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  1. Westeros

    Long Live the King

    The remains of the blessed King Baelor, the septon-king who had brought peace to the Seven Kingdoms and Dorne with his gentle piety, were given to the flames in the courtyard of the Red Keep in the watches of the night. A solemn ceremony, beginning from his death when the silent sisters were charged with the tending of the body and following through with seven days of lying in state and vigils by the knights of the Kingsguard, culminated in the king’s corpse being placed on the bier, a crown of flowers upon his brow. He had wasted away in his long fast, and there was little flesh to his bones, but even now some said he seemed greatly at rest, a beatific smile upon his lips. In attendance was much of the king’s court, the boy High Septon and the Most Devout, and many others besides. Most notably missing, however, were the king’s sisters, the three princesses in the Maidenvault. When the remains had become little but ash and bone, they were collected once cool enough, placed in a gilded reliquary. A grand guard, led by Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and a small army of septons escorted the king’s remains through the city, where many thousands of Kingslanders had turned out along the ways and streets to get a last glimpse of their beloved king, who had loved them best of all the Targaryen kings within living memory. And trailing behind this funeral march, with their own guard, were the princesses Daena, Rhaena, and Elaena, at last leaving the Maidenvault (with permission) wearing dark veils. Many whispered to see them, and some wondered if Daena the Defiant would claim her brother’s throne, she who had once been his wife and queen. They say Rhaena was the only one to openly weep, when that solemn company reached the bare bones of the great sept Baelor said the gods desired, where the reliquary containing Baelor’s remains would be entombed. And after? The procession returned, the princesses were placed once more in the Maidenvault after having been kept at a distance from any who might have approached to speak to them. But only for a little while. Within the hour, a smaller gathering were summoned to the throne room, and where the late king’s uncle, the Hand, Prince Viserys, was crowned by the boy High Septon. Hailed as Viserys, the Second of His Name, he accepted the fealty of all those gathered there, one by one placing his hands about theirs, hearing their vows. At the end, three Kingsguard knights entered, and with them the three princesses. The king, seated high upon the throne, let all know that he wished to restore to them the freedoms that they had once had, and that he would make marriage contracts for them so that they would never be alone. One by one, beginning with Elaena, they came before him. He stepped down the high steps of that perilous throne. What words might have passed in private then are unclear, but what was clear enough was the portent here. First Elaena knelt, and Viserys accepted her fealty. Then Rhaena. And then, after a long tense moment, Daena’s. It was done. The Seven Kingdoms had a new king, and one who had made sure none of his brother’s surviving children would contest his claim. Visit the Site!
  2. Westeros

    A King’s Collapse

    King Baelor, the First of His Name, the renowned septon-king whose zealous piety has brought peace between the Seven Kingdoms and Dorne, has collapsed. On the fortieth day of his fast, an act of penance to attempt to right the wrong of his defiant sister Daena’s birth of a natural son, the king was praying in the late hours of the night before the Father in the royal sept, bent down on hands and knees in show of abject humbleness, when a novice of the sept replacing candles cried out at seeing Baelor sink forward, and then fall onto his side. Ser Peron the Pious and Ser Aleyn Florent were outside the sept, guarding its doors, and rushed in at the cry. Baelor, little more than skin and bones after a moon and more of letting nothing pass his lips but water and bread despite the urgings of his friends, councillors, and kin, was carried away by the Kingsguard knights to Maegor’s Hodlfast as the novice was sent to rouse the maesters. Since then, there has been little word, but Prince Viserys has gathered all the maesters in the castle, and the Grand Maester with them, to tend to the king. It is rumored that the king does not wake from his stupor, and efforts to rouse him with wine and honey on his lips have no effect. Septons, too, have gathered, most praying devoutly outside Maegor’s Holdfast, standing their own vigil . . . but then the High Septon came, the boy the king himself commanded to be raised to that august office, and with him a host of the Most Devout. They were ushered into Maegor’s Holdfast. Some have taken heart at this: King Baelor swore the boy could work miracles, and mayhaps his little hands will bring the healing grace of the Seven. Visit the Site!
  3. At the end of September, the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will perform at the Santa Fe Opera. Santa Fe happens to be George’s home turf, and as it happens this performance will be extra special because it’s being put on as the first major fundraising event for the Stagecoach Foundation, founded by GRRM to advance education and opportunities in the film and television field in New Mexico. Net proceeds from the event will be donated to the Stagecoach Foundation, and to entice attendees some very unique opportunities are being offered as part of various VIP packages which include a pre-show meet and greet with both George R.R. Martin and award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi as well as a photo opportunity. Some additional goodies listed below, according to the various tiers. VIP Front Row Meet & Greet Tier: ticket, signed leather-bound set of A Song of Ice and Fire, two passes to Meow Wolf, and a Faceless Man coin. VIP Gold Meet & Greet Tier : ticket, signed Fire & Blood, two passes to Meow Wolf, and a Faceless Man coin. VIP Silver Meet & Great Tier: ticket, two passes to Meow Wolf and a Faceless Man coin. View the full article
  4. Westeros

