Friday, March 5, 2010

Winter *IS* Coming!

Yes, it's official! Winter is INDEED coming!

The pilot for Game of Thrones was filmed in Belfast and wrapped a few months ago. Fans have been waiting with fingers crossed ever since to find out if HBO would give the go-ahead to start filming the first season. And now we have it. Now we know that our dreams and prayers have been answered.

Game of Thrones has been given a full season by HBO execs. The Hollywood Reporter brings the news, so click here if you want to read the details. Apparently the pilot had been well-received, and orders to the production studio in Ireland sent ahead to start preparations. The production also provided the first still from the opening scene of the pilot:

Whoa! That is so AWESOME! That's almost exactly as I pictured it in my head. I can't tell you how excited I am to see this come to light.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, let me back up. I first discussed this project a while back in this original blog post. So click there if you need a refresher.

The new and upcoming HBO show will be based on the amazing epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, by acclaimed author George R. R. Martin. The books are unlike anything else in the genre. Instead of relying so much on fantasy tropes like magic and elves and such, the series deals more with the political intrigues of a fictional world ruled by swords and wits -- with perhaps the occasional dragon and/or magical creature thrown in from time to time.

If you think that description sounds dull, trust me . . . the books really are so much better! The first entry in the series, A Game of Thrones, was a fresh breeze to the fantasy fiction world when it first premiered a little over a decade ago. And in many readers' estimation--including yours truly--it quickly rose to the forefront of the best the genre had to offer. Martin's writing and characterization is simply awe-inspiring. It's a fantasy for adults, dealing with complex and far-reaching issues upon a backdrop of cunning royal politics and battlefield maneuvers. There's also poignant, private melodramas that play out on the small scale with individual characters, with far-reaching implications spread across all the novels.

So far, Martin has only written 4 volumes in what is supposed to be a 7-volume opus. As of this time, the tentative thinking is that HBO will film one book per season. Meaning: each season will take roughly 10 hours or more to flesh out every little detail of the individual book in question. That's simply unheard of! Imagine if the first book in the Harry Potter series had had a full 10 episodes of no commercial interruption to spell out Harry's freshman year at Hogwarts? As opposed to the mere 2.5 hours of the movie?

Yeah. Exactly!

Anyway, I'm still too stoked about this news. My words are coming out in jumbles. I should stop for now and come back when I'm more coherent (and concise).

But yes, this news has made my month! We should see the show begin airing this time next year -- March 2011. Can I get a HELL YEAH?!!!

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