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Collected entries from Westeros: Updates, All Sorts of Weird Stuff: News and Blood of Dragons: Announcements.

The Weapons of Dorne

Not sure how we missed this one, but a few days ago HBO released a video on its Youtube channel concerning the weaponry we’ll see in Dorne. Narrated by weapon master Tommy Dunne, who points out a few very specific weapons, there’s at least one somewhat spoilery piece of information contained therein (well, besides the fact that we’ll see Dorne this season):

Despite Michelle Clapton’s protest, it certainly seems the “nipples” on that leather armor of Obara Sand’s will be pretty obvious on film. Doubtless, as she said, it’s an artifact of the moulding process, but the association’s pretty clear.

As to the spoiler?

Season 5 Poster and Sneak Peeks

Courtesy of HBO, we now have the official poster for season 5…. and it’s quite a sight to behold, to say the least.

Featuring Tyrion Lannister’s familiar figure at the bow of a ship or boat surrounded by mist, the familiar (and increasingly-large) figure of Drogon, Daenerys’s great black dragon, hovers into view. It’s very eerie, and a very tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come for Tyrion, a glimpse that confirms speculations following the release of the trailer for the upcoming season. Season 5 will premiere on April 12th in the US, April 13th in the UK.

Speaking of tantalizing glimpses, HBO’s “The Sight” campaign—somewhat controversial among fans, for its randomly distributed, extremely short, and mobile-only focus—has come to an end with two (randomly distributed) sneak peeks at brief scenes from the upcoming season. You’ll find them below the cut, as the official Game of Thrones channel very kindly had mercy and posted them online:

2016 Song of Ice and Fire Calendar Details Revealed

Thanks to a Facebook update by artist Magali Villeneuve—one of the many artists contributed beautiful artwork to The World of Ice and Fire—we see that Random House has released some official information (including a cover image)  regarding the 2016 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar (Pre-order: Amazon.com). Due for release on July 28th, there’s one particularly interesting detail about her work on the calendar:

And, as a special treat, one of Villeneuve’s twelve gorgeous, dynamic paintings depicts a scene from The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth novel in A Song of Ice and Fire.

That should be quite interesting, especially if it were to be from a chapter that no one has gotten a glimpse of yet.

Win a Visit to Game of Thrones Stockholm Exhibition!

Thanks to HBO Nordic, a score of lucky followers (that’s 20!) of Westeros.org will get a chance to attend the Game of Thrones exhibition  in Stockholm, Sweden on March 6th, a day before it opens to the general public! The famed exhibition—which has never been in Stockholm before—contains props and costumes from all five seasons of the hit fantasy series, as well as interactive installations. Should be a fun, exciting occasion.

To enter, just comment on this post in the Facebook comments—or tweet us with the tag #GOTSTHLM—and answer this question:

What house motto is your favorite, and why?

This contest runs through the 27th.

NOTE: This contest pertains only to entry to the exhibition. Transportation and accommodations are not provided.

Blurays, Awards, and More

A good deal has been going on in the world of Game of Thrones, starting with the release of the Season 4 Bluray/DVD set in the U.S. and U.K. (Order: US Bluray, US DVD, UK Bluray, UK DVD), with a great deal of pomp and circumstance—especially in the UK, where the promotional push included an elaborate, pop-up restaurant installation created by The Wandering Chef for HBO UK:

At the same time, the Writer’s Guild of America awards saw Game of Thrones‘s writing staff nominated in two categories: best drama series, and best individual episode for George R.R. Martin’s “The Lion and the Rose”. While neither award went to Game of Thrones, it was an occasion for some interviews with George R.R. Martin. Access Hollywood learned from him that he’d recently met with the main writers of the show to discuss their plans for season 6, and teases the appearance of the Sand Snakes:

Discussing the Season 5 Trailer

Although we’ve a gallery of screencaps with comments up following the season 5 trailer released, we decided that we should also put together a video discussing what we see in the trailer with a bit more depth. You can find it below:

Watch a Day In the Life

HBO’s half-hour special, Game of Thrones: A Day in the Life, highlighting the multi-national production, has just aired and HBO has gone ahead and placed it online. See it here:

Screencaps and commentary to follow in the coming days.

Dunk & Egg Collection Due October 6

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (Pre-order: Amazon US, Amazon UK) now has an official release date in the UK and North America: October 6.

While a collection of the book has been published in translation in a few countries, this will be the first English-language collection of the three Dunk & Egg novellas—“The Hedge Knight”, “The Sworn Sword”, and “The Mystery Knight”—which are set approximately 90 years prior to the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Also, unlike the foreign editions that came out in recent months, this edition will feature a bevy of interior illustrations by award-winning artist Gary Gianni, perhaps best known for his work in illustrating the stories of Robert E. Howard. This is not Gianni’s first foray into the Seven Kingdoms—he previously illustrated the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar (preview).

