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The Kingsguard is a prestigious order that has been on going for hundreds of years. Their service is invaluable and has undeniably changed the course of history in Westeros. Here are fifteen facts about them that you may or may not know, but will certainly enjoy.
Who Formed The Kingsguard?
The Kingsguard was formed during the reign of Aegon ‘The Conqueror’ Targaryen, the first Targaryen king to sit upon the Iron Throne. It was the suggestion of Visenya Targaryen, his sister and wife, that a group of royal bodyguards were formed after a Dornish assassin made an attempt on her and Aegon’s lives whilst they walked the streets of Kings Landing in 10 AC. She consciously modelled the vows of the Kingsguard on those of the Nights Watch, an ancient order hat was formed during the Age of Heroes.
The Seat of The Kingsguard
The White Sword Tower of the Red Keep, in Kings Landing, that sits upon Aegon’s Hill is where the Kingsguard resides. It is made up of four stories and is a slender building that overlooks the bay. The undercroft holds their armour ad their weapons. It has a meeting room for the Kingsguard in which a large table, carved from a weirwood tree into the shape of a shield, and seven chairs. The Lord commander has his apartments on the top floor and the other Kingsguard members have small living chambers on the second and third floors.
A Oath For Life
To become a member of the Kingsguard, the man must kneel or bend the knee before the king and swear his vows. Once they have been spoken, either the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard or the Hand of the King present him with his white cloak.
The Kingsguard are sworn for life, despite physical and mental injuries and illnesses or age, which is why the vows are not made so lightly. As their vows dictate, the Kingsguard members have to give up their lands, claims and titles – if they have them or are to inherit them. They can no longer have any rights to them, unless they are discharged from the service of the king.
The Various Roles Of The Kingsguard
As their vows state, the Kingsguard are not allowed to marry, father children or hold land. They are, however, allowed to retain and hold certain titles. The Lords Commander Criston Cole and Ryam Redwyne acted as Hand of the King to their respective kings, while Lewyn Martell Aemon Targaryen still used the style of ‘prince.’
Protect The Royal Family
The Kingsguard have to prioritize the royal family above anyone else. The wives, children, family – and sometimes even mistresses and bastard children – of the king have the protection of the Kingsguard.
This is why Arthur Dayne and the other Kingsguard members were at the Tower of Joy, protecting Lyanna Stark – the wife of Rhaegar Targaryen – and her newly born son Aegon Targaryen – whom we all know better as the norther bastard, Jon Snow.
Dismissal Of A Kingsguard
Only a king can dismiss a member of the Kingsguard; when Joffrey was king, he dismissed Ser Barristan Selmy because he was too ‘old’ and when Tommen was king he dismissed his biological father, believed to be uncle, Jaime Lannister in order to lead his army and regain Riverrun.
Transfer Of Tasks And Duties
If a member of the Kingsguard cannot perform any of their tasks or duties because of age or mental or physical health reasons, the other members of the Kingsguard take them up.
Sometimes the Kingsguard have to rely on other people in order to protect the king and royal family. Prince Joffrey has Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane as his sworn shield, Queen Cersei Lannister has Vylarr and his Red Cloaks to protect her.
The Lord Commander Of The Kingsguard
The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard has a seat on the Small Council by virtue of his office. It is his role on the council to give the king military advice concerning warfare. Other members of the Kingsguard must guard the Small Council, one must stand outside the door whilst the council is in session and another at the end of the bridge on Maegor’s Holdfast.
The Kingsguard’s Cloak And Sigil
Only a member of the Kingsguard can use an unblazoned, pure white shield. No one else in the Seven Kingdoms can. The Kingsguard have their own standard; it is a golden grown, encircled by seven silver swords on a white background.
The White Book
Created during the reign of Aegon I Targaryen, the White Book is an uninterrupted history of all of the members of the Kingsguard. Each member has a page which dictates who they are and what deeds they have done in service to their respective kings. It is keep in the White Tower and it is up to the Lord Commander to update the book.
In the entire history of the Kingsguard order, only one member of the prestigious order has ever turned on their king and killed him; Jaime Lannister. Though he had good reason to, as Aerys ‘The Mad King’ Targaryen was planning to burn the entire city of Kings Landing and its residents to the ground.
Dragons, white hair, fire, and blood. If House Targaryen doesn’t come to mind when you read those words, you’re not a true fan of one of the biggest Houses to almost disappear in Westeros.
House Targaryen has been diminished to nobody but just Daenerys (and now Jon Snow) and her two dragons at this point of the Game of Thrones universe (or at least in the TV series), but they were once a great force in Westeros and Essos. From fleeing their original home in Essos, to all the conquering, and to the almost-extinctions of their House and dragons, there’s a lot more to their history than the 7 seasons of the show has shown, and all of it comes from the books and a small series, The Tales of Dunk and Egg.
So grab some wine, huddle over near the fireplace, and read over a few facts that most fans don’t know about the Targaryen. As usual, huge spoiler warning for those who aren’t caught up at this point. There’s even a small theory for your consideration at the end.
The Targaryens were one of the many dragonlord families that lived in Old Valyria, the most dominant country in Essos. A place filled with many treasures like Valyrian Steel and magic items, its population was known for its silver-gold or platinum hair and purplish eyes.
This great civilization was completely destroyed by the Doom – a ginormous cataclysm caused by the eruption of a group of mountains named the Fourteen Flames that brought Earth-shattering earthquakes, multiple strong volcanic eruptions, lakes boiled and turned to acid, and dragonglass rained down from red clouds.
The air was filled with ashes and smoke, and it even killed dragons. This cataclysm broke the Valyrian peninsula into multiple tiny islands, creating the Smoking Sea, and the islands of Velos and Ghozai were completely destroyed by a tsunami.
While some septons fantasize that the cataclysm was punishment for the Valyrians “delving too deep into the seven hells”, it’s commonly believed to be just a series of natural eruptions that wiped everyone but a few of the Targaryens out. When Daenys Targaryen told her father, Lord Aenar Targaryen, about her prophetic dream of the destruction of Valyria, he wasted no time – he moved his family, five dragons, and all of their belongings to Dragonstone in Westeros.
When Valyria was destroyed twelve years later, the Targaryens were the only of the dragonrider families to survive.
Though the Targaryens are currently the only House to have dragons, they weren’t always the only ones. In Valyria, the Velaryon, Celtigar, and the Belaerys were some of the other noble houses who also had dragons.
The Valyrians were excellent dragon trainers and were able to rule for years due to their loyal pet-monsters. The dragons of Valyria had a really long life expectancy, with Balerion the Black Dread living for about 200 years.