    The King Fasts

    The new year has dawned. The realm at large is at peace. Dorne to the south lies quiescent under the rule of its new young Prince, his own sister establishing herself in the court of the Iron Throne as wife to the king’s young cousin. All is well, all is well… ... except, that is, the king himself. For Baelor the Blessed has fasted for a fortnight and more, ever since the birth—the lamentable, sinful birth—of Daemon Waters, the bastard son of his sister and former queen Daena. Daena the Defiant, she is called, and her son’s name was chosen in defiance to torment the king. “Daemon? Demon, she means, a demon of the seven hells, accursed with bastard blood!” So said one of the Most Devout, one of the aged holy men now in charge of the boy High Septon that the king picked to become the Voice of the Seven on Earth, but the king in a rare fit of temper sent him away from him and returned to his prayer and his fast. Baelor has fasted before, has performed miraculous (or mad, or both) feats in devotion to the Seven—who else would walk barefoot across the burning sands of Dorne in penance to make peace with Sunspear?—but now a score of days have passed and the king insists he will continue his fast until the Seven tell him to have done, that with sufficient piety mayhaps the Father will bless the child, or drive the nameless father to reveal himself and set matters aright. This will be his longest fast, drinking only water, abjuring even the smallest morsel of food, not even so much as a crust of bread. And so while the king fasts and prays, the small council must needs rule in his name. The Hand of the King has sat in judgement on the Iron Throne on the king’s behalf, and has steered the court to do all that is needful to maintain the peace. He has met with envoys from the Free Cities, and even lately recent arrivals from Dorne dispatched to King’s Landing to join the household of Princess Mariah. Even if the king labors at prayer and prayer alone, the realm seems in safe hands, protected until the septon-king is ready to lead once more. Visit the Site!
  5. Back in March, Adidas released a series of Game of Thrones-inspired Ultraboost sneakers in collaboration with HBO, and those six designs sold like hotcakes with many of the more in-demand sizes being entirely sold out at retailers and being sold with significant markups in the aftermarket. These shoes had been highly anticipated by fans of the show and sneakerheads alike, with teasers appearing months in advance… ... and then Adidas surprised many (even some dedicated followers of Adidas’s release schedules) by unveiling a seventh (of course) design, one that was not only distinct from the rest but also based on an entirely different model. HBO kindly arranged a review copy, though as it fell right during our vacation we’ve only had a chance to give them a good look now. read on >>> View the full article
  6. “Bloodmoon”—the likely-temporary title for the Game of Thrones prequel headed by Jane Goldman—has officially begun filming, according to a report from James Hibberd at EW. There were rumors filming in fact started last month, but those flew in the face of Casey Bloys and others indicating that June was the start date. read on >>> View the full article
  7. HBO has revealed that the Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection Blu-ray set will have what looks to be one of the most stylish, interesting collector’s boxes out there thanks to clever use of Robert Ball‘s signature artwork. A couple of videos have been released along with the announcement, as well as a detailed press release concerning the exclusive extras that are a part of the set, which is due to be released on December 3rd alongside the season 8 stand-alone collection sets (4K and regular Bluray/DVD) and a full complete collection without the limited edition packaging featured below. read on >>> View the full article
  8. Linda has roped me into discussing the final season of Game of Thrones, with an eye to discussing what the choices of the showrunners mean (or don’t) regarding George’s plans for A Song of Ice and Fire. We think it’s a lot murkier than some have taken it, but see the epic, near-2 hours video (with handy timestamps in the description to jump to particular characters of interest) to learn more: View the full article
  9. Westeros

