Marketing News

HBO launches The Maester’s Path website

As part of their ongoing transmedia marketing initiative, HBO has launched The Maester’s Path website today. The site talks of walking the path and encountering five challenges, passing each challenge earns you another link in your maester’s chain. It also mentions recruiting five novices to walk the path behind you.

The Maester's Path Website

Winter Is Coming: So far only one challenge is open, the other four challenges will open up every Monday from now until March 28th. It looks like the package that was sent out last week is going to be the key to solving the first challenge. I suspect that every week a new package will be sent that will contain the clues to solving the following week’s challenge. How cool!

UPDATE: Just completed the challenge and the reward is AMAZING! Be sure to complete the puzzle to claim this awesome reward.

303 Comments

  • I wonder if there are plans to continue this until the first episode airs since there are only five links in the chain apparently?

  • I have to say I expected we’ll need to find a pasword to get onto the site in the first place. This is so cool, though :)

  • Jan Fennick: Am I missing something? How is anyone supposed to play if they don’t have access to the spiffy HBO boxes?

    Just look at the pictures posted here or Westeros or any of the other Blogs to find what you need.

  • I don’t want to be spoilered, so I’ll be avoiding the rest of the comments, but I can’t access this site at work (I’m surprised I can access this one), so I have to wait over 7 hours before I get home to visit the site. Wah!! I want it now! *pouts like a 2 year old*.

  • Arghhh, stupid test and classes. I won’t be able to do this for hours and its killing meeeee.

    HBO has done an awesome job marketing this. The buzz just keeps on growing.

  • Awesome! The reward is totally worth it. Can’t wait until the next step on the path.

    Let’s see, everyone received their boxes on Feb. 24th, and the site went live today, Feb. 28th. So that makes 4 days between. Think that means we can expect the next physical iteration to be released March 3rd, since the next step on the website is March 7th?

  • The Reward is better than any of the trailers we got so far. I can’t wait to see Hodor in the second Reward. You hear me, HBO?

    And remember: always support the bottom. I sent the links to my shortest friends :P

  • BTW Do you think maesters’ chains will look like that in the series? I always imagined them more regular, varying only in what metal they are made of, not in shape and decoration. But still it LOOKS awesome.

    I also quite like the idea that since there are 5 trials, each will be connected with one of the senses – so there will be some hearing, some “eating”, touching (Shae’s nipples? :P) and something pretty to look at. Though it’s hard to imagine what they would do with tasting…

  • Dominik Plewa, yeah, that’s what they look like. Huge links like that. Makes for a pretty impressive looking chain. Luwin’s was down to his waist. Can’t even imagine with Pycelle’s might look like.

  • Since only the die hard book fans are probably going to be following this promotion, HBO don’t really have to worry about giving out “rewards” that appeal to the common viewer (the sex and violence angle). I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the future stuff is aimed squarely at the fans.

  • Anyone want to generally describe what the reward is for those of us that don’t want to register? with spoiler tags, of course

  • I have Chills. this is fantastic. I expected some fancy marketing campaign but nothing at this level. its basically an ARG. WHich I think are a lot of fun

  • grandmaFunk:
    Anyone want to generally describe what the reward is for those of us that don’t want to register?with spoiler tags, of course

    Register. that is all

  • The reward is BRILLIANT! Stupid grin on my face :D

    grandmaFunk:
    Anyone want to generally describe what the reward is for those of us that don’t want to register?with spoiler tags, of course

    It’s a clip of Jon giving Needle to Arya. What’s more, the dialogue seem to be straight off the book :D

  • It’s not letting me claim my reward :S

    I’ve posted the news to twitter and facebook, but when I click ‘claim reward,’ nothing happens! Help!!

  • Very, very cool reward. HBO is definitely doing a good job of promoting this.

    If there’s anyone that wants to become a novice to an acolyte not afraid to dabble in the dark arts they are welcome to walk this way: http://itsh.bo/gZHEI7

  • Screw HBO for US only campaigns. There are (admittedly indirectly) paying customers here in Europe, too! And we wanna be part of the hype

  • Video does not work in Internet Explorer for me either. And I can’t get it to work on Firefox. F-ing dreadful error testing on HBO’s part.

    Removed all rights now. I think I’ll wait till someone puts it up on youtube.

  • Ok I’m very frustrated. I solved the puzzle and 2 options came up. One was to share my success the other was to claim the prize. I went to claim the prize but nothing happened. I thought maybe you had to share your success before you claim the prize so I did that and then tried to claim the prize but still nothing happened I am very confused and pissed off, maybe someone can give me an idea of what I may be doing wrong

  • Love the reward, such a cool idea as well. I guess winter will have 5 novices in no time. If you haven’t signed up yet use this link please and you’ll help me with another stage of the path:

    http://itsh.bo/dOzTNM

    ty!

  • Have sniffed out the direct url to the vid, do you think it might be possible to work out the URL of the other videos from it?

  • I’m using firefox and pop up blockers are on allow, maybe my firewall isn’t allowing me to see the video. this sucks

  • tek, you have to recruit people to sign up using your referral link. Post it on your Facebook or Twitter or email the link to friends.

    trickyric, maybe. Although I wouldn’t want to see them anyway. That spoils all the fun!

