Excerpts from A World Of Ice And Fire

By Rowan Kaiser on

world of ice and fire dawn ageThe release of the new reference book George R.R. Martin’s A World Of Ice And Fire is less than a week away, and excerpts from it are starting to pop up. The UK booksellers Waterstones have the chapter on The Dawn Age up at their site.

But other sources dispute this, stating that [the children's] greatest foes were the giants, as hinted at in tales told in the North, and as possibly proved by Maester Kennet in the study of a barrow near the Long Lake—a giant’s burial with obsidian arrowheads found amidst the extant ribs.

The book is scheduled for release on October 28th, and is credited to authors Martin, Elio Garcia, and Linda Antonsson.

Much more after the jump….

WiCnet Awards: And the Best Performance As A Villain award goes to….

By Rowan Kaiser on

iwan rheon ramsay boltonThe winner of the WiCnet Award for Best Performance As A Villain in Season 4 of Game Of Thrones is Iwan Rheon, as Ramsay Bolton.

Ramsay Bolton, apparently, won the award the only way Ramsay Bolton could: by cheating. When we planned this out I expected Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister to win. On Friday, Dance was winning. On Monday, Dance was winning, although by less of a margin than he had been. On Wednesday…several hundred votes had not merely put Iwan Rheon’s Ramsay ahead, but they’d done so quite decisively.

You know what, though? I’m letting it stand. First, it’s the Best Villain vote, and stuffing ballot-boxes is a sure sign of modern villainy. Second, well, it’s worth taking a look at just why Iwan Rheon has such dedicated fans, and how impressive his Game Of Thrones performance is in those terms….

Perils of power: Game Of Thrones and Scandal

By Rowan Kaiser on


(With Game Of Thrones between seasons, I asked a few critics if they wanted to talk about the shows they’re using to fill the King’s Landing-shaped hole in their lives. Next up, my colleague from The A.V. Club, Les Chappell, discussing ABC’s Scandal.)

Of all the showrunners that you’d expect to be able to satisfy Game Of Thrones-related appetites, Shonda Rhimes might be the last you’d expect. As the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, Rhimes has more of a reputation for delivering primetime soap operas and medical dramas, shows where conflict comes from patient-of-the-week rather than a great black dragon looming over the horizon.

However, when it comes to telling the stories about the ugliness of politics and the intangibility of alliances, few shows are better at depicting it than Rhimes’ Scandal, which returned recently for its fourth season. While a broadcast drama about crisis management in Washington D.C. might seem far removed from the violence and intrigue of Westeros, Scandal has proven itself time and again it can be every bit as twisted and compulsively watchable. The reason for that is, like Game Of Thrones, it’s a series that knows full well the storytelling power of people jockeying for power, and the entertainment value of yanking that power away from them….

Game Of Thrones actresses join Maze Runner sequel, supernatural thriller The Forest

By Cameron White on

Daenerys Targaryen’s favorite translator is headed into the maze. Nathalie Emmanuel has officially joined the cast of The Scorch Trials, the sequel to the YA action film The Maze Runner. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she’ll be playing “Harriet, the leader of a group of girls who’ve escaped from another maze that meets up with [Dylan] O’Brien’s group” which sounds only slightly less confusing to a franchise newbie than the prophecies in the House of the Undying (in the books, anyway). She’ll be joining fellow Game Of Thrones cast member Aidan Gillen, who joined the cast last month.

Missendai isn’t the only Thrones actress in a new role. After the jump, see what unknown factors Natalie Dormer will also be facing…

“The Pointy End”: WiC Remembers Season 1, episode 8

By Rowan Kaiser on

Drogo with knives

Through most of these reviews I’ve discussed the adaptation issues between book to screen, but that isn’t the only external expectation that Game Of Thrones was saddled with. The show was also airing on HBO, which creates its own expectation. From the end of The Sopranos in 2007, the network was searching for a new flagship show. Both their critical and popular acclaim was being swiped by upstarts like AMC (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, the start of The Walking Dead) and even FX (who launched Terriers, Archer, and Justified in the year before GOT, as well as keeping Sons Of Anarchy on). HBO had the popular but rarely acclaimed True Blood…and not much else. Across roughly a year’s span, they launched three shows aimed at critical and popular acclaim while maintaining the network’s brand: GOT, as well as Boardwalk Empire and Treme.

