HBO threw a star-studded premiere screening for the sixth season of “Game of Thrones” in LA on Sunday.
It was the only chance for press to see the premiere episode ahead of its airing, as the network decided not to release early screeners to press, presumably to avoid spoilers and pirated copies.
Press at the screening were asked to hold their reviews and plot-point revelations until the episode premieres on HBO, according to Entertainment Weekly. But reporters and critics were still able to divulge their “general impressions.”
The main cast was present, but there were two obvious no-shows: Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, and writer George R.R. Martin, who wrote the novels the series is based on but which it has now surpassed in plot.
Here’s what we learned from the coverage that came out of the screening:
'We shot 680 hours of dailies, which translates to 3.7 million feet of film,' co-showrunner David Benioff said. 'We shot in five different countries -- Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, and Canada. We employed 900 crew members in Belfast; 400 in Spain. We issued 140 script revisions. We two shot units a day for 22 weeks straight, three units a day for 10 weeks straight, four units for two weeks straight. And none of that would be possible without the greatest producing team on the planet.'
The action picks up right away, without any kind of time-jump. And the first episode is more fast-paced than usual.
'This season, Grey Worm has to learn the intricacies of politics and it's a different kind of leadership, other than fighting,' Jacob Anderson, who plays the head of Daenarys' army, told USA Today. 'There is a lot of tension in Meereen. The place is a mess. There's a lot to clean up and, at the moment, they don't have a queen.'
'Game of Thrones' is possibly the most analysed and discussed show on television right now, so it's hard to believe fans haven't imagined or predicted all the possible ways the show could zig and zag. But apparently, 'even hardcore fans full of speculation about the new season won't see some twists coming' in the season opener, according to EW.
The Hollywood Reporter said that 'numerous moments throughout the episode elicited gasps of shock, unexpected (and uncomfortable) laughter, and long moments of stunned silence' among the audience.
Although they lost Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), they beat Stannis Baratheon and his army. But the reality of the situation is they have to look for stability.
'We need an heir,' Michael McElhatton, who plays Roose Bolton, told USA Today
. 'The main thing is the longevity of the house, above all.'
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