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  1. Parley to Nowhere

    The naval engagement had proved a victory for the fleet under the command of Lord Alyn Velaryon, opening the way for an assault on the large Stepstone isle called Bloodstone. Aptly named for its bloody history, the isle is key to control of the Stepstones ... or ending that control, as the combined forces of the Iron Throne and Dorne wish to do after the Free City of Pentos became too demanding with its tolls on ships that sought to cross those waters. But despite capturing a good portion of the fleet the Free City had raised, some of their war galleys escaped, and Bloodstone itself is heavily protected by companies of sellswords and, if rumors are true, a legion or two of the fearless, disciplined Unsullied brought from Astapor to fight on the behalf of Pentos. Soon after the battle, a ship approached under a peace banner, offering an opportunity to parley. Despite resistance from some—most notably the Dornish prince, Rhodry Martell—Lord Oakenfist agreed. Several days later the fleet was approached by a great war galley of four hundred oars, _Magister Ferrio’s Glory_, with two smaller escorts. From it came the emissaries of the Free City, three magisters: Herrio Sentanis, Fillio Bopatis, and Mennio Quaranis. With them was a sellsword captain representing the companies of sellswords which Pentos had hired, and a slave who translated for the magisters (though it would transpire that the last and youngest of these, Mennion Quaranis, spoke the common tongue of Westeros). The initial meeting was cordial, but very soon became tense as the Dornish contingent accused the Pentoshi of thievery and piracy, worse even than the pirates they forced out of the Stepstones when consolidating their control of the Free City. In response, Quaranis—who would prove the most bellicose of the three—retorted that Pentos had paid with money and blood to guard the Stepstones from pirates, and would not stand for any to deny them their due. At this, the cooler heads of the older magisters suggested that the parley might profit from more privacy, and invited Lord Velaryon, Prince Rhodry, and certain others to join them aboard their vessel to discuss their respective positions. Oakenfist agreed… provided one of the magisters remained as a hostage, and the oldest of the three—Magister Herrio—agreed to do so after a short, somewhat argumentative discussion among the three magisters. As Magister Herrio waited on the deck of the _Prince Daemon_, he came to speak for a time with the Dornishwoman Samara Sand, the daughter of the notorious Ser Mavros Uller who had once been a noted sellsword commander in the Free Cities. What they discussed in the Pentoshi dialect of Valyrian was something the woman kept to herself, although those overhearing and catching a few words recognized the name of her father more than once. And when Oakenfist and the others returned? The parley had proved useless, much as Prince Rhodry had argued. There would be no solution for the Stepstones that did not involve more blood, and the Dornish spears and the ships of the Seven Kingdoms were prepared to shed it. Yet after _Magister Ferrio’s Glory_ departed and the results of the parley spread around the fleet, it’s said Prince Rhodry later brought Samara Sand with him to a private meeting with Lord Oakenfist, and rumors were rife that the old magister had used the opportunity of his stay aboard the _Prince Daemon_ to offer an alternative path to peace from his fellow magisters. Visit the Site!
  2. Ships Gather

    The stubborn citadel, manned by Unsullied, falls at last on Grey Gallows—but at a bloody cost, as 300 Dornishmen lie dead in the storming of the fortress. Yet with the harbor secured, and a toehold won in the Stepstones, the question that followed was what to do next. The Dornish leaders wished to fight aggressively, to aim for the Pentoshi strongholds on the isle of Bloodstone, but Lord Velaryon who commands King Baelor’s fleet refused to move so quickly without a chance to send galleys ahead to scout the isles nearest to Grey Gallows first; indeed, Oakenfist’s preference was to take lesser isles first, pressuring the Pentoshi by perhaps isolating Bloodstone and convincing them to sue for peace. However, when the scouting galleys returned, it seemed clear that the choice was taken from Oakenfist’s hands: the Pentoshi themselves were gathering all their galleys near the waters of Bloodstone… and seemed likely to intend to attack Grey Gallows in force, to catch Oakenfist’s fleet while it was still near the harbor. Rather than risk that, Oakenfist commanded his captains to make ready to beat to sea .... and to prepare for a naval battle the likes of which he had not seen since the last time he came to the Stepstones to deal with the greedy, grasping Free Cities three decades earlier. Visit the Site!
  3. The recently-announced Game of Thrones concert has expanded to a full-on tour across North America, and we have the full details—including all 28 locations (including 3 Canadian concerts)—in the press release below the cut. We can provide fans who are interested a special pre-sale code thanks to HBO and Live Nation, as well, for those who want to get their tickets sorted out as early as possible! If you’re interested, just follow this link, select the venue you’re interested in, go through the seating and ordering process, select the “HBO Fans and Family” option and use the code GOTTOUR when prompted for the promo code. This will get you access to the tickets now rather than waiting for the general sale date on Saturday! See the full details on the concerts below, and don’t forget you can order the Season 6 soundtrack! read on >>> Visit the Site!
  4. We’ve gone through the HBO Store’s current selection of Game of Thrones t-shirts and picked out a few of the newer releases for your perusal. After all, who doesn’t need a set of t-shirts for summer (even one that reads “Winter is Here”)? We particularly like some of the new designs incorporating house sigils, such as this Stark, Targaryen and Lannister shirt, and of course everyone needs a Hodor shirt. Visit the Site!
  5. The TCA press tour is taking place, where network executives talk with reporters about their programming, and of course new HBO programming head Casey Bloys has fielded questions regarding Game of Thrones. As Variety’s live blog notes, there’s two major take aways. First, Bloys confirmed that the 8th season of the show would be its last, although like other HBO executives he says he would be happy to get 10 more seasons. Many fans have assumed the 8th would be the last, given statements from Benioff and Weiss, but this is the first direct and explicit confirmation. Second, Bloys remarked on the possibility of a “spin-off” so long as it “makes sense creatively.” What that means, exactly, is anyone’s guess, but certainly many HBO watchers and commentators have noted that it would be very logical for HBO to commission some sort of spin-off to hold on to at least some part of the show’s audience (averaging 25 million viewers per episode across all delivery methods) at a time when HBO’s upcoming programming has a lot of question marks floating around it. Other, smaller details to note are that the late airing of season 7 (as we’ve previously reported) will mean that that season will not be in contention for the Emmys, and because of that late start it seems likely that The Leftovers will be scheduled to fill in that Spring-early Summer period. Visit the Site!
  6. An Offer Accepted

    As Lord Velaryon’s fleet, carrying the Dornish forces under command of Ser Laurent Dalt and Prince Rhodry Martell, sits in the waters of Grey Gallows as the citadel guarding a small, lonely harbor on that stony Stepstone isle is blockaded and put to a fitful siege. After swift victories at sea driving away or capturing the Pentoshi ships—some its own galleys, some sellsails from Myr and elsewhere—Oakenfist found that the foothold he hoped to make on Grey Gallows was contested by the well-made fortress garrisoned by two hundred Unsullied and a dozen sellswords. Their leader, the sellsword captain Menio Cravys, had refused to surrender the well-supplied fortress, noting that by the time he and his men were starved out the Pentoshi forces would surely come to pin Oakenfist’s fleet against the island’s shores and defeat it. Suggestions to resolve the impasse swiftly were made at a council afterwards: storm the citadel at the cost of a good deal of blood, attempt to see if the walls could be mined, bring the heaviest siege equipment from the fleet’s war galleys to shore and see if they could do damage to the wall, or perhaps bribe Cravys and his men. Ultimately, Velaryon—knowing how irresistible sellswords find gold, and how flexible their loyalties are—chose the last route even as he prepared for a storming of the citadel. Meeting under a truce banner, Lord Oakenfist and the captains of the host offered Cravnys and his men a chest of gold and transport to a destination of their choice in return for the castle. Cravys negotiated a second, smaller chest before agreeing, and said he would return to the citadel to make the arrangements with his men regarding the division of the spoils and would be prepared to open the gates the next morning. The next morning came, and went. There was no activity on the walls, no response when a herald sounded a trumpet and shouted for Cravys. Growing uncertain, the Dornish lines readied themselves in case there was a sally from the castle, and Oakenfist wondered if Cravys had changed his mind. After all, at dawn some sails were seen on the horizon, doubtless Pentoshi ships, and perhaps the salvation of the fortress was at hand. It was in the early afternoon when at last a head appeared above the walls, wearing the spiked helm of the Unsullied. The herald called again, shouting, “Where is Menio Cravys?” And the Unsullied, one of the famed eunuch slave-soldiers of Slaver’s Bay, replied, “He comes.” With a ponderous noise, the fortress’s sole trebuchet launched a new projectile into the air. Men aboard the vessels at the docks shouted and scrambled for fear some stone was to crash through a deck, but they need not have worried, for a body is not a tenth as harmful as a stone. Menio Cravys’s corpse splattered blood in all directions as it fell well-short of the ships. And then on the walls, more Unsullied appeared, hauling up and then dumping a dozen more bodies from the walls, bodies with ropes around their necks so that they hung there. So ended Cravys and his sellswords. When Oakenfist was informed, he tried again to parley with the Unsullied, but the banner-bearer carrying the peace banner had spears flung at him as the Unsullied refused even so much. And so it continues, and with time pressing the siege engines work ceaselessly while the Dornish host prepares siege ladders and a battering ram. Visit the Site!
  7. Don’t fancy fighting through the hordes of fans at Comic Con to get a look at some of the exclusive Game of Thrones merchandise launched there? Don’t worry, the HBO store has limited quantities of the exclusive products on sale. If you want to take home your very own giant, albeit in a more portable format, the Mag the MightyFunko Pop might be just the thing. Or, if you prefer a smaller trio, there’s an exclusive Funko Dorbz 3-Pack featuring a White Walker, Joffrey Baratheon and the Hound. Should you like something more substantial there’s also the metallic silver Night King bust. Just keep it hidden in case you play the Game of Thrones: Clue with the exclusive Expansion Set and someone is a sore loser. Visit the Site!
  8. The Game of Thrones Season 6 Blu-ray and DVD set is due to hit shelves on November 15th (with digital HD available sooner on August 1st). HBO has finally revealed the contents of the the sets, and there’s quite a lot of interest—particularly a great deal of matter relating to the Tourney at Harrenhal. Quite interesting! Here’s the full details below: New York, N.Y., July 18, 2016 – Last year’s Emmy® Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series and currently nominated for 23 2016 Emmy® Awards including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing Outstanding Supporting Actress (Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams) and Outstanding Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington), Game of Thrones is bigger than ever delivering “the power and pathos fans have come to expect” (Los Angeles Times). The HBO drama has consistently been the top selling TV on DVD/BD for the past five years and now fans can get the most recent season earlier than ever when Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season debuts from HBO Home Entertainment on Digital HD on August 1, 2016 and on Blu-ray™ with Digital HD and DVD November 15, 2016. The set features all 10 episodes, plus extensive bonus content: read on >>> Visit the Site!
  9. HBO has sent out a press release concerning the 7th season of Game of Thrones, confirming several details—most notably the total number of episodes for the season, seven—that have come out over the last weeks. The press release is below: The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning series GAME OF THRONES will begin shooting its next season later this summer, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming. Production of the seven-episode seventh season will be based in Northern Ireland, while additional portions will be filmed in Spain and Iceland, with debut slated for summer 2017 on HBO. “Now that winter has arrived on GAME OF THRONES, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing,” said Bloys. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.” Season seven directors will include Mark Mylod, Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman and Alan Taylor. Locations for shooting in Spain will include Sevilla, Caceres, Almodovar del Rio, Santiponce, Zumaia and Bermeo. Last week, GAME OF THRONES received 23 Primetime Emmy® nominations, the most of any nominee for the third year in a row. This year’s nominations include Outstanding Drama Series, 2 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington), 3 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams), Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Max von Sydow), 2 for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Miguel Sapochnik, Jack Bender) and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss). Season seven credits: The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Cogman; producers, Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney. Visit the Site!
  10. HBO‘s Game of Thrones is going to have a big presence at San Diego Comic Con, as it has done in previous years. This year, they’ve added something new: a scavenger hunt for attendees, hunting around licensee booths for photo opportunities with some of the many licensed Game of Thrones products for a chance to win a nifty prize pack including games, toys, and more! Full details in the press release below: read on >>> Visit the Site!
  11. On October 1st this year, Blood of Dragons will have been open for 10 years since its beta opening in 2006. Of course, the game was founded much, much earlier than that and the full opening followed after about a year of beta, but we still consider this to be our anniversary date as it was the start of IC time on the game (Year 158, Month 1, Day 1). We would like to mark the occasion in some fashion and we thought that we’d start off by saying that we’d love to see suggestions from our player base for what it might involve. We can’t promise that we’ll be able to use any of them, but we will certainly give them consideration. If you would like to contribute, use +mail in-game addressed to Nymeria and Balerion and with the subject “Anniversary Suggestions”. Visit the Site!
