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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.

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

Game of Thrones Season 6 Soundtrack

HBO is sneaking out the Game of Thrones Season 6 Soundtrack, which is due to hit shelves on June 24th for digital downloads, June 29th on CD, and as a 3-disc vinyl set on July 1st. This, despite a few days ago there being no sign of it on Amazon or other retailers. Quite the surprise!


But, notably, HBO and Pandora have teamed up to give a free preview of the album from June 21st (that’d be today) through June 24th. You can hear it yourself as an Exclusive Album Preview (provided you’re in one of the countries Pandora can stream to!)

Here’s the full track listing:

1) Main Titles
2) Blood of My Blood
3) Light of the Seven
4) Needle
5) Coronation
6) Feed the Hounds
7) My Watch has Ended
8) The Red Woman
9) Hold the Door
10) Khaleesi
11) Maester
12) A Painless Death
13) Reign
14) Let’s Play a Game
15) Bastard
16) Trust Each Other
17) Winter Has Come
18) Hear Me Roar
19) The Winds of Winter

Battle of the Bastards Guide and Death Poll Finale

The episode guide for “The Battle of the Bastards” now includes Linda’s video review of the episode, plus HBO’s various video extras and more. We’ll embed the review below:

And as has been tradition this season, we’ve had a result (quite a lot of correct guesses, as you can guess) for our death poll on the forum for the episode! Congratulations to board member “Elaena Targaryen” who was one of the many to guess one of the major deaths!

This now leads us to the final poll for the season, for “The Winds of Winter”. This one’s special because we’ll open it to all three venues: our Facebook Page, our Twitter, and of course the ASoIaF Forum. And yes, this means you can enter three times, with three different guesses if you want, though only one guess per venue.

To enter, share a guess at a named, recurring character who dies in the season finale (sorry, “Bald Sparrow #4” doesn’t count!) Only one guess per person per venue. Also, no flashback character deaths need apply! To enter on our forum, join the forum and post to the thread about this post in the Game of Thrones News sub-forum. To enter on the Facebook page, follow us and post your guess in the page post about the final poll. Finally, to enter on Twitter, follow us and tweet your guess to @westerosorg while adding the hash tag #gotdeathpoll10. We’ll collate all the guesses and choose one random winner from those who guessed correctly!

Oh, and the prizes? Besides a choice between the A Game of Thrones 20th Annviersary Illustrated edition (note: not yet published) and the A Game of Thrones: The Board Game 2nd Edition from Fantasy Flight Games, Linda and I will also send a signed copy of The World of Ice and Fire.

Good luck!

No One Episode Guide and Death Poll Results

Our episode guide for “No One” has now been updated with Linda’s review of the episode—including an amusing bit which we decided to leave in, when our dog Breeze decided to wander by and it wasnt’ clear whether he was going to demand some attention or not!—which we’ll embed below:

Besides that, we also had results with our 8th Death Poll, and have contacted the two randomly-selected winners who correctly guessed if any characters would die this episode, and named one of them correctly. This means we’re now launching a pentultimate ninth Death Poll for “The Battle of the Bastards, and this one returns to being exclusive to the A Song of Ice and Fire Forum.

Game of Thrones Steelbook Season 3 & 4 Released

HBO has released Season 3 and Season 4 of its limited edition Steelbook Game of Thrones blu-rays, and they’ve kindly given us a look at these particularly interesting editions.

The primary difference between these and the regular Blu-ray sets are in the packaging, first, which was designed by Elastic (the same guys who brought us the famous Game of Thrones intro). This packaging echoes that introduction, but gives it a bit of style to transfer to this very 2D medium. Oh, and each one features a collectible magnet (the Frey sigil and a Night’s Watch emblem referencing a raven and Longclaw), which is a nice touch.

