WESTEROS IS SHRINKING

HOLLYWOOD – Yesterday it was confirmed that Westeros is shrinking.

Westeros – the land of Game of Thrones – is shrinking, a new report today confirmed. HBO told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

When the show began, Westeros took weeks to travel. Winterfell was miles and miles from King’s Landing for instance and it would take so much time to get from one place to the other. In fact, a lot of the time the difficulty of moving was fundamental to the story. However, recently we’ve seen that Westeros has shrunk. At first this just meant that people pretty much moved along at such a speed as to help the story along. But now they seem to have hidden motorcycles somewhere, the speed with which they move. The island is apparently so small that it takes about an hour for a bird to fly from one end to the other.

What caused this shrinkage?

At first we thought it might be global warming. Possibly dragons don’t help. All that, you know, fire. But Winter is Coming, as we all know. So it looks quite cold. Maybe the place was actually always really small, but Sean Bean was really, really slow. Honestly, I’m not sure, but if it continues shrinking all the characters are going to end up living in the same room.

Game of Thrones continues.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 5 FIRST LOOK

 WESTEROS – The paint is still fresh on the finale of Game of Thrones Season 4, but HBO are already giving us a glimpse of a new character for Game of Thrones Season 5: Queen Ilesibiff of Angerland to be played by Helen Mirren.

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HBO TO OPEN WESTEROS-WORLD

HOLLYWOOD HBO have somehow found the funding to open a fully realised interactive theme park populated by robotic versions of the cast of popular sword and maiming show Game of Thrones.

We spoke EXCLUSIVELY to chief engineer, the appropriately named Geoffrey Irons (son of Jeremy) about the unique challenges of bringing the world of Westeros to (robotic) life.

Well it’s certainly a challenge, but our motto all along has been ‘what could go wrong?’ The first step was creating realistic robotic versions of the cast who could react in-character to external stimuli. Be it combat (completely safe by the way) or the … ahem erotic. 

So you can actually fight with the characters? 

Yes. Say you walk up to the character The Hound, pull a sword and call him a ‘wet knickers ninny-muggins’, sure, he’ll react and come at you, but we have sophisticated software in place to stop the Robo-Hound from seriously harming you. It’s good clean fun. We can’t stop him cussing and asking for chicken though, a harmless glitch.

What could go wrong?

Hey that’s what we say! Wild.

So what kind of attractions can visitors to Westeros-World look forward to?

We have some fun set piece events that fans can take part in. For instance, there’s the ‘Red Wedding’ where you get to be a Stark soldier at the notorious feast. Visitors can expect to relive that classic episode up close…it’s so safe it’s ridiculous. There’s also the ‘Headless Ned’ tour where one can spend some time in the meticulously recreated dungeons before playing out that iconic death scene. Of course, in our version the King Joffrey robot will consistently judge the customer innocent and you can exit the scene unscathed wearing an ‘I kept my head at Westeros-World’ t-shirt. The Joffrey robot is programmed with ALL of the characters fun traits, including some nippy zinger-laden banter with the lady customers… folks will sure get a kick out of it! 

Cool! It sounds like you spared no expense.

I can’t say I didn’t have a few sleepless nights along the way, sweating the details. Especially when it came to the dragons.

You’ve got dragons?!

Of course! The very cutting edge of technology has been employed to make them as real as any dragon ever was. Motion sensors to hunt and track prey, super accurate flame throwing systems and behavioural subroutines to perfectly mimic the spunky temperament of the winged demons. And in just about every simulation the beasts can distinguish between humans and standard robotic targets. It’s without doubt the safest dragon experience out there. Once we figured the dragons out the White Walkers were a walk in the park. So come one and all! Bring the family. Pretty much nothing can go wrong. 

WESTEROS-WORLD will open before Winter comes. And it is coming. 

GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 4: EPISODE 10

Every week we are going to have an episode review of Game of Thrones Season Four which will include SPOILERS for seasons One through to the last episode screened of Season Four. 

WESTEROS – And so we rumble towards an end of Games of Thrones. After the head-smashing duel and the devastating battle comes the epic tying up of loose ends in the final episode of Season Four ‘The Children’.


There was something bathetic about the conclusion, but then again George RR Martin’s whole narrative style could be classed as a kind of epic bathos, constantly wrong-footing our expectations with sudden scenes of violence, cutting off interesting narrative strands prematurely. Here we have the Mountain in the hands of Victor Frankenstein. Jon Snow being saved by the arrival of the cavalry. Arya and the Hound finally caught up by Poderick (the single most pointless character) and Brienne, who seem to be completely forgotten and have some of the worst dialogue of the Seven Kingdoms: ‘Do you hear that Poderick? We’re only ten miles from the Bloody Gate.’ Daenerys continues her narrative arc from bold dragon warrior queen, to bleeding heart weepy girl. A stunningly uninteresting reversal. Bran’s story finally looks like getting a little interesting although when the magical seer tells him he has been watching him all his life, you can’t help but feel some sympathy for the poor man. Tyrion – who has once more been the star of the show – gets the most dramatic send off. The second shitus interruptus of the episode sees him off his dad just after he’s done in his girlfriend with some exquisite double standards: strangling girlfriend to death, fine; calling her whore, death penalty. Charles Dance has been consistently brilliant in the series and his scenes with Peter Dinklage have been the acting highlight of the whole show. Again Martin goes for bathos – an Oedipal murder is carried out in the privy – but here it felt right. Seeing Tyrion crated up like a little Ark of the Covenant and shipped out does not bode well for the next season, but it seems like everyone’s leaving. The dying moments of the Hound was a powerful scene, even though as far as duels were concerned nothing was going to match the Mountain and the Viper. And weirdly it made me dislike Arya, or worse still just not understand her. She’s on a boat to Bravos anyway which again is worrying. Surely at this stage all your main characters should be converging, but instead it feels like a dispersal. Here I’d like to jump ahead ten years and have them all coming back, but I don’t feel that’s going to happen. The dynamic of the story feels paradoxically both slack and as fettered as Daenerys’ dragons.  