    The Child High Septon

    The High Septon is dead—long live the High Septon! Barely a day since the internment of the remains of the former stonemason raised to the Seven’s Voice on Earth, and the Most Devout has made the swiftest election of a new High Septon that any man can remember. It was not one of the Most Devout, nor some famed septon, nor at least a septon at all—something to mark them as different from their predecessor, who could hardly say the words of a prayer without stumbling over them. No, instead this time the High Septon… is a child, a boy eight years of age, a draper’s orphan it is said. Why was he elected, though men five and even ten times his age were considered? Because the Seven spoke to King Baelor, that is why. The king had a vision when he heard the boy sing in a choir during the observances, that the beauty of his voice was surely a gift of the gods, and besides there was a light about him that was miraculous. The king’s own agents, he said, swore they had witnessed miracles from the boy, that he would hold forth in conversation with doves and that he could turn water into wine. And so the Most Devout bent to the king’s will with uncommon haste, unlike the delay and efforts to dissuade the king when he said the stonemason was to be the next High Septon. Of course, there are those at court who suspect a reason for the choice being made so quickly: that the Hand intervened with the most influential of the Most Devout, and that they had bargained out of the belief that a child as High Septon would be the safest course for the realm and the faithful ... and that he could be shaped and molded to be worthy of the crystal crown, and until he was old enough to excerpt his own judgement who could say who might advise him? Visit the Site!
  10. Westeros

    News of the Realm

    The wages of life for mortal men on the earth are good and bad both, and so it is for the realms of men: there is good and ill that happens in every corner and part of them, happy tidings and wicked, occurrences shocking and delightful, endings joyous and onerous. Of late, this last moon and more, has seen more of these of note in Westeros. A ship from White Harbor bore tidings of a great melee at Last Hearth which drew famed warriors from throughout the North, only for nigh a score men to be killed in the process, and many more besides sore wounded before all was said and done. The occasion for such a fracas, which was said to have raged over the better part of a day? The celebration of the nameday and betrothal of Lord Umber’s eldest daughter. Some say that some of the deaths at the melee were aggravated by hard feelings between certain Northern houses, and rumors of bloody private wars in preparation seemed allayed only by Lord Cregan, the Old Man of the North, calling for the belligerent lords to meet at Winterfell—a call none dared refuse, for though he might be old, he was still the feared Wolf of Winterfell. That news was followed hard on its heels by happier tidings in King’s Landing, when the Prince Daeron’s Dornish wife, the Princess Mariah, gave birth—with little difficulty—to a son. Great was the joy at court, and greater still when the king learned that his cousin wished to have him named Baelor as well, as he himself was named for the king’s late brother. The king ordered a modest celebration and extravagant prayers of thanksgiving to mark the occasion. News was dispatched to Dorne, to inform Prince Marence and his court of the princess’s safe delivery. Yet if her labor and birthing went well, the growing belly of the cloistered Princess Daena, in the Maidenvault with her sisters and her attendants still, has remained a great concern to the king. The babe she carries remains fatherless, for Daena has defied any efforts to convince or coerce her to name him. In the wake of this, King Baelor has become ever more zealous in his devotions. He has given rich alms, has visited the sick and impoverished, has even invited courtiers with him to perform acts of piety such as the washing of leprous feet (it’s said Lord Belgrave bathed in vinegar and wine at a maester’s suggestion after the experience, and found cause to return to his seat shortly after). It is Prince Viserys now, the Hand of the King, who more often leads meetings of the small council and sits in judgement on the Iron Throne, for the king is more and more occupied with prayer. And the king has cause to pray, for the latest news is the most grievous to him, and fresh: after a sudden, short illness, the High Septon—once a stonemason until exalted, at the king’s behest—passed away in his bed despite the prayers of the Most Devout and the efforts of the maesters. The bells of the city range to mark his passing, and the king—tears on his cheeks—joined the Most Devout in their vigil over him as preparations were made for his entombment. Seven days of mourning are to follow before his remains, readied by silent sisters, are ready to be interred in the very foundation of the king’s great sept. At every hour, brothers and sisters, septons and septas, pass through where his body lays in state, chanting and praying that the Seven welcome their voice on earth to sit among them in their golden halls in the seven heavens. Visit the Site!
  11. Westeros

