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  1. HBO has posted two videos, with the hashtag #ForTheThrone, to promote the 8th season. In the process, they confirm expectations that the final season will premiere in April, 2019. The first is more of a direct tease, a montage of key moments from across the seasons: The second, with a “spoilers ahead” warning, is actually from “A Golden Crown”, the 6th episode of the first season: View the full article
  2. Westeros

    New Webclient

    We have installed a new webclient for the MUSH which can be found at http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Portal/ For the time being, it will supplement rather than replace the existing webclient (found at http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Client/), but we recommend that those who have characters on the game use the new webclient and not the old one. With the new one, you are not automatically logged in as a guest first but can login straight to your character. It will be very helpful for our greeters if we don’t have a bunch of “false” guests connecting. The new webclient is a work in progress and there are some of the standard menu items that do not work with Blood of Dragons. But we are collaborating with the developer and hope to see this evolve quite a bit in the future. If you have any suggestions or any feedback, do let us know. Visit the Site!
  3. HBO and Danielle Nicole have partnered to create a line of Game of Thrones handbags and accessories. This 18-piece collection will feature backpacks, pouches, wristlets, and more featuring the devices and colors of the Lannisters, Starks, and Targaryens. Launching November 8, 2018, the collection was also inspired by the costumes featured on the show, as well as the dragons and direwolves regularly seen in the series. “For overall inspiration, we turned to the show’s main characters’ costumes, personalities and mythical creatures. We drew upon the fundamentals of the show , which resulted in a dark and romantic collection combined with plenty of dramatic flair,” said Danielle Nicole founder and designer Danielle DiFerdinando. “Since Game of Thrones already has such iconic style and influence on today’s fashion, we used the show’s costumes for direction in designing the pieces. We wanted each material, detail and embellishment to be a direct reference to many of the looks you see in the show.” “ Game of Thrones fans are always looking for new ways to represent their love for the show and their favorite characters ” said Jeff Peters, VP of Licensing and Retail at HBO. “With Danielle Nicole’s new bags and accessories, they can carry their fandom out into the streets and represent the show in their own personal looks”. Each piece is made with non - leather materials and will be available starting November 8th at Boxlunch.com and on December 8th at Danielle-nicole.com. Prices of the collection range from $18 to $88. View the full article
  4. We were in the midst of writing up our post about yesterday’s big casting news that the splendid Naomi Watts had been cast for the pilot of the Game of Thrones successor/prequel, tenatively titled The Long Night, when news broke of a second lead actor being announced: Josh Whitehouse, a British actor that fans of Poldark (as we are) will recognize as the romantic, tragic Hugh Armitage. There’s no information to speak of of Whitehouse’s role in the series, but the EW piece by James Hibberd did share this about Watts’ character: ”[Watts’s character is] a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.” “Socialite” has raised eyebrows among fans, as the sort of society that has a “fashionable” or “high” society doesn’t seem like it would fit a Bronze Age-like era as described in the novels. Some interesting thoughts have been put forward, such as her character actually being from Essos and one of the more advanced civilizations that existed there while Westeros was near to barbaric. For my part, I’m guessing that the term is being used very loosely to indicate a character who has made many alliances through personal connections, a “peace-weaver” if you will, after the fashion of the Anglo-Saxon conception of noblewomen binding feuding tribes together through marriage and through their conduct as hostesses and advisors. But we’ll have to wait and see. Responding to the news, George R.R. Martin weighed in with the expectation that there’d be more announcements soon (as there has been) and the fact that “a couple” of the pitched projects are still being developed, one or more of which may relate to Fire and Blood and its history of the Targaryens from Aegon I to the regency of Aegon III. The word “couple” might well suggest that of the four or five pitches made to HBO, a couple have now fallen by the wayside. Whether this includes Bryan Cogman’s pitch, which we know involved GRRM closely, we do not know but his recently announced overall deal with Amazon does suggest it. View the full article
  5. Back in August, we shared the news that HBO had teamed up with Nerial to bring its popular mobile game series, Reigns, to the world of Game of Thrones. Today is the launch date for the game, which is available at the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, and on Steam. We’ve had the opportunity to play it in beta, and were very impressed by the way it boiled down elements of the series and its characters to its deceptively-simple gameplay. At heart, it’s a strategy game where the player takes on the role of a monarch from the world of Game of Thrones as they’re faced by choices which become increasingly perilous because the player has to strike a balance between the four pillars of their reign—military power, the Faith, the people, and money—so as to avoid a messy and premature end to their reign. And while this is going on, “winter is coming” in the form of the white walkers and their wights. There’s a fun metatextual narrative, and some interesting quirks to the gameplay. I’ll say we’ve completed the game, but there are character cards and achievements we haven’t yet come across so even when you’re “done” there’ll likely be some things left to explore. But enough of that. We’ll be live streaming some initial gameplay, and taking questions on the game, the books, the novellas, the TV series, and more for anyone who wants to drop by! View the full article
  6. Westeros