A Peek at What Was

Thanks to Harper Collins Voyager, GRRM’s UK publisher, and UK bookseller Waterstones, we have a glimpse at George R.R. Martin’s very early description (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3) of his plan for the then-trilogy A Song of Ice and Fire series. Suffice it to say, it presents a very different story than what we have had so far. In a letter sent to the late Ralph Vicinanza, a literary agent who was one of GRRM’s representatives, George very loosely outlines the three prospective novels of the series, while giving a more detailed description of his plans for the first book, A Game of Thrones.

It’s quite the eye-opener, showing how much the narrative evolved from its earliest beginnings.

Three Short Stories to be Adapted

According to Variety, it looks like more George R.R. Martin work is going to hit the silver screen. According to the report, In the Lost Lands will go into production in the fourth quarter of this year and may potentially star Milla Jovovich, who is said to be in talks. The film’s story appears to be based on three of Martin’s short stories: the eponymous “In the Lost Lands”, featuring a sorceress called Gray Alys (the role Jovovich will prospectively play); “The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr” (available online at Fantasy Magazine); and a personal favorite of mine, “Bitterblooms”, one of a number of GRRM’s stories inspired by songs (in this case, Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne”).

All three share certain themes—there’s a deep sense of melancholy in all three, and love and betrayal runs through them all—but are otherwise unconnected, so it does raise the question as to whether the film will rework them as being part of a single narrative (which seems to be what’s implied), or whether it will instead be more of an anthology film with some sort of bridging material connecting them together. Some details can be found at Constantine Werner’s page for Rusalka Films, including some character designs and “concept designs” (actually more like design inspirations).

Season 5 Trailer Released

HBO has now released the season 5 trailer that appeared following the IMAX screenings, which gives us our first extended look at the upcoming season:

There’s a number of new stills of actors, as well, which we have now uploaded to our Gallery with brief commentary.

Season 5 premieres April 12th in the US.

New Game of Thrones Guide App for Android

Although the A Game of Thrones Guide app has been around for just about as long as the iOS version, A World of Ice and Fire, it has not quite received all the features that the iOS version had… until now, that is, as Random House is happy to release an updated, rebuilt app on the US Google Play store. Included in this update are the following:

  • A brand new design for Android.
  • You can now resize type on all profile and excerpt screens.
  • Four brand new categories with 50+ new profiles: Religions, Groups, Creatures, and Things.
  • All of the officially released excerpts from The Winds of Winter and The World of Ice and Fire book.

Unfortunately, at least for the time being, the Android app is only available in the U.S.

 

Link Database Goes Live

After much delay—our apologies for that—the Links database has gone live on the site, meaning that any submissions should be quickly and easily dealt with. We will also get to work on adding links to certain types of resources ourselves, but for pure fan sites we will leave it up to just outside submissions for a while. However, one does not have to be the site owner to submit a site, so anyone can ensure that a missing resource is added.

The display is pretty basic at the moment and we will probably develop this a little further, probably adding tags in addition to the categories. If you have any suggestions for other changes, do let us know.

Telltales’ Game of Thrones Episode 2 due in February

It wasn’t that long ago that we were episode 1 of Telltale Games’  Game of Thrones game ,and now we learn that episode 2 is just around the corner with release dates from February 3 through February 5 depending on platform.

For a look at what came before, and what’s to come, here’s Telltales’s teaser for episode 2, titled “The Lost Lords”:

Day in the Life Details, Teaser

Last night, EW had an exclusive report on the contents of HBO’s Game of Thrones featurette set to air on February 8th, titled “A Day in the Life”. Later that evening HBO posted a new Youtube video teasing the featurette, and giving us our first official look at the much-anticipated 5th season. You can find the video below:

IMAX Screenings Expand

This just in from HBO: the unprecedented plan to display Game of Thrones on IMAX screens received such wide attention and consumer demand that the IMAX corporation and HBO have decided to delay the one-week run by one week… so that they can get even more IMAX theatres involved in the screenings. Pretty interesting, that! For those who missed the original news, the plan is that for one week, participating IMAX theatres will show the final two epsiodes of season 4, plus an exclusive season 5 trailer.

Tickets will go on-sale starting this Friday, the 16th of January, with the first screening set for Thursday, January 29th, at 10 PM.

