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June 08, 2014 | 11:00 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Neil Marshall details ‘Watchers on the Wall’ strategy

A scene from "The Watchers on the Wall," the ninth episode of Season 4 of HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan/HBO)
It’s an interesting niche Neil Marshall has carved out for himself in the cutthroat world of HBO’s lavish fantasy, “Game of Thrones.” “I seem to be the go-to guy for battles and extreme carnage and special effects,” said Marshall, who stepped behind the camera for Sunday’s epic installment, “The Watchers on the Wall,” and who previously helmed Season 2’s equally spectacular “Blackwater.” “You’re kept on your toes trying to come up with new ways to kill people.” The director, whose feature film credits include the horror films “Dog Soldiers” and “The Descent” and the wild futuristic adventure “Doomsday,” certainly appears to have found his calling. In “The Watchers on the Wall,” the crushing Wilding attack that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) has been predicting for much of the show’s fourth season finally arrives, and the brothers of the Night’s Watch are […]
May 12, 2014 | 9:08 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Watch Tyrion Lannister take lion’s share of best lines

The bravest lion in the Seven Kingdoms has roared. Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” titled “The Laws of Gods and Men,” saw Peter Dinklage, the esteemed actor who plays Tyrion Lannister, the cunning black sheep of Westeros’ ruling family, deliver his most showstopping, awards-worthy speech yet. (He already has an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work in the series.) HBO’s top-rated fantasy series surprised TV audiences earlier this season by killing off sadistic King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), who was poisoned at his own wedding feast. Despite protesting his innocence, his uncle Tyrion was accused of the crime and banished to a cell to await a trial, overseen in part by his own father Tywin (Charles Dance) — who has long held his dwarf son in open contempt. (Those not current with the show might be advised to stop reading […]
May 12, 2014 | 2:11 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Even for the actors on “Game of Thrones,” spoilers can be a real joy-killer. Take, for example, Pedro Pascal, who plays Oberyn Martell on HBO’s hit fantasy series. When the opportunity came up for Pascal to audition for the role of the fiery Dornish prince known as the Red Viper, the longtime fan of the show was thrilled — but also dismayed to learn some of the twists the narrative would take in the fourth season. “I never associated any kind of possibility of being a part of it as I watched it,” explained Pascal, who had not then read the George R.R. Martin novels that inspired “Game of Thrones.” “When I got the audition, it didn’t seem attainable to me, so really the spoilers in the sides were what I had my first reaction to. I was upset because […]
May 11, 2014 | 1:37 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ star Peter Dinklage: Nothing’s fair in King’s Landing

“Game of Thrones” is known for unexpected twists in its sprawling narrative. But if there’s one thing it seems safe to assume, it’s that Tyrion Lannister is unlikely to receive a fair trial. HBO’s top-rated fantasy series surprised TV audiences earlier this season by killing off sadistic King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), who was poisoned at his own wedding feast. Despite protesting his innocence, his uncle Tyrion, played by Emmy Award winner Peter Dinklage, was accused of the crime and banished to a cell to await a trial, overseen in part by his own father Tywin (Charles Dance) — who has long held his dwarf son in open contempt. During an interview to promote his upcoming turn as the villainous Boliver Trask in “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which arrives in theaters May 23, Dinklage confirmed that justice might be difficult […]
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 […]
May 05, 2014 | 12:32 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones': Kit Harington talks honor, Ygritte, Craster’s Keep

Kit Harington, the English actor who plays the morally forthright Jon Snow on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” was showing a guest around the Northern Ireland set where he was spending a September evening battling a traitor, when he paused to note the grim decor that so often crops up on the series. “There’s always heads on pikes,” Harington said nonchalantly. It was early last fall when Harington was shooting the sequence that would appear in the fifth episode of the show’s fourth season, which saw him confront the Night’s Watch mutineers hiding out at Craster’s Keep — and if you missed the installment, titled “First of His Name,” you might want to stop reading now. QUIZ: Test your ‘Thrones’ knowledge The episode, which aired Sunday, saw Jon bring a squad of his sworn brothers north of the wall on a […]
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 […]
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