Game of Thrones update: Season 5 cast and sets, and the newest Thrones book is released

Natalie DormerHere are some of the most notable highlights this week in Game of Thrones news:

  • According to the Narrow Road Company, their client James McKenzie Robinson is currently shooting the role of Joss for Game of Thrones. Back in October, we spotted a casting call for the part of Joss, who is the father of a terminally ill child. Based on the description in the casting writeup, he is most likely appearing in season 5’s Braavos storyline involving
    Arya and the House of Black and White.

  • Fans have spotted another set at the Game of Thrones lot at Titanic Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Based on comparisons made, it appears to be a duplicate of the ruined bridge set used out in Toome in Country Antrim, back in September. Filming on the river in Toome by this set featured
    Peter Dinklage and Iain Glen.
    It’s speculated that this set may represent the ruined Bridge of Dream seen on the trip to Volantis in A Dance with Dragons. The comparison, noting the set similarities:

bridge1
idge2

  • If you haven’t ordered already be sure to pick up a copy of Inside Game of Thrones Seasons 3 and 4, released this week! The book, written by Cat Taylor, with a foreword from David Benioff and Dan Weiss, is packed with new production details and behind-the-scenes stories from Game of Thrones.

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    1. I’d just like to chip in and remind folks that it was AdmiralKyrd, an AFOIAF poster, who put that postimg of the broken bridge together. (Unless you all did another version that could be zoomed in on more, in which case NVM).

      EDIT: Found a tweet of a guy, presumably from somewhere in N.I. (though I couldn’t find where), saying GoT filmed by him yesterday. It isn’t much really but here it is anyways. https://twitter.com/aimeejedwardx/status/533604791973597184

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    2. Very nice update; nothing particularly remarkable, but it keeps things ticking!

      With Dormer finished, I guess the King’s Landing filming is preety much complete (perhaps tiny bit more). Filming seems to have zoomed by this year. Let’s just hope the December-Premiere season goes as quickly!!

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    3. Presumably they are still filming around N.I. until December but unless people tweet locations, it’s not much help.

      Looks like strictly season 4 sets and a couple old costumes on the tour. They know enough to hide the good stuff when company’s coming, usually. :\

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    4. Any new inforamtion on

      Tom Wlaschiha’s rumoured return as Jaqen

      ? I can’t find anything but I assume he would shoot mostly indoor scenes.

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    5. Dragonslayer,

      We’ve heard nothing more, but it wasn’t really a rumor to begin with: his agency reported he would be back, and as a starring cast member no less. Later it was removed, probably because they were asked to do so (spoilers!), not because the information was wrong. That might happen in IMDB, but an agency wouldn’t make up something like “one of our actors, who hasn’t been on the show for years, will be back now, and as part of the main cast.”

      Mormont,

      Hibernate for a couple months and you’ll have a trailer, I’d bet 🙂

      Because Mormont. Because you are a bear. Hibernation. It’s funny!

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    6. Luka Nieto,

      True. But I’m worried since noone reported a sighting in Belfast while they were shooting

      House of Black and White scenes

      in October (according to the casting call linked above).

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    7. Dragonslayer,

      Well, not everyone’s sighted. And obviously they’d try to keep it a secret. It was reported by his agency. I take that as confirmed.

      Greenjones,

      That’s no confirmation, because it’s not like we know of every character who is being cast. But it certainly points to it being true. The actual confirmation is… well, there wasn’t any need for confirmation —the first thing we heard of it was confirmation enough, as I see it: his agency said so, with strange specifics that couldn’t have been an error (becoming a member of the main cast.)

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    8. Greenjones: Luka Nieto,

      That, plus the lack of a casting call for the Kindly Man, confirms it.

      Yeah that’s my thought too, no casting call for the KM.

      However there was one for The Waif , and that’s a bit of strange role, tho in show biz one can do stage magic.
      I have a feeling that the KM and Waif will be the only speaking roles in the HoBaW.

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    9. Boojam,

      How is that any different from the books? Arya narrates about talking to other people, but I don’t remember any meaningful dialogue with any other person in the HoB&W, maybe aside from that guy who interrogates her in Arya’s last AFFC chapter.

