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  1. Westeros

    A Prince and a King

    It had not even needed the landing at the Planky Town for the royal wedding party to learn that there was a new Prince of Dorne: a Lysene ship on its way back to its home port shared the news as it passed, and there was much wonder and surprise. King Baelor led the day’s prayers with a benediction for young Prince Maron, and for his ailing father Prince Marence, as Viserys and others of his councillors quietly convened to discuss the matter. The next day, the fleet under Lord Velaryon’s command arrived at Planky Town, bearing peace when once his ships had brought war. Disgorging the royal party, the king was greeted by representatives of the new prince who escorted the king to the Planky Town’s fastness where he could rest. Much of the rest of the court had to make do with a few places in inns and hovels, or with tents pitched beyond the Greenblood’s east bank. The next day, a great parade of nobility followed the Targaryen king from the Planky Town, riding to Sunspear. The prince’s honor guard for Baelor was substantial, but there was no need for much of the way: the Dornishmen in villages along the way did not turn out in any great number, looking on with sullen and sometimes angry expressions. It was more of the same in the shadow city approached, until the sun-and-spear banners appeared in profusion above the grand company awaiting to escort the king through the Winding Walls. There was the new prince, Maron, who welcomed the king afoot, and there were his kinsmen and his chief councillors and many of the leading lords and ladies and knights of Dorne. But Prince Marence, the former Prince of Dorne and Lord of Sunspear, was not there. The prince and the king rode side by side through the Threefold Gates, into the Old Palace where the Sandship’s great hall was laid out for a feast. Words of greeting were spoken, and Maron asked the king to offer a prayer. At the high table was Prince Marence, who greeted the king as well, though he seemed drawn and sad and ate little of the bounty placed before him. At his side was his daughter, the Princess Mariah, and it was there that she would first have opportunity to speak with her betrothed, Prince Daeron. Beneath the high table, a deliberate effort had been made to place northrons and Dornish together in mixed groups. Some were seated with the lords and ladies who would act as hosts—the shadow city and Sunspear is no grand city, and the enormous number of noble guests meant that the Prince of Dorne—Marence at the time, but Maron reiterated the need—required the manses of the noble and the wealthy to accommodate some part of the guests and their households. Even so, outside the shadow city a town of tents has risen for the long tail of the royal party: men-at-arms, guards, grooms, pages, servants, and the like. Not since the Young Dragon’s host surrounded Sunspear has the shadow city seen so many people in and about it. In the days since, there have been many private meetings between Maron and Baelor, and Daeron and Mariah have spent time together under the watchful eyes of the gathered courts. Both king and prince alike speak of peace and look towards a bright future, but for many in the hall all they could readily remember was war and bloodshed, of kin and friends slain in battle, of fields and villages razed, of castles stormed. It made an uneasy feast. It was only in the days since that there have been flares of temper—a Caron man-at-arms chasing after a Dornish boy whom he claimed filched his purse was be pelted with stones and beaten with sticks and was saved only by the Prince’s shariffs; a group of Dornish squires who came with their knights harassed a pair of squires who had lingered too long in a tavern after dark, and in an alleyway stripped them of their clothes and sent them running naked to their encampment; and one guardsman for a westerlord was found dead with a broken neck, apparently having fallen out of a pillow house window. Prince Maron has had the Lord Shariff double the shifts of all his men, and to recruit more if needs be to keep the peace, while King Baelor has impressed upon his followers that the gods themselves are watching and that all men should follow the example of peace. And far away, in King’s Landing, the bells toll announcing the decision of the Most Devout, and the investment of a new Voice of the Seven on Earth. Doves wing throughout the Seven Kingdoms—to uncertain result, to be sure, at this experiment commanded unto the Faith by Baelor—to tell of the new High Septon… but they do not tell that even with one of the Most Devout whispering in his ear, he could barely say the words or lead the prayers that were expected to him, nor do they speak of the bitter factions that now exist among the Most Devout over the choosing of an unlettered stonemason at the king’s behest. Visit the Site!