What comprises the HBO brand is always going to be a subject of some debate for critics, but these three shows were tied together in two different ways. First, they were prestigious in ways befitting a prestige cable drama—they had big names attached both in front of the camera (Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi) and behind it (Terrence Winter, David Simon, George R.R. Martin, and Martin Scorcese directing the Boardwalk pilot). That also included trying to capture authenticity, with Treme’s attempts at depicting post-Katrina New Orleans, Boardwalk’s expensive sets, and Thrones’ expensive…everything.

But it’s the HBO form that’s most relevant to how “The Pointy End” is constructed. HBO seasonal structures, embedded by The Sopranos and hammered home by The Wire, have tended to be constructed around several episodes of build-up, then the penultimate episode with the shocking usually-violent climax, and finally the season finale’s (sometimes even more dramatic, sometimes less) emotional response to that climax.

This formal constraint is, essentially, the explanation for why “The Pointy End” is so formless….

Extras Are Coming! Osuna flooded with costumed actors

By Ani Bundel on


What happens when you cast a portion of the local population as costumed extras to fill an audience? Well, at the end of the day, the filming ends, and the extras flood out into the streets. These striking images of the extras heading out at the end of a long day of filming, come to us via The Daily Mail.

There’s no spoilers here, just images that give us an idea of what life in Meereen would be like if we happened to live there.

Wilko Johnson, Game Of Thrones’ Ilyn Payne, free of cancer

By Andrea Towers on


Good news for Ilyn Payne fans — according to BCC News, Game Of Thrones actor Wilko Johnson, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, is finally on the road to recovery.

After initially refusing chemotherapy at the time of his diagnosis, Johnson underwent radical surgery to remove the tumor. The famous guitarist describes his ordeal as an “11 hour operation.”

Game Of Thrones actors in new John Hawkes, Elle Fanning film

By Cameron White on

Game of Thrones actors keep busy when they’re not flying out to historic locations to film the series. Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage in particular have time-traveled to the 1970s in an upcoming film, Low Down, premiering in New York this Friday. Find out more and watch the trailer after the jump…

Pictures of the Game of Thrones Cast in Osuna

By Ani Bundel on


When they’re not busy fighting in Daznak’s Pit, or hanging out in the Plaza de Toro, our cast is wandering the street of Osuna. Sometime, like above, they’re in costume, giving one the sense they’ve accidentally wandering into a version of Essos where the Masters have invented cars.

Other times, they’re in their street clothes, and happy to take pictures with eager fans. More pics, below.

The Small Council: Who’s your pick for Season 4′s Best Villain?

By Rowan Kaiser on

Ramsay Snow
This week, our Small Council discusses their votes for the WiCnet Awards for Best Performance As A Villain in Season 4.

Rebecca Pahle: This may seem counter-intuitive, but I’m going to start out my defense of Aidan Gillen’s Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish as the season’s best villain by discussing how he was the worst villain, at least in previous seasons. His sneering jackassery didn’t work for me—the whole point of Littlefinger is that he’s supposed to be a fly-under-the-radar type, someone whom no one has any problem trusting because he comes off as so damned inoffensive. But who would ever trust the show’s Baelish, with his constant evil smirks and his teleporting around from place to place to sow discord? George RR Martin has my back here—Littlefinger’s character changed vastly from show to book.

But that all gelled in season four, where Littlefinger could stop keeping up even the barest pretense that he’s not a smarmy, scheming assbag….

Sophie Turner and Gwendoline Christie filming in N. Ireland

By Ani Bundel on


The excitement and the blood shed may be happening in Spain, but that doesn’t mean that the Northern Ireland division is having a dull time of it. According to the Making Game Of Thrones site, Gwendoline Christie has been on and off her horse for the last couple of days. No word how Pod’s doing on his horse. More pics, and mild spoilers, below.

Pictures from the Pit

By Rowan Kaiser on

Osuna bullring extra

Commenter Balerion the Cat has pointed us at some recently-published photos of the scene being filmed in Osuna’s bullring, including the above, of an extra being tended to by some of the crew–looks like blood being added, instead of taken away. The photos were first published at The Daily Mail. I’m guessing these pictures were taken yesterday, before the set collapse.

Below the jump, a few more, but these may be considered spoilers, both for a change to the story of the book, and a couple characters that non-readers might be surprised to see together.

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