      BTW, what’s the general theory? Tom Wlaschiha will simply play Jaqen H’ghar again, who will fulfill the purpose of the Kindly Man; or the Kindly Man will transform his face into that of Jaqen / Tom?

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    10. Luka Nieto: How is that any different from the books? Arya narrates about talking to other people, but I don’t remember any meaningful dialogue with any other person in the HoB&W, aside from that guy who interrogates her in Arya’s last AFFC chapter.

      It’s not a lot but the KM’s interaction with Arya is not insubstantial.
      Less for the Waif, but it’s there.
      As the show has done with POV’s which work on the page but don’t work well as visual narrative there will be more dialog. (Thankfully they have done no voiceover
      narration that I remember.)

      As to the KM, either one or the other.

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    11. Boojam,

      You said “I have a feeling that the KM and Waif will be the only speaking roles in the HoBaW.” Not just “the Waif.” Those being the only two substantial roles is exactly how it was in the books. I’m not sure what’s our miscommunication here.

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    12. Luka Nieto: You said “I have a feeling that the KM and Waif will be the only speaking roles in the HoBaW.” Not just “the Waif.” Those being the only two substantial roles is exactly how it was in the books.

      There is one sequence in the HoBaW that would require a few speaking parts, I am guessing the story will get there, but the show has always found good actors for small parts.

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    13. Boojam,

      They might not really show that. If I recall the setting you are describing properly, then it’s the task that emerges from it that is important, not the meeting itself. It could also be a situation where we (and Arya) catch the very end, where the next critical step comes in Arya’s dynamic development comes: “Kill the girl, take the first step towards becoming the

      Ninja

      Queen of Winterfell!” 🙂

      In some ways, I can envision this setting working best if there is not just silence, but a sense of emptiness: very faint noises in the background amplified slightly by echoes, ceilings and rooms out of sight, etc., with perhaps only shadowy movements in the background.

      Ultimately, though, I’m not sure that it will have a huge impact one way or the other. Moreover, a lot of it will come down to whether and how they handle

      Arya’s brief time of blindness

      .

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    14. Boojam: There is one sequence in the HoBaW that would require a few speaking parts, I am guessing the story will get there, but the show has always found good actors for small parts.

      The girl understood the words, mostly, but they spoke in soft voices, and she could not always hear. “I know this man,” she did hear a priest with the face of a plague victim say. “I know this man,” the fat fellow echoed, as she was pouring for him. But the handsome man said, “I will give this man the gift, I know him not.” Later the squinter said the same thing, of someone else.

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    15. Finished Taylor’s book. A good read, but if you’re like me who has read every single GoT related interview and looked up all the stills, then it leaves few new tidbits. A brief summary of season 3 and 4 with mostly the actors talking about their own characters as opposed to how they filmed various scenes etc.

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    16. A Girl Will Obey: No-one gives Stannis any love, man.

      heh, I would argue the other way around: Stannis seems to have become the New Robb Stark! (14+ years ago, there was a big component of the fandom convinced that Robb was the “true hero” of the tale; many a Usenet thread was devoted to the argument back and forth on this.)

      Man, I have just totally dated myself….. 🙂

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    17. jentario,

      lol… I was thinking Carbon-14 rather than that!

      Hey, did anybody else here used to participate in the old SoI&F Usenet group? (If you don’t even know what a Usenet Group is, then don’t worry: they haven’t been relevant in over a decade.)

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    18. Arkash,

      Interesting! I wonder if we will get a bit more “advanced” development of the Red Church than we’ve gotten so far. The “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” scene from a couple of years ago with Mel and Thoros was quite interesting: in my impatience for Winds, the fanboy in me would like to see more! (If they are showing Mel in Westeros, then this would suggest that they need us to know something.)

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    19. Imagine if the game of thrones season 5 trailer is on the Jimmy Kimmel show again, and we have to wait for February to see it.

      Lol that would drive me nuts

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    20. Wimsey,

      14+ years ago? You’re in this for the long haul, much respec’!
      I’m a lapsed bookreader, so I know nuthin after the middle of AFFC and only have my own demented theories to go with about what might happen to Stannis from now on…

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    21. A Girl Will Obey: 14+ years ago? You’re in this for the long haul, much respec’!

