It’s gorgeous. Most of Game of Thrones was shot in Northern Ireland

It’s gorgeous. Most of Game of Thrones was shot in Northern Ireland  

Article by Tianya


Our series of Game of thrones dvd reports from California is coming to an end – here we have gathered reactions from TV critics and bloggers to the new footage revealed to them during the Television Critic Association Winter Press Tour. The prevailing impression? Very positive! Full article links follow each quote. In addition, a number of reports from the GoT panel and interviews with the actors and producers of the show made on the occasion are listed in the second part of the post. One is still missing, though: WiC’s very own report from the big Game of Thrones panel, the most detailed of them all. Coming soon!

I don’t want to speak for the Winter is Coming contingent, but we all agreed that the Wall looked most impressive. In fact, all the scenes set in the North and around Castle Black had the kind of realistic, lived-in look that you’d expect from a top-flight HBO production.Maureen Ryan, TV Squad

A great deal of anticipation has built for this show since it was first announced, and this reel–for us–simply pushes that further … If the reel gives us a good sense of their adaptation, they’ll have successfully brought genre fantasy to television as never seen before, imbuing it with a sense of realism and importance that has eluded past attempts (to the point that most play their fantasy elements as camp) and which accurately captures one of the most important facets behind the success of George R.R. Martin and A Song of Ice and Fire.Elio M. García, Westeros.org (also, do not miss his detailed analysis of individual scenes)

Overall, it was good news: Thrones feels very similar to the book … The series has a sprawling, expensive, epic quality, with most of the cast seeming more-or-less like George R.R. Martin’s characters. My confidence that this project can become a hit keeps growing.James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly

Visually, the thing looks fantastic, start to finish-keeping in mind that I watched the video streaming on an iPad, so can’t vouch for how the finished product will look on TV. The art direction is going to be very important to creating the context the show needs–i.e., somewhat familiar yet recognizably other–and the Westeros they’ve created feels in keeping with the A Song of Ice and Fire novels.James Poniewozik, Time Magazine

Even as a taste of what we’re about to receive, this does everything it was intended to do: as a constructed narrative it does a fine job of selling the central premise and world in which these books take place for those critics who may not be quite so familiar, and for readers like myself it gives every sign that these stories have been done justice. Bring on the real thing.Myles McNutt, Cultural Learnings

The clips set up Martin’s political chess game and gave indication of the sex, violence and language that make Game of Thrones very much a for-grown-ups brand of fantasy. The scenes also didn’t show anything that suggested an enhancement or embellishment of mystical magical elements that spell out “fantasy” for casual fans whose only genre point-of-reference is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. So that’s a good thing.Daniel Fienberg, HitFix

While it’s difficult to come up with full impressions based on what was seen, it’s fairly obvious that Game Of Thrones looks stunning. Everything about the production is even more lavish than the trailers and press stills have suggested, and the few completed effects shots were remarkable.Todd Van Der Werff, A.V. Club

As a fan of the novel, I can say that the look and tone seem dead-on. The massive northern ice wall, a.k.a. “The Wall,” from the Jon Snow storyline looks terrific and the cold, snow-drenched woods come off as particularly foreboding.

A little history: The Brotherhood Without Banners (BwB) was created in 2001 by fans of A Song of Ice and Fire. It grew from an unnamed gathering of people from the Westeros boards, and it soon took the name of the Berric Dondarrion-led Brotherhood from George R.R. Martin’s epic tale. It has since grown into what is by and large the only official fanclub of the ASoIaF series. They have multiple gatherings each year at different locations all around the world (the Belfast moot was organized by them), and are basically just a bunch of really cool, nerdy people. I’ll admit to an initial trepidation; I knew none of them personally, and was not sure how they would take to this “FaBio guy from that TV show website” tromping in on their business. Most of them had been friends for years, after all. I could very well be treated like an intruder.

And boy, was I!

I was met by the mysterious man known only as Prince Lodey–so mysterious he also refuses to be photographed. Some say Lodey is actually Dondarrion returned once more to life. To that I cannot say. I can say, however, that he has a commanding yell. “What, you don’t know how to use the front door?” he barked at me as I entered the party through a side gate. It was a fair assessment on his part; I didn’t know how to use the front door. In fact, I almost entered through the house’s gigantic front window, which would have been very interesting, not to mention par for course where FaBio entrances are concerned.

(I eventually did locate the front door once it was time to go. But I had help.)

It’s a great house too, belonging to a lovely lady called Iseult of the White Hands. No, that’s not her real name either (Westeros names are used to protect the wicked), but I followed Blackfyre’s lead and called her “Izzy.” Blackfyre, by the way, is also one of the olde guarde of the BwB; a very charming man with a friendly smile and a disarming gaze that says yes, he is smiling now, but he will kick your freaking ass if you break anything in the house. (I really think he occasionally thought of the house as his. Izzy thinks so too.) I liken him to a better-looking Bruce Campbell. If that’s possible.

Inside was a feast made for men and women of all sizes (and guaranteed to make us larger). The mushroom soup was divine, as were the wicked sliders and a “Trader Joe’s Special” stuffed ravioli soup that you had to taste to believe. But it was the DESSERT TABLE which caught my eye. Those little pink cupcakes? Lemoncakes, people! I devoured five.

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