Thrones Round Up: GRRM Speaks, Margaery’s Future, and Dragon Leftovers


There are a bunch of Game of Thrones tidbits floating around the internet in the wake of the release of The World of Ice and Fire and some of the other projects the cast is involved in. Here’s some of our favorites this week around the web.

Minor spoilery things below, so if you want to stay completely unsullied for the next season, proceed with caution.

George R. R. Martin Interview with Al Jazeera America

GRRM himself sat down with Al Jazeera America to chat about Westeros, war, and adapting his series for the screen.

Can you describe that sort of burning passion to create such a sophisticated and complex project of “Game of Thrones” and “Song of Ice and Fire” and what it takes?

In some ways, it came out of my 10 years in Hollywood. And there was a real pattern to how my scripts were received in Hollywood. Every time I would turn in a first draft, the producers would say to me, “George, this is great. We love it. But it’s, like, five times our budget. Could you please cut these 107 characters down to six? And, you know, this giant battle you have at the end with 100,000 people? Could you make that a duel between the hero and the villain?”

I was a notorious budget buster. So they liked my work, but they always had to rein me in. So you do a lot of rewriting in Hollywood. But after doing that for 10 years, I was sick of doing that. I did it because it was my job, but I always preferred the first-draft scripts, the ones where I just threw in everything I could think of, the ones that were big and rich and expansive. So when in the mid-’90s I’d decided it was time for me to return to writing novels,writing prose, which had always been my first love, I said, “Well, this is great. I’m writing books again. I don’t have to worry about a budget. I don’t have to worry about a shooting schedule. I can make this just as big as my imagination. And I’m going to make this big. I’m going to make this epic. I’m going to have giant castles and battles and dragons and direwolves and a cast of hundreds or maybe thousands.”

In addition to the interview, there is also a really great companion article that delves more deeply into the A Song of Ice and Fire series and how it relates to contemporary politics. It’s a good read with some really spot on analysis of the series.

Natalie Dormer on Conan

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Fresh off her press tour for the latest Hunger Games movie, Natalie Dormer appeared on ConanThe video below is the portion of their chat focused on Thrones. Unsullied beware, there’s a little discussion about her character’s progression for next season.

Dragon Fodder

Finally, we’ve got a Game of Thrones production blog update from Dave Hill:GOT_S5_DragonUnit

Day 47: Dragons are ornery creatures. Some days, no matter how hard you coax them, they just continue to not exist. On those days, our props department calls down fire and blood with a four-headed blowtorch. Like today. Did our Brian McGraw – a stand-by chargehand prop in the Dragon Unit – ever look down at the bones and earth he was scorching and silently roar, imagining his protective suit as scales and the fuel rig on his back as wings?

Probably not. He was busy enough trying not to cook his legs. Or anything else down there.


  1. I guess that means we are not moving past Marg’s ADWD material this season, and perhaps not Cersei’s either? Maybe she’s playing coy…
  2. The production update is interesting as the picture is revealing dragon carnage that is clearly not anywhere close to the Osuna arena. This suggests that at the very least, we will see dragon action (or its aftermath) occurring outside of Meereen this season.

  3. Bex,

    Cersei’s Walk of Shame occurring in E9 was a pretty strong indicator that the King’s Landing story wouldn’t be going past the books in this season.
  4. King Tommen,

    Yes. It’s on a green field, so it cannot be Daznak’s Pit, Meereen or outside the walls. So the scene must fit, more or less, in Daenerys’s last ADWD chapter.


    There were those who for some reason doubted we’d arrive at the end of the ADWD King’s Landing storyline this season, but I never knew there were people who honestly thought we’d be going significantly past them and into TWOW. As King Tommen mentioned,

    Cersei’s Penance Walk

    will take place in episode 9, which leaves only episode 10, for the usual epilogue of the season’s events and setup for next season (maybe, appropriately based on the ADWD Epilogue? Whether Kevan is back or not, there has to be something like that.)

