Blog of the Dragon

Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire news, theories, and other nerdy goodness

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Surviving the Long Night

So here we are – no book, no show… Nothing but our imaginations to fill the void while we wait for word that The Winds of Winter is finished, or for the start date of Game of Thrones Season 7. It’s a dangerous time, when tinfoil (or just plain dumb) theories abound (Tyrion the time-traveling fetus and R+L=J+M come to mind) and fans become desperate for any tidbit of news. Unfortunately for us, those tidbits have been few and far between.

Last week, my guest poster Caroline had some good suggestions for filler shows, and doubtless there are many more that could provide a distraction. I took a bit of a summer hiatus from this blog, but I plan to continue my prediction posts and theory discussions in the coming months to provide some outlet for impatient fans. Hopefully we will get some casting and filming news as production for Game of Thrones Season 7 kicks into gear, and I keep holding out hope that a certain book will make an appearance before the premiere (a girl can dream, right?).

I have personally been coping in a variety of ways – rewatching all six seasons of Game of Thrones, starting an in-depth reread of A Song of Ice and Fire, and working on a series of portraits based on the novels (this latest obsession of mine is responsible for my lack of blogging; I’ll do better, I promise!). Considering my slow pace and the vast number of characters, that alone should keep me occupied until A Dream of Spring is released. Below are the ones I’ve completed so far – please feel free to suggest future characters for me to work on.

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Not knowing how long we must wait makes it all the more frustrating. We can only make guesses as to when the next season of Game of Thrones will start (May? June? Gods forbid, July?), or when GRRM will release The Winds of Winter (some friends and I have a pool going; sadly my hopes for 2016 or early 2017 are quickly fading). Thankfully though, we know the wait will end…eventually.

How do you entertain yourself during the off season and the wait between books? Do you immerse yourself in anything Ice and Fire or Game of Thrones related, or do you avoid thinking about it completely?

 

Five Cool Shows to Fill the Current “Game of Thrones” Void

This is a guest post by Caroline from Culture Coverage (www.culturecoverage.com). 

It will be at least a year until season seven of “Game of Thrones” airs, so fans will be waiting quite some time to find out how Cersei will reign over Westeros on the Iron Throne. It seems like a grueling wait, but there are plenty of great series to satisfy viewers’ hunger for violent battles, political intrigue and spicy sex scenes.

Vikings

“Vikings” is an Irish-Canadian drama that is inspired by the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, who terrorized France and England during the ninth century. While the historical plot and epic battles will satisfy “Game of Thrones” fans, “Vikings” is much tamer with less sex and violence. In fact, plenty of viewers think “Vikings” is superior to Game of Thrones for this reason.

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After three seasons, “Vikings” continues to be critically acclaimed. During the latest season, the show was the highest-rated scripted cable series, averaging 4.3 million viewers per episode. The first two seasons are available on Amazon Prime and Hulu.

The Tudors

“The Tudors” is based on Henry VIII’s reign over England. Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Henry Cavill, the show features an impressive cast. If you’re missing your favorites from “Game of Thrones,” Natalie Dormer, who plays Magaery Tyrell, stars as Anne Boleyn. Political power is the main theme of “The Tudors,” and there are plenty of steamy scenes depicting Henry VIII’s seductive powers.

The debut of “The Tudors” was one of the highest-rated premieres in Showtime’s history, and period drama fans fawn over the series. All four seasons are available to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The Last Kingdom

After the first episode of “The Last Kingdom” aired in October 2015, it was instantly dubbed the new “Game of Thrones.” With a superstar cast featuring Britain’s best and bloody battles, it is no wonder so many viewers are turning to “The Last Kingdom” while they wait for GoT to return. On the surface, there are some very obvious similarities, including a brooding male lead, strong women warriors and a huge cast of characters with unpronounceable names.

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“The Last Kingdom” is based on The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell. It is set in the ninth century, when England consisted of seven separate kingdoms, and the plot revolves around the Viking invasion of England. The series hero, Uhtred, is the son of a Saxon nobleman but was raised by the Danes, and his loyalty is tested as he plays both sides in the quest to reclaim his ancestral land.  You can find out where to watch “The Last Kingdom” from BBC America.