It’s said that no dragonrider may ride two different dragons, but that doesn’t mean a single dragon can bond with multiple riders in its long lifetime.
There are only two dragons left (I mean, Viserion is still around but just on the wrong side of the fight now), and the majority of the ancient dragons died in battle and against each other. It’ll be very sad when the day comes and Drogon and Rhaegal both perish, before or after Daenerys. Here’s hope that there will be some more dragon eggs found throughout Westeros before that – maybe even in Winterfell’s crypts.
3) The Split of House Targaryen
House Targaryen had its own civil war, named the Dance of Dragons, when the successor of the throne could not be properly established after King Viserys I died.
Though the king had officially claimed Rhaenyra as his successor, his son Aegon II was outraged and, with the help of Viserys’ wife, betrayed his father’s wishes and crowned himself King. Once Rhaenyra found out her father had died and Aegon II had crowned himself king, she and her half-brother raged war on each other and split the Targaryens into two sides – those who supported Rhaenyra and those who supported Aegon.
Brother fought brother, dragons killed each other and their riders, and thousands died. It was a tragedy that spread itself in the Targaryen House, and claimed so many lives that the Targaryens never fully recovered from it.
It was a huge contributing factor to the decline of the dragons and the thinning out of the Targaryen line. In the end, Rhaenyra lost and Aegon fed her to his dragon while her son watched. Aegon II became seriously wounded and died a few months later, and Rhaenyra’s son, Aegon III, became king.
4) The Blackfyres
Blackfyre is the name of the Valyrian Steel sword that stays in the Targaryen family line. As with all ancestral items or family heirlooms, the sword was passed down from king to king, until King Aegon IV the Unworthy gave Blackfyre to his bastard son Daemon instead of lawful son, Daeron II.
Daemon then took the name Blackfyre and founded his own cadet branch of the House Targaryen – House Blackfyre – and became known as Daemon Blackfyre.
As King Aegon IV was dying, he decided it’d be a great idea to legitimize all of his bastard children. Daeron II Targaryen succeeded him in becoming King, and Daemon Blackfyre rose up a civil war in a rebellious move to take the throne from him.
Daemon was completely unsuccessful in getting folks to join his cause, though, because he did not have Blackfyre with him at that time – it was in the possession of Aegon “Bittersteel” Rivers, the creator of the Golden Company, far away.
No one knows what happened to the sword Blackfyre after his death, but legend says it was lost. Great going, guys.
5) King’s Landing
We all know King’s Landing as the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, where the King or Queen sits in the Iron Throne and rules and either goes mad or tries to appease the population. However, few of us know that it was actually founded by Aegon I Targaryen, when he departed Dragonstone and conquered kingdom after kingdom.
While many expected him to rule from Dragonstone, he kept an eye on the then-smaller town where he had first landed with his dragons and army. Appropriately named King’s Landing, Aegon made a fort for himself on the tallest hill there and named it Aegonfort, ruling in his seat and supervising the town’s growth.
It was a very strategic place for ruling – he could initiate trade and oversee who entered his kingdom through Blackwater Bay and the Narrow Sea, and King’s Landing flourished and overtook some of the then major cities in Westeros.
6) The Red Keep
The Red keep has an air of secrecy surrounding it, much like the Crypts of Winterfell. Aegon I Targaryen had built the Red keep in order to keep it as a reminder of the fires he had roasted his enemies in, so whenever King’s Landing looked up, they’d see what defiance could result in.
Aegon lived by a simple rule – fear and punishment keep people in line, and it was a lesson he taught his son Maegor “The Cruel”.
Maegor was so cruel and the Red Keep was such a prized possession of the Targaryens that when the builders finally finished building the Red Keep, Maegor had them all executed to keep it’s secrets safe. It’s also said that miles of hidden passageways run behind the walls and under the floors of the Red Keep.
Many like to fantasize that the Red Keep is red because of it’s soaked with the blood of Aegor and Maegor’s enemies. If you think that’s a little mysterious and weird, think back to when Varys said he knows the ways of the Red Keep that only the Targaryen know…
Dragonstone is the Ancestral home of House Targaryen, after Lord Aenar Targaryen took off from Valyria with his family and five dragons and arrived in Westeros, escaping the Doom of Valyria and ultimately the destruction of House Targaryen.
It’s a volcanic island a few hundred miles north east of King’s Landing, and where Aegon I Targaryen was expected by many to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Since Aegon decided to build up King’s Landing instead, Dragonstone was kept as the home of the King’s Heir, namely the Prince of Dragonstone.
Dragonstone is one of the strongest castles in the Seven Kingdoms, thank to to its advanced Valyrian design consisting of strong stonemasonry techniques now lost to the world. Its isolated island location only makes it harder for enemies to break through – a fleet of ships would be required just to transport troops and large siege weapons to its location, and even then they would be forced to make a risky attempt to bring their ships in while under fire from the castle’s own catapults.
Though in the books the castle is eventually taken at a huge cost, it’s a completely different story in the TV show – they even changed the look of it a little.
8) Aegon the Unlikely
Aegon V Targaryen, or either Aegon “The Unlikely” or Egg informally, was the fourth son of a fourth son. He was a long-shot for the throne, but everything that needed to happen happened in the most unlikely, luck-of-the-draw, and amazing sub-plot in the Game of Thrones universe.
The series, A Tale of Dunk and Egg, is excellently written by George R. R. Martin, detailing how a young boy and a hedge knight become King of the Seven Kingdoms and Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
There are quite a few references to these two iconic figures in the world, as Aegon was the younger brother of Aemon Targaryen of the Night’s Watch. We also see Jamie thumbing through the White Book and reading the accolades of Sir Duncan “The Tall.”
Aegon had become the squire of hedge knight Sir Duncan “The Tall” when he was very young, and the two of them go on adventures together,. Aegon, while incognito and not revealing who he really is, experiences the kingdom and hears complaints and sees struggles of the ordinary folk who don’t live in a castle or have riches to their names.
It’s a bittersweet knowledge that plays a part on how he tries to rule when he does become King. The series are currently unfinished, but are an amazing read.
Young Griff is only mentioned in the books, so this is a special spoiler alert for those who haven’t caught up with the books or wish to read them to find out. Before Tyrion is captured by Jorah Mormont, he is on a ship bound for Volantis with Illyrio Mopatis, a sellsword named Griff and his son, Young Griff. Tyrion, in his naturally intelligent way, sees that Young Griff is extremely educated.