The other, and perhaps bigger difference, is the actual content of the Bluray. It has all the same material as the previous Bluray set in terms of featurettes and commentaries, but for those who are audiophiles it has a special treat: the episodes have been remixed to use Dolby’s Atmos system. For those who have an Atmos-compliant sound system, that means that when a dragon breaths a gout of flame, the Atmos decoder will be able to process that sound and place it spatially in a way that makes sense. Instead of a simple decision about “left”, “right”, “center”, Atmos speakers can direct the sound to “move” appropriately. It’s a bit hard to explain, but our review of the S1 and S2 Steelbooks may help give more of an idea. We didn’t have a chance to test these Blu-rays on an Atmos system this time around, but we’re going to guess an episode like “The Rains of Castamere” or “The Watchers on the Wall” are going to benefit quite a lot from the Atmos technology.

The Season 3 and Season 4 Steelbook Blu-rays are now out, both online and in retail stores!

The Broken Man Episode Guide and Death Poll Results

Our episode guide for The Broken Man is now updated not only with a book-to-screen analysis but also HBO’s video extras for the episode as well as a rather earlier-than-usual written review of the episode. Unfortunately, the illness that hit me last week and prevented our mid-week A Song of Ice and Fire video has now hit Linda, leaving her without a voice and not feeling too well. So, no video review today, and maybe not for a couple more days. Our apologies!

In the mean time, we also had a fun result with the Game of Thrones death poll, as a few people correctly guessed whether anyone would die this episode. We’ve picked a winner—@mackarillo—and are now on to Death Poll #8! This is the Facebook edition of the contest. To enter, simply like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess as a comment on our post on the page about the contest. Acceptable guesses include a single, non-flashback named and recurring character, or simply “no one”. Multiple guesses will be discarded. Because the last Facebook contest failed to turn up any winners, we’ll select two winners if possible from a random draw of all those who offer correct guesses.

As to the prizes? Winners can choose either the Iron Throne Construction Set from McFarlane Toys or A Feast for Ice and Fire.

Good luck!

Fair Game Released

After a number of delays and travails, the documentary Fair Game which examines the critical and media landscape surrounding HBO’s Game of Thrones has now been released on Vimeo. It’s not free—there’s a $1 digital rental fee—but if you’ve time (it’s just shy of 90 minutes) and are interested in the topic as discussed by interview and journalist Miodrag Zarkovic with a number of commentators including Newsday’s TV reviewer Verne Gay, Salon.com co-founder Laura Miller, NYU Professor Dana Polan, and more (including Elio García of Westeros.org and Stefan Stasse of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour), it’s well worth the time.

You can find out more at the website Internet Remembers!

Blood of My Blood Episode Guide and Death Poll Continues

The episode guide for the latest episode, “Blood of My Blood”, has now been updated with the book-to-screen breakdown, video review from Linda, and more! We’ll embed the video below, for those interested—go on through to our Youtube channel for a breakdown of the segments.

Death Poll #6 managed to find a winner on our forum, Ruben de Coninck! This leads to Death Poll #7, and back to Twitter. The prize this time are either the Iron Throne Construction Set from McFarlane Toys, or a copy of A Feast of Ice and Fire! To enter, follow us on Twitter, and then tweet us your guess, including (this is VERY important) the hashtag #gotdeathpoll7. Acceptable guesses include a single, non-flashback named and recurring character, or simply “no one”. Multiple guesses will be discarded.

Happy guessing!

Balticon Reading Features New Winds of Winter Chapter

At Balticon, George R.R. Martin finished his highly anticipated reading where he offered fans one of three chapters to read: the “Sons of the Dragon” material from The World of Ice and Fire, and two chapters from The Winds of Winter . . . but one of those George has released previously, while the other was one that he had offered to read only once before and fans had turned it down. This time, they chose otherwise.

For those who are concerned about spoilers, won’t say anything more here, but you’ll find the discussion thread—with links to various reports—on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. It even inspired some speculation from us!

The Door Episode Guide and Death Poll Results

The episode guide for “The Door” now contains HBO’s post-episode extras, as well as our book-to-screen breakdown and a video review of the episode. This particular episode proved extremely popular, looking at our traffic… and that likely has to do a bit with some of its major revelations. The video, which we’ll embed below, discusses those revelations in detail and considers what implications they have for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels.

