The North Remembers: WiC.net 3 years ago
By Hear Me Roar on in Editorial.

WiCnet Alternate LogoHouse Gatewatch has come a long way. So long, in fact, that we can now gaze a full three years into the past and relive the magical moments of following the production of our favourite TV series. For those new to castle Wyknett, this is the opportunity to gather ’round and listen to the tales of old. We have always supported the bottom.

It was February 2009, and Winter was the lone (dire)wolf in his blustery abode, bringing us the latest new and rumours. A harsh month, that was, with little or no word from David & Dan concerning the pilot. So starved of news were we that this line from George deserved a full-fledged post of its own:

I traded some messages regarding developments on the HBO pilot …

There were specks of bright light, however, and some grew to become roaring flames, though we could not have been sure yet. It was then that we heard the first rumour of Dinklage being in talks with HBO! Another, even bigger highlight at the moment was the pilot script leaking publicly to the web. Winter, Mrs Winter, Tower of the Hand and our reader Brude had all reviewed the script before, but now was the first time everyone was able to read it and form their opinion. Winter speculated on the cross-marketing power of A Dance with Dragons being published while Game of Thrones was in creation. Our musings were spot on – if anything, the buzz was underestimated – we were only off with regard to the publication date. Another interesting discussion surrounded the question of how long the series will last. We were cautiously optimistic back then. Today, I do not think there is still one third of us who believe there won’t be more than two season of Thrones on air!

Hear Me Roar: This new series of posts is expected to be published on a more or less regular monthly basis. I hope you will like these trips down the memory lane with us! What are your personal favourite memories of that month three years ago?


47 Comments

  1. Hollyoak
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Oh and what a heady time it was. I didn’t start posting until the casting started but I remember coming here and rejoicing that there would be a place for all of us fans.

    You have all done a fantastic job.

    Always support the Bottom!

  2. Marius
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Congrats WIC!!!

  3. EvilPicnic
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Always support the bottom!

  4. The Rabbit
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I was more in the casting posts during that time.
    Must admit I was pretty “impressed” by some ideas and terrified that the cast of the pilot was gonna be disaster.

    On the other hand I recalled the other day February 2010 – Sourcenator s: “HBO heads did not like the pilot..” and the panic it provoked everywhere.

  5. Raquel Dodd
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Grats and grats!! It’s been wonderful coming here for news and photos!!

  6. Pink Dragon
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    When I first found out ASOI&F was going to become a television show, I FULLY expected some kind of dumbed-down half-assed attempt at a King Arthur rip-off made for teenagers.

    So glad I was wrong!

  7. Hear Me Roar
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The Rabbit,

    We’ll discuss that a year from now, hehe :) At the moment we’re looking three years into the past.

  8. Pink Dragon
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Speaking of February 2009, I don’t even think I was reading the books then! In fact, I was still a sophomore in high school, if my math is right.

    That’s…kind of nasty to think about.

  9. Hear Me Roar
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Oh, and no need for congratulations. This is not our birthday (it falls in November), we’re just talking memories from February 2009, three years ago.

  10. userj
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    good times, I’m not sure exactly when I started at the site but I do remember these posts! Can’t believe it was 3 years ago!

  11. dizzy_34
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The Rabbit,

    Sourcenator, the dreaded Ellena Satine… good times. Ah the good ol days when there were only 30 posts per thread. I’m proud to say I never fell for Sourcentor’s garbage.

  12. Jéssica De Freitas Maciel
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I started pretty early, although not exactly when the blog started. Even so it have been a blast all the journey till here. Always suppor the bottom!

  13. Matt Chung
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    It’s amazing to think that I had only just heard about the series two weeks before its premier while there were thousands of people that had been waiting for years for it. Good work, WiC.net :)

  14. Jesper Molbo
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Not the most active poster, but when i first found this blog right after the green light of the pilot it had 2 posts :) – Been following ever since!

  15. Knurk
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Ah the good old days, some classic Sycophants vs. Detractors discussion going on there in the comments. Probably still posting anonymous back then. This is my favourite:

    “GRRM clearly does not intent to finish writing this series. His energies are devoted to licensed miniature, calendar, and weapon replica hawking, football, and cons. 3-4 seasons. 1, 2, and 3, follow material, and 4 is replaced with an ending.”

  16. Robbet
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Back then I had already read the books for some time and when I found out that the rumors of a tv series were real, I ended up finding WiC. I only started “posting” here later, but I have come here for years, almost since the begining, to find more info!
    Congrats and Thank you, WiC!!!!! :)

  17. Epic knows nothing
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    And to think that back then, I was in grade school in another country, not even aware of the English language or funny american geek culture. Since then I have enlarged my membership many centimeters. Back then I was posting as Anonymous. I had terrible grammar skills but still was able to express my stupications. Funnily, I can only remember what I wrote because I wrote great. I don’t believe I read other posts, during the spare times I was allowed to searching for nude photos of Linda and other Hefners and was sadly over and over nullified.

