Westeros

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Domain

Digest

Collected entries from Westeros: News, Game of Thrones: News and Blood of Dragons: Announcements.

UK Cinema Marathon
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Ahead of the release of the Game of Thrones Season 7 box set (which includes one of the more elaborate set of extras to date, as previously reported), HBO UK and London’s Prince Charles Cinema have teamed up for an ambitious marathon of the entire Game of Thrones series, non-stop save for evening dinner breaks which will feature food from MOD Pizza.

For those in London, this sounds like it could be an excellent opportunity to see some of the best episodes of the show on the big screen with an audience. Here’s the full details below:

Recent History Updated
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The Recent History articles, which in broad strokes summarises the history of the game (as well as VERY briefly touches upon the history preceding the opening of the game), has finally been brought up to date. You can find it under Articles, at http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Articles/Entry/Recent_History

The State of Play in King’s Landing and State of Play in Sunspear articles will soon be updated as well, picking up from where the Recent History leaves off to give a sense of the current status of the game’s two open areas.

Server Move
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The MUSH has been moved from our oldest server that is due to be retired to one of the two that will be splitting the traffic over the next year and (hopefully) handling the show traffic as well once that comes around. The DNS has changed with this move, so if you were connecting via DNS you will need to update that to use 184.172.26.162 (or bod.westeros.org). The port remains the same.

If you notice anything odd in the wake of this move, do let us know.

Game of Halloween
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The HBO store is promoting a number of fun items ahead of Halloween. There’s a terrific mask for the Wun-Wun fans, a foam sword, a Night’s Watch shirt, and more. While browsing the store to see what other goodies had appeared, we also came across these pretty neat looking decorative masks inspired by the great houses of Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister (and, curiously, House White Walker):

 

RIP Roy Dotrice

We’re sad to share the news that actor Roy Dotrice, whose collaborations with George R.R. Martin began with Beauty and the Beast and continued right through providing his voice to the audiobook of The World of Ice and Fire, has passed away at the age of 94. Dotrice was well known on stage and screen, and genre fans will have seen him in a host of notable shows such as Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and (of course) as the pyromancer Hallyne in Game of Thrones.

Linda and I corresponded with him briefly, years ago, and remember him as a perfectly gracious, charming person who seemed amazed and pleased with the enthusiasm for his recordings of the novels. He’ll be much missed.

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Westeros at QED

For those in the UK, I will be appearing at the QED conference devoted to discussions of skepticism, science, and rational thinking. Specifically, I’ve been invited to take part in a panel on October 15th titled “The Science of Game of Thrones”, inspired by the book of the same name by Helen Keen. Keen will be joining us, as well as a number of other panelists. Here’s the full details from the conference site:

Do dragons actually exist? Is it possible to crush a person’s head with your bare hands? What really happened when royal families interbred? How does wildfire win wars? Can you really kill someone with molten gold?
These burning questions (groan) will be bravely tackled by our crack team of Game of Thrones experts.
Join Maesters Helen Keen, Dr Gerardo García, and Elio García as they discuss the science behind the Seven Kingdoms under the skeptical eye of Grand Maester Deborah Hyde. With luck and careful analysis we may at last discover the airspeed velocity of an unladen Westerosi raven.
QED tickets are still on sale, and you can pick yours up today.

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Game of Thrones Live Concert Sweden Contest
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Tickets for the Game of Thrones live concert, which is now coming to Europe, are becoming available… including in Sweden, where Ramin Djawadi will lead the spectacular concert in Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe on May 31st.

In connection to this, we’re also very pleased to announce that in collaboration with Live Nation, we’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away! Read the press release for the event below, and we’ll follow up with how to win!

Final Season Budget Rumors
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Thanks to an article over at Variety discussing the minutae of high-end television budgets, a new detail regarding the budget for the final six episodes of Game of Thrones is making the rounds. According to the piece, HBO is expecting to spend $15 million per episode, which would be the highest amount spent per-episode on the series to date.

