Welcome to

Welcome to Winter Is Coming’s new home. Be sure to update your bookmark! I’m on WordPress now, which means a few things have changed around here. One thing you may notice are the categories are now tabs above the posts and the menu in the header contains links to some important pages. Also, perhaps the biggest change is the commenting system. I have installed IntenseDebate for the comments and it has lots of great features. You have the ability to comment as a guest, with your IntenseDebate account, or even use your Twitter or Facebook account. There is also support for avatars, threaded comments and a ranking system. Oh yeah, I can also ban users. Tamzin Merchant haters beware!

There may be a few glitches here and there as I continue to iron out the kinks of using this new platform, so please be patient. Of course, if you notice any problems, feel free to contact me. Thanks everyone!

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  • Awesome Winter!

    Following your blog for some time now, and it turned out to be an excellent source. Can t wait for the possible annoucement in march.

    Greetings from Germany!


  • Okay, not so fabulous.

    How do I get my old screen name back?

    WITHOUT guesting every time?

    WITHOUT affixing it to something else?

    I don't want it affixed to Twitter.

    I sure as HELL don't want it affixed to Facebook.

    Intensedebate doesn't allow names with spaces. About Yea High needs spaces. No underscoring!

    Blast it.

    • IntenseDebate allows your display name to have spaces (as you can see if you look at my name). So just create an account with any old username. Then under Profile Settings, change your display name to About Yea High. Viola!

  • I like the new digs. I'm a long time reader, occasional commenter under "CepeIndicum." I think I'll be using Facebook instead. Thanks for the improvements Winter. I'm certain AGOT will be picked up. Nothing is certain but all the evidence points that way. And if this show is successful, they will remember their support base. Thanks for all the hard work Winter.

  • Hmmm … kinda liked the old commenting system. Had a much cleaner look. This ones seems too "busy" but I'll give it a try.

  • Awesome. By the way, Jason Momoa is the new Conan! Just one of the many actors from Game of Thrones that will definitely make it big in Hollywood.

  • is reportin that Jason Mamoa is in negotiations to play Conan in the Conan reboot movie. Don't know what the planned release date is, and I'm assuming his GoT contract would cover the first season, so its probably a non-issue except of interest

    • I do like the ability to comment with my old name and not need to log in to something else first.

      Good on ya, mate!

  • New site looks good, I like the improvements. But now how will we ever know if Paul Gude is at the top of the "most comments" list? Maybe now we've deinitiativized the whole phenomenon all together?

    Either way, good work WiC. As a WordPress blogger myself, I can say you won't be disappointed.


  • Like the new site. Looks great.

    One question about comments…

    On the blogger site, I subscribed to an RSS feed that displayed all the comments from all of the posts in one feed. Yes its confusing, but allowed me to quickly scan comments in my RSS reader. Is there a similar RSS feed in this comment system? I hope the answer is yes.

  • Nice work there! :) Definitely a big improvement. Two really minor things – I liked the Blogger style of Recent Comments and Archives better, hehe. Slight problem: there seems to be a placeholder for Google adds right after the Tags section on the right, but it wouldn't display for me, so a gap appears. Just letting you know in case it is a common issue.

    a) Keep the tagline (Your source of news and rumors on GOT) on your front page
    b) Put a link to the FAQ in your About page (section on the series).

    I will be using my Facebook account, seems best. Comments layout slightly crowded, with longer loading times, but I'm sure it only takes a little while to get used to that.

  • Questions: does the edit option only work when you're logged in thru IntenseDebate? Too bad if that's the case. Also, is it possible to publicly view the list of commenters? Mainly to keep track of how many different people there are, and checking their new reputation scores. After a while, do you think you'll be disabling the guest comments option again?

  • I’ve been following your blogg since the beggining but newer posted before….just want to thank you for all your hard work, Winter – I hope your new cite will be arround for a long time (through ALL 7 SEASONS)! Yeah, I am an optimist…:)

  • Well, that was easy – gotta love the new system – fair play winter.

