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'Game of Thrones' and the Hold Steady team for season 3 song -- EXCLUSIVE

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Another acclaimed indie rock band has partnered with HBO’s Game of Thrones to create a hit song from the land of Westeros.

Thrones producers have enlisted Brooklyn group the Hold Steady to bring to life a tune from George R.R. Martin’s fantasy saga. The band will perform “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” with lyrics by Martin (below) and music by the show’s composer Ramin Djawadi. Last year, The National recorded Martin’s ominous “The Rains of Castemere” for season two, while “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” is more like a boisterous tavern song.

“As with the National, we went after one of our favorite bands and were happily surprised when they agreed to do it,” said showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. “This is one of the most popular songs in Westeros, beloved by nobles and commoners alike, sung at taverns and feasts and etc. We wanted our rendition to be bawdy and a little sloppy — drunken musicians getting up on the table and jamming while the rowdy party continues around them. There was no one better for the job than the Hold Steady, and the song they delivered has been stuck in our heads for the last four weeks.” READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' season 3 extended trailer arrives: More sex, more dragon, and a bear

Yes, as the first Game of Thrones preview warned us, death is still “coming for everyone and everything,” and the night is still “dark and full of terror.” But the HBO show’s new extended trailer adds some more color to those ominous omens — and a bear!

That’s right, at around the 1:05 mark, a sizable bruin shows up looking very unhappy. The new video also features a couple more snippets of steamy boudoir action, but perhaps the trailer’s most exciting addition is the extra dragon footage tacked on at the end. The first clip had about three seconds of a dragon flying toward a ship, whereas the version below plays out the scene for about eight seconds.

See for yourself:

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'Game of Thrones' season 3 full trailer is here

It’s here. The first full Game of Thrones season three trailer. No more 10-second teases or behind-the-scenes footage or posters (though today’s official new dragon poster was pretty cool). This is the trailer you’ve been waiting for which HBO just premiered on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Thrones returns March 31, but you already knew that. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' early DVD sales breaking HBO records

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Profits are coming: The second season of Game of Thrones is breaking HBO’s sales records on home video.

The heavily promoted DVD title was released earlier this week. The company reports that the first day moved 241,000 units, which is 44 percent higher than the first season’s initial sales and represent the biggest first-day numbers ever for an HBO home video release. HBO also sold 355,000 individual episodes via digital downloads, up 112 percent from season one. Given the more intense home video interest for season two, it wouldn’t be surprising if the show’s ratings surpass last season’s numbers when the show returns next month.

The box sets include season two’s 10 episodes, deleted scenes from the second season (watch them here) and plenty of behind-the-scenes material and commentaries — including this bit, below. Okay, this may not be the most insightful video, but it might be the cutest — the Stark kids beatboxing the Thrones theme song (hat tip to Winter is Coming). Also, check out the official just-released Game of Thrones poster for season 3 here and be sure to return to EW tonight to watch the first full season three trailer. The trailer is here. READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' season 3 poster: It's a flying dragon! -- EXCLUSIVE

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Below EW exclusively reveals the official new marketing art for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

The first season’s poster showed Ned Stark on the Iron Throne. The second season had a hand grasping a crown. And now the third season has … a dragon! Correction: A flying dragon. The image gives you a sense of how big Daenerys’ children have grown since we last saw them in season two.

But wait — there’s more coming today for Thrones fans. Be sure to return to EW tonight for the first full Game of Thrones season three trailer.UPDATE: The trailer is here! Will the trailer have a dragon in it? Uh, what do you think? And if you can’t wait for that and want more from season three right now, check out our gallery of 23 awesome pics from the upcoming season. Here’s the poster: READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones' 4 deleted scenes leaked -- VIDEO

That was fast: Four deleted scenes from Game of Thrones have been leaked online. The second season DVD went on sale just yesterday featuring a quartet of cut scenes that were “dragon’s eggs” on the seven-disc set. The show’s first season didn’t have any deleted scenes, so this is the first time material like this has been available for the HBO fantasy hit. Below are the scenes, including one with fan favorite Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Thrones returns for season three on March 31.  READ FULL STORY

'Game of Thrones': 23 amazing season three photos

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HBO just released 23 large high-quality photos from the eagerly anticipated third season of Game of Thrones. Behold images of fan favorites like Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister, along with new characters joining the show this year such as Wildling leader Mance Rayder and the Lady Olenna the Queen of Thorns.

Game of Thrones returns March 31.