  • ok so I had trouble getting the reward at first but finally got it. I had to refresh the page and do the puzzle again. It wasn’t as hard the second time around, it actually just took me 10 seconds or so, which actually was surprising. For some reason the second time around it just worked when I tried to get the prize

  • This was amazing. What a wonderful marketing campaign HBO has going on; even though only a few people got the hands-on experience from the scent boxes, we can all share in the resulting rewards. Well done, and what a delight to be a learning acolyte of the Citadel :D

  • not sure how this novice thingy works… @WiC, I clicked your link. did I show up in your collection of novices?

  • This is funny. When you upload the video to youtube it is only 0:17 long and broken. It seams like HBO has secured it in same way.^^
    Should I try to work around that or give them the points win?

  • Gods! I’ve been looking at my reward over and over again. I don’t want to spoil. I loved it. I just wish it kept … a few more … so I could just … when … name it.

    HBO definitely supports the bottom.

  • I can’t access this at work, but my brain was shooting off with creative writing thoughts, so here, I contribute to the history of House GateWatch :)

    “Always Support The Bottom”
    The small boy with curly blond hair boy sat at the feet of his wizened old grandmother, hoping to delay bedtime for a few more moments. In his hands rested a small wooden box, filled with scrolls, bottles and other assorted trinkets.
    “Please, Granny Wykk, tell me one more time about our words!”

    The grandmother smiled down at the sweet young child, and knowing that the days they are willing to sit by your feet and actually listen fly by far too fast, she indulged him. Leaning forward, she began:

    “Always remember, child, the treasured words of House GateWatch. No one knows exactly when the words were chosen; there are whispers of the first men and women of House GateWatch, eons ago when the Internets still reigned the world, and there were no need for Ravens, since twitters were freely heard amongst all creatures instantly around the world. Yes, my child, it sounds strange, electronic Ravens tweeting but those were strange days, and they are no more.

    What caused the words to be chosen by these extraordinary first people of House GateWatch? There are rumors aplenty, for sure. Talk of Targaryens with eyes that were not purple, hair that was not silver-gold, and eyebrows dark as a storm cloud twisting down a Dothraki Sea. Of an Iron Throne where the swords were twisted in all the wrong ways. Of Starks being too old, Of names being pronounced wrong, of Direwolves far too small and too docile. Oh child, I see your eyes widen in fear, but do not worry, the loyal peoples of House GateWatch did their best to right all these wrongs in the world. And our words began with a box much like the one you have their, in your lap!”

    “From a large and hot desert on the coast of an old world called Calyfornya did the boxes arrive from, boxes sent out from a group of men called the Hubows. And only to a chosen few, did the boxes go, only to those that the Hubows deemed intelligent enough to understand the box and all its secrets. The Ancient Lord Wykk, First of His Name, called upon his scattered people to help him derive the mysteries of the box. And it was those loyal servants of Lord Wykk, after much thinking, contemplating, and testing, that did decide upon the true message of the box; “Always Support The Bottom” And how did they know it was true? Why, because “Always Support The Bottom” was a phrase that was correct in any situation, a phrase that no matter where you uttered it in the land of House GateWatch, ruled by the benevolent Lord Wykk, it made sense.

    When a lady would hand her lord a newborn babe, swaddled in the softest cotton, she whispered the words “Always Support The Bottom”.

    When a castellan handed a large basket of bread and cheese for the kitchen to distribute to the small folk out in the fields, he spoke the words “Always Support The Bottom!”

    When young girls spoke in hushed and giggled tones about the secret books left by Doreah, and the lessons she taught young Danerys so long ago, “Always Support The Bottom” was the most popular lesson of all.

    When Queen Arya of old taught her ancient armies of all women to fight, the second lesson with their Needles, after ‘stick them with the pointy end’ was “Always Support The Bottom”

    When young Maesters, fresh from the Citadel, came to House GateWatch, their welcoming ceremony always included a heavy wooden box, filled with many surprises, with the admonition to “Always Support The Bottom”.

    And when a loyal servant of House GateWatch would pass away, as the pallbearers carried the box gently to the graveyard, in hushed tones they reminded each other “Always Support The Bottom”.
    \
    The peoples of House GateWatch soon found that no matter what the situation, or where they were, the phrase “Always Support The Bottom” made clear and common sense. And now, my darling young grandson, before this post leans too far into the realm of Fan-Fiction, something that is abhorred by the Great God GRRM, I will stop this story, lest his wrath be brought down on House GateWatch, destroying us forever! Now off to bed with you!”

  • marzman, it doesn’t say who my individual novices are, or maybe I just haven’t figured out how to show that. But I do have at least 5 and it is encouraging me to get more to rank on the “list of the Acclaimed.” They are making it into a game, see who can get the most novices. Very clever, HBO. ;)

    Abyss, I’d say “Let the Wookiee (HBO) win.” Half the fun of seeing the vid is doing the puzzle to get it! I’m sure these vids will be uploaded to MGoT once the whole thing is complete anyway.

  • So do you think the rest of The Maester’s Path will be sense related? There are 5 items, so that fits. If so, I cant wait to see the Taste one!

  • Anyone know if you can become a novice if you have already signed up and finished the puzzle? Wish I had gone through recruitment link :(

  • to those who are having trouble viewing the video, I’m sure the site is getting slammed right now so just be patient and try again later.

    Once you’ve solved the puzzle, you should be able to return to view the reward without having to solve it again.

  • Matt:
    Same here, I solved the puzzle, click ‘claim reward’ and nothing happens. Stupid.

