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

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:

New Game of Thrones Trailer

Reports from the premiere last night stated a new trailer was aired there… and as expected, HBO has kindly shared the trailer with the world:

Seems like there’s a lot of new imagery in this one.

Secrecy-shrouded Season 6 Premiere

Last night, an exclusive mix of VIPs, critics, and fans had the opportunity to see the world premiere of Game of Thrones. The red carpet stream, hosted by Veronica Belmont, features interviews with most of the cast who were present on the day and you can see that below:

As noted by James Hibberd, among no-shows for this event were Kit Harington and George R.R. Martin, so no interviews with them. And speaking of Hibberd, he provided some initial impressions of the episode in his post on the premiere at EW. No real spoilers here, as the attendees were all asked to only speak very generally about the episode and to save the plot turns for fans watching on the 24th. One interesting detail, though, is David Benioff’s statement about the production:

“This season was a beast to make,” showrunner David Benioff told the audience at the premiere. “We shot 680 hours of dailies, which translates to 3.7 million feet of film. We shot in five different countries – Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, and Canada. We employed 900 crewmembers in Belfast; 400 in Spain. We issued 140 script revisions. We two shot units a day for 22 weeks straight, three units a day for 10 weeks straight, four units for two weeks straight. And none of that would be possible without the greatest producing team on the planet.”

If I’m counting right, that makes a total of eight countries the show has filmed in across six season (including briefly in the U.S., Malta in the first season, and Morocco for the pilot and third season.)

Our Game of Thrones Coverage for S6

As you are likely aware, at the end of S5 we were both left highly dubious of ever watching another GoT episode, both due to the sometimes abysmal quality of the show and the risk of spoilers for the books. We later said we would wait and see if The Winds of Winter would be completed before S6 and then make our final decision. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Since that became clear, we have received a lot of questions about what we mean to do regarding our coverage, as well as a lot of requests for us to continue. Some of the commentators have argued that its important to have a news/commentary source for the show that isn’t just eating up the hype and praising it no matter what. We have talked a lot about this between ourselves, taking all of this into consideration, and ultimately we have come to a decision.

Elio has no interest in watching the show.  However, I will bite the bullet, so to speak. In part because of work-related reasons, in part because I do think there’s something to be said for a more critical look at the show than other sites may be offering. That said, the coverage will change, as I do not have the time (or inclination) to make it as complete as what we did for previous years. There will unfortunately not be any recap, which was the most time-consuming part of the process. The actual review format is something I am still considering; I may do a shorter written review and a video review, or I may just do one or the other. The book-to-screen will definitely remain, but the format will change to reflect the fact that the show is passing the books for many storylines.

Finally, I am hoping to open the coverage for each episode with a new section, giving book fans a non-spoilery sense of how potentially spoilery for future books this episode may be. This will then tie into the book-to-screen where I expect more speculation regarding what may or may not be spoilery.

New Clip from Lian Cunningham on Conan

Liam Cunningham—who’s always a fantastic interview subject, speaking from personal experience—turned in a game, amusing interview on Conan last night. He revealed he was informed by GRRM of a secret on their first meeting that he’s kept to himself (jokingly suggesting HBO has someone ready to “take care” of him if he fails to do that). That’s then followed by a brief excerpt from a Davos scene in season 6, one which sheds new light on things glimpsed in the official trailer. Naturally, there are spoilers.

You can see the video below:

First Episode Title Revealed

HBO has sent out a press release announcing the title of the first episode of season 6, along with a (very) brief logline giving a general sense of the chief storylines. See below, but bear in mind some might consider some of the details as spoilers:

  Following the shocking developments at the conclusion of season five, including Jon Snow’s bloody fate at the hands of Castle Black mutineers, Daenerys’ near-demise at the fighting pits of Meereen, and Cersei’s public humiliation in the streets of King’s Landing, survivors from all parts of Westeros and Essos regroup to press forward, inexorably, towards their uncertain individual fates. Familiar faces will forge new alliances to bolster their strategic chances at survival, while new characters will emerge to challenge the balance of power in the east, west, north and south.