He matches this fact with Young Griff’s violet eyes and realizes a very important truth – Young Griff is Aegon Targaryen, the very same Aegon Targaryen who was supposedly killed by The Mountain during Robert’s Rebellion.
As it turns out, Varys switched Aegon with a commoner’s child and smuggled him away to Essos where he lived with Illyrio until Jon Connington (Rhaegar Targaryen’s good friend) adopted him under the sellsword identity, Griff. They dyed Aegon’s hair blue and taught him the way to rule a kingdom as a true Targaryen.
In the books, when we last see Aegon, he is heading to meet his aunt Daenerys to marry her and take back their kingdom. Since this will in no way happen in the TV shows, it makes us wonder just how ridiculously different the outcome of the TV show’s plot and the real book’s plot will be. *cues the shame bells*
10) Targaryen Blood in House Baratheon
Fun fact – did you know Robert Baratheon actually had a legit claim to the Iron Throne, and wasn’t an “usurper”? This isn’t really talked about in the show but, in the books, the origin of House Baratheon is told as is the reason why Robert had the right to be crowned King.
When Ned Stark refuses the Iron Throne, he says that the Baratheon house has an ancient relation to House Targaryen. Confused?
Orys Baratheon, the founder of House Baratheon, was one of Aegon I Targaryen’s greatest generals and his bastard brother. On top of that, Robert’s grandmother on his father’s side was Rhaelle Targaryen.
This does make his claim to the throne true, but does it also have anything to do with Melisandre’s mistake in thinking his brother, Stannis Baratheon, was The Prince That Was Promised? She could’ve just had the wrong strand of Targaryen after all…
11) Relationship with Dorne
When the word Dorne is mentioned, we automatically think one of two things – how beautiful Oberyn was and how annoyingly disappointed we all were with the screen adaptation of the Sand Snakes. But did you know Dorne was like the untamable step-child to the Targaryen?
Though Ellaria Sand showed an undisputed devotion to Daenerys’ cause (even if the fact she wanted revenge against Cersei played a part in it), Dorne wasn’t always standing behind the Targaryen for their trust fall. Dorne was impossible to conquer for about 200 years, fighting wars against the Targaryen and killing those put there to keep the peace.
Dorne finally joined the realm, began to have some influence that was not very liked by the other noble houses, and made marriage pacts with other houses, and finally became the youngest nation of the Seven Kingdoms and the most recent ally to the Targaryen. Dorne: home of the feisty.
In the books, the traditional look of a Targaryen is silver hair and blue eyes. We see that Daenerys does have the silver hair, but her eyes are very blue. Same with her annoying older brother, Viserys, silver hair but no blue eyes. It’s a little weird that the show abandoned the traditional look when they do include that Ned Stark only found out about Cersei and Jaime’s incest through how their three children looked – all blonde like the Lannisters, and none of them looked like Robert Baratheon.
With Jon Snow actually being Aegon Targaryen and not having any of the key looks of anyone in Houe Targaryen, maybe the show decided to dumb down the traditional looks and features so his identity could stay secret?
Another misconception is that all Targaryen aren’t supposed to be harmed by fire. That isn’t true and it’s also busted in the books. Jon Snow, now a confirmed Targaryen, was burned while slaying White Walkers. Viserys Targaryen, Deanerys’ brother, was killed by having melted gold dumped on his head.
In the books, there are tons of cases of Targaryens being burned to death by dragons or fire, and Daenerys’ hair burns away with her clothe when she births her dragons. The fact Daenerys survived that (and the burning down of the Dosh Khaleesi Temple in the books) is a miracle, or just luck. Or maybe she’s the ultimate Targaryen.
While his conquests and burning down of people (some innocent, some not so much) did attract attention, it also attracted enemies and backstabbers. Aegon created the Kingsguard, an elite group of military men sworn to protect him from anyone with their lives.
As we see Daenerys prepping to build her own Queensguard, we see the parallels between her and Aegon I – they were both almost assassinated by a merchant, and they both saw the need to have a constant batch of knights to protect them as their enemies began to move against them.
As the Throne passed down to other houses, the need for a Kingsguard remained, with Jaime serving as the head of the Kingsguard in the first season of the show. It seems that constant protection and insulation is a real need in Westeros if you want to sit on that damn Iron Throne.
14) Incest is… Best?
No, it clearly isn’t. Unless you’re a Targaryen.
For generations, uncles have been marrying their nieces, cousins have been marrying each other, fathers have been marrying daughters, and siblings have been marrying each other in House Targaryen. This was said to be needed to preserve their pure bloodline and the “magic” they have over dragons.
While this did preserve their traditional looks and kept the dragonrider lineage going, it also played a part in their reputation for being insane. It was said in the books that “when a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin”. This refers to their temperament due to their ongoing incest – they could go absolutely bonkers like about half of them did, or they could be normal.
With Jon Sow being confirmed as Aegon Targaryen and his romance blooming with his now-confirmed aunt, Daenerys, we can only wonder how they’ll react to the news of their accidental incest. In one hand, it’s normal for a Targaryen. In the other hand, that’s a little weird. Maybe not looking the same will help them ignore the fact they’re related? Maybe it’ll drive them apart? Or, maybe, we could see House Targaryen being built up again, their lineage restarting…
That is, if they both survive Cersei and the Night King.
15) The Theory of Tyrion
Tyrion Lannister, our favorite dwarf (after Gimli, of course), was hated by his father, Tyrion. He’s currently hated by his sister and he carried the weight of being the cause of their mother’s death while birthing him. But, what if there was more to this hate?
Tywin Lannister was good friends with Aerys II Targaryen, the “Mad King”, long before he became mad. They were such good pals that Aerys made him Hand of the King during his rule. Aerys had long been lustful towards Tywin’s wife, Joanna Lannister, and that bothered Tywin. It’s been documented by some characters that Aerys either raped Joanna or had an affair with her at Joanna and Tywin’s wedding, even pointed out by the fact Her Grace Rhaella Targayren abruptly released Joanna from her services once she found out about it.
There’s also a lot of evidence, both in the show and the books, that Aerys II had a falling out with Tywin during a Tourney when Cersei and Jaime were only 6 years old, and Tywin’s resignation request was declined by the King. Once they returned to King’s Landing, there are some more suggestions that the King was still after Joana, and it all seemed somewhat consensual.
However, if the rumors were true, if they had gotten together more than once, and if they did produce a child… It would mean that Tyrion could be a Targaryen, and the uncertainty of that could be the source of most of Tywin’s hate towards him. Tyrion is very different than his family, and he’s currently sided with Daenerys Targaryen against his own House. Not only that – the fact Aerys had problems conceiving children with his wife and mistresses could also point to him having a dwarf son with Joanna.