    As I have said in a previous post I just had to refresh the page to get it to work. You have to do the puzzle over again which sucks. I had created an account to twitter and posted my success already before I refreshed the page. I don’t know if that had anything to do with the reason why it worked the second time around tho0ugh

  • Winter Is Coming:
    to those who are having trouble viewing the video, I’m sure the site is getting slammed right now so just be patient and try again later.

    Once you’ve solved the puzzle, you should be able to return to view the reward without having to solve it again.

    I hadn’t thought of a place were you could see your prize later on. So if there was one I just didn’t know about it

  • once you solved the puzzle, you are able to revisit the reward (as I did it) many, many, many times. the site is just very slow, because of a lot of traffic I guess.

  • Wow. Just wow. I started the puzzle thinking the reward would be a wallpaper like these types of things always are, but no. That was awesome. =D

    Oh, and for those who can’t get it to work, you could try updating your Flash Player. Not saying that will solve it, just that it might.

  • i have to say that watching the pilot of camelot last weekend i was a bit worried the GoT might look as meh as that god-horrible show. but after seeing my reward and the extended trailer all of those fears are gone! me -> happy :)

  • I suspect that those who have already signed in can’t become novices. It may be a good idea to put a note at the top with Winter’s link so that people who want to be his novice can click on it when the first sign up.

    Or, of course, they can always click on mine:

    http://itsh.bo/hjXXkM

  • *Kneels*

    As a lone traveller from the far north, I humbly seek permission to join House Gatewatch, and to one day utter the words in battle and feast, so that glory and legend may follow.

  • actually got the link by accident while I was building the sequence so will have to redo later on lol But it’s really great that they build up such things and the reward is lovely.
    I just wish I would have gotten a scent box as well ;)

  • kris90210,

    Same thing happend to me. I finally did it, then it wanted me to post to facebook. I did then it wont play the reward! I went back in and it will not let me register at all, and I don’t want to repost to facebook. So I dont see the reward.

  • Phoenix_torn:
    so how do you view the reward after you’ve solved it?

    you have to log in to the site before you go to the puzzle, then it should take you right to the prize page

  • I bet each REWARD will pertain to each puzzle or link we form. There are 5 puzzles, and 5 different scent experiences right? So I bet we are going to get a REWARD pertaining to each area. Just a guess. =D Loved the first reward.

  • Just tried logging back in to the site and it does not recognise my log in details even though I forged my link and got the reward previously. Did people get an email confirming their log in details (as I don’t seem to have)?

    Also found that anytime I tried sharing something on twitter it never seemed to work.

    Abyss: Btw, is this how the Maesterchain actual looks like in the show? It would be our first picture of it, I think.

    I was wondering that, I would think it is.

  • We still didnt get a glimpse of the music.The scene looked like it was from a theatre or something.I dont know about you but for me the sound element is very important.I am eagerly waiting for a video about Ramin Djawadi’s work.I know it cant be done already but atleast give us some something.

  • so I’m giving up. I posted to facebook, twitter, facebook again, and can’t see anything and now it won’t recognize my login…

  • Finally got it working. I guess theres no real trick to it. Just try, and try again.

    And.. Awesome reward! I am both exited and a little bit relieved. I had a lot of faith, but still.

  • EPIC EPIC YES at that reward!! :D

    When I saw what it was I started grinning and feeling really fangirly. Amazing amazing amazing. I totally don’t regret giving up my family/titles/chances at land or marriage for that reward! (Except I know I know, the Citadel doesn’t accept women…don’t call Maestergate!)

  • Just… Wow! I’d gush but I don’t want to give out too many hints…

    No probs watching the video from Norway using Chrome btw.

    And Purplejilly, that was truly amazing. Always Support the Bottom!

  • Sjwenings:
    Are we allowed to discuss this freely now?

    It’s out on youtube, as posted here.

    I would use spoiler tags. If you want to talk about it without spoiler tags try posting comments.

  • Phoenix_torn,

    I don’t know if my name spelled backwards would sound as…elegant…as some others who have adopted the same practice ;)
    Alleras = nice, Anil = unfortunate :/

  • This is awesome! Whoever has those cool boxes, did you try to mix the scents for each place of the puzzle? Must have been pretty cool :) And of course, whoever wants to support the acolyte and become a novice… :)

    http://itsh.bo/fa31nV

  • I don’t see myself able to express my eternal gratitude to HBO. This surpasses all my expectations, hopes, illusions and whatever I had. Wow, just… wow.

    purplejilly,

    You should be the bard of our House Gatewatch, milady, and compete among the best. It is known.

    A.S.T.B.

  • I usually don’t post, just lurk but The Maester’s Path just forced me to come out of the shadows to say: Thanks HBO, you make this series a real experience for me! I have never followed the creation of a movie or TV series before (and I don’t think I ever will in the future) in this detail and I feel utterly, utterly lucky to be following GOT, where the powers that be appreciate the fandom this much. i think I’m going to spend a lot on DVD’s! :) (This is how successful marketing is in the making BTW :) )

    Loved the reward!
    http://itsh.bo/gERVIK

  • To comment on the clip itself, I think Maisie is trying a bit too hard to be a serious actor. She should let a little more of her childlike enthusiasm through to Arya. I doubt the real Maisie is this stiff and dour.

  • Thank you, thank you You Tube people!!! I just saw the reward and on my honor I promise to always support the bottom!

    ps
    thanks to HBO too

  • The Youtube link kinda takes the fun out of it. But I guess enough people are having trouble getting the video to work on HBO’s site and for those people I can understand watching the vid at YouTube.

