Game of Thrones: Final Season Opening on 14th April. Are You Ready?
Here is good news for all those viewers of 'Game of Thrones' (GoT). The eighth and final season of this world famous series is set to broadcast on 14 April 2019 on HBO. Over the years, GoT has not only become most-talked about series on TV, but has mesmerised viewers with its characterisation, filmography and not to forgot the special effects (FX).
Over 30 million viewers have watched previous or seventh season of GoT from across the world, making it the most watched TV series.
The final season is expected to bring everyone together, including some characters that have not seen since first episode, to fight the Night King, who is warlord of the underworld with his over 1 lakh strong Army of the dead.
With its intrigue-filled plot and dark tone in a fantasy setting of magic and dragons, Game of Thrones, has been acclaimed by critics as well, especially for acting, complex characters, storyline, scope, and production values. However, frequent use of nudity and violence, including sexual violence, have been criticised. This has subsidised, especially from Season 6 onwards.
What I liked in GoT series is fixed timeline, especially in number of episodes. First few seasons of GoT have 10 episodes per season, which has now come down. Wish we could have the same fixed number of episodes on Indian TV as well along with fresh stories that would spare viewers from the epic family dramas.
The final season, called as ‘The Battle of Winterfell’ will have only six episodes, out of which first four episodes will have a duration of 1 hour and 20 minutes. Last episode of this epic drama airs on 19 May 2019. ‘The Battle of Winterfell’ is directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who had directed 2016’s ‘Battle of the Bastards’, for which he won the Emmy award.
Originally released on 17 April 2011, Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama TV series created by David Benioff and DB Weiss. It is an adaptation of George RR Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire', a series of fantasy novels, the first of which is 'A Game of Thrones'.
Set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, Game of Thrones has several plots and a large ensemble cast, but basically it follows three story arcs.
The first arc is about the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, and follows a web of alliances and conflicts among the noble dynasties either vying to claim the throne or fighting for independence from it.
The second story arc focuses on the last descendant of the realm's deposed ruling dynasty, who has been exiled and is plotting a return to the throne.
The third story arc follows the Night's Watch, a longstanding brotherhood charged with defending the realm against the ancient threats of the fierce peoples and legendary creatures that lie far north of The Wall, and an impending winter that threatens the realm.
No wonder, GoT has one of the largest contingent of actors. Third season of GoT had an ensemble cast of 257 actors. Many of the actors have received higher payments through negotiations over the seasons. In fact, five of the main characters in GoT have reportedly received $2 million per episode for the last two seasons, making them highest paid actors on TV.
GoT was primarily shot at Paint hall Studios at Belfast in Northern Ireland. Exterior scenes in Northern Ireland were filmed at Sandy Brae in the Mourne Mountains (standing in for Vaes Dothrak), Castle Ward (Winterfell), Saintfield Estates (the Winterfell godswood), Tollymore Forest (outdoor scenes), Cairncastle (the execution site), the Magheramorne quarry (Castle Black), and Shane's Castle (the tourney grounds). Doune Castle at Stirling in Scotland, was also used in the original pilot episode for scenes at Winterfell.
Not just FX, stunts in the entire GoT series (well so far) has stunned viewers and many of them have become epic moments. HBO hired British-based BlueBolt and Irish-based Screen Scene for season one. For next season, German-based Pixomondo became the lead visual-effects producer with suitable scene production from British-based Peanut FX, Canadian-based Spin VFX, and US-based Gradient Effects. For season four, HBO added German-based Mackevision to the project, who worked along with Canadian-based Rodeo FX, German-based Scanline VFX and US-based BAKED FX.
While all viewers were mesmerised with the stunning visuals of adolescent dragons in the fourth season, the effects, in fact, were largely based on a chicken!
For the fifth season, HBO added Canadian-based Image Engine and US-based Crazy Horse Effects to its list of main visual-effects producers.
Over the years, Game of Thrones has received 47 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series in 2015, 2016, and 2018, more than any other primetime scripted television series. Its other awards and nominations include three Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation (2012–2014), a 2011 Peabody Award, and five nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama (2012 and 2015–2018).
Even actors like Peter Dinklage has won three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2011, 2015 and 2018) and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2012) for his performance as Tyrion Lannister in GoT. Others such as Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Diana Rigg, and Max von Sydow have also received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for their performances.
With so much efforts going in production of this fantasy epic, no wonder, GoT is one of the most pirated TV series. According to the file-sharing news website TorrentFreak, Game of Thrones has been the most pirated television series since 2012, or for six years in a row. In 2015, Guinness World Records called Game of Thrones as the most pirated television program.
Over the years and seven season down the line, more and more viewers from across the world have viewed Game of Thrones. For the first season, number of average viewers was 2.5 million. This jumped to 11.6 million, and 14.2 million in second and third season. For fourth season, average gross audience were 18.4 million, overtaking record created by ‘The Sopranos’. Fifth and sixth season of GoT had an average viewership of over 25 million per episode. Seventh season saw this number going up to over 30 million, shows record from Wikipedia.
So the question is what after the final season of GoT?
According to reports, HBO is already trying to stay ahead of the curve. The network is currently working on a Thrones prequel, informally dubbed as 'The Long Night' that will star Naomi Watts in the lead role. That series will be run by Jane Goldman and will, hopefully, be one of many Thrones-themed spin-offs if HBO has its way, says a report from VanityFair