Tyrion has said it himself that his own father doesn’t know if he’s his own son, and Tywin Lannister claims he’s no son of his before Tyrion kills him. In the books, specifically in Tyrion I, he is described as having hair so blond is was almost white, one eye green and the other black – much like another known Targaryen bastard, Shiera Seastar. Tyrion was also very interested in dragons from an early age, as the books point out.
There are a lot of good evidences and subtle suggestions that this could very well be true, and it could be a part of how House Targaryen will (hopefully) rise from the ashes.
Ser Jorah Mormont got kicked out of Daenerys’ team of advisors, banished from her sight twice, brought Tyrion Lannister to her – who is now her most cherished advisor and Hand of the Queen, and cured himself of Greyscale after she commanded him to, and he is still not lucky in love. Don’t lie, your heart hurt for him when he realized Daenerys and Jon Snow had something brewing in between them. But Jorah is not a perfect man – he got himself exiled from Bear Island and brought dishonor to his House, and then broke Daenerys’ trust when she learned he was a spy for King Robert Baratheon, telling him of her every move until he fell in love with her. That’s a little creepy, especially since she’s 14 years old in the books, but he is no Littlefinger and he remains as one of the best fighters and an avid member of the Friendzone Club in the show. In his honor, here are some memes that are guaranteed to make you giggle.
Spoilers ahead, as per usual!
Captain Jorah of the boat Friendship, along with his Second in Command, Tyrion. Which failing love journey will they adventure to next?
Apply Milk Of The Poppy To The Burn Area…
Can Jorah have that Aloe Vera back? A new burn has appeared, and it’ll sting until season 8 comes out and we see what happens with this love triangle thing (or square, because Daario?).
Ride the Dragon
Eat your words, Daario. He rode that dragon, indeed.
We’ve all been there – chatrooms. Doesn’t seem like Jorah will have any luck in attracting a girl who is 35 years younger than him when she can have any gorgeous man she wants (ahem, Jon and Daario).
Here we have a Jorah Mormont in his natural habitat and pose, always on the lookout for Daenerys, and always hopeful that she will love him.
Be Strong, J Bear
Jorah, also known as J Bear, has an inner dialogue with himself. Stay strong, J Bear. You shall prevail!
… Get out of our sight, Jorah.
Look At Me
In today’s episode of “I Should Have Said Something”, we see Jorah struggling with his inability to state the obvious and tell Daenerys he loves her. It’s ok, J Bear. We’re pretty sure she knows.
Released From Friendzone (with a Twist)
Oops. I believe this is not the kind of release he wanted from the friendzone…
“Milady” – Hipster Jorah
Dear Milady, respect the Fedora. He’s clearly a sweet man who has much respect for you and has made his wrongs right. Don’t friendzone J Bear!
Fun fact – The Proclaimers had a huge hit back in Westeros. Jorah made sure to memorize the lyrics and do exactly what they say – walk (and saild) about a thousand miles back and forth to her.
Senpai Noticed Me
Remember that time in high school where your crush actually acknowledged your existence? Remember how special you felt? Love lifts us high where we belong, indeed.
This… is just brutal. Poor Jorah has to be reminded that the love of his life has slept with men after men, but never him. Don’t cry, J Bear.
The Burn Book
How cute, J Bear has a Burn Book. What a Mean Boy. This is seriously reminding me of high school.
Why Books When You Can Have a Horse?
Daenerys clearly accepted the wrong presents here – books are much better presents than a horse… if you live in a castle or somewhere where things are close by. Also, look at Drogo’s muscles. He could give her a banana peel and she’s still take it over anything Jorah gave her.
Get It Together, Jorah
Jorah has all the right intentions yet none of the right vocabulary for love. Get it together, J Bear!
Being sexy and a stoic killing machine definitely wins over having someone risk their life for you, right? I mean, Jorah did betray her trust in the beginning, but that was a long time ago! Give him a chance, Khaleesi!
Dany’s FB Moments
Oof. Does anyone have some Aloe Vera Jorah can borrow? Forget Greyscale, this burn will scar forever.
It’s no secret that George R. R. Martin is not only one to believe the good guys should always win because they’re “good”, but he is also a genius when it comes to circumstance and situations. Nothing in his stories ever happen for no reason, and both the show and the books are full of symbolism. While some moments go unnoticed, if you look back at some character deaths and choices, there’s a very pronounced connection between what they did and how they kick they bucket.
Some of these instances are shown only in the books, others in the deleted scenes feature of the Game of Thrones DVDs, and some are in plain sight – just waiting to be connected by the audience.
Here’s a few of those instances that jumped at us, in no special order. These are full of spoilers, so don’t read these until you’re all caught up!
The Perpetrators Of The Red Wedding Meet Identical Fates
The Red Wedding still haunts us to this day. How could it not? Nobody expects their guest right to be infringed upon and be murdered by those who posed as allies. We’re not the only ones haunted by that gruesome wedding, though, and it did curse its perpetrators – they each died in the ways they killed the Starks.
Take Roose Bolton, for example. He stabbed Robb Stark in the stomach, saying the Lannisters send their remarks. When his turn to die came around, his own bastard son Ramsay stabbed him in the stomach after Roose told him his little brother had been just born.
Walder Frey, head of House Frey and the host of this wedding, has Catelyn Stark’s throat sliced. In turn, Arya Stark avenged her mother and brother by slicing Walder’s throat.
Tywin Lannister was personally not present at the Red Wedding, but it had been the Lannisters who set in motion for the violence that took place. On his orders, Robb Stark is ultimately killed by being shot by a crossbow. Tywin also met his end by a crossbow, shot by his own son Tyrion. There’s a little more to that one, and we’ll come back to it in a bit.
Stannis, Renly Baratheon & Their Female Assistants
This one is a little harder to catch, but very satisfying when you do. Stannis Baratheon got his “assistant”, Melisandre, pregnant with a demon who then infiltrated his younger brother Renly’s encampment and killed him.
Long after Renly’s death, it was Brienne of Tarth, Renly’s own “assistant”, who kills Stannis off after confronting him about what he had done. The lesson here is to never send out your female assistant to do your dirty job. Looking at you, Stannis.
Ygritte, Olly & Some Arrows
Ygritte’s unfortunate and heartbreaking (not just for Jon, but to us too) death mirrors how she killed the father of little Olly, a farm boy from a village in The Gift (land controlled by the Night’s Watch). She shot him through the chest with an arrow during a Wildling attack on their village.