In related news, we closed the death poll somewhat early due to the leak that took place earlier yesterday… and so, as it happens, absolutely no one correctly guessed whether anyone died and/or who died in the episode. This is the second death poll to have that happen! This means that the next time we do a Facebook poll (that would be for episode 8), there’ll be two winners chosen.

But on to Death Poll #6! This round of the Death Poll—which will be about guessing deaths for the third episode—will be open to our Forum members, so if you’re not already signed up you will need to get that sorted out to have another chance at winning. The prizes on offer will be the same as for the Twitter & Facebook rounds— will be a choice between the Dark Horse Deluxe Hodor & Bran figure and The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection. To enter, just find this post in the Game of Thrones News subforum and post your guess. Acceptable guesses include a single, non-flashback named and recurring character, or simply “no one”. Multiple guesses will be discarded.

Good luck!

Birth Control

In light of the circumstances of Baelor’s reign, we feel that the game needs a clear policy in regards to the availability and effectiveness of birth control.

The primary form of birth control available is moon tea, which is a herbal remedy consisting of various plants such as tansy and pennyroyal. Properly speaking—as in, looking at historical examples—such a remedy is an abortifacient rather than a form of birth control. That is, it can cause a fertilized egg to be expelled but it cannot prevent the fertilization in the first place or affect ovulation. It is not strictly clear whether GRRM intends moon tea to function purely as an abortifacient or if he also imagines that in Westeros it can also prevent impregnation in the first place, but for the purpose of the game it is not strictly necessary to know. It does seem as if the most common usage is to drink moon tea after one suspects a risk of pregnancy, rather than to prevent one.

Baelor, of course, does not look kindly upon moon tea. Not only does it potentially allow for inappropriate behaviour but it also kills babies. Given this, selling moon tea or the ingredients needed for moon tea is not acceptable in King’s Landing. Anyone doing so risks fines or even expulsion from the city. Nobles will in some cases have access to maesters (though far from all houses will have maesters present in King’s Landing), but keep in mind that maesters serve a house and answer to the lord of that house. If the lord’s wife is trying to prevent pregnancy without telling her husband, she’s as unlikely to get moon tea from their maester as an unmarried daughter who is having an illicit affair.

The result of this is that if your character needs access to moon tea, you need to clear that access with staff as you cannot simply assume that it can be obtained. You will need to put in a +job, explain what you need the moon tea for and propose a way to obtain it. This holds true for characters in Dorne as well, even though it will be easier to propose an acceptable way of obtaining moon tea there as there are no strictures like those in King’s Landing imposed on Sunspear.

Furthermore, characters using moon tea will agree to use a random roll (exact format being worked on) on a monthly basis to determine whether it has been working or not. While we see that some characters put great trust in moon tea in the books, it is clear that it cannot be 100% effective since there are a good many bastards in the setting and far from all of them wanted.

Book of the Stranger Guide and Death Poll Results

The episode guide for “Book of the Stranger” has been updated with Linda’s video review of the episode, as well as a book-to-screen analysis and a few of HBO’s extras such as the “Inside the Episode”. More content to come, and keep an eye out later this week when Linda and I will return to discussing A Song of Ice and Fire in a video that will be at least tangentially related to the events of the episode.

In related news, our fourth Death Poll received a result as well, as our Twitter followers made some shrewd guesses. Congratulations to @marisaog, as well as to @aimieyig since the first death poll had no winners.

This leads to the next poll, for “The Door”, which is once again for our Facebook followers once again. To enter, simply like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess as a comment on this post. One chosen winner will have a choice between the Dark Horse Deluxe Hodor & Bran figure and The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection.

New Sample Chapters

Over at his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has reminded fans that his official website, georgerrmartin.com, is alive and kicking… and if it hasn’t been as updated as it could be, well, he’s been busy. That said, there’s a significant update today as George shares two new sample chapters. The first excerpt is from the 23rd Wild Cards novel, High Stakes. The excerpt comes from Ian Tregillis, who wrote the excellent Bitter Seeds (a dark take on superheroes during WWII) and whose latest book The Mechanical has received rave reviews as the start of a new trilogy in a world where alchemy works and where automatons are nearly human.