    The Prodigal Returns

    Princess Daena has been found. Or, rather, Princess Daena has returned, for the princess—missing for several moons, causing a great uproar in the royal household and the king’s court, and many a fervent prayer from King Baelor—appeared at the quays on the Blackwater Rush. Her hair was dyed black, even to her brows, but the imperious violet eyes and the way she spoke was enough to make the customs sergeant she presented herself to uncertain, taking her to his superior, and from there rumor spread and a great commotion began. A motley troop of watchmen were quickly gathered to escort her, as word of her ran like wildfire and throngs appeared to gawk at her. Had she been kidnapped and stolen away across the narrow sea? Had she taken refuge in Dorne? Had she found the secret lairs of the children of the forest beneath the ground? None could say, but she looked as mortal and earthly as any woman might, she seemed fit and not having lived a harsh life of toil or abuse, and she surely still had her confidence as she kept her head high despite all those who watched and slowed the pace of her escort. By the time she had reached the Red Keep, most of the court had turned out, and the king was there to sweep her up in an embrace, tears on his cheeks as he praised the Seven again and again, saying that the vision they had sent him had been right and true. That vision? The need for dragon eggs, long left virtually forgotten in the vaults of Dragonstone. The king had only lately sent Lord Velaryon on a ship to fetch some of the old eggs, for the king said the Seven had shown him that with prayer they would hatch, and his sister would return. Her uncle, Prince Viserys, seemed more curious as to what had happened to her, and where she had been; after all, his sons had repeatedly been part of search parties chasing after vague rumors and claims, but neither Aegon nor Aemon found anything… and they were but two of many guards and knights who had devoted themselves to attempting to find her. But Daena had no answer for Viserys, or indeed anyone at all. She seemed not especially pleased to be back in the Red Keep, and it was with marked coldness that she said she was ready to return to her cage. What the king made of it, who could say? He directed an escort, and commanded maesters and septas to make sure she was well and comfortable in the keep with her sisters. And indeed, at the mention of her sisters Rhaena and Elaena, Daena softened a little. Some who went with her to the threshold of the Maidenvault swear that her gaze softened, and in fact there were those who said that as she passed through the shadowed gates that tears had begun to gather. Tears of joy? Few who know Daena think so. Visit the Site!
  7. Took awhile for us to get this edited together, but we have our promised 2nd video covering the rest of our trip to Northern Ireland, with a focus on the 2nd annual Winterfell Festival atCastle Ward. Our first post, and video, can be found here. Once again, our many thanks to the National Trust, Castle Ward, Giant Tours Ireland, Winterfell Tours, and The Cuan. We’ve one more video from our trip left to share, about 15 more minutes of a second talk with Ian McElhinney. The first talk we edited (and the only complete one) is already online. View the full article
  8. HBO and Diaego have announced a partnership to bring Johnnie Walker to Westeros with a collection of nine whiskys. One of the most striking, visually, is the limited-edition White Walker blend best served out of the freezer… and with a special thermochromic ink on the bottle that changes according to temperature. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau had a chance to enjoy it, though normally speaking Jaime Lannister would rather not face a White Walker. read on >>> View the full article
  9. The Iron Bank’s business with Dorne appears to have been settled at last—at least, as evidenced by the departure of the bank’s envoys to the Planky Town and away across the narrow sea on a purple-hulled galley. They had largely retreated to the manse they leased from a merchant, and saw few visitors… but occasionally they accepted invitations to dinners and feasts with guildsmen and traders and even lords and ladies of the realm. Yet on these occasions they revealed almost nothing about what had made them come to bring pressure to bear on Sunspear, saying only it was a matter for the Prince of Dorne and that the Iron Bank required discretion in all things. Speculation, as always, ran wild, but even Prince Maron revealed little enough. Instead, courtiers watched who had audiences with the prince, and who took part in closed sessions of the prince’s councils. The rumors that developed were a welter of confusion: that the powerful noble houses that had taken over loans for struggling merchants had tipped the scale in favor of the Martells, or that in fact they had made the bankers angrier at seeing their leverage over Dorne lessened; that Amalea Parnel’s marriage to an orphan of the Greenblood was attended by the bankers, or that in fact they had loudly rejected an invitation to attend; that Ser Mavros Uller, once an exile across the narrow sea, had proved invaluable in resolving the situation… or that an agent he had dispatched across the narrow sea was little more than an assassin, sent to try and murder the exiled former Sealord of Braavos. The only thing that could be said with any certainty, in the aftermath of the departure of the bankers, is that Uller seems to have steadily climbed in Prince Maron’s esteem, much as the knight had been in the confidences of the prince’s father. Marence, for his part, remained well out of the way of his son, and if he consulted with him it was only briefly. Indeed, the former Prince of Dorne, still weak of body and easily tired, has begun to make plans to return to Starfall again as a guest of Lady Dayne. Some say that Prince Maron has begged his father to stay longer, to help him with his sage advice, perhaps even to assist him in finding a betrothed—many indeed are the young maids of Dorne who have found their way to the court, hoping to catch his eye as their mothers and fathers hope to make a royal marriage tie—but it seems the Marence will not be dissuaded. Even with the court buzzing with the fact that Prince Maron has been examining all parts of his court quite closely, meeting with courtiers both high and low, has not made Marence seem any more likely to pause his departure even as his son seems on the verge of making some decided changes to his court. Many of the oldest and most experienced courtiers, in particular, seem to expect that the young prince will want younger men and women about him… And away in King’s Landings, matters are different: the court is stable enough, its crowned head less so. King Baelor is in the throes of agony over the disappearance of his sister Daena, who escaped the Maidenvault to parts no one knows where. Searches have been made in all parts of the Red Keep, with wild rumors claiming a pair of guards who were sent to examine one of Maegor the Cruel’s old hidden passages have not been heard of since and are presumed to have lost their way or perhaps even fallen into some trap that bloodthirsty king of old had had placed there. Rewards have been posted in King’s Landing for information, and though many have come forward with claims both plausible and wild, none have advanced the search. Companies of the Watch have been sent beyond the City Walls, ravens have been sent out to castles and towns and keeps, lords of ports have been commanded to double or even triple their guard to more closely question anyone who seeks passage, knights have vowed to quest throughout the Seven Kingdoms without rest until the princess is safe returned… and nothing. Daena appears to have vanished. Her sisters and her ladies can provide no more information than they have, it seems, or at least King Baelor will not allowed them to be pressed further (it was suggested that the Lord Confessor might question them more closely, but this step was one the king would not countenance, and indeed Prince Viserys soon after dismissed the knight who made the suggestion from the king’s service). The king can do little, but pray. He hardly eats, they say, and has passed sleepless nights hoping the Seven will guard his sister wherever she is, and deliver her from whatever evil has taken her away. Of good news, there has been little enough: matters in the narrow sea are calm, though the merchants of the Seven Kingdoms have wondered at the rumors from Dorne and Braavos regarding the Iron Bank, and the realm at large is at peace. The establishment of Princess Mariah at court has gone with little trouble, and there was some cause for celebration when it was announced that she was with child but the king would have no feast for the occasion, instead offering a mass of thanksgiving and blessing before returning to his prayers for Princess Daena. Visit the Site!
  10. By some fortuitous timing, HBO went ahead and announced some big news yesterday, namely that they’re establishing Game of Thrones Legacy attracations which will place key sets in place at relevant filming locations in Northern Ireland. This means sets used for Castle Black, Winterfell, and King’s Landing, and perhaps others, will become official attractions. We’ll include the full press release below… but first, our first video from our visit to Northern Ireland the weekend before last, with a couple of Game of Thrones filming locations and some other notable sites along the way. If you have headphones on, beware there’s some noise from water and wind that may need you to turn things down a bit: Next video will be on the Winterfell Festival itself! And if you missed it, here’s a taste of that, a Q&A with Ian McElhinney. Now, on to the press release: read on >>> View the full article
  11. As part of our weekened getaway to Northern Ireland, Linda and I attended the Winterfell Festival held at Castle Ward. Among the events and activities were Q&As and interviews with Mark Addy (King Robert) and Ian McElhinney (Ser Barristan). Below is a video of one of the two public events Mr. McElhinney attended, discussing his career, horsemanship, and of course Game of Thrones. View the full article
  12. Westeros

