by Katie M. Lucas
Can't wait until Sunday for more 'Game of Thrones'? Pass the time by reading up on your favorite characters. Find out who becomes a leader, who loves playing the bad guy and who drank too much on set:
Pedro Pascal respects Oberyn Martell's attitude.
"This is the way he understands life, to live it to its fullest. And to limit yourself in terms of experience doesn’t make any sense to him – what’s beautiful is beautiful… He’s a lover and a fighter. He's going to do it, everything, to its fullest. So why leave out girls or boys, you know what I mean?"
Maisie Williams is betting on Arya Stark's survival.
"I don't know if Arya is going to die, but I like to think that she won't. I like to think George has a soft spot for Arya, but then I'm like, 'Why? Why do I think that?' … He can do whatever he wants!"
Emilia Clarke finds Dany's intentions inspiring.
"Her ultimate goal is entirely selfless. It feels much more of a bigger idea than simply: I want to sit on the throne because I want to sit on the throne. She would like to rule and create an equal world."
Gwendoline Christie discusses Brienne's experience in the capital.
"The world of Kings Landing is not a world that Brienne is used to. It's a world of words and of whispers and secrets... So seeing her attempting to navigate that world and some of the treacherous characters that make up its foundations is certainly a little bit heartbreaking."
The premiere episode had Rory McCann turning green.
"When I had to drink in that tavern scene, that's [series creators] David and Dan going 'Give him another beer!'… I was really fit at the time, wasn't drinking, working out – and suddenly I had six or seven liters of flat ginger beer that day. I had to go off into the woods to make myself sick."
Jack Gleeson enjoys Joffrey's dark side.
"It’s interesting sometimes when an audience can empathize with a villain. But to get completely lost in it, it’s exciting just to be intrinsically evil and not have a speck of good or humanity in their bones."
by Katie M. Lucas
"The war's not won," Jaime Lannister tells King Joffrey in Sunday's episode. What’s bad news for the realm is good news for fans; HBO has renewed 'Game of Thrones' for Seasons 5 and 6. The Season 4 premiere was seen by 8.2 million viewers, delivering the network its largest audience since the finale of 'The Sopranos' in 2007.
The battle for the Iron Throne continues on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET.
by Katie M. Lucas
The fourth season of 'Game of Thrones' begins with the same notes that cued the Red Wedding. "The Rains of Castamere," the ballad of Lannister power, plays as Tywin melts down Ned Stark's greatsword, leaving no doubt that the Lannisters' are keeping their grip on the kingdom. "Tywin understands how power works instinctively in a way that few men in this world do," series creator D.B. Weiss explains in this week's Inside the Episode. Notes the A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff, "This is now the Lannisters’ world; the other characters are forced to live in it."
Enter Oberyn Martell, who made quite the first impression. Vanity Fair is already "obsessed" with the Dornish prince. Actor Pedro Pascal tells Rolling Stone about his character's distinct swagger: "All of his danger, all of his lust, all of his rage, comes from a very specific emotional truth." Like so many in Westeros, Oberyn is fueled by tragedy; his mission is to avenge his sister's death. (Explore his backstory and get to know House Martell with the newly-expanded 'Game of Thrones' Viewer's Guide.)
While Oberyn is setting the scene for revenge, Arya is making it happen. Christopher Orr of The Atlantic praised Arya and the Hound's unlikely partnership: "They’re developing quite the rookie-cop/grizzled-vet chemistry, aren’t they?" Working together, they both get what they want – the Hound gets his fill of chicken, while Arya rides off on a white horse with her sword Needle in tow. "She looks downright happy, for once, and there's something dispiriting about that," Entertainment Weekly notes.
Actress Maisie Williams tells New York Magazine that Arya's "got a hole in her heart. She fills it with all these eyes that she's going to shut forever." That darkness raised questions for audiences. Rolling Stone asks, "Should we stop to think that an abused child turning into an accomplished killer is deeply sad, no matter how much her victims deserve it?" New York Magazine calls the scene's rendition of theme song "still triumphal, but now a little sad. Arya’s smiling to herself, but what exactly has she won?"
Rewatch the scene below and share your interpretation in the comments:
NOTE: This clip contains graphic content and language and has been approved for mature audiences only.
Icing on the Lemoncake:
Not everyone is anti-Lannister:
Someone is all grown up:
The Iron Throne has a new contender:
Ready your armor and raise your banners: New episodes of 'Game of Thrones' begin this Sunday, April 6. In the meantime, catch up on the past three seasons with this weekend’s back-to-back marathon on HBO2 -- and the all-new Viewer's Guide, a newly-expanded interactive experience that goes inside the series’ definitive moments. Not sure where to start? Here are seven milestones from around the Known World:
1. The Vale: Death by Moon Door
The seat of House Arryn was home to the show’s first trial by combat. The accused, Tyrion Lannister, was championed by Bronn, a sellsword who hasn’t left his side since. Explore the episode and see how the bond between Bronn and Tyrion was forged.
2. The Twins: An Ill-Fated Pact
The seeds for the Red Wedding were planted along the Trident. In exchange for the Northern army's safe passage across the river, Robb Stark's mother Catelyn promised Lord Walder Frey that both Arya and Robb would marry into his house. Check out the map to better understand why the Starks agreed to the deal.
3. The Iron Islands: A Hostage Turns Hostile
Theon Greyjoy alienated the family that raised him -- and his biological father -- when he seized Winterfell for the Ironborn. Why was the Greyjoy heir raised in the North? Read up on the Greyjoy Rebellion.
4. King's Landing: A Fiery Siege
At the Battle of the Blackwater , Stannis Baratheon led a naval assault on the capital, only to be ambushed by a shipload of wildfire. Go behind the scenes to learn how the production team armed both sides of the battle.
5. Beyond the Wall: Mutiny and Murder
While seeking shelter at Craster's Keep, a band of disgruntled Night's Watch men including Rast and Karl led a mutiny that killed both their wildling host and Lord Commander Mormont.
6. The North: The Red Wedding
The massacre at the wedding of Roslin Frey and Edmure Tully effectively ended the War of Five Kings, and installed Roose Bolton and Walder Frey as high lords in the North and the Riverlands. Executive Producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff's discuss this all important turning point.
7. Essos: Dragons Rise Again
Daenerys Targaryen has left a trail of fire and blood while traversing the East to build her army. Follow Dany's journey across the continent including the most recent stop for the Mother of Dragons, Yunkai.
by Katie M. Lucas
Seven thousand lucky fans – some in costume – attended the 'Game of Thrones' Ultimate Fan Experience at Barclays Center last night. The festivities included Common's performance of his 'Catch the Throne' track, “The Ladder,” a marching band rendition of the show's theme song, and a screening of the Season 4 premiere episode. One lucky winner took home a life-sized Iron Throne, which author George R.R. Martin noted is "the perfect accessory to a New York City apartment."
Cast members Maisie Williams, Sibel Kekilli and John Bradley answered questions doled out by Hodor himself, Kristian Nairn. Here's what had fans cheering:
1. George R.R. Martin Attended Dany's Wedding
The author revealed that he made a cameo in the series pilot as a guest at Dany's wedding to Khal Drogo. Unfortunately, Martin was edited out and audiences missed seeing his elaborate beard extensions.
2. John Bradley Has a Crush on Jon Snow
When asked his favorite thing about playing Samwell Tarly, the Englishman replied, "Five words: Kit Harrington's big brown eyes."
3. Maisie's Swordplay Caused Technical Difficulties
Maisie Williams still needs “dancing” lessons. The actress shared that she's accidentally hit camera equipment with her weapon... many times. Williams laughed that she got "disappointed parent looks" from the equipment operators.
4. Sibel Kekilli Admires Shae's Gutsiness
"She's not scared of anyone," the actress said, citing Shae's bravery as a reason why Tyrion fell in love with her.
5. Martin Joked That He Based a Lannister on Putin
George R.R. Martin quipped that he wishes he could say that Tywin Lannister is a version of the Russian leader. Although that instance isn't accurate, Martin admits that he frequently borrows from history. "If you steal from one person, that's plagiarism… If you steal from a lot of people, that's research."
Season 4 premieres on April 6th.
by Katie M. Lucas
The Season 4 premiere of 'Game of Thrones' in New York City mixed both ice and fire: Attendees braved both unseasonably cold weather and the jaws of a ferocious dragon parked on the red carpet. In addition to a screening, the New York Philharmonic treated guests to a performance of the series’ theme song. An after-party followed at the Museum of Natural History, under the famous blue whale – the size of which, George R.R. Martin explained, is roughly the same as a full-grown dragon.
Check out some of the action from the red carpet:
Lincoln Center posted a raven's eye view of the festivities:
Michael McMillian of 'True Blood' hosted the Facebook Live event:
The cast got creative posing with their Funko dolls:
See more photos from the 'Game of Thrones' Season 4 premiere on Facebook.
Today marks the official Season 4 premiere of 'Game of Thrones' in New York City. In preparation for the big event, the series' stars have descended upon the Big Apple. The actors who portray the surviving Stark children, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead-Wright visited the ‘Today’ show, where they shared their reactions to the Red Wedding. Fans everywhere can follow the red carpet arrivals this evening. See Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke and more by streaming on Facebook Live. The event starts at 6pm ET. Join the conversation using #GOTPremiereNYC.