George R.R. Martin fans already in lust with ‘Game of Thrones’ footage

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Based on 22 seconds of vague, snowy, atmospheric footage, some George R. R. Martin fans are already madly in lust with HBO’s version of the best-selling fantasy novel “A Game of Thrones.”

The show will not premiere until next spring at the earliest, but the network aired the first teaser trailer Sunday night during the season 3 debut of “True Blood.” Not a nanosecond went unnoticed by Martin’s hardcore fans, who may end up doing some of the heavy lifting in marketing the series to sci-fi geeks and the broader genre audience. Martin is involved in the translation of his series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” to the small screen as a writer and co-executive producer.


“The show looks like it will satisfy even the worst skeptics,” says, a blog dedicated mostly to Martin’s literary series that tracks any bit of “Thrones” news, no matter how small. (No “Thrones” panel at the Comic-Con convention in July? Must’ve been a conflict with the filming schedule, the blog figures. A piece of “Thrones” footage shown during a Time Warner investor meeting? Intrepid Winter-is-Coming blogger listened to the entire 45-minute HBO presentation to learn that, yes, analysts and money folks got to see some scenes but there was no video available for the public. A tipster later described some of it.)

The blog also dutifully monitors other blogs, like a German site focused on “The Lord of the Rings” to find out that Emilia Clarke has been cast at Dany in “Thrones.” (She’s one of the most recent casting additions.)

Latest behind-the-camera news: Brian Kirk, who’s worked on “Dexter,” “The Tudors” and HBO’s upcoming “Boardwalk Empire,” will direct two episodes of “Thrones.”

More than a few fans have said that the trailer’s first glimpse of Sean Bean as “Thrones” lead character Eddard “Ned” Stark looks just as they pictured him from the medieval novels.

Meanwhile, HBO has launched a dedicated microsite, where fans are already gathering to chat about the trailer and their anticipation for the 10-episode series that stars Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. David Benioff and Dan Weiss are writing and executive producing; the former has described the swords-and-sorcery series as “The Sopranos” in Middle Earth.

The network is teasing the series with “Winter is Coming,” an often repeated phrase from the novels, as its tag line. Fans, who say that was a no-brainer, still seem to approve.


-- T.L. Stanley


George R.R. Martin reacts to news of HBO’s pickup of “Game of Thrones”

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