    News Roundup

    We’re back from having spent the weekend in Northern Ireland, looking at the sites and enjoying the Winterfell Festival. We have a lot of photographs and video from the trip, including a Q&A with Barristan Selmy himself, Ian McElhinney. For some sneak previews, make sure to check our social pages at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Of course, while we were away, there was some Game of Thrones-related news of note that we thought we should quickly cover, including some remarks from George from the red carpet at last night’s Emmy awards. See below for the quick news roundup! read on >>> View the full article
  13. As we’ve previously reported, Linda and I have the pleasure of attending the Winterfell Festival this Sunday at Castle Ward, famed as a shooting location for Winterfell and a number of other places in Game of Thrones. Now, the National Trust has published the full programme, starting with an opening ceremony with Game of Thrones‘s Ian McElhinney who’ll be around for a Q&A and meet and greet. Besides McElhinney, fans will have the chance to see and meet Mark Addy, visit swordsmith Boyd Rankin who’ll have weapons from Game of Thrones on display, witness the stunt riders of The Devil’s Horsemen joust and perform feats of horsemanship, see dogs used as direwolves on the show, and many more GoT-inspired activities and entertainments. Including archery, as it happens: Linda and I plan to photo and video across the day, and hope to get in some interviews with performers and visitors alike. If you see us, feel free to say hello! View the full article
  14. Westeros

