Westeros: Updates

Westeros is the premiere fansite for George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Discuss the series on the forums, browse our resource collections, read about the TV series from HBO and play the MUSH, to name just a few of the things we offer.

New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.

Read our Privacy Policy.

Connect With Us
Recent Entries
Archives

View All

Sites of Interest
Signing Report from Burlington

The So Spake Martin collection has been updated with our first signing report in awhile, courtesy of a member of our A Song of Ice and Fire forum. According to the estimate there, some 1,500 people have turned up—not quite as many as the 2,000 in Slovenia, but early days yet!

There’s some interesting details, both about Game of Thrones and the novels, and a hint about what may be in the next novel, The Winds of Winter, so read the report!

Forum Fundraiser

It’s that time again—each summer we run a bit of a fundraiser to help pay back our wonderful host, Rachel (aka Sparks), for giving the community a place to hang out. It’s been especially challenging this past couple of months, with activity surging thanks to the TV series and now the imminent release of A Dance with Dragons. Sparks has worked like a trooper to keep everything running, and is in the early stages of moving things to a more powerful server.

I don’t even want to think about how many words have been written on the site, how many hours have been spent on it, how many people have made new friends—it’s the finest forum I’ve ever been part of, and that’s because of the community of fans who’ve helped to shape it.

So, if you can spare a few dollars, please contribute! You can pay directly via Paypal, or use any major credit card (sorry, we have no alternative payment options). And if you’re concerned about privacy, there’s an option to donate privately, we believe.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and to consider contributing. We appreciate it!

On Recent Downtime

Just to bring everyone up to speed on this and past downtime issues:

In the last couple of months, the A Song of Ice and Fire forum has boomed, becoming the #1 spot on the web to discuss the series, and we thought that was the major part of the issues. We’ve worked hard to address many issues, and have succeeded to some degree. But ... we just discovered another part: the Wiki of Ice and Fire. We never realized just how used the wiki is (as an aside—hats off to our various wiki editors who’ve made it such a fantastic resource! Anyone who’s a member of the forum can join in editing it, BTW), until we put in Google Analytics a couple of days ago….

It turns out the wiki draws even more traffic than the forum does! No wonder the forum was suddenly unable to keep up with the crush: it was fighting for MySQL connection space with the wiki. This led us to experiment with a major increase in maximum MySQL connections allowed, but that was badly advised on my part—we should have waited for a quieter period to try it. It ended up completely choking the server, so much so that our wonderful host (Sparks) could only reboot it in hopes of getting in after it restarted to fix things…. but the crush of traffic to the wiki and forum meant that it was no go. Ultimately, the server had to be taken down and a tech at the data center shut off Apache before putting it back on the web for Sparks to settle it down. The reboots and extreme hard disk and memory usage led to corruption that also had to repaired.

End result? Boy, howdy, Westeros.org is an extremely popular site—thank you very much, to our visitors, the members of the forum, the wiki editors, Sparks, and everyone else who’s contributed to its existence!—but we need to do more tinkering. This may well include a move to a mightier server, and some other back-end changes to help alleviate the problems as far as possible. The serve move, if it happens, may happen as soon as next week.

More info when we have it .. and please, keep an eye out for our annual summer fundraiser, a way to pay back Sparks for the work she’s done and to make sure the forum and wiki can keep on going!

So Spake Martin Updates

The So Spake Martin collection of correspondence, signing and convention reports, and interviews has been updated with a number of entries from the past month. These include Dave Itzkoff’s and James Poniewozik’s extensive interviews with Martin, as well as Joe Abercrombie’s chat with GRRM for Sky Arts.

Upcoming Forum Downtime

Due to some hard drive issues, the A Song of Ice and Fire forum was down for a bit. Our wonderful host has done some things to try and stabilize it to (hopefully) handle the post-Game of Thrones crush of traffic, but some time next week the system will have to go down to have the disk replaced and an image restored. We don’t have a day or date as of yet, but bear that in mind if it goes down at some point at next week. And bear in mind that if it goes down this weekend, it’s probably that disk acting up.

Forum Reskinned

Ahead of tomorrow’s premiere of Game of Thrones, we’ve made our newest skin for the A Song of Ice and Fire forum go live. The largest change is that we’ve moved from two columns (on either side of the forum) to one, somewhat larger one on the left side (however, overall the forum now dominates more of the dispaly). With the kind permission of Ted Nasmith, who’s allowed us to use his 2011 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar imagery in other parts of Westeros.org, we’ve added his amazing depiction of the Hightower of Oldtown on the sidebar as well.

We’re aware this skin is not 100% yet, but it’s mostly there, and in the next week or so we manage to deal with most outstanding issues. In the interim, however, we’re leaving the “old” skin—renamed Legacy Song of Ice and Fire—available for those who need some time to transition, especially those members of the forum who are using one of the mods that turn the skin much whiter (ala the old “Stark” skin) for whatever reason. Note that it’s staying put only for a limited time, however, just to help with the transition—we’ll probably remove it entirely in a month or two.

As we said, it’s not 100% yet, but we’ve a list of things we’re going to tweak.

So Spake Martin Update

The So Spake Martin section of our site—an archive of correspondence, chats, interviews, and signing and convention reports—has been updated with a link to a podcast interview with GRRM conducted by Bear Swarm!. This is about a month old, recorded at the time of the Days of Ice and Fire event.

So Spake Martin Update

The So Spake Martin collection has been updated with a number of reports from the recent Days of Ice and Fire event. You can find them here, under the section for reports from signings and events.

Octocon Q&A

The Octocon Q&A has just wrapped, and we’ve posted a transcription from lady narcissa (from the A Song of Ice and Fire forum) to the So Spake Martin collection of correspondence and convention reports. Quite a lot of good material,but be aware that there are some small spoilers here and there for the previous books and A Dance with Dragons.

Worldcon Reports

The So Spake Martin collection has been updated with some of the first George R.R. Martin-specific reports out of the 2010 Worldcon, AussieCon 4. You can find the reports on the Convention Reports sub-section of the collection, and it’s the place to keep an eye on as we get more reports over the course of the weekend. Reports are always welcome at the forum, or they can be sent direct to us.

So Spake Martin Update

The So Spake Martin collection of reports and correspondence with GRRM have been updated with an e-mail from May in which a plot point from A Storm of Swords is briefly discussed, and with reports from last week from George’s appearance in San Diego last week. It includes some interesting information on the initial choice for the role of Illyrio Mopatis and how the dramatization of the series might effect GRRM’s depiction of characters.

Tapatalk Support for Mobile Browsers

The A Song of Ice and Fire forum now includes the Tapatalk plugin, which provides greatly improved readability and usability of the forum for users of mobile phones (iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, and Android-based) who download the Tapatalk app. The plugin comes in a light, free version which allows reading but not posting, and a $2.99 version with posting and other features.

The regular mobile skin is still available, so the Tapatalk plugin is not nor ever will be mandatory for using the forum on a mobile platform.

So Spake Martin Update

As promised, the SSM collection has been updated with a C2E2 transcript and other reports. And as an extra surprise, we have the link to a brand new podcast interview with GRRM at the Dragon Page. GRRM shares some very frank and interesting thoughts on the process of writing the series and the difficulties and delays that have taken place with the last novel and the present one.

Introducing Westeros: Blood of Dragons MUSH

Over the past months, traffic to Westeros—both to the various website sections and the forums—has grown steadily, in no small part due to the buzz surrounding HBO’s Game of Thrones project. Given this, we thought it might be fun to take a little look at the various sections that make up the site and introduce them to both new and old visitors.

First up, Blood of Dragons MUSH, the reason that this site exists at all as all of Westeros was originally envisioned as a website with information for players of the MUSH. As it happened, the website grew so that the pages associated with the game became one section among several and the MUSH itself took longer than expected to complete. But in November 2006 it finally opened and the story has been unfolding ever since. Perhaps you want to be a part of it?

So Spake Martin Update

The So Spake Martin collection has been updated with a new audio interview with George R.R. Martin, carried out by Gamer’s Haven. As the name of the site might suggest, there’s a special focus on gaming in the interview, discussing GRRM’s history with games and their influence on his work.