TIME Television

Game of Thrones Launches Website For Its New Season

HBO's fantasy series has a brand new website, which promises fans "visions of the future"

It looks like Game of Thrones has launched an entire website in the lead-up to its upcoming fifth season.

The official Twitter account for the HBO fantasy show directed followers to the website ThreeEyedRaven.com on Tuesday which promises visitors they’ll receive “visions of the future” if they sign up via Twitter or SMS. Fans of the series will recall that Bran Stark (played by Isaac Hempstead Wright) has been after the Three-Eyed Raven for some time, though previous announcements have revealed that the boy won’t be appearing in the series’ fifth season.

The site itself offers few clues about the cryptic “visions” or the Three-Eyed Raven, but The Hollywood Reporter speculates that the site will be the future home to teasers and trailers for the series next season.

The Game of Thrones account also tweeted a teaser video featuring Melisandre (played by Carice van Houten) telling Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams), “I see a darkness in you.”

Though the next season of Game of Thrones has no official premiere date, it is expected sometime in spring 2015.

[THR]

TIME Media

HBO Deal to Bring ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘True Detective’ to China

Game of Thrones
HBO

New partnership involves a Chinese online video service run by the tech giant Tencent

Westeros is about to bring another kingdom under its reign. HBO has inked a deal to bring hits like Game of Thrones and True Detective to a Chinese online video service run by the tech giant Tencent, giving Chinese viewers the ability to stream HBO shows legally for the first time.

HBO content is already popular in the country thanks to rampant piracy. Introducing a legal option could help the Netflix-like Tencent Video as it competes with other Chinese web giants like Alibaba, which owns a large stake in the online video site Youku Toudu.

However, like much foreign content, HBO’s shows will be subject to approval by the government before they air or stream. When Game of Thrones was broadcast on Chinese television earlier this year, it was so heavily edited that fans griped that it had been neutered into a “European castle documentary.”

[WSJ]

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Should Have More Male Nudity, Natalie Dormer Says

“I think 'Thrones' has been better than your average show with the equality, but they could definitely ramp it up!'

English actress Natalie Dormer is best known for playing beguiling femme fatales as astute as they are alluring—currently as Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones, formerly as Irene Adler on Elementary and Anne Boleyn on The Tudors, as well as “The Blonde” who seduces Brad Pitt in The Counselor. “I love those women that I play that have sexual power,” Dormer told The Daily Beast in an interview published today. “But I’m trying to step away from it for me, and for my artistic growth. It’s also more who I am. I’m not that woman.”

And step away from it she did: For her latest role as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part 1, out in theaters Friday, Dormer shifted gears to play Cressida, a filmmaker creating anti-Capitol, pro-Katniss propaganda for the rebel faction—a character baring more resemblance to Skrillex than a sexpot. She chatted with The Daily Beast about playing Cressida, as well as the status of feminism in Hollywood, and, most crucially, the troubling inequity between male and female nudity on Game of Thrones.

“During the first season Alfie [Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy] Richard [Madden, who plays Robb Stark], and several of the men got naked—although not all the way,” Dormer recalled when asked about the nudity ratios on the HBO series. “I suppose it’s just the rules of broadcast television, isn’t it? I think Thrones has been better than your average show with the equality, but they could definitely ramp it up! Absolutely.”

She also voiced her appreciation for the refreshingly un-patriarchal universe of The Hunger Games and Interstellar. “What I love about Mockingjay–Part 1 is that President Coin or Cressida could have easily been played by a man,” Dormer said, “and if you look at Interstellar, the Anne Hathaway or Jessica Chastain roles would have been men years ago. I’m glad that cinema is catching up to what television has known for a while: that three-dimensional, complex women get an audience engaged as much as the men.”

This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly

TIME movies

Charles Dance on Benedict Cumberbatch and Playing Tywin Lannister

Charles Dance
Actor Charles Dance attends the premiere of "The Imitation Game" at Ziegfeld Theatre on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Evan Agostini—Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The Imitation Game star wants you to know he can do more than play the villain

Charles Dance played one of the most recognizable villains of the past decade as Tywin Lannister on Game of Thrones. But even though Tywin’s no longer with us, having been killed by his son while sitting on a Westerosi toilet, Dance is keeping up the act. In the new film The Imitation Game, Dance plays Alastain Denniston, the real-life British codebreaker who, onscreen, stands directly in the way of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Alan Turing.

Turing ended up practically winning World War II for the Allies through his breaking Axis codes, but his methods were so revolutionary that, at least onscreen, they need to run into resistance. That’s where Dance, with his practiced glower, comes in, perpetually complicating situations and taking sadistic pleasure in doing so. It’s Dance’s specialty as an actor, though he insists he can do more than play the villain: “I’ve got a range as an actor!” he says. “There was a time I played dramatic leading men.”

TIME: How does filming a period piece change the climate on the set?