    But if you haven’t taken the time to at least try to solve the puzzle and view the video at The Maester’s Path than you are a cheater and will be kicked out of House Gatewatch!

  • purplejilly,

    Purplejilly, despite the fact that the Reward of the Maester’s Path is nothing short of sublime, your History of the Bottoms can rival it in full glory! Thumbs up for Bard Purplejilly, may your Bottom be Supported into all eternity!!

  • I tried to solve the puzzle but couldn’t. I even went to Westeros and looked at the symbols and still couldn’t figure it out.

    I’m an airhead.

    I’ve always been terrible at puzzles. I just don’t get it. I know you’re supposed to line up the scents with where they come from, but I don’t understand all the rings.

    Whatever.

    I’m embrarassed.

    So I had to go to YouTube to see the clip. It was cool, but somehow underwhelming. I don’t know why. Maybe it would have been better if I had unlocked it myself.
    I may stop looking at any more trailers or clips. It will be hard, but I feel like we’re seeing too much.

  • Oh yeah, I also got the link of course:

    http://itsh.bo/etfQ4a

    But what the heck does one do with that? How does one ‘gather novices’? I must have missed something, I’m stupid, so please give it to me nicely ;-)

  • John Engedal:
    *Kneels*

    As a lone traveller from the far north, I humbly seek permission to join House Gatewatch, and to one day utter the words in battle and feast, so that glory and legend may follow.

    *Still kneeling*

    I, ahem, think someone needs to fake accept my request, or my knees shall start to bleed.
    Anyways, I shall stop demanding attention and instead remark upon the beauty of this show, I like everything about it.

  • Tar Kidho,

    Basically, if someone follows your link, registers and completes the puzzle, then you got yourself a novice. I wish I figured that out before i registered and would have helped out a fellow GoT fan. Oh well…

  • Finally saw the clip as a reward for solving the puzzle! But now the site won’t accept my login again lol This is the closest thing to sucess i fear i will reach.

    purplejilly: That was amazing.

  • John Engedal: *Still kneeling*

    I, ahem, think someone needs to fake accept my request, or my knees shall start to bleed.

    Please, remain kneeled just a little longer. It was a tough day and I’d be very happy if you could support my bottom for a while…

  • purplejilly,

    i enjoyed this more than the reward.

    actually im a little bit disapointed by the acting of jon. there was so much distance…
    arya is extraordenary good ofc :D

  • Alex Dothrak,

    Thanks for clearing that up! I also would have used someone’s link if I had known before… This board is now already filled with links hence not a good place to recrute, so we’re gonna have to ask other people to join. Smart bit of advertisement by HBO, kudos!

  • Why are people making a joke about the “reward” being so awesome when there isn’t one! The reward button does NOTHING. It doesn’t even have a satisfying little “click” sound to let me know you press it.

    It’s a fun little puzzle game and worth the 5 minutes I spent figuring it out. But it is disingenuous to imply that there is a reward, when there isn’t one.

  • so off topic, and not sure if it has been mentioned or not, but the HBO website shop now has House T-Shirts for sale!

  • Since we are now discussing the actual clip:
    I wish they had shown the “Don’t tell Sansa!” line (It better be in the complete scene!). And I’d also really like to see Jon ruffle Arya’s hair. I love their relationship: They always have each other’s backs because they know they’re both outsiders in their own way. I’m really, really hoping for a reunion!

  • can someone explain me how this thing with the novices works?

    i already followed the links of some of you a few times, but everytime i end up at the beginning of the maester site, with the trailer…

  • tek:
    so off topic, and not sure if it has been mentioned or not, but the HBO website shop now has House T-Shirts for sale!

    First time I hear about that, going right over to check’em out!

  • I’m saddened that it was posted on youtube. Being handed things just takes the fun out of it, cheapens the reward. The same with posting solutions. Please don’t do so. The puzzle isn’t that difficult. Work at it a bit and the reward increases in value to yourself. Getting there is a good part of the fun.

    When our civilization finally falls, our collective tombstone should just have the whine, “It’s too hard!”

  • Spork,

    http://store.hbo.com/?g=1&v=hbo_shows_game-of-thrones

    I love the shirts for houses Greyjoy and Targaryen! The Baratheon ones are also nice, but I hope they’ll not get too popular amongst flemish-nationalists… (if you’re not from Belgium or closeby, that remark won’t mean anything) The Stark shirts should also be made in a darker colour, because that light one just won’t fit my pale hair and skin!

  • Tar Kidho: Of course! Supporting the bottom and honour are as tightly associated as two coats of paint!

    Then I shall support until my back breaks, until my knees fail and the floors run red, in the hope of one day gaining entry to this most noble house of Gatewatch…

  • Langkard,

    I agree that posting the solution and the reward is less fun, a lot of us have had problems with the maesters site and haven’t been able to see the clip (even after solving the puzzle multiple times). I love that they’re given us puzzles. We have proven over and over again that we’re good at them, but its aggravating that some of us are having problems viewing the clip.

  • I think they have removed the Novices thing… I haven’t encoured it at all, even after completing the puzzle.

  • I so have to order a greyjoy-shirt; Fits perfectly with all my metal-T-shirts ;)
    I hope they ship to Europe

  • The shirts are bloomin’ fantastic, love the Baratheon and Targaryen shirts particulary… checked the HBO UK store to order some and find that they’ve not been listed over here yet – boo, hiss!

