Westeros is the premiere fansite for George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Discuss the series on the forums, browse our resource collections, read about the TV series from HBO and play the MUSH, to name just a few of the things we offer.
New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
Fully embracing the season’s “All Men Must Die” tagline, HBO has announced a new website: Beautiful Death, dedicated to providing an illustrated death-by-death countdown towards the premiere of season 4. There’s two already up, and more are promised.
The illustrations come from Robert M. Ball, who is no stranger to Game of Thrones art, as his portfolio features some character illustrations he was commissioned to do for Wired.
The second image, depicting the Hound’s killing of Mycah, is quite striking.
In one of the more unique marketing efforts out there, HBO has convinced a number of hip hop and rap artists to put together a mixtape specifically inspired by Game of Thrones. Dubbed Catch the Throne, artists such as Big Boi of Outkast, Common, and Wale have provided ten tracks covering the gamut of themes from the series: ambition, revenge, sexism, and more. And I have to agree with Victoria McNally’s review at Geekosystem—Dominik Omega’s “Arya’s Prayer” is the stand out, thanks to his deeper understanding of the novels allowing him a wider range of material to reference. Good stuff.
Of course, the mixtape is free, and is already available on Soundcloud. You can listen to it below:
Straight from HBO is the press release officially revealing the titles of the first four episodes of season 4, as well as providing synopsis information which provides some interesting insights as to what’s to come. Episodes 2 and 3 sound particularly interesting…
Encouraged by the Red Wedding slaughter in the Riverlands that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact…but can they survive their own egos, as well as new and ongoing threats from the south, north and east? While an unbowed Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army in Dragonstone, a more immediate danger comes from the south, as Oberyn Martell, the Lannister-loathing “Red Viper of Dorne,” arrives at King’s Landing to attend Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell, and perhaps act on an ulterior agenda. In the north, a depleted Night’s Watch seems overmatched against the inexorable Wall advances of Mance Rayder’s army of wildlings, which in turn is being trailed by an even more formidable foe: the undead White Walkers. As if that weren’t enough, Daenerys Targaryen, accompanied by her menacing trio of dragons and army of Unsullied, is poised to liberate Meereen, the largest city in Slaver’s Bay, which could ultimately provide her with enough ships to sail to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne.
The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning GAME OF THRONES returns for its ten-episode fourth season SUNDAY, APRIL 6 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by other episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, the hit series is an epic story of treachery and nobility set on the continent of Westeros, where summers and winters can last years, and only the lust for power is eternal.
Returning series regulars on GAME OF THRONES this season include: Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark).
Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Conleth Hill (Varys), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Snow) and Carice van Houten (Melisandre).
Returning cast members include: Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Ciaran Hinds (Mance Rayder), Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed), Kristian Nairn (Hodor) and Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy).
New cast members for the fourth season include: Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand, Oberyn’s paramour), Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Lord Mace Tyrell), Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis, a mercenary ally to Daenerys), Yuri Kolokolnikov (Styr, a wildlings chief) and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Ser Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. “The Mountain”).
While Brooklyn gets the new-sold-out screening and Seattle gets the art show—and a number of other places are getting the international exhibition—there’s quite a lot going out there in the world of Game of Thrones curation…
Such as “Makspel” in our native Sweden! Hosted by the Royal Armory (Livrustkammaren) in Stockholm, beginning March 14th through January 4th the event will feature costumes from Game of Thrones as well as the films Elizabeth and its sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age set beside historical costumes from the 16th century. The museum, the oldest in Sweden, is part of the historic royal complex in Stockholm’s Old Town (Gamlestaden), making it even more worth the visit if you happen to be in the vicinity in the coming months.
The evening before will feature an official opening that’s invitiation only (Linda and I will be there)... but as part of the event, the museum is hoping to have re-enactors and cosplayers on hand dressed as their favorite Game of Thrones characters. If you or anyone you know has a show costume in their closet, make sure to take a look at this file with information about what they’re looking for! An important note, however: if you’re interested, they’d like to be contacted no later than tomorrow, so get to it (and hope to see you there!)
While New York may get a lot of the interesting events around Game of Thrones—the “Epic Fan Experience” at the Barclays Center being a case in point—it’s not the only thing going on out there. Of particular note for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire is Seattle’s LTD Art Gallery current exhibition: “Winter is Coming”, a presentation of artwork influenced by the novels, presented by George R.R. Martin and put together with his direct input. All the works on display in the gallery are available for sale, in some cases as originals, in many cases as prints. There’s an amazing trove of treasures, including original works of art by Ted Nasmith and Donato Giancola, and prints from the likes of Amok (with an awesome depiction of Aegon and his sisters), Marc Simonetti, Jim Burns, Jen Zee, and many more.
