HBO has updated their Viewer’s Guide with fresh information to make the journey through Game of Thrones even smoother in season 2. The Viewer’s Guide provides interactive maps of the show’s expanding world, a Guide to the Houses, and an Appendix which details the history, culture, organizations, and religion of Westeros and Essos.
The Houses Guide is very detailed, with descriptions of the house itself, the knights and retainers as well as the family members. The information has been updated to include season 1 events such as Ned Stark’s execution. If a character from the book is not listed in the Houses Guide, it’s not a confirmation that the character has been permanently removed. However, based on our experiences with last year’s guide, it is likely that a character won’t be in the second season, if they aren’t listed.
This section was especially interesting as it has given us a glimpse of new characters, and a returning character with a new face.
- Ser Gregor Clegane, now played by Ian Whyte. This is our first real sighting of the Mountain That Rides since Conan Stevens was recast. It’s difficult to tell much from this photo of Ser Gregor in House Lannister armor, but Whyte certainly looks intimidating.
- “Dolorous” Eddison Tollett, played by Ben Crompton. As you can see from the above image, Dolorous Edd’s quote was… well-chosen
- Roose Bolton. The Lord of the Dreadfort, played by Michael McElhatton, was briefly spotted in the Season 2 Robb Stark Character Feature, but from a distance.
- Ser Amory Lorch. Unfortunately, his photo is quite small. The knight who serves House Lannister will be played by Fintan McKeown.
- Kovarro, played by Steven Cole. The Dothraki bloodrider was seen in the season premiere.
In the Viewers’s Guide Locations section is an interactive map of the entire Game of Thrones world. When you select the “Episode Landmarks” option and choose the episode number, the map displays cities and castles mentioned or seen notably in that episode. This is a great tool for helping provide a sense of scale and understanding how truly difficult Daenerys and the khalasar’s journey is across Essos’s Red Waste.
In the special features, viewers can explore the Areas of Control of the four clashing kings of Westeros. Included is brief information about Stannis, Renly, Joffrey, and Robb. The Viewer’s Guide is easy to navigate, and additional special map features, such as Daenerys’s journey and the battlegrounds of Westeros, will be added soon.
Ours is the Fury: Even if you’re familiar with the Great Houses and the various families from the books, the Viewer’s Guide is still pretty enjoyable. I’m a sucker for maps, personally. And the Rakharo detailed entry is especially interesting to me, I will say.