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  1. After seven days, of preparation of the body by the maesters and then lying in state in the royal sept, King Viserys’s body was moved to the outer yard of the Red Keep and placed upon a great bier. In days now long past, it was the custom that a dragon would set a king’s bier and body alight, but the dragons are gone and only a torch—carried by the new king, Aegon—was used as the solemn court watched. The only notable absence was Princess Naerys, said to be too affected by the death of her father to show herself publicly. But a different rumor has run through the court, and has been all but confirmed: that the princess is once again with child, a fact that would have been formally announced had Viserys not passed away. There are concerns that the blow of her father’s death combined with her already-delicate health may put her in peril, explaining all the more why she has kept to her bed. Her son and good-daughter were there to see Viserys’s body committed to the flames, with their companions and household, and so too were the members of the small council, officers great and small, and even Lord Baratheon had managed to make the journey from Storm’s End to pay his respects. About the king were his councillors and companions, chiefly, among whom was Lord Bracken, who has become a fixture with the king… and s too has his daughter Barba, once a companion to the princesses in the Maidenvault. There are rumors there, as well, regarding the young noblewoman and the king… And speaking of the princesses, all three of Viserys’s nieces were present, even Daena the Defiant and Elaena despite their quarrel with the king over Lord Alyn Velaryon’s banishment to Volantis as an alleged envoy. Some had wondered whether King Aegon would send a message to Driftmark, to attempt to reach Velaryon and recall him, but it seems Aegon’s respect for his father’s decision led to his refusing any arguments to that end. When the flames finally grew cold, servants were sent to collect the ashes and bones, with septons repeating prayers and blessings. The remains were transferred into a costly reliquary, hastily commissioned, and was escorted by two of the Kingsguard—the Lord Commander Prince Aemon and Ser Jaesin Lannister—and the septons to the incomplete great sept that Baelor commanded to be made. Shortly after, the king arrived in a litter with most of the rest of the Kingsguard and a great part of the court, the crowds having lined the streets to see him descend from the Red Keep to witness the burial of Viserys’s remains. The High Septon himself was there to oversee the ceremonial burial within the great sept’s floor, near to where Baelor’s ashes lie. And with that, the deed was done. At Aegon’s behest, the next days would be devoted not to mourning but to celebration, leading up to his grand coronation. Feasts and frolics are planned, and there are rumors a tournament will be announced to attract the best knights of the realm. But the great lords and courtiers are less concerned with that, and more about what comes next as the new, young king, a man of very different appetites and interests and experience, decides just what his court, and his realm, will look like. Visit the Site!
  2. Two days earlier, Lord Alyn Velaryon took his leave of the court and of Westeros after his sojourn in the dungeons. He had been commanded by King Viserys to depart forthwith to Volantis, to serve as an envoy to the courts of the triarchs there, although it was widely understood that this was simply a more politic way to put him into exile. His Grace left it an open question how long this embassy would last, and Velaryon seemed resigned to it. Not everyone was, however: Princess Elaena was said to have locked herself in her rooms in protest, and her elder sister Daena had attempted to cajole first Velaryon and then her cousin Prince Daeron into making efforts to convince the king to rescind his command. Oakenfist would not heed her, and Prince Daeron showed no willingness to fight with his grandfather on this subject, not least when Princess Mariah revealed her own lack of sympathy for Oakenfist’s plight (the result, no doubt, of his role in the conquest of Dorne carried out by her husband’s namesake, King Daeron the Young Dragon). Velaryon departed on his flag ship, _Laughing Dragon_, in the evening, setting sail first for Driftmark to quickly put his affairs there in order before sailing on. For fear of the king’s wroth, only a smattering of courtiers—many of them officers of the fleet—were at the docks to see him off, though the smallfolk of the city were there in large numbers for Oakenfist had always been well-loved by the commons. A day passed, and another. The king’s court resumed to its usual business, with Viserys himself working nigh from dawn and into the night on the many tasks he had set before himself to improve the function of the court and the laws. He met with the small council to discuss a replacement for master of ships—at least on a temporary basis—and met with a party of masons to discuss progress on the giant, unfinished sept on Visenya’s Hill, as well as sundry other tasks. Some still wondered when he would name a Hand, while others were sure that Viserys intended to have none because he believed he needed none. If he had any challenges, it was in his family and nieces—rumors of Prince Aegon’s latest affairs were never pleasant, and a particular one had become more incessant, concerning Lord Bracken, and especially Lord Bracken’s daughter; and Daena’s continuing refusal to name Daemon Waters’s father (though many believed they knew who ti was), while making it plain to all who would listen that she believes her uncle has most grievously erred in sending away Velaryon, all while Elaena sulked. The king did manage to bring his kin together for something like a civil private meal, although it ended earlier than planned after an outburst from Daena after Aegon egged her on. Viserys withdrew to his chambers, to read through accounts from the treasury after dismissing his guests. It was in the middle of the night that a sound from his chamber led Ser Kenric Darry of the Kingsguard to enter the king’s bedchamber, thinking he had been summoned. What he found was the king having fallen out of his bed, moaning and incoherent. The knight attempted to help the king rise, but his left side seemed dead to all feeling, and Darry called for help. Ser Sorin of Sevenstreams helped him put the king to his bed, and swiftly they summoned maesters, while sending word to the small council and the rest of the king’s family. Despite their swift intervention to try and help the king, it was for naught: despite ministrations of learned maesters and prayers from septons, septas, and the king’s own daughter, he passed away a three hours later, as the sun was rising over the city. So ended the reign of King Viserys, Second of His Name. And thus began the reign of King Aegon, Fourth of His Name. Visit the Site!