  5. Luka Nieto,

    It actually looks to be close to a coastline as well. Not sure if the water will factor into the actually shooting of the scene but it seems like it would have to be a fair piece away from Meereen.

  6. didnt they use parts of belfast for danys meereen season 4? like when she was hippying out with drogon? i dont think meereen is exclusive to osuna or croatia?

  7. King Tommen,

    I didn’t know the timeline of Cersei’s arc this season in relation to ADWD because I try to stay clear of the specifics of the upcoming season (hence why I do not show up in more comments sections), but I guess I’m in the know now, lol

  8. matt,

    Regardless of what country this scene is being shot in, the area that they are using for the carnage which includes lots of green grass and rocks, doesn’t indicate Meereen. It’s obviously somewhere well outside of the Walls. It could be very likely doubling as a similar spot where we saw Drogon terrorize those sheep last season. The point is that there is no real corresponding book scene that we’re referencing as far as the dragons wreaking havoc outside of the city.

    Best guess is that it is depicting something occurring after Dany’s gets carried off by Drogon at Dazank’s. It could well be his new home base which would explain all the scattered bones. This would indicate that Dany’s story in S5 doesn’t simply end with her being carried off on Drogon and there looks to be a wrap up scene (probably in the finale) which sets up her next season mission (much like the end of ADwD does).
  9. I think the carnage is probably made by Drogon, we could still have a scene as the one in The Laws of Gods and Men with Drogon hunting, just to remind Unsullied that he is still out there. Though, I would rather they don’t go that route, it would much better if we don’t see Drogon all season (maybe hear just rumours about his whereabouts) and when he shows up in Daznak’s Pit the impact of it would be a lot bigger.
  10. Balerion The Cat,

    Agree with this.

    They’re probably worried that people will forget dragon #3 is still on the loose, so they’re creating some scenes where we either see Drogon attacking people outside the walls of Meereen, or where people find the aftermath of his attacks.
  11. afeastfordances,

    Balerion The Cat,

    I don’t think so. If you look at the set, it’s a bunch of charred bones on the floor. This looks like it’s going to be the replacement for dragonstone from the books and will serve as Drogon’s home base in the translation of Dany’s last ADWD chapter. Min clouding a random Drogon scene doesn’t make sense from a narrative/visual or budget standpoint, and I doubt they’ll do it.
  12. Could be the place Drogon takes Dany prior to the Dothraki showing up. This is where she bleeds and poops!!

  13. Can’t wait to see Natalie Dormer this week in “The Hunger Games”…Saw Alfie Allen a few weeks ago in “John Wick” and that was pretty cool! I’m curious also to see Gwendoline Christie as Commander Lyme…LOL!

    Man we really need a teaser…and soon! I’m curious if they’ll release anything in December, or at least before the end of the year?

  14. It’s not exactly new information about GRRM writing ASOIAF as a rebellion against the constraints of Hollywood. But I always do enjoy it and think it’s funny that the story written to be unadaptable is now being adapted. It’s also something that purists should keep in mind when they’re armchair showrunning.

    Speaking of HBO adapting stories not meant to be adapted, did anyone see that they’re making Asimov ‘ s Foundation novels into a series? Anyone have thoughts? Since it’s a slow news month Thrones wise. I’m excited but nervous. I think it might actually be harder to adapt than ASOIAF since there isn’t as much action. I do hope, given HBO has a history of casting actors that previously been on the network, we could get some GoT actors whose characters have been killed in it.

  15. It’s becoming increasingly clear that S5 will mostly adapt Feast and Dance (heavily edited), with basically the same end points for most storylines. With Bran excluded, only Sansa remains a major mystery.

  16. My bet is that Dragon related scene is…

    … Drogon’s lair, from Dany’s last DwD chapter. The charred and cracked remains of their dinner strewn about, for Dany to pick over.

    Also, could the “miniature cave” mentioned in the Murlough Bay filming tie into this?