        The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning GAME OF THRONES returns for its ten-episode sixth season SUNDAY, APRIL 24 (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 fantasy series chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent kingdom.

        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), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Jonathan Pryce (the High Sparrow).

        Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand) and Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H’ghar).

        New cast members for the sixth season include: Pilou Asbaek, Essie Davis, Souad Faress, James Faulkner, Richard E. Grant, Ian McShane, Joe Naufau, Freddie Stroma and Max von Sydow.

April’s episode:

        Episode #51: “The Red Woman”

        Debut: SUNDAY, APRIL 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

        Other HBO playdates: April 24 (11:30 p.m., 2:00 a.m.), 25 (12:10 a.m.), 26 (9:00 p.m., 3:35 a.m.), 28 (11:05 p.m.), 29 (9:00 p.m.) and 30 (11:30 p.m.), and May 6 (8:00 p.m.)

        HBO2 playdates: April 25 (8:30 p.m.) and 29 (1:00 a.m.), and May 1 (8:00 p.m.) and 28 (4:00 p.m.)

Jon Snow is dead. Daenerys meets a strong man. Cersei sees her daughter again.

        Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Jeremy Podeswa.

        In Sept. 2015, GAME OF THRONES received 12 Emmys®, a record for a series in one year, garnering awards for Outstanding Drama Series; Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage’s second win in the category); Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (David Nutter); Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss); Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More); Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series; Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series; Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic); Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series; Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour); Outstanding Special Visual Effects; and Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie.

        The show also received four Emmys® in Aug. 2014; two Emmys® in Sept. 2013; six Emmys® in Sept. 2012, tied for the most of any program; and two Emmys® in Sept. 2011. In addition, Peter Dinklage received a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television in Jan. 2012.

        The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin; supervising producer, Bryan Cogman; producers, Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney.

Stat Training Added

The +xp/train command has been completed, allowing players to increase their stats in the same way that they have been able to increase their skills. Please see +HELP ADVANCEMENT XP for details on the command and http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Helpfiles/Advancement_Stats/ for a breakdown of costs. We ask players to look at their stats and xp totals before using the command, to more easily be able to spot any potential issues. Please report any problems as soon as possible.

HBO Announces After the Thrones

This feels long over-due: HBO announces an after-show for season 6 of Game of Thrones, titled After the Thrones, which will feature critic and commentator Andy Greenwald (formerly of Grantland) and Chris Ryan of Grantland-succesor, The Ringer. See the press release below:


HBO AND BILL SIMMONS TEAM UP FOR AFTER THE THRONES,

WEEKLY SHOW EXPLORING HIT HBO SERIES “GAME OF THRONES,”

DEBUTING THIS MONTH

        AFTER THE THRONES, a weekly show that takes a lively, humorous and sophisticated look at the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” will debut this month. The first show to spring from HBO’s new partnership with Bill Simmons, AFTER THE THRONES will be hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan from The Ringer, Simmons’ new content site.

        Beginning with the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” on April 24, each weekly edition of AFTER THE THRONES will be available on Mondays on HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand, as well as other affiliate portals. Playdates on the main HBO channel will be announced as they are confirmed.

        Each week, AFTER THE THRONES will recap the latest episode, explaining the who, what, when and where, exploring the complicated politics and history of “Thrones,” and offering absurd and not-so-absurd theories about future episodes. Greenwald and Ryan will discuss the show as only they can.

        Greenwald and Ryan previously hosted Grantland’s hit Watch the Thrones podcast, and currently host The Watch on Channel 33’s podcast feed for The Ringer. Greenwald has established himself as one of America’s premier television critics, and is currently working on the book “How To Watch TV” (Ecco Press). Ryan is the executive editor of The Ringer. The Watch was hailed as one of the best pop-culture podcasts on the Internet by Vulture and Entertainment Weekly.

        The executive producers of AFTER THE THRONES are Bill Simmons and BSMG President Eric Weinberger, with Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald serving as co-executive producers.

New Game of Thrones Promo

Dubbed the “March Madness” promo, this new video for season 6 features a few things already glimpsed in the official trailer, but also a few new details for fans eagerly awaiting the next season:

Interesting final frame.

