Westeros

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  1. The episode guide for “The Door” now contains HBO’s post-episode extras, as well as our book-to-screen breakdown and a video review of the episode. This particular episode proved extremely popular, looking at our traffic… and that likely has to do a bit with some of its major revelations. The video, which we’ll embed below, discusses those revelations in detail and considers what implications they have for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. In related news, we closed the death poll somewhat early due to the leak that took place earlier yesterday… and so, as it happens, absolutely no one correctly guessed whether anyone died and/or who died in the episode. This is the second death poll to have that happen! This means that the next time we do a Facebook poll (that would be for episode 8), there’ll be two winners chosen. But on to Death Poll #6! This round of the Death Poll—which will be about guessing deaths for the third episode—will be open to our Forum members, so if you’re not already signed up you will need to get that sorted out to have another chance at winning. The prizes on offer will be the same as for the Twitter & Facebook rounds— will be a choice between the Dark Horse Deluxe Hodor & Bran figure and The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection. To enter, just find this post in the Game of Thrones News subforum and post your guess. Acceptable guesses include a single, non-flashback named and recurring character, or simply “no one”. Multiple guesses will be discarded. Good luck! Visit the Site!
  2. Birth Control

    In light of the circumstances of Baelor’s reign, we feel that the game needs a clear policy in regards to the availability and effectiveness of birth control. The primary form of birth control available is moon tea, which is a herbal remedy consisting of various plants such as tansy and pennyroyal. Properly speaking—as in, looking at historical examples—such a remedy is an abortifacient rather than a form of birth control. That is, it can cause a fertilized egg to be expelled but it cannot prevent the fertilization in the first place or affect ovulation. It is not strictly clear whether GRRM intends moon tea to function purely as an abortifacient or if he also imagines that in Westeros it can also prevent impregnation in the first place, but for the purpose of the game it is not strictly necessary to know. It does seem as if the most common usage is to drink moon tea after one suspects a risk of pregnancy, rather than to prevent one. Baelor, of course, does not look kindly upon moon tea. Not only does it potentially allow for inappropriate behaviour but it also kills babies. Given this, selling moon tea or the ingredients needed for moon tea is not acceptable in King’s Landing. Anyone doing so risks fines or even expulsion from the city. Nobles will in some cases have access to maesters (though far from all houses will have maesters present in King’s Landing), but keep in mind that maesters serve a house and answer to the lord of that house. If the lord’s wife is trying to prevent pregnancy without telling her husband, she’s as unlikely to get moon tea from their maester as an unmarried daughter who is having an illicit affair. The result of this is that if your character needs access to moon tea, you need to clear that access with staff as you cannot simply assume that it can be obtained. You will need to put in a +job, explain what you need the moon tea for and propose a way to obtain it. This holds true for characters in Dorne as well, even though it will be easier to propose an acceptable way of obtaining moon tea there as there are no strictures like those in King’s Landing imposed on Sunspear. Furthermore, characters using moon tea will agree to use a random roll (exact format being worked on) on a monthly basis to determine whether it has been working or not. While we see that some characters put great trust in moon tea in the books, it is clear that it cannot be 100% effective since there are a good many bastards in the setting and far from all of them wanted. Visit the Site!
  3. Becalmed

    The wind does not stir, and has not done so for three days, now. Blackwater Bay is calm, a gray sea covered by a gray fog. Ships lie in that bay, and at the docks, waiting for a breath of air from the west to carry them out to sea, and to begin the long journey to Dorne. In the halls of the Red Keep, it’s said that Lord Velaryon consults daily with maesters. The septons gathered at Baelor’s behest to join the fleet (it would not do to leave any sailor, man-at-arms, or knight without the solace of spiritual council) join the king each day in prayer… but some worry that among them are those less sure of the righteousness of the Iron Throne and Dorne joining forces to win the Stepstones free of oppressive Pentos, and that their prayers hope that the stillness will eventually lead the septon-king to reconsider. And as men wait, they grow bored. Scuffles and brawls among sailors have become more common about the Mud Gate, and patrols of the City Watch have been increased in the area following claims that women of questionable morals and piety have taken to selling their bodies in the back alleys and cribs despite the king’s ban on such fornication. Some captains of the fleet have taken to keeping their men aboard ship, guards posted at the gangways, while others seem less concerned. A week past, three war galleys from Storm’s End arrived to be commanded by Ser Sarmion Baratheon, the Stormbreaker, but soon after their arrival it was said that he and Oakenfist had quarreled when the fiercesome knight announced that on his lord brother’s vessels, at least, there would be no Dornishmen. (It was a brief quarrel, however… for Lord Alyn acquiesced to the demand, after consulting with Prince Viserys.) In far away Dorne, wind is no problem, at least. At Sunspear and the Planky Town, spears have begun to gather at the Lord Protector’s command, even though there are those at court who still argue against this plan to have Dornish spears be carried to war on Targaryen ships. The yards are busy, for all that, with knights practising at arms, their thirst for glory outstripping the doubts of some. Among them, perhaps surprisingly, is Prince Rhodry, the youngest son of the Lord Protector… and that may be a cause for concern, some say, for his giving in so readily to his father’s plans might well indicate he means to cause trouble when it is least expected. Not, of course, that he pretends to respect the likes of King Baelor—when word reached Dorne of the king’s concern for the virtues of the ladies of his court, Rhodry was heard to remark that perhaps they should institute such a policy in Sunspear, and that of course he was the man to conduct (thorough) investigations. Suffice it to say, Ser Quinlan was not amused. And in the Stepstones? Pentos has fortified its positions, and hired more sellsails and sellswords to defend their holdings, even as their emissaries to the courts of Westeros seek to dissuade King Baelor and the Lord Protector of Dorne with promises of more equitable conduct in the narrow sea and of improved trade… and careful threats as well, of debts recalled and loans withheld. Too late, of course, and much too little beside: a fool’s hope, when so much has been set in motion. As soon as the wind gathers strength, the galleys and cogs of the royal fleet shall set sail. Visit the Site!
  4. The episode guide for “Book of the Stranger” has been updated with Linda’s video review of the episode, as well as a book-to-screen analysis and a few of HBO’s extras such as the “Inside the Episode”. More content to come, and keep an eye out later this week when Linda and I will return to discussing A Song of Ice and Fire in a video that will be at least tangentially related to the events of the episode. In related news, our fourth Death Poll received a result as well, as our Twitter followers made some shrewd guesses. Congratulations to @marisaog, as well as to @aimieyig since the first death poll had no winners. This leads to the next poll, for “The Door”, which is once again for our Facebook followers once again. To enter, simply like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess as a comment on this post. One chosen winner will have a choice between the Dark Horse Deluxe Hodor & Bran figure and The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection. Visit the Site!
  5. We just closed the third Death Poll, and it’s on to the 4th poll! The fourth round of the Death Poll—which will be about guessing deaths for the fourth episode, “Book of the Stranger” —will be open to our Twitter followers. The prizes on offer in this new iteration of the contest will be the choice between the Dark Horse Deluxe Hodor & Bran figure and The Lands of Ice and Fire poster map collection. What do you need to do to enter? Simply tweet @westerosorg a guess as to who will die in episode four, making sure to include the hash tag #gotdeathpoll4! Guesses made anywhere else do not count and it is one guess (meaning one name, or “no one”, per person; note that deaths in flashbacks do not count!) Visit the Site!
  6. The episode guide for “Oathbreaker” has been updated with Linda’s video review of the episode, as well as a book-to-screen analysis and a few of HBO’s extras such as the “Inside the Episode”. More content to come. We’ll include the video below, for those who want to get at it now. Keep an eye out later this week when Linda and I will return to discussing A Song of Ice and Fire in a video that, Linda tells me, will be at least tangentially related to the events of the episode. In related news, our second Death Poll received a result as well, as members of our forum took a stab (hah) at guessing who’d meet a horrible end in the episode. We’ll be posting about the fourth death poll very shortly, although this one is once again for our Twitter followers... and since no one successfully guessed for that episode, this time we’ll select two lucky winners (provided contestants actually guess right this time!) read on >>> Visit the Site!
  7. The episode guide for “Oathbreaker” has been updated with Linda’s video review of the episode, as well as a book-to-screen analysis and a few of HBO’s extras such as the “Inside the Episode”. More content to come. We’ll include the video below, for those who want to get at it now. Keep an eye out later this week when Linda and I will return to discussing A Song of Ice and Fire in a video that, Linda tells me, will be at least tangentially related to the events of the episode. In related news, our second Death Poll received a result as well, as members of our forum took a stab (hah) at guessing who’d meet a horrible end in the episode. We’ll be posting about the fourth death poll very shortly, although this one is once again for our Twitter followers... and since no one successfully guessed for that episode, this time we’ll select two lucky winners (provided contestants actually guess right this time!) read on >>> Visit the Site!
  8. A few days ago, we posted about the documetary Fair Game, from journalist Miodrag Zarkovic, which features interviews with other journalists, academics, and fans (including Elio of Westeros.org) discussing the critical landscape around HBO’s Game of Thrones. The release of the documentary is forthcoming, but the Internet Remembers project has now posted the first 7 minutes of the documentary on Youtube as a teaser. You can see it below: Visit the Site!
  9. The first week may have stumped everyone, but for the second Death Poll we had quite a few correct guesses and so we have picked a winner and contacted them via Facebook. Congratulations! The possible correct answers for the second episode were of course Balon Greyjoy (long overdue), Roose Bolton, Walda Bolton (nee Frey) and Baby Bolton. The third round of the Death Poll—which will be about guessing deaths for the third episode—will be open to our Forum members, so if you’re not already signed up you will need to get that sorted out to have another chance at winning. The prizes on offer will be the same as for the first Twitter & Facebook rounds— one of the new Funko Dorbz figures or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms—and then we will change it up for the next three episodes. What do you need to do to enter? Simply make a guess as to who will die in episode three and post it to this forum topic. Guesses made anywhere else do not count and it is one guess (meaning one name or “no one”) per person. Visit the Site!
  10. Serbian journalist Miodrag Zarkovic, who some may know from his critical articles and essays on Game of Thrones, has started a new project: documentary filmmaking. On his new site, Internet Remembers, Zarkovic has released the trailer for the first documentary under that banner. Titled Fair Game, Zarkovic examines the collision of the Internet with cultural phenomena Game of Thrones, with an eye toward the critical landscape around it. In the course of this, he interviews professors, journalists, entertainment lawyers… and, as it happens, one website owner by the name of Elio García. Here’s the trailer for Fair Game, which is due to be released in the coming months via Vimeo: More information when we have it, but those who are intrigued by the project have the option of donating financially to Internet Remembers, to help fund this and other, future projects! Visit the Site!
  11. Well, it seems HBO managed to provide quite a surprise in the first episode, as no one correctly guessed any of the three characters—Doran Martell, Trystane Martell and Areo Hotah—who meet their end in the season opener. We’re not the least surprised that no one guessed Doran or Areo, though admittedly Trystane might more easily have been seen as being in danger, albeit from Cersei rather than his cousins. So, for the first week, there is no winner. But, never fear, there’s nine weeks to go and plenty of characters available to kill. For the second episode, please like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess (one per person!) on this post as it goes live on the Facebook page. From those who get it right, we will randomly select a winner who will have a choice between one of the new Funko Dorbz figures (not yet out, but the first wave will include Daenerys, Jon, Ned, Tyrion and the Night King) or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Visit the Site!
  12. Well, it seems HBO managed to provide quite a surprise in the first episode, as no one correctly guessed any of the three characters—Doran Martell, Trystane Martell and Areo Hotah—who meet their end in the season opener. We’re not the least surprised that no one guessed Doran or Areo, though admittedly Trystane might more easily have been seen as being in danger, albeit from Cersei rather than his cousins. So, for the first week, there is no winner. But, never fear, there’s nine weeks to go and plenty of characters available to kill. For the second episode, please like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess (one per person!) on this post as it goes live on the Facebook page. From those who get it right, we will randomly select a winner who will have a choice between one of the new Funko Dorbz figures (not yet out, but the first wave will include Daenerys, Jon, Ned, Tyrion and the Night King) or a hardcover copy of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Visit the Site!
  13. Faith No More

    There are those who say that King Baelor has asked Grand Maester Clement to convince the Citadel that doves would be as reliable as ravens, and more pleasing to the gods beside, and the Grand Maester has dutifully experimented. From the drum tower of the Grand Maester, ravens still fly… but sometimes, too, white doves beat their wings to race away bearing messages (some have found their way to stoop on eaves and roofs of the city below Aegon’s High Hill, their messages apparently not so urgent; and a few besides have found their way into bowls of brown in Flea Bottom.) Still, the Grand Maester tries. These are not the only changes wrought in the realm by the septon-king. Whores are still outlawed in King’s Landing, and so too are the poisons that some hedge wizards and woods witches use for evil ends. And still, the king’s great concern for the virtue and piety of the city remains, and his efforts to safeguard them grow more extreme. Courtiers say the king has spoken long with the High Septon, and has been seen praying most devoutly to the Mother and the Maiden in the royal sept, and now there are whispers that in the chambers of the small council the king speaks of being told by the gods that there is too much fornication in the realm, against the will of the Seven. And so he has begun to prepare a new edict—against protest from the master of coin, Beron Buckwell, it’s whispered—that would lift all taxation from men with maiden daughters… provided they were to fit their daughters with chastity belts until the day they wed. For now, it is only a thought of the king, and he may well be dissuaded; the Grand Maester has joined Buckwell in speaking against it, for one, letting the king know that such contraptions risk causing serious harm to the womanly parts of the maidens so constrained. But that is a policy for the realm entire, and the king is known to at least sometimes heed his councillors despite the voices of the Seven in his ears. Policy for his city, however, is quite another matter. And so the latest gossip runs rampant through the halls and yards of the Red Keep: fewer and fewer are the maidens brought to court ever since Baelor assumed the crown… and now it seems that those who are present will be required to regularly prove their continuing maidenhood, examined by holy septas chosen by the High Septon. Already the princesses in the Maidenvault have been examined. Though the king had no doubts as to their chastity, he felt it seemly that if his rule was good for the daughters of his knights and lords, so too must it be good for his own sisters and their companions. And now, they say, the septas approach the king’s guests and courtiers with maiden daughters, sisters, or other kinswomen at court, to arrange matters. Visit the Site!
  14. One of the more interesting licensing endeavors by HBO—collaborating with Pyrrha to create jewelry inspired by the houses of the series—has become even more interesting now that Pyrrha has announced a new line of Game of Thrones talismans focused on the characters. Here’s the press release: PYRRHA ASKS GAME OF THRONES® FANS TO SHOW THEIR ALLEGIANCE WITH NEW CHARACTER TALISMANS ICONIC JEWELRY BRAND’S 2016 GAME OF THRONES COLLECTION FEATURES THREE FAN-FAVORITE CHARACTERS LEADING INTO SEASON 6 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 21, 2016 (Vancouver, BC) – As Game of Thrones fans gear up for the world premiere of the hit series’ highly anticipated sixth season on April 24, Pyrrha adds to the fervor by releasing three character talismans in partnership with HBO Global Licensing. Since introducing their distinctive interpretations of the seven houses of Westeros in 2014, Pyrrha’s handcrafted designs have been showcased at numerous festivals and conventions including SXSW and San Diego Comic-Con, and fans have responded enthusiastically. Pyrrha’s new line of Game of Thrones talismans features quotes and imagery made famous by the memorable characters that spoke the words. These fan-favorites will continue to play a role in the battle for the Iron Throne as they journey through Westeros during season six. “A Lannister always pays his debts.” – Tyrion Lannister “Valar morghulis.” – Arya Stark “Fire cannot kill a dragon.” – Daenerys Targaryen “The Pyrrha studio team are passionate Game of Thrones watchers, so this new line is a very collaborative effort,” said Pyrrha designer, Wade Papin. “We went through several rounds of design revisions before settling on the most powerful interpretations that would resonate with fans. Plus we have additional characters in the works, so stay tuned.” Starting at $218 USD, the Pyrrha for Game of Thrones character talismans are now available online in reclaimed sterling silver or bronze. The complete collection is also available at the Pyrrha flagship store in Los Angeles. About Pyrrha Pyrrha designers Danielle and Wade Papin have been creating signature talisman jewelry in their Vancouver, Canada studio since 1995. Using time honoured, old world techniques, Pyrrha is handcrafted with reclaimed metals and conflict-free stones and features authentic wax impressions and imagery from the Victorian era. Each talisman is designed to inspire the wearer with its symbolic meaning culled from heraldry. The iconic talismans have captured international attention and are embraced by celebrities and style icons around the world. Pyrrha can be found at leading boutiques globally and at the brand’s flagship store in Los Angeles, California. About HBO Global Licensing HBO Global Licensing officially licenses the HBO® brand for the development and merchandising of innovative product lines inspired by the network’s award-winning programming. With products created around hit series like Game of Thrones® and VinylSM as well as classic series like The Sopranos®, Sex and the City®, True Blood® and Entourage, items include fashion apparel, figures, jewelry, digital and CD soundtracks, prop and costume replicas, games, books, and beverages, as well as exclusive, premium collections in partnership with upscale, designer brands. Merchandise can be purchased in retail stores nationwide, at http://store.hbo.com, and at the groundbreaking HBO retail hub, the HBO Shop®, located at 42nd and 6th Avenue in New York City. HBO Global Licensing products are also sold internationally across Europe (http://www.hboshopeu.com), Asia and Australia. Visit the Site!
  15. HBO’s on a roll in the lead up to Sunday’s premiere of Game of Thrones, first announcing that the show—as well as fellow programs Veep and Silicon Valley—had all been renewed through 2017. That’s not surprising for Game of Thrones, but the fact that it’s only a single season pick-up is quite interesting since if HBO and the show runners have agreed on the “eight season” plan mooted in recent articles, one would expect that an eighth season pickup would also be announced. Possibly this is all pending contract negotiations, but there seems room for some variability in the final shape of the show as it approaches its end. Shortly after this announcement, HBO released nine new high-resolution images from the premiere episode of the season. The image above is one of them, and the rest can be found in our image gallery. Visit the Site!