Westeros

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Domain

News

Game of Thrones Renewed!

Apologies for the down time ... but surely it mitigates a bit to know…

... that Game of Thrones has been renewed! GRRM has posted the press release, which we’ll copy below. He is, obviously, very excited! A minimum of ten new episodes seems sure, but George expresses his hopes (and ours, we may add) that HBO will order up 12 episodes. Fingers crossed!

This comes after news that while the initial airing had a modest number of viewers—2.2 million as opposed to Boardwalk Empire‘s sensational 4.8m—it had much more competition in terms of the NBA playoffs and baseball. When the two repeats afterward are added to the mix, total viewership on Sunday reached 4.2 million. No numbers are yet available on the Monday airings across six HBO channels, or DVR figures and the like, but we expect we’ll hear more about those soon.

Here’s the release below:

Game of Thrones Media

Explosions of tweeting, post-episode recaps, and more followed yesterday’s premiere of Game of Thrones. We’ve contributed a bit to that, with a recap and review for Suvudu, and a audio podcast with Tom and Daniel of MTV Geek in which we discuss the show.

And, on top of that, we do a star turn *cough* on Sky’s post-episode Thronecast, where we discuss Westeros a bit, and just some quick views on the episode just seen. Uhm ... just ignore the fact that I look like an idiot, glancing down at the monitor rather than looking at the camera. I’ll attempt to do better next time! On the bright side, Linda’s much, much better than I am.

Finally, HBO has joined in the fun, not only releasing an “Inside the Episode” video, but by popular demand they’ve placed the title sequence on Youtube in glorious 720p, exactly as it was meant to be watched! See the embed below:

Inside Episode 1 and a Preview

So… how was your night last night? Was it everything you wanted? Almost? Not at all? Join the discussion and discuss the series with fellow fans! And while you’re at it, feel free to check out our extensive episode guide! Or ... how about going inside the episode with executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, or a preview of episode 2, The Kingsroad?

See below!

Guide to Episode 1

Now that the first episode, “Winter is Coming”, is up, we provide a lengthy recap plus a detailed analysis in our episode guide. More content to come tomorrow, including a look at the changes from book to screen.

In the mean time, after reading up, why not join the discussion?

Welcome to Westeros

Today is the day! Today, the Game of Thrones begins. For those who haven’t followed the anxious wait ever since the pilot was announced, an introduction to what we offer in terms of Game of Thrones coverage here at Westeros is in order.

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.

Reviews, Commentary, and Interviews

So, for the last several days I’d been compiling links to every review, for one great big review post… but, forget it, check out Metacritic instead, it’ll have some of the highlights (however, listen to Myles McNutt when he tells you to ignore the arbitrary metascore). Of particular note are this long review from James Poniewozik, a fan of the novels, and this one from Alan Sepinwall, who hasn’t read the novels.

On the other hand, we should probably highlight the controversy that Game of Thrones sparked, when two critics spent far more time complaining about the genre and its fans (including implying that there can’t possibly be many women interested in watching or reading something like the series) than they did actually reviewing the series itself. Tony Patterson at Slate and Ginia Bellafante New York Times win plaudits for stirring up controversy, if nothing else. Ms. Bellafante’s sexist attitude was especially enraging to most “geek girls”, and I can attest to Twitter being absolutely filled with dialog about it. Geek Femme and Geek Mom gave two excellent responses to Ms. Bellanfate, while today we have Daniel Abraham at Orbit and Matt Zoeller Seitz remarking on both reviewers in terms of their allowing genre bias to get in the way of their job as rviewers.

So, we’ll leave that for reviews, except that we must absolutely plug Todd VanDerWerff and Libby Hill’s podcast, “Television on the Internet”. The last half hour of Episode 59 is dedicated to Game of Thrones. It’s very good, with a nice casual style and some excellent back-and-forth. Both like it, and both have worthwhile things to say about it.


