Published on: November 11th 2014
Published by: Gollancz
Buy UK . Buy US. Goodreads
(summary from Goodreads)
Each episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones draws millions of obsessed viewers who revel in the shocking plot twists, award-winning performances, and gorgeously rendered fantasy world.
This official companion book reveals what it takes to translate George R. R. Martin’s bestselling series into a wildly popular television series. With unprecedented scope and depth, it showcases hundreds of unpublished set photos, visual effects art, and production and costume designs, plus insights from key actors and crew members that capture the best scripted and unscripted moments from Seasons 3 and 4.
Required reading for the die-hard fan, and the perfect way to catch up on the series before the much-anticipated Season 5 debuts, this special volume offers an exclusive window into cable’s highest-rated show.
I’ve never reviewed Non Fiction before so this one was a totally new experience for me. I really love ‘behind the scenes’ books and have spent many many hours reading through my Harry Potter one, so thought I couldn’t go wrong with a Game of Thrones one as I love the TV series so much!
Firstly, this book is gorgeous. When I signed up for a review copy of this book no way did I know I was going to be getting something so beautiful. A stunning hardback with padded and embossed covers this is one book you will be proud to have on your bookshelf! Each page features at least one glossy photo, drawing or diagram that you will gaze at for hours!
We get tons of interview chat from the actors about their own characters, the major plot events and other fun things like who they want to die next! It’s really interesting to learn about the actors thoughts on their own characters and where they think/hope their story will go next. Hearing about the actors experiences whilst filming some of the major plot events, like the Red Wedding, and seeing the whole thing from their POV was great.
I really really liked all the information we were given about the filming locations and set construction. Things like The Wall, which in the series is this massive thing, when in actually fact is only a few meters high!
The costume information as well is so interesting, an even someone who doesn’t care about clothing will find the amount of effort that goes into these works of art utterly fascinating. Each costume page has drawings alongside which show the original vision for the costumes, and these just emphasis the beauty of these items of clothing.
The way this book is structured splits it into two, Season 3 and Season 4. There are some introductory pages first, information on general Game of Thrones things that are not specific to any season like the starting credits. I was really interested to find out that the map featured in the starting credits has actually changed slightly through the seasons to reflect that changes in the Game of Thrones world.
Each Season in the book contains an episode by episode breakdown alongside a detailed look at any major plot events. There is also extra information added in for specific characters who may feature heavily in a season and extra sets that were specially constructed for a season.
Structuring the book in this way made it very easy, and enjoyable to follow, my only qualm being that the episodes where not featured in any kind of order, which meant flicking around the pages a bit if you wanted to read about them in the order they appear.
As well as interviews with the actors, there is also a lot of stuff from the directors, producers etc in here and their explanations of any deviations from the books. Now I have not read the books yet, so these things are not normally apparent to me when watching the series, but it was nice for the to be in there too, along with comparisons between the book and series.
Also featured is some interviews with George R. Martin who gives us an insight into the Games of Thrones world, his opinion on the series as well as giving us some little bits of gossip, like the fact that he really wanted to be present in the Red Wedding episode and get his throat slit!
One of my favorite things to read about was the construction if the Unsullied army, which was created using just 100 extras and a whole lot of talented CGI people who managed to turn this small group of people in to a great army of thousands!
These little bits of behind the scenes magic are the reason I love books like this one, and it makes watching the series even more entertaining when you know how everything was created.
This It’s one of those books that you don’t have to read all in one go, and in fact keeping it on your coffee table and checking in with it as your watch the series would be a really cool thing to do. I’ve just started watching the series again from the beginning and I will definitely be doing this.
It’s great because it doesn’t detract from the magic of the series and instead enhances the readers viewing experience, plus you get to be that really annoying person who keeps pointing things out and telling everyone how they did it!
I would recommend this book to: hardcore Game of Thrones fans, people who like to know all the extra behind the scenes stuff for tv series