Tower of the Hand

TCA Press Tour Roundup

1/7/2011 1:28:00 AM ET
Game of Thrones to premiere April, on HBOGame of Thrones to premiere April 17, on HBO

It's official: HBO's Game of Thrones will debut on Sunday, April 17, 2011. Making Game of Thrones confirmed the date and also released 11 new photos from the series.

A lucky few got to see a special fifteen minute preview of Game of Thrones Thursday night as part of this year's Television Critics Association press tour. The video itself likely won't be made public, so we'll have to settle for others' reactions to it and a Friday panel attended by the show's producers, cast, and George R. R. Martin.

Entertainment Weekly's James Hibberd:

Overall, it was good news: Thrones feels very similar to the book. Boosted by temp music from Gladiator, Lord of the Rings and The Dark Knight, the series had 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

Winter Is Coming:

HBO had hoped to show the pilot here at the winter TCA press tour, but it isn't quite ready yet. So they put together 15 minutes of clips from what looks to be the first three episodes. And it is, in a word, amazing.

Fire And Blood: I hate to say it but... shades of Lord of the Rings... this really looks BETTER than we thought. If I have one complaint it was we didn't get to see enough of the girls; Sophie and Maisie were in many scenes but they never had a spoken word. And yet all through the show, GRRM and others went out of their way to say how mind-boggling and natural Maisie and Sophie were. So it was a shame not to see any of their scenes. Bran was good of course, but we've seen bits of that already

TV Squad's Mo Ryan:

If the point of the long trailer was to get people more interested in the fantasy saga, it definitely did the trick. Of course, it's not possible to assess the show in a substantial way until it premieres in April, but the highlight reel offered some compelling moments.

IGN's Matt Fowler:

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

Winter Is Coming offered a recap of breakfast with GRRM and live coverage of the panel:

George R.R. Martin is not an imposing man, but he does command a certain sense of, well, command. The captain's cap helps foster this, of course, and the everyman suspenders he opts for in lieu of a belt balance that nicely; he is the everyman commander. He looks every inch the storyteller, though perhaps one more visually suited for a fireside nook in some Melville-era lighthouse than in Masha Heddle's tavern.

EW's Hibberd again on GRRM and A Dance with Dragons:

A representative for Martin's publisher Random House says that, regarding George R.R. Martin's long-long-long-long awaited fifth book in the series, Dance With Dragons, that an announcement may be coming soon (the fact he's at press tour is interesting in itself "¦ perhaps the publisher just employs a guy to follow Martin around urging him to finish the damn book already). The rep notes Random House is very aware of the HBO series (premiere date posted here) and the potential opportunity for cross promotion ... hmm.

Hit Fix's Daniel Fienberg:

I'm not quite sure still how this show plays to a general audience. It's not Shakespeare. It's not Tolkien. It's not Camelot. And the clips, and all of the teasers officially released by HBO, show you exactly enough to know what "Game of Thrones" is *not* but may not give an indication of what it actually is, or how the series will be parsed out week-to-week.

Cultural Learning's Myles McNutt:

While the fandom has largely avoided snap judgments, resisting the urge to outright reject casting choices and waiting to see the final product, I still didn't think that it would seem quite this natural. There are little hiccups here or there, but the world that's been built is showing that a bit of faith, and plenty of talent and financial support, can go a long way in making a story work.

The fact that there's really only one character we're concerned about strikes us, in its way, as a compliment to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for their incredible fidelity to the novel. If the reel gives us a good sense of their adaption, 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".

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