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


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


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


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.

WiCNet Awards: And the winner of Best Actor in Season 4 is…

By Cameron White on


…Aidan Gillen as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish! This is Gillen’s second WiCNet Award for this season, as he previously won for Best Performance as a Politician. Gillen joins Alfie Allen and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in winning the award. Congrats Aidan!

I wrote on behalf of Gillen in that bloodbath of a poll:

Aidan Gillen gets his fair share of criticism for his ever-changing Petyr Baelish accent, but there’s no denying he understand the character he’s playing. Season 4 is a banner year for Littlefinger, too, as he slowly reveals himself to be a mastermind seemingly without equal. Gillen doesn’t even need the character’s mustache–his tone of voice, the movement of his eyes, and the way he carries himself as a quiet threat throughout the season do all the work necessary to turn Littlefinger into the mustache-twirling force of chaos he quickly proves himself to be.

After the jump, some more thoughts on Mr. Gillen…

Maisie Williams talks CyberBully, Season 5 of Game of Thrones

By Ani Bundel on

williams Antibullying

“I do think of 12-and-over as being ‘when I became an adult’,” Maisie Williams told told The Guardian in a recent interview. “It’s strange when people say they don’t feel like they’ve grown up yet… I’ve had to learn a lot.”

Williams is spending her time this month promoting her Channel 4 movie “CyberBully,” a topic she feels connected to, having found fame at such an early age.

“One thing we didn’t want it to be was patronising,” she says. “I just wanted it to be real. When I’m watching Hollyoaks and texts come up on the screen, with all the LOLs, it’s like: people don’t say that any more.” She is dismissive of those who don’t take cyberbullying as seriously as other forms of bullying. “I think it hurts even more,” she says. “Kids are killing themselves. It’s very serious.”

George R.R. Martin’s 12 Westerosi Days of Christmas

By Ani Bundel on

With the holidays rapidly approaching and more powerful authors causing an enormous stir with their Christmas Countdowns, George R.R. Martin’s twitter feed, GRRMSpeaking, has been having a little fun with the 12 Days of Christmas countdown of their own. Of course, they didn’t take into account fans and their ability read too much into minor clues, so what started as a cute Christmas countdown, suddenly became ” ZOMG A Countdown to The Winds of Winter Release!” Yeah, that’s not something his publishers would keep under wraps like that. If Winds of Winter were hitting the shelves four days before Christmas, we’d have known that a little bit before Thanksgiving.

(If you’re wondering then why his Christmas countdown ends 0n December 21st instead of running all the way up to Christmas Day properly, it’s the same reason J.K. Rowling’s ends on the 23rd–no one is online on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. It’s one of the deadest times of the year, trafficwise.) Poor GRRM had to take to his LiveJournal and tell everyone to calm down….

“Explain to me why it is more noble to kill 10,000 men in battle than a dozen at dinner?”: On Consequentialism in Game of Thrones

By WiC Staff on


Yi Li is a London student studying public policy. She previously wrote on teenagers in Game of Thrones, and is a member of our Small Council.

When Tywin Lannister asked this in “Mhysa” I couldn’t have been the only one who thought, hey…that sort of makes sense. It’s an appealing notion: If we can do a relatively small evil now to prevent a much greater evil later, why shouldn’t we?

That’s why, when Jaime Lannister reveals the reason he killed his king in the oft-quoted bath scene from “Kissed By Fire”, we’re sympathetic. Here, we had been slandering this man for going against his oath when doing so was the only surefire way of preventing a great horror. Surely, if we had been there, sword in hand, making the choice between killing a single despicable man and putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, we’d make the same choice Jaime did, even if it meant breaking our oath. I’d bet that’s just what Brienne was thinking.

We’re sympathetic, too, when Mirri Maz Duur reveals her motives for killing Khal Drogo and Rhaego….

HBO’s Three-Eyed Raven unveils new teaser…probably

By Rowan Kaiser on


If you signed up for HBO’s Three-Eyed Raven service, they’ve started sending Twitter DMs with links to their latest teaser today. It has to be viewed on a mobile device and, when we’ve tried it, it hasn’t actually worked. According to our Twitter feed, we’re not alone, either.

A few people have gotten through to view it, and they say it’s a Jaime-related teaser much like the Arya one from the web page’s release. Commenter Joe says Sansa and Cersei are included as well, though. If anyone can manage to take screenshots or even better, record the video for embedding, let us know in the comments!

UPDATE (4:22p PST): Three Eyed Raven now says the “The vision has come and gone.” Hope somebody nabbed it–or HBO is getting it working.

This is a fairly inauspicious beginning for HBO’s service. With the drama behind-the-scenes reported for their streaming services, it’s clear that the network is keen on fixing perception that their online video services aren’t up to par. That may take some time.

UPDATE 2 (12:25a PST: Commenter Joe has pointed us at a YouTube of the video. Thanks Joe! Check it out after the jump…

A Game of Thrones Gift Guide: Odds and Ends

By Ani Bundel on


It’s time for our final installment of the Game of Thrones gift guide. Last week we looked at clothing and accessories, and before that, throwing a holiday party. Today we’re looking at those items that are the odds and ends of gift giving. To me, these are the best kind of gifts–the sort of thing a GoT fan might not buy for themselves but would love to have, and use with pride.

Let’s start with the above mug set from LoveToastShop, perfect for the couple who both love the show. For a single person, there’s a Khaleesi’s command, or if you’re a little less respectful, you might go for the Crows Before Hoes mug. And if you know any knitters/crocheters, you won’t go wrong with the reminder that Winter Is Coming.

The Small Council: Who’s your pick for Best Actor in Season 4?

By WiC Staff on


It’s the penultimate category of the 2014 WiCnet Awards! This week, we’re making our picks for Best Actor.

Ani Bundel: The caliber of its cast is one of Game of Thrones’ greatest strengths. There’s been more than one casting choice where I felt like Benioff and Weiss simply went to the Shakespearean-trained pool of British actors and picked the best. So it was when Charles Dance strode onto the screen in “You Win Or You Die” in Season 1. From that moment on, he never disappointed me.

Tywin is a difficult character to take from page to screen. In the books, we never see things from his point of view. In a world where every “bad” character is shown to have shades of a good person, driven by lust, greed, or madness to make bad decisions, Tywin is one of the few whose unbending rigidity puts him uncomfortably close to the “wholly evil” category. In lesser hands, his was a character who could have gone to cardboard, as critics have accused another rigid character, Stannis, of being. But Dance was too smart for that. From the beginning, his has always been a nuanced performance….

New podcast! Critics on the Throne episode 1: Todd VanDerWerff

By Rowan Kaiser on

Daenerys in Qarth

Here at WiC, we’re looking to have a good stable of podcasts up and running in anticipation of the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Some of them, like this one, we’re putting together ourselves, but we’re also interested in hosting high-quality Thrones-based podcasts. (If you have any recommendations, let us know in the comments or send us an email.)

In Critics on the Throne, I’ll be interviewing different TV critics about various aspects of Game of Thrones. First up,’s Culture Editor, Todd VanDerWerff. Todd is also my former boss at The A.V. Club, and the Experts reviewer for the first four seasons there.

We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Season 4, why critics weren’t so high on it as they had been previously, what the science fiction Game of Thrones might be, and why the show doesn’t get enough credit for its casting successes. We also think King Robert was fantastic. Todd also describes how “Unless you’re really into how TV episodes are structured, there isn’t going to be the ‘next Game of Thrones.'”

Check it out after the jump! We’ll also get it onto iTunes as soon as possible….

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