  12. This week, Linda and I will be featuring our visit to Northern Ireland last week as we toured the locations of the ten Game of Thrones themed doors that are scattered around the country, many of them in close association with noteworthy filming locations from the HBO series. We’ve already made our first post, introducing the series and the first of the two doors—you’ll find it here! We had a wonderful time, as can be expected—everyone was incredibly friendly, and we met some real characters along the way! The only thing more fantastic than some of the meals we had were the scenic landscapes, especially the coast of Antrim which is very justly renowned. But more on all that in the days to come! Visit the Site!
  13. Broken Lances

    As preparations for the joint force of the Iron Throne’s fleet and the Dornish spears continue unabated, the Planky Town has remained full to bursting of Dornish levies and knights and men-at-arms on the one hand, and northron sailors and lords and soldiers on the other. The great increase in the Planky Town’s watch has proved necessary, for the confines of the Planky Town have seen a number of disputes, brawls, and four stabbings since the ships arrived. It’s true that much of the friction began only as time wore on… and saw an increase, too, with the results of the tourney pitting knights from both realms against one another. Many of the champions loyal to the Iron Throne took part (the Stormbreaker was a notable exception), and a number of great Dornish knights as well, yet the tourney proved a marvel when it was unheralded men who stood in the final two places. More pointedly, those two knights—Ser Holtyn Rosby and Ser Garlan Hunter—had come with the fleet, meaning that Dornish hopefuls such as Prince Rhodry Martell and Ser Tamlyn Toland were overthrown. And while this meant famed knights such as Ser Dagur Saltcliffe (who had already caused tension when in one of his tilts he seriously injured a Dornish knight) were were defeated as well, it did not assuage the feelings of the Dornishmen. When Ser Garlan Hunter bested Rosby, the Dornish were muted. Afterward, prepaprations went on, and among those were a number of war councils—sometimes on Lord Velaryon’s flagship, sometimes in the citadel in Planky Town—to consider the upcoming battles with Pentos. What information the commanders had on the disposition of the enemy was sparse, and weeks old—rumors from the other Free Cities of sellsails hired, of sellswords engaged, and other such news. Oakenfist had fought in the Stepstones before, and presented a plan of action not unlike how he dealt with the Triarchy in the early days of the reign of Aegon the Dragonbane. That, at least, presented the naval plan for how to deal with the uncertain size and disposition of the Pentoshi fleet, and few argued against it. But as to the Dornish spears, and how they would be used? All the meetings proved inconclusive, in large part due to the uncertainties of how the campaign would develop until first contact was made…. and in some small part because the Dornish, led by the loud voice of Prince Rhodry, were unwilling to give Velaryon and his captains any input into their own plans. Suffice it to say, the tensions that have grown among the lesser men—the sailors and the levies, the lesser knights—have grown, too, among the chief men of this alliance. Visit the Site!
  14. While Elio & I are enjoying the sights and flavors of Northern Ireland (courtesy of Discover NI)—we’ll be posting some of the adventure as we go along on our Twitter and Facebook page—those who watched the last episode of Game of Thrones can watch my review of “The Winds of Winter” in our episode guide. Here’s the review embedded below for the impatient! As to the tenth and final death poll, we had many, many entries indeed. Lots of fans had a lot of correct guesses, but in the end among those we randomly selected one of our Twitter followers, @MidnightAnswers. Many thanks for all who participated! Maybe we’ll do this again next season, assuming there’s enough characters left alive to make it an actual challenge! Visit the Site!
  15. HBO is sneaking out the Game of Thrones Season 6 Soundtrack, which is due to hit shelves on June 24th for digital downloads, June 29th on CD, and as a 3-disc vinyl set on July 1st. This, despite a few days ago there being no sign of it on Amazon or other retailers. Quite the surprise! But, notably, HBO and Pandora have teamed up to give a free preview of the album from June 21st (that’d be today) through June 24th. You can hear it yourself as an Exclusive Album Preview (provided you’re in one of the countries Pandora can stream to!) Here’s the full track listing: 1) Main Titles 2) Blood of My Blood 3) Light of the Seven 4) Needle 5) Coronation 6) Feed the Hounds 7) My Watch has Ended 8) The Red Woman 9) Hold the Door 10) Khaleesi 11) Maester 12) A Painless Death 13) Reign 14) Let’s Play a Game 15) Bastard 16) Trust Each Other 17) Winter Has Come 18) Hear Me Roar 19) The Winds of Winter Visit the Site!