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

Sons of Winter Trailer

Telltale Games has released a teaser trailer for the fourth episode in their Game of Thrones

Looks like it’ll be fun!

Coldplay and the Game of Thrones Musical Mockumentary

Today sees the airing of Red Nose Day, NBC’s charity event that will run from 8PM to 11PM eastern time. Packed with celebrities, the reason it has some special relevance to fans of Game of Thrones is the fact that a dozen members of the show’s cast will be on hand to take part in Game of Thrones: The Musical, a mockumentary-style spoof in collaboration with Coldplay. The internet near exploded with humor when Peter Dinklage first appeared in a teaser singing about all those who’ve died and the few who’ve survived, as seen below:

This was promptly followed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau performing “Closer to Home”, Jaime’s ode to Cersei, which you can see below:

 

Talking The World of Ice and Fire in Spain

We’ve not yet had time to fully write up our wonderful visit to Spain to promote the Spanish-language release of The World of Ice and Fire by Gigamesh, but at least we thought we should share some of the interviews and photos from our events in Barcelona and Osuna.

In Barcelona, we had the great pleasure of speaking before a packed room of fans at Gigamesh’s amazing bookstore (easily one of the finest SF/F bookstores—with added attention to games and comics besides—we’ve ever visited, right up there with Sweden’s own SF Bokhandeln). This was live streamed, and you can see it below:

But before that happened, we managed an interview with the extremely amiable Javi Marcos of the Podcast de Hielo y Fuego.  The interview was done on behalf of Spanish fan site Los Siete Reinos, who’ve released the first part of the interview in written form (in Spanish). But they’ve gone the extra mile. Not only have they released the original, English-language audio of the interview, but they’ve released a dubbed version as well! Javi “dubs” himself (hah), while his partner-in-podcast Carlos handles dubbing me and the fan we know as Lady Ashara (who gave us a lovely necklace and bracelet featuring the arms of our mutual favorite house, the Daynes of Starfall) handling dubbing Linda.

Fans curious about some of the details we cut from the world book due to space constraints may find this one particularly interesting, as we drop a few tidbits of information.

Our other visit was to Osuna, and though I’m not sure our presentation of the book or the separate interview we did for it have been released, Gigamesh has released some terrific photos of the visit we and their team had there. More about Osuna in particular later, when we’ve some more time!

All in all, it was a fantastic visit and a terrific opportunity to meet some of the world’s most dedicated A Song of Ice and Fire fans, and Linda and I are already trying to figure out when we’ll be able to make another visit to Spain.

Debating Sansa

The closing event of “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” has stirred huge amounts of controversy among the viewership, as a lead character is subjected to a chilling, horrifying act of sexual violence.

For my part, this led to about 3 hours worth of discussion on Twitter with fellow fans of the novels who responded much more negatively than I did. It was AngryGOTFan who suggested we each do short videos discussing our respective views. And so Linda and I have a short video, not so much praising and defending the scene, because we had and still have issues with how it actually came about, but rather responding to some particular critiques which we took issue with.

Rather than linking the videos here, I’d recommend fans go visit AngryGOTFan’s website and watch both of the videos.

For those who want more in-depth, written discussions of the topic that share something of our view on the issue, see Amanda Marcotte’s piece at Raw Story, and Laura Bradley’s article at Slate.

And for those who missed it, we have posted our video review of the episode, which you’ll find in the episode guide, but we’ll embed it below at the point where we discuss the final segment of the episode:

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken Episode Guide

After much tiring work at a late hour, the book-to-screen breakdown—as well as HBO’s video extras for the episode—are now live on the “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” episode guide. The rest—the written analysis and the video review, will come out in the next day or two.

We’ve also included the short preview for episode 7, “The Gift”, courtesy of HBO.

Kill the Boy Episode Guide

While we’re traveling in Spain, it doesn’t stop us from trying to start off our episode guide!

