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.

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Westeros.org on Twitter

Westeros.org’s digest of feeds—covering almost all of our sites—is now being tweeted via our new twitter account, westerosorg. We’ll occasionally try and tweet some small news items exclusively via Twitter when it’s suitable to the microblogging medium.

Upcoming Downtime

Some time tonight or tomorrow, most of Westeros.org’s sites will go down while everything is shifted over to a brand new server. With luck, the service interruption will be brief, and it will lead to better service in the long-term (as the new server is much more high-powered than the current one). We cannot give a more precise date than this; but if the site goes down at some point, that would be why.

Forum and Wiki Downtime

The colocation facility where Westeros.org is hosted was compromised by some crackers installing rootkits. Sparks has taken some of the server functions down, and that seems to cover HTTP or the server where the forum and wiki are right now. Westeros.org sites such as the Citadel, All Sorts of Weird Stuff, Game of Thrones, and so on are currently working, as is the Blood of Dragons MUSH, however.

Will update when we’ve more information.

More Maps

More maps have been added to the Citadel. These maps created by Other-in-Law, are absolutely unique in our experience. While quite speculative and stylized, the colorfulness and sheer whimsy of many of the maps makes them among the most interesting and entertaining maps we’ve ever seen.

New Map of Westeros

Two new maps of Westeros has been added to the Citadel’s gallery of maps, created by an individual named Tear who shared it as a Work In Progress at the Cartographer’s Guild; he has kindly given us permission to host it on our site. One map is a full-sized color map of the Seven Kingdoms, based on various official and unofficial maps as well as close study of the books, and the other uses it to create a speculative map of the political boundaries of the various regions of the Seven Kingdoms.

So Spake Martin Update

The So Spake Martin collection has been updated with two interviews, one from Finland and one from a local Montreal paper; the latter is an audio interview in MP3 format and discusses his writing, the influence of history on his works, and his fans.

Site for the HBO Series Added

A new site, Game of Thrones, has been added to Westeros. It will be dedicated to the (hopefully) forthcoming HBO series based on A Song of Ice and fire, and the plan is that if the series is picked up it will offer news, some yet-to-be-decided features, character pages, episode guides and a gallery. We have already started posting to the News blog, but until we know whether the series goes ahead or not, the other sections will see fairly minimal usage. The site is also not fully finished in terms of layout, since we are developing a new look which we then hope to migrate to the other sites on Westeros.

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions about the new site, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Concordance Update

Following on the heels of the Concordance being updated through “The Sworn Sword” and A Feast for Crows, all references to the So Spake Martin collection have now been turned into links to the corresponding topic. The last updates we need to do after this are including thematic details from a backlog of newer SSM entries, which we expect will not take very long. Should you spot any errors or broken links, please let us know.

Concordance Update

After some years of delay, the Concordance has been fully updated through A Feast for Crows. The Concordance is, as far as we know, the most comprehensive compilation of thematic facts and trivia presently available, covering over 3,000 pages of text and including details from the Dunk and Egg novellas as well as George R.R. Martin’s correspondence with fans, interviews, signing Q&A sessions, and so on. The next step we’ll be undertaking is to update all references to the So Spake Martin collection of correspondence, interviews, and reports within the Concordance to link directly to each cited item. This is a bit daunting, as we shifted from a numbered system a good while ago and it will take time to figure out what each reference now points to. However, we look forward to completing that, and hope to do so by the end of the year with any luck.

Many thanks to all those who’ve sent their appreciations and encouragements regarding the Concordance over the years. It’s been very much appreciated!

Wiki of Ice and Fire Updates

The Wiki of Ice and Fire is presently the largest English-language wiki dedicated to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, with hundreds of articles in some stage of development. There is, however, room for much more work! To help facilitate making it as useful as possible, we’ve returned to trying to stay on top of the MediaWiki release cycle by upgrading to the latest stable release (1.14). We have also enabled uploading of images, although these must be (at this time) under terms compatible with the GFDL license (this means images must be fair use, public domain, or explicitly licensed for any and all use, including commercial use; traditionally copyright-protected images are not valid).

As Wikipedia has recently determined it will be shifting to the Creative Commons license, we will be examining doing the same to ease migration of articles from Wikipedia to the wiki. We’re also examining keeping texts as GFDL/Creative Commons but allowing more scope for images that aren’t licensed for commercial use to be a part of the wiki. Finally, we’re examining available Mediawiki extensions to make the wiki more useful. Should fans of the series be interested in contributing to the wiki, all they need is a membership at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. If you’ve ideas, suggestions, prior experience with wikis (especially template creation and management), or just some time and interest in helping provide and edit content, we’ll be happy to have you as a member of the community!

Board Down

The A Song of Ice and Fire forum was brought down earlier today by what we suspect is a flood of spam PM messages; certainly, the crash of the board seems to closely coincide with the sending out of these messages. We have contacted our server admin about it, but it may be some time before she’ll be free to get things up and running again. If the spam flood is the cause, I have to offer an apology, as I’ve delayed putting in a patch to prevent PM spam flooding out of some laziness on my part (my eternal failing). We’ll see about getting that in place when we’ve a bit of time to figure out how to do so.

Board Downtime

The board is now back up, with a major dent put into the total post count thanks to purges. I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but 12 hours of babysitting the purge was more than enough. Sparks also ran some upgrades which will hopefully further improve things.

Board Outtage

The board seems to have gone down at some point, and we suspect it is a server configuration error rather than anything inherent to the forum; all the files are still there, that we can see. However, given the time of night where our server admin is, it may be awhile before the board is back up. Thanks for your patience.

So Spake Martin Update

We have added a new podcast interview to the So Spake Martin collection, conducted during the recent COSine convention by the gamers at Thac0 Podcast. Focusing on the games and other products produced for Wild Cards and A Song of Ice and Fire, there’s a bit of discussion on GRRM’s level of involvement in various licenses and some interesting details regarding negotiations with HBO for the proposed series.

So Spake Martin Update

A new audio interview, conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio, has been entered into the So Spake Martin section. The topic under discussion is whether science fiction is the “literature of ideas”. Ursula K. LeGuin also features, in a separate segment.