    GRRM on Successors

    In his most recent Not a Blog entry, GRRM ran over various items of note—including Fire and Blood in getting back into the NYT bestseller list, the successful release of Starport (and the possibility that follow-ups may indeed be a possibility, which we noted in our review of the graphic novel), and even a touch of politics at the end—but for the Game of Thrones fans what must have turned out was his update on the status of various Game of Thrones successor shows. read on >>> View the full article
  12. The episode guide for “The Iron Throne”, the 6th and final episode of Game of Thrones, has been updated with Linda’s review (currently livestreaming). We’ll embed it below: HBO has yet to release it’s behind-the-scenes extras, but once they are they’ll be added to the guide! View the full article
  13. The episode guide for “The Bells”, the 5th and penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, has been updated with the “Inside the Episode” from HBO—more extras sure to come—and Linda’s review (currently livestreaming). View the full article
  14. The episode guide for the fourth episode—titled “The Last of the Starks”, according to HBO—has been updated with Linda’s post-episode livestream as well as the “Inside the Episode” for the episode. You can see the livestream below: View the full article
  15. The latest episode, titled “The Long Night”, has aired and our episode guide will collect some Linda’s commentary and HBO’s extras as they come out. However, for those who can’t wait to see the review, as usual for this final season Linda is livestreaming her commentary: View the full article
  16. Pyrrha, who have held a license to produce Game of Thrones jewelry using its unique wax seal technique since 2014, are celebrating the final season of the show with the release of four brand new talismans. You can see the press release below: read on >>> View the full article
  17. Westeros