The article goes on to talk about why shows are costing so much, as well as raising the question as to whether a $20 million-per-episode series may eventually happen. This is not really a new situation, though, if one looks at limited series. Most recently, The Pacific from HBO cost some $20 million per episode across its 10 episodes; adjusting for inflation, in fact the price tag is closer to $22.5 million per episode. That was very much an “event” series, from the same people who had put together the exceptional Band of Brothers, but suffice it to say that if HBO was willing to countenance then, it should be no surprise they’re willing to countenance it now.

If anything, the $15 million price tag that Variety talks about feels a little low, since rumors have pegged season 6 episodes at averaging $10 million, while cinematographer Robert McLachlan implied that season 7 had a similar overall budget—i.e., approximately $14.28 million per episode on average. A 5% increase in budget doesn’t seem that noteworthy. On the other hand, it’s always possible that the reporting is mistaken, or that the particular numbers thrown about are merely very conservative estimates. We would not be surprised to hear of a much higher figure after filming is underway or wraps.

Game of Thrones Live Concert Announces European Tour
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Straight from HBO, the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will be hitting Europe with numerous dates from May to June, and then a resumption of North American touring in September and October. All concerts are set to be overseen personally by award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi. See below for more information and dates:

LOS ANGELES (September 26, 2017) - The critically acclaimed Game of Thrones® Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi will bring the world of Westeros to arenas across Europe starting in May of 2018. Additionally, due to popular demand, a second North American leg of the tour has been added for the autumn of 2018, giving fans the opportunity to watch in wonder as famed composer Ramin Djawadi leads an orchestra and choir performing music from all seven seasons of the iconic, Emmy® Award-winning HBO series. The new dates for the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi will include new music and footage from Season 7, as well a new custom stage design and mesmerising visuals courtesy of state of the art video technology.

Final Season Directors Announced
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From a report on EW, HBO has revealed the directors of the final six episodes of Game of Thrones. They’re all familiar names: Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter, and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss. The showrunners, who are also writing four of the final six episodes, will be directing the finale.

James Hibberd goes into more detail, and in particular provides speculation as to how episodes will be divyed up, with rumors suggesting Sapochnik may direct three of the episodes.

Cogman Developing 5th Prequel Series
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HBO has just announced that long-time series writer and producer Bryan Cogman is the fifth writer behind on the successors. EW’s James Hibberd has what details there are to be had, but understandably HBO are tight-lipped about just what ideas are being developed. A couple of months ago, Linda and I recorded videos discussing some of the areas of Martin’s world and its history that might be of interest.

Of all the writers involved in developing these successor shows, Cogman is unique in being the only one to have worked on the series, and has done so from the start—even back to the original pilot, when he was assistant to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Season 7 Blu-ray & DVD Details
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HBO has announced that you can now preorder the Season 7 Blu-ray and DVD, and revealed a bunch of new details while also sharing an exclusive clip featuring Harry Lloyd (Viserys) narrating the history of House Targaryen from the Fall of Valyria to Aegon the Conqueror turning his eyes to the Seven Kingdoms. Nice art, I have to say!

Here’s the full list of detaisl from HBO:

New York, N.Y., September 14, 2017 – The record-breaking phenomenon is back with a season that proved to be well worth the wait! Action-packed from start to finish with the series’ most epic battles yet, the HBO® drama series Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season will be available for Digital Download September 25th and on Blu-Ray™ and DVD December 12th. The latest season of Game of Thrones featured the most-watched premiere and finale episodes in HBO history, and the series remains the most-awarded drama series in Emmy® history, with 109 nominations to date and winning the 2015 and 2016 trophy for Best Drama Series.

Available December 12th, The Blu-ray™ and DVD sets are packed with exclusive new bonus content including audio commentaries on every episode, two new behind-the-scenes featurettes, and, for a limited time only, a bonus disc containing Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms, a 45-minute, never-before-seen extension of the Clio Award-winning History & Lore features included on previous individual Blu-ray™ season releases. Narrated by some of the series’ biggest stars including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), the companion piece to season 7 reveals the fascinating story of how the world of Westeros as we know it came to be– including what happened the last time a Targaryen invaded the realm!

