Words Are Wind: “Maester”

By WiC Staff on

Qyburn and the Mountain

Words are wind” is a common phrase in A Song of Ice and Fire, usually used to say “talk is cheap.” But that’s a view that underestimates both the power of words and wind themselves. In the “Words Are Wind” column, contributor Scott Andrews discusses some of the more important words in the world of Game of Thrones.

“I can teach you history, healing, herblore. I can teach you the speech of ravens, and how to build a castle, and the way a sailor steers his ship by the stars I can teach you to measure the days and marks the seasons, and at the Citadel in Oldtown they can teach you a thousand things more.” -Maester Luwin

Few professions have had a tougher run on Game of Thrones than the maesters. We’ve seen them stabbed, poisoned, imprisoned, locked in a dungeon, and kicked out of the order. One departed maester has now moved on to another project.

Be advised: SOME LINKS BELOW CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM THE BOOKS, though the text does not.

Maesters wear many hats: teacher, healer, scribe, raven network administrator, and so on. We’ve met several through the course of the show, ranging in personality from good-hearted to treacherous. Maester Luwin was the Stark’s maester and the personal tutor of the Stark children. Maester Cressen made a fatal error by challenging Melisandre to his own version of the Princess Bride game. Maester Aemon, though struck with impaired vision in his advanced age, remains a vital figure in the Night’s Watch. The former maester Qyburn found favor with the Lannisters after his “bold” experiments cost him his title. Grand Maester Pycelle has advised (and survived) two dynasties and multiple generations of kings—mostly by flying under the radar.

What does it take to become a maester? And how did George come up with this term? Let’s forge some links.

And the WiCnet Award for Best Dramatic Moment in Season 4 goes to…

By Rowan Kaiser on


…Tyrion Lannister’s confession at his trial in “The Laws of Gods and Men”! This one was never much in doubt, as it received almost 40% of the vote. Tyrion’s confession joins Theon’s Winterfell takeover and The Red Wedding as a WiCcie winner in the drama category. These were the defining scenes of their season, and worthy winners.

Tyrion was also involved in the second-place result, when Oberyn Martell visited him in prison and agreed to become his champion. Arya Stark leaving Sandor Clegane to die took third place.

Watch the speech, see the results, and see why this was such a powerful scene, after the jump….

Natalie Dormer on interview rampage, to do AMA next week

By Ani Bundel on


As part of that other huge scifi/fantasy franchise she’s in, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Natalie Dormer will be doing a Reddit AMA next week. If you’re dying to ask Margaery Tyrell questions about her role in the upcoming season, head over at 1pm on Monday the 17th, EST.

Not that Dormer has been holding back on her opinions on Margaery in Hunger Games interviews. As she told the New York Post:

“Margaery Tyrell is a Kate Middleton/Michelle Obama hybrid, a first lady/princess, trying to win over hearts and minds. The Princess Di effect, you may call it.”

Below, we’ve got more quotes on her opinion of the character, which she admitted to Jonathan Ross she basically built from scratch.

How marriage triggered the Game of Thrones

By Rowan Kaiser on


Marriage for alliance has been part of Game of Thrones since the very first episode. Almost the first thing Robert says to Ned is that he wants Joffrey to marry Sansa, to tie the crown to one of its most powerful Houses. Also in the pilot, Viserys and Illyrio wed Daenerys to Khal Drogo to form an alliance between the Targaryens. It continues throughout the series–after all, we have a Red Wedding and a Purple Wedding, both shocking events around what should have been the completion of an alliance.

What’s more, this seems normal, as the previous generation had done it as well: Rhaegar Targaryen married Elia Martell, Baratheon married Lannister, and Tully married both Stark and Arryn, all of which solidified alliances. But as I read A World of Ice and Fire, it becomes clear that it’s not normal. The history of the Seven Kingdoms after the Targaryen conquest didn’t have regular marriage alliances between the Great Houses. A quick glance at the family trees included in the book–Lannister and Stark–shows that the only marriages with other Great Houses in the past several generations occurred during the generation of Robert’s Rebellion.

This, more than almost anything else, explains why the Game of Thrones exploded into a multi-part civil war right at the point that the story begins….

Jerome Flynn confirms Bronn’s story is “Different from his normal environment”

By Ani Bundel on


Bronn has become one of the more popular characters on Game of Thrones. Actor Jerome Flynn, who plays erstwhile sellsword and friend-for-hire, has promised he’ll be back for Season 5. But for those who might expect him to follow his story as written in the books–mainly getting married and attempting to settle into the more respectable station he earned via Tyrion’s friendship–changes are afoot. We’ve seen evidence of the changes before, but this is evidence from the mercenary’s mouth, as it were…

Five flashbacks I’d like to see in Season 5

By Ani Bundel on

cersei Got

During the filming of Game of Thrones in Spain last month, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss made major news by telling a panel of Spanish film makers and local production people that they would be breaking a long standing tradition of the show after four seasons and adding flashbacks, along with the prophecies and dreams we saw in Seasons 3 and 4. The flashback in question seems to be assumed to be the one related to Cersei. Casting rumors support this theory.

In a story where the books rely hard on flashback, prophecy and future visions, it’s a little odd that when the show finally broke their rule against these tropes, it would be for something that is more about establishing the mental state of a single character than enlightening the over all narrative. When the news first suggested we’d be seeing a Young Cersei, my reaction was to be upset. Why, of all the flashbacks, this one?

If the show is going to break the flashbacks barrier and start bringing in memories and dreams and visions, there are so many other possibilities, ones that would enhance the story for all the characters, instead of just one. Here are my top five suggestions for flashbacks we could see in Season 5.

Note: the following includes details and speculation for things that haven’t appeared on the show, and may not. Be warned!

The Small Council: What’s your pick for Best Dramatic Moment in Season 4?

By Rowan Kaiser on

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei_photo Macall B.Polay_HBO

In this week’s installment of The Small Councilwe cast our ballots for the WiCnet Award for Best Dramatic Moment from Season 4. We also welcome Yi Li, who wrote a great piece for us on GOT’s adolescents, with more to come.

Rebecca Pahle: On paper, there are far more dramatic scenes in season four than the “I’m going to have to eat every fucking chicken in this room” scene from the premiere. Daenerys chaining her dragons. Tyrion’s speech at the trial. Oberyn volunteering to be Tyrion’s champion. These all have wide-ranging effects on the plot of the season, while Sandor’s love of poultry is just a really, really good character moment….

Telltale reveals story and setting details for Game of Thrones game

By Rowan Kaiser on

Ironrath telltale game of thrones

After several weeks of vague teaser images, Telltale Games has finally given fans some hard facts about the story, setting, and structure of their upcoming Game of Thrones adventure game, on their official blog. It’s exciting stuff, so let’s get right to it.

The first teaser image indicated that players would take on the role of the Northern House Forrester, which has been confirmed. “Caught up in the events of The War of the Five Kings, they are placed in a precarious position where members of the household must do everything they can to prevent the house from meeting its doom.”

Game of Thrones–A Telltale Games Series will take place all over the map, including both Westeros and Essos. This first reveal, and likely the first episode, focuses on House Forrester’s home, Ironrath–shown in the above picture.

“The Forresters are seated at Ironrath, an imposing stronghold surrounded by towering ironwood trees. Built over fifteen hundred years ago by Cedric Forrester and his triplet sons, Ironrath is a testament to the strength and endurance of Ironwood.  The Forrester house words are ‘Iron from Ice’, which echoes their belief that–like the ironwood itself–the adverse conditions and unforgiving landscape of the North only makes them stronger.”

Read on, for more on when the game will be taking place, and who you’ll be controlling….

New video shows Game of Thrones’ musical variety

By Cameron White on

purple wedding musicians

Ramin Djawadi continues to be one of Game of Thrones‘ best assets. As the composer of the show’s music (including that catchy theme song that nobody can get enough of), Djawadi strikes the perfect balance of evoking the emotions of the scenes without being excessive or overbearing.

We previously pointed out Youtube user Linake, who skillfully pulled together the various musical themes associated with each family house into one video; that video is now updated and re-edited to include themes from the third and fourth seasons as well. After the jump, watch the video and discuss some of the new additions.

“Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones Seasons 3+4″ Out Today

By Ani Bundel on

book cover

Just in time to add to your Black Friday shopping list, HBO’s second volume of their Inside Game of Thrones series comes out today. Written by Cat Taylor, known as the official “keeper of scrolls,” (and also the head writer for the Making Game of Thrones blog,) this 192 page companion book takes us behind the scenes of the creation of Seasons 3 and 4.

Below, we’ve got the press release, plus some images from the book. We’ve also just received it, and will be bringing you more later in the week.

Natalie Dormer reveals she didn’t originally audition for Margaery Tyrell

By Cameron White on

Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer is likely to be all over our television screens in the next couple of weeks as she makes the rounds to promote the upcoming third entry in the Hunger Games film saga. She’s already appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show on ITV in the United Kingdom, where she made a startling revelation: she originally auditioned for another character on Game of Thrones! Hit the jump for more details.

Postcards from Dorne: Leftover Props

By Ani Bundel on


Filming from Sevilla was a mainly locked-down affair, as the production used the gates and wall of the Alcázar to their advantage, keeping prying eyes away from spoiling the new setting for Season 5. But one of our enterprising Dornish tourists managed to get a few pictures from the inside. Taken the morning after filming ended, these pictures of not-yet-struck props and set dressing give us a glimpse of what it will look like in Dorne.

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