George R.R. Martin’s 12 Westerosi Days of Christmas, part 2

By Ani Bundel on

redchristmas2

Two weeks ago, the official twitter account for George R.R. Martin started a cute little “12 Days of Westerosi Christmas.” We brought you the first six entries here. Yesterday was the last day of the countdown. Which Westerosi families were featured in the back half of the countdown? We’ve got the tweets below.

Netflix wants Marco Polo to be its Game of Thrones–does it succeed?

By WiC Staff on



marco polo 1

Dave Crewe is a teacher and freelance writer from Brisbane, Australia.

If you’re looking for some holiday binge-watching to satiate your Game of Thrones addiction, Netflix have their fingers crossed you’ll turn to Marco Polo. The series–originally intended for Starz before Netflix and the Weinstein Company swooped in–uses its thirteenth century setting to present a historical drama that’s been widely compared to Game of Thrones. The surface similarities are there: grand political posturing in the court of Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong), fierce medieval battles between the Mongolian and Northern Chinese armies and, perhaps most importantly, comparable production values (Marco Polo reportedly cost $90 million to produce).

Netflix is no doubt hoping to lure Game of Thrones devotees to their new series. They’re also hoping to attract fans of the recently-completed Starz series Spartacus, which is perhaps a greater influence on Marco Polo. Each show centers on a real historical figure that your average audience member knows so little about that they might as well be a fantasy character (Spartacus mostly known for “I am Spartacus!” from the Kubrick film; Polo mostly known for “Marco? Polo!” from the swimming pool game). Combined with a capable cast, this combination of warfare, intrigue, history (and, perhaps unsurprisingly, copious nudity) seems like a winning formula–why then is Marco Polo so disappointing?

Words Are Wind: Wights and White Walkers

By WiC Staff on

valar morghulis white walker

“Words are wind” is a common phrase in A Song of Ice and Fire, usually used to say “talk is cheap.” But that’s a view that underestimates both the power of words and wind themselves. In the “Words Are Wind” column, contributor Scott Andrews discusses some of the more important words in the world of Game of ThronesFor the winter solstice, Scott takes a look at the embodiments of Westeros’ chill….

 

“They wasn’t gone, old man. They was sleeping. And they ain’t sleeping no more.”

—Osha to Maester Luwin, Season 1, Episode 7

Now that winter is upon us (at least in the North), it’s time to explore the terrifying creatures so intimately connected with it — the White Walkers. We saw a glimpse of a White Walker in the very first scene of the Game of Thrones pilot. Prior to that, the Walkers hadn’t been seen for 8000 years. No wonder Ned didn’t believe that poor deserter.

Be advised: some links below may contain spoilers for the novels, but the text does not…

HBO End-of-Year video contains glimpses of Season 5

By Ani Bundel on

arya first glimpse season 5

As is tradition, HBO’s End of Year promo looking ahead to 2015 includes new footage from the Game of Thrones Season 5. Even better–those glimpses are completely new. There’s no Black and White Doors, like we’ve now seen in two out of three of the Three Eyed Raven promos, or anything like that.

The video, and a run down of what we see, below the cut. Minor spoilers, etc.

WiC Weekly: December 14th-20th

By Rowan Kaiser on

arya
Mild controversies abound this week! Rights issues, technology failures, angry dictators, and first-world feminists. Let’s see how it happened:

 

Pedro Pascal in talks to join film about China’s Great Wall

By Cameron White on

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The Red Viper bounces back quick after a gruesome and painful death. According to TheWrap, Pedro Pascal is currently in talks to join a film by Chinese director Zhang Yimou about the famous Great Wall of China. The film is currently untitled, but it has Matt Damon attached to it, so whatever the conflict is, Jason Bourne and Oberyn Martell will be on the case.

The screenwriter of the Bourne saga, Tony Gilroy, also wrote the screenplay for this film. (All that’s missing now is some shaky-cam, free-running stunts and we have the genuine next Bourne film on our hands.) Pascal is just the latest in a line of actors who have been attached to the project, which was initially to be directed by Ed Zwick. It’s probably good that the project is in Zhang Yimou’s hands, though. Yimou has directed a number of great films, particularly 2002’s Hero (a Rashomon-style film starring Jet Li set in in the Warring States era of China’s history), and was also the director of the Beijing Olympics’s opening ceremonies.

The film is set to open sometime in 2016. In the meantime, Pascal is still currently attached to MGM’s Ben-Hur remake, so no matter how many films he ends up taking, Dorne’s adventurous prince won’t be leaving our screens anytime soon.

