Aside from The Lands of Fire and Ice book, the HBO Viewer’s Guide has the best map of the world from Game of Thrones. It’s been on their website since the first season, but it was very meager then. During the second season, it got a big update with a lot more detail, and the most complete map of the eastern continent, Essos, anywhere. This year, the update’s not as big, but it does have more detail and more cities that didn’t appear in the season 2 version. Beyond that, the viewer’s guide also added an appendix that has more history and background info.
The only weird thing is that when you click on some cities, it pops up with a “People of this region” dialog box, except that what it really means is “People that having been in this region”. For example, in the screenshot above, Robb Stark is most certainly not of the Twins. He just passed through there a couple of times. Robb Stark is of Winterfell.
King Joffrey may look like he’s 13, but he’s actually 20. The actor’s name is Jack Gleeson (no relation to Jackie Gleason) and back in 2005 — when he actually was 13 but looked like he was 8 — he had a small park in Batman Begins:
And then someone made this joke:
Given that the scene above isn’t in the video above it, it’s impossible to tell if the joke has any basis in reality… at least not without re-watching Batman Begins — and ain’t nobody got time fo’ that.
via George Takei
The third season is going to cover roughly the first half of the third book, A Storm of Swords.
From YouTube, via Laughing Squid
If you don’t get it: George R. R. Martin writes the series A Song of Fire and Ice, of which A Game of Thrones was the first book. The series features a lot of incest. J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, in which Ron and Ginny Weasley are two of the main characters, and siblings.
From You Choose Books, via FAIL Blog
The Game of Thrones TV series is named after the first book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George R. R. Martin. He still has two books to write before the series is completed, has been writing notoriously slowly lately, and doesn’t exactly look like a picture of health, so readers are anxious. Going by the average period of time between his books in the series, the sixth book should come out in 2014 and the last one in 2017. There are three problems with this scenario:
- That’s a really long time to wait for closure. For early fans of the books, 21 years total… enough for the first book to legally buy mead.
- GRRM (as he’s known) might have a heart attack by then.
- The TV series may overtake the books:
assuming a new season every year, the seventh season will air in 2017. Which means production would start in 2016. The third season will only cover half of the third book, so everything gets pushed back a year: the seventh season will air in 2018, at the earliest, since they may split other books into two seasons.
The third point above could easily be addressed by HBO delaying each season a little and adding another year by the time the seventh season starts, something HBO has done in the past. But it still assumes GRRM will go back to writing faster, which is doubtful because the average of three years mostly reflects his writing a decade ago: while the first three books took about two years a piece, the fourth took five years and the fifth, six; hopefully the sixth won’t take seven.
George R. R. Martin
The second point has been addressed by GRRM himself, because he’s apparently told the show runners the big picture of how the series will pan out, in case something happens to him. He also said he won’t let the show overtake the books, so hopefully that means he’s writing faster. But just in case, a couple of comedians made a song which urges the “great bearded glacier” to write like the wind, because we “need our allotment of incest and injury and six-page descriptions of every last meal”. It also points out that The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings series were completed in five, ten and twelve years, respectively; A Song of Ice and Fire will probably take around twenty, and William Shakespeare wrote dozens of plays in a shorter time.
From YouTube, via Paul and Storm and Laughing Squid
In the first season of Game of Thrones, there’s a scene in which King Joffrey shows his future bride, Sansa, the heads of some of the people she loved, who he beheaded and put on a spike. In the DVD commentary, the creators mention that the last head on the left is actually one of George W. Bush. They said it wasn’t by choice and it wasn’t a political statement: they rent props like this by the cartload and then use them as they can. One of them just happened to be W’s. Still hilarious, but the creators of the show got in some trouble because of this. Worth it.
Below, the screen cap, a closeup and the video.
George W. Bush's head is on the left
George W. Bush' head
From YouTube, io9 and reddit, via NPR
HBO’s Game of Thrones store is big — over 250 items. Most of them are for wearing, drinking out of, or sticking on something: t-shirts, hoodies, hats, pendants, mugs, glasses, shot glasses, iPhone and laptop skins and cases, etc. Below, the best three items in the collection:
Dragon Egg Paperweight, 45$. They probably don't have dragons inside and you're not a Targaryen, so don't walk into a funeral pyre with them.
Hilarious Hodor t-shirt, 25$. Pro tip: his real name is Walder.
Life-size replica of the Iron Throne, 30k$. It's made of fiberglass and resin, not the swords of your vanquished foes, but it'll impress your geeky friends nevertheless.
From The HBO Store
Last year, HBO created a great viewer guide for the first season of Game of Thrones; this year, they updated it for season 2, and it now contains the most complete map of Essos found anywhere. If you’re a somewhat-more-than casual viewer of the series, it’s a great way to get a feel for the geography of that world and to see the intricate family trees of the dozens of characters. If you’re a hardcore fan that reads the books, A Wiki of Ice and Fire from the westeros.org fan-site might be a better reference since it’s a lot more in-depth; but the maps on HBO’s viewer guide are still the best drawn, best designed, and most extensive currently in existence. So until the new map book comes out, enjoy poking around HBO’s guide.