The other excerpt, of course, is a chapter from The Winds of Winter. It’s one he’s read before, so there have been scattered reports, but he’s never posted it directly to his website. Here’s how George describes its contents:

“You want to know what the Sand Snakes, Prince Doran, Areo Hotah, Ellaria Sand, Darkstar, and the rest will be up to in WINDS OF WINTER? Quite a lot, actually. The sample will give you a taste. For the rest, you will need to wait.”

(Coincidentally, Linda and I have returned to doing A Song of Ice and Fire videos between episodes of Game of Thrones, and we just happened to have made our first video a question of the political situation in Dorne in the novels, including information from the two relevant chapters from The Winds of Winter that George released. We’ll embed that video below. Specific discussion relevant to The Winds of Winter, and this excerpt, starts at the 32 minute mark)

Episode 4 Death Poll Opens

We just closed the third Death Poll, and it’s on to the 4th poll!

The fourth round of the Death Poll—which will be about guessing deaths for the fourth episode, “Book of the Stranger” —will be open to our Twitter followers. The prizes on offer in this new iteration of the contest will be the choice between the Dark Horse Deluxe Hodor & Bran figure and The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection.

What do you need to do to enter? Simply tweet @westerosorg a guess as to who will die in episode four, making sure to include the hash tag #gotdeathpoll4! Guesses made anywhere else do not count and it is one guess (meaning one name, or “no one”, per person; note that deaths in flashbacks do not count!)

Oathbreaker Guide and Death Poll Results

The episode guide for “Oathbreaker” has been updated with Linda’s video review of the episode, as well as a book-to-screen analysis and a few of HBO’s extras such as the “Inside the Episode”. More content to come. We’ll include the video below, for those who want to get at it now. Keep an eye out later this week when Linda and I will return to discussing A Song of Ice and Fire in a video that, Linda tells me, will be at least tangentially related to the events of the episode.

In related news, our second Death Poll received a result as well, as members of our forum took a stab (hah) at guessing who’d meet a horrible end in the episode. We’ll be posting about the fourth death poll very shortly, although this one is once again for our Twitter followers... and since no one successfully guessed for that episode, this time we’ll select two lucky winners (provided contestants actually guess right this time!)

Fair Game Documentary Introduction

A few days ago, we posted about the documetary Fair Game, from journalist Miodrag Zarkovic, which features interviews with other journalists, academics, and fans (including Elio of Westeros.org) discussing the critical landscape around HBO’s Game of Thrones. The release of the documentary is forthcoming, but the Internet Remembers project has now posted the first 7 minutes of the documentary on Youtube as a teaser. You can see it below:

The World of Ice and Fire Nominated for Ignotus Award

Here’s a pleasant surprise: the Spanish translation of our The World of Ice and Fire, El mundo de Hielo y Fuego (published by one of the very best SF/F publishers in Spain, Gigamesh), has been nominated for the Ignotus Award!  The full list of the nominees can be found here; amazing to see our names on a list that includes the great John Clute.

The premiere Spanish SF/F award, the Ignotus winners are announced at the annual Hispacon Spanish national convention… which, this year, also happens to be this year’s Eurocon.
As it happens, Linda and I are likely to go, because we adored our visit to Barcelona last year, but knowing we’ll be in attendance as nominees is kind of remarkable.

Many thanks to everyone involved in making this book happen, both in the U.S. and in Spain (especially the team of translators with the thankless task of getting such a massive tome translated, and the inestimable Corominas for his striking covers!)

(Thanks to Spanish fan blog el Caballero de la Arbol Sonriente for the tip about the nominations!)

 

GRRM’s Epic Rap Battle with JRRT

Some say you haven’t really made it in popular culture until Epic Rap Battles of History features you alongside the greatest figures of modern and present history. Well…

(Of course, George would never battle Tolkien. He admires his work far too much!)