Spartacus

This series is about the infamous gladiator Spartacus who led the slave uprising in Rome. What “Game of Thrones” fans will enjoy most about this series is the abundance of violence and sex. While it doesn’t feature the kind of fantasy creatures that populate Westeros, you’ll experience the same thrill from betrayals, affairs and brutal battles. You can watch the entire series of “Spartacus” on Netflix.

While it aired on Starz, “Spartacus” won two Saturn Awards and Screen Actors Guilds Awards and was nominated for many more. The show averaged 1.285 million viewers during its run and continues to be a favorite among viewers on Netflix. Currently, it is only available on Netflix in select countries, but outside viewers can watch it using a reliable proxy like ExpressVPN.

Rome

This series is about the transition of ancient Rome from a republic to an empire, chronicling the rise and fall of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. In just 22 episodes, “Rome” covers all of the crucial historical points. Viewers will be intrigued by the assassinations, dalliances and power struggles—everything you’re sure to miss during the “Game of Thrones” yearlong break.

“Rome” has been nominated for dozens of awards from the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globes and Emmys while maintaining an impressive score of 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. You can watch “Rome” on HBO Go and Amazon Prime.

So don’t fret; there’s only about 12 more months until “Game of Thrones” is back! In the meantime, be sure to give these shows a watch for some exciting thrills.

What are you watching while you await the return of GoT? Leave us a comment and recommend some shows to fill the void.

Author Bio: Caroline is a huge “Game of Thrones” fan and an avid TV blogger. She’s a fantasy and historical drama television buff and is happy to share some of the series she watches during the long, lonely breaks between GoT seasons. Follow her on Twitter: @CultureCovC.

Liebster Award Q & A

Liebster

I was on vacation last week, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I was nominated for a Liebster Award by baitkinblog; make sure to check out his site. Thank you so much for the nomination!

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers of your own choosing
  • Give them 11 questions
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them

Here are his questions to me – I finally got around to answering them (better late than never)!

  1. Least favorite movie and why?

This is a tough one – I haven’t bothered to watch many movies unless I have heard good things about them. I guess I’d say The Mist. I love Stephen King and enjoyed the story, but the end of the movie was quite depressing.

  1. How long have you had a page on WordPress?

Three months.

  1. What inspires you to keep writing?

I find it’s the easiest way for me to communicate and to organize my thoughts. I love sharing my ideas with people and getting their feedback as well.

  1. Favorite superhero?

Probably Iron Man – mainly because I love Robert Downey Jr.

  1. Do you like video games? If so, what’s your favorite?

I don’t have much time for video games, but I do enjoy watching my husband play Assassin’s Creed on occasion.

  1. Favorite book?

This is another tough one… My favorite book series would have to be George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, hands down. If I have to pick just one book though, it would be The Stand by Stephen King.

  1. If you could have any superpower what would it be?

I’ve always thought that flying would be the best superpower.

  1. Who’s your favorite TV/movie character and why?

Jon Snow (Game of Thrones) because he’s not only handsome, honorable, brave, and a good fighter, he’s also humble, conflicted, and unsure of himself at times. He’s a real, relatable person.

  1. Do you have a tip for people who would like to start writing on WordPress?

Pick a topic that you’re passionate about, and that you can write about consistently. It’s easy to get bored after a while unless you really care about the subject matter.

  1. If you could travel to any point in time and live there, where would you go?

I’m fascinated by the Roaring 20s and always imagined it would be an exciting time to visit. I’d have to leave before the Depression hit though!

  1. Social media outlets (so people can follow you)

https://twitter.com/blogofthedragon

https://www.facebook.com/blogofthedragon/

My Nominees are:

  1. Pat Sponaugle (https://patricksponaugle.com/)
  2. Lady Gwynhyfvar(https://ladygwynhyfvar.wordpress.com/)
  3. Adam Feldman (https://meereeneseblot.wordpress.com/)
  4. Saria (https://theprancingponyblog.wordpress.com/)
  5. Chelsea and Sariann(http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/)
  6. Steven Attewell (https://racefortheironthrone.wordpress.com/)
  7. Talk Stephen King(http://talkstephenking.blogspot.com/)
  8. hot2molly(https://hot2molly.com/)
  9. Rachel Howden(https://rachelhowdenblog.wordpress.com/)
  10. Blogs of a Bookaholic(https://beckysblogs.wordpress.com/)
  11. BookReaderUSA (https://bookreaderusa.wordpress.com/)

