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GOT’s Jason Mamoa as Drax the Destroyer? February 17, 2013

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment.
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Been reading on several websites that actor Jason Mamoa, who played Khal Drogo on the first season on GAME OF THRONES, has been cast as   Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  According to several reports (this one from Examiner.com): “Mamoa was called in to screen test for James Gunn’s upcoming superhero film and delivered such a positive performance that the studio went ahead and offered him the part.”

The film is due out in August 2014. (Photos courtesy of HBO and Wikipedia)

 

 

Cat sings ‘Game of Thrones’ theme song August 22, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment.
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I realize this doesn’t fall into the traditional realm of my blog but so many of my friends on here watch the HBO Game of Thrones series so I am sharing this link — first seen on Jezebel but available on YouTube — with you! Totally made me laugh! What about you?

The deets on the latest ‘Game of Thrones’ season No. 2 video! February 28, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in HBO, News.
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Wow! This is the second preview for “Game of Thrones” season No. 2 and it’s a long clip!  Spoilers abound! Great ones! For a full recap — and don’t read it if you don’t want to know the deets — CLICK HERE to read the excellent scene-by-scene breakdown of the clip from the fab westeros.org website. (If you’re a GOT fan and don’t have that site bookmarked — do it. It’s usually the first with scoops and news on the series.)

And don’t forget — season No. 2 starts on April 1!!!

Related stories from other websites:

Another ‘Game of Thrones’ teaser: The Cold Winds Are Rising December 11, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in HBO, News.
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Here’s the latest trailer for season No. 2 of Game of Thrones, which airs in April!!!!! (For tons of info about the series, check out the fabulously awesome westeros.org website.)

Dinklage thanks dog sitter but not GRRM in Emmy win for ‘Game of Thrones’ September 18, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Emmy nominations, HBO, News.
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Peter Dinklage won an Emmy for best supporting actor in a drama for his role as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s GAME OF THRONES. GOT was shut out in the other three categories it was nominated for, including best drama series, but that’s typical for a brand new series going head-to-head with old faves like MAD MEN. 

Dinklage — who is superb playing the GOT imp, — seemed surprised that he won. In his acceptance speech he thanked David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for offering him the role. He thanked HBO for “letting artists create.” He even thanked  his dog sitter. But he forgot to thank A GAME OF THRONES author George R. R. Martin, who was in the audience. I mean — geesh! We know he didn’t think he was going to win and didn’t prepare an acceptance speech — and as everyone is reporting — he was sooooo surprised. I don’t doubt it. But without GRRM, there would be no Tyrion, a fave GRRM character.

Guess we’ll just chalk up Dinklage’s glaring omission to nerves.

DID YOU MISS THESE?
Photos and comments from ‘Game of Thrones” panel at Comic-Con
Interview with ‘A Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin

Photos: ‘Game of Thrones’ panel at Comic-Con July 22, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Cast and writers of HBO's "Game of Thrones" (George R.R. Martin is at end) > Photo by Michelle Moreland

Wow — I actually got into this panel for a blog post for my news media company, The San Diego Union-Tribune. Almost didn’t make it in — had to sneak in through an exit at the last minute. The news media has to wait in line like everyone else at The Con — as it should be! (Read about how long the line was for this HERE.) And check out the coverage at my company’s website HERE! Also, check out the slideshow at the end. Thanks to Michelle Moreland of Georgia for the photos!

To get a seat at the HBO “Game of Thrones” panel you had to wait in what fans were dubbing “the epic line.” For those lucky enough to make it in, here’s what we heard from the cast and writers, which included author George R.R. Martin, who moderated the one-hour discussion. (And yes — they talked about Season No. 2 …)

Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo): He kind of stole the show. Momoa walked onto the stage with dark shades but when he whipped them off, his eyes were made up with that deeply charcoaled makeup of the Khal. (The audience went nuts.) When asked who would win a battle between Conan (who he once played) and Drogo, he quickly said “Drogo would kick Conan’s ass.” He loved learning the language of the Dokthraki, which he said at first sounded like a cross between “Jabba the Hutt and Foozie Bear.” (If fans are lucky, on the DVD release of the show, they’ll get to see the “dance” he performed in his audition that the producers said got him the part of Drogo.)

Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) on playing the rather evil Queen: “It’s fine playing a character who isn’t trying to be morally good. But people do come up to me and say ‘I hate you!'”

Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister): Dinklage was rather sedate. Someone in the audience says that’s just how he is. His favorite part of the first season? “I loved the White Walker stuff.” (OK — he did say he had the most fun filming the scene when he was on trial because they used a lot of extras and he felt like he got to be master of ceremonies for the cast and crew during the lulls between shooting.)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister): His favorite scene is at the end of Season No. 1 with Ned Stark’s widow, Catelyn (where he sort of propositions her in a nasty way and she whacks him on the head with a rock). He says he was horrified when he read his part in the story when he pushes little Bran out the tower window. “You’re going to a very deep dark place and all” with a scene like that, he said.

Kit Harington (Jon Snow): He describes his character as a “bad ass with a sword. He’s a mysterious guy. I loved him the minute I saw him on paper.” Harington says that people kind of recognize him now in public, most recently at Costa Coffee. “They get a kind of puzzled look” at first before they realize he is Jon Snow in the series, he says.

Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen): Says she hadn’t read “A Game of Thrones” until after her first audition and then she tore through it, falling in love with the character of Dany. She says she has notes and dogged-eared pages in that book. She wants to keep in character and is reading the books as the HBO series progresses, so she’s just reading the next book — “A Clash of Kings” Her favorite scene so far? “The final scene (in season No. 1) where I see my (dragon) babies.” When she first saw it on the screen, “just the sound of them” made her shiver.

Author George R.R. Martin: Says he is concerned about how the entire series will end. He’s juggling a lot of balls and he hopes he “can bring it all together as magnificently as I can see it in my head.” He added that “he’s a fan of bittersweet endings,” which brought a little bit of a good-natured groan from the audience. He will write the Battle of the Blackwater, a huge army/navy clash that takes up several chapters in the second book, “A Clash of Kings.” (He hinted it could be expensive and was taking donations.) Read our previous interview with GRRM HERE.

Producers and writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss: They plan to stick closely to “A Clash of Kings” in season No. 2 of the HBO series, so anyone who has read the books shouldn’t be surprised, they said. Viewers will get to meet the red priestess and will see more of the dragons and dire wolves. They hope they can snag a season No. 3, and that’s where they aren’t sure how things will play out, said Benioff. Book No. 3 in the series — “A Storm of Swords” is very long, so they aren’t sure how they will break things up. Benioff says they just want to get to the “RW” scene, which Martin says was the toughest he’s had to write. (For those who have read the books, we know what the “RW” scene is, but if you haven’t, the panel didn’t want to spoil it for you so we won’t either.)

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‘Game of Thrones’ author on fans, killing characters, Comic-Con July 8, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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OK — here’s the first in my series of Comic-Con author interviews that I did for my news company — The San Diego Union-Tribune. I am posting them after they appear on the U-T Comic-Con site, which you should check out HERE!

"A Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin with actor Peter Dinklage on the HBO set. > Photo by Nick Briggs

Last month, “A Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin drew a crowd of 2,000 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, for a book signing that lasted six hours. “That was about 1,800 more than I expected,” Martin says, a bit incredulous.

The turnout left him wondering, “If 2,000 showed up in Slovenia, what’s it going to be like at Comic-Con?”

It’s likely to be a madhouse. The veteran author has lots of hard-core fans. He’s especially well-known for “A Game of Thrones,” the first novel in his best-selling epic series “A Song of Ice and Fire” about noble families battling to claim the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. “Thrones” was turned into an HBO series that just completed a highly successful first season.

The fifth book in the series.

And Martin’s long-awaited fifth novel, “A Dance With Dragons” will be released July 12. The timing couldn’t be better. On July 21 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Comic-Con, he’ll moderate the HBO “Game of Thrones” panel with some of the cast, including Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Jason Momoa and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Martin, 62, is no stranger to fame. He’s been a panelist at Comic-Con before, and in 1988 he received the convention’s coveted Inkpot Award. He’s worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter on TV shows like “The Twilight Zone” and “Beauty and the Beast.” He’s won Hugo and Nebula awards — the most prestigious for science-fiction and fantasy writers. And he was listed by Time magazine earlier this year as one of the 100  “most influential people in the world.” (Read what Time had to say about him here.) And that was before the HBO version of  “Thrones” turned Martin into something akin to a literary rock star, bringing him a legion of new fans.

Through it all, the New Jersey native has remained a humble guy. He admits to being “fairly apprehensive” about the potential crowds he will face at Comic-Con. In 1996, when “A Game of Thrones” was released, crowds for his book signings were small. He recalls pulling into the parking lot of a bookstore in Denton, Texas, for a signing. There was no place to park. “I thought, this is gonna be a huge signing,” Martin says. “But there were two signings that day. I was in the front of the store, where about a dozen people showed up. And in the back, there was an event for Clifford (The Big Red Dog) and hundreds showed up for that.”

