The Brotherhood Without Banners is a George RR Martin fan group. Our primary mission is to bring together fans of GRRM's writing for fun and discussion. Oh, and parties. Membership is open to everyone who is a fan of GRRM, even those who aren't especially into his latest series, A Song of Ice and Fire. That said, ASOIAF is a major focus of our interest, a theme reflected in the title of our group.
What is the Brotherhood Without Banners in the books?
The BwB is a collection of outlaw knights, squires and various other warriors, led by Beric Dondarrion. (Those who fight for a lord, under the lord's banner, are said to be "bannermen.")
How did this BwB get started?
Long ago (mists-of-time long ago), Lodengarl the Three-Fisted decided that it would be great to get a bunch of online friends and fans of ASOIAF together at PhilCon 2001 (that was the 2001 WorldCon) for a party. In the middle of the night, GRRM and the squires embarked on a quest for Pat's cheesesteak. The late-night cheesesteak chasers were knighted, and a tradition was founded.
Where do I interact with the BwB?
We are most easily found on the discussion forums at Westeros. There is a dedicated subforum for the BWB here. We also have an official presence at every WorldCon, and an unofficial presence at some of the regional conventions. One can usually find a smattering of us at World Fantasy every year as well.
When is the next official BwB event?
WorldCon 2013, which will be held in San Antonio, Texas, USA August 29 - September 2, 2013. Here's a link to the Lonestarcon 2013 website.
Do I need a con membership to attend the party?
Yes. In the past, security has checked con badges and booted freeloaders. Plus, it's good manners. This is a fan-run event, not a corporate convention like San Diego ComiCon, and every dollar goes to running the convention, making it the best event it can be.
What about HBO Game of Thrones fans?
We welcome them too, both on the boards and in real life. That said, if you're the kind of person who doesn't want to be spoiled for things that happen in Season 2 or 3 (one season = one book; book 5 will be published in July), then you might want to be mindful of how you interact with us, as we're prone to cracking jokes about events that happen in all of the books thus far published. The only part of the Westeros forums that will be totally safe for you to read are threads marked "NO SPOILERS" in the HBO subforum, located here, called General (GoT). The next easiest thing is to just read the books, which will obviate spoiler avoidance altogether.
Who runs the BwB now?
After many years of successful reign, Lodengarl chose Stego to carry the BwB torch. Stego steered us for many years until last spring, when he asked Xray to take over. Xray is helped by a group of seasoned BwB congoers to keep things running efficiently.
Our grassroots philosophy:"Everybody Welcome, Everybody Responsible" ( -- Parris McBride)
The BwB as an organization might be different from other fan groups you've encountered, in that we're an inclusive group that does not demand monetary dues to join. If you like GRRM's writing, you're in. That said, we have a defined structure and we have a committee of seasoned con-going fans who help Xray run the BwB and make decisions on behalf of the BwB. We organize official parties at certain conventions, most notably the World Science Fiction convention, and we occasionally have BwB-sponsored charity drives. We are not, however, a general social event coordinator. If you want to have an unofficial BwB meet-up at a bar, that's awesome. But we're not going to organize it for you. Further, BwB events are paid for by donations from the members organizing or attending the event, with occasional supplements from tip jars or raffles.
This grassroots ethos is at the heart of fandom, and has grown out of the grassroots SF conventions (fan-funded and volunteer-run) like WorldCon. Parris McBride, GRRM's wife and BearMother of the BwB, has instilled us with the values that have guided fandom for many decades, and we follow them proudly. If you want something to happen, you have to put forth some effort to make it happen. If you would like to know more about how the BwB is run, how we organize official events, or would like to volunteer to help us run those events, contact us. Nobody on the BwB steering committee is there because of his or her charm or good looks (OK, except for maybe Stego). We're there because we demonstrated a willingness and aptitude to organize parties, clean up afterwards, make budgets that keep us financially solvent, run security, fetch ice, etc. We welcome anyone who wants to help and to learn from us how to make a con party successful.
Who runs this joint?
Who helps Stego run this joint?
Mormont, European Steward
Ser Stubby, Australian Castellan and Wrangler of Wombats
Can I host my own BwB event?
The quick answer: Ask Xray.
The longer answer: Those who aren't familiar with SF/F fandom might not know that reputation within the community is very important. Groups who end up with a bad rep can find themselves unwelcome at events like WorldCon, which is something we certainly don't want. So, when it comes to official BwB events, we're pretty strict about who gets to run one and what those events might be. That said, if you want to organize a pub-crawl with other BwB members, we generally don't care, so long as you're not representing it as an official BwB event to outsiders.
Where's the White Book?
We're working on that. Learning a new CMS is a challenge.
Edited by Xray the Enforcer, 10 September 2012 - 07:29 AM.