    Now that we're all settled in – i was just wondering if anyone has thought about what the weirwoods are gonna look like?? I mean white bark and red sap – that could look really stunning on screen, and kinda creepy. Anyone have any thoughts?

  • There we go.


    Looking good, Winter!

    As to the weirwoods … I think they will look more than a little creepy. The initial reaction could be akin to What the Hell is THAT? to anyone uninitiated in ASoIaF.

    Thinking about it, the first few scenes in the pilot episode will all have moments of WTF:

    Prologue: the Others eat Jamie Campbell-Bower.
    Next we see Castle Black at THE WALL – gigantic edifice of ice.
    Over to Bran, watching calmly as his father serves up the King's Justice.
    Transition to monstrous dead wolf.
    Over to Ned and Catelyn under the creepy, red-leafed weirwood.

    Think about it. The most normal scene is where the kid watches a dude get beheaded.

    Heh. Gonna be so good…

  • Hey ho,

    let's see how this new system works out. IntenseDebate? Never heard of it before… seems like no matter how many services you register with, you never have all the accounts you need ;-)

    The first few times I tried, the new site didn't want to load at all. I hope this means that there is still work in progress, rather than the new host being unreliable?

    Cheers, the Dunkeltroll

  • Wow – good news for Jason Momoa. I've never watched the Star Gate series, or seen him in anything but the interviews for GoT, but he seems to be very talented. He's definately got the right look, for Conan, much more so than Kellan Lutz, who … doesnt. I just hope the role doesnt interfere with Jason's portrayal of Drogo. Drogo is, forever more in my mind, Momoa ^^

    … formally known as RahBur

  • Hi everyone!

    First time poster here (actually, my first blog contribution ever).

    For a few weeks now I’ve been reading through pretty much all the past news and comments all the way back to the beginning (I shared your enthousiasm, especially through the decoding of the casting clues!) and I gotta say, I’m impressed by the respectful tone, the maturity and the comradry. It is in big part due to WiC himself (kudos to the master!), and dedicated contributors like Paul Gude and Legion to name just a few.

    I noticed however the lack of Canadian representation (or perhaps they are too discreet?) so I decided it was time to come out and say hi. 

    I’ve been introduced to ASoIaF some years ago by my brother-in-law, but as obsessed as we both are by the series, unfortunately we cannot discuss it much as he read the French translation and I read the original English version.

    So I am really glad I found this blog! (cuz I’m as excited as everyone here for the HBO series)

    The new site looks great BTW, but I can’t comment on the praticality of it since I have litterally no blogging experience.

  • Ellen,

    I wouldn't worry too much. Once GoT gets a go, it makes sense to film all Dany-related scenes for the first season in one session. Two or three weeks should be enough to do so, and I guess it will be possible to synchronize such a short amount of time with other projects the cast members are involved in.

  • Hm, my last post is gone somehow while I was experimenting with posting pictures (won't work).

    Anyway, typo alarm for the "about" section: David Benioff and Dan (D.B.) Weiss, have been working with HBO to adapt the boks for television.

  • I just noticed… I don't like that we don't see the date and time of each comments anymore other than XX minutes ago….
    It gets kind of annoying when it gets to older posts where every comment is dated as XX weeks ago because you lose the idea of the time elapsed between each comments…
    Not that it matters that much anyway but I was just wondering if that was something you can configure as you want.
    But then again, it solves the time zone problem…

  • Testing, testing…

    The last board broke on me, I think it was because my computers are both old or it just doesn't like LJ accounts. Does this one actually work?

  • Hello WiC + community!

    I've been a religious reader since June '09, just never really bothered to register an account to participate in discussion. The new hosting site should and its posting functionality should bring other reclusive GoT enthusiasts out of hiding as well. Keep up the awesome work everyone, the amount of info this blog provides about the production process is simply outstanding :)

  • Interesting about Momoa being cast as Conan (grats to him, although I'm not really a fan of that particular series). I was reading that filming for Conan will begin May 15th in Bulgaria. I'm hoping it doesn't affect the Game of Thrones filming too much. Wouldn't May be about the timeframe they start up again for GoT?