On the night the Wildlings attack Castle Black and fight the men of the Night’s Watch, Olly shoots an arrow straight through her chest, avenging his father and thinking he had protected Jon Snow from her. Poor misunderstood kid.
The Sand Snakes Each Die With Their Own Weapon Of Choice
Though this is one of the most obvious instances, we can’t help but point it out. The three Sand Snakes we see on the show, Oberyn Martell’s bastard daughters, were killed in the same fashion as their preferred methods of combat and weapon choices.
Obara Sand, who used a spear to fight, was impaled by Euron Greyjoy with her own spear when he attacked their ship.
Nymeria Sand, who took to the whip, was strangled by Euron Greyoy in the same attack on their ship and with her own whip.
Tyene Sand, who shared her father’s knowledge on poisons, was taken by Euron Greyjoy and handed to Queen Cersei, along with her mother Ellaria Sand. She’s then poisoned by Cersei with the same poison she once used against Bronn in Dorne, the Long Farewell. It’s also the same poison her mother, Ellaria, used to kill Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella. How ironic.
Ned’s Ice Cold Head Rolling Irony
Our beloved Ned Stark was first introduced to us carrying out a beheading for a man accused of deserting the Night’s Watch, with his sword Ice in hand. Nine episodes later, his very last sighting is on the chopping block, beheaded by his own sword under orders of King Joffrey Baratheon.
It would’ve been even more ironic if his sentence had been carried out by the King himself, as per Ned’s own quote “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” But, we are talking about King Joffrey, and we all know he’s not an honorable man whatsoever. Rest easy, Ned.
Fall Of House Stark & Baratheon Foreshadowed In The Pilot
In season 1, we see this happening right in the beginning. In the first episode, when Ned is on his way back from beheading the Night’s Watch deserter, they come across a dead stag and a dead Direwolf. The stag killed the Direwolf, which symbolizes two things: King Robert inevitably lead Ned Stark to his death by summoning him to King’s Landing, and the fact that King Joffrey Baratheon is the one who orders Ned beheaded.
We do know Joffrey is really not a Baratheon (but an incest-produced child by Cersei and Jaime Lannister), but he still has the House name under his belt. What’s even more chilling is that the stag that killed the direwolf was killed by a mountain lion, once again foreshadowing the end of House Baratheon by the Lannister infiltration in their family and their takeover of he Seven Kingdoms.
It’s even weirder to think that, on the episode where Ned Stark find the direwolf pups, Theon Greyjoy holds a knife to the throat of one of the pups, symbolizing his sudden yet inevitable betrayal (if you get the non-Game of Thrones reference, high-five).
Arya, Polliver & Needle
Ever since Jon Snow gave Arya her thin, small blade which she adorably named Needle, she and her trusty sword have had many adventures in Westeros. One of the most memorable and ironic deaths delivered by Needle has been Polliver.
Polliver had murdered Lommy, an orphan from King’s Landing who had been captured with Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie by Lannister men. Polliver stole Needle from Arya, hence gaining a spot on her kill list, and taunted poor Lommy, who had injured his leg, before using Needle to stab him in the throat.
Arya eventually gets Needle back and stabs Polliver in the throat in the same way, but not before using the same taunting lines he used on Lommy: “Something wrong with your leg, boy? Can you walk? I’ve got to carry you. Funny little blade. Maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it.” Arya is such a badass.
“People die at their own dinner tables, they die in their beds, they die squatting over their chamberpots. Everyone dies, sooner or later.”
Littlefinger said this in season 4, and it has predicted 3 big deaths in the show: Walder Frey, Shae, and Tywin Lannister.
Sure, the “at their dinner table” could apply to Joffrey as well, but this was said after he was poisoned at his own wedding.
However, we do see Walder Frey die at his dinner table, while eating a pie made out of his sons and drinking wine. We see Shae the whore betray Tyrion at his trial and then be found and strangled by him on his own father’s bed. We then see Tywin Lannister sitting on the toilet, only to be fatally shot and killed by Tyrion.
While Littlefinger had nothing to do with those three deaths, it’s absolutely insane how accurate he was in his seemingly innocent predictions. Let’s never forget the look in his face when he realized he was on trial in Winterfell – he never predicted that one.
Lysa Arryn & The Moon Door
Lysa Arryn, Catelyn Stark’s crazy sister, lived in the Eyrie with her son Robin. Her favorite method of execution was to throw her victims through the Moon Door, an hatch in the High Hall which opens up and provides a hefty fall down to the floor of the Vale. Ironically enough, she is thrown door the Moon Door herself by her lover-turned-momentary-husband Petyr Baelish, or Littlefinger.
Tywin Lannister Foreshadows The Demise Of Houses Baratheon & Tully
This one is full of symbolism from Seasons 1 & 3. Specifically, we’re talking about Tywin Lannister skinning a stag while talking to Jaime Lannister in their encampment as they get ready to invade the Riverlands. That is huge symbolism for the fall of House Baratheon, even though the Lannisters don’t actually kill the Baratheons off with weapons. But they do in a way: the Lannisters take over the Seven Kingdoms, which was ruled by King Robert Baratheon. Though it’s not known to the public at first, Cersei Lannister’s children are not Robert’s children – they’re a product of incest between her and her twin brother Jaime. So, in a way, Tywin did kill the Baratheon House by marrying off his daughter to Robert and her disgusting acts of incest.
Also, in a deleted scene from Season 3, Tywin Lannister is seen fishing and then smashing the fish against a rock, then gutting them. The Sigil for House Tully, which Catelyn Stark came from before marrying Ned Stark, is a fish. What about it?
Remember the Red Wedding? She, her son Robb, and the majority of the attendees from both House Stark and Tully were murdered that night. Who was the mastermind behind this attack? Yep, good ol’ Tywin Lannister.
The King Eats, The Hand Takes The Shit
Jaime Lannister once said “The King eats, the Hand takes the shit”, regarding the relationship between Kings and Hand of the Kings. Isn’t it ironic that his son, King Joffrey Baratheon, literally died eating at his wedding after drinking poisoned wine and then his own father, Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, died while taking a shit?
Couldn’t be more accurate in the literal and figurative meanings of this saying.
Jamie’s Guilt – “Cousincide”
The irony here is pretty grand. Jamie Lannister killed his own cousin, Alton Lannister, in order to escape his captivity by the Northern armies. Alton had been Jamie’s squire before, and they had what seemed like a nice little chat while being in the same cell. Alton asks Jamie if he ever thought of escaping, and Jamie says he has a plan.