      Well, it’s been on-again, off-again. By the time Crows came out, it had been a while since I’d thought much about the series. The old Usenet group lost a ton of posters after the Red and Purple Weddings, and then stopped gaining new people due to the spread of discussion boards that were much easier to use. (Usenet was a very ’90’s sort of thing: I probably started in on that around 1998 or 1999.) Because there wasn’t anything new to discuss (I mean, how often can you argue about who Jon’s mother is, whether Aegon is still alive, or who the three heads of the dragon are?), and because of inertia/laziness, I never made the jump to any of those discussion boards myself.

      And then after Crows (which I didn’t like), I didn’t think about this again until the TV series. Indeed, this should show you how much I’d forgotten: when Ned says goodbye to Jon and gives Jon some cryptic line about how Jon has Stark blood, I (figuratively) slapped my forehead and said (something like): “That’s right: is Jon’s mother!” My wife (who was a Purple Wedding casualty fan) then went “Oh, right! I’d completely forgotten that!” She then gave me a quizzical look and asked: “wait: did we ever actually learn that for certain?” I had to look it up and found that it not only was still just a hypothesis, but still one that generated a lot of debate! (I think that might have what prompted me to re-read the series in light of Dragon’s imminent release.)

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    22. I was just rewatching True Detective, and it got me thinking: Has Rust Cohle indirectly spoiled the White Walker agenda? Let’s examine it:

      “I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in human evolution. We became too self-aware; nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, a secretion of sensory experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody’s nobody. I think the honorable thing for our species to do is to deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction: one last midnight—brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.” Rust Cohle

      Nature separate from itself = Humans as opposed to children of the forest/WW.
      Illusion = Power = Iron Throne.
      Honorable thing = A clear jab at the Starks.
      Extinction/The Last Midnight = Obvious reference to the Long Night.
      Brothers and sisters = Craster’s babies are all WW now.

      It is too late to unsee this.

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    23. Clitorismestra: Has Rust Cohle indirectly spoiled the White Walker agenda? Let’s examine it:

      As nobody involved with True Detective is involved with Game of Thrones (beyond the very high levels of HBO), there is nobody involved who has the ability to provide spoilers! If there turn out to be parallels between this and the White Walkers, then it is a coincidence. I also think it extremely improbable that whoever wrote the script for True Detective is such a Thrones fanboy that they were making this comment; it is much more probable that they were simply making a comment on the human condition in general. That is, after all, the point of a stories like those in True Detective!

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    24. “Game of Thrones update: Season 5 cast and sets, and the newest Thrones book is released

      Didn’t check the site over the weekend, so when I first saw this headline I thought it was a WOW release date. Darn those knee-jerk responses.

      🙂

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    25. Arkash,
      Carne,

      According to an old post here from Sue the Fury, today’s the day that they were scheduled to shoot the war council scene that will feature the “Wildling elder”. From that post:

      A wilding elder: A rough warrior who is part of a community of guerrilla fighters. He appears in a long, tense scene where there is a debate amongst a group of warring communities about battle strategy. He has a few lines in an important scene with leading cast. The role shoots in Northern Ireland on November 17th.

      I could see Melisandre being involved in that if it takes place at the Wall, rather than beyond it or elsewhere in the North.

      Speculation for that scene seemed to center on a few possibilities:

      1) Stannis conferring with some Wildlings who have been conscripted into his army to march on Winterfell.
      2) Jon recruiting some Wildlings to go with him to Winterfell shortly before “For the Watch” happens.
      3) A scene taking place North of the Wall involving a mission to rescue some wildlings from the White Walkers (Hardhome, or something roughly equivalent that could involve members of the main cast).

      Of course, they could be shooting multiple scenes, and Carice could be doing something else entirely.

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    26. Wimsey,
      The old fans and the new get confused between all the wild theories flying around and the wild theories actually happening on the screen.

      Some people disliked the Purple Wedding? I can understand people howling with rage after the Red one, but surely this was cause for dancing in the streets?

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    27. A Girl Will Obey: Some people disliked the Purple Wedding? I can understand people howling with rage after the Red one, but surely this was cause for dancing in the streets?