  17. King Tommen,

    I think that after all the early casting leaks, they are being especially careful over it. It’s silly really, because theyre not really spoilers, because we know the characters exist in the show.

  18. Natalie Dormer will also be doing an interview on Rooster Teeth’s “Screen Play” Podcast today. It’s live on their site at 4 PM CST for sponsors, but will be posted on The Know on Youtube tomorrow. I’m assuming it’ll be mostly Hunger Games related, but knowing JJ, there are bound to be a couple Game of Thrones questions, so I’ll be back after the stream with a report.

  19. I have absolutely nothing to add to the conversation other than: Yippee! Best post ever! Loved the linked article from Al Jazeera. This has actually made my day, thanx 🙂

  20. WeirwoodTreeHugger: Speaking of HBO adapting stories not meant to be adapted, did anyone see that they’re making Asimov ‘ s Foundation novels into a series? Anyone have thoughts? Since it’s a slow news month Thrones wise. I’m excited but nervous. I think it might actually be harder to adapt than ASOIAF since there isn’t as much action. I do hope, given HBO has a history of casting actors that previously been on the network, we could get some GoT actors whose characters have been killed in it.

    It’s Christopher Nolan’s brother Joseph who has the deal with HBO, he has some good screenplays, in fact like to see what Joseph’s script for Interstellar looked like before his brother rewrote it.
    Foundation does have some action in it, but not a lot, it’s more a Big Vista mystery story , lots of talk. Not like usual TV and Movie science fiction , like all the great SF classics it’s pitched at a high level of sophistication. However HBO has been the thinking-person’s network so we shall have to see.

  21. Ser Florian:
    My bet is that Dragon related scene is…

    Also, could the “miniature cave” mentioned in the Murlough Bay filming tie into this?

    When I saw it, I thought the grassy hills nears Drogon’s lair. This would mean Dany’s Meereen experience is truncated, with is alright by me.

  22. I love how GRRM always uses that line about why he stopped writing scripts. I wonder if he treats his “true love” Paris the same as he does his “first love” writing prose. Give me a break.

    I would be bored if someone asked me the same question I answered multiple times in various other interviews. Either GRRM needs to come up with new interview answers or he needs to start telling these fuckers to do their research and start messing with them.

  23. Cumsprite,

    She actually explained her smile in the reddit AMA she did yesterday. She says she and her sister and other women in her family have uneven mouths. She said it wasn’t a purposeful smirk, it’s just how her mouth looks.

    EDIT: Here’s the exact quote.

    “I have an asymmetrical mouth. I have a naturally crooked smile. People call it a smirk, but it’s not, it’s just my natural smile with my lips closed. If you could quote me verbatim, I’d appreciate that…

    My sister has it too, it’s a family trait.”

    So that’s that, folks. Word of God on that one.

  24. ArgonathofBraavos,

    I presume for Hannibal. Most of that show they shoot in Toronto where I’m from, but since he flew to Europe at the end of s2, it would make sense to get some Belfast work in. I sincerely doubt Mads is in GoT.

  25. Cumsprite: NO! I think the smirk is beautiful. Honest. Besides, for all you know she had a bout of Bell’s Palsy, you ableist shitlord.

    F her and her mouth. Actually….

    Now that is sexist.

  26. Greenjones,

    Bell’s Palsy fetishists the world over are gutted. Not that such a thing exists or anything. I mean, who ever heard of such? Preposterous!

    Look, a squirrel!

  27. Mine is the Furry,

    As for folks concern about the direction in which these comments are going, yeah, I’ll try to find some news ASAP to get us back on track. Can’t promise anything though. It’s getting to be that time of year where there’s very little news to be found. I guess I could repost shit I found yesterday like the casting for the second Street Tough?

  28. Those bones look very big. Maybe Dothraki and horses?
    They’re involved with slaves so maybe they are angry at Dany and she torches them?
    Or Drogon just comes across them.

  29. In case there is any confusion:

    Remarking appreciatively on an actress’s beauty: go for it!

