TIME Television

Game of Thrones Is Using Almost All New Directors for Season 5

Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in Season 4 of "Game of Thrones"
Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in Season 4 of "Game of Thrones" Helen Sloan—HBO

Familiar faces — including Neil Marshall and Michelle MacLaren — won't be directing new episodes of the popular HBO show, with only one Thrones veteran returning

Over the course of its five seasons, Game of Thrones has become known nearly as much for its epic visuals as it has for its sprawling storytelling. Naturally, talented directors like Neil Marshall (responsible for Season Two’s “Blackwater” and Season Four’s “Watchers on the Wall”), Michelle MacLaren (four episodes of Thrones and a pair of Emmy nominations for her work on Breaking Bad) and Alan Taylor (six episodes, as well as 2013′s Thor: The Dark World) play a substantial role in creating that style.

So when it was announced on EW.com that many of the directors responsible for creating some of the series’ most iconic episodes were not returning, it was a bit of a surprise. That said, HBO is bringing an impressive group of newcomers to Westeros (alongside David Nutter, who has helmed four past episodes of Thrones).

Here’s the full list:

Episodes 501 and 502: Michael Slovis (episodes of AMC’s Breaking Bad and NBC’s Law & Order: SVU)

Episodes 503 and 504: Mark Mylod (episodes of Showtime’s Shameless and HBO’s Entourage)

Episodes 505 and 506: Jeremy Podeswa (episodes of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Showtime’s The Tudors)

Episodes 507 and 508: Miguel Sapochnik (episodes of Fox’s House and Fringe)

Episodes 509 and 510: David Nutter (known as “the pilot whisperer” for his track record in getting pilots picked up to series; Nutter directed four epiosdes of Thrones, plus many other shows)

And, of course, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are returning as showrunners (though not behind the camera for any episodes in 2015), so it’s unlikely Game of Thrones will look all that different from how you remember it.

TIME Music

Hodor From Game of Thrones Launches Thrones-Themed DJ Tour

Opening of the Moscow International Film Festival
Kristian Nairn attends the Moscow International Film Festival at Pushkinsky Cinema on June 19, 2014 in Moscow, Russia. Kommersant Photo--Kommersant via Getty Images

Tour has inevitably been dubbed "Rave of Thrones"

Australians looking to show off their love of Game of Thrones on the dancefloor are in luck.

Kristian Nairn, the actor who plays Hodor on the HBO show, is gearing up for a DJ-tour around Australia, which has been appropriately dubbed “Rave of Thrones.”

The tour — which will see Nairn playing gigs in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Darwin and Adelaide — sounds like it will be exactly what fans of the HBO series are looking for in between seasons.

The Guardian reports that the gig venues will be transformed with Westeros-like decor and, like most GOT festivities, there will be plenty of surprise guests. What’s more, audience members are expected to show up in full GOT regalia.

The audience can also expect a good show from Nairn, as the Northern Irish actor spent more than a decade as a resident DJ in Belfast’s Kremlin club before being cast on the world-famous show. As the tour’s website promises that, “Unlike the Red Wedding, these soirees will be remembered for seasons to come for all the right reasons.”
TIME Television

Watch the 14 Best Television Intros of All Time

From The Addams Family to The Simpsons, these opening sequences are an indelible part of television history


Showtime’s Masters of Sex, back on television July 13, has one of the most creative opening sequences on the small screen today, using imagery ranging from a train entering a tunnel to a volcano erupting; allusions to fornication abound without ever actually showing the act itself.

Take a look at other creative and memorable television intros from over the years.

TIME Television

HBO and Game of Thrones Dominate Emmy Nominations

From left: Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon and Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell in Season 4, Episode 2 of HBO's Game of Thrones.
From left: Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon and Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell in Season 4, Episode 2 of HBO's Game of Thrones. Helen Sloan—HBO

A strong showing by the premium cable channel and its hit show

Game of Thrones received 19 Emmy nominations Thursday, fueling HBO’s 99 total nominations, including two for best drama.

FX also fared well, drawing 18 nominations for Fargo and another 17 for American Horror Story: Coven.

Netflix, with Orange Is the New Black contending for best comedy, pulled in a total of 31 Emmy nominations, more than either Fox or Comedy Central.