(Please note this is the first time Studio Exec has done a show review, if you liked it tweet me @studioexec1 so I know to do others or not as the case might be)


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GAME OF THRONES ENDS WITH EVERYONE ‘AGREEING TO GET ON’

WESTEROS – Last night’s final episode of HBO series Game of Thrones was perhaps the most shocking yet.

Everything was set up for murderous conflict but in one of the most baffling scenes of the show’s 4 season history everyone got together in a large room and talked out their problems resolving in the future to just ‘get on with each other’ and ‘try harder to be friends’.

Tyrion Lannister and his father and sister broke into  tears and embraced as Jaime Lannister promised that there would be no more raping his sister.

Jon Snow and the Mance decided from now on the Crows and the Wildlings would be ‘like the best friends ever’. And Danerys Targaryan agreed in Slaver’s Bay that she really didn’t want to go to King’s Landing and claim her rightful inheritance and was happy to spend the rest of her life working for Amnesty International and tending to her dragons. 

Arya and the Hound, Sansa and Petyr Baelish all had a nice Chinese meal and promised to be more considerate, and, although Petyr was caught crossing his fingers, the incident was laughed off as he explained with a shrug ‘Old habits die hard’.

The last shot of the season was a montage of the various characters making a huge daisy chain to the sound of Pharrell Williams singing some guff about a room without a roof!

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GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 4: EPISODE 9

Every week we are going to have an episode review of Game of Thrones Season Four which will include SPOILERS for seasons One through to the last episode screened of Season Four. 

THE WALL – It has to be said, this season has got better and better during the latter half. And the strength of the penultimate episode – the Watchers on the Wall – was reinforced by the forsaking of what had made some of the season feel bitty and narratively lax. It finally stopped hopping from Slaver’s Bay to Westeros to wherever Arya and the Hound are supposed to be and just focussed on one story: Jon Snow and the battle to defend Castle Black from the Wilding hordes.  

Directed by Neil Marshall – who was also responsible for Season 2’s Blackwater epic – the episode is far grander and more spectacular than television really has any right to be. It recalled The Two Towers, but without any need for condescension. The action is well orchestrated and at times visually stunning. There is a brilliant wandering onesie through the raging battle – though the protracted one shot take is now becoming – post-Cuaron – a staple of HBO. True Detective first blew the doors off with one and one suspects that directors are rubbing their hands and working out ways to jimmy a seven minute no cut sequence into the next episode of Orange is the New Black

If there is any criticism, it remains that of always regarding this storyline: the characters are dull. Jon Snow finally got to do some fighting and Samwell Tarly was allowed to rectify one of his more crass mistakes. Although the latter did provide some unintentional humor. ‘I’ll never leave you’ – ‘where you going?’ ‘I didn’t mean I’d stay in the same room’. The genuine emotional moments also felt a bit empty. Instead of gut-wrenching, we had to pause the death of several named characters as we rewound our memory a season to remember why this was moving. Oh yeah, the cavern. 

But this is churlish in the extreme. The show was action packed fantasy at its best and the fact that I’m even bringing up character and stuff is evidence of how high the show has raised the standard. One more episode to go and how I wish there were more.

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GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 4: EPISODE 6

Every week we are going to have an episode review of Game of Thrones Season Four which will include SPOILERS for seasons One through to the last episode screened of Season Four. 

WESTEROS – I’ve been occasionally harsh on Game of Thrones this season, but it’s tough love and I was pleased to see the series regain some of its impetus in ‘The Laws of Gods and Men‘.

This was due in large part to Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister briefly regaining center stage and facing off with his father (an imperiously brilliant Charles Dance).

The show opens with the failed rescue of Theon Greyjoy/Reek, which has to be one of the most Monty Python moments of the show’s history – ‘Attack! Attack!’, ‘release the hounds’, ‘Run away! Run away!’ I do like Iwan Rheon as the lightly voiced nutcase Ramsay Snow, but I find myself waiting for this bit to end rather than following it with any real interest.

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is proving a fairly hopeless Queen. Her decision to compensate a goatherd three times the value of the goats her dragon immolated can only lead to widespread goat burning surely. And the noble who pleads to bury his father revealed her moral and practical naivety. She didn’t think the Masters had families? She doesn’t believe those families might lie? But everyone looks smug and happy with her education, until she finds out how many supplicants she has – over two hundred! Oh no. But wait a minute. Aren’t you the Queen? Just tell them to f*ck off. Or you know, come back tomorrow.

But then the scene was set for the trial and what has to be the best dramatic set piece thus far of the season. This is what elevates the HBO show above most other fare, characters that we care about coming head to head. Some of the strongest actors in the whole show were given their moment to pile on Tyrion, betraying him with a Tyrion’s Greatest Hits. He was always a smart mouth and now it looks like getting him killed. With studied economy, Dinklage was allowed only to play reactions. It was well directed by Alik Sakharov, who gave the characters space and time to do their thing. And the timing was excellent, as Tyrion’s increasing humiliation built, the possibility of a release, the final straw, the most painful rekjection and then his beautifully played rage. Magnificent. Keep it up.

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