  • The poster formerly known as Cajunman, then known as brhodes, now known as Cajunman1 is still here and checking in on the new site.

    Do you guys realize that HBO bigwigs will be screening the pilot this weekend?!?

  • @Cajunman1
    yeah, I was thinking about that but then I thought maybe I misread it in the earlier comments because nobody here seemed to talk about it…
    How official is this information though?

  • Re: Momoa cast as Conan

    It may be that GoT has first option, so that he can audition and get roles while waiting to see if GoT is picked up, but if GoT is picked up he might have to turn down any roles, like Conan, that he has gotten if scheduling conflicts.

  • Oooh, new stuff. I like it! :) Though I lost what I had written when I tried to log on after writing the comment… :(

    Btw, don't know if anyone's seen it before, but Sean Bean is in a movie called Age of Heroes that starts filming in Norway the week after easter. I don't know when easter is this year, but they'll probably be done filming before GoT starts filming.

    Formerly posted a couple of times as gwakk.

    • Yes, loging in after writing something seems to delete whatever you wrote – contrary to the old system. It wouldn't be that big of a problem, if not for that big box shouting out <size=8>Post a new comment</size>. Sometimes you may not check if you are loged in before writing, and sometimes simply get kicked before you finish a post…

  • @Mr. Mister

    From what I've been able to gather on the internet (which, naturally, isn't always the most reliable source), it appears he's cast and starts training for Conan today, with filming scheduled to begin March 15th. I'm thinking a March film date shouldn't interfere too much with GoT filming. I would hope Conan would be wrapping up about the time GoT starts production again this summer.

  • Another Canuck here!
    I like the new site, however when I tried it from home, it gave me a 403 error and said I should run antivirus (yikes, I guess I'll get on that).
    Anyways, just wanted to say that after 10 years, I finally convinced my husband to read A Game of Thrones (after talking about the TV series constantly). He's now almost done A Clash of Kings and enjoying it (I knew he would).
    Can't wait to hear about a series pickup. I'm very optimistic. Already planning a viewing party.

    • Yay, hello to another fellow Canadian!

      You're lucky you got to convince your husband. Mine won't go anywhere near a book (unless it's about hockey), much less a fantasy one. I'm working on one of my friends though :)

  • To be honest: right now, I don't like the new engine. Maybe it simply needs some time to familiarize with, or it is kind of broken. Some observations why I feel like I do:

    OK: now you can reply to a specific post, and the answer will be shown right below that post. BUT only after you clicked on the "replies" link. Good, now I can "follow" users and be notified of responses to MY postings, but what if I would rather want to read like, EVERYTHING that is going on here? I can't follow someone before he/she posts for the first time, and one reply can relate to a bunch of stuff. While this may be usefull for a specific discussion between a few users, the chance of replies getting overlooked is even higher than before.

    The rating system: Why do I have "12p" standing next to each of my posts? Those thumbs up don't sum up to 12… how is this working?

    Every time I want to write a new post, I get the first line of one of my older ones in that box – right now: "Hm, my last post is gone somehow while I was experimenting with posting pictures (won't work)." Strange…

    The system is slow. Every time I go back to a topic, the initial posting will come up fast, and then the engine starts to render the rest of the page (the comments). Even the NUMBER of comments displayed at the beginnig of the loading procedure tends to shift every time (going one up or down) once the page is complete. Quite unusual.

    • I agree with you about the replies. I have a constant feeling that I might be missing an interesting conversation that might have developed in reply to a previous comment somewhere…

      And I don't like the first line of my last post staying in the comment box either.

      I believe 12 p stands for "12 postings". It seems count edits as new postings though.