To begin with the “Kill the Boy” guide features our book-to-screen breakdown, going into detail of some of the differences between the show and the novels (differences which are, it goes without saying, increasingly major; this show features a few very significant deviations or compressions). We also have HBO’s post-episode videos included in the Extras section.

Hopefully we’ll have the episode review up some time Monday, and the recap some time after. The video review, alas, will have to wait until later in the week, but until then, enjoy!

Episode 9 Title Revealed

While Linda and I have been touring Barcelona and now the town of Osuna courtesy of the Spanish publisher of The World of Ice and Fire, Gigamesh, news concerning the title of the 9th episode—the penultimate episode of the season, in fact—came out thanks to HBO’s online schedule.

According to that schedule, the episode will be titled “The Dance of Dragons”. A very portentous title, that, and especially after the equally ominous “Hardhome”.

As it happens, because of our current state of travel, we’re uncertain how much review material we’ll be able to publish following the episode. We may just manage the Book-to-Screen breakdown on Monday, with the written review having to wait until Wednesday, and the video review after that. Our apologies!

Westeros Comes to Spain

Linda and I are very soon off to our very first book tour ever, invited by Spanish publisher Gigamesh to tour for the release of El Mundo de Hielo y Fuego, the Spanish translation of The World of Ice and Fire. We’ll be there for the better part of a week, and very much look forward to meeting fellow ASoIaF fans.

Below is our current schedule of public events:

  • Barcelona
    • May 9: 5PM to 6PM, presentation of the book for fans at the Librería Gigamesh bookstore (Carrer de Bailèn 8), followed by signing from 6:30PM to 8PM.
  • Osuna

    • May 10: 5PM, present at the public opening of the exhibition of the great Enrique Corominas’ Song of Ice and Fire painting collection at Museo de Osuna, followed by the 6PM presentation of the book in the auditorium of the University of Osuna
Sons of the Harpy Episode Guide

One of the more divergent episodes of the season has concluded, and Westeros.org’s episode guide for “The Sons of the Harpy” is now live! Our usual detailed recap, book-to-screen breakdown, and analysis—plus extras from HBO —are all now available for your reading pleasure. We also just managed to get our review video up on Youtube, which means it’s still processing the higher definition options. For those who can’t wait, you’ll find the video below:

May Episode Details

HBO has released details on May’s upcoming episodes of Game of Thrones, and while these have largely leaked out earlier, their press release includes details on the 8th episode. The title itself might be considered a spoiler by some, so we’re putting full details below the cut:

High Sparrow Episode Guide

And finally we’ve managed to actually complete all of our commentary, analysis, and the like before the episode aired! This means that the “High Sparrow” episode guide is ready to be looked at, with our usual examination of the episode, its place as an adaptation, and more. And as a bonus, here’s our Youtube review of the video, which you can find with the rest of our videos at our channel:

Upcoming Appearance in Second Life

Back in 2006, GRRM did an appearance in Second Life (he posted about it here and there’s a brief video of it as well). He did a reading and there was a surprise appearance by David Benioff and Dan Weiss, as the event followed not too long after the announcement that HBO would be producing Game of Thrones. Elio and I both created avatars to attend the event and as it happened, we stuck around. Since then, Second Life has developed enormously—not the least visually—and today the MMO is home to a wide array of thriving communities, from fashionistas to fantasy fans. One activity that brings many of its avatars together are events that raise money for various causes. In particular, several events are hosted each year that are part of the Relay for Life and one of these is the Fantasy Faire.

This year, the Fantasy Faire includes a Literary Festival and on Sunday the 26th of April at 6am to 8am Pacific time I will be making an appearance to speak about (and perhaps read from) The World of Ice and Fire.

House of Black and White Episode Guide

Due to the server issues last week (which—knock on wood—are now more or less sorted out thanks to our amazing host) , we were quite delayed with our “The Wars to Come” coverage, but we’ve more or less corrected that for “The House of Black and White”. The guide includes an exhaustive summary of the episode, our usual book-to-screen breakdown, and of course our review of the episode, plus a number of extras—namely HBO’s post-episode videos, including a nice look at the Water Gardens as represented by the Real Alcazár of Seville.