Charles Dance: To be honest, it doesn’t differ that much. How one does it is quite simple — I just pretend. It’s as simple as that. We’ve got a very good script to work with, and it’s been written with a careful eye as to the idiosyncracies of period speech. There are no contemporary slang terms in it. So all that work is done for you—and we just put on the right costume and tell the audience we’re in 1930-whatever, and they believe it.

Was it difficult to build a relationship with Cumberbatch in which you were menacing him?

We all have our own way of working. I don’t stay in character: The minute I walk off the set, the character is left behind. I’ve worked with Benedict before, and we live near each other in London. I have the greatest admiration for him as an actor. Both he and I have a similar attitude as we don’t carry the character around with us. As a character, I treat him with contempt, but as a person, I don’t.

Did his presence in the cast induce you to sign?

Yes and no. The first inducement is the quality of the script, as ever, who the director is, and I thought we’d get on. At that time, I don’t think I knew it was Benedict Cumberbatch, but I do think he is the nearest to perfection one can get with casting. The end result is a phenomenal performance. If he doesn’t get at least a nomination, there is no justice.

How does your time at the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the start of your career, inform your performances today?

I guess it does have a bearing on it. I’ve done maybe twelve of Shakespeare’s plays. I was with the Royal Shakespeare Company for years. Whatever influence that has never leaves you. If you learn to drive a car, and you learn the right way if there is ever a right way. You learn the good aspects, you learn to drive properly. And that never leaves you. If you have a foundation of working with the greatest writer ever, I suppose that must have a bearing on whatever you do after that. To be honest, I’m not aware of it consciously, but I’ve been doing this for about 40 years.

Are you relieved you’re able to focus on a broader set of projects now that your time on Game of Thrones is over?

It was an ignominious end, but long overdue, with the way I treated people — or the way Tywin did. I had four and a bit years on it, and it was great being part of a global phenomenon, which no one knew it’d become. Now I can do more things. In this business you never know what’s around the corner — I’m hopeful there are a few good things around the corner for me.

You’ve been on sets including Alien 3 and Last Action Hero, what have you taken away from big-budget extravaganzas?

On big-budget franchise things, invariably the catering is better, the trailers are bigger, and there’s craft services. And you get more money. But you’re working with a lot of people and they’re all doing the same job wherever it is you go. You get less fringe benefits, simple as that.

So does that make working on a project like The Imitation Game a sacrifice?

No. Absolutely not. Unless I’ve got no money and monumental debts that are going to drive me to suicide, my first consideration is the quality of the script and who the director is, if the script is really, really good, and I think we’re all going to get on. The fringe benefits are things I don’t consider until later on. One doesn’t think that way. Each board game has its own rules and you know them when you go in.

Why do you think it is that you keep ending up cast as villainous or menacing figures?

I’ve got a range as an actor! There was a time I played dramatic leading men. Now I get offered these characters, who are as you describe them. We’re dealing with a medium that’s visual, based on how you look, how your face looks on film. My face lends itself to austere characters, and unless they’re two-dimensional, I will do them. Any actor will tell you that an interesting villain is much more interesting to play.

If you get a bad script, then you start expending energy trying to make a silk purse of a sow’s ear. When the script’s as good as those on Game of Thrones, say, I don’t think there was a single occasion where any of us thought there was a bad scene.

How’d you feel about the way you went out on Game of Thrones? It was a bit demeaning.

I had never read any of George R. R. Martin’s books, as we weren’t filming books—we were filming their adaptations. It was not until someone told me on the street, “You got this great death scene.” And I said, “Oh really, what is the manner of my death?” He replied, “You die on the s—-er.” And i said, “Oh…?”

I went into a bookshop and got hold of the relevant book and said, “Oh, that’s quite a good death scene.” It was fine, and it was a well written scene!

TIME celebrities

Who Wants a Piece of This Life-Sized Jennifer Lawrence Cake?

There's also one of Tyrion Lannister from 'Game of Thrones'

A British baker named Lara Clarke won gold at the Cake International contest for her life-sized cake version of Jennifer Lawrence as The Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen. In case that didn’t work out, she had a back-up plan: another entry consisting of a cake version of Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones.

Clarke, who taught herself to bake a couple of years ago by watching YouTube tutorials, has became an expert quickly— she’s also made roughly human-sized cakes of Miley Cyrus and Johnny Depp. “At the time I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean,” she told the BBC back in 2013. “I was watching Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, and I thought he would make the perfect cake.”

After using up 150 eggs, 22 pounds of butter and 132 pounds of icing to make Jennifer Lawrence, it looks like she’s got enough cake to last her until Mockingjay — Part 1 hits theaters.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Actors Get Huge Pay Bump for Potential 7th Season

"X-Men: Days Of Future Past" Australian Premiere - Arrivals
Peter Dinklages poses as he arrives at the Australian premiere of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past" Graham Denholm—Getty Images

Just in case

The cast of Game of Thrones has signed on for a potential seventh season of the popular HBO series, and the actors renegotiated their contracts to include hefty pay bumps, according to a new report.