  2. An interesting set of reports from yesterday touch on HBO’s future and the future of Game of Thrones. First, the Belfast Telegraph reports that allegedly staff at Paint Hall—the massive studio space used by Game of Thrones as its main base of operations for all of its seasons—have been told that the prequel pilot ordered back in June will begin filming this October. Suffice it to say, if true, this is a very fast production path by HBO standards. By way of comparison, the original Game of Thrones pilot was ordered in November 2008 but filming did not begin until October 2009—almost a full year after. And Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen show had a pilot order in September, and began filming in May, eight months later. If the Telegraph’s report is accurate, it’ll just be four months from pilot order to pilot shoot. But it’s important to stress that caveat—it’s entirely possible that October will see the beginnings of pre-production, such as set building, location scouting, and costuming, rather than actual filming. What can it mean, however, if this tight deadline really is true? We have two thoughts on it. read on >>> View the full article
  3. Reports from over the weekend reveal that the final scenes have been filmed for Game of Thrones season 8, the final season of HBO’s hit fantasy series. It’s been an extraordinarily long shoot, beginning on October 23rd of last year, meaning just over 8 months have gone into filming the last six episodes of the show. Maisie Williams has posted a farewell image on her Instagram which has caused a bit of a stir in and of itself: Though no air date has been announced, we do know from HBO that the show will not air until 2019. View the full article
  4. Westeros

    Of Sails and Crowns

    Near a fortnight since the royal fleet set sail from King’s Landing with the most precious of cargoes: princes and a king, to make a marriage to bring lasting peace to the Seven Kingdoms and Dorne. The journey, in the wake of he High Septon’s death, has been marked by the septon-king Baelor leading daily services aboard the royal ship in honor of the Voice of the Seven on Earth’s passing. The winds and seas have been kind, and the fleet has journeyed far as it passed the easternmost point of Cape Wrath. In King’s Landing, the Most Devout mourn the High Septon, to be sure… but they are also left to deal with the problem that the king left them, namely that he believed the gods themselves had spoken to him and showed to him who the next High Septon should be. Some of the Most Devout have balked at this, while some few have leapt to the same view as the king, leaving the stonemason he called the Seven’s chosen successor to the crystal crown most bewildered. One of the most ambitious of the Most Devout has taken him under his wing, sweeping him away from his kin and his labor to tutor him in matters of the Faith. Some say the man is even being taught to read, though to uncertain result. Those who refuse this choice try to start debates about selecting this septon or that one, but day by day they lose ground as the realization sinks in that Baelor has been the most mild and pious of kings… but if he learns that the Faith has defied him, who knows whether that Targaryen temper might finally show itself? And in Dorne… there has been a change, sudden and nigh unprecedented. Following his quietly-announced vigil, the heir to Dorne was knighted by his master, the famed Ser Aidan Dayne. And then his father, the Prince of Dorne, called a council of his chief councillors, including his father Ser Quinlan, the Lord Protector of Dorne. They met high in the Tower of the Sun, as Prince Marence informed them that his ill-health necessitated a change for Dorne. With his son’s coming to knighthood, it was time for him to step aside and for Maron to take up the rule of Dorne. To say that this was a shock to the Keepers of the towers, the Prince of Dorne’s brothers, the stewards and other high officers, goes without saying. Prince Maron entered after his father spoke, and it was clear that he had known all along. As to the Lord Protector of Dorne… those who watched him saw little surprise in his eyes, but they may have noted that only in the last pair of days he had suddenly become taciturn, as if he had had learned something of moment that he could not share… or, mayhaps, did not like. And so before the royal wedding party arrives, Dorne has a new Prince, and much of the realm all unaware. Visit the Site!