Here are the highlights from this year’s Emmy nominations:

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad (AMC)

Downton Abbey (PBS)

Game of Thrones (HBO)

Mad Men (AMC)

True Detective (HBO)

House of Cards (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (HBO)

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards (Netflix)

Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)

Matthew McConaughey, True Detective (HBO)

Woody Harrelson, True Detective (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (PBS)

Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime)

Robin Wright, House of Cards (Netflix)

Kerry Washington, Scandal (ABC)

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS)

Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex (Showtime)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jon Voight, Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO)

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland (Showtime)

Josh Charles, The Good Wife (CBS)

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (AMC)

Jim Carter, Downton Abbey (PBS)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (AMC)

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (PBS)

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones (HBO)

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS)

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men (AMC)

Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey (PBS)

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Louie (FX)

Modern Family (ABC)

Veep (HBO)

Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Silicon Valley (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Don Cheadle, House of Lies (Showtime)

Louis C.K., Louie (FX)

William H. Macy, Shameless (Showtime)

Ricky Gervais, Derek (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Lena Dunham, Girls (HBO)

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie (Showtime)

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)

Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly (CBS)

Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Adam Driver, Girls (HBO)

Jessie Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family (ABC)

Fred Armisen, Portlandia (IFC)

Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)

Tony Hale, Veep (HBO)

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Julie Bowen, Modern Family (ABC)

Anna Chlumsky, Veep (HBO)

Allison Janney, Mom (CBS)

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)

Outstanding Miniseries

American Horror Story: Coven (FX)

Fargo (FX)

The White Queen (Starz)

Bonnie and Clyde (A&E, Lifetime, History)

Treme (HBO)

Luther (BBC America)

Outstanding Television Movie

The Normal Heart (HBO)

The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)

Killing Kennedy (National Geographic)

Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)

Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge (Starz)

Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart (HBO)

Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo (FX)

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)

Idris Elba, Luther (BBC America)

Martin Freeman, Fargo (FX)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie

Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven (FX)

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven (FX)

Kristen Wiig, Spoils of Babylon (IFC)

Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor (BBC America)

Minnie Driver, Return to Zero (Lifetime)

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Amazing Race (CBS)

Dancing With the Stars (ABC)

Project Runway (Lifetime)

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)

Top Chef (Brav0)

The Voice (NBC)

TIME Television

George R.R. Martin Has a Message For Anyone Who Thinks He Won’t Finish A Song of Ice and Fire: “F**k You”

George R.R. Martin at the "Game Of Thrones" Panel - Comic-Con International 2013
Wrtier George R.R. Martin speaks onstage during the "Game Of Thrones" panel during Comic-Con International 2013 on July 19, 2013 in San Diego, California. Albert L. Ortega—Getty Images

The author said he finds the question offensive — and punctuated his remarks with a middle finger

For all the endless hand-wringing from Game of Thrones fans — and there’s plenty of it — the greatest common concern is that author George R.R. Martin won’t finish all of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Martin is 65 and he’s not known for his fitness; add to that Martin’s slowed writing pace and a seemingly endless string of publicity obligations for HBO, and it’s not too much of a stretch to understand why Thrones fanatics have some doubts.

Martin has mostly remained quiet on the subject, but in an interview with Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger this week, he issued a Targaryen-worthy response: “I find that question pretty offensive, when people start speculating about my death and my health,” he said. “So f**k you to those people.” The author even added a middle finger for good measure.

The Song of Ice and Fire scribe is currently working on the sixth novel in the series, which is slated for seven books — though Martin’s editor hinted at the possibility of an eighth book last month.

Part of the trouble for Martin is that the author only works at home, not while traveling or on the road — two things that occupy a considerable amount of time, not to mention his occasional writing obligations for the show itself. Of course, Martin need not finish the books for the HBO show to move on (and the show has increasingly diverted from certain of the book’s plot points), but it’s unlikely that fans — those of either the book or the TV show — want to find out what Westeros is like without him.

[Tages-Anzeiger via Warming Glow]

TIME Television

Drink Like Cersei with Game of Thrones Wines

Common Ventures

Just don’t go boar hunting under the influence

What does Cersei Lannister drink after a hard day of power politics (or every day, all the time)? Why, wine, of course. Dornish wine may be the beverage of choice for the Seven Kingdoms, but The Wines of Westeros allow us non-royalty to take part as well.

The fan-made project, by creative agency Common Ventures, gathers 12 wines named for the major houses plus the Night’s Watch, Dothraki, Wildlings, and White Walkers. The collection is available for pre-order to be delivered next year when season five launches—presumably giving the liquid time to age. Like any great wine, which one you choose is determined by what kind of terroir you’re looking for. House Lannister gets a dark pinot noir and Martell gets a cabernet. The White Walker vintage, unfortunately, is not an ice wine, but a sauvignon blanc.

With their potent personalities, it’s not hard to imagine what flavors the house wines might reveal. Below, some tasting notes.

Dothraki Merlot

Hints of horse’s heart on the tongue. Slightly dusty in the back of the throat. Long, violent finish.

Night’s Watch Shiraz

Tastes like it’s been stewed for days over a smokey fire. Slight suggestions of roasted bird—one might even detect crow. Best savored alone, forever.

Wildling Sauvignon Blanc

Sharp, but with an inner warmth as the liquid moves around the mouth. Best served as cold as the Arctic tundra and poured into a sack made from the skin of a dead animal.