But as the popularity of his books increased, so did his crowds, and now he’s used to getting a couple of hundred fans at events. But thousands? The idea is flattering, but it’s still a bit mind-boggling. “How many people do those ballrooms (at Comic-Con) hold?” he asks.

His fave Comic-Con moment: “I’ve been a comic fan since the 1960s. I haven’t been every year, but I’ve been to six or seven and was there for the first one back in the 1980s. I like the old Comic-Cons in the 1980s, when it was much smaller and it was more intimate. I could eye the old comic books in cardboard boxes. I’m a Marvel guy mostly.It’s obviously a whole different animal now. They still call it Comic-Con, but it’s more of a multi-media extravaganza. TV, film and games — all of these things have huge roles now.”

Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled princess in the HBO series. > Photo by Helen Sloan

What’s a can’t miss for him? “Walking the floor. If crowds start gathering, I’m not sure what I will do! I’ve never had security before and I won’t this time, but I will have people from HBO with me.”

On the HBO series: “It’s quite a faithful adaptation of the books. The deal calls for me to write one episode per season. (He wrote episode No. 8 — “The Pointy End” — in season one.) I can’t be there day in and day out because I have other writing to do. But (HBO) does call me to consult about the characters, weigh in on the casting and what will happen with the characters later in the (book) series.”

On the HBO actors: “Yes, they come pretty close to how I pictured them, especially Peter Dinklage. Years ago, David and Dan (HBO producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) met with me for lunch at the Palm Restaurant in L.A. We talked so long that we ran into dinner time. But we talked how we would approach the series and at a certain point we talked about casting and who we would put in our dream cast. For the role of Tyrion, it had to be Dinklage. There were no auditions or readings for that role. We never considered anyone else for it.”

On why he kills off popular characters, especially Ned Stark: “This is like déjà vu because in 1996 (when “A Game of Thrones” came out) book readers asked me the same thing. So now it’s happening again (with the HBO crowd). I will kill them. It increases the tension. It keeps people on edge because they wonder who will get out of it? I also think it’s a little more realistic. The TV hero might escape from the dungeon easily but in real life, most people didn’t escape from the dungeon. They either stayed in the dungeon for a very long time or died there.”

Isaac Hempstead-Wright plays young Bran Stark and Kit Harington plays Jon Snow. > Photo by Helen Sloan

Are you still planning seven books? “Yes. Seven kingdoms, seven gods, seven books. Seven seems fitting, but until I get out of book six, I’m not sure. I won’t have a chance to start working on book six until next year.” (And yes, Martin has always known how the series will end and who among his major characters would live or die.)

On meeting his fans: Meeting fans is always great, but their reaction has changed in the last few years. This is really hard to explain but in the 1980s, fans would come up to me and say ‘Oh Martin, I like your stuff. Will you sign my book? I really like your novel.’ But now I get these Hollywood reactions where people squeal and are tongue-tied — like they can’t speak to me anymore. I think of myself as the same guy I was 20 years ago though.”

On success:
“It’s great and it means a lot. You want readers as an author, and not just for the financial reasons. But it’s nice to know you’ve struck a chord with such a large readership and know you’ve created a story that will perhaps outlive you.”

Author George R.R. Martin says the HBO series is "quite a faithful adaptation of the books. The deal calls for me to write one episode per season." > Photo by Nick Briggs

Comic-Con: Interviews with ‘Game of Thrones’ author & others coming! July 4, 2011

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Happy July 4. I’ve been busy with a few author interviews I’m doing for my news company’s  (The San Diego Union-Tribune) special Comic-Con website and print section. But I will be posting them here soon.

Today I finished up a phone call with GAME OF THRONES author George R.R. Martin, who was kind and generous with his time. Not too many authors just take your phone call after you email them directly. GRRM is a special one. He actually prefers to talk on the phone because email means he has to write more — and he already does a lot of writing! But he is funny and kind and — well — a nice person to interview. It was also great that I didn’t have to jump through a lot of hoops to get in touch with him. I don’t know if I will be able to snag an interview with him so easily a year from now, because I think he will be simply booked. He had six interviews on his schedule for tomorrow. But look for my interview with him here soon.

Other Comic-Con inteviews I’ve done and simply need to post to the U-T site first: Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs.

Yes — I will covering the Con as much as I can and will post what I get here.

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