  5. The High Septon, Father of the Faithful and the Voice of the Seven on Earth, has been called to sit at the Father’s right hand in the golden hall which is his abode among the heavens. Knowing the end was coming, he had made peace with his time being done and instead spent his last hours with the king. Baelor prayed over him and gave him a benediction through tears, and swore he would do as the High Septon asked of him. The old High Septon, his spirit strong though his body was failing, extracted three promises from the king. The first was the simplest: Ser Peron the Pious was called so that he could kneel at the High Septon’s bedside, and accept his blessing as he recited the vows of the Kingsguard before the king, and swore to remain at the High Septon’s side by night and by day until his remains were interred. The second was not much harder: that the remains to be interred in the great sept even now climbing its way skyward atop Visenya’s Hill would be the High Septon’s own, once the silent sisters had stripped the flesh from his bones. And the third, the king had already committed to: to travel to Dorne without delay, to see Prince Daeron wed to the Princess Mariah, and seal peace between Dorne and the Iron Throne. It had become his dream, as it was Baelor’s, and he would not have it jeopardized by unnecessary delay. Even as the ships were being loaded and readied with supplies and scores of chests, even as the greater part of the king’s household and court made ready, the bells rang throughout the city marking the death of the High Septon. After, the king himself went to Visenya’s Hill, to look at the place he had chosen for the High Septon’s burial… and also to visit the stonemasons who had labored over the High Septon’s tomb, commissioned months earlier when the High Septon had begun to falter. But the king tarried there, speaking with one of the younger masons, the man who had been given the most difficult task of rendering the face of the High Septon himself. And what followed was nothing as was expected. Attended by the Most Devout, Baelor spoke to the man at length, and his remarks and his questions began to raise alarm. The stonemason, guileless, answered them all as best he could, and the king seem satisfied. He smiled, and thanked the man, and turned to the Most Devout and asked them to join him in prayer, to see if the Seven would show them what they had shown him. And so it was that even as the silent sisters received the High Septon’s body, the king made a singular suggestion as to who should become the new High Septon. Visit the Site!
  6. I’m off to the U.S. for the week to visit family, but ahead of that Linda and I found some time to sit down and (finally) record a video for the Youtube channel where we discuss the news (including comments from George R.R. Martin at Not a Blog) and consider just what the writer and prospective showrunner, Jane Goldman, brings to the table. Also, wild-eyed musings about whether she could convince her frequent collaborator Matthew Vaughn to direct the pilot… View the full article
  7. The marriage of Prince Rhodry Nymeros Martell to Tanyth Toland, a bare month before the more notable marriage of his niece Princess Mariah to Prince Daeron Targaryen, was a surprise to many. The announcement of the betrothal had been surprise enough, but the saga of it—with the prince’s disappearance across the narrow sea, only to return with not one but two women in his company—made many doubt the two would ever swear the holy vows. And indeed, while the Braavosi woman he brought back with him has been most in the company of the orphans of the Greenblood due to the promise of a good dowry from Sunspear’s own treasury, the other and more infamous woman, Samara Sand, has been seen most in the company of ... Prince Rhodry. Which, suffice it to say, has raised brows and fueled rumors of curious arrangements between the prince, his sword-wielding companion, and the woman known throughout Dorne as the Black Tempest. And yet the wedding took place on the appointed day, and without incident. The vows were said—though some might say, after, that the septon seemed to have elided some of the more ceremonious aspects of the ritual—and Rhodry and Tanyth were man and wife. Both had their kin there to witness the event, and many knights, lords, and ladies besides. But for the feast afterward, the wan, still-ailing Prince Marence excused himself, and the Lord Protector his father as well. Yet their absence was not too noticed, and the prince and his new bride presided over the festivities with its many courses. If the prince seemed to drink and eat more than he ought, and at times seemed ill-tempered on certain subjects or towards certain persons, well, that was his reputation. But to the surprise of many, the bedding itself happened with little in the way of ribaldry or even ceremony—the prince, seemingly in haste, simply led Tanyth away shortly after the last course. The morning of the tourney in celebration of the previous day’s nuptials brought a new wave of rumors, of a late night visit by a maester, and of a prince left decidedly unprincely by what some thought was too much wine, and others believed to be indigestion from one portion or another of the many courses. Regardless, that the prince had intended to ride in his wedding tourney was well known, but sitting there beside his wife was Rhodry, looking somewhat miserable and decidedly the worse for wear. Lady Tanyth, solicitous to his every desire, kept his cup well-filled… with water, that is (which might explain the misery). Yet despite the prince’s absence, it