An excellent preview of the exhibit, including interviews with the gallery’s owner and participating artists, can be found over at Wired.com. The exhibit runs through March 23rd.
HBO has released word of a truly massive sneak peek of season 4 of Game of Thrones.... at Brooklyn’s renowned, state-of-the-art Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Dubbed “The Epic Fan Experience”, up to 7,000 fans will be be able to look at the traveling exhibition of costumes and props before filing into the arena to witness the premiere episode of the new episode. This event will take place on March 20th, more than two weeks before the season premieres on HBO.
It’s not a free event; tickets will be released on March 6th and can be purchased via Ticketmaster, with net proceeds going to the very worthy charities, Nothing But Nets and Books for Africa. So, not just an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, but one that helps some good causes. Definitely worth keeping your schedule open for!
See the full press release below:
After its series of “Valar Morghulis” posters, with their stark black-and-white depictions of the show’s key characters, HBO now provides a somewhat more colorful image. I think it’s quite striking…
... even if they do insist on calling it a three-eyed raven.
Via EW, fans can now read a paragraph—yes, a whole paragraph!—from The Winds of Winter. This is actually a clever means of noting a unique approach that Random House has decided to use to promote the World of Ice and Fire app (Buy: iOS, Android): the next big update (which, yes, Linda and I have worked on and teased, due next month, will also include the full chapter that is being previewed here.
As I said in the tease, the update will be of particular interest to fans of The Lands of Ice and Fire (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK), as it will provide some new information on some of the new lands and places that the map has revealed, as well as additions of a number of characters that previously weren’t covered in the update.
Following on today’s earlier sneak peek from EW, HBO has now released three character teasers focusing on Tyrion (seen in the Tyrion peek), Daenerys, and the Starks. You can see them below:
James Hibberd over at EW once again has the scoop, revealing a series of character posters—focused, interestingly, on the Lannister bunch—done in striking black-and-white and featuring the ominous phrase, “Valar Morghulis”. Along with the posters is a very brief video, focused on Tyrion and giving a sense of the sort of predicament he will be finding himself in this season.
All in all, very much a mood piece, setting a tone for what season 4 is going to be bringing. Hibberd hints that more posters and videos shall be hitting the web soon enough, doubtless in a similar vein.
Earlier this month, we noted the upcoming fundraising drive for the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, sponsored by none other than George R.R. Martin and Parris McBride. As promised, we’d note when it went live… and it now has. A massive amount of A Song of Ice and Fire-related books and memorabilia, as well as Wild Cards books and other works by Martin, is in the offering, with various packages available at different funding levels.
The proceeds will go to support the Westeros Pack—named after characters from the novels—by providing them a larger habitat, which sounds excellent. All funding levels include signed “adoption” certificates, showing your sponorship of a particular wolf (or wolves) in the pack.
Dark Sword Miniatures, official license holders of A Song of Ice and Fire miniature figures, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them get more figures out, more quickly. The new expansion—featuring figures such as an armored Barristan Selmy, mounted versions of Loras Tyrell and Khal Drogo, Arianne Martell, Prince Joffrey, and many more—are all sculpted by the truly amazing Tom Meier, one of the very finest miniature sculptors now or, indeed, ever.
And to gild the lily, as Dark Sword Miniatures founder Jim Ludwig notes, every one of Meier’s sculpts is created with the direct involvement and approval of Martin, so in many ways these figures are probably as close as anyone will ever get to seeing Martin’s own vision of his characters and the way they should be clothed, armed, or armored (case in point: Drogo’s arakh is indeed more or less a saber, which fits Martin’s remarks on the subject.)
Launching yesterday with a $10,000 goal, the Kickstarter was fully founded in just over two hours. Since then, it’s nearly hit $25,000, and two stretch goals have been reached. More stretch goals are likely to come, and given the length of time which remains, it could go very far indeed.
HBO has just aired the second Game of Thrones trailer, teasing just a bit more of what’s to come for Season 4. You can see it below:
Season 4 premieres on April 6th, at 9:00PM Eastern.
Following our recent post giving a quick run down on what’s going on on the toy front of Game of Thrones licensing, we’re pleased to share some news from Dark Horse. While NY Toy Fair has just started, they’ve given us a look at one of the latest products they’re making, a sizable bust of Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound.
As you can see below, the highly-deailed Clegane bust features features a hinged visor for his helmet, a feat which I can’t say I’ve ever seen before of a collectible bust of this sort. Whether others have done it or not, though, it’s certainly a neat touch, allowing fans the chance to display him how they like.