Our own video review will be along in a day or three, depending on our schedules. Until then, enjoy the episode guide!

The Wars to Come Hits Series High Despite Piracy

The premiere of “The Wars to Come”—our written review is still forthcoming, but we’ve posted our usual video review (some minor audio and editing glitches—new workflow, new camera!—but those are brief)—has not only become the highest rated premiere episode of Game of Thrones;, but the highest rated episode, period, with nearly 8 million viewers. As Variety notes, that’s about 800,000 more than its second highest rated episode, “Mockingbird”. And across the pond, Sky Atlantic in the UK reported that their airing on Monday was also their highest rated episode ever, with 1.6 million viewers in the overnight rating.

More Pyrrha GoT Jewellery
Pyrrha Martell Ring

Just in time for the start of the 5th season, Pyrrha has expanded their collection of officially licensed Game of Thrones jewellery. Matching rings have joined the previously existing talisman necklaces, two new styles of necklaces have been added, one featuring the heraldic devices on a rounder talisman and one featuring them on a proper shield. The latter matches well with the new shield cuffs, though if you want something slimmer (and a bit kinder to the wallet, admittedly!) for your arm the new ID bracelets with house words on might be just the thing. Most of the pieces are available in either sterling silver or bronze, though the shield cuffs seem to be available only in silver. Its just too bad that not all the houses that they’ve done so far get represented in each of the collections, though likely it comes down to what has been popular so far. Still, we would have loved to see some more Martell pieces.

Season 5 Impressions

For those who’ve been asking, various thing in real life have led to this coming out later than intended… but here it is at last, our early impressions of season 5. As noted at the start, we’ve already provided some views on the first episode, but this covers the three additional episodes that were included in the screener package. It’s a long piece, but in a lot of ways it barely scratches the surface, as there’s a lot of story packed into season 5.

You can find the feature here in our Features page.

Coins of the Realm

The terrific Shire Post Mint, who’ve been creating A Song of Ice and Fire-related, George R.R. Martin-licensed coinage for years, have come up with another fun project after their last Kickstarter to create actual gold dragon coins proved a great success. This time, instead of aiming at the high-end collectors who go crazy for authenticity, Tom Maringer and company have launched a Kickstarter to make coins/tokens with a bit of A Game of Thrones flair, suitable a variety of games (but they’re particularly suited to Fantasy Flight Games’ Game of Thrones Living Card Game)  and other houses.

Featuring a wide array of subjects—from ancient royal houses to modern great houses to foreign powers—the coins are a treat for any collector or gamer who can make use of them. The Kickstarter has just 9 days to go, and is still just shy of its goal, so we definitely recommend checking it out and giving it your consideration.

For more ASoIaF coins from the Shire Post Mint, see here!

Three New Promos

People have been hoping for a third and final full length trailer ahead of the premiere of season 5 of Game of Thrones on April 12th, but it looks unlikely at this point. However, the powers that be at HBO have smiled down on eager fans and released not one but three new promo spots, shorter but with a handful of new glimpses of scenes that fans haven’t yet seen before. The first is called the Future Promo , featuring Littlefinger with some rather ironic words:

And the second is the Sinners Promo, featuring Jonathan Pryce’s zealous septon:

And finally, the Enemy Promo, which features only one new shot at the very start, we think:

The Mountain to Crush Philadelphia

Not literally… but figuratively? Sure thing. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson—best known for playing Ser Gregor Clegane in season 4, as well as matching legendary feats of strength as one of the world’s strongest men—is coming to Philadelphia for the newly-inaugurated Philadelphia Renfaire on May 16th and May 17th. It’s a rare chance to meet the big man from Iceland, and for those who want to see how they size up the Renaissance Faire has some exclusive VIP packages that give fans the opportunity to meet him, to work out with him, and even to fight alongside him in a special short film!