Game of Thrones Compendium launches amidst rights questions (UPDATED)

By Rowan Kaiser on

Game of Thrones Compendium

Last week, HBO announced Game of Thrones: The Compendium, a fansourced collection of art and writing on the show. Submissions open today, and will remain open through March. (UPDATE: The countdown has been pushed back until Monday.) If you submit, your work will be judged by a fascinatingly eclectic group of editors they’re calling their Council, and if they like it, you’ll be published and receive a copy of the book.

But should you submit? That’s turned into a somewhat controversial question….

George R.R. Martin offers to screen The Interview

By Cameron White on

gty_george_r_r_martin_game_of_thrones

The big entertainment news of the past day, has been about Seth Rogen and James Franco’s film The Interview, which has been pulled from theaters by Sony Pictures after the hackers responsible for gaining access to confidential Sony documents threatened violence to any theater chains that went through with the film’s planned Christmas Day release. Pretty much everyone who’s anyone in both politics and entertainment has had an opinion on the matter–including A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin.

When news hit that Sony would be pulling the film, Martin took to his “Not a Blog” to chastise everyone involved in the decision, calling it an act of “corporate cowardice.” To wit:

It’s a good thing these guys weren’t around when Charlie Chaplin made THE GREAT DICTATOR.  If Kim Jong-Un scares them, Adolf Hitler would have had them shitting in their smallclothes.

But Martin isn’t just offering angry words…

Arya Stark’s Season 5 costume unveiled

By Rowan Kaiser on

season 5 arya costume design

Entertainment Weekly has pictures of Arya Stark’s costume design for Season 5, as well as quotes from Maisie Williams and costume designer Michele Clapton. It’s a major change–EW calls it an extreme makeover–for the youngest Stark daughter, who’s spent the past three seasons in dirty road clothes.“For so long she had to look like a boy. Even when [the disguise] was no longer necessary, it made no sense to change it [because] she was on the road,” said Clapton.

We’ve seen some photos of Arya Stark’s Braavosi costume during filming, but they were largely from a distance. Check those out below, with some more quotes…

The Raven brings The Sight again, in the same fleeting format

By Ani Bundel on

houseofblackandwhitedoors

Did it work for you? Last time The Sight came (a couple of days ago) it didn’t work on my handheld device, and kept insisting I turn on my audio, which was not only on, but all the way up.

This time, it did work, after a long two minutes of thinking about it. So that’s one improvement. What we saw–or maybe think we saw–below.

New Catch the Throne mixtape is coming, will include Killswitch Engage

By Cameron White on

killswitchengagefacebook

One of HBO’s more unusual Game of Thrones-related products released this year was its Catch the Throne mixtape, which collected twelve hip-hop artists to do songs about (and featuring dialogue and music samples from) the show. It looks like a second mixtape is in production now, according to metal band Killswitch Engage’s Facebook page.

The Facebook post is the band saying that they are indeed in a studio on HBO’s behalf–using the #CatchTheThrone hashtag for total clarity. As someone who really enjoyed the first one, I’m very excited to see how the second one will flow. The fact that Catch the Throne 2 (or whatever the heck title they come up with) seems to be headed in a metal band direction is interesting but not totally surprising–metal and its associated subgenres has historically loved and indulged in epic fantasy stories, including our very own Game of Thrones. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s all-metal, metal and hip-hop, or includes a variety of genres.

Missed the first Catch the Throne? It’s available for free! Here’s the Soundcloud page where you can download it all. Below, I’ve embedded one of my personal favorites, a track from Common about our multiple WiCNet Awards winner’s character, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, called “The Ladder”. The Grantland writeup on the first Catch the Throne is also highly recommended.

HBO no longer releasing overnight ratings

By Ani Bundel on

hbo

Starting January 1st, HBO will no longer release overnight ratings for any of their programs. This change for 2015 will cover all programs, including Game of Thrones this spring. The premium channel will instead only provide media outlets with what are known as “Live + same day ratings” (which are issued by Nielsen), as well as VOD and HBO Go viewership numbers.

This move follows FX, which did the same a few months back, and adds to a growing trend of attempting to de-emphasize the instant snapshot ratings from the “live” airing of a show. Game of Thrones is a perfect example of the swing away from this trend, with typical overnight numbers usually showing a viewership of 6 million or so (8 million for the higher watched episodes.) But once Video on Demand viewership, DVR numbers and a week’s worth of reruns got added in, the average viewership numbers per episode often, tripled to close to 20 million.



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