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.
The Netflix-produced series House of Cards is set in Washington, D.C. and is about the machinations of a Congressman to get more power in the government. This parody, called House of Cardinals, is about the machinations of a Catholic Cardinal to become the next pope, following the resignation of Benedict XVI. If you watch House of Cards and aren’t the Church’s biggest fan, it’s that much funnier.
From YouTube, via Happy Place
Short answer: money. Longer answer: music videos are on YouTube now, and they’re not worth the paper they’re printed on. Longer, infinitely more hilarious answer:
From YouTube, via Laughing Squid
- Drama: Boardwalk Empire (HBO), Breaking Bad (AMC), Downton Abbey (PBS), Mad Men (AMC), Homeland (Showtime), Game of Thrones (HBO)
- Comedy: Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), Girls (HBO), 30 Rock (NBC), Veep (HBO), Modern Family (ABC), The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
- Miniseries: Game Change (HBO; about Sarah Palin), American Horror Story (FX), Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO), Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (PBS), Luther (BBC America), Hatfields & McCoys (History)
The first interesting thing is that the big four broadcasting networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) have no drama or miniseries nominations, and only three comedy ones — HBO has the other three. (In fact, HBO has 7 of the 18 nominations above; the runners up are PBS and AMC, each with 2.) The second interesting thing is that if Mad Men wins this year, it will have five such Emmys, making it the most ever. Right now, it’s tied for most Best Drama Emmys with The West Wing, LA Law, and Hill Street Blues. Finally, American Horror Story got nominated as a miniseries — not a drama — presumably because its second season will not be in any way related to the first.
As for the quality of the nominations, with the exception of Girls, which people either love or hate, all the dramas and comedies are top notch, so it’s nice to see the system working.
In the interest of full disclosure, the full list of nominations includes 15 other categories besides the ones listed above, but they’re the ones that don’t matter. Twelve of them are lead and supporting actors and actresses in the three categories above, and no one watches a series because of someone’s great acting; if that were the case, The Good Wife would win all the ratings. The other three are Variety series (same nominees year after year… same winner, too), Reality shows (as if they deserve emmys), and the most ludicrous category: “Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program”.
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
Jimmy Fallon made a very funny parody of Downton Abbey. It’s named after his studio, 6B.
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.
This October, we will finally be able to get our hands on professional maps of the world in the A Song Of Fire And Ice book series and Game of Thrones TV series. The map collection, called The Lands Of Ice And Fire, is available for pre-ordering now, is blessed by GRRM, costs 26$, and includes the following maps:
The maps are supposedly excellent quality, but it would be nice to see a sample. But even if they’re as awesome as they sound, it seems like it may be best to wait for some later edition — one released after the book series is finished. But if you don’t want to wait another decade until that comes to pass, this is your chance for some legitimately cool cartography with which to decorate your dorm room or nerd cave. Or that of a nerd you love.
From Amazon, via Westeros