  3. UK Production News, a database for film productions in the UK which has proven to be a reliable source of information, has updated as of yesterday with information concerning the production of House of the Dragon, which reveald yesterday its first lead casting. First reported by Redanian Intelligence, a website focused primarily on The Witcher but which has kept a close eye on other genre productions, the database was updated to show two things: that the main production hub would be Warner Bros. Leavesden Studio complex and that plans now seem to begin filming in late 2020. Redanian Intelligence‘s report shows the full listing of information from the database as of yesterday, but a visit today shows that it was updated with one more piece of information, that the first season is 10 episodes, which was reported back in July when the straight-to-series order was announced. So, no apparent change there. read on >>> View the full article
  4. From EW’s James Hibberd (whose Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon [paid link] is now out), HBO has revealed the first actor cast in next year’s House of the Dragon: Englsh actor Paddy Considine, known for a variety of roles including Edgar Wright comedies and, most recently, HBO’s The Outsider. According to the report, he has been cast to play King Viserys I Targaryen. read on >>> View the full article
  5. It was on the 9th day of the 3rd month that Princess Elaena was brought to the birthing bed, belly great with child, and it was on that same day that she was delivered of her burden. It was a surprisingly swift labor, and she weathered it well for one so young and put through such extremities, for a midwife soon announced after the bawling baby boy was expelled form her wound that a second child, a twin, was on its way, a baby girl. Both seemed healthy and well-made, missing no parts and unblemished, their eyes purple like their mother’s… and their father’s. Lord Alyn Velaryon, the master of ships, was permitted to visit the princess with her newborns. Indeed, he was permitted to remain in King’s Landing for seven days by the grace of King Viserys, whom had known him from his youth. Oakenfist, that great hero and explorer, much loved, was thought by some to be immune from Viserys’s lasting anger at this violation of his niece (willing though it was, on her part, and almost assuredly aided and abetted by her companions and perhaps even her sisters). Lord Velaryon even attended two meetings of the small council, though in both cases Viserys was not on hand and it was instead Lord Ryger, master of laws, who presided over the discussions. In the past week, Lord Velaryon has been free to visit Princess Elaena and her infant twins, who have been named Jon and Jeyne Waters. It’s said he gave to her some gifts, treasures from his journeys, as tokens of affection. There are even thoughts that he may ask to wed Princess Elaena; it’s said he was seen speaking at length with one of the Most Devout, perhaps seeking his counsel over the obvious, nearly-unprecedented difficulties such a proposal might suggest. Regardless, what’s clear is that despite the difference in ages, if Lord Alyn were to ask her hand, Princess Elaena would most certainly be in favor of the match. Others at court, and indeed great lords beyond the court, are decidedly less convinced. And King Viserys? Until the matter is put to him, he holds his own council. Visit the Site!
  6. Deadline has reported on an interview with Casey Bloys, the president of HBO, following HBO’s strong showing at the 2020 Emmys. Towards the end of the article, Deadline reports: read on >>> View the full article
  7. Hello everyone! RL has continued to hold us in a very firm grip. We have not had time to get the planned coding tasks completed for a mini “relaunch” at the ascension of Aegon IV. Instead, we will simply go ahead and start scheduling weekly scenes with the intent of driving things forward in a more hands-on way. To begin with, these scenes will take place on Saturdays at 14.00 Game Time (see +time) and will alternate between King’s Landing and Sunspear. We will add reminders to +events and we’ll try to get logs up for each one as well. Visit the Site!