Although HBO has yet to greenlight the seventh season—George R. R. Martin has only written five of what is supposed to be a seven-book series on which the show is based—the actors had previously only been locked down through season six. The Hollywood Reporter broke the story of the raises.

While details of the new contracts are sparse, THR reports that new compensation will be based on a tier system:

The “A” tier — which includes actors Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) — is paid at the highest level. The “A” tier actors are said to have renegotiated their deals in tandem.

The show finished its fourth season this summer.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter

MONEY

You Can Be the Next ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ for $10,000

Book with cover with woman with mask and question mark over face
MONEY (photo illustration)—iStock (book); Joseph Desire Court/DEA/A. DAGLI ORTI/Getty Images (cover)

Writers are selling character names—but no, it's not for personal gain.

Tracy Chevalier, author of the 1999 novel-cum-Scarlett-Johansson-flick Girl With a Pearl Earring, is one of seventeen authors auctioning off character names for upcoming novels—not to pay for giant-mansion-hiding hedges—but to fund therapy for survivors of torture living in the U.K.

Other authors participating include Margaret Atwood, Ken Follett, Julian Barnes, Pat Barker, Ian McEwan, Robert Harris, Will Self, and Zadie Smith.

The November 20 auction is for books in the works (so no, you can’t actually be Johan Vermeer’s fictional servant this time) and you can start bidding today.

Chevalier says she auctioned off the name of a minor character in a book for £800 (about $1,300) last year but would require a bigger donation—to the tune of $10,000— for a main character.

No matter how generous the donation, however, it’s important your name isn’t already famous for other reasons. “It’s not going to work if you’re Bill Gates,” Chevalier says.

This isn’t the first time authors have used a similar stunt for charity: Stephen King, John Grisham, Dave Eggers, and Game of Thrones author George RR Martin have all done the same for causes including a wolf sanctuary and food charity.

The Kardashians did not respond to requests for comment on how much it would cost to star in the next edition of gaming app Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.

TIME Television

Amy Poehler Grilled George R.R. Martin on Game of Thrones Trivia Last Night

Find out how well Martin knows his own characters

Quick, who said it: “When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.”

George R.R. Martin knew the answer when he stopped by Late Night with Seth Meyers last night. The author was promoting his new book (no, not that one), The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones. He quickly found himself in a verbal duel of honor with Amy Poehler, who challenged him to find out exactly how well he knew his characters.

Poehler and Meyers took turns quizzing Martin with lines from his very long, multi-volume work and asking which character said it. For the most part Martin nailed it, but he apparently completely forgot about the Westeros 9 meteorologist who first predicted that winter is coming.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Gives a Tourism Boost to Southern Spain

Game of Thrones
HBO

Restaurants are already creating menus inspired by the show

How do you write dollar signs in Dothraki? Game of Thrones is filming its fifth season in Osuna, Spain, and the show’s presence there may be good news for the territory with an unemployment rate of 34.7 percent — one of the highest in the country.

More than 500 locals from around the town of 18,000 are receiving approximately $65 a day to work as extras for the HBO hit, The Independent reports. But local business may get an even bigger boost after the production leaves, as previous filming locations in Iceland, Northern Ireland and Croatia have reported dramatic increases in tourism following the show’s visit. The number of tourists visiting the town and the Seville area is expected to rise by 15 percent, according to U.S. ambassador to Spain and former HBO exec James Costos. (Could there be anyone more qualified to talk about HBO’s Spanish tourism impact than a guy who’s held those jobs?)

Those who do make the trek to southern Spain can unwind at Casa Curro, an Osuna restaurant that’s prepared a Games of Thrones-themed menu with dishes like the Joffrey — a bacon and trout dish with mulled wine.

TIME Television

Watch Game of Thrones Star Jason Momoa’s Intense Audition Tape

The clip has been on YouTube since 2012, but it's worth watching if you want to see how the little-known actor scored his breakout role

Despite lasting just one season on Game of Thrones, Khal Drogo remains one of the show’s most memorable characters — thanks in large part to Jason Momoa’s indelible portrayal of the Dothraki lord. In this YouTube clip from 2012, we see that the actor landed his breakout role performing the haka, a traditional dance associated with New Zealand’s Maori people, during his audition.

Though the haka has a legacy entirely unrelated to Game of Thrones (obviously), its intensity — and Momoa’s fervent, wild-haired rendition of it — helps reveal why the actor was so well-suited for the part of Khal Drogo. And it was that short-lived role that has launched the 35-year-old actor to greater stardom. Momoa has recently been cast as Aquaman and is slated to appear in a number of DC Comics’ upcoming films.

Plus, with the recent announcement that there will be flashbacks in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, there’s always a slight chance we could see Khal Drogo once again. Let’s just hope he’s slightly less terrifying than he is in that audition tape, because seriously — you do not want to turn the volume up too loud for that one.

Read next: HBO Will Finally Start Selling Web-Only Subscriptions Next Year

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