was a fine tourney with more than thirty knights and squires in attendance. The jousters rode to the final eight, at which time each was given a second chance to joust if unhorsed. Yet many thought that Ser Aidan Dayne, the Knight of the Twilight, would carry the day given his far-famed skill and the way he defeated one foe after another without difficulty. Others in the contest included the squires Digory Dalt and Mycah Sand, Ser Sebaston Vaith, Sunspear’s captain of the guard Ser Valerin Dayne (wearing the favor, many noted, of Allyria Allyrion), Ser Emeric Santagar, Lady Tanyth’s famous brother Ser Tamlyn, the heir to Yronwood and the prince’s good-brother Ser Farien Yronwood. All acquitted themselves nobly, though the septon’s bastard Mycah Sand seemed in an ill mood after falling to Vaith and Toland, while the other squire, Digory Dalt, rode to such success that he unhorsed Ser Tamlyn and many opined that it was high time he become a knight. At the end, it came down to Ser Aidan and Ser Farien… and to the wonder of many, especially Farien’s kin, the younger man unhorsed the great knight. Yet Ser Aidan had gone undefeated until then, and took his second chance to finally seize the prize to the acclaim of the crowd. Lady Tanyth presented him a woven crown to present to his queen of love and beauty, and many expected him to give it to his beautiful, remote Northern wife, Lady Aisling of House Ryswell. He even started to turn to do so. But all saw her shake her head, a signal that it was right and proper that the bride to be celebrated should wear the crown, as she had done from his hand before. And so Tanyth of House Toland was the day’s Queen of Love and Beauty. In the feasting after, the prince was still denied wine, and was testy. Yet a late gift was presented to him and his wife that drew some attention: a pair of tapestries woven by Tanyth’s cousin, Iona, one celebrating the Black Tempest’s joining the defense of Ghost Hill against Alyn Oakenfist’s besieging forces, and the other celebrating Prince Rhodry’s most famous (or most infamous, if asked of those beyond the red mountains) deed: the killing of King Daeron I Targaryen, the Young Dragon. Visit the Site!
  8. Big news today, thanks to EW: HBO has ordered a pilot to be filmed of one of the several successor shows that have been in development, and we have a lot of details to go with it. The pilot will be from Jane Goldman, who has previously given hints about what she was working on. And the new report shows that yes indeed, there’ll be magical creatures of some kind in her work… Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know. While some fans mused going that far back, we admit, it was something we considered quite unlikely because it’d surely give a vastly different feel to the setting. But HBO seems to have been quite intrigued. And, as the EW article notes, this doesn’t necessarily mean HBO is done with pilot orders, as the article notes, “ources say the other four prequel ideas are still under consideration.” It should be stressed this is a pilot order, rather than a greenlight straight to series. HBO is known for being careful with productions, and often ordering pilots, many of which never end up being made. But it’s another step closer for there being some sort of Game of Thrones spinoff in 2020 or later. View the full article
  9. Westeros

    The Call of the Seven

    The High Septon is on his death bed. Maesters have been sent to his side, even the Grand Maester at the request of King Baelor, and all agree that age and the ailments that come with them have taken their toll; the Seven are calling one of their own home at last, to sit among the just in the Father’s golden halls with all those who have come before. The Most Devout have gathered, and prayers from septas, poor brothers, and more can be heard in septs throughout the city. Baelor himself has taken to spending much of his days and nights at the High Septon’s side, reading to him from the Seven-Pointed Star and other holy tracts. Some say he hardly eats, and does so only at the High Septon’s urging. Some have feared that the king might wish to delay the marriage of Prince Daeron to the Dornish princess Mariah in light of the High Septon’s failing. But indeed, the High Septon has insisted otherwise, making the king swear that when he is called to the bosom of the Seven, the king will see it as a cause of celebration rather than grief, and that the binding of Dorne to the Iron Throne through the marriage would be a blessing to the realm. The High Septon, despite his fading strength, insisted that the king go and act as septon to the prince and princess, joining them in holy wedlock. And so the king shall do. As to the question of the High Septon’s successor, it is said that some of the Most Devout have approached the king to discuss the matter, but Baelor has refused to hear them, saying that the gods will provide guidance when the time is right. And so the realm waits, and in the Red Keep preparations are made for the court to travel to Dorne. Already at the docks are more than a dozen galleys, chosen by Lord Velaryon for the task of escorting the wedding party to Dorne. And there are whispers that a new white cloak is being readied, for the long-awaited seventh White Sword. Many speculate they know who the king will name, but the most common rumor—seemingly given impetuous by the High Septon’s own failing health—is that the king has become convinced to name a good and upright knight to the Kingsguard, a man known for piety as well as courage: Ser Peron Stone, called the Pious. Visit the Site!