Below are links to interviews and some interesting articles related to the series, which premieres tomorrow:

Westeros and Suvudu

With all the buzz and excitement—HBO’s Game of Thrones just two days away, A Dance with Dragons due on July 12—there’s a great deal of writing and analysis devoted to A Song of Ice and Fire, and we’ve been asked by Suvudu.com (the official portal for SF/F/H of all kinds for Random House) to start posting post-episode reviews and commentaries on various facets of the novels in relation to the TV show.

We’ve introduced ourselves and the project, but you’ll have to wait for until Monday for our first episode analysis.

Visual Guide to Westeros

HBO has unveiled a Visual Guide to the new Game of Thrones. Featuring interactive maps—including an excellent look at the coast of Essos and the placement of most (but not all) of the Free Cities, apparently based on GRRM’s own maps—and details on various characters, organization, and history, it’s a great guide to the TV show’s version of the novels. There are little changes, here and there, and it’ll be fun spotting some of the departures from the setting’s history in particular.

Words of Westeros

Ever wondered what an arakh is? Or a weirwood? Game of Thrones will introduce those new to the series to more than a few new words. In the Citadel we have extensive resources for A Song of Ice and Fire but some of it is too extensive to serve as handy guides for newcomers and others contain spoilers. Because of this we are planning to add some resourced geared specifically towards TV-show viewers to the Features section of our Game of Thrones site. The first such resource is A Lexicon of Ice and Fire, covering some of the words you might want to look up. Enjoy, and let us know about any additions you want to see to the Lexicon or any ideas you have for other Features in this vein.

Making Game of Thrones: Heraldry and Maps

Ah-ha, this is the last Artisans featurette before the premiere on the 17th. Graphic artist Jim Stanes discusses a subject near and dear to our hearts: Heraldry and Maps. This video’s full of some of the heraldic images I had a sneak peek at when I visited the production in Belfast, and now everyone else can see them too!

Free 1st Episode E-book

Suvudu.com, the SF/F gateway produced by Random House (of which Bantam Spectra, publishers of A Song of Ice and Fire, is an imprint), has teamed up with Scribd to offer an exclusive e-book excerpting the “first episode” of HBO’s Game of Thrones—in this case, the first 80 pages of A Game of Thrones, covering almost all the events covered in the premiere episode of the series.

It can be read online (we’ve embedded it below), or even downloaded (in PDF format) for readying an appropriate mobile reading device. Have a friend who’s leery about watching the series or reading the books? Get them to read this preview and see if they can keep themselves from reading more when they get to that last page!

Bryan Cogman on Food Trucks… and Shakespeare

Bryan Cogman has a new post at Making Game of Thrones, describing a bit of post-production life, his visit to the food trucks in Los Angeles, and an update on what he’s currently doing (extras for the season 1 Blu-rays [and, presumably, DVDs, though really, you’ll want this show in Blu-ray we suspect…])

But, as it happens, that’s not all that features Bryan out there. As he mentioned in our interview with him, he’s a trained actor. A trained actor with a focus on Shakespeare. Yes, ladies and gentleman… he’s a Shakespeare guy. As he proves in this short webisode of Tiny Apartment, a comedy created by some friends of his:

TitanCon Announces First Thrones Guest

TitanCon, a convention in Belfast that’s grown out of the very successful Moots, has announced its first confirmed guest from HBO’s Game of Thrones: KristianNairn, the actor playing the beloved Hodor. TitanCon is trundling along with their plans, and to promote the convention, “Game of Thrones Joe”—Joseph Campo—has created a promotional video for the convention with his usual good-humor.

Speaking of Campo, he’s created a last video entry in his “Get Joe On the Show” campaign, and this may be the best one yet. Good luck to Joe on his quest to join the production!

Meet Jon Snow

As the premiere of Game of Thrones barrels along, we have an exclusive interview with Kit Harington, who plays one of the most significant of the young leads in the series, Jon Snow. We discuss his early career and how he got into acting, the audition process, his interactions with some of the other actors, and his views and hopes for the second season if it goes forward.

Read our interview!