      And is there a way to see the comments automatically when they are published instead of reloading the page at random? Because not only do I have to refresh the page all the time to see if there is something new, but it brings me back to the fist page of comments every time…
      But maybe that's just me being dumb because I have no experience blogging…

      • Wow, now the reply-box comes up with "Ellen," again… this may be because of browser settings (thanks, Marko), but I kind of like the auto-fill form option (like street, postal code etc.), so I guess I'll have to live with that…

        Nymeria: this number (12p or whatever) is called a "reputation score", as a mouseover reveals. Gaining reputation by editing your own posts would be bullshit, wouldn't it? And I edited my last post at least once afterwards, so now I would be at a minimum of 14, but it's not the case. So I'm still at a loss how to interpret these numbers.

          • This very blog here, today, is all I ever used IntenseDebate for. I'm following this blog for over a year, first posting without any account, than via Google (where I registered only too be able to do just that). Google accounts don't work anymore, thus InDeb.

            Listen: yes, I'm nitpicking right now. But I do it to help making this blog and all the discussions that go on here the best they can be. I treasure the work WiC put into the new system, but still I don't feel comfortable to applaud the results. While working on websites and -shops, I (hopefully) developed a keen eye for usability. Might be just me, but I doubt this system will work for, say, 10 times as many users (the site will no doubt gain once the series goes on the air). So better to find a working solution now than to be sorry afterwards.

        • But then you get a +1 reputation score for posting a comment, which is also bullshit IMO, unless someone can explain the logic of it to me.
          And now my postings and edits don't sum up to my score either, so never mind. A +1 for an edit would have been bullshit indeed…
          Perhaps people are giving us the thumbs up and we aren't getting any notification… ?

  • well… if you have this little “noscript” firefox-plugin that disables javascripts (because they are a big security concern) you have a look-and-feel of the comment-section thats very similar to the old site… no avatars, no rating, no thumbs-up/down… you don’t have to click on “x replies” because it will be shown right away.
    trade off: you can only post as guest because the facebook/twitter/whatever buttons are not shown (but you don’t necessarily need those imho) and the links that people use in comments mostly don’t work correctly (you’ll have to modify the url a bit)

  • re: Jason Mamoa


    I can't imagine it'll cause a problem, he can find the time (6 weeks tops I'd think) to film the Drogo scenes for one season, and that's all he'll need to do. Not a long term time commitment like other characters.

  • It looks good, Luckily I was able to get my username on Intense Debate (too bad this doesn't link to Google, which I was using before). Too often Brude is already taken by someone.

  • Congrats on the new site! Again you're doing an amazing job, and I look forward to continuing to check this site daily for news and important information regarding Game of Thrones.

  • Congratulation with the new site, WiC!

    Before Christmas I talked to the Rep from Random House (they publish GRRM in the States) and asked if they would go the True Blood-route, and republish the books with cover pictures from the show (should it be picked up). She said "probably" – what do you guys think about that? Reprinting the Charlaine Harris books with pictures of Anna Paquin, sent our sales through the roof – but those are romance novels, and the covers where pretty bad before… Will a cover with Sean Bean looking all stoic and manly make for a good publicity strategy? :)

    • Good question. I guess a mixed attempt would work best, kind of like the "adult editions" they did for the Harry Potter novels, only the other way around (what we got NOW would be the adult edition, the new one would be the fancy illustrated, as seen on TV one). Not everyone wants to be caught with a gaudy looking book…

  • Oh, something else I noticed:

    that fancy tag cloud (is anyone really using this?) on the right side shows 4 topics related to David Benioff and another two for david benoiff. Just saying.

    • Hm: the fact that the error is still there after four days makes me think Winter didn't read my above post. That in turn proves my point that the new engine (IntenseDebate) does not help at all in keeping track of "who posted what in response to whom and in which order". In fact, with replies sorted into the middle of the thread, its worse than ever.

      Sorting the comments by "Last Activity" could help, but only if everyone would maintain the discipline to respond to a specific post, instead of simply posting a new comment below it. Bottom line: if the current situation can't be improved, IntenseDebate sucks balls.

