George R. R. Martin

May 11, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ death matrix: Connecting the 36 most shocking demises (so far)

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Cersei Lannister said it best: “When you play the Game of Thrones, you win, or you die.” Since HBO’s massively popular and critically acclaimed political fantasy series, based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, arrived in 2011, numerous characters have been dispatched in all manner of gruesome ways, and the body count seems only to climb higher with every passing episode. Even the tagline for the current fourth-season is a translation of “Valar morghulis,” the High Valyrian phrase meaning “All men must die.” With that in mind, we’ve created a detailed look at how so many deaths on “Game of Thrones” spiraled out from the off-camera passing of Jon Arryn, the former hand to the former king, Robert Baratheon, whose widow Cersei (Lena Headey) spoke those prophetic words to none other than the ill-fated Ned […]
May 05, 2014 | 3:07 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': At midway mark, body count low, plot twists high

“Game of Thrones” is now halfway through the fourth season, and judging by last night’s relatively low body count, HBO’s sprawling drama is pacing itself — for the moment. Twitter fans tamed their blood lust and praised Sunday’s episode for its clever plot machinations. Of course, moderation only goes so far where George R.R. Martin is concerned: “First of His Name” didn’t skimp on the grisly details. Brain skewers, anyone? (Ahem, now would be the time to stop reading: spoilers ahead.) Westeros already seems a little kinder, now that Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) is officially king. As he sits smiling in the Iron Throne, his mother calls him “a good boy, a decent boy,” seemingly the opposite of his late rageaholic brother Joffrey. Cersei (Lena Headey) and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) have a friendly chat about all the weddings (a.k.a. bloodbaths) coming up. She hints that Margaery, once her competition, wouldn’t be a bad sidekick for […]
April 28, 2014 | 1:53 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Twitter reacts to (more) rape and Joffrey plot

The fourth episode in the fourth season of HBO’s fantasy epic, “Game of Thrones,” dished up some of its grimmest fare yet last night — and that is saying something on a show that spills blood like it’s beer at a frat house. If you haven’t seen “Oathkeeper” yet, beware: spoilers lurk ahead. Not only did the latest installment of “Game of Thrones” show us what the White Walkers have been doing with all those Craster infants —  freezing them into little baby zombies — viewers got another rape scene, adding to the show’s brewing controversy. This time the victims were anonymous young women at Craster’s Keep, at the hands of the brutal mutineers from the Night’s Watch. Like the last scene with Cersei and Jaime Lannister, where the two fought near Joffrey’s dead body until Jaime overpowered her, the sequence wasn’t taken directly from […]
April 21, 2014 | 2:42 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Women in a ‘difficult world,’ say show runners

Tommen )Dean-Charles Chapman), Cersei (Lena Headey) stand beside the boy of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) in Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones," titled "Breaker of Chains.
 (Helen Sloan/HBO)
Anyone who watches HBO’s lavish fantasy series “Game of Thrones” understands that it’s not easy for any character to  live in the cutthroat world of Westeros, defined as it is by treachery and death. But navigating the brutal environment can be especially fraught for the women who have a central role in the narrative. (If you missed Sunday night’s episode, “Breaker of Chains,” you might want to stop reading now.) In the latest installment of the hit show, Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) arrived at the city of Meereen with her army of Unsullied at her back, determined to continue to free the slaves in the cities of the East. But even as she wins the affections of the underclass, she’s also making powerful enemies. QUIZ: Test your ‘Game of Thrones’ knowledge Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) finally escaped […]
April 21, 2014 | 1:21 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Twitter reacts to Cersei scene, champions Daenerys

The Lannisters pay their respects to the fallen King Joffrey. With Lena Headey,  Dean-Charles Chapman, Jack Gleeson and Charles Dance. (Helen Sloan / HBO)
Sunday’s episode of HBO’s sprawling series “Game of Thrones” dealt with the fallout from the much-discussed Purple Wedding, but the installment also managed to churn up its own controversy on Twitter. (If you haven’t seen the episode, “Breaker of Chains,” you should probably stop reading now.) The hour was packed with grizzly drama but nothing quite like the dismal encounter between Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the incestuous brother-sister pair whose relationship has sunk to a new low. To say it plainly: Right next to the dead body of King Joffrey, their doomed love child, Jaime Lannister rapes his sister as some sort of twisted punishment for being a “hateful woman.” Ever since Jaime returned to King’s Landing, with a stump where his sword-fighting hand used to be, Cersei has given him the cold shoulder. For some reason, Jaime […]
April 14, 2014 | 2:09 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Twitter reacts to Joffrey, Purple Wedding surprise