Occasionally, our running of Westeros.org leads to opportunities only tangentially related to A Song of Ice and Fire, but they can lead to some very interesting things (such as the contest we’ll be announcing further below…)
In the past, I’ve made some noise about an independent comic book series, Artesia, written and illustrated by Mark Smylie. Inspired by, among other things, A Song of Ice and Fire, Smylie set out to create an epic fantasy following the eponymous character and the world-changing events around her. His “Known World” setting grew to enormous proportions, spanning continents, containing dozens of gods and recounting events over thousands of years (and multiple dating systems, while he was at it). The scope of it was on par with what one sees in literary epic fantasy, but in comic book form? Pretty much unheard of in the English-language market. Smylie’s terrific watercolor artwork was paired with a formal, Shakespearian sort of prose and an extremely earthy, gritty setting. There’s high magic, there’s ghouls and demons and vampires, there’s incredibly-realized battles between armored knights, there’s intrigue and murder, there’s sex and sexual politics—it has it all.
Taking a page from Han Zimmer’s Inception score, HBO is teasing a brand new trailer due this Sunday night with this very brief Vine video—and accompanying audio—that suggests it may focus on Daenerys and the story in the east:
No new images here, but it certainly whets the appetite to see more.
As the Season 3 Blu-Ray release approaches its February 18th release date (Pre-order: US Bluray, US DVD, UK Bluray, UK DVD), HBO and HBO UK hosted a very special event for bloggers, media, and fans presenting an early look at the kind of exclusive features the Blu-ray will take place. We were invited, and I happily trooped off to London while Linda held down the fort.
Hosted at the lovely Soho hotel, the event featured an open bar (very important, that!), a magnificent Red Wedding-themed cake made by the talented Choccywoccydoodah team, and a terrific hostess in Maisie Williams. After an initial bit of chatting—including with Nick and Ben from the University of Exeter’s Game of Thrones Society—we were ushered in to the Soho’s theatre for a screening of the Blu-Ray-exclusive, detailed behind the scenes look at the creation of “The Rains of Castamere”. The episode was introduced by Maisie, who discussed her reaction and that of fans the world over to the infamous Red Wedding—reactions that led HBO to create this teaser for the collection:
As the program started with the familiar strains of the Game of Thrones theme, we saw the typical picture-in-picture approach to showing the episode and also behind the scene interviews, shots, and more that described the action as it was going on, how it was put together, and more. It should prove very insightful for those who want to learn what goes into creating an episode, and adapting written material to the screen. Courtesy of HBO, here’s a taste of what this will look like, with an excerpt from the episode:
Afterward, HBO gave out gift bags to those who had attended, including their own very slice of the Red Wedding cake. All in all, it was a terrific event, put together first and foremost for the fans of Game of Thrones. Hopefully UK fans will get more opportunities in the future to take part in such special screening events!
Titancon—a convention by the fans, for the fans based in Belfast—has announced that it will be returning for 2014! Having started as a small effort to bring a convention to Belfast with Game of Thrones as a part of its theme, its expanded its scope to include a focus on SF/F literature, with many noted authors as past guests… and of course, a few actors from HBO’s hit TV show besides.
The convention will be based out of the Wellington Park Hotel, and will run from September 12th through Sept 14th. Besides the literary event on that Friday, the Game of Thrones-focused event on Saturday will be sure to feature a number of actors (guests not yet determined, as it depends on their shooting schedules), and Sunday will see the return of the ever-popular guided bus tour of key Game of Thrones locations.
For more information about the convention, visit the Titancon website!
As season 4 approaches, the licensing juggernaut that is HBO’s Game of Thrones keeps on moving as well. Things are heating up significantly in the toy area (keep reading for a contest to win some of the figures!), as figurines and miniatures based on the Game of Thrones license have proven very popular. Leading the way, of course, has been Funko‘s POP! series of figures, which are being released in new editions with some regularity. Funko has been expanding, however, in two directions.
First, to really encourage the collecting craze, Funko has created its new “blind box” minis in the same style as the POP! figures. The “blind boxes”—named for the fact that you never know what you’re going to get—are going to lead to a lot of collecting and trading. The other direction Funko has gone, however, is creating the first-ever 6” collectible action figures for the series. Not yet really released, Toy Ark spotted early photos of the figures via an eBay auction of someone who had gotten a hold of them early. The initial series of six figures include Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister , The Hound, a White Walker, Daenerys Targaryen, and Ned Stark.
Last night, HBO aired a 15 minute feature highlighting what’s to come in season 4… and embracing the magic of the Internet, they have releaed it on to Youtube. You can watch it below:
Having watched that, what has you most excited?
(Our usual screencapping efforts shall be delayed a few days, as some other Game of Thrones-relevant things take precedence!)