    A Prince’s Court

    Maron Nymeros Martell, Lord of Sunspear, Prince of Dorne, had called for a public court beneath the great dome of the Tower of the Sun to hear out petitions and requests, to pass judgements, and to make announcements. These things he did, nearly without incident. From giving his blessings to the betrothal between Ser Jordan Dayne, his castellan of the citadel at Planky Town, and Rhialta Santagar to dealing with concerns from Cyrissa, Lady of Kingsgrave that the shariffs had grown slack in their efforts against criminals, Prince Maron showed a measured, thoughtful manner belying his years. More petitioners came to him, and he dealt with each fairly and justly, with no sense of hesitation or uncertainty (a marked contrast to his ailing father, Princ Marence), as he did with the judgments he rendered in criminal matters. But the session ended with the prince announcing substantial changes at court, naming a few: the stepping down of the Lord Justiciar and his replacing him with Joleta Gargalen, the heir to Salt Shore; the confirmation of Ser Sebaston Vaith as Deptuy to the Warden of the Broken Arm; the naming of Rhialta Santagar to assist the Keeper of the Spear Tower. But the most significant announcement was the retirement of Ser Robin Dayne as Lord Shariff, a post he had held for decades… and the appointment of the notorious Ser Mavros Uller to replace him. More changes to the court would be announced, it was noted… but there was a minor distraction, towards the end, when Ser Aidan Dayne and his northron wife Lady Aisling quietly departed the throne room with all signs suggesting the lady, great with child, was now entering labor. It would be late that evening that news would arrive of the birth of their first child, a daughter. Mother and daughter alike were said to be in good health, and that the Knight of the Twilight could not be more pleased. But that was happy news. Four days later, less good news spread through the court: Lady Tanyth, wife to Prince Rhodry, who had only recently revealed her own pregnancy at the court, had miscarried what would have been their first child. Visit the Site!
  18. The Glass of Thrones campaign website has launched, and it’s quite an impressive thing featuring 3D renderings of the stained glass monuments inspired by the houses of Game of Thrones. It’s a nice way to experience them virtually, but it sure seems like nothing beats actually seeing them in person. read on >>> View the full article
  19. The second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones has aired, and Linda has put together some information on the Episode Guide including links to post-episode materials such as the pleasntly surprising release of Florence + the Machine’s rendition of “Jenny of Oldstones” (we’re big fans). Below, however, we’ll link Linda’s post-episode livestream in which she shared her thoughts and answered questions from viewers: You’ll find the the preview for next week’s episode below: read on >>> View the full article
  20. With the final season of Game of Thrones just around the corner, Tourism Ireland is again teasing what has become a yearly tradition as they invite fans the world over to think of Northern Ireland as the “Game of Thrones Territory”. Carved doors scattered among historic pubs, limited edition stamps, an enormous pictorial tapestry—each of them has been a spectacular way to promote tourism for those who are interested in visting the land where the series has been based from the very start. This new campaign seems to be no less interesting, as this teaser video suggests: The video may seem a bit mysterious to start with, but we think by the end what they’re hinting at is clear as glass. View the full article
  21. Linda’s just finished the first ever Westeros.org livestream review, and we’ve updated the episode guide for the episode—titled “Winterfell”, per HBO—with that video as well as the extras HBO has released. Linda will add more to the page at a more sane hour, but until then, you can see the review video below:’ After that, you can check out HBO’s preview View the full article
  22. Given the momentous final season (and the fact that Linda is booked up with a bunch of interviews the morning after the show airs), we’ve decided to do something new: a livestreamed commentary by Linda on our Youtube channel shortly after the episode airs (she thinks she can get going about 15 minutes after the episode airs. We’ve tested out the tech and think we’ve the kinks worked out. It’ll be pretty bare bones to start with, but if it’s a success we’ll see about sprucing it up. One thing that we’ve brought out of retirement is our Sony camcorder, which we used for many of our early videos as well as our segments on Sky Atlantic’s Thronecast—turns out it outputs an excellent image for streaming compared to our DSLR! Linda’ll post the stream here when it goes live, but if you want to hear about it as soon as possible, be sure to subscribe and request notifications over at Youtube. View the full article
  23. With the final season of Game of Thrones just around the corner, Tourism Ireland is again teasing what has become a yearly tradition as they invite fans the world over to think of Northern Ireland as the “Game of Thrones Territory”. Carved doors scattered among historic pubs, limited edition stamps, an enormous pictorial tapestry—each of them has been a spectacular way to promote tourism for those who are interested in visting the land where the series has been based from the very start. This new campaign seems to be no less interesting, as this teaser video suggests: The video may seem a bit mysterious to start with, but we think by the end what they’re hinting at is clear as glass. View the full article
  24. Westeros

    GRRM on the Red Carpet

    The Hollywood Reporter has published an interview with George R.R. Martin from the red carpet of the Game of Thrones premiere. read on >>> View the full article
  25. HBO has released the official poster for the final season of Game of Thrones: Featuring a design mashing up the Iron Throne with Drogon’s glowing eyes looks almost like the dragon’s wearing a crown, doesn’t it? View the full article