lot easier if the Seven Kingdoms had transit maps like the one Michael Tyznik has created. (Actually, many people in GoT’s problems would be solved if mass transit existed, but that’s beside the point.) The incredibly detailed map is available as a print.
Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

32 Comments

  1. It may be a tad slower, but that Westerosi rail system seems like a far safer and more practical way to commute across Westeros than a teleporter or a jetpack. Petyr Baelish and Jaime Lannister should take notes.

    To be fair, however, traveling to Sunspear does seem like a pain in the ass no matter what line you take. At least two transfers on any journey from King’s Landing? Highly inconvenient. I might elect to take the ferry, pirates and storms be damned. No wonder the Targaryens gave up on conquering Dorne.

    Of course, traveling by sea would require finding a captain who wouldn’t sell me out to the Sand Snakes within hours of my arrival. Always a suspect proposition in that region.

    And then of course there are those absolutely interminable delays at the Moat Cailin station, especially when you’re traveling north. They really need to get that problem fixed.

  2. I swear I read an article that said The Big Bang Theory is the most watched show in the US and has an average of 23 million viewers per episode, that must only be the initial airing or something right?

  3. Ha! I’m now picturing a steampunk “version” of GoT set a couple of hundred years after the events of the series. Surely Westeros will get “technological” eventually right?

  4. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I know! The last time I passed through there, one of the vendors offered me some kind of meat on a stick that he described as “piping hot – fresh off the tracks!” One of my colleagues had forgotten his lunch and he was so hungry that he actually bought it. Poor bastard was sick for a month.

    Until recently, I always tried to go through the Red Keep station. Apart from a few persistent bloodstains on the walls, it was so much nicer! Then one day, out of the blue, the Queen had it shut down and sealed off. Apparently she was worried about “dwarves hiding in the tunnels”. Whatever that means.

  5. Jared,

    Apparently she was worried about “dwarves hiding in the tunnels”.

    Yes, I’d heard that the Queen Regent had a serious case of valonqaraphobia!

    jentario,

    Now, now….that shade wasn’t meant for the neighborhood. The piss is run off from the Red Keep remember? The pervasiveness of “brown” is due to food shortages because Joffrey sucked as a ruler. And train exhaust….well that is just unavoidable in subway stations. 😉

  6. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Jared,
    If you think the journey to Sunspear is bad, wait until you get a load of the Flea Bottom Station in King’s Landing.It smells like urine, a bowl full of brown and train exhaust.

    Sounds like most London Underground stations, to be fair

  7. I’m not surprised at all by the 19 million viewers.

    Does anyone know if HBO is subject to same rating system as broadcast shows (Nielsen ratings-horribly outdated, imo) or do they have their own means of calculating viewership? I’m assuming those are US numbers only and not counting the various country subscriptions (for fairness of course) so the number could be much higher in reality than that.

    At any rate, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a premium cable show coming near the top rated broadcast shows, so yay for GoT!

    That map is amazing. If only weakening King’s Landing was as simple as disabling the train lines.

    I’ve never gotten into Twitter *hides in shame* so I have nothing against Ian McElhinney using a ghost writer. At least it’s someone who really knows him!

  8. All Hail the Wolf Girl: Sounds like most London Underground stations, to be fair

    It’s funny you should say that. The first time I went to London, I was impressed by how clean the Underground stations appeared, at least when compared with most of the subway systems in major US cities.

  9. Mormont,

    Big Bang Theory is on a broadcast channel, whereas GoT is on a premium cable channel. Big Bang Theory’s penetration into households is something like 92% of America, cable being ~85%, and premium being far less than that. So it is a big deal that 19 million of (what is it, 30 million HBO subscribers?) is watching compared to the 23 million you mentioned for Big Bang Theory out of 300 million available watchers.

  10. nymeriathedirewolf,

    To answer some of your questions about HBO ratings, it’s important to note just how different an animal HBO is in terms of a business model as compared to other television networks. It is a subscription-based premium cable network who derives no revenue from advertising, only subscriptions and arrangements with cable companies in exchange for carrying them.

    The sizable compensation they get from cable companies is the reason why they do not offer the ability to stream or view their shows anywhere outside of their own services. And to sign up for HBO or HBOGo, you need to have a cable subscription so you can see why cable companies are very happy to pay them tons to maintain this structure. This could evolve over time with them being less strict but for now, they appear to be happy with this setup.