Alton offers help and scoots closer in order to hear what he needs to do. Jamie tells him that the one thing he needs to do is to die, and so Jamie beats him to death, attracting the attention on the guards. Jamie then kills the guard and escapes.
Fast forward to season 4, when Jamie visits Tyrion in his cell right before the trial by combat fought by The Mountain and Oberyn Martell. Tyrion is running down the list of names for different kinds of familial killings and declares there’s a word for every kind. Jamie displays some guilt, unseen by Tyrion, and says “cousins”, to which Tyrion replies that he’s right – there’s no word for cousin-killing. Let’s call it cousincise in honor of Alton, poor kid.
Oberyn Martell Poisoned Tywin Lannister
This one is a mind-blowing theory that caters more to the books then the show: what if I told you that Oberyn Martell, the handsome Prince of Dorne, master of poisons actually poisoned Tywin Lannister prior to both their deaths?
In Tyrion’s trial for the murder of King Joffrey, Grand Maester Pycell shares that one of his poison vials was missing. It was “Widow’s blood, this one is called, for the color. A cruel poison. It shuts down a man’s bladder and bowels, until he drowns himself in his own poisons.” That wasn’t the poison that killed Joffrey, but someone other than Tyrion took it. Who did? Oberyn.
Go back to when Mace Tyrell, Tywin Lannister, and Oberyn are breaking bread at the solar. This was the perfect opportunity for Oberyn to poison Tywin with such an awful chemical.
This goes deeper in the book, with Oberyn stating he was thankful for Cersei blaming Tyrion for the poisoning, because he’d probable be the one accused if Tyrion wasn’t immediately blamed. “Who knows more of poisons than the Red Viper of Dorne, after all?” He then follows that with a very seemingly random line. “Your father may not live forever.”
Sure, nobody lives forever, but why would he bring Tywin’s death into this conversation?
The description of Tyrion’s thoughts after shooting his father in the toilet also point that something was foul – and not just the magnificent crap he was taking. “But the stink that filled the privy gave ample evidence that the oft-repeated jape about his father was just another lie. Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold.”
In the books, the details regarding Tywin’s funeral after Tyrion shot him in the toilet only point more to this theory, with Tywin rotting visibly, his face greenish, eyes sunken, and a “foul white fluid was seeping through the joints of his splendid gold-and-crimson armor to pool beneath his body.”
With the Widow’s Blood vial missing, Oberyn present in King’s Landing and breaking bread with Tywin Lannister before Tyrion’s trial, and the descriptions of both Tywin’s death stinks and his deterioration at his funeral, there’s very little left to the imagination – though Tyrion ultimately delivered the blow that killed Tywin, Oberyn absolutely dealt him a slow and painful death ahead of time. Depending on how you look at it, Tyrion basically did his father a favor.
Karl Tanner, The Dirty Mouth Stabber
Karl Tanner, the murderous mutineer ringleader of the Night’s Watch, gets the same deathblow he dealt to Craster – a lovely stab through the mouth. His style of combat also includes fighting dirty, which he also gets dealt before his death.
Jon Snow and a handful of men from the Night’s Watch interrupt Karl, who is at this point despicably attempting to rape Meera after taking her, Jojen, and Bran captive, and a fight ensues. Karl fights dirty – spits in Jon’s face to distract him among other tactics – until one of Craster’s daughter-wives stabs him in the shoulder before he gets to finish Jon off.
Forgetting that you should never turn your back to your opponent in battle, he does just that to try and kill the girl, and Jon stabs him through the back of the head and out his mouth. Good riddance, creep.
Maester Aemon: The ONLY Character To Die Of Old Age In Game Of Thrones
This, ladies and gents, is the only man to have died on natural causes in this show (at least that we have seen). Yep. Our beloved Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch – Aemon Targaryen, great-uncle to Daenerys Targayen, unknowingly great-great-uncle of Jon Snow (ahem Aegon Targaryen) – dies at the lovely age of 102, being the longest living person in Westeros at the time, of natural causes and old age.
Though it was beyond sad to see him go, it also gives us hope that any one of our current favorite characters can also die of natural causes and the George R. R. Martin doesn’t just kill everyone off in gruesome ways. Unlikely, but hey, we can hope.
Although we have already composed a list of fifteen of the most satisfying moments in Game of Thrones, there are still so many more to talk about. With the passing of seven years, many satisfying moments have happened, so here are fifteen more moments that went and tingled down our spine in Game of Thrones.
Brienne’s Rescue Of Sansa & Being Knighted
Having just missed Sansa Stark’s signal, Brienne of the Tarth and her squire – Podrick Payne – went in search of her after she escaped her abusive husband, Ramsay Bolton.
Just as the Bolton men found Sansa and Theon Greyjoy – whom helped her escape from Winterfell in the last episode of season 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones – and were about to take them back to Ramsay – who would surely punish them severally – Brienne charged in on horseback and took them out with Oathkeeper – the Valyrian steel sword that Jaime Lannister gave her to rescue the Stark girls with.
Sansa knighted Brienne, with the help of Theon Greyjoy, like her mother did before her and took her into her service as her sworn sword and shield.
Jeor Mormont Offers Longclaw To Jon Snow
Having saved Jeor Mormont from one of the undead, Jon Snow was gifted with Longclaw – the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Mormont. He reveals that he had a new pommel made in the form of a wolf rather than a bear, to honour House Stark – the House of Jon’s believed to be father, Ned Stark.
Jeor explained the history behind the sword and who it belonged to, and who is was meant for, before offering it to Jon. He tries to refuse, but Jeor tells him that he has earnt it by saving his life.
It emphasises the respect and gratitude that Jon earnt for his heroic act, and emphasises that he is a hero – possibly the overall hero of the entire series.
The Nights Watch Drops The Scythe
As the Wildlings were climbing the Wall, Ed gave the order for the Scythe to be dropped in order to prevent them from crossing the Wall and venturing south to raid and kill people.
The Nights Watch Brother followed his command and dropped it. The large, anchor looking metal weapon was dropped from the top of the Wall and left to swing across the side.
The large, metal weapon scraped into the Wall as it did so and took out all of the Wildlings. They screamed and cried out as it crushed them and knocked them from the Wall.
Daenerys Getting Laid On Her Own Terms
Having not had a romantic or sexual partner since season 1 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen gave into her desires in season 4 when Daario Naharis – whom she had chemistry and tension with since meeting – came to her chambers.