      Many fans (including my wife) were very upset that Joffery met such an arbitrary ending, without facing any sort of judgement. One thing that is long forgotten is that 14+ years ago, there was a cadre of the fandom that genuinely believed that Robb Stark was the “hero” of the story: and that it was going to culminate in him 1) marrying Dany, and 2) cutting off Joffery’s head personally after pronouncing that he who passes sentence must carry out the punishment. Also, Joffery never had the truth of who he really was thrown in his face: after all, how crushing would it have been for him to learn that he never had any real claim to the throne?

      Now, my wife was not one who mistakenly thought that Robb was the hero: after all, she recognized that Robb wasn’t even a protagonist, and that this was not a “hero” vs. “villain” series of stories. However, it did bother her that unlikeable characters died without ever being brought down.

      (I think that it might have worked better on TV, where it comes across as more of a “Murder on the Orient Express” situation as it happens; the books were limited to a single subjective point of view, which is part of the reason why I think that some fans still choose to believe that the explanation we got in the book is false.)

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    28. Wimsey: As nobody involved with True Detective is involved with Game of Thrones (beyond the very high levels of HBO), there is noxbody involved who has the ability to provide spoilers!If there turn out to be parallels between this and the White Walkers, then it is a coincidence.I also think it extremely improbable that whoever wrote the script for True Detective is such a Thrones fanboy that they were making this comment; it is much more probable that they were simply making a comment on the human condition in general.That is, after all, the point of a stories like those in True Detective!

      Rustin Cohle is Azor Ahai

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    29. HBO announces Westworld is going to series in 2015. Best bet is the Fall slot now vacated by Boardwalk Empire. This show will be the next “Big Thing” and will probably carry the flagship once Game of Thrones wraps up.

      It was looking a little thin for a while with True Blood and Boardwalk Empire wrapping up but with the emergence of True Detective and Game of Thrones becoming the biggest show they’ve ever had, HBO has some big tentpoles they can use for the next few years to launch their new hits.

      If Westworld hits, that takes care of their Fall period and with Game of Thrones transitioning into The Leftovers and True Detective in the Spring and Summer, they’re covered off really nicely there. Even having comedies like Veep and Silicon Valley tagged along with GoT has worked well for them since both of those shows are critically acclaimed and awards darlings.

      The only blank spot now is the Winter session. True Detective held the spot last year and was a huge success but now that it has seemingly moved its production cycle to air every summer, there’s a hole there. Girls obviously gets its buzz there but it’s only half an hour and they need to pair it with a heavy drama. Once they find this project, we could be looking at a year long dominance we haven’t seen from HBO since the early 2000’s (Sopranos, Deadwood, Wire, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, Carnivale, Rome).

      Westworld btw, stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, James Marsden (Cyclops), Evan Rachel Wood (Vampire Queen Sophie), Miranda Otto (Eowyn!) and Jeffrey Wright (Dr. Narcisse). And it’s produced by JJ Abrams and written by Jonathan Nolan (brother of Chris). And it’s based on a Michael Crichton novel so yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

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    30. King Tommen,

      Excellent news. I’ve been following the development of that one for a while. Given the creative pedigree of the project and the ridiculously star-studded cast, I figured that a series order was pretty much a given barring the pilot being a total disaster. But it sounds like HBO is very happy with how it turned out, and it’s nice to have official confirmation. I’m not familiar with the original Michael Crichton film starring Yul Brynner, but it sounds like the TV version of Westworld will be very much its own thing. I’ll be looking forward to it, whenever it premieres.

      HBO is indeed in a bit of a transitional period right now, especially when it comes to their dramas. But with Game of Thrones having become such a massive success – their biggest show ever, a critical and awards juggernaut, and a legitimate cultural phenomenon – they have a strong fixture on their schedule for the next three years. That will afford them a lot of latitude to figure out their slate of original programming going forward. There will likely be bump or two along the way – The Leftovers certainly got people talking, but it was a VERY polarizing show, and True Detective’s production cycle is liable to be erratic with one man writing all of the episodes. But they’ll figure it out fairly quickly. They always do.

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    31. King Tommen,

      That is cool. There is a lot of redundancy in the audiences for the HBO series, so if this drags in some new viewers, then there will be some spill-over into the Thrones audience.