Talk about just desserts. Last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” “The Lion and the Rose,” elicited a rousing celebration from Twitter; as the tweets piled up around the #purplewedding hashtag, it was clear that the death of a key character at the wedding of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) produced one long, slow clap from the Internet. If you still haven’t seen the latest twist in HBO’s fantasy series, you should stop reading now. The highlights? Well, the wedding was a white-knuckled affair even before Joffrey was fatally poisoned. Indulging his own twisted ideas of entertainment, he’d brought out a troupe of dwarfs to act out the so-called Battle of the Five Armies, referencing both Ned Stark and Robb Stark’s murder to the horror of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Not content with this base-level humiliation, Joffrey baited his […]
April 14, 2014 | 10:32 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ showrunners: ‘Godfather’ inspired Purple Wedding

Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in "Game of Thrones." (HBO)
Another season — another deadly wedding. In Sunday’s episode of HBO’s breakout hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” a major (and majorly unlikable) character died at the royal nuptials of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), and if you haven’t seen the episode, “The Lion and the Rose,” you might want to stop reading now. Adapting one of the most memorable scenes from the second half of “A Storm of Swords,” the third book in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss brought to the screen the famous Purple Wedding, which ends with Joffrey dead at his own wedding feast — the sadistic royal is poisoned after publicly humiliating his uncle Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). In a recent telephone interview with Hero Complex, Weiss described the Purple […]
April 08, 2014 | 11:56 a.m.

HBO renews ‘Game of Thrones’ for fifth, sixth seasons

HBO’s breakout hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones” will get a fifth and sixth season, the cable network announced Tuesday. The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning show, based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, kicked off its fourth season Sunday evening to record-breaking ratings. About 6.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode, giving HBO its best numbers since 2007′s series finale of “The Sopranos” and crashing HBO Go, the network’s online streaming service. Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, called the series “a phenomenon like no other” in the renewal announcement Tuesday, praising series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for “their dazzling storytelling.” The lavish series, primarily set on a fictional continent called Westeros, chronicles the intrigue, treachery and power lust of warring families who seek to rule from the Iron […]
April 07, 2014 | 5:31 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4: New photos feature Arya, Jon Snow, dragons

Emilia Clarke in a scene from the Season 4 premiere of "Game of Thrones." (HBO)
The fourth season of “Game of Thrones” kicked off Sunday night, transporting fans back to the world of Westeros after a 10-month hiatus from the small screen. About 6.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode, giving HBO its best numbers since 2007’s series final of “The Sopranos” and crashing HBO Go, the network’s online streaming service. The “Thrones” season premiere, titled “Two Swords,” picked up the story lines of most of the fantasy series’ major characters — no small feat given the show’s sprawling cast. Arya (Maisie Williams) proved herself in battle alongside the Hound; Daario (now played by “Nashville” actor Michiel Huisman) continued his overt flirtation with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) even as the Mother of Dragons faced the fact that her children are lethal and possibly beyond her control; and Pedro Pascal’s Red Viper made his debut […]
April 07, 2014 | 2:25 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ season premiere crashes HBO Go, prompts Twitter fervor

Daario (Michiel Huisman) talks strategy with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). (Macall B. Polay / HBO)
“Game of Thrones” returned to HBO last night and the 8th kingdom of Twitter took notice. The fourth season premiere of the sprawling fantasy series adapted from George R.R. Martin’s bestselling novels delivered blood, guts and Valyrian steel to its devoted fan following — an average of 6.6. million total viewers turned in to watch the episode, according to Nielsen, giving HBO its biggest audience since 11.9 million viewers watched the finale of the mob drama “The Sopranos.” There was so much demand to watch the premiere online that the network’s online streaming service, HBO GO, crashed. Technical difficulties aside, it was a sweet homecoming that included a number of memorable moments — anyone who has not yet seen the episode might want to stop reading now. Among the highlights? Arya proved herself in battle alongside the Hound; Daario (now […]
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