    Talking about what you want to do to her or have her do to you: nope. Gotta draw the line somewhere with vulgarity. And this is not a new rule. Same standard as we’ve had here since we started, and at the old site.

  30. Natalie Dormer has made the role of Margaery much more interesting on the show. Looking forward to see her and Lena hold their own in Kings Landing with so many core characters gone from there

  31. Have you guys noted that Zoe Smedberg, who is playing a wildling woman ( has finished filming a huge scene according to her Facebook :

    Most likely she was involved in the war council scene we know was to be shot this 17.
    Add this to the fact that we know (from actors twitters) that there was some filming at Castle Black recently, we can safely say we’re getting a Stannis war council there before he leaves the Wall, which is great news !

    Zoe Smedberg also notes she received a “life-changing” news so if it’s related to GoT, maybe her role was expanded (I’m trying not to raise my hopes up for Val but still, those hopes are rising).

  32. Or maybe She played a wildling roll in an extended battle scene, perhaps set in Deepwood Motte!, and then found out she was pregnant.

  33. Turncloak: Natalie Dormer has made the role of Margaery much more interesting on the show

    Well, she and the writers. It’s not like she is ad-libbing! However, that was one of her terms for accepting the role.

    Of course, this had to be low hanging fruit: it’s pretty obvious in the books that there is a lot more going on with Margaery than we get. Putting this sort of Princess Diana spin on her is a small step from what Martin gives: and she has been really useful as a foil for Cersei.

    I am kind of interested to see what they do with Margaery this season. Obviously, she’s going to be important antagonist and foil for Cersei,

    showing what an intellectually clumsy ruler and plotter Cersei is

    , but I have to think that they are going to do something more with her.

    People complain about minor protagonists that we are not getting in S5, but boosting Robb Stark to a protagonist and Margaery to a secondary one has been really good for the show. Gains come at costs: and I suspect that B&W have seen some story-telling potential in Margaery, just as they saw with Robb Stark.

  34. Arkash,

    Those posts were about last week’s filming. It seems they shot some big sequence then but the war council was this Monday. I’m not sure whether or not she was still filming on Monday.

    The “life-changing news” probably means that her role was made somewhat larger or that she was given more lines or something of the sort.

  35. i like the smirk/smile/whatever every time i see her do it, on the show or off, it makes me think she knows all the secrets of the universe

  36. OT:

    Charles Dance will only be briefly in season 5 “as a bit of Tywin Lannister” , which I guess means there will be no flashback with him and he will only be a corpse.

    Spoiler link
    Edit: Is it just me or do hyperlinks in spoiler bars not properly work (they only open by right click from the drop menu for me)?

  37. Sue the Fury,

    I normally don’t think those kinds of things about actresses but with that picture of Margaery at the top I couldn’t help it lol. Natalie Dormer got very lucky with the genetics and such, that’s for sure.

  38. Al Swearengen,

    Dammit Al, you better not get banned before the season starts! Or I’ll get stuck with all the show purists and book haters here and there’ll be very little to no balance in the force.

    I need duct tape and lots of wax. It’s for a good cause. (And I’m not saying anything about what I’ll do with those, so hopefully it won’t fall into “what’s-not-to-be-done-to-Al” category that Sue forbids it upthread!!!)

  39. Strider,

    What is a show purist? That makes no sense. Of course, there are show fanatics who think every change is good, but “purism” implies an original… well, purity. The books are the ones being adapted, which means one can only be a book purist in relation to the adaptation, not the other way around.


    Great to have this confirmed, though many of us already assumed Dance was only back as a corpse. I hope WotW write an article about this. Many are under the mistaken impression we’ll see a younger Tywin in flashbacks.