    In terms of ratings, because they don’t have advertisers, first-run viewing rating are irrelevant to them. Total viewership is all that matters because that is an indication of how many subscribers are watching and presumably, how many new subscribers they are adding because of the popularity of a show. On other networks, while they track DVR viewing and OnDemand usage for shows, the first-run viewing is still extremely important because it’s what advertisers care about on account of the likelihood of viewers actually viewing the commercials as opposed to fast forwarding past them.

    A popular network show like Big Bang Theory has way, way more first run viewers than GoT, but HBO wouldn’t care about this at all because it’s an apples and oranges situation. HBO is only available in a fraction of the homes that CBS is so you aren’t drawing from the same audience sample. And as mentioned, as long as people are watching GoT at some point, whether it’s first one or two weeks later, HBO makes the same amount of money.

    First run ratings on HBO are still informative (and you’re right in saying they’re for US-only, I’m sure they track their international reach with other metrics). You can use them to note trends. Like if the first run ratings go up 15% from one week to the next, even though HBO isn’t paying too close attention to the actual number of viewers, the increase would correlate to more overall viewership so that would be a positive for them. The same would hold true to year-over-year trends (like comparing the premiere episode ratings for S4 as compared to the premiere of S3.)

    Hope that helps.

  11. ^ I’m sure he will have. He had an important part to play in aDwD. In any case we never saw much of Mance in the second half of aSoS anyways and the show kept up with that.

  12. Morna the Witch,

    If they go with ADWD to a tee then yes. But they may not. Depending on whether or not Mance dies in TWOW or if they chose to simplify the Winterfell plot by not involving him there, they may kill him for good as a sacrifice (a la Rattleshift/fMance). They could…

    A) Do everything like ADWD with the fake execution and the convoluted glamour business….

    B) Just never burn him and have him spared if he goes to Winterfell…

    C) Keep him around at CB for some reason…

    D) Or kill him off prematurely in place of glamoured Rattleshirt because Ciarin Hinds is too expensive.

    I hope they go with option B, but who knows.

  13. King Tommen:
    nymeriathedirewolf,

    The sizable compensation they get from cable companies is the reason why they do not offer the ability to stream or view their shows anywhere outside of their own services. And to sign up for HBO or HBOGo, you need to have a cable subscription so you can see why cable companies are very happy to pay them tons to maintain this structure. This could evolve over time with them being less strict but for now, they appear to be happy with this setup.

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks for the explanation. It helps a lot.

    I have a subscription to HBO Nordic and it’s a standalone product so I figured HBO Go was the same. Interesting to find out it’s not.

  14. (Anybody else’s posts disappearing when using the quote or reply? This is the third time I’m trying to post this after the first two didn’t.)

    King Tommen

    Thanks for the explanation! It helps a lot.

    I have a subscription to HBO Nordic (similar to HBO Go but with some program differences), which is a standalone product. I figured it was the same with HBO Go in the US. Interesting to find out it’s not.

  15. Nymeria Warrior Queen: It’s funny you should say that.The first time I went to London, I was impressed by how clean the Underground stations appeared, at least when compared with most of the subway systems in major US cities.

    I think it depends on the station to be fair. It’s coming up to 4 years since I left London so things could have changed, but the Jubilee Line, or at least the extension to Stratford, was the most recently opened line so was reasonably clean, but I’m not saying it couldn’t get mucky on a Saturday night – it only needs one or two who have imbibed too much to make a mess. Some of the older lines I found did tend to have a stale smell about them. At one time there used to be dedicated teams of women called “Fluffies” who cleaned but now, I believe, it is the usual person with the yellow cart. (Though I’m not sure how they clean inside the tunnels but they must have a procedure in place).

  16. Sorry Greenjones, I can’t read your spoiler-tagged answer since I’m on my phone. In any case I’m really looking forward to Abel the Bard pitching up at Winterfell 🙂

  17. fuelpagan,

    How the hell did you even interpret that as a brag, she just said she was in Belfast. It’s not like everyone’s favorite Aimee Richardson who is so perfect and can do no wrong wouldn’t have done the same thing .

  18. TaviColen123,

    I’m not saying Aimee wouldn’t have. I just don’t care for those who humble brag is all. She has every right to brag about what she is doing. It’s a great opportunity for her. Stand up and say “Back from Belfast, had fun.” Don’t sneak it in a humble statement about how exhausted you are and glad there is a sushi place at the airport.

    “Boy am I tired from playing basketball with the President, think I’ll take a nap.” How is that any different than what she said? All her friends know what she is doing in Belfast.

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