After pouring herself a glass of red wine and sitting in her chair in a seductive manner, she told Daario to take off his clothes since that was what he did best.
Jon Snow & Sam Tarly Losing Their Virginity
Both of the brothers of the Nights Watch, were inexperienced with the opposite sex when they came to Castle Black and thought that their vows would prevent them from ever knowing the intimacies between men and women however they both met and fell in love with wilding woman from beyond the Wall.
Jon fell in love with Ygritte, a wildling warrior woman who was at first his prisoner and then captor. Having ran off into a cave, Ygritte began to strip off her clothes before Jon Snow and asked him to break his vows. Although at first reluctant, Jon Snow soon gave into his desires and lost his virginity to Ygritte.
Sam fell in love with Gilly, a wilding woman who was forced to bear the children of her father – Craster – who gave the male children to the White Walkers. He rescued her from that life and took her back to Castle Black. After saving her from two brothers who wanted to rape her, Sam lost his virginity to Gilly.
Grey Worm & Missandei Get It On
Grey Worm and Missandei have one of the most gentle and sweet relationships on the show. They consummated their tender relationship on the night before Grey Worm was set to take Casterly Rock from the Lannisters.
She goes to say goodbye to him and he explains how he feels for her, that she is his weakness because he is frightened of losing her and not seeing her again. She admits she feels the same and he, passionately yet gently, kisses her.
Following the romantic gesture, she begins to undress herself and then proceeds to undress Grey Worm but he is reluctant to let her see his naked form until she tells him she wants to see him. He allows her to and she smiles at him lovingly and begins to kiss him tenderly.
They – nervously and sweetly -consummated their relationship on what they believe could be their last night together.
Jorah Is Greeted Back By Daenerys
After having had an emotional goodbye with Jorah in which he confesses his love for her, Jorah returned to Daenerys after getting rid of the Greyscale that he contracted while sailing through old Valyria.
She and Jon Snow were standing atop the cliffs of Dragonstone when the Dothraki told her that a man claiming to be her friend was there. She turned to see Jorah behind them.
Daenerys looks ready to cry at the sight of her longest and most trusted friend. She informs Jon Snow of who he is and he tells Jorah that his father was a great man.
Jorah offers Daenerys his service, if she will have him. She then tells him it will be her honour and then embraces him warmly and affectionately.
Daario Kills The Champion Of Mereen
As Daenerys and her army approaches the gate of Meeren, the lords send out a single ride who Jorah explains is their champion. He further explains that they want her to put forth her own champion to fight him.
The champion of Meeren then proceeds to urinate over the floor and spouts out insults to Daenerys and her army. She and her closest allies discuss who to put forward as her champion. She struggles to choose because many of them mean a lot to her and are important to her cause.
Daario offers himself as the champion, saying he was the last to join her cause and wants to prove himself to her.
While the champion is charging towards Daario, he stands there facing him seemingly unperturbed. He draws his dagger and throws it at the horse, killing it instantly. The horses fall makes the dust swell up and the champion rises to kill Daario but he withdraws his sword and kills the champion.
The Meeren archers shot arrows at him but they all miss and he – to return the favour – urinates on them.
In the books however, it was Strong Belwas, a Book Character we’ll never see in the show, that kills the champion and defecates in his corpse rather than take a leak the way Daario did…
Daenerys Sails For Westeros
Having accumulated three dragons, an army of unsullied soldiers, a hoard of Dothraki, and the alliances of Houses Greyjoy, Martell and Tyrell – Daenerys Targaryen finally sailed for Westeros to conquer and claim the Iron Throne in the final episode of season six.
The scene began with the Greyjoy theme swelling in the background while Theon looked at the flickering Golden Kraken sail, he looks at his sister and Queen, and the pair look ahead. The camera then pans to Grey Worm on another ship with some of the unsullied. Then there is an overhead shot to emphasize the sheer amount of followers Daenerys has.
The Dothraki are shown on another ship, and then the dragons are shown gliding over the water. The camera turns – as the Targaryen theme takes over and swells – on the leading ship to reveal Daenerys and her small council; Tyrion Lannister, Missandei and Varys. Daenerys and Tyrion share a look before the three dragons fly over the ship and towards Westeros.
Bran & Rickon Were Never Killed By Theon
When Theon Greyjoy revealed the two burnt, hanging corpses in the courtyard of Winterfell, it was believed that Bran and Rickon Stark were dead. Maester Luwin wept, having loved the two youngest Starks deeply, and would have fallen to his knees had the Ironborn not held him up. The episode ended with Theon looking at the blacked bodies.
The next episode, while Maester Luwin is looking at the still hanging corpses solemnly, he sees Osha – the Wildling looking after the Stark boys – sneaking into the crypts of Winterfell with food. He follows her and she explains how they escaped and doubled back to Winterfell – where they would be least expected to be.
Jon Snow’s Parentage Is (FINALLY) Revealed
After years of speculation, and people trying to prove different theories true, it was finally revealed in the final episode of season six of HBO’s Game of Thrones that Jon Snow was the son of Lyanna Stark, the she wolf of Winterfell, and Rhaegar Targaryen, the dragon blooded prince.
The show used Bran’s visions as a way to flashback to Jon’s birth at the Tower of Joy, in the Red Mountains of Dorne. The younger Ned Stark knelt by his dying sister, who was weak and covered in her own blood in the birthing bed, while she begged him to protect her infant son from the wrath of Robert Baratheon.
Ned was then handed the infant from the Dornish maid and he looks down at the small bundle. The camera closed in on the dark eyed infant and then transitioned to a close up shot of the adult Jon Snow.
Littlefinger Gets Executed
Littlefinger spent the majority of season seven trying to turn the sisters, Sansa and Arya Stark, against each other the same way he once did with their mother – Catlyn Stark – and her own sister – Lysa Arryn.
At first, it was seemingly working in his favour, with Arya accusing Sansa of treachery against her family – which she believes is punishable by death – and Sansa telling Arya that she could not have endured all that she herself did.
In the final episode of season seven, Sansa called a meeting in the Great Hall of Winterfell and called Arya forward. They discussed the matters of loyalty, family and what one should do to someone who betrayed their family. The exchange seemed as though Sansa was accusing Arya of treachery, as Littlefinger had put it in her head that Arya wanted to kill her, but after Sansa stated what the accused was being trailed for – she turned to Littlefinger and asked him how he answered to the crimes he was accused of.
