Valar Dohaeris

Thank you, for the outpouring of love to my friend WinterPhil as he steps away from what has been such a large part of his daily routine, his focus, and more importantly his time (we do have so little of it, although contextually more than our heroes of Ice and Fire). And thank you for the staggeringly warm welcome, it has certainly helped this day ease down easier, as Phil passes the reign. I remember the minutes following Phil’s message, updating me on his decision to dedicate time to other places in his life. Such a strange, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach — I have greatly enjoyed the almost daily workflow/brainstorming (both fitting this in during our own demanding “work work” times) we established throughout this past year, dreading severely the idea of it all coming to an end so soon. It started with an email, then a phone call outside of my house in Nevada (since moved) where we both took turns passing compliments which way, and ultimately deciding we must rally our banners to the same cause — you. In the weeks following, we at the podcast were unsure who would replace Phil, or how the soul of this portal to our collectiveness would alter because of it.

When first approached with this concept of leading the website, it wasn’t likely the time would be there. I was hesitant, three weekly episodes of what has become such an important part of the friendship with some of my best friends does take a toll on the available amount of hours we each have to spend in any given week. Over the course of the last forty (or so) days, I’ve worked in the background, ironing out the transitory wrinkles (things like being unsullied) and learning that, in the beginning of the process, my (good) foot could not have been lodged more deep inside of my mouth. Axe, Oz, Fury, and Roar have murdered those concerns, been an incredible support structure, and will continue to be such a large part of this community. I am thrilled to serve, anything I can do to help bolster this (what will become) small piece of time in our lives in which the mystery and wonder still remain. Books are yet to be released, television seasons remain unassembled, and many flagons of wine have yet to be shared between the lot of us.

To me, stories are like magic — we can live so many different lives inside of our own. I began my journey into finding others who share these interests at the age of 9. Years (and many memories) later, a few of my best friends and I near 200 episodes in what we jokingly consider the documentary of what would be our normal regular conversations anyway, and may the future hold 900 more. And may the future bring us closer together, as we discover the mysteries of this story, and give thanks to George R.R. Martin for playing matchmaker on such a massive scale. That’s really the key to all of this, right? The interactions between all of us as we experience this story, together.


ps. for now, please enjoy this moving picture


  • You should adopt a GoT Name! :) Welcome the new lord of House Gatewatch! May you enjoy a peaceful transition in your current position! Valar Dohaeris!

  • Okay, that GIF is puzzling me, because it suggests WinterPhil is Jaqen the 1st (super good looking dude, Arya’s friend, all-around badass) where you play the role of Jaqen the second (“aaaggghh what happend to Jaqen the 1st?!?!?”).

    More seriously, welcome!

  • Were there days, Zack, that you couldn’t get warm, no matter how hard the servants at Winterfell built your fires?

    You don’t know cold.

    (There, that’s my Alliser Thorne asshole introduction to you. By all means, sit, enjoy, have a flagon of the king’s wine. Ser Meryn, make sure Zack gets as much wine as he wants.)

  • So… do we call you WinterZack now? Or maybe WicZack?

    (Welcome, or whatever the proper term may be.)

  • Welcome aboard Zack, you have big shoes to fill but I think you’ll do good. As someone else as said, I think you should take in a GoT name, and could you shed some light on Lightbringher? He is great but we still don’t know much about him, nit very chatty :P (or maybe I haven’t paid enough attention).

  • Welcome Zack, to House Gatewatch of Wyknett!
    I hope for a name, the lords privilege.
    Growing Strong?
    High As Honor?
    Our Blades Are Sharp?
    Best luck.

  • OK so he needs of GoT nickname. Suggestions? I like Unbowed, Unbent, Unsullied but that’s Oz’s motto so we might need something else.

  • Alright, I’m throwing out two possible WIC names…

    1: Second Son – since he’s the second person to now run this site

    2: The Zack Of Kings Landing – …..obviously instead of the Sack Of Kings Land, which Tywin and the Lannisters perpetrated at the end of Roberts Rebellion. Hopefully this takeover will be more peaceful, haha

  • Tall-talker
    Breaker of Ice
    Husband to Bears
    The Mead-king of Wyknett
    Speaker to Gods
    Father of Hosts

    Any of these would be cool.

  • So now this is unsullied only and they are banning IP addresses of the Sullied. I heard this from an inside source.

  • Welcome Zack! Wish you all the best and hope you can continue to produce GOO content.

    Watcher on the Wall?

  • That Jaqen H’ghar gif reminds me of the Michael Jackson – Black or White video… just image it playing in the background…

    Anyway welcome aboard the top of the ship Zack, goodluck :)

  • Here’s wishing you the best of luck Zack! Your opening statement is a touch disjointed as an introduction. Not hating! Just being honest. I have some concerns with your knowledge of not just the books(I understand your unsullied), but more so your show knowledge. I listen to GOO, and aside from just general errors in show canon, which is fine in a podcast,but does not bode well for editing a site devoted to detailed information about characters and places. Look, I will not judge you that harshly this earley on. You deserve a chance to succeed or fail in time. I hope you succeed, truly! You have your work cut out for you. Side not, please don’t do the Sam Tarly bit on GOO again. Please! It’s terrible! A thousand and one eyes are watching & listening and you SHOULD know what that means! Good luck. Do your homework.

  • Congrats Zack! And thanks for taking on this mighty task. You’ll do great! How about using the Mormont words? “Here We Stand” in honor of Old Bear.

  • Welcome, Lord Zack!

    So you are no longer unsullied? I’m not sure how I feel about that, as I have enjoyed the 2-2 split between sullied and unsullied on GOO.

    Also, if you were to take house words as your username, may I suggest the words of House Bolton (Our Blades Are Sharp)? It makes sense, because you are taking over from Winter Is Coming, and House Bolton took over as Lord Paramount of the North from House Stark.

  • Yeah, I’ll second a GoT name :D

    There are a lot of good ones out there. Ser Tahu already had a great suggestion with the Bolton words, but there are some others that might be good as well. Like House Carron or House Greyjoy or House Yronwood.

    It’s casting Mads Mikkelsen as Euron not casting Mads Mikkelsen as Euronsar

  • Trav:
    Alright, I’m throwing out two possible WIC names…

    1: Second Son – since he’s the second person to now run this site

    2: The Zack Of Kings Landing – …..obviously instead of the Sack Of Kings Land, which Tywin and the Lannisters perpetrated at the end of Roberts Rebellion.Hopefully this takeover will be more peaceful, haha

    Your username should deffinetly be The Usurper jk welcome Zack!

    Haha, those are nice ones.

  • finegent,

    Give it a rest, dude. Besides, he doesn’t do Sam on GOO, it’s Micah. If Zack editing this site means fewer episodes of the podcast in the timeline…. well, I won’t complain. If Zack editing this site means fewer episodes of GOO hosted by Zack…. well, I won’t listen. But congrats, dude! I hope you’ll continue to be a stalwart GOO host. Your voice, as well as your perspective are the reason I listen.

  • Dammit. Get an official username fast :(

    Oh, also welcome. I look forward to seeing where you’ll take this place in the future. I’m sure the site’s best days are ahead of it.

    Always support the bottom!

  • Just be honest with us.. You took the job just to get your hands on those 4 episodes of season 4 before everyone else.. ..

    Just kidding ;)
    Good luck Zack! as a long time listener of GOO I know you’ll do a great job.

  • Ok let’s see how long it takes for you to dislike me as much as WiC does :D … Just by being my lovable self!

  • I hope you have a broad back metaphorically speaking. Some aspects of what you are taking on will be a thankless task. [Hope that didn’t sound too negative – I think there are more fair-minded people who visit the site than not to be fair]. Some people seem to suffer from “trollitis” but I bet if they were asked to run the site they’d head for the hills. I wish you the best of luck, particularly as you are doing it round the “day job”.

  • KG,

    What does KG stand for? King’s Guard? Knee Gums??

    Off topic: so much shit to watch, so little time… Hannibal has begun again, there’s a full season of House of Cards to watch, Vikings has started (though to be honest that’s not a priority for me) and, of course, there’s the GoT rewatch, True Detective and even The Walking Dead (which again, isn’t prority). My head is ready to explode at any given moment.

  • The king is dead, love ling the king!

    Welcome Zack!
    I hope there won’t be too many changes to this side, on the other hand: new input is always welcome.

  • Congratulations, Zack! I hope you can remain unsullied, please let us know more about this.

  • Hail Lord Zack,1st of his name lord of the 1st WICer’s! And defender of the realm.Good luck.

  • Zack, get ready for wanna-be frustrated writers to start critiquing your every word.

    Don’t let ’em get to you.

    You’ll do a great job.

  • House Mormont,

    This would definitely be a good time for that.


    Sorry, man. There are very few words that begin with K. It had to be Knee Gums, it had to be.

  • One post requires a”give it a rest”? I’m entitled to my opinion! I didn’t roast the guy if you noticed! Wished him luck as well! While he didn’t do the Sam bit, he did play along with a terrible bit that went on and on! Critisim is constructive without being condemning! Get a clue!
    Fat Balda,

  • Not sure why the name banner came up after my comment but typing on this kindle is like scribing on parchment on a rock in the dark! My ink well have runneth over!

  • “we can live so many different lives inside of our own”
    I quite like this quote Zack. Hope you don’t mind if I use it elsewhere on the interwebs. :)

  • Congratulations to you! All the best and good luck! I shall follow with interest how you will sheppard and guide this site in the next few years!

    I’ll tell you what I told Winter/Phil:

    The North Remembers!

  • Best of luck!

    Don’t let the haters get you down. One thing I’ve noticed, being fairly new to ASOIAF/GOT, is that there are quite a few know-it-alls in this fandom (but there are a lot of really great people too!). I’m talking about the people who are out to prove that they’re better fans than you because they read the first book when it was published/have every family tree memorized/etc. They’ll always be lining up to tell you what little detail you missed in the most insulting way possible, or imply that you’re a complete idiot because you didn’t interpret something the same way that they did. Just ignore them, focus on the folks that realize it’s not a contest, and have fun. I know you’ll do a great job.