    A Journey Ended

    News of Princess Daena’s escape from the Maidenvault arrived in Dorne just as King Baelor prepared to return to King’s Landing, and though he prayed for a swift wind to blow the fleet home, Lord Velaryon’s ships maintained a good, steady, but unremarkable pace as they crossed the Sea of Dorne, and Shipbreaker Bay, and finally beat against contrary winds to pass through the Blackwater. At certain points, the fleet sent swift, small galleys to resupply and to find out if there were any word of the princess, and to relay the king’s commands to have the City Watch do all it could to recover his sister. Yet there was no news, and all the efforts seemed so far for naught. When the king arrived, there was some ceremony, but Baelor seemed more interested in learning what news there was of his sister than anything else, and he was escorted to the Red Keep where he meant to pray for Daena’s return in the comfort of the castle’s sept. Indeed, many efforts had been made to discover what had happened, led by members of the small council, by officers of the City Watch, and by the Kingsguard who had remained in the city while the king was away to Dorne. Her sisters and ladies were questioned, and it became clear that Princess Elaena had been the ringleader in helping the defiant Daena abscond from the Maidenvault. Yet despite pleas and reasoned arguments, the princess and the ladies held firm in saying they did not know where Daena intended to go once she slipped the Maidenvault, nor how it was she was able to escape the Red Keep itself. The search for her has gone from the filth of Flea Bottom to the ruins of the Dragonpit and even the high streets upon the Hills of Rhaenys and Visenya, and the watch on the gates have been tripled. And still, nothing. Rewards have been announced, each more desperate than the last, and searches have now gone well beyond the walls of the city, searching the roads to Duskendale and Maidenpool, following the Blackwater Rush, rummaging through the villages spreading like a quilted blanket about the city. The search has even extended into the kingswood, led by Prince Aegon, who had been away hunting when urgent word was sent to him of Daena’s disappearance. Having been tasked with helping to prepare the hunting lodge of the late King Daeron for his namesake, Prince Daeron, and his Dornish bride, once apprised of the situation he insisted it was like as not she had made to hide herself away in the woods once she escaped the city, for every time she escaped before remaining in the city had been her undoing. In particular, he asked that the Sea Watch send ships to villages along Blackwater Bay, and especially to any known smuggler’s coves, and suggested that the same be done by the deputies of the Warden of Crackclaw Point to make sure that Daena did not hide herself away amidst the lawless bogs and hills until a ship could take her away to Seven-knows-where. And away in Dorne? Many seemed happy enough to see the backside of King Baelor and his enormous following, but others wondered what would come next. The Iron Bank was still putting obscure pressure on the new Prince Maron, and rumors were rife that Sunspear would not resolve the concerns of the bankers before they began to withhold credit to Dorne’s merchants and lords. Some noble houses had banded together to help attempt to alleviate the concerns, extending loans by which merchants could get out from under the demands of the bankers, but without the Prince of Dorne opening the treasury, these efforts are a mere stopgap if the bankers shut their bank’s doors to Dorne. One effect of the Iron Bank’s presence seems to have been the expedited marriage of Amalea Parnel, the daughter of a family of Braavosi bankers, to an orphan of the Greenblood, and her leaving Sunspear for Planky Town with an escort of the palace guard. And all this has been a distraction for another whisper passing among the courtiers: that Prince Maron soon planned to make changes to his court. Visit the Site!
  15. On September 16th, Castle Ward—a National Trust site in Northern Ireland which has famously served as a location for Game of Thrones—will be hosting a Winterfell 2018 event which will feature a number of entertainments, including displays by the Devil’s Horsemen who’ve worked on the show’s horse stunts for years, a display of weapons from the show made by Boyd Rankin, and more. And among that more is the newly-announced inclusion of Mark Addy—King Robert Baratheon himself!—to be part of a Q&A session. (Atop of all that, Linda and I will also be present to report on the event, but we’ll have pens handy if anyone wants to lug their copy of The World of Ice and Fire over there to get our autographs.) See below for the full details in the press release, explaining how to get a ticket to attend the Q&A with Addy, and providing more information about the event: read on >>> View the full article