Here are my questions to you:

  1. What is your favorite book and why?
  2. What made you want to write a blog?
  3. What do you like to do in your free time?
  4. Do you have any favorite podcasts?
  5. If you could meet any celebrity, living or dead, who would it be?
  6. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
  7. Are you planning any other writing projects?
  8. Who is your favorite author?
  9. What is your favorite TV show/movie?
  10. If you could visit any country, where would you go?
  11. Social media outlets (so people can follow you)

 

Top Sources for Game of Thrones Analysis and Discussion

Can’t get enough of Game of Thrones on Sunday night? There are some great podcasts and videos available after each episode to help you through your weekly withdrawals. I’ve included my favorites here.

History of Westeros puts out two fantastic reviews every week – one on Monday (show only review), and one on Wednesday in collaboration with Radio Westeros (for book readers). You can visit their YouTube channel or find them on iTunes. Radio Westeros also has a YouTube channel and podcasts available on iTunes. Both are great sources for not only reviews, but also book discussion – including characterization, theories, history, and predictions.

If you prefer short, succinct reviews and explanations, Alt Shift X is a great resource. His YouTube videos are under 20 minutes, and he not only recaps each episode but has several videos detailing popular theories. His R+L=J video is one of the best at summing up all of the evidence:

If you’re interested in learning more about how each episode is put together, HBO has a website called Making Game of Thrones. There you can find behind the scenes information like storyboards, interviews, and in depth videos on the filming process. Last but not least, the official Game of Thrones YouTube channel publishes clips, interviews, and an “Inside the Episode” series that allows the producers to elaborate on the storylines and the choices they make for portraying them onscreen.

What are your go-to sources for Game of Thrones information? Please feel free to share your favorites!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art of Thrones

It’s amazing to see the inspiration certain books, movies, or television shows can spark in their fans. They can lead us to create music, crafts, and art of our own. It is certainly true for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones series, which have motivated people to create entire communities dedicated to their obsession.

Musicians have covered the Game of Thrones theme song in hundreds of different ways. YouTube has a great collection of videos with people utilizing a multitude of different instruments. You can also find covers of other songs mentioned in the series, and even some original works.


Etsy is a veritable treasure trove for anything related to A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones. Whether you are looking for jewelry, collectibles, clothing, or art, you are sure to find something you will love. Speaking of art, there are numerous sites for artists to showcase their work. Tumblr has a Game of Thrones gallery, Facebook has The Art of Ice and Fire page, and DeviantArt features a large selection of pieces celebrating the series.

I have even been inspired to start drawing again – something I haven’t done in years. My header image is one example. I also have several pieces on DeviantArt; below are two of my favorites. You can view the rest on my profile if you are interested.

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Have you been motivated to create anything? Feel free to share in the comments!

To Watch or Not to Watch?

The Game of Thrones season 6 premiere is rapidly approaching – just over 2 weeks to go! – and I know many book readers have decided to skip this season in favor of waiting for The Winds of Winter to be released. I definitely understand the desire to see some of the big cliffhangers from A Dance with Dragons resolved on the page rather than the screen, but I can’t wait to see how things play out this year.

There has definitely been a divergence between the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones. The main thrust of the story will likely be the same, but many of the side plots and stories have changed. I don’t think seeing the TV adaptation will in any way ruin my appreciation and love for the remaining novels once they are released. The books contain so many wonderful details that unfortunately don’t make it into the show.

My biggest reason for tuning in is that I have been waiting 5 long years to find out what happens to Jon Snow (since finishing A Dance with Dragons in 2011). Ideally The Winds of Winter would have revealed his fate to me before the show, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be. I (along with the majority of book readers and plenty of show watchers) believe he will be back with a huge role to play in the remainder of the series, and I think it will be exciting to see.