For more information on tickets and details on the special events focusing on Thor, see here. And while you’re at it, check out the wanted poster about his presence on the premises (including the claim that he’s wanted for horse theft, a deed committed by lifting up a horse and carrying it off. I could well believe he could pick up a fair-sized horse.)

 

 

GRRM Talks Winds of Winter, Captain Cosmos

A brief but excellent interview with George R.R. Martin—hot on the heels of his release of a new sample chapter from The Winds of Winter—discusses his efforts on that book (and why it’s taken so long), a major twist that he’s deciding on (and whether the TV show can replicate it or not), and a series in development with HBO that’s currently having its pilot script written.

Absolutely worth checking this one out, not least for the key piece of information that GRRM is making all efforts to have The Winds of Winter published before season 6 of Game of Thrones airs.

New Winds of Winter Excerpt

Ah, George R.R. Martin has finally posted a chapter from The Winds of Winter that Linda and I had the pleasure of reading a couple of years ago. Suffice it to say, it contains spoilers! In fact, we’re not even naming the character in question, for those who’d rather not know.

You can read the chapter here.

No GRRM Script for Season 6

At the San Francisco premiere of Game of Thrones, Access Hollywood asked George R.R. Martin a few questions. The first? Whether he’d write a script for the sixth season… and the answer is, “No”:

Note that this statement comes less than two weeks after GRRM commented on Livejournal that he was at that time “wrestling” with the same question. So it looks likely that he settled on an answer pretty much around the time that he decided to remove some appearances from his schedule.

A Visit to the Westerlands

George R.R. Martin revealed on his Not a Blog that he had decided to go and update his book samples pages at his official site with a new The World of Ice and Fire sample… but it’s not quite a sample from the book: “The Westerlands” is in fact George’s original write up of Westerlands history, one of a number of such write-ups he did as his contribution for the book. Due to size constraints, Linda and I then worked with our editor Anne Groell to compress it down to fit the book.

Now, one note of caution: this is an unedited, unpublished text. In fact, purusing it, it’s a very close match for the original text George sent, before we turned it around with some comments pointing out some continuity issues. George is aware of them and will doubtless incorporate them in the future if he decides to publish it, but in any case there are differences between the two texts because we incorporated those necessary changes and fixes into TWoIaF. Some have asked us if we can at least consider all details not contradicting the books and TWoIaF as “canon”, but I’d again underline the fact that this isn’t really a published text. Until it’s in a fixed format—as in, published in a book or an anthology—it’s not canonical, as all unpublished details are entirely subject to change at George’s whim. I’d guess very little of it will change if George did decide to publish it, beyond those things already fixed for The World of Ice and Fire, but that’s where it stands.

In any case, go read it!

Supreme Tweeter Approaches

As we mentioned in our Stockholm exhibit report, Linda and I had the opportunity to meet Harry Lloyd, the actor who brought Prince Viserys to life during the first season of Game of Thrones. One of the topics of discussion was an exciting personal project that Harry and his partner Jayne Hong had been working on for the last while, a sort of mockumentary about what happens when the dictator of a certain notorious Asian country turned out to be your biggest fan….

The Supreme Tweeter web series is set to launch on April 1st. The day after, April 2nd, Harry will be at Reddit’s offices to take part in a Ask Me Anything which will start at 3PM Eastern time. Should be a great opportunity for fans to ask him about the project, as well as Game of Thrones (ask him about the cameos from GoT-connected people, and kill two birds with one stone!) and all the other things he’s been involved in over the years (such as The Theory of Everything, Wolf Hall, Manhattan, and Doctor Who).