  8. We’ve reported previously that James Hibberd will be publishing an in-depth oral history of Game of Thrones—filled with new interviews and never-before-heard anecdotes from behind the scenes—titled Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon. Over at EW, a lengthy excerpt has been posted sharing a wide-array of comments from producers (Benioff and Weiss first and foremost, as well as Bryan Cogman), actors (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Jason Momoa, Mark Addy, Iain Glen), and executives (most notable Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler) concerning the original pilot which was heavily reshot by Tim van Patten, including recasting of several key roles. There’s some decidedly new details just in this short excerpt, which bodes well for the rest of the book’s insights. Below are a couple of quotes from GRRM himself that are interesting. read on >>> View the full article
  9. According to the BBC, borough councils in County Down, Northern Ireland, have given permission for the Linen Mill Studios Game of Thrones tour experience which was first announced in April. It seems the global pandemic has delayed plans, as the original notion had been to open over the Spring in 2020, which obviously did not happen. The tour will essentially be a permanent exhibition of sets, props, and costumes with interactive elements at the studios that were used for some of the filming of the production (most notably one or more ship sets were made on site). read on >>> View the full article
  10. This past October, Boyd Rankin—who served as armorer on Game of Thrones from its pilot through its 4th season, and even appeared as Winterfell’s blacksmith Mikken—passed away at the age of 73. An expert in historical arms, Boyd brought a great depth of knowledge to the early years of the production and helped create some of the most iconic weapons of the show. Now, his widow Lynne Williams has decided to part with a number of weapons and props he created for the show that remained as part of his property. Thanks to The Wolf and the Crows Youtube crew, which includes famed extra Andrew McClay, these will be sold via a live auction livestream. Among the items to be sold are various leather belts, a variety of house banners and flags, “Hero” daggers from Benjen Stark, Brienne of Tarth, and Jon Snow (this being the dagger used through season 8 and which Jon uses in the final episode of the series), a prototype of Needle, the Hound’s back sword, and (most notably of all) the original Ice used by Sean Bean in the first season (particularly for the beheading scene). Instructions for submitting bids can be found here, and the live stream is already scheduled for October 4th on Youtube. View the full article
  11. Devolver Digital Games, who have previously published the charming Reigns: Game of Thrones, are at it again with a Game of Thrones-themed mobile game. This time, That Silly Studio has developed Game of Thrones: Tale of Crows which has been released as an Apple Arcade exclusive for subscribers to the iOS service. The particular genre of mobile game—an “idler”—means that actions and decisions are made periodically, sometimes after hours or even days of nothing in particular going on. read on >>> View the full article
  12. These are strange times in King’s Landing, with a scholar from far, mysterious Yi Ti having captured the attention of half the court, rumor of new conflicts stirring in the Free Cities, unrest at the king’s continuing failure to choose a Hand to share some of the burden of all the tasks he has set for himself and his reign. All seems well—or seemed well, in any case, until an unexpected discovery set the court into chaos: Princess Elaena, the king’s niece, was with child. The uproar that followed cannot be overstated, so soon after her elder sister Daena herself had already given birth to a fatherless bastard. King Viserys himself was heard to shout at her in her apartments, a thing rarely seen in him since the blush of his youth had left him. Why he grew quite so angry was explained in time by two facts. First, it transpired that not only Princess Elaena was pregnant, but that she was many months so, having conspired with certain maids (and, it is rumored, one or both of her sisters) to hide her condition for as long as possible. Second, and most troublingly, she did _not_ decline to name the father, as Daena had done in her defiance. No, she proudly named him, and did not recant when pressed to make sure she was not making wild tales. The name she gave? Lord Alyn Velaryon, Lord of Driftmark, master of ships, far-famed admiral, royal kinsman… and more than thirty years her elder. Suffice it to say, tongues wagged, and if Viserys shouted at Elaena, he roared at Velaryon. There were those who thought Velaryon might be clapped into chains and consigned to the black cells, or at least sent into exile . . . but no, these things have not happened. Not yet, in any case. For Elaena, it is said, threatend to do herself harm if her lover (who at least had the honor not to deny it) was sent away, and that even the Grand Maester counselled the king similarly. And so a kind of stalemate exists: Lord Velaryon remains at court, but his duties on the small council are dealt with by a deputy who speaks for him, and otherwise he stays well away from the king; and the king has left Elaena in the care of septas and maesters until she gives birth to her child. In far away Dorne, a much more minor scandal has developed. After months of searching and negotiating and courting, the young Prince of Dorne had finally found his bride: the lady Lorinda of House Manwoody, sister of Lord Aryard Manwoody. To many, this was a surprise; fair enough she may be, and well-born enough to be sure, but it was said that she had been born sickly and was slight and frail to this day. Some at court spoke of love, not duty, having grown between them, and perhaps that is so. Regardless, with the announcement of their betrothal, many in the realm looked on with envy at the fortunes of House Manwoody, holding the wardenship of the Broken Arm and now soon to provide the Prince of Dorne’s consort. Visit the Site!