George R.R. Martin and Parris McBride have long been supporters of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico, a non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue and provide a sanctuary for captive-bred wolves, wolf-dogs, and othe related animals. The establishment of the Westeros Pack at the sanctuary—each wolf named after a character (or direwolf!) from A Song of Ice and Fire—is a natural extension of that. George and Parris have previously helped raise over $7,000 for the sanctuary by donating A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones memorabilia for a fundraising auction, and now they’re at it again—this time by supporting another charity auction on behalf of the pack.
The auction itself hasn’t launched yet, but in the interim you can learn about all the members of the pack, and even donate directly to adopt one of the wolves (or the whole pack of them).
When the auction goes live, we’ll be sharing a reminder…. but in the interim, Leyton Cougar, director of Wild Wolf Spirit Santcuary, answers a very important question:
As the February 18th release date for the Game of Thrones season 3 Blu-Ray and DVD set approaches (Pre-order: US Bluray, US DVD, UK Bluray, UK DVD), previews of some of its contents have begun to appear. Over at Target.com, the full animated retelling of the Battle of Qohor—narrated by Iain Glen—can be seen.here. Have to say, the animation gets increasingly intricate and ambitious—terrific work from the DVD content team.
Now the Wall Street Journal has joined in the fun, sharing an exclusive look at behind-the-scenes material connected to the episode “The Rains of Castamere”, revealing some of the effects magic to make the direwolves take part in the action:
Impressive digital compositing and greenscreen work, reminding one that the show is one of the most elaborate productions in the history of television.
The Making Game of Thrones blog has posted a new season 4 video, this time introducing the show’s new production designer, Deborah Riley. A lot of glimpses of new sets, discussion of all the work that is involved in one of the most intricate television productions in the world, and also some glimpses of characters old (in brand new costumes, in some cases) and new:
On a related note, the Game of Thrones production has a tremendous crew working for it, many of them Northern Ireland locals, so it’s no surprise that Belfast’s growing reputation as a place with a lot of skilled craftsmen and production workers has led to more demand for studio space to accommodate more productions.
HBO has finally released some official stills from season 4 of Game of Thrones—premiering April 6th—and there’s the usual lovely assortment of images of actors…
.... but for fans of the novels, perhaps the most important one is the one that features the first good look at Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand, with that character’s lover, the Dornish prince Oberyn Martell, also known as the Red Viper. There’s many more images to be found, however, totalling fifteen showing off some new costumes, hinting at some key relationships, and more (including, for that matter, the first good look at Michiel Huisman as Daario Naharis.
You can find them at our gallery.
Ahead of the February 9th airing of the 15 minute-long season 4 preview feature, HBO has released a promotional video giving a taste of what’s to come:
Just one tiny bit of new footage, I believe, featuring Joffrey with a sword (fans will know what that’s about). The real fun comes February 9th.
HBO has just sent out a news blast with information that should be of interest to fans of Game of Thrones: a 15 minute featurette will air prior to February 9’s airing of True Detective (great show, by the by) , titled Game of Thrones Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing. The featurette promises to have “clips from upcoming episodes, behind-the-scenes-footage, interviews with talent, and cast members’ answers to questions posed by fans.” Should contain yet more glimpses of new things from Season 4, set to debut on April 6th.
The Game of Thrones exhibition of previous seasons is making a come back for season 4, with some brand new exhibits included. Spanning three continents and six countries, starting January 27th in New York City. The full press release, and the list of dates and locations, can be found below:
Now that the trailer is out, it’s no great surprise that HBO has started providing more material for fans to feast their eyes on. First up? A brand new entry in the “On the Set” series of videos, this one introducing season 4 to fans as it zooms about the four countries in which the past season was filmed, talks to executive producers and other key members of cast and crew alike, and gives us a few glimpses of some new locations and characters.
The video is embedded below:
Worldbuilders, the charitable organization founded by writer Patrick Rothfuss, is currently running a fundraising auction via Ebay, and there are a number of items that may be of interesting to fans of Game of Thrones, thanks to a number of replicas and busts donated by Valyrian Steel—official license holders to replicas of both A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones weapons and armor—to the effort. Some of the limited editions up for auction include Loras Tyrell’s helm from the tourney scene in season 1 (probably the most beautiful single piece of armor created for the show to date), the Hound’s helm, Robb Stark’s sword, and a Stark man-at-arms shield.
Also of note, a hardcover copy of A Feast for Crows, signed by George R.R. Martin, and licensed Game of Thrones busts and statues made by Dark Horse.
Definitely worth checking out, as it’s all for a good cause!
After the success of last year’s book penned by writer and producer Bryan Cogman, it should be no surprise that HBO has announced a new book for Fall 2014 publication, written by Cat Taylor (assistant to the executive producers, and writer of the missives on the official Making Game of Thrones blog). It doesn’t seem that it can be preordered on Amazon.com as yet, but below you’ll find the details revealed in the press release:
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.