Watch the Red Carpet

The US premiere of season 5 is just about to start in San Francisco… but before that, there’s a star-studded red carpet to keep an eye on, with many of the show’s cast and crew members on hand for the celebrations. HBO has kindly provided a live stream of the event for those who’d like to watch vicariously! Also, they promise a special, new behind-the-scenes video at the end of the stream, so that’s something worth watching:

Telltale’s Episode 3 Trailer

Telltale Games has announced the release of episode 3 of their Game of Thrones narrative adventure game, titled “The Sword in the Darkness”. The game will release starting tomorrow, March 24th for PC and Playstation, the 25th and 26th for other console and mobile devices. Here’s the trailer below:

A bit of a young Drogon, eh? Interesting.  We’ve a trip planned tomorrow, as it happens, so we won’t be able to review this for a couple of days. Until then, here’s our reviews of episode 1 and episode 2.

Impressions and Commentary on the Season 5 Premiere

After attending the world premiere of Game of Thrones season 5 at the Tower of London, Linda and I have written up some brief impressions. We also created a video discussing one particular aspect of the first episode, “The Wars to Come”, which we thought was pretty noteworthy. You can find it below:

GRRM on Season 5, Cancelling Appearances

George R.R. Martin has been quite loquacious these past few days on his “Not a Blog” personal site, to the point that the media has been taking notice of his remarks. Among them have been his reiteration of his intention (but not his promise) to have the A Song of Ice and Fire series completed in seven books, his struggle to decide whether he’ll be providing a script for season 6 of Game of Thrones (he passed on writing a script for season 5), his thoughts on the “how many seasons” question, and even some passing remarks on a once-proposed feature animated adaptation that he passed on prior to HBO coming into view.

Most recently, however, George’s post on cancelling his attendance to the World Fantasy Convention and San Diego Comic-Con, stating that he simply had too many things to do. It’s worth noting that these weren’t the only events on his schedule (though as he notes, SDCC was never noted as an official appearance), and in particular it seems like he’s still set to appear at conventions and fairs where he’s a Guest of Honor. Still, freeing up some time and space in his schedule sounds like something he feels will be helpful to him given the various tasks he’s dealing with.

But all that said, it’s the last note in his post that has caused wild speculation:

EW Features Game of Thrones

It’s that time of year again, when the intrepid James Hibberd provides us all the scoops that his deep access to the show (this time featuring some ten days worth of set visits and interviews in multiple locations) can provide. This week’s issue—available on newstands, and soon available for digital download—features an enormous thirty pages worth of coverage, and EW and Hibberd have been kind enough to give a few samples.

Of particular note is today’s release of ruminations on just when the show ends, in which it’s made clear that seven years may well be on the table… but so might eight years, or nine years, or even ten, if HBO could have its way. And Hibberd suggests the possibility that seems the likeliest, at this juncture the eight-seasons-in-all-but-name option:

“Perhaps the most likely outcome for the end of Thrones is having an extended, split-run seventh and final season — where more episodes are ordered than Thrones’ usual 10, but half air one year and half air the next. This would get HBO another “season” without having to renegotiate with the cast since all the episodes are technically part of the seventh round they’re already optioned for. AMC employed this strategy with the final seasons of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, but HBO used this technique first with the sixth and final season of The Sopranos, which consisted of 21 episodes instead of the usual 13. Additionally distributing the final two hours beyond HBO with some sort of theatrical run for fans who want to see it in the theater wouldn’t be surprising, either. “

That sounds about right. Read the rest, it’s worth it, and dig around for some of the other new, exclusive coverage, such as these video interview gems and some exclusive first looks

Game of Thrones to Simulcast Fifth Season

This is absolutely amazing, really—and unprecedented outside of, I don’t know, the Olympics: HBO and its sister networks and broadcast partners around the world will be simulcasting the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Not just the premiere episode (although that episode, it seems ,may air even more widely), but every single episode of the season. What does this mean? That means when it airs at 9PM Eastern on Sundays, it will air at the exact same time in all participating countries and territories. So for fellow HBO Nordic subscribers, for example, will have the pleasure of hitting bed early to then wake up at 3AM to watch it at the same time as fans in the U.S. Fans in Asia will be watching it in the morning. And more.

Full details in the press release below: