Westeros

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  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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!
  11. The episode guide for “The Battle of the Bastards” now includes Linda’s video review of the episode, plus HBO’s various video extras and more. We’ll embed the review below: And as has been tradition this season, we’ve had a result (quite a lot of correct guesses, as you can guess) for our death poll on the forum for the episode! Congratulations to board member “Elaena Targaryen” who was one of the many to guess one of the major deaths! This now leads us to the final poll for the season, for “The Winds of Winter”. This one’s special because we’ll open it to all three venues: our Facebook Page, our Twitter, and of course the ASoIaF Forum. And yes, this means you can enter three times, with three different guesses if you want, though only one guess per venue. To enter, share a guess at a named, recurring character who dies in the season finale (sorry, “Bald Sparrow #4” doesn’t count!) Only one guess per person per venue. Also, no flashback character deaths need apply! To enter on our forum, just post to the thread about this post in the Game of Thrones News sub-forum (we’ll provide a link shortly). To enter on the Facebook page, just post your guess in the page post about the final poll. Finally, to enter on Twitter, just tweet your guess to @westerosorg while adding the hash tag #gotdeathpoll10. We’ll collate all the guesses and choose one random winner from those who guessed correctly! Oh, and the prizes? Besides a choice between the A Game of Thrones 20th Annviersary Illustrated edition (note: not yet published) and the A Game of Thrones: The Board Game 2nd Edition from Fantasy Flight Games, Linda and I will also send a signed copy of The World of Ice and Fire. Good luck! Visit the Site!
  12. Arrival

    Ravens had flown from the Broken Arm to Sunspear, to report the first sighting of the Iron Throne’s fleet of ships that had come not in war, but in peace and alliance. Longships were dispatched from Sunspear to meet the vessels and escort them on to the Planky Town where the Lord Protector had raised thousands of men to provide an army for that fleet to carry to war. Though the court and lords of Dorne are nervous—as are at least some of the leaders of the fleet (the Stormbreaker’s demand that no Dornishmen set foot on his own vessels comes to mind)—and a handful nurse secret (sometimes not-so-secret) anger at this unlikely alliance. Doubtless this is the cause for the guard at the Planky Town being tripled, in readiness for what trouble may ensue when the fleet resupplies and begins to take aboard the Dornish spears to finally dislodge the Pentoshi from the Stepstones and restore peace in the narrow sea… Provided, of course, riot or arson do not destroy the nascent alliance before it can put out to sea. Visit the Site!
  13. Our episode guide for “No One” has now been updated with Linda’s review of the episode—including an amusing bit which we decided to leave in, when our dog Breeze decided to wander by and it wasnt’ clear whether he was going to demand some attention or not!—which we’ll embed below: Besides that, we also had results with our 8th Death Poll, and have contacted the two randomly-selected winners who correctly guessed if any characters would die this episode, and named one of them correctly. This means we’re now launching a pentultimate ninth Death Poll for “The Battle of the Bastards, and this one returns to being exclusive to the A Song of Ice and Fire Forum. read on >>> Visit the Site!
  14. HBO has released Season 3 and Season 4 of its limited edition Steelbook Game of Thrones blu-rays, and they’ve kindly given us a look at these particularly interesting editions. The primary difference between these and the regular Blu-ray sets are in the packaging, first, which was designed by Elastic (the same guys who brought us the famous Game of Thrones intro). This packaging echoes that introduction, but gives it a bit of style to transfer to this very 2D medium. Oh, and each one features a collectible magnet (the Frey sigil and a Night’s Watch emblem referencing a raven and Longclaw), which is a nice touch. The other, and perhaps bigger difference, is the actual content of the Bluray. It has all the same material as the previous Bluray set in terms of featurettes and commentaries, but for those who are audiophiles it has a special treat: the episodes have been remixed to use Dolby’s Atmos system. For those who have an Atmos-compliant sound system, that means that when a dragon breaths a gout of flame, the Atmos decoder will be able to process that sound and place it spatially in a way that makes sense. Instead of a simple decision about “left”, “right”, “center”, Atmos speakers can direct the sound to “move” appropriately. It’s a bit hard to explain, but our review of the S1 and S2 Steelbooks may help give more of an idea. We didn’t have a chance to test these Blu-rays on an Atmos system this time around, but we’re going to guess an episode like “The Rains of Castamere” or “The Watchers on the Wall” are going to benefit quite a lot from the Atmos technology. The Season 3 and Season 4 Steelbook Blu-rays are now out, both online and in retail stores! Visit the Site!
  15. Our episode guide for The Broken Man is now updated not only with a book-to-screen analysis but also HBO’s video extras for the episode as well as a rather earlier-than-usual written review of the episode. Unfortunately, the illness that hit me last week and prevented our mid-week A Song of Ice and Fire video has now hit Linda, leaving her without a voice and not feeling too well. So, no video review today, and maybe not for a couple more days. Our apologies! In the mean time, we also had a fun result with the Game of Thrones death poll, as a few people correctly guessed whether anyone would die this episode. We’ve picked a [email protected] are now on to Death Poll #8! This is the Facebook edition of the contest. To enter, simply like Westeros on Facebook and make your guess as a comment on our post on the page about the contest. Acceptable guesses include a single, non-flashback named and recurring character, or simply “no one”. Multiple guesses will be discarded. Because the last Facebook contest failed to turn up any winners, we’ll select two winners if possible from a random draw of all those who offer correct guesses. As to the prizes? Winners can choose either the Iron Throne Construction Set from McFarlane Toys or A Feast for Ice and Fire. Good luck! Visit the Site!