On that note, Carice van Houten (Melisandre) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) have been heavily promoting season 6, and it appears that their characters will have a significant impact on the storyline this year. Carice has stated in The Telegraph that Melisandre will be insecure and having a crisis of faith in the wake of Stannis’s death, and has previously mentioned she has a “pivotal” role this year. Liam teases new alliances, shocking developments, and that the first episode (titled “The Red Woman”) is “astonishing.” Liam’s latest interview on Conan contained an extended version of a clip from the trailer:

It certainly seems that something huge will be taking place at Castle Black early on, and if it’s Jon’s resurrection I would rather watch it happen on Game of Thrones than read about online after the fact. After reading filming reports last year, seeing the teasers and trailers, and reading cast interviews my excitement level is reaching an all time high. These last 15 days of waiting are going be tough!

Are you planning to watch this year? What are your expectations for season 6?

5 Ideas for Hosting an Unforgettable Game of Thrones Premiere Party

April has arrived, which means the Game of Thrones season 6 premiere is quickly approaching! With just over 3 weeks to go, it’s not too late to plan a Game of Thrones themed party to celebrate the new season. Here are a few ideas to make it more memorable than the Red Wedding (and hopefully much more fun)!

1. Set the scene with some Westeros inspired décor.

Dim the lights and use candles for a medieval feel. If you are the artistic type, try making your own house sigil banners to put on display. You can also find them at the HBO shop, and Amazon has several sigil optionsHouse sigil wax seal coasters are another fun and inexpensive touch.

coaster

2. Don’t forget the royal treatment.

Give your guests the opportunity to sit the Iron Throne with a hilarious wall decal for the “throne” in your bathroom (much easier and less painful than the real thing).

game_of_thrones_iron_throne_vinyl_sticker_1

3. Dress the part.

Make it a costume party by having your guests come dressed as their favorite characters. Some are ridiculously easy to make yourself (get some inspiration here). I created the look below for less than $100 with some thrift store shopping and inexpensive fabric. If DIY isn’t your thing, luckily you can still find costume items for purchase without breaking the bank.

FullSizeRenderHe still hasn’t forgiven me for the wig.

4. Don’t neglect the menu.

Whip up some medieval fare with a Westerosi flair. Inn at the Crossroads has sample recipes to try, or you can go all out by purchasing the official cookbook A Feast of Ice and Fire. And what would a Game of Thrones party be without some heads on spikes? Create some grisly fun with Ned Stark cake pops.

lemon cakes.jpgLemon cakes anyone?

5. Quench your thirst.

Last but not least, don’t forget the drinks! Try some Game of Thrones themed cocktails like the White Walker, Red Priestess, or Mother of Dragons (more ideas here), or be creative and make up your own.melisandre-game-of-thrones-cocktail-drink-26-640x1024.jpg

I’m currently planning my own Game of Thrones premiere party, so I will be incorporating some of these ideas myself. I’d love to hear your suggestions. If you have done a party like this in the past or are planning to do one this season, please let me know in the comment section.

Winter is Coming! (in Westeros at least)

Five years ago, a friend (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) recommended that I read a fantasy series called A Song of Ice and Fire. Being a fantasy lover anyway, it looked like it was right up my alley. He also suggested I watch Game of Thrones, so I proceeded to devour all five books and then binge watch season one.

I was hooked from the start. My first read through was an emotional roller coaster I never wanted to end. A Song of Ice and Fire is beautiful, terrible, compelling, and complex. I have since read it several times, and every time there are new details I’ve missed on previous reads. Never before have I read a series that never gets old, no matter how many times I pick it up.

Game of Thrones pulled me in as well. Although it’s impossible to pack the incredible richness of Martin’s novels into a 10 hour per season television show, the creators have done a remarkable job of creating his world for the small screen. Game of Thrones isn’t perfect, and I don’t always agree with the decisions they make, but it is still unlike anything else on television.

Through the past five years, I have read all the related works (Dunk and Egg tales, the novellas set during the Dance of the Dragons, A World of Ice and Fire) and have spent a considerable amount of time researching on forums like asoiaf.westeros.org and reddit.com. I started this blog as an outlet to share my ideas, likes, dislikes and news about the books and the show.

As season 6 approaches, I will be sharing spoilery information here. I know there are book readers who will not be watching Game of Thrones until the Winds of Winter is released, so I will always indicate if spoilers are included in a post.

I hope you enjoy this site, and please contact me or comment if you have anything interesting you’d like me to include in future posts. I want to hear from you and will be happy to share your contributions. Valar dohaeris!

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