  18. Thiago Slash
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    nice! as I wasn’t here when it all begun, I’ll be glad to know the steps you took!

    plus, today I found out that the premiere of S2 here in Brazil is April 1st too! aw-some!

  19. sunspear
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I hadn’t started to read the books until the show came out, and had one great summer vacation reading through ASOS. I just finished ADWD last month, and now I have to wait 3+ years for the next one. I guess this is how you guys have been feeling for the past 10 years. I’m so sorry for you.

  20. sjwenings
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I was here from the beginning, and what an exiting time that was, not knowing if the show would be as good as we hoped, or if there would even be a show at all. In hindsight I can somehow appreciate this uncertainty, as it made it even more exiting, I think.

  21. sjwenings
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The Rabbit: On the other hand I recalled the other day February 2010 – Sourcenator s: “HBO heads did not like the pilot..” and the panic it provoked everywhere.

    Thats a rather painful memory you brought up there, lol!

    Never has a troll been more succesfull in trolling me (and others). Oh, the suspicion rose quickly enough, and in a way he kinda sucked as a troll, clearly being a pretty stupid individual. But the effect of his trolling was undeniable. He even made George nervous!

  22. Pepi
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Damn… I’d give my left arm to see that initial pilot. With Ian McNeice(OMG, I haven’t seen this yet), Tamzin Merchant, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Halligan…

  23. goober
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    had never heard of ASOIF.only recall seeing a poster with shaun bean rocking an uncomfortable chair.good thing i was oblivious to it all.if i had to go through all that uncertainty now id be frothing at the mouth.

  24. Ted furthman
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Back then I was addicted to cocaine and this site helped me overcome my urges to relapse

  25. Epic fishhead
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Ted furthman:
    Back then I was addicted to cocaine and this site helped me overcome my urges to relapse

    qft. Happy birthday Wicnet!!!!!!

  26. Hear Me Roar
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Epic, stop it. Now.

  27. Epic fishhead
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I was only trying to help. I blame any delirium on seeing Emilie de Ravin 20 years older all of a sudden. She was so barely legal in Beastmaster. Now practically an old maid in Once Upon a Time.

  28. Ours is the Fury
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Gosh I think I just lurked back in those days, desperate for any nugget of news. The actual show seemed impossibly far away into the future. And now it’s almost the second season. :)

  29. The Rabbit
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Yeah, now it looks a bit surreal looking back.
    I was not so impatient back then about seeing the show, only the lack of any news concerning it provoked the immense anxiety.
    And the anxiety started just around June that year. (After Dinklage had been cast) Suddenly everything became real.

  30. Adam Whitehead
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    OT, but info from the new issue of SciFiNow in the UK which has significant amounts of new info on the filming of Season 2 from a set report at the Paint Hall:

    All of the major characters have two sets of each costume and piece of armour/weaponry. This is because they sometimes needed to fly actors from Dubrovnik back to Belfast to film at the Paint Hall and then rush them back again, and clearing costumes and weapons through customs is a nightmare.

    There is a set of ‘bone armour’ featuring in S2 which will make ‘readers of the books clap their hands in delight’.

    Cersei has a set of ornamental and elegant, ‘Valkyrie-like’ armour.

    HBO mocked up a section of King’s Landing wall for the Blackwater. The wall is 20 metres away from a stretch of water, allowing skiffs full of soldiers to disembark under heavy arrow, ballistae and boiling oil fire from the walls.

    The Blackwater battle will feature a very clever aquatic battering ram. Basically it’s on a boat with rib-like supports sticking out the top. When the boat beaches, the soldiers unpack the battering ram, spin the boat upside down, reconnect the ram and then run it up to the gates with the hull of the boat acting as cover from missile fire. It’s basically a medieval version of the landing craft from D-Day (my take, not the magazine’s).

    Season 2 is the ‘season of battles, especially episode nine’. The crew built another ship at the Linen Mill Studio in Bainbridge. This ship is 140 feet long, 35 feet tall and has a 3oo-foot greenscreen surrounding it. The ship has a modular deck, which they can use as the cargo scow that takes Theon home but they they can lift on a whole new top deck to turn it into Stannis’s flagship, including the addition of a 12-foot-tall stag’s head with antlers as a figurehead.

    The Eyrie set is still standing in the Paint Hall, despite not featuring at all for Season 2. It’s too intricate to dismantle and store and they will need it for future seasons, so it’s been left up.

    A second, ‘purpose-built’ studio is being built next to the Paint Hall to help accomodate the needs of the series going into future seasons. The reporter repeats the rumour that Seasons 3 and 4 will be greenlighted and shot back-to-back to cover A STORM OF SWORDS.

    One last bit of trivia: a musician in Kelly’s Cellar, a pub in Belfast, enthusiastically relates to the reporter how Jason Momoa would come in with his guitar and jam with local musicians during the filming of Season 1 :)

    That’s pretty much it.

  31. Adam Whitehead
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Er, just tried to spoiler-code the whole thing for those who want to skip it and it won’t let me. Weird.

  32. Hear Me Roar
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a million. Wow!

  33. Winter Is Coming
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead, fixed the spoiler issue for ya.

    And holy awesome info, Batman! Thanks so much for this.

  34. Lex
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I was reading the blog back then, but didn’t really start posting until the Sean Bean casting scoop in the summer of ’09 (which literally made me dance around the room for 5 minutes).

    Ah, memories!

  35. The Rabbit
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    One of most dearest memory at wich I always have a good laugh – while recalling it – is yours “nobody-gonna-watch-the-show-paranoia” of last year ;)

    Now, let s see what Adam has to say…

  36. KG
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I got in a month or two before the show hit the airwaves – JUST LONG ENOUGH to forever look with amused condescension upon “broadcast fans.”

  37. Lex
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit:
    Lex,

    One of most dearest memory at wich I always have a good laugh – while recalling it – is yours “nobody-gonna-watch-the-show-paranoia” of last year ;)

    Sounds funny now, but the memory of that fear still haunts me!

  38. Andrija
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit: Lex, One of most dearest memory at wich I always have a good laugh – while recalling it – is yours “nobody-gonna-watch-the-show-paranoia” of last year ;)Now, let s see what Adam has to say…

    Really? I kinda blocked that out, traume nije dobro hraniti itd… On the other hand I also remember when I first saw this page in the early 2010.
    I just KNEW that they had some serious potential here, that’s why I stayed all this time with WiC :)

  39. G_Lee
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe it’s been more than 3 years since WiC.net started. Been here from the very first, brought here from westeros.org when someone posted a link to the newly created blog. That time was so exciting… I think back then no one could really imagine seeing the books on TV and how many of us were sure it would end up in a disaster like LotS?
    Good times… thanks for this post. I’m really looking forward to read one every month.

  40. The Rabbit
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I can feel your pain. Your paranoia became epidemic – that I started to tremble every Thuesday before James Hibberd would come with the Sunday ratings.

  41. Otia Dant Vitia
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks very much – just spent a very entertaining hour reading the comments from the given links. I wasn’t reading the blog then, having only been made aware with the advent of the HBO series. Certainly the mood then was of nervous apprehension as to whether the show would get a go-ahead. I’m glad it worked out so unbelieveably well for all you early posters. Salute! – and more power to all your bottoms.

  42. Nivar
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    The best part of feb 09 was reading the leaked script. I think I read it 3 times. I was a lurker and still am lol. Part of me misses the old days when I could read the 10 replays to a post and not skip the 100+ WIC gets now days. Thanks for all your hard work.

  43. Justin James Dixon
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    I only got into this fantastic series in June of 2011, and the wait for new material has been bad enough. I can’t imagine the wait some of the more tenured people have had to endure! That being said, this site has become a daily routine for me since I discovered it a few weeks ago, so kudos and thanks to the folks who keep us so well-informed!

  44. Mimsy
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I was beyond impressed with the series when I started watching on HBO. I had never heard of GRRM, much less this fantasy series. Nearing the end of the season, I found several devoted sites and had no idea you guys were suffering for so long. I wikied the books and everything, thinking I wasn’t going to read the mega thick books anytime soon.

    Well.. the more I learned about the characters and read the author’s praises.. I got started on reading the series. I have to say, even though I was somewhat up to speed thru A Feast of Crows, reading the books was like I knew nothing about the series.. everything was fresh and new. The pacing and details of the books were like a movie playing in my head and I read thru day and night until I finished the first 4 books and later D&D.

    I feel the casual viewer doesn’t need to tie the seasons of GOT to any one ad or tagline. The interest is there and will only grow with the seasons to come. I know many non readers who keep asking if GOT is starting soon. They are excited about the “anything” can happen factor and they have characters who they are rooting for.

    I’m so excited for the book fans who have a greater understanding of the story and characters and I’m so thankful for HBO investing so much time and money into this wonderful story.

  45. Joshua Taylor
    Posted February 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    3 Years! Has it been that long? I remember about 4 years ago when after reading Bernard Cornwell’s Azincourt that a friend recommended ASOIAF to me. A passion was born and when I heard HBO was making a series soon afterwards a quick google brought me to this site. Up until air time I lurked, not one to post on forums as I found the ambience intimidating at times after reading Aint it cool News and IMDB discussion boards (I don’t like trolls) so I was skittish at first. After season 1 ended and the SMK was gone from the boards I jumped in with the season 2 casting speculation and have been active since. I’m still learning to accept some of the harshness that is omnipresent on the internet, but so far the goodies are outweighing the baddies. I think i have made some progress on growing an internet backbone.
    But what’s important is that this site is awesome and will remain awesome. Keep up the good work Winter and Co!

  46. Hear Me Roar
    Posted February 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s been 3 years and 4 months :)

  47. spacechampion
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

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