    Will def snap up a few of these when (if) they do arrive this side of the water… any chance of a House Umber version HBO? pretty please? … c’mon, they’re in Season 1

  • Thanks for your help, guys. Got the puzzle unlocked by neither Explorer or Chrome liked the HBO video which is frustrating as all get out since I haven’t had any trouble viewing things from them before on this computer (just on all the others in my house). Audio was fantastic, but the video was choppy and pretty much jumpy still frames. ARGH!

  • Reupel,

    No, they are not shipping to Europe. :(
    I was trying to buy my beloved Lannister shirt and this is the message I got:

    “Please Note: If you are shipping your order outside of the United States, please be advised that you have one or more items in your cart that can only be shipped to addresses within the United States. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause”

  • Tar Kidho,

    Thanks for the link. Totally agree about the Stark shirts, they need a dark grey or black one. Though I guess they are accurate, grey direwolf on ice white field.

  • Dear HBO – I loved your reward, and the puzzle to get it! And I hate cheats…
    But I can’t see your videos… Have Norton, Win 7, IE and Safari… think I enabled cookies and what not..
    what am I doing wrong?
    I don’t want to have to see the next reward on youtube, even though I’ll wait until I’ve mastered the next link..
    Help??

  • About the clip: Am I the only feeling underwhelmed by Jon’s acting? Didn’t see a lot of the bond between him and Arya in this scene, while this should be one of the key scenes in terms of the emotional bond between them. Would prefer some more feeling or even humour (Stick ’em with the pointy end)

  • I second the Jon sentiment I’m afraid, but hopefully it will come out better seeing the whole eisode – plus remember it’s always a little so and so in the first episode… getting in role etc.. it will robably get better..
    though have to say he seems quite stuck up ;P our little “bastard” or whatnot… he sure has that flair around him that’s going to get him into trouble at the Wall!
    Looking forward to seeing him – AND ARYA! – in the first ep! Heck I’m looking forward to seeing the first ep PERIOD!! :D

  • JBJB:
    About the clip: Am I the only feeling underwhelmed by Jon’s acting? Didn’t see a lot of the bond between him and Arya in this scene, while this should be one of the key scenes in terms of the emotional bond between them. Would prefer some more feeling or even humour (Stick ‘em with the pointy end)

    I actually think that the sadness of the scene is beautifully captured. It’s a very ironic scene, sure, but the two of them know they won’t see each other in a loing time.

  • Don’t know if this will make the wait easier or harder but at least its something to look foreword to every Monday until the show begins.

  • Talk about a really fantastic reward. I wonder if they were spying on our “top 5 moments we’re excited to see” lists? ;-) By the by, does anyone else feel like they are being courted? I swear, my heart starts fluttering every time that HBO chap comes around nowadays . . .

    JBJB: About the clip: Am I the only feeling underwhelmed by Jon’s acting? Didn’t see a lot of the bond between him and Arya in this scene, while this should be one of the key scenes in terms of the emotional bond between them. Would prefer some more feeling or even humour (Stick ‘em with the pointy end)

    I (respectfully) disagree. Jon is not an emotional, warm kind of a person. He’s very cautious. Everything I’ve seen from Kit Harrington has been very Jon-like in that respect, including this scene. When we only see a small piece of his and Arya’s interactions, and are unable to contrast it with other interactions, so I think it can make him seem colder than we might otherwise imagine. Afterall, in the book, we’re in his head, so we know what he’s thinking, but that doesn’t always match how he appears outwardly. In this scene, the way he smiles as he’s unwrapping the sword is perfect; he’s so please with himself and excited to give Arya the present! Then he turns around and he’s Ser Serious again. But the way he cups his hand around her and pulls her close . . . no, I think he’s great.

  • I really like Maisie here. After watching it a few times, it just becomes better. I see a lot of small nuances to her expressions and body language. Theres no overacting here. And every little thing she does is different, and connects with the mood. She also very much plays her age. She acts as a very young girl, that when faced with an exiting present that she impatiently wants to try out, she tries to restrain herself from jumping, giggling and generally acting too exited/childish, though it very much comes through that she still is a child. Jon notices this and acts the grown up teacher figure. I think they play great off one another, and i am very happy that this iconic scene is so good.

  • Reupel,

    I’m afraid their current stock of GoT-merchandise doesn’t ship to Europe, so I wouldn’t hope for it, sadly :(
    It’s basically the only thing I’m not pleased with in the build-up to the premiere – the unwillingness of HBO to take my money in exchange for some t-shirts.

  • With all due respect, any comments on the skill of the actors without seeing more, is quite frankly, ridiculous.

    Seeing a scene out of context is no way to judge an actor.

    A person’s opinion on an actor in a role from a book, is only valid insofar as it measures up to their own personal view of what they thought that character should look/sound,etc.

    God, I sound like a freakin’ lawyer or something.

  • I disagree with the people that think Jon is played poorly. He’s a bastard, and the most Stark like of the children, so I think it’s correct that he’s somewhat reserved. He feels plenty warm at the end of the clip and anything more would be a change from the character in the book from my point of view. Maisie is also very good and they work well together in the scene.