Game of Thrones Death Poll: Episode 2 Results & Episode 3 Launch

The first week may have stumped everyone, but for the second Death Poll we had quite a few correct guesses and so we have picked a winner and contacted them via Facebook. Congratulations!

The possible correct answers for the second episode were of course Balon Greyjoy (long overdue), Roose Bolton, Walda Bolton (nee Frey) and Baby Bolton. The third round of the Death Poll—which will be about guessing deaths for the third episode—will be open to our Forum members, so if you’re not already signed up you will need to get that sorted out to have another chance at winning. The prizes on offer will be the same as for the first Twitter & Facebook rounds— one of the new Funko Dorbz figures or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms—and then we will change it up for the next three episodes.

What do you need to do to enter? Simply make a guess as to who will die in episode three and post it to this forum topic. Guesses made anywhere else do not count and it is one guess (meaning one name or “no one”) per person.

Fair Game: A Documentary

Serbian journalist Miodrag Zarkovic, who some may know from his critical articles and essays on Game of Thrones, has started a new project: documentary filmmaking. On his new site, Internet Remembers, Zarkovic has released the trailer for the first documentary under that banner. Titled Fair Game, Zarkovic examines the collision of the Internet with cultural phenomena Game of Thrones, with an eye toward the critical landscape around it. In the course of this, he interviews professors, journalists, entertainment lawyers… and, as it happens, one website owner by the name of Elio García.

Here’s the trailer for Fair Game, which is due to be released in the coming months via Vimeo:

More information when we have it, but those who are intrigued by the project have the option of donating financially to Internet Remembers, to help fund this and other, future projects!

Game of Thrones Death Poll: Episode 1 Results & Episode 2 Launch

Well, it seems HBO managed to provide quite a surprise in the first episode. When we closed the poll on Friday (as rumors of a leak started to surface), no one had correctly guessed any of the three characters—Doran Martell, Trystane Martell and Areo Hotah—who meet their end in the season opener. We’re not the least surprised that no one guessed Doran or Areo, though admittedly Trystane might more easily have been seen as being in danger, albeit from Cersei rather than his cousins.

So, for the first week, there is no winner. But, never fear, there’s nine weeks to go and plenty of characters available to kill. For the second episode, please like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess (one per person!) as a comment on this post. From those who get it right, we will randomly select a winner who will have a choice between one of the new Funko Dorbz figures (not yet out, but the first wave will include Daenerys, Jon, Ned, Tyrion and the Night King) or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

New Game of Thrones Jewelry

One of the more interesting licensing endeavors by HBO—collaborating with Pyrrha to create jewelry inspired by the houses of the series—has become even more interesting now that Pyrrha has announced a new line of Game of Thrones talismans focused on the characters. Here’s the press release:

PYRRHA ASKS GAME OF THRONES® FANS TO SHOW THEIR ALLEGIANCE WITH NEW CHARACTER TALISMANS

ICONIC JEWELRY BRAND’S 2016 GAME OF THRONES COLLECTION FEATURES THREE FAN-FAVORITE CHARACTERS LEADING INTO SEASON 6

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 21, 2016 (Vancouver, BC) – As Game of Thrones fans gear up for the world premiere of the hit series’ highly anticipated sixth season on April 24, Pyrrha adds to the fervor by releasing three character talismans in partnership with HBO Global Licensing.

Since introducing their distinctive interpretations of the seven houses of Westeros in 2014, Pyrrha’s handcrafted designs have been showcased at numerous festivals and conventions including SXSW and San Diego Comic-Con, and fans have responded enthusiastically.

Pyrrha’s new line of Game of Thrones talismans features quotes and imagery made famous by the memorable characters that spoke the words. These fan-favorites will continue to play a role in the battle for the Iron Throne as they journey through Westeros during season six.

“A Lannister always pays his debts.” – Tyrion Lannister
“Valar morghulis.” – Arya Stark
“Fire cannot kill a dragon.” – Daenerys Targaryen

“The Pyrrha studio team are passionate Game of Thrones watchers, so this new line is a very collaborative effort,” said Pyrrha designer, Wade Papin. “We went through several rounds of design revisions before settling on the most powerful interpretations that would resonate with fans. Plus we have additional characters in the works, so stay tuned.”