TIME movies

Maisie Williams—Game of Thrones‘s Arya—Doesn’t Know What Happens Next Either

Maisie Williams
Maisie Williams at the "Game Of Thrones" Season 4 premiere at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on March 18, 2014 in New York City. Taylor Hill—FilmMagic / Getty Images

The actress' first-ever film arrives in theaters July 4

Maisie Williams — the actress behind fan-favorite Arya Stark on Game of Thrones — just passed the written portion of her driver’s license test. But that’s not the only reason she’s psyched. Heatstroke, the teenage actress’ first-ever movie and her second professional acting gig, is arriving in theaters and on VOD on July 4.

“This is the first time I’ve actually spoken about the film. This is really exciting for me, to actually be able to talk about this a bit more. It’s not been quite as secret as Game of Thrones but that doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting,” she tells TIME. “You hear about so many child stars who have their one movie or one series and then that’s it. I remember [getting cast] just being like a breath, like, this is my future. It’s all very well people saying Game of Thrones is the biggest show ever, but you have to keep up with that.”

And making a movie proved to be a new experience, despite her experience with Thrones. For example, Williams says she still doesn’t know all the Thrones crew members, because the operation is so massive, but that Heatstroke was on a smaller scale, so she got a better sense of what was going on behind the scenes. On the other hand, there are some similarities between the projects: in Heatstroke, she plays a rebellious teen whose trip to Africa with her hyena-researcher father turns deadly, leaving her to make a dangerous trek across a hostile landscape — which isn’t so far from what she’s been through on Thrones recently. Plus, her experience with direwolves (sort of) came in handy: Williams says that her favorite moments on set were working with the live hyenas involved in the story.

“It was absolutely amazing to be that close to a hyena, this legit wild animal. It’s not like a tiger or a polar bear that if you go to a zoo you can see in captivity. I just feel like humans have made those sort of animals so much less impressive by bringing them into our world, but something like a hyena, you don’t see that every day,” she says. “They came so close, they were nibbling my shoelaces and breathed on me.”

Which is not to say that Williams knows whether any Heatstroke-Game of Thrones comparisons will hold up when the HBO show returns for its fifth season, which hasn’t started filming yet (though it’s been confirmed that portions will be shot in Spain). “We haven’t got the scripts, we haven’t got our schedule, we haven’t got anything like that,” she says of the next season of Thrones. “Everyone thinks that we know everything. They’re like, Can you spoil anything for the new season? We’re like, We don’t have a clue. No one tells us. We’re waiting like everyone else.”

And that’s another thing for her to be excited about: finding out. Williams says that the time between the Thrones season finale and the beginning of shooting the next season can be an odd time, full of a feeling of being “left in the middle,” but that she’s heard rumors that new scripts will be coming through soon. Not that she’ll tell anyone when she does know what happens to Arya next.

“As soon as you do spoil something, they’ll be the first ones to tell you that you’ve ruined it and you’re so annoying,” she says. “People act like they want to know, but they really don’t.”

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Headed to Spain for Season 5

Game of Thrones

The country could serve as the Kingdom of Dorne

Game of Thrones fans may be seeing a whole new kingdom next season.

Part of the HBO fantasy drama’s fifth season will be shot in southern Spain, near Seville, the network announced Wednesday.

Filming will take place later this year, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and no specific locations will be revealed until closer to the shoots.

This announcement confirms earlier comments by U.S. ambassador to Spain and former HBO executive James Costas that the company was in “firm negotiations” with the Andalusia Film Commission to find filming locations in Spain.

Spain is filled with Moorish castles like Seville’s spectacular Alcazar and buildings like Osuna University with its castle-like spires, which the Reporter speculates would make it the perfect setting for the Kingdom of Dorne — home of Prince Oberyn, the [spoiler alert] ill-fated Dornish royal who met a grisly end in Season 4.

Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly last month that season five would feature Dorne, saying: “Who wouldn’t want to hang out in Dorne? They have admirable values and priorities. And have you seen Oberyn’s coat?”

Spain will now join the long list of locations that have served as host to the popular show, following Croatia, Northern Ireland, Malta, Morocco, Iceland and the United States.

[Hollywood Reporter]

TIME viral

Game of Thrones Trailer: The ’80s Remix

So rad!


Some of you may not remember this, but back before HBO Go, before the DVD, even before the LaserDisc (yeah I know you don’t even know what that is, which, exactly) there was a thing called the VHS with an aesthetic all its own. Contemporary with the VHS, there was also a thing called the late 1980s/early 1990s when TV show theme songs all sounded kind of the same and all were totally mondo, dude.

The scratchy visuals and weird distortions of the VHS viewing experience were almost lost to history. Fortunately, we have the Internet, where saintly people do things like mashup a recreation of what a Game of Thrones trailer would look like in the VHS era with a righteously retro GoT theme song.

So slap on those bracelets, pour yourself a bowl of Batman cereal and get ready for a treat.

Holy cow, I’m old.

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