I found an interesting article about the upcoming Game of Thrones that I thought you would want to read it as well.
George RR Martin’s novels start filming on Monday and the fans cannot wait
A Game of Thrones, HBO’s adaptation of the first book in a series of fantasy novels by George RR Martin, isn’t due to hit our screens until spring next year. But it doesn’t take long gazing into the enchanted fireplace of the internet to discover that anticipation for this show is all the way up to eleventy. There’s a series of blogs and forums devoted to a show that doesn’t even start filming until Monday.
For the uninitiated – that is, people who don’t gleefully buy 600-page books from the nerd section of Waterstone’s – A Game of Thrones is the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. These books are very long, very popular and very, very good. Martin is often touted as America’s Tolkien. The mass of fannish enthusiasm for the books is such that Neil Gaiman, another genre favourite, felt the need to respond to the clamour for a new volume in the series with a blogpost called “George RR Martin is not your bitch”.
So A Song of Ice and Fire was already a hot internet property, but with the first sniff of the TV show being commissioned back in 2007, the anticipation machine went into overdrive – revved up even further by news that every fan’s first choice, Peter Dinklage, had been cast as the machiavellian dwarf Tyrion Lannister. There are blogs cataloguing every casting rumour and location possibility. Martin keeps his own “Not A Blog”, where he gives cryptic clues about the development of the show, always solved by dedicated fans within hours. A tiny trailer broadcast in the US a few months ago caused massive excitement as fans heard the show’s star Sean Bean whisper “Winter is coming”, the most famous line of his character, Eddard Stark.
We’re used to film adaptations being hotly awaited by fans of the source material: Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are recent examples of books that fans couldn’t wait to see realised on the big screen. But what about the small screen? Books have been the inspiration for great shows like Pride and Prejudice, Sex and the City and True Blood, but has there ever been a TV adaptation to whip up this much excitement at such an early stage?
With feelings so high there is a danger that the show will be unable to live up to the hype. But all the signs so far are positive. It’s being made by the same team that made Rome – so the BBC has a stake in the show. It’s being shot mostly in Northern Ireland and the cast – including the aforementioned Bean and Lena Headey – looks great. Much fan excitement surrounded the “perfect” casting of Aidan Gillen from Queer as Folk and The Wire as machiavellian puppet master Littlefinger. (Yes, that is the second character I’ve described as machiavellian – it’s that kind of story.) Buffy writer Jane Espenson is part of the writing team, as is Martin himself. It seems that the adaptation is going to be solid and faithful to the text – no wily re-imagining. With source material this good, that’s no bad thing.
A Game of Thrones is high fantasy; although with a lot more swords than sorcery. It’s a world of prophecies, exiled princesses, talking crows and magical trees. There’s lots of death and lots of sex; the world is relentlessly bleak and war is hell. Showrunner David Benioff said a “crappy” tagline for the show could be “The Sopranos in Middle Earth”. Crappy as a tagline, maybe, but as a show description that sounds pretty accurate. And pretty awesome.