BOOK REVIEW: INSIDE HBO’S GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 3 & 4 / AUTHOR: C.A. TAYLOR / PUBLISHER: GOLLANCZ / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
As the television version of Game of Thrones goes from strength to strength, so to do the accompanying behind-the-scenes books which remain far too lavish to be described as mere souvenirs. This volume, which collects material from Seasons 3 and 4, offers a fan-pleasing array of anecdotes, stories and information about one of the largest television productions on earth.
The dizzying scale of the show is revealed by a chart outlining the three concurrent production schedules, organised into crews labelled as ‘Wolf,’ ‘Dragon,’ and ‘Raven,’ while interviews with members of the crew, including producers, directors, armourers, production designers, and VFX technicians explain the thinking behind their approaches. This is a fascinating insight for anyone who doesn’t mind peering behind the curtain to see how the magic is made.
Their explanations are supported by hundreds of photographs, rich in beautiful detail, that show the inventive set-ups that bring George R.R. Martin’s fictional world to life. They include behind-the-scenes pictures of the sets, shots taken from the show itself, with the lead actors in-character, and the designers’ illustrations that show how they developed the strong visuals that add so much to the characters. The thinking behind the portrayals of figures such as Oberyn Martell are presented thoroughly with contributions from everyone who collaborated to realise him on screen, while in-depth interviews with key individuals, such as writer Bryan Cogman and composer Ramin Djawadi, illuminate the different aspects of the show.
Thrones’ story and mythos is examined through intelligent analysis of the worldview of key groupings, such as the Wildlings, and the complicated dynastic politics is illustrated by handy family trees that render complex relationships into simple hierarchies of power. The cast, many of whom are interviewed for the book, reveal their devoted involvement and thrill at taking part and the smart choices that they make in portraying their characters. The result is a lovingly-produced companion to a much admired landmark TV series that skilfully blends the cold facts of its production with the emotionally=charged fictional lives (and deaths) that have kept viewers enthralled for the past few years.
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