Available September 25th, the Digital Download release for Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season includes an exclusive new “Creating the North and Beyond” featurette that takes fans behind the scenes of Jon Snow’s epic trek north of The Wall and his latest battle with the Night King’s army.

Blu-ray™ & DVD Exclusive Bonus Features Include:

  Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms- From the Game of Thrones realm comes the never-before-seen story of the tumultuous events that shaped the world of Westeros for thousands of years before the series start. Cast members Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger), Conleth Hill (Varys), Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) team up to narrate the animated telling of Aegon Targaryen’s attempts to conquer the Seven Kingdoms, written by show writer Dave Hill.
  From Imagination to Reality: Inside the Art Department- Extensive two-part featurette detailing the astonishing work of Production Designer Deborah Riley and her Art Department, dissecting the process behind the creation of this season’s incredible new sets, including Dragonstone, Casterly Rock, Highgarden, the Dragonpit, and more.
  Fire & Steel: Creating the Invasion of Westeros- Revisit this season’s most pivotal moments with this behind-the-scenes featurette, including interviews with key cast and crew breaking down how fans’ favorite moments were created.
  Audio Commentaries- Commentaries on every episode with cast and crew including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Jacob Anderson, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, and more.

Blu-ray™ Exclusive Bonus Features Include:

  Histories and Lore- 7 new animated pieces that give the history and background of notable season 7 locations and storylines including The Dragonpit, Highgarden, Prophecies of the Known World, the Rains of Castamere and more all narrated by cast members including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen and more.
  In-Episode Guides- In-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters and locations.

Digital Download Exclusive Bonus Features Include:

  Creating the North and Beyond- Behind-the-scenes featurette delving into the massive undertaking of creating and filming the battle in Episode 6 of Season 7.

In Season 7, Daenerys Targaryen has finally set sail for Westeros with her armies, dragons and new Hand of the Queen, Tyrion Lannister. Jon Snow has been named King in the North after defeating Ramsay Bolton in the Battle of the Bastards and returning Winterfell to House Stark. In King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister has seized the Iron Throne by incinerating the High Sparrow, his followers and her rivals in the Sept of Baelor. But as old alliances fracture and new ones emerge, an army of dead men marches on the Wall, threatening to end the game of thrones forever.

Based on the popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” by George R.R. Martin, the seventh season of this hit Emmy®-winning fantasy features returning series regulars Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).

Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Pilou Asbaek (Euron Greyjoy), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion),  Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), and Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand).

New cast members for the seventh season include: Jim Broadbent, Tom Hopper, and Megan Parkinson. Ed Sheeran guest stars in one episode.

Game of Thrones Touring Exhibition Comes to Barcelona
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After some down time, HBO’s arrangement with global events provider GES—announced in July—has come to fruition with the announcement of the first date for the re-vamped, expanded exhibition. From October 28th, a “limited engagement” (no precise details, but the exhibition website allows tickets to be ordered as far in advance as January 7) will be taking place in Barcelona’s Museu Marítim.

Other locations and dates will be announced in the weeks and months to come. One big difference from prior exhibitions: there’ll be a fee for entry, but this fits with the idea that it’s also on a much larger scale than previous exhibitions.

Full press release below:

Game of Thrones to Film Multiple Endings
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News spread last night of a talk Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, held at Moravian College. According to reports, Bloys indicated that in a bid to mitigate the leaks that have plagued the show the last few seasons, the producers had decided to write and film multiple endings to attempt to hide the real ending. According to the report at EW, the showrunners have previously indicated that they’re going to new heights to attempt to prevent leaks for the final season, and this seems to be just one of a number of techniques they’ll be using.

Alternate endings created to prevent leaks is not new to television, with shows as varied as 24, Lost, The Simpsons, and fellow HBO show Sex and the City having used the stratagem. As to whether these efforts will be successful when it comes to Game of Thrones? Only time will tell.