      Crichton stories can be fun, at least if his butchery of the “science” part of the SciFi doesn’t take you out of his stories. That’s not going to be a big deal for most of the audience, so this has the potential to do pretty well.

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    32. Wimsey,

      The nice thing about Westworld is that there’s not a whole lot of science to be explained other than that in the future, realistic androids that go on murderous rampages are a thing.

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    33. Anyone else notice this quote from the new GOT s3/4 book about Thoros of Myr and his power

      “I loved that when Melisandre comes to the camp, she is both horrified and impressed by Thoros’s skills, and that is important. In this world, in the world of the Red Wedding and the executions, the finality of that – Thoros exists” – Alex Graves. Anyone else think possible LS tease?

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    34. @Wimsey:
      True, the manner of his death matters. If Sansa could have beheaded him with his own sword -made from Ice, after all- that would have been great, of if Arya had stuck him with the pointy end of Needle. Like, a hundred times.
      But that’s not the way of Thrones, and I actually like that. Perfect closure is as rare in this show as it is in real life.

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    35. Zoe Smedberg the recently cast “Wildling Female” says this on her facebook about shooting GoT (she’s doesn’t say what it’s about in the post but in the comment she confirms it’s about the show, when asked):

      “After working 80 hours this week so far (no exaggeration, including travel) with 2am starts and 7pm – 8pm finishes, then going for runs in the rain and mud and being on a horridly bland meal plan, I can well and truly say I deserve a really long bath and bed time! then gym, swim and 7 hour shift tomorrow to end the week! ‪#‎norestforthewicked”.

      This other post may also be about the show:

      “Can’t believe the news I just received! Absolutely delighted. Things this week have just got bigger and even better than I had imagined! Life changing news so so grateful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you…”

      Anyways, as Carice, John Bradley, Kit and Kerry Ingram’s presence in Belfast suggests, their doing some NW/CB stuff around now. Last week too, I guess given Smedberg’s posts.

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    36. Lion of Night,

      R’hllor and its power is part of a much longer game than that. Martin’s original plan was for there to be a gap between Swords and Winter: which means that he added the narrative details and plot specifics for Crows and Dragons long after he introduced R’hllor.

      I think it more probable that

      Jon is not dead, but simply badly wounded; Mel’s magic will be used to heal, not resurrect. One thing to look at is Victarion’s narrative: after the Red Priest does his bit on Victarion, Victarion ceases to be the POV of the chapter. If, as some suspect, Victarion died and is now resurrected, that suggests that he’s not really there anymore. Martin cannot do that with a protagonist: the entire story is delivered in the italic lines that are their thoughts.

      Martin might want something to bind the #2 protagonist to someone: but removing him altogether seems a bit drastic!

      A Girl Will Obey,
      Well, that was the point, indeed! One of the old threads had the basic argument of whether or not this was a story about heroes and villains, or protagonists and antagonists. The “Robbettes” were big on the former: but they badly misread what was happening.

      But, beyond that, it comes down to what Thrones is. SoI&F (both book and series) appeals heavily to people who like “moral ambiguity.” (HBO has found a niche market in TV series with this theme!) However, even there, some people like to see the “nice guys” win once in a while! And it bothered them that a nasty guy lost without a nice guy simultaneously winning: at best, they were just standing there watching.

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    37. Wimsey,

      Can you clarify?

      Are you saying X can no longer be a POV character if they die and then are revived? With Jon, the whole notion of resurrection revolves around assuming R+L=J is true. If it is true, then Jon has a much greater role to play outside of being a member of the Night’s Watch. Death itself provides a way out of his vows. It’s the change that liberates him from his duty and allows him to participate in the larger events of Westeros in a more meaningful way. Of course this is still speculation, but that’s the rationale I’m going off of. As for R’hllor, I suppose I was only considering events in the immediate future. Looking at the big picture, we could make a pretty convincing argument tying R’hllor to the return of magic into the world, dragons, azor, white walkers, aSoIaF, finding a balance etc.

        Quote  Reply

    38. LordLannister,

      Yup. I only speak from my perspective of where I think the narrative will or will not go. That being said, the specificity of his statement is pretty tease-y and mysterious.

        Quote  Reply

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