  13. The unexpected sight of sails from the east, sails belonging to royal galleys flying royal banners, caused a stir in King’s Landing. More than a moon before, Aegon, Prince of Dragonstone, had sailed with his household and hanger-ons to take possession of the ancient seat of House Targaryen with its walls and towers shaped by Valyrian magic. He had done so, all said, at the behest of his lord father, Viserys the Second of His Name, and all agreed that the prince was not greatly enamored of the notion. Though he did as he was bid, it was clear he had no love for Dragonstone. The prince spent little time with his lady wife, Naerys, and even less with his good-daughter, the Dornish princess Mariah, who carried her first child with Prince Daeron. Instead, his companions and courtiers took up what little entertainment they could find, whether it was debauching themselves in the inns and brothels of the port, or feasting in the sorcerous citadel. And even those pleasures, eventually, grew tiresome. One day Prince Aegon announced that he found Dragonstone too gloomy, and commanded preparations be made to set sail that next day. Before he departed, he made a sudden change, removing old Ser Ganen Bar Emmon as castellan on Dragonstone unceremoniously and replacing him with Ser Wellard Sunglass, nephew of nephew of the master of coin Beron Buckwell who many believe was being considered by the king as his Hand. The welcome at the docks of King’s Landing was without any pomp—a few gold cloaks, grooms with horses dispatched from the Red Keep, and little else—and Prince Aegon rode to Maegor’s Holdfast. The king, it must be said, was not best pleased by his son’s early return, accepting it grudgingly only after speaking privately with Princess Naerys. Little more came of it, Prince Aegon continuing with his rakish ways, much the happier in the royal city. Eventually Princess Mariah and the rest of the courtiers returned to the city as well. Visit the Site!
  14. In the months since Prince Aegon’s return from Dragonstone, he has carried on with his ways, and so has King Viserys. His efforts to improve the running of the realm has continued apace, adjusting the codes of laws, arranging for new mints, reorganizing some of the royal household, and more. But the small council, that he has not touched—so far. Rumors are always rife, that he means to make changes to better suit him and the Seven Kingdoms, yet so far he has declined to make any immediate choice. After all, this small council has largely been of his own choosing, men he has known long as Hand to three previous kings. And speaking of the Hand… when will that office be filled? There are rumors he means to name Beron Buckwell, and others that he means to name Terin Ryger, and even one (rather foolish, most agree) that he will name Lord Baratheon. It’s true the king meets often with individual members of the council, and treats privily with lords great and small, but it is hard to make much of it. The realm is not consumed by questions of influence and power at court—there has been other news. In the crownlands, feats of arms have been of great interest, with a number of tourneys forming a circuit throughout the land. Some count the first of these as the celebratory hastilude celebrating the marriage of Rymella Meadows to Ser Rynos Prester (won by the famed tourney knight, the lady Rymella’s goodbrother Ser Joffrey Caswell), but the richer prizes began with the tourney at Rosby, won by the King’s Scales, Ser Burton Crakehall. An even grander tourney took place at Duskendale, wherat the Dornish knight Ser Aidan Dayne defeated the royal steward Ser Conrad Arryn for the prize. The circuit continued beneath the eaves of the kingswood, with great pomp and pageantry to the delight of the lords and ladies who watched the proceedings, and once again the King’s Scales carried the day. The grandest tourney of them all, however, was outside the walls of King’s Landing, with hundreds of knights and squires jousting over two days. Many great feats of arms were done by the likes of Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, the fiery young Ser Quentyn Ball, the splendid Ser Joffrey the handsome, and more… but it was the Knight of the Twilight, Ser Aidan Dayne, who won the rich prize and crowned his northron lady wife as the queen of love and beauty. The gods smiled on him, as it smiled on other victors. And they smiled as well on the court, for soon after the Princess Mariah was carried away to childbed, and gave birth to her second son, Aerys. It was a joyous occasion. But as the gods give, so can they take: not long before, news from the west reached the court, naming the passing of the ancient Lord of Crakehall, Jonos. A giant of the westerlands, high in the regard of Lord Lannister, he had seen many kings come and go through his long and noble life. But now he was dead, and it fell upon his eldest grandson Ser Burton Crakehall to take on the mantle of lord. He did so with the king’s blessing, and with his blessing he ventured home for a time, to see to the affairs of his grandfather and to do homage to the Lord of Casterly Rock. Visit the Site!
  15. A friend in Belfast brought to our attention this breaking news from the Belfast Telegraph, revealing that HBO has served notice that it will no longer be holding on to its lease on the sprawling Paint Hall studio complex following the wrapping up of the “Long Night” prequel. ‘ More importantly, however, the article indicates that NI Screen was aware that the House of the Dragon prequel series was definitely or at least unlikely to be filmed in Northern Ireland, which is a shock to some but perhaps not to others: read on >>> View the full article
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