See the full release below for additional information:

Feast of Ice and Fire Companion

Here’s a pleasant surprise: the Inn at the Crossroads has announced that they’ve partnered with Random House to publish From the Sands of Dorne: A Feast of Ice and Fire Companion Cookbook (Amazon US), an e-book expansion to the original A Feast of Ice and Fire (Amazon US, Amazon UK) cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer. This book, authored by Monroe-Cassel alone, will focus on cuisine inspired by Dorne. Random House has provided a list of the included recipies:

• Succulent starters: Lemon-Egg Soup; Spicy Shrimp; Roasted Chickpeas.
• Mediterranean-style mains: Lamb with Honey, Lemon, and Fiery Peppers; Eggs and Spicy Sausage; Green Peppers Stuffed with Cheese; Spicy Flatbread.
• Tasty treats: Blood-Orange Granita; Candied Kumquats; Figs Stuffed with Nuts.

From the Sands of Dorne: A Feast of Ice and Fire Companion Cookbook is set to to have an exclusively digital release on February 25th.

Season 4 Complete Set Reminder

HBO UK has sent out a reminder that February 16th (17th in the US) will see the release of Game of Thrones Season 4 on Bluray (Pre-order: US Bluray, US DVD, UK Bluray, UK DVD).

Once again, here’s the full release concerning the contents, and the differences between the DVD and Bluray editions:

The global cultural phenomenon Game of Thrones returns for its fourth season on Blu-ray and DVD from HBO Home Entertainment on 16th February 2015 and is loaded with exclusive bonus content, including extensive guides and illustrated histories.

This hit HBO series has broken ratings records and topped The Sopranos℠ to become the most popular show in the network’s history. Season four continues this winning streak with 19 Emmy® Awards nominations including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Lena Headey).

Each year, Game of Thrones continues to be one of the best-selling TV programmes available on Blu-ray and DVD, and Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season is packed with even more exclusive bonus content including roundtable discussions, on-set interviews, audio commentaries, and brand new animated histories giving fans hours of extensive, never-before-seen material.

In Season 4, while the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact, new and ongoing threats from the south, north and east threaten to tip the scales. As Stannis Baratheon and Daenerys Targaryen continue to grow their respective armies, the arrival of the Lannister-loathing “Red Viper of Dorne” poses a more immediate danger. In the north, the depleted Night’s Watch seems overmatched against the advances of Mance Rayder’s army of wildlings, which in turn is being trailed by an even more formidable foe: the undead White Walker.

April 12th Premiere for Game of Thrones

HBO has finally revealed the premiere date for Game of Thrones, season 5: April 12th, anchoring the back-to-back-to-back premieres of itself as well as comedies Silicon Valley and Veep.

The full press release is below:

Game of Thrones Exhibition Returns for April Premiere

We’ve just received a press release from HBO regarding the popular, Game of Thrones traveling exhibition which notes it will include “select never-before-seen pieces from Season 5 premiering in April 2015”. The exhibition—besides it’s usual U.S. appearance—will be appearing in the UK, Sweden, Israel, Spain, Holland, Germany, and France with more locations to be decided.

You’ll find the full press release below:

Game of Thrones on IMAX

In an interesting, and unusual step for a television show, Game of Thrones will be featured on IMAX screens for a one week engagement beginning January 23rd. During that time, the final two episodes of season 4—“The Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children”, episodes known for their cinematic spectacle—will air… as well as an exclusive, sneak-peek trailer for season 5. Much as we speculated, season 5’s first trailer was due in January.

Now the question is, will this trailer also be released online, either concurrently with IMAX’s exclusive or following the end of the run? We’ll have to wait and see…

Mark Your Calendar: Game of Thrones Featurette in February

Those who pore over the channel listing information over at HBO have finally hit on the first hint of new Game of Thrones content this year: Game of Thrones: A Day in the Life, a featurette due to air on February 8th at 7:30PM (Eastern). What’s it about? No one knows, but its 28 minute running time suggests it’ll be a lengthy behind-the-scene look at the show. Much of it, we suspect, will focus on what’s come before… but it’s certainly likely we’ll also get a good look at the 5th season, as well.

Now, where’s that season 5 trailer fans have been waiting for? If HBO sticks to last year’s road map, we should be seeing one somewhere this month…

Hints of Season 5 in HBO’s Year-End Video

As is traditional, at the end of each year HBO releases a year-in-review video which also then looks ahead to what’s coming next year. This year is no different, as at the 1:38 mark we get four quick glimpses of four of the show’s central characters: Cersei, Jon, Tyrion, and Arya. These are so swift that I’m not sure we’d consider them spoilerish… but just in case, lets just say there are spoilers:

EW on Arya’s New Costume

Over at EW, James Hibberd reveals a design for Arya Stark’s brand new costume for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. With quotes from Maisie Williams, the article notes it’s a radical new design for Arya who has spent most of the past four seasons in androgynous clothing, and now has something a bit more feminine with which to blend in in the Free City of Braavos.