  40. (wrote a longer comment originally, but my iPad went bonkers, can’t be bothered typing it all again only for it to crash again)
    Guys, please, enough of the childish sexual innuendos. They’re crude and far from funny, and give off a slightly chauvinistic, ‘boy’s club’ vibe which I’m sure is unintentional. Naming no names, but if you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, don’t say anything at all (the same goes for show haters who, for whatever reason, still follow every post on this website only to leave the same insipid, petulant criticisms). I just strongly feel these comments are totally unhelpful and may in fact drive people away, at least from being active members of the site/community.

  41. Luka Nieto,

    Playing semantics again Luka? Lol

    Even so, you seem to forget that show will be passing the books. According to many that makes the show canon. Original. Pure. (Since you know… We don’t have the books)

  42. Turncloak,

    Interesting. A feature film being discussed? Doesn’t make much sense… Perhaps they’re talking about some sort of Robert’s Rebellion thing

  43. Abyss,

    Not new, pixomondo released that last year in September. I wish they would release a breakdown of the dragon vfx for season 4 too, they only showed like 10 seconds of breakdown in a WIRED video 🙁

  44. Strider,

    But Al is a secret show purist. He told me so in the comments to the Telltale game announcement.

    Seriously though not all the show lovers here are book haters. I for one love the show, but will always love the books more.

  45. Strider you can do watever you want with me with the tape and wax, my body is ready.

    Go on, call me a book hater! Louder!!! Yessssss

    So there are no books to adapt from next season on. I wonder whose fault is that….

    Btw, i sent wotw a post replying Ashleys rebuttal of Morgoth’s post, but i guess laying responsibility on Martin is verboten around here.

  46. Of the Night,

    My comment was mostly tongue in cheek!!! The only part I was dead serious about was where I said he better not get banned 😉

    I’m the first to say this blog is pretty balanced, which makes it fun to participate here. Sometimes more show supporters, sometimes more book lovers. And then there’s always the middle who like both in almost equal parts. Either way it tends to balance out in the end.

  47. Strider,

    While there are multiple examples of book lovers/show haters, book haters/show lovers, and book lovers/show lovers, There is a distinct lack of book haters/show haters here. How can you claim that this fan community is balanced when there is little to no representation from those who hate all aspects of the story.

  48. Of the Night,

    Oh, there’s some around who don’t particularly like the show or not watching it and consider the books/ future books a shitty affair. They are here waiting for the trainwreck to happen. Lol

    Stick around. You’ll be reading them no doubt.

  49. jentario,

    Actually, I have a strong suspicion there’s more than him, many lurk. He’s just vocal. I wish I had some extra duct tape for his typing hands tho…

  50. Joachim,

    Speaking of childish sexual innuendos, have you ever read GRRM? That guy writes about child sex quite often and yet the fans keep coming back.

  51. Strider,


    I desperately want to watch the show. So badly it hurts. I’ve got a HBO Go password and everything. And I would. I really really would. I would make time for this. But, the thing is, GM’s publisher told me emphatically not to watch HBO’s GOT and I don’t want to disappoint her.

    She seems very nice.

  52. jentario,

    Seven help us! I hope not. I just think there’s more like him lurking about sometimes when there are articles about Martin. Oh, Knurk says he just watches the show to get an ending but he thinks is bad. Or something similar. And don’t ask who Knurk is!

  53. Cumsprite,

    Hah! Broke your little heart, did she?! Tsk, tsk… To think you were all about to watch it with someone else’s account.

    I seriously hope you’ll watch at least the parts that spoil the books. It would be fun to see what you think (if you can keep an open mind, that is).

  54. Let’s not become the IMDB board here, gents. As little news as there is we shouldn’t get TOO far down the rabbit hole.

  55. There’s nothing disrespectful in Jent, i think the simple fact that i mention the relationship betwee the books and the show and blame Martin for letting the show spoil the readers was enough to guarantee it wont be posted here.
    Specially when you take into consideration what Bex said in Ashley’s post, that it avoids the “blame game”.
    As if calling people out on their actions (or shortcomings) is some sort of deadly sin.