Starting at $218 USD, the Pyrrha for Game of Thrones character talismans are now available online in reclaimed sterling silver or bronze. The complete collection is also available at the Pyrrha flagship store in Los Angeles.

About Pyrrha
Pyrrha designers Danielle and Wade Papin have been creating signature talisman jewelry in their Vancouver, Canada studio since 1995. Using time honoured, old world techniques, Pyrrha is handcrafted with reclaimed metals and conflict-free stones and features authentic wax impressions and imagery from the Victorian era. Each talisman is designed to inspire the wearer with its symbolic meaning culled from heraldry. The iconic talismans have captured international attention and are embraced by celebrities and style icons around the world. Pyrrha can be found at leading boutiques globally and at the brand’s flagship store in Los Angeles, California.

About HBO Global Licensing
HBO Global Licensing officially licenses the HBO® brand for the development and merchandising of innovative product lines inspired by the network’s award-winning programming. With products created around hit series like Game of Thrones® and VinylSM as well as classic series like The Sopranos®, Sex and the City®, True Blood® and Entourage, items include fashion apparel, figures, jewelry, digital and CD soundtracks, prop and costume replicas, games, books, and beverages, as well as exclusive, premium collections in partnership with upscale, designer brands. Merchandise can be purchased in retail stores nationwide, at
http://store.hbo.com, and at the groundbreaking HBO retail hub, the HBO Shop®, located at 42nd and 6th Avenue in New York City. HBO Global Licensing products are also sold internationally across Europe (http://www.hboshopeu.com), Asia and Australia.

A Game of Thrones Comic Sale

Over the course of three years, the novel A Game of Thrones was adapted to the graphic form by writer Daniel Abraham and artist Tommy Patterson. 24 issues in total, it hews very closely to the novel that started off the A Song of Ice and Fire series, not least because Abraham had weekly lunches with Martin during the process during which they discussed adaptation issues. In fact, in an interview, the writer revealed that he had learned of a connection between an early line of dialogue and the end of the series:

“There was one scene I had to rework because there’s a particular line of dialog—and you wouldn’t know it to look at—that’s important in the last scene of ‘A Dream of Spring.’”

Suffice it to say, many have tried to figure out what the line might be. And for those who haven’t had the chance to read the comic? It turns out that Comixology has you covered because of their massive bundle of an assortment of comics which includes the first four issues of A Game of Thrones, as well as issues of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time and the Pathfinder comic based on the roleplaying game setting. The 18 comic bundle is just $2.99 in the US, (2.69 euros in Europe!), and as it happens it’s very likely that the dialog Abraham was speaking of is in one of those first A Game of Thrones issues.

For those who have the comics, or get the bundle, feel free to comment below as to which line(s) in the comic are connected to the finale of the A Song of Ice and Fire series!

Game of Thrones Releases Renewal News, New Pictures

HBO’s on a roll in the lead up to Sunday’s premiere of Game of Thrones, first announcing that the show—as well as fellow programs Veep and Silicon Valley—had all been renewed through 2017.

That’s not surprising for Game of Thrones, but the fact that it’s only a single season pick-up is quite interesting since if HBO and the show runners have agreed on the “eight season” plan mooted in recent articles, one would expect that an eighth season pickup would also be announced. Possibly this is all pending contract negotiations, but there seems room for some variability in the final shape of the show as it approaches its end.

Shortly after this announcement, HBO released nine new high-resolution images from the premiere episode of the season. The image above is one of them, and the rest can be found in our image gallery.

Game of Thrones Death Poll: Episode 1

As we posted about yesterday, we will run a contest leading up to each episode of Season 6 where our followers get to guess who (if anyone) dies in the upcoming episode. The first Death Poll contest will be for our Twitter followers. So, what do you need to do? Simply follow @westerosorg on Twitter and tweet us our guess as to who will die in the first episode. Make sure to include the hashtag #gotdeathpollep1 so we can find your guesses! From those who get it right, we will randomly select a winner who will have a choice between one of the new Funko Dorbz figures (not yet out, but the first wave will include Daenerys, Jon, Ned, Tyrion and the Night King) or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

As an addition to the rules posted yesterday (they will be amended as well), we should note that of course there can be multiple correct answer if more than one character dies in an episode.

“Death Poll” Contest

We’ve heard it from a number of the actors—Season 6 will be the most shocking season yet. We have a feeling that means HBO will be reducing the show’s budget in the bloodiest possible way, by an even greater body count than before. So, we thought we’d make a game out of it and give our followers a chance to win some things in the process. Here’s how it will go down.

Every Monday, starting tomorrow, we will start a new “Death Poll” on Twitter, Facebook or the forum. Each poll will be open to followers/members of that particular venue. To participate in the poll, simply respond to the tweet, Facebook post or forum post and tell us who you think will die in the upcoming episode. Out of those who get it right, a random winner will be selected the following Monday and announced as we start the next poll.

Some rules:

1) Only one entry per person.

2) “No one” is a valid guess, but excludes unnamed, non-recurring characters. If a random guardsman dies in an episode but no named, recurring characters, the correct answer for that episode would be “no one”.

3) There may be multiple correct answers for any given episode if multiple characters die.

4) Prizes will be shipped via Amazon.com, though that should not be a problem for most places.

Tower of Joy Fan Film

A fan film project that raised over $15,000 dollars to recreate the tower of joy flashback from A Game of Thrones has successfully completed filming and post-production. You can see “Tower of Joy” below:

It’s pretty much a word-for-word recreation of the scene as described in the novel. And there are aerial shots, to. Pretty amazing what can be done with drones and commercially-available digital cameras!

The Future of Game of Thrones

The last couple of days has seen some significant news concerning the future of Game of Thrones thanks to remarks from showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, as well as HBO executive Michael Lombardo.

First out of the gate was this Variety interview in which Benioff was quoted as saying:

“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” said Benioff. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”

Clarification from other sources—doubtless HBO—clarified that the numbers were premature, but did say that upcoming seasons may be shorter than 10 episodes per season. The piece goes on to cite programming president Michael Lombardo, who acknowledged that Benioff and Weiss wanted to wrap the show in two years, but added that he was an “optimist” and though they would “figure this out”.

20th Anniversary Edition of A Game of Thrones

Here’s an interesting discovery at Amazon.com: a 20th Anniversary edition of A Game of Thrones from the publisher of the series, with indications that it will be illustrated. It’s due for publication this October, so it’s a ways off yet, and there’s not much more information in the accompanying description.

Truth be told, we were told that something like this was in the planning stages, so it’s good to see that Random House is ready to start revealing some information about it. Whether the illustrations will draw from the rich body of artwork that Random House has already commissioned over the years, or will commission a single artist to illustrate all the pieces (as with the Subterranean Press limited editions), appears to be something fans will have to wait to discover.

Student-made Ice and Fire Data Site

A team of students at the Technical University of Munich have worked hard over a month and more to apply their JavaScript and machine-learning knowledge to cull data from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels (as well as cross-referencing with our own A Wiki of Ice and Fire, as well as looking into what’s been going on on Twitter) to present it all in new, novel ways… and, most interestingly, to make a series of predictions on the likelihood of certain characters dying in the course of the books. The site, A Song of Ice and Fire data, explains how they used machine learning for death predictions, for those curious about the nitty-gritty of the whole process.

It’s been impressive seeing the site develop over the last weeks (one of the teachers of the seminar got in touch with us to make sure they could use the wiki data). Great work from the students, and a deal of interesting insights. We’re not sure if all of their predictions are that spot-on, but there’s certainly a method to the madness!

Three New Clips

HBO has released three clips from the new season of Game of Thrones. One of them, the longest, features a look at an area that the show hasn’t visited since the first season and which shows how far the show’s VFX prowess has grown over the years. The videos are included in a playlist below: