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Queen of England to visit 'Game of Thrones' set

Game of Thrones is about to get a visit from a real queen.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh will tour the Belfast studios where the HBO series is filmed during their visit to Northern Ireland next week. The news was announced Wednesday by the British Monarchy’s official Twitter feed and confirmed by other sources. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' showrunners talk season 5: 'There will be Dorne'

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Another epic season behind us, another promising season ahead. For the fifth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss will draw inspiration from the fourth and fifth novels in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire saga: A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. (Each novel focuses on different characters while covering roughly the same period of time.)

On Sunday night, we posted the showrunners’ answers to some burning questions about Thrones’ game-changing finale. Below, our conversation continues as we shift the subject to next year. Who else can’t wait to see Jaime Lannister bust out that jetpack? (Note: The first portion of this interview was conducted by email, with the producers answering via joint statements.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We’ve come to a huge pivot point. George R.R. Martin originally conceived of his books as a trilogy, and the end of A Storm of Swords feels like the first and only natural breaking point in the saga. It also begins a stretch of storytelling that some fans feel isn’t as compelling as what came before it. What’s your take on season 5?
DAVID BENIOFF & DAN WEISS: After finishing season 3, we were nervous about season 4—we’d been looking forward to the Red Wedding for so long that once we shot it, we feared everything beyond that would seem like an anti-climax. We grew less nervous when we outlined season 4, less nervous still when we wrote the episodes, and all nervousness evaporated when we saw the directors’ cuts and knew we had a great season in hand. For season 5, again, the fear started to dissipate when we outlined it and realized how much story we had to tell. Now that we’re nearly finished with the first drafts of each episode, we see no reason why the coming season shouldn’t be the strongest yet. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' finale ratings up from last year (but don't break record)

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HBO’s Game of Thrones fourth season finale posted significant gains from last year’s closer — yet couldn’t top its own all-time high set earlier this season.

Sunday’s “The Children” episode had 7.1 million viewers was up 32 percent from season three’s finale. That’s just shy of the show’s 7.2 million record, which was repeatedly struck this season. HBO wasn’t expecting a new breakthrough given the high-flying NBA playoff Game 5 airing on broadcast last night. Counting two additional plays, Thrones struck 9.3 million viewers total for the night. Thrones also recorded the largest audience ever for an HBO series this season with an average of 18.6 million viewers across all platforms and repeats, up 29 percent from last season. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' finale: Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance on [SPOILER's] killer instinct

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Spoilers from Sunday’s Game of Thrones finale: It was the perfect Father’s Day episode of Game of Thrones: Tyrion kills Tywin, the unloved son executing his cold-hearted, calculating father as he sat on the most ignoble throne of all. It’s a move that will change Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) forever — and one that eliminates Tywin (Charles Dance), one of the show’s strongest characters.

We spoke with both actors about the finale scene very briefly last year. Dinklage said Tyrion went up to confront his father because he “can’t leave without some closure.”

“He doesn’t know what’s going to happen,” added Dinklage. “He understands the force that Tywin is, so I think he’s smart enough to know that there are consequences for going up there. But he can’t leave without something. He needs that closure. No matter what it is, he needs something. Maybe he’s going to get killed, but he just can’t leave yet.”

Tyion then pulls the trigger on his father after the patriarch repeatedly calls a Shae “whore.” “Tyrion is grief-stricken about what he just did [to Shae] and Tywin doesn’t give a sh–,” Dinklage said. “So that’s the finger that fires.” READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' director explains Lady Stoneheart finale decision (book spoiler)

Caution: Spoilers for the Game of Thrones finale, AND a book spoiler from George R.R. Martin’s saga: READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones': Tyrion's awesome trial speech script

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Here’s an exclusive look at the script for Tyrion Lannister’s awesome trial scene from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Writer Bryan Cogman tells EW of his scene from this season’s sixth episode, “The Laws of Gods and Men”: “This is a moment we’ve been building to ever since the beginning. Every scene with Tyrion [Peter Dinklage], every interaction, was all leading up to this moment. The Shae [Sibel Kekilli] moment triggers what’s been building up inside him his entire life. He was going to take his father’s deal and go quietly and then decides he’d rather die than give in. But before he dies, he’s going to tell them all what he really thinks of them. It’s a fun trial scene, but really it’s a scene about the Lannister family. … It’s an incredibly physical acting performance from Peter even before he launches into his speech. The thing about Peter is there’s probably 15 takes that we didn’t use that you could have slotted in and it’s equally incredible and an entirely different version of the same scene. I keep coming back to how piercing his gaze is throughout that speech, he’s just stabbing daggers into every person he’s talking to.”