  • JD: Talk about a really fantastic reward. I wonder if they were spying on our “top 5 moments we’re excited to see” lists? By the by, does anyone else feel like they are being courted? I swear, my heart starts fluttering every time that HBO chap comes around nowadays . . .I (respectfully) disagree. Jon is not an emotional, warm kind of a person. He’s very cautious. Everything I’ve seen from Kit Harrington has been very Jon-like in that respect, including this scene. When we only see a small piece of his and Arya’s interactions, and are unable to contrast it with other interactions, so I think it can make him seem colder than we might otherwise imagine. Afterall, in the book, we’re in his head, so we know what he’s thinking, but that doesn’t always match how he appears outwardly. In this scene, the way he smiles as he’s unwrapping the sword is perfect; he’s so please with himself and excited to give Arya the present! Then he turns around and he’s Ser Serious again. But the way he cups his hand around her and pulls her close . . . no, I think he’s great.

    My point to the.. eh point… ;) though I confess I was a little disappointed at first glance. But like you and I said, it will only get better once we see the whole product and once the series has aired a few episodes.

  • Tywin’s Bastard: I disagree with the people that think Jon is played poorly. He’s a bastard, and the most Stark like of the children, so I think it’s correct that he’s somewhat reserved. He feels plenty warm at the end of the clip and anything more would be a change from the character in the book from my point of view. Maisie is also very good and they work well together in the scene.

    And I agree with you as well, come to think of it. Good point.

    But I wasn’t very good at articulating my ideas… ;)

  • Great reward, and a fun little puzzle. Here’s hoping future rewards focus more on people we haven’t seen much of in the promos yet, like Robb or Bran.

  • Hopefully I’m not over-stepping my bounds here and if I am I apologize, but to the couple of people that were unable to solve the puzzle I have a small hint: you really only need to look at Winterfell and the Dothraki Sea. Once you have those 2 figured out, the others will fall into place.

  • SergioCQH,

    True- though I think her mood is appropriate here… I mean John is going off to the wall. The main person who actually understands her. She doesn’t know when… and truly; IF she will see him again considering there is one family member part of the Night’s Watch that is MIA…

  • About the reward:

    I seemed to remember a more humorous interaction between Jon and Arya in this scene, so I went back to read the passage in the book. The dialogue in the show is mostly extracted right from George’s text, but they do leave a few bits out. Most of these seem to be things that could possibly make Jon seem warmer: Arya jumping up and hugging Jon around the neck, Jon joking about how Needle is sharp enough to shave with/Septa Mordane’s hairy legs, telling Arya to keep Needle hidden, calling her “little sister,” messing up her hair, telling her not to tell Sansa, and helping her name the sword Needle. Hopefully, we didn’t see the entirety of this scene and we will still get to see the little sister/messing hair/Sansa line/goodbye hug and kisses parts. I think if we get to see those moments, Jon will seem more like the lovable/affectionate older brother we’re all imagining and/or wanting him as being to Arya. To Kit’s credit, touches of it are already there though – the way he smiles at her, the way he bends down to be face-to-face to her. There’s also a certain somber tone that works well as foreshadowing for what we know will happen to the Starks :(.

  • Awesome! I just spent about 15 minutes working on the puzzle—WELL WORTH IT! Thanks for posting the symbols or I would have gone nuts trying to crack it!
    Thanks HBO!

  • Lina,

    We certainly see the hug, as it is in another clip preview we’ve seen. I think it is safe to say there is plenty more of this scene that isn’t shown.

  • Note the editing in the bonus scene. It’s very crisp, very professional, a lesson in how to edit a dialogue scene. Camera cuts follow after the character starts speaking, and aren’t distractingly anticipatory like so many hack job shows. The scene flows very, very nicely and I think it will be even better in context.

  • Wow! This marketing campaign is the coolest thing ever! I LOVE how interactive it is. It’s fine if people want to cheat and watch the youtube link, they’re only ruining it for themselves. I will be looking forward to these each week!

    Guesses for the remaining links? At least one of them will DEFINITELY involve RAVENS!

    As for the reward: I was initially a bit unsure of the acting/emotional distance too… but this is exactly what I’ve been expecting, especially regarding our most anticipated scenes. Our expectations are too high, our mental images too vivid, and MANY scenes will probably feel “wrong” on the first viewing.

    I initially felt that both Jon AND Arya (especially Arya) seemed a little too sad/distant, but after viewing the clip a few times I can see warmth in Jon’s smile and excitement in Arya’s eyes. Plus, I think there was a clip in one of the trailers where Arya jumps into Jon’s arms. Remember that this is out of context, and both characters are probably feeling cautious/sullen/upset for various reasons.

    Anyways, wow… what a crazy GOT day!

  • Won’t tell a soul what the reward is. Cross my heart. Hope to die. Stick a…well you know the rest of it.

  • Funnily enough, house Arryn is also neglected on the map of Westeros, last I heard they were still one of the major houses were they not?

  • It’s time to face the cold, hard reality… This show may simply feel “wrong” on first viewing. That includes all ten episodes!

    There will be a lot of mental-adjusting for most of us, and we may have trouble at first. I think it’s only on a second viewing of the entire series that we will really start to fall in love with the show.

  • Now that I’ve watched it again—-I’m very happy with the acting. Maisie has nailed Arya in this scene.

    In the books I thought Jon was warmer around Arya, but I still like the interaction in this scene. Jon is trying to be very serious but when he’s turned away from Arya he cracks a smile.