  10. For those with a 4K monitor or television with internet capability, HBO has released a short, sweet 4K trailer for today’s release of the Game of Thrones Season 1 4k Blu-ray. We’ve discussed the details of this release in our initial post, but suffice it to say the 4K scenes featured in the trailer look very detailed indeed! You can see the trailer below: (And for those wondering, we’ve wrapped up our own contest for two copies of the UHD release! Congratulations to Al and BransNotTheNightKing!) View the full article
  11. As previously reported, HBO is preparing to release the first season of Game of Thrones in 4k Blu-ray format on June 5th. In time with that, we’re pleased to announce a contest to win a copy of the Blu-ray! This contest is, first off, US only! But that said, there’s two of these Blu-ray collections on offer. You’re allowed two entries, and only two, one each for Facebook and one for Twitter. To enter via Facebook, post to the comment thread of this very post either directly at Westeros.org or via the Westeros Facebook Page. To enter via Twitter, simply reply send us a reply to the tweet about this post on the Westerosorg timeline. Winners will be chosen on the 5th of June, with the sets sent out on June 6th. View the full article
  12. In interview with The Indian Express, award-winning writer and director Brian Helgeland shared some thoughts on his work on one of five (or perhaps four) possible successors to Game of Thrones following its final season. This makes the second screenwriter attached to the successors to talk publicly about their work, following Jane Goldman‘s comments in an IGN interview last year. The first take away: fan speculation that Helgeland had moved on, due to his being attached to write and direct a new film, seems to have been mistaken. read on >>> View the full article
  13. Amazon is now listing the Game of Thrones season 1 4K, Ultra HD, HDR Blu-ray set. It was announced earlier this month. See our post at the time for more details, including commentary on the resolution the show was shot at across different seasons to have a better understanding of the source they’ll be working with. Of course, a 4K release will mean one big advantage: a higher bitrate, which will mean a lot more detail perserved even in the case when they’re upscaling from 1080p. View the full article
  14. Culturefly has unveiled their second subscription box in their Game of Thrones series, as well as its theme: the North and the Lands Beyond the Wall. You can glimpse hints of what exclusive items the box will contain at ”>their page, which seem to include the inevitable Stark-branded item, as well as what we’re guessing are artworks depicting giants and wights, and what may be a sculpted weirwood. A couple of months ago we had the pleasure of unboxing their first entry in the series, which you can see below: read on >>> View the full article
  15. A press release from HBO announces that for the first time ever, Game of Thrones will get the 4k treatment. Available from June 5th, the first season of Game of Thrones will be available to be purchased as 4K Ultra HD Bluray or 4K digital download. Bonus features all sound like the same from the original season 1 DVD release. We’ll have the full text below, but it’s worth noting that the first season was recorded to HDCAM-SR tapes in high bitrate 1080p. The next two seasons were also shot at 1080p, and only the fourth and following seasons were shot at the 2880p resolution. So far as we know, VFX for at least the first four seasons were all done at 1080P as well, and it’s unclear if that has ever changed. Long and short of it, this and any future 4K Ultra HD Blurays are going to be upscaled to 4K rather than be native resolution, although they should gain substantially from the higher bitrates the media allows. Here’s the press release below: read on >>> View the full article
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