Nightflyers to Series

Great news for fans of George R.R. Martin’s science fiction: Nightflyers will be going to series at SyFy, although the official announcement has not been made as the deals are still being worked out regarding broadcast rights both in the U.S. and overseas.

This follows news from back in May that SyFy was noted himself, this show is based on the rights he sold many years earlier that led to a low-budget film that did not find much success (you can see the poster for that film above). GRRM has no role in the production, as he is exclusively under contract with HBO, but he’s hoping for the best and in particular hopes that the show will look as good as SyFy’s The Expanse.

 

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Montegrappa’s Targaryen Ballpoint Pen
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Last week, Linda provided a review of the very handsome Stark fountain pen from Italian pen maker Montegrappa. That pen was one we bought ourselves, as we do admire fountain pens, but shortly after we did our review we were pleasantly surprised to receive a package straight from HBO: Montegrappa's Targaryen ballpoint pen. Naturally, we just had to review it, and I provide the honors this time around:

Yes, my handwriting is nothing to write home about! But I think that should give those interested in a pen like this a sense of what they're getting. All in all, the Montegrappa series of pens has been one of the unique and interesting Game of Thrones-licensed products. The pens are widely available, especially at HBO's own store:

Reviewing Montegrappa’s Game of Thrones Pens
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We've posted a video review of one of Montegrappa's officially-licensed Game of Thrones pens. Montegrappa is a famous name in Italy, a maker of fine pens and other luxury items, and their licensing Game of Thrones has led to four (now five) beautiful pens.

The Stark pen featured above -- a fountain pen with a medium nib; other options include fine and broad nibs, or rollerball or ballpoint versions -- is one of the initial four pens which each take their inspiration from a different Great House. The fifth, and newest pen, is a high-end limited edition in solid sterling silver or even 18 karat gold, but those run anywhere from 3,200 to 52,000(!) euros.

This pen came to us by way of Amazon.com, via a Madrid-based authorized dealer named Iguana Sell (noting them down because they did an amazing job with prompt shipping and really good packaging), but you'll find most of the varieties of the pens available from a number of sellers besides them, some at even lower prices:

Of course, the HBO Store (both the US and EU varieties) also carries the pens as well, and sometimes you'll find special deals on all their Game of Thrones products.

Launch of the Martin Studies International Network

We’ve been referring to this for a couple of months as something in the works, but Linda and I are now very happy to join in making the official announcement of the launch of Martin Studies International Network.

What’s that, you may ask? See the press release below to learn more:

The Martin Studies International Network is the first scholarly association devoted to the work of George R.R. Martin. It is dedicated to academics and fans of the worlds created by George R.R. Martin. Its aim is to provide George R.R. Martin’s work with the academic and expert attention it deserves. 

The founding members of the Network are active members of the fan and academic communities:

 

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Finale Episode Guide
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The episode guide for “The Dragon and the Wolf” is now mostly up-to-date, including Linda’s video review of the episode (which we’ll embed below) as well as a book-to-screen consideration trying to piece out what’s inspired by the novels to date, what’s likely to happen in future novels, and what’s definitely not something that fits within the scopes of the books.

As Linda says in her video, there may or may not be a Season 7 overview video from her—stay tuned!

Mystery Knight Rides Forth

Launching just as we were in the midst of travels, we were remiss to make note of the fact that the long-awaited graphic novel adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “The Mystery Knight” has now been released.

Bringing back together the successful team of Ben Avery on script and Mike S. Miller on art, the graphic novel adapts the 3rd of the Dunk & Egg novellas, set about 90 years prior to the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Over at Unbound Worlds, Random House’s SF/F site, there’s an interview with Mike Miller regarding the Dunk & Egg adaptations over the years and some of the choices he’s made in the course of them.

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Finale Episode Title
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HBO has released details for the final episode of Game of Thrones season 7: “The Dragon and the Wolf”—good title—will have a 79 minute, 43 second running time, making it the longest episode of the series to date. There are rumors that season 8’s episodes will potentially run even longer as a matter of course, but we’ll have to wait and see if that holds true.