She also teases an upcoming scene, one that has to do with her previous clothing, which sounds like it may be drawn from a sequence in A Feast for Crows.

Gifts for the Holidays

With the holidays here, it’s time to start considering gifts for friends and family. And what better gift for a fan of George R.R. Martin’s work than something that appeals to their fandom? There’s many options out there, from books to toys to jewelry and more!

To help with some ideas, here’s a curated list of items we think any fan might enjoy:

  • House Plaques: They’re only available in the UK right now, but these house crest plaques from the Noble Collection look amazing: Stark, Lannister, Targaryen.

 

Talking the Art of the World of Ice and Fire

Over at Deviant Art, Aesara and Thelma—two fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and the artwork that they’ve inspired— have begun a regular series, Illustrating Westeros, in which they talk with artists about their work in the setting. In a very special edition, however, they chose to talk to Linda and I about the artwork in The World of Ice and Fire. It’s a wide-ranging interview, discussing the history of the artwork in the book, the areas where George R.R. Martin was particularly heavily involved in making sure things were as close to his imagination as possible, and our own personal favorite works. It’s a lengthy read, richly illustrated with examples of the art from the world book. You can find it here.

Game of Thrones Episodic Game Released

Today marks the release of Telltale Games‘s Game of Thrones game, featuring the company’s well-known focus on story and character combined with the Game of Thrones license and participation from several of the actors from the TV series. We’re looking at getting a review of our own out in the coming days, but here’s a few from the gaming media across the web:

  • IGN gives it an 8.0.: “Tough decisions, well-acted original characters in interesting situations, and a strong, provocative ending kick off Telltale’s new Game of Thrones series in a great way. Its nature as a side-story to the HBO show means we won’t get to decide the fate of Westeros, but this introduction is convincing evidence that the future of House Forrester puts enough at stake to make choices matter.”
  • Polygon gives it a 6.5: “Which is the problem with “Iron from Ice”: We have no idea how these decisions will pay off or punish us down the road. It feels like a slow episode of the show, and although the story could go into a few interesting directions, as it stands it often feels like you’re simply standing on the periphery of much greater struggles.”
  • Total Biscuit shows the first few minutes of the game as he discusses it’s pluses and minuses. He notes that the play time is 2-2.5 hours for this first entry in the episodic series.

 

Holiday Sales Are Here

The end of Thanksgiving tonight will mark the beginning of “Black Friday” in the U.S. (and anywhere else that has decided to follow American consumer mania)... but a few locales have, of course, jumped the gun and started their sales now. And as it happens, The World of Ice and Fire has been chosen by the powers that be to be a loss-leader for a couple of major players in the U.S. retail market.

First off, The World of Ice and Fire has been deeply discounted in its Kindle edition at Amazon US (here), bringing it down to $7.81, while Google Play has the book down to under $ (here). Perfect opportunity for those who own the hardcover to add an e-book edition to carry around on heir phone or tablet, right?

And Amazon’s gone a step further with a 30% reduction on its current, already-reduced price by using the special promotion code “HOLIDAY30” (valid on any physical book, by the way, not just TWoIaF) at checkout (here). That code is one-use only, by the by, and the offer runs out on November 30th. Just in time for sorting out gifts for the holidays…

HBO Teases Season 5 With Three-eyed Raven

An interesting viral marketing campaign from HBO for next year’s Game of Thrones has hit the web: Three-eyed Raven is a new site that allows users to sign up for Twitter or (in select countries) SMS notifications of “the sight”, short (and by short, we mean very short) teaser videos that provide a brief glimpse at the upcoming season. The first video—which you’ll receive a link to after signing up—features Arya and a hint of a location she’ll be spending a great deal of time at.

Doubtless more teasers will drop in the coming months.

First Trailer for Telltales’ Game of Thrones: Iron from Ice

As the title says, Telltales Games has released the first teaser trailer for Game of Thrones: Iron from Ice, an episodic adventure following the lives of members of the northern House Forrester of Ironrath in a sort of side-story that fits along with the continuity of HBO’s Game of Thrones. The game promises to have appearances from notable characters from the series—including Cersei and Tyrion Lannister, and Ramsay Snow—and it seems the actors will be voicing their characters. Here’s the trailer below:

Alongside this, Telltales has sent character images and brief details to a number of gaming and media sites, which have been very helpfully compiled over at IGN. These short profiles reveal thirteen original characters who’ll appear in the game, although there’s no sign which of these will be among the five playable characters.

The first episode is set to release before the end of the year.