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'Game of Thrones' season 3 teaser, episode credits

Two Game of Thrones items for you today. First is HBO’s new teaser trailer. This has no new footage. Having read Storm of Swords a couple times I don’t really understand why the teaser would draw a parallel to our world, it sort of suggests to casual viewers that there’s some Fringe-like portal being opened up (I suppose it’s simply trying to say what the title cards suggest — that the world of Westeros is returning to our world via the launch of the new season, but you would think the tease would be more S3 specific). Nice use of “The Rains of Castamere”; book fans will get that hint (a lion still has claws, indeed). After the video, we have the writer and director lineup for the third season.

Here’s the teaser: READ FULL STORY

Best & Worst of 2012: 10 great and 5 not-so-great episodes

EW takes you through the 10 best and 5 worst television episodes of 2012. See them all below!

The Best

1. Game of Thrones, ”Blackwater” — May 27, HBO
Season 2′s climactic Battle of the Blackwater wins because HBO allowed producers 
the time and cash to stage a ­massive land-and-sea con­frontation. Thus, this was an episode of rousing heroism, chilling cowardice, gory action, and one giant green explosion that went ”FOOOOOM!” The most ingenious part? It made us care about the warriors on both sides. Staging that battle in viewers’ hearts was the episode’s most successful wartime victory of all. –James Hibberd

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'Game of Thrones' beer first photo

You may have seen the story yesterday (in the New York Times, no less) announcing that a custom-made Game of Thrones beer is on the way. Want to see what the bottle looks like?

Below is a first look at Iron Throne, a blonde ale from Ommegang brewery that’s “crafted to directly tie into themes and nuances of the medieval-like fantasy realm of Westeros and the surrounding kingdoms.” In other words, you can not only taste Westeros in every sip, but even get a little hint of Braavos too.

Naturally the bottle is big and manly, 25 ounces, perfect for keeping a fire in your belly while guarding The Wall. And it’s corked — no fancy modern twist-offs or bottle openers needed here — so you can uncork it with your teeth and take a swig while leaving your sword hand free.

“It made us approach development in a completely new way and I think the first edition Iron Throne reveals that,” said Phil Leinhart, brewmaster at Ommegang. “With a Lannister currently on the throne, it made sense to do a delicate, but piercing Golden Blonde Ale with Noble hops. Iron Throne is certainly fair in color and soft in appearance, yet it still possesses a complexity and bite to be on guard for.”

Iron Throne, the first of multiple Thrones-inspired beers to be released, goes on sale nationwide in March for the kingly retail price of $8.50 a bottle. So what kind will the brewery release next, do you think? A Stark Stout? A Jon Snow Pale Ale? A Valyrian Light? I could seriously write these all day.

Here’s your first look.

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'Game of Thrones' gets super-sized season 3 -- EXCLUSIVE

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The biggest production on TV of one of the biggest stories in fantasy is about to get a little, well, bigger.

The Game of Thrones team is creating a “super-sized” third season of the hit series.

With showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss tackling content from the first half (roughly) of author George R.R. Martin’s largest Song of Ice and Fire novel (the 973-page fan-favorite A Storm of Swords), the writer-producer duo are delivering slightly longer episodes to the network. There’s still 10, but you’ll get a little more each week than previous seasons.

“There’s almost another full episode’s worth of extra minutes spread across the season,” Weiss says. “One of the great liberties with HBO is we’re not forced to come in at a specific time. We can’t be under 50 minutes or over 60, but that gives us a lot of flexibility.”

“A super-sized season, as befitting Storm of Swords,” Benioff adds. “Last year we had a lot of 52-minute episodes. This year is a lot of 56, 57.”

In fact, the third season finale is expected to run more than an hour — a move that requires special permission from the network (previously, the show’s pilot and its second season finale exceeded an hour). Episodes are still being calibrated so exact times could change, but HBO and producers are confident the season will deliver more Thrones than ever before. Says HBO in a statement: “All 10 episodes gained a minute or two from past seasons with the finale very possibly exceeding 60 minutes.”

“So for people clamoring for another episode, it’s in there,” Weiss says. “It’s just been cut into tiny pieces.”

Game of Thrones returns March 31, with the season two DVD out Feb. 19.

PREVIOUS
‘Game of Thrones’ beer first photo — EXCLUSIVE
‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 teaser poster released
Coldplay drummer joins ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 — EXCLUSIVE
‘Game of Thrones’ casts ‘Rome’ actor as Mance Rayder — EXCLUSIVE

Best of 2012: 5 great cliffhangers

The purpose of a cliffhanger is to keep the fans talking — for a week or for months. Here are five that got our readers buzzing.

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Best of 2012: TV Feuds

Letterman vs. Leno! The Barnes family vs. the Ewings! Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck! Much of pop culture is built on feuds — both on-camera and behind the scenes. Here’s a list of 2012’s most memorable ongoing conflicts from scripted and reality TV. READ FULL STORY

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