Below is the script (NSFW language). What’s particularly cool about this is how so many of the subtle intricacies of Cogman’s description were so clearly conveyed by the otherwise mute actors in the scene. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones': Here's who HBO submitted for Emmys

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HBO’s Game of Thrones is about to conclude what many believe is its best season yet. And we know the hit drama series, while typically scoring a ton of Emmy nominations, often tends to fall shy of victory when the winners are announced in the major categories. So which actors, writers and directors are being submitted “for your consideration” this year? Here is what the Emmy ballots this year reveal:

Actors: For best supporting, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Natalie Dormer, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and Kit Harington. Surprising omission: Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger), who has been great this season, and has had plenty to do. For guest actors, Pedro Pascal was submitted for Prince Oberyn and Diana Rigg for Lady OlennaREAD FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' showrunners promise: Best finale yet

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The Battle of Castle Black may have been the biggest action set-piece in Game of Thrones history (and probably TV history, too), but next Sunday’s hour of the HBO hit could be the show’s best episode ever.

Titled “The Children,” the 10th episode of the fourth season will break a narrative pattern that’s been set by the show in previous years. Usually the ninth episode contains a major character death or battle, and the finale is a quieter hour (by Thrones standards, at least) that wraps some storylines while launching other threads for next season. Expect “The Children” to check in with all the key characters and for some major drama to unfold.

“It’s the best finale we’ve ever done, bar none,” Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss said in a statement. “The performances from our cast, the direction from Alex Graves, the VFX work, the new [music] cues from Ramin Djawadi—all of it came together in perhaps the finest hour we’ve produced. We’re immensely proud of ‘The Children.’ And a little intimidated by the episode, because now we have to get back to the business of season five and figure out a way to top it.”

Of key interest is the fate of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who was sentenced to death at the conclusion of the eighth episode. But there’s also Jon Snow (Kit Harington) marching off to assassinate Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds), Arya (Maisie Williams) setting a new course, and you cannot have a Thrones finale without at least one surprise involving the dragon queen (Emilia Clarke). Expect “The Children” to be a longer-than-usual episode, too — HBO’s schedule says the finale is 66 minutes.

'Game of Thrones' ratings dip against playoffs

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Game of Thrones ratings took a slight dip this week against heavy broadcast competition.

Last night’s Battle of Castle Black episode delivered 6.9 million viewers at 9 p.m., down from last week’s all-time peak tie of 7.2 million. Through the night, the episode got 8.1 million over the two plays. Thrones faced heavier than usual summer competition with high-rated NBA playoffs on ABC, along with the Miss USA pageant on NBC and the Tony Awards on CBS.

For our coverage of last night’s “The Watchers on the Wall,” here’s our recap, our interview with director Neil Marshall on pulling off the big battle and our interview with last night’s departing castmember.

'Game of Thrones' director Neil Marshall: How he pulled off that battle

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When Game of Thrones goes to battle, the producers call Neil Marshall. The director of season two’s Blackwater episode returned Sunday night to helm the most ambitious war sequence in the show’s history: The Battle of Castle Black. Below the director (The Descent, Centurion) takes our questions (spoilers) about episode nine, “The Watchers on the Wall”:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: That was amazing. You had so many epic moments, plus the action remained remarkably coherent despite all that was going on.
Neil Marhsall:  Yeah, that’s always the trickiest part, to keep your handle on the geography.

What was the toughest scene to pull off?
Probably the mammoth. Everything else exists in some form or another. Even the giants are like 8-foot-tall actors that we film against green screen and make them bigger. But the mammoth is 100 percent CG. So you have to plan out these sequences where you have stunts and then you’re going to put this giant and mammoth there, and leave room for them. Easily the most complex effects work I’ve done on anything. And like you said, it’s about people understanding what’s happening where, which is kind of why I put in that one crane shot that goes all the way around Castle Black and it links all the characters together. The reason for doing that is, one, it was going to look cool, and two, because it helps the audience understand who, where and when.

READ FULL STORY

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