  56. Yeah, this is turning into a puerile kiddie wankfest. Get over it and talk about Ian Beattie and Sarine Sofair tweeting. This implies to me that there will be a brothel scene where Trant gets it.

  57. ctid,

    Wankfest? Did you miss the part where GM’s UK publisher (Jane Johnson) told people not to watch the show if they don’t want the books spoiled? Not very earth-shattering, but interesting to some.

    Besides, I’m bored, having a beer, CHAT is deader than dogshit and I’m almost convinced that the Oxford comma needs to be taken out back and shot.

    Yeah. I said it.

  58. “Jaime was devoted to Cersei, his sister and his lover.”

    The War of Five Kings could have been avoided with the use of an Oxford comma.

  59. GRRM rarely if ever uses the Oxford comma, and I knew someone who thought that made him a bad writer. She refused to keep reading AGoT because she thought “thick and black and soft as sin” was bad grammar.

  60. Since there’s not a lot to talk about, how about some detective work on a probable S5 premiere date?

    The pattern every year has been for the start of each GoT season to be right at the end of March or the start of April, depending on how the dates fall.

    It’s also easy to figure out HBO start dates just by going by when their other shows end. GoT always follows the end of Girls (which airs Sundays at 9 this year). They often will take a week break in between this time and show one of their original movies as well.

    This year, Girls ends on March 15th, the 22nd would be the week off and that would make March 29th the logical premiere date (which aligns with previous years as well).

    The only hitch in this plan is a little show called The Walking Dead which has its season finale scheduled for March 29th. There’s no proof of this but it looks like GoT pushed its S4 premiere back 1 week last year to avoid running up against TWD finale (which airs at the exact same time). This is because in S3, the GoT premiere and TWD lined up and GoT ratings seemed to suffer for it. They went up as the season went on but the premiere was definitely a lower number than previous trends had indicated. And last year, GoT seemed to make the right decision by delaying a week because their premiere numbers were record breaking.

    HBO doesn’t care so much about real time ratings but they do care about buzz and there’s only a finite amount of ink and bandwitch available to hype your premiere if there’s one of the most watched shows on TV having their season finale on the same night and time. Sometimes it makes sense to get out of the way and have the next week all to yourself.

    So for these reasons, I predict that GoT will follow last year’s model and premiere on April 5th.

  61. King Tommen,

    Thats what I’ve been thinking too, it also works as marketing ploy, like 3.30.13 worked for season 3. I can already see a cool animation at the end of the first trailer that changes “season 5” into “April 5”.

  62. Balerion The Cat,

    It looks like the brothel we’ve always seen. Also, he calls it “our faithful brothel.” So, yeah, Littlefinger’s. It’s always looked a bit Eastern, so I understand you confused it for Dorne.

  63. Dolan,

    For the record we only delete comments when they violate some pretty simple rules. Nothing sexually explicit (e.g., the sit on my….comment), nothing that is egregiously personally insulting to GRRM, the actors, D&D, WotW contributors, and WotW members (e.g., cruel statements about GRRM’s body or character), nothing violent (e.g., threats of violence) or cussing at a particular person (e.g, writing ‘f—k you’ to someone here).

    Because these rules are very simple and people very rarely get this ugly we RARELY have to delete a comment. I personally will delete or dash out the offensive part of a comment if there is other content in the comment that is on topic and acceptable. I usually lurk over comments during the day and don’t recall your comment and certainly didn’t delete it or leave it in moderation. Our policies are actually very open so we don’t have many problems. We have more problems with people refusing to use spoiler tags than anything else.

    Perhaps you were having a technical problem? In which case, let me know and I will see what I can do.

  64. jentario,

    It’s Littlefinger’s brothel, you can compare it with his scene in episode 3 of season 3 where he gives the accounting books to Tyrion (the new master of coin), it’s even the same desk.

  65. Dame Pasty,

    It wasn’t a comment, but an opinion piece i sent you guys ten days ago and which i received no answer so far, so i was speculating on the reasons why you guys didn’t posted it.

Comments are closed.