“The Dragon and the Wolf” airs at 9PM on August 27th.

Episode Guide Updates
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The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season 7, “Beyond the Wall, is out, and Linda has gotten the episode guide filled with thoughts on what’s inspired by the books and what may be related to what’s to come and what definitely isn’t happening, as well as an analysis of the episode which we’re embedding below:

Thanks to all of our travel lately, some of the previous episode guides did not get their Book-to-Screen sections, but those have now been filled: “The Spoils of War” and “Eastwatch”. The latter also contains a second video in the Analysis section, looking more closely at a particular bit of information revealed in “Eastwatch”.

Screenwriter Talks Game of Thrones Successor
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IGN has an interesting interview with Jane Goldman, one of the four (or five) writers working on ideas for a successor series to HBO’s Game of Thrones. In the course of the interview, Goldman’s quite cagey, but she does share just a little bit of information that provides some additional parameters for what her pitch is.

Discussing Annulments in Westeros

Linda and I recently published a video on our Westeros.org youtube channel regarding annulments in Westeros. This is in reaction to something on Game of Thrones—Linda explains more in the video—but suffice it to say, it contains spoilers for season 7 of the series.

(And no, still not watching myself, but I know the general gist of what’s been happening so far, which is more than enough to confirm that I made the right choice for myself.)

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Discussing the Successor Shows
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As previously mentioned, Linda and I decided to take some time while on our vacation to make a video discussing the Game of Thrones “successors”—the four (or five) in-development concepts that follow-ups to the show. We’ve now finished the series, deciding that three parts was more than sufficien to kick around a dozen or so potential ideas. You can find them all in the playlist embedded below:

The Queen’s Justice Episode Guide
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Later than usual—still on vacation!—but the episode guide for “The Queen’s Justice” is now up, including Linda’s video review and book-to-screen analysis. You can see the video below:

On the Successors
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While vacationing, Linda and I decided it was time to share some thoughts on the Game of Thrones successors—as GRRM calls them—that HBO and several writers are developing as a potential follow-up to the popular series. In this first video, I lay out some of the details of what we do know about the projects, and some of the parameters that help us understand what the projects aren’t.

With any luck we’ll have the next video—discussing some ideas of stories outside of Westeros that HBO may be considering—up later tonight.

Discussing Fire and Blood

While we’re away up north (north to us, anyways) for our vacation, Linda and I are getting back to doing semi-regular videos about A Song of Ice and Fire, to compliment the Game of Thrones post-episode videos she’s producing for our Episode guides.

The first one—shot on the OnePlus 5 (my first Android phone, after 5 years of my trusty Nokia 920) to make the process more convenient while we’re up here—ends with an unexpected guest star as we discuss.. well, Fire and Blood, which is coming to readers sooner than expected in part because the first volume is practically finished already. Find out how that works below:

Keep an eye on our channel for more videos in the coming days.

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Stormborn Episode Guide
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Yesterday Linda managed to film her analysis of “Stormborn”, and it was hurriedly edited together before we left for our vacation. Linda posted it while we were on the road, and only now have I recalled to post about it here!

Not only is the episode guide updated with the video—which we’ll include below—but there’s also the book-to-screen analysis, looking at what details fit the novels, which seem possibly related to future events, and which are simply not possible because of the substantial changes from book to screen.

Fire and Blood Approaches

Answering the questions following his mysterious blog post from a few days back, George R.R. Martin has revealed that Fire and Blood is closer to publication than many thought. A book focused on the history of the Targaryens in Westeros, drawn in large part from material originally created for The World of Ice and Fire but which was largely redacted or severely compressed from that book, the amount of material is so sizable that it will appear in two volumes.

Per George:

No publication date has been set yet, but it’s likely that we will get the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD out in late 2018 or early 2019. The second volume, which will carry the history from Aegon III up to Robert’s Rebellion, is largely unwritten, so that one will be a few more years in coming.


And for those who wonder about the state of The Winds of Winter...:

Whether WINDS or the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018… and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream…

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