Inside Game of Thrones Prosthetics

Continuing the trend of highlighting the behind-the-scenes production of HBO’s Game of Thrones series, they have now released an interesting mini-documentary on the work of the prosthetics department. A whole lot of white walkers and wights to be seen. Interestingly, much of the white walker footage is from last season’s “Hardome”:

Suffice it to say, some of the glimpses of season 6 herein could be considered spoilerish.

Review: Season 5 Bluray Set

Last month, courtesy of HBO, we were able to give an exclusive preview of one of the Histories and Lore from the Game of Thrones Season 5 Bluray set that’s to be released tomorrow. Along with that preview, we received a review copy of the set, and over the last weeks we’ve poked at its various extras to get a sense of what’s new.

On the whole, the extras this year are particularly noteworthy because of the addition of “Dance of [the] Dragons” animated feature fully 20 minutes long, featuring now-departed actors narrating in character (Harry Lloyd as Viserys, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn, Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon, Jack Gleeson as Joffrey, Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell, and Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon) the story of the brutal civil war that hastened the end of the Targaryen dragons. The art style for this, and the other Histories and Lore, is somewhat different from that of previous seasons. It’s cleaner in a way, but also sometimes a little more simplistic, even cartoonish, at times. The level of content is, however, quite impressive as they drew heavily from the material written for The World of Ice and Fire to provide substantial insight into the past and present of both Westeros and Essos.

Another S5 VFX Breakdown

Last year, Mackevision released a VFX breakdown of some of their contributions to the visually-impressive fifth season of Game of Thrones. Now another VFX company who worked on the production, Image Engine, has opened up about their work last year through an article on their site. The article includes the video you’ll see below:

The interview piece with VFX supervisor Matt Krentz—who’d worked with Look FX on two of the previous seasons—is particularly rich in additional detail. While a lot of their work as seen in the many before-and-after images seem like fairly straightforward crowd replications or removal/addition of elements, there’s also details about the 3D set extensions to Castle Black, their pipeline for creating all their work, and perhaps most notably details on creating the appearance of the “Night’s King” as seen at the end of “Hardhome”.

Season 6 Red Band Trailer

A Tuesday release for the trailer wasn’t anything that anyone expected, but the highly-anticipated Season 6 trailer is now out:

For fans interested in the next season, lots of digest here, including glimpses of a flashback to the fracas at the tower of joy.

HBO Combats Leaks, Ends Review Copies

A bombshell has fallen in the small world of television reviewing: HBO has stopped screeners for critics for season 6 of Game of Thrones. This is largely the result of well-publicized leaks from previous seasons—particularly the last season, in which the first four episodes were leaked weeks before the premiere—but for many critics the practice of receiving episodes early allowed them to spend more time considering and crafting their reviews. Now all the critics—at least, so far as we know—will have to write their reviews after episodes air.

Making Game of Thrones: The Cameramen

There’s a brand new Game of Thrones video over at Making Game of Thrones, the official production blog for the show. Perhaps it’s because of the subject matter, but this struck me as one of the most visually beautiful of HBO’s behind-the-scenes videos looking into season 6. Also, while it’s not a trailer, it actually features a handful of pretty noteworthy details that we’ll discuss briefly below the video:

Exclusive S5 Bluray Preview: Robert’s Rebellion

Thanks to HBO, we’re able to provide an exclusive look at one of the new Histories and Lore that will be included in the Game of Thrones Season 5 Bluray set. Listen and watch below as Ian McElhinney—the late, lamented Ser Barristan Selmy—recounts the events of Robert’s Rebellion from their nascent beginnings to their bloody end:

We’re also very happy to be able to provide the full listing of the Histories and Lore, along with all the narrators for each segment. See that below:

Finn Jones Lands Marvel Superhero Role

Here’s an interesting scoop from Entertaintment Weekly: Finn Jones, best known to Game of Thrones fans as Ser Loras Tyrell, has landed the lead role in the Marvel-Netflix series, Iron Fist. The role of Danny Rand has had a lot of debate surrounding it in various corners of the media, but it looks like the studio has pushed back against that.

For those who don’t know, the character of Iron Fist was created in the 1970s when there was a fad for martial arts in pop culture—Bruce Lee, Kung-Fu, and the like—and Marvel dutifully looked to provide what people wanted. In the comics, Iron Fist is Danny Rand, an American who ends up becoming the pupil of a mystical martial artist in the hidden city of K’un-L’un. There he learned martial arts and gained supernatural powers by placing his fists in the heart of a dragon. Born to a wealthy family, Rand is a businessman by day, hero by night, who has long associations with Luke Cage (recently seen in Jessica Jones, and soon appearing in his own series) and other heroes such as Daredevil (notably, the first season of Daredevil featured easter eggs pointing to K’un-L’un and Iron Fist), the heroic group The Defenders (the ultimate goal of Netflix being a series featuring this group), the Avengers, and more.

GRRM Reveals More About Upcoming Twist

Almost a year ago, George R.R. Martin revealed in an Entertainment Weekly interview that he was contemplating a twist to the story of a character—and a group of characters connected with them—that he had never contemplated before and which, more notably, was something HBO’s Game of Thrones could not do because of choices the show had made that precluded it:

In one intriguing new wrinkle, Martin says he just came up with a big, revealing twist on a long-time character that he never previously considered. “This is going to drive your readers crazy,” he teases, “but I love it. I’m still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It’s a great twist… But it’s nothing I’ve ever thought of before. And it’s nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already—on this particular character—made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions.”

The fandom was abuzz with it—it sparked several threads on our forum, for one—as people puzzled over who it might be. As I recall, at the time speculation was centering on Sansa Stark because of signs that the show was going to diverge heavily from her storyline in A Song of Ice and Fire (as it indeed did). However, a brand new interview with George from IGN revisits the topic and reveals some significant new information:

Wild Cards Full Steam Ahead

We’d be remiss not to note that the popularity of the Wild Cards series of superhero stories has continued unabated, so much so that Random House Audio has signed on to continue the release of audio books of the original series of shared-world anthologies that started it all. As reported by George R.R. Martin at his “Not a Blog”, Random House started with the third volume, Jokers Wild, after the first two volumes had been released earlier by Brilliance Audio.

Random House’s first entry features a pretty noteworthy cast of readers: Pam Grier (Jackie Brown, Smallville, Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Guild), and Ron Donachie (Game of Thrones) are among the contributors.

More recently, George has noted that Aces Abroad —the fourth volume in the series, expanded with two newer stories—has just finished recording, and it has an even larger cast including Selma Blair (Hellboy), Adrian Paul (Highlander), and Armin Shimmerman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: Deep Space 9). Shimmerman will be reading the parts of the joker Xavier Desmond, and as it happens Aces Abroad is best known for George’s interstitial “From the Journal of Xavier Desmond”. This should be quite good! Next to get the audio treatment will be the fifth book, Down & Dirty.

In related news, GRRM has shared that the latest book in the new Wild Cards series, High Stakes, will be published in hardcover by Tor on August 23rd. George has also pointed to the latest Humble Book Bundle for fans interested in getting two of the more difficult to acquire Wild Cards novels, Deuces Down and Death Draws Five, as well as other works by the likes of the great SF writers Alfred Bester (a personal favorite of mine), Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and Roger Zelazny. The Humble Bundle uses a “pay what you want” model, though certain levels are required to get certain works. Best of all, those who pay can decide how to divide up their contribution between the publisher, the Humble Bundle group, and a selection of three worthy charities.

Live Q&A With GRRM and Colony Co-Creator

Colony, a new science fiction series that premiered on the USA Network last month, is going to recieve a special screening of two episodes at George R.R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Following the two episodes, the co-creator of the series Ryan Condal will be taking the stage with George R.R. Martin himself for a Q&A that will be moderated by IGN’s entertainment editor Terri Schwartz.

All well and good—this should be a great experience for those who manage to get into the screening! But for those of us not so lucky, it happens that IGN shall be broadcasting the Q&A tonight at 1930 Pacific / 2230 Eastern / 0330 GMT (Friday) via their Periscope Channel. Schwartz has put out a call for questions to GRRM and Condal regarding science fiction and fantasy, Colony, and of course A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones: