The A World of Ice and Fire app (iTunes, Google Play), the only official app companion to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, has received a complete refresh providing a snappier user interface, new maps from The Lands of Ice and Fire, and additional as well as updated entries. Behind the scenes, the app also has had some changes to how data is stored which will make it much easier and quicker for future updates to take place.
Those who already own the app can just update it via the appropriate store, and once you’ve opened it you’ll get the option to restore any of the packs you’ve acquired to extend the information in the app.
Linda and I have worked on this ever since its inception—when it started from the seed of the 70,000 words of “Who’s Who” material we had written for the 50,000 word-contracted The World of Ice and Fire (oops!)—and think Random House has done fine work integrating dynamic map markers and character portraits to give it that much more appeal and usefulness.
Ahead of the Game of Thrones final season, Random House Audio has for the first time released A Game of Thrones—Juego de tronos—as a Spanish-language audio book for the Latin American market. The rest of the series, as well as Fire and Blood (Fuego y sangre) will be released from now to September 2019.
Juego de tronos has released today, and is available at a number of vendors—most notably Audible.com, which gives new members two free audio books when they sign up for a membership.
You can read the press release below, which reveals that all the books will be read by famous Mexican voice actor Víctor Manuel Espinoza, the voice of Homer Simpson for millions of Latin Americans:
Fans of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire will now be able to hear the audiobooks in a new language: Spanish. Penguin Random House Audio will release Spanish-language audiobooks of the bestselling series beginning this spring, just as the final season of the hit TV series premieres.
Actor Víctor Manuel Espinoza, also known as the voice of Homer Simpson in Latin America, will narrate the complete series in Spanish, totaling more than 200 hours, starting with Juego de tronos, on sale April 9.
Espinoza said, “Recording the A Song of Ice and Fire audiobooks has been a great challenge for me. Interpreting each character and representing so many personalities through my voice has been the most complex and most satisfying part of the process.”
Audiobooks are the fastest-growing area of book publishing, a trend driven in large part by the increased availability of titles on audio. Penguin Random House Audio is expanding its Spanish-language audiobook production, publishing Dan Brown’s Origen read by Germán Gijón and Lin Manuel Miranda’s ¡Buen día, buenos noches!, read by his father, Luis A. Miranda, Jr.
George R.R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire, which began in 1996 with A Game of Thrones and has since become a worldwide phenomenon, selling over 85 million copies worldwide in 47 languages.
The Folio Society, famous for its bibliophile-oriented hardcovers with beautiful binding and interior illustrations, revealed last month that they were working on a new edition of A Game of Thrones with this tweet:
Today, they’ve now released a sneak peek at four of the eight chapter headers their as-yet-unnamed artist has created. Each represents a specific character, and draws from the heraldry of their families.
From the preview e-mail they sent out:
No release date has been announced as of yet, but the Folio Society has set up a dedicated page where there’ll be new information, as well as a way to sign up for e-mailed updates.
Yes, finally, a video about Fire and Blood ... and it’s about a topic that, I suspect, was not an obvious one to talk about for most. But for me, this particular detail is potentially the single biggest piece of world-building in the entirety of the text. And it’s all because of A Caution for Young Girls.
If you already know the gist of what the Caution is, and what manuscript culture is, jump to the 14 minute mark where I attempt to pull all the pieces together to explain why I think this is such a noteworthy expansion of our understanding of the setting. Also, as noted, the second segment had a recording issue and so I had to use a secondary audio source which doesn’t sound as nice as the rest; apologies about that!
The Unseen Westeros art exhibit was a great success in Berlin, and the media who visited it during its run are still producing content. While the one we’re embedding below is mostly in German, it gives a great view of the ambiance of the location and artworks, and also happens to feature me providing some commentary starting at the 6:50 mark:
There are still some limited supplies of the art book and art prints, for those interested
This year’s European science fiction and fantasy convention is Titancon, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland; it runs from August 22nd to August 25th. Founded as the world’s first Game of Thrones-focused convention, it has for years now provided fans a chance to meet notable authors and actors. As a full-on Eurocon, however, this year’s Titancon will be the largest ever, and will feature scores of authors, artists, and creators. And to mark such an occasion, Titancon has just announced—after a long silence—that they have secured George R.R. Martin as their guest of honor.
Suffice it to say, Titancon’s organizers have for years been interested in bringing George to Belfast. This will be a rare opportunity for fans to take part in a European convention where George is in attendance, and in a location that has won global attention as the home of Game of Thrones. We’ve had the pleasure of having visited several times (including attending a previous Titancon), and think there’ll be a lot of interest for fans of George, of fantasy and science fiction, and of course of Game of Thrones. For one thing, the touring exhibition will be in Belfast, and for another just a week prior Dublin will be hosting the 77th Worldcon (which George will also be attending—as will we!).
There’s quite a lot to see in Northern Ireland for those interested in Game of Thrones tourism, as we’ve covered before. George at Titancon just makes this August all the more tempting a time to visit.
After having revealed a few months ago that a Fire and Blood limited edition was in the offing, Subterranean Press has now made pre-orders available for this exclusive edition of George R.R. Martin’s history of House Targaryen (part 1).
This limited edition—52 lettered (all sold out) and 750 numbered—includes some bonuses over the standard edition that was published last month. It contains all the same art from the talented Doug Wheatley, but augments it with full-color artwork (such as the piece above) by the legendary Gary Gianni. Well-worth grabbing if you are a collector, or simply a fan of Gianni’s renderings of Westeros. His illustrations for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms show just how amazing his work can be.
Though the initial, ambitious exhibition fundraiser did not quite pan out, the organizers behind the amazing Unseen Westeros project have bounced back with a new initiative that’s done very well indeed!
The new Kickstarter has already beaten its goal as it provides funders the opportunity to support the artbook, with any funds raised beyond what’s needed to produce the books to be put towards realizing the exhibition in some form (perhaps in a new location, or for fewer days) with a prospective exhibition date still set for January.
There’s just one week left before the Kickstarter closes out, and it looks like it will be the only way to get a hold of the professionally-printed, 150 page art book featuring all the artworks by professional artists.
Also timed with the launch of the book, a last promotional video from George discusses how useful Fire and Blood could be for Daenerys, but alas, she has no access to it. The video was posted exclusively at Esquire.
Linda and I are planning at least a couple of videos about the book, and we’re even considering doing a livestream to interact with viewers directly, answering questions or discussing ideas they may have. Keep an eye on the site as well as Twitter and Facebook for news on that!
The first of the new excerpts actually comes from the Russian publisher, published on the website of the Russian edition of the magazine Maxim, and of course is all in Russian. But Google Translate can help make it understandable, even if there are some quirks. One thing I will note is that it’s clear that the translator had to work off an earlier draft of that particular material, as there’s at least one detail that was changed by the final version of the book.
The second excerpt comes from Entertainment Weekly, and covers material already published for the most part in “The Princess and the Queen” and The World of Ice and Fire, but contains some new details that had been edited out.
And finally, the Times of London has another excerpt, although it is behind a paywall. The text makes it sound like it, too, will largely contain material already previously seen, but again some new details may slip out.
Below, you’ll find George’s Targaryen Thursday video, and our comment on it:
The Hollywood Reporter has released an exclusive excerpt from the forthcoming Fire and Blood. This excerpt is from a piece originally written for The World of Ice and Fire, providing some details regarding Aegon I’s reign after the Conquest, including the development of King’s Landing as the royal capital and the founding of the Kingsguard.
The book will be released on November 20th. If you missed it, we have an exclusive interview, as well as exclusive art, from Doug Wheatley who provides the book’s interior illustrations.
On this #TargaryenThursday, we’re publishing an exclusive interview with Doug Wheatley, the artist whose work is featured throughout the forthcoming Fire and Blood. A veteran artist long associated with Star Wars comics, Wheatley has a wide portfolio, including having provided illustrations for our own The World of Ice & Fire (a fact we reference in our first remark).
There’s a number of images illustrating the piece, including an exclusive revealing the hapless Aenys I! Here’s the interview:
The full chapter list Fire & Blood (on shelves from November 20th) has been posted at GRRM’s official Facebook page for the forthcoming. The book, the first of two planned volumes covering the history of the Targaryen dynasty from its beginning to its end, is over 709 pages long.
Here’s a sneak peek of Fire & Blood’s Table of Contents, including the Targaryens who will be featured in the upcoming book (available Nov. 20)
From the Random House listing, which reveals that this edition of the calendar is themed:
The magical creatures of A Game of Thrones and beyond come to life in a 2020 calendar inspired by George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, featuring illustrations by acclaimed artist John Howe.
Fantastic beasts are not solely the purview of Newt Scamander. Such creatures also abound in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels—one of the most successful and beloved fantasy series ever written. And who better to bring these creatures to life than acclaimed artist John Howe, who has built a huge reputation for his stunning work in Middle-earth? Here are sphinxes and krakens, sea dragons and ice spiders—a thrilling panoply of creatures both real and legendary . . . and some a bit of both. With twelve stunning full-color paintings, plus a bonus fold-out poster, this annual calendar—now in its tenth year!—is a “timely” addition to a franchise that has continued to grow with each passing year.
Howe, most famous for his outstanding art set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth and his contribution to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, is no stranger to Westeros: he illustrated Meisha Merlin’s limited edition of A Clash of Kings, a few samples of which fans can find on his website.
The calendar will be on sale on July 16, 2019.
The Unseen Westeros art project is still raising funds, and with the help of the organizers we’ve gotten the opportunity to look at the art they’ve collected from the forty talented, professional artists (many who have worked on Game of Thrones!) for their planned art exhibition in Berlin. In the video below, we selected five of the many locales the artists have depicted to give some information and share our thoughts.
If you click through to Youtube, you’ll see timestamps to each of the particular places we talk about, but they are a Rhoynish town, Lorath, the Rhoynish festival city of Chroyane (before its ruin), the Summer Isles, and the mysterious Stygai within the Vale of Shadows. Let us know what you think in the comments, and remember to check out the Kickstarter!