    I’m excited form more puzzles (and more importantly the rewards)

  • Two years ago I’d have told you you were mad if you’d told me that this sort of thing would be happening. “Fuck off,” I’d have said, “you’re a liar and also a pillock.”

  • sareeta: Jon is trying to be very serious but when he’s turned away from Arya he cracks a smile.

    That was what stuck out to me the very first time I saw it, and I loved it so much. Good touch on the part of Kit Harrington there. The subtlest of smiles there as he’s preparing his gift. So happy with the acting in the scene.

    Added a spoiler tag there for you, LOL.

  • So what happens if you collect five novices?

    Also, I think that the link they provide you doesn’t work 100%; despite the fact that I shamelessly plugged it to my friends (and got at least three people to click on it), I’ve yet to collect a single novice point. Only when I tried using an alternate email account and solving it there did I manage to add one to my first try/account.

  • I’ve been a lurker for some time but now have to share my overwhelming joy at this reward with others who understand! This is, was, and will forever be my favorite scene in the book and I just found myself crying while watching it on screen!

    God I love HBO for this.

    Also if you have not joined yet…wont you be my novice?
    http://itsh.bo/f4tA7h

    And to:
    purplejilly,

    You are a true thespian, and I enjoyed this immensely :-)

  • Re: the reward. I’m very happy with the acting in the clip. Jon in the books is written as cautious and not particularly warm in his interactions. He’s very aware of the difference in his and his siblings’ stations. His affection is apparent in his actions like giving Needle, and in his thoughts, but he’s not a lovey dovey person. I think Kit Harington’s dead on so far.

  • Okay. Watched. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    *dies*

    *reincarnates to watch AGAIN*

    So worth it. Brilliant surprise HBO. I am blown away. AND they’ve given us stuff to do while we wait!! I know have a new religion, and it is THIS shit! XD

  • I quite liked the reward clip, but I felt that they changed Jon’s character slightly, not just in terms of his age. This Jon to me feels more like the one in ASOS/AFfC and I think overall we will get a more mature Jon right off the bat which should be interesting.

  • Grrr I can’t get to the reward, even though I’ve solved the puzzle three times now.

    I click on the link it gives me to see the reward and nothing. Nada. Big fat zilch. Not even a little click noise to let me know I’ve clicked on the right thing.

  • I had no problems with the reward, but there’s a youtube link earlier in this thread for those who can’t get it.

  • Emily,

    I also have problems with my link collecting novices – I had people registering using it, but so far none show up as my novices. We’ll see, there could be a long delay for some reason.

  • It is important to remember that in this scene (which is just part of a longer scene) we see a grown up giving a little girl a deadly weapon. And between the unwrapping and the pointy end-comment, Jon has to act serious to get the message across that this is not a toy, and using it is not a fun little game. Arya is trying her hardest to be be adult and serious about it as well, and only half way manages to do so. I think it’s spot on and realistic.

  • btw some computers seem to be to weak to play those high quality videos in addition to all the scripting going on on the site, to that might be the problem as well…it should work on my site though…

  • John Engedal:
    Then I shall support until my back breaks, until my knees fail and the floors run red, in the hope of one day gaining entry to this most noble house of Gatewatch…

    My appologies, I fell asleep on thee…what a great deed of bottom supporting you did! As a reward, and by the powers never formally invested in me, I hereby declare you Ser John Engedal of the House GateWatch, also known as the Kneeling Knight! May you support bottoms wherever the Seven take you!!

  • Tar Kidho: My appologies, I fell asleep on thee…what a great deed of bottom supporting you did! As a reward, and by the powers never formally invested in me, I hereby declare you Ser John Engedal of the House GateWatch, also known as the Kneeling Knight! May you support bottoms wherever the Seven take you!!

    ALWAYS SUPPORT THE BOTTOM!
    At last I rise. Thank you my Lord/Ser/Lady Kidho. And a knight as well! Amazing.
    As for Jon and Arya, LOVED IT! Although I suspect, like many others have, that in the context of the scenes with Sansa and Septa Mordane beforehand, Jon´s love for Arya will be felt even stronger.

  • KG,
    In the confusion on my new path, with huffing all the smells of Westeros, I meant to say jousting. LOL I am indeed from Maryland, and jousting is our state sport, and we have lots of fencers here too. We treasure the chesapeake, and the past here :)

  • John Engedal: ALWAYS SUPPORT THE BOTTOM!
    At last I rise. Thank you my Lord/Ser/Lady Kidho. And a knight as well! Amazing.

    That would be ‘Tar’ Kidho for now, but hopefully will change to ‘Ser’ once. As I implied before, until now there’s no hierarchic structure installed yet for House GateWatch. Until then, if ever, feel free to call yourself an Unofficial Knight ;-)

  • Tar Kidho: That would be ‘Tar’ Kidho for now, but hopefully will change to ‘Ser’ once. As I implied before, until now there’s no hierarchic structure installed yet for House GateWatch. Until then, if ever, feel free to call yourself an Unofficial Knight

    Is “Tar” some sort of european title or something? Around here in MD, Tar is just this sticky stuff they use on roads :)

  • As far as Novices go, I think your novices have to access the HBO site via the link you provide, create a new account, and also complete the puzzle in order to be counted as a novice.

  • tek,

    same here, I don’t know how many actually used the link, but I used it myself through the incognito mode in chrome, created a new account with a second e-mail, finished the puzzle, watched the video and nothing happened…

  • Sjwenings: March 1, 2011 at 3:22 am | Permalink
    It is important to remember that in this scene (which is just part of a longer scene) we see a grown up giving a little girl a deadly weapon. And between the unwrapping and the pointy end-comment, Jon has to act serious to get the message across that this is not a toy, and using it is not a fun little game. Arya is trying her hardest to be be adult and serious about it as well, and only half way manages to do so. I think it’s spot on and realistic.

    This is my exact thought on it too. It’s why Jon smiles only when he turns from Arya. Let’s not forget we also have a scene with her hugging him, so I suspect that the ‘seriousness’ in this scene is supposed to lead up to that.

  • purplejilly: Is “Tar” some sort of european title or something?Around here in MD, Tar is just this sticky stuff they use on roads

    Saso Alauf:
    purplejilly,

    nope, tar is tar except probably in klingon or dothraki

    Alas, I have to disappoint you both. In the world of Tar Kidho, Tar is simply my given name, and in that world often entitled ‘reality’, it is merely a pseudonym inspired by a certain tribe in ASoIaF… It was either that or ‘Rat’, and then I thought ‘Tar’ sounded much nicer. Wait a minute, I just realized I missed the chance to call myself ‘Art’ :-( Anyway, Tar is far more fitting, since I am renowned for sticking very close to my opponents during a fight, barely giving them the time to breathe! Not unlike falling in a tar pit…

  • John Engedal: ALWAYS SUPPORT THE BOTTOM!
    At last I rise. Thank you my Lord/Ser/Lady Kidho.And a knight as well! Amazing.

    I am still just the Castle GateWatch kitchen slut. Desserts and wine (and pie) for the handsome, brave, virile Lords and Sers. Luckily no one has asked me yet why I send out so many ravens…

  • Sjwenings,
    Perhaps that’s why I initially had doubts. I must admit I did feel the scene to be a little… cold, but as you say it might well be down to the seriousness of the scene. In fact, I felt much more warmth just after the ‘pointy end’ comment, so it’s probably just down to that scene and not their on-screen relationship. So thanks, I feel much more at ease with their characters now.

  • Amir Mishali,

    I’ve just used one of my alt email addys and it works just fine and has my main account showing us as having a novice, and I’m in the UK so I don’t think it has anything to do with being outside of the US.

  • (Sorry if this has been answered already, I haven’t read through the entire thread)

    If we agree to be someone else’s novice, can we still recruit novices of our own? If so I’ll happily be someone’s novice if they need one. Support the bottom, and all that. :]

    and if anyone’s willing to be recruited…
    http://itsh.bo/fnAZJs

  • Kanga,

    You can be someone else novice and then recruit your own. Unfortunately, once you register, you cannot “be recruited”.

  • Anyone else primarily using a mobile device and find a way to read the spoiler tags? I almost never use a PC at home and some topics, this one in particular, have so many “spoilers” that it’s difficult to follow without being able to read them.

  • That said, I am glad that spoiler tags exist in some fashion. Although it is much easier over on Westeros where you can just click a button to show the spoiler. With all the black bars in this topic and the fact that the Maesters Path website used Flash, I’ve been forced to actually use my computer :(

  • Ok, I completed the first task and nothing happened.. No reward, nothing! WTF? Did I do something wrong??

  • Ok, regarding the reward scene… I re-read the passage in the book, and was surprised to see how similar it is. They followed the scene almost exactly (including Arya looking out into the hall to make sure no one is there). Very cool! The only real difference, though, is that Nymeria is supposed to be in the room helping Arya pack (and later guarding the door).

  • Not only was I not able to view my novices, I now simply can’t re-login to my maester’s path account!

    Hopefully their support will be able to solve this…

  • Tar Kidho,

    I think that name sounds too silly for general use, so we will save that name only for late nights after long drinking at the pubs!
    Always Support the Sticky Tar Bottom!

  • Thanks to all those who posted hints. I’m a dumb trout, I could not have made it on my own.

    No idea about novices either. I signed up… then I wasn’t able to become anyone’s novice, all links led me to the main page.

    The reward: lovely.

  • Lex,

    Yeah, I noticed that too. THus far I am super disappointed at the lack of wolves going on in these clips we are getting. HOnestly, the direwolves are one of my absolute favorite pieces of the story, without which I don’t think I would have connected to the story and the House of Stark as much. THey should be with these kids pretty much 24/7, especially in the beginning.

  • I only knew Kings Landing and Winterfell and that was enough to solve it.
    Good thing I watched that guys box opening video the other day.

  • Alex Dothrak,

    Ah, that’s too bad. I suppose that’s their way of getting us to include new people, and not just fellow preexisting fans of the series.
    Thanks for your help!

  • Hear Me Roar,

    Well judging by the T&Cs which state you have to be in the US, I reckon that if there is a competition for the most novices etc., it’ll be US only. So for me, my failure to gather novices isn’t too tragic.

  • I hope that’s the case. Even so, some non-US users managed to gather novices nevertheless. Anyway :) I don’t think it matters much.

  • Well, it looks like it doesn’t work that well when people are using facebook to log in. I just used the link to register with some fake email-adresses… so now have the 5 novices . Doesn’t do you any good anyhow. It just says that you proven yourself to be a worthy leader… yeah, well… :-/

  • […] as the press); releasing trailers, behind the scenes clips, character specials etc online; creating an online game which leads to never-before-seen clips from the series; sending of elaborate scent boxes that provide clues to said game to various people, including […]