    • The "Recent Comments" section is another feature not working as it should. Besides the "Jump to" links not working I mentioned earlier, it really is a "last 5 comments" section. Right now, we are down to postings made during the last two hours. If someone checks in, say, twice a day, he/she sees only a small fraction of what was posted when trafic is up.

      Again, I suggest to run a message board for the comments (with Winter being the only one able to start new topics, one for each blog post). There you could see every topic touched since your last logout, jump to the first unread post, quote, and whatever. This has nothing to do with taking away something from Westeros or any other aSoIaF board, but with keeping this site functionable.

      In other words: I read nearly every comment that was written here during the last year or so, but keeping IntenseDebate running as it is now will simply make this impossible, especially with a (presumably) growing userbase.

      • Sorry Dunk, I really don't see what is so bad about this system compared to the old one. The recent comments section is essentially the same as it was under the old system. The "jump to" links didn't work there either. I think it is an issue with the theme. I will try to fix the issue, when I get a chance.

        Also I think I used to have 7 recent comments instead of 5. I can change it back to 7 but the formatting of the IntenseDebate recent comments causes the widget to take up a lot of space and pushes everything down. Either way, if there are a lot of comments and you are only checking the site twice a day, two more recent comments in the sidebar is not going to make a difference.

        If you want to stay on top of all the comments I would suggest using the RSS feed. Or the email subscription feature.

        • Winter, thanks for taking the time to reply.

          You are right: compared to the old system, it is only slower to load and kind of harder to keep track of all new postings. The RSS feed might be worth a try, but an email subscription would drive me even more insane as I already am in about two days ;-)

          Still, I miss kind of a "wow" effect the new stuff has to offer, that would make up for the longer loading time and such. If you keep looking, I'm not the only one who has issues with it (like formating).

          Please keep in mind that I'm not trying to make the site or your work on it down. It may be too early to dismiss the new system as a failure, but there are some signs I like to warn you about.

    • Ah: Winter is Reading & Reacting (no more david benoiff) after all – thanks!

      So: any opinion on the performance of the new engine so far? Are you satisfied with it?

      • Yeah, it's pretty good. I mean, it has its pros and cons. I like the avatars and the ability to comment via Facebook or Twitter. I also like that you can edit your comments.

        The comment threading I'm still not sure about. Sometimes it is nice, but I don't like how the threads are hidden by default and there doesn't seem to be a way to change that. I might get rid of that. I also don't like how refreshing brings you back to the first page.

        Overall it seems slightly better than the old system but still not perfect. I still have plans to continue to improve and expand the website and coming up with the perfect comment system is one of my goals. But for now, I think this works well and once you get used to it it won't be that bad. :)

        • Yes, avatars are always kind of cute, and if people stick to their pics (meaning: not change them every now and again), it gives a sense of recognition. Facebook and Twitter are not my cup of tea, but may be nice for the ones who use them. Editing is surely an improvement, since I tend to overlook a lot of stupid errors.

          Threading and refreshing are things I am really concerned about. Imagine getting 500 comments on every post you make, and it can only get worse.

          I think the comments are a critical feature to the overall success of your site. I guess you don't want to only spread the word, but keep people talking about it and read what they think – that's what i'm here for, mostly. So I hope you will keep experimenting and find the perfect system as soon as possible ;-)

          • Agreed about the comments being critical. My goal is to have essentially all the features of a message board system, but in a comment format. Profiles, avatars, comment history, etc.

            As far as how to deal with the current system, I'm still debating whether to get rid of threading or not. I think I will keep it for now but if it is rarely used or causes folks to miss important comments I will switch back. I wish IntenseDebate just had a quote function. I like that much better than the threading.

            And the refreshing thing? My best suggestion is to get used to using the Last Activity link. It will refresh all the comments and give you the most recent ones right at the top. I've been using it and it works really well for keeping up with the ongoing conversations.

            Thanks for all your input! I really appreciate the feedback, be it positive or negative. :)