Shocked at being outsmarted, he denies the crimes but Bran and Arya prove that they know he is guilty. Having been denied protection from the knights of the Vale, he pleads with Sansa for his life. She makes it clear he is going to die and Arya slits his throat with the same dagger that he had given an assassin to kill Bran with many years prior.
Jon Snow & Sam Tarly Killing White Walkers
The two Nights Watch brothers – Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly – are two of the only known people who have managed to actually kill a White Walker.
Jon Snow, while trying to rescue the wildlings from Hardhome, faced the onslaught of the army of the dead as they began to savage the folk beyond the Wall. When he ran into the tent to retrieved the valuable dragonglass – that was known to kill the undead – he came face to face with one of the White Walkers. Their battled and it appeared that the Walker had the upper hand but Jon managed to slay it with Longclaw, his Valyrian steel sword that Jeor Mormont gifted him many years prior.
Sam Tarly, while trying to get Gilly and her newborn son back to safety, was forced to face a White Walker. Although terrified, he shouted at the Walker to stay back but it proceeded to attack and shattered Sam’s sword. While Sam was knocked on the ground, the White Walker to attack Gilly and her baby but Sam stabbed it in the back with a piece of dragonglass and it died on impact.
Jon Snow Kills Olly & His Murderers
When Olly was introduced, we felt bad for the poor kid: he had just witnessed his village and family get slaughtered by Wildlings. The Magnar of Thenns even taunted him about eating his parents when the slaughter would end.
Olly killing Ygritte during the Battle of Castle Black in the same manner she had killed his parents brought a conflicting sense of justice. He had avenged his parents’ death, but Jon also lost his first love; a sad moment in Game of Thrones.
But when Olly took part in the conspiracy to assassinate the Lord Commander over a difference in opinion, that’s when everything changed. Giving Jon the last Stab ala Brutus to Ceasar was the tipping point where Olly was now a hated character, even spawning an infamous sub reddit called “F***Olly”
After Jon’s ressurection, it made sense for him to execute Olly, Thorne and all the other conspirators, as is law in the Nights Watch. Olly didn’t even have the decency to explain to Jon, nor give any last words. Just when we thought Jon would reconsider executing them, as brothers of the Nights Watch are needed for the Great War ahead, that swing of the sword brought Justice and Punishment! That closeup of Dead Olly was weird as well….
Notable Entry: Robb Is Named King In The North
While we already had covered Jon Snow’s Coronation as King In The North in Part 1 of this article, nevertheless, we figured this one should be there as well.
The northern lords gathered together to decide which king they should declare for. Despite wanting to declare for Renly, Robb Stark reminded them that just as Bran could not surface him in the succession of Winterfell, Renly could not surpass Stannis.
They argued that he could not mean to join Joffrey for he executed Ned Stark – Robbs father – but Robb repeated that Renly could not surpass Stannis. Greatjon Umber tells them all that none of the southern kings mean anything to him for they do not know anything about the north. He points his sword to Robb and declares him King in the North.
The other northern lords and Theon Greyjoy follow suit, all declaring him King in the North in unison as Catelyn Stark looked up at her son while the House Stark theme swelled in the background.
The Resurrection Of Jon Snow
Having been murdered by his own men in a mutiny in the last episode of season 5, it was unknown for a year as to whether – the White Wolf – Jon Snow would return to HBO’s Game of Thrones.
After finding his dead body, Davos, Ed and several other loyal brothers carried his body inside and brought Melisandre to him. She washed his body, cut his hair and uttered a spell while gliding her hands over him. Thinking her magic had left her, she believed that she would be able to bring him back.
Melisandre left, followed by the brothers of the Nights Watch and eventually Davos. Ghost – Jon’s albino direwolf – however, perked up and looked at his owner’s body. Jon’s face came into view and in the last moment of the episode, he gasped and opened his eyes.
While we already looked into a Disney Version Of Game Of Thrones, we here have an excellent adaptation of our favorite women in Game of Thrones specifically re-imagined as Disney Princesses this time.
Artist Sam Tsui also known as DjeDjehuti on DeviantArt made those stunning looking renditions of Game of Thrones Characters as Classic Disney Princesses.
Someone needs to pitch this idea to Disney Studios with a complex change in violence, language, and sex scenes. Totally doable, right?
Ariel as Melisandre
Seeing our favorite Disney redhead (I still love you, Merida) dressed as The Red Witch has me singing “wish I could be part of your world”. What a great mashup.
Aurora as Cersei
Aurora is a much sweeter and pleasant princess than Cersei ever was, but you can’t deny how much she looks like her in this.
Belle and Margeary
Belle is a perfect Margaery – kind, sweet, beautiful, and graceful. Even though she gets her happily-ever-after with her handsome prince, we can all pretend Margaery lives on through her because of this picture.
Cinderella as Catelyn Stark
Our favorite mother is portrayed by our favorite step-daughter. Hard working, honest, and loyal, Catelyn and Cinderella do have somethings in common – except the hair color.
Elsa as Daeneys
The Mother of Dragons takes a cold turn in this picture as Elsa. Their elemental differences aside, they do look like they could be sisters from different misters. …Wait. Can we confirm that they are not related at all?! Come on, Disney…
Grandma Fa as Olenna Tyrell
My two favorite grandmas mashed up into one. My day, month, and year has been made. Their personalities are very similar and they’re both highly loveable. Oh, Lady Olenna… You are missed.
Jasmine as Ellaria Sand
Gorgeous, exotic, and partnered with beautiful men – Jasmine and Ellaria might as well be the same person, with one tiny exception – Jasmine is much less petty and vengeful than Ellaria was.
Lilo as Arya Stark
Lilo and Arya are both spunky, morbid, and dark little girls. One of Disney’s only young girl protagonists, these two are an excellent mashup as well.
Merida as Ygritte
Wild red curls, badass attitude, awesome accent, excellent aiming with a bow and arrow… Ygritte is Merida, and Merida is Ygritte.
Mulan as Brienne
Yes. Even though we don’t witness Brienne’s early years and struggles, she did go through a lot to become the respected knight that she is. She didn’t have to lie about being a woman like Mulan did, but these ladies show the world that women can do the same (if not more) as any man can. So much yes.
Rapunzel as Sansa Stark
Who better to portray Sansa, who’s been locked up in a tower time after time, oppressed by abusers and had a pretty tough life, than Rapunzel? She also knows how that feels, and has magnificent hair as well.
Snow White as Shae
The illustration is beautiful, but there’s a reason why I’m giggling a little at the artist’s choice. These two have nothing in common, except they both seem to really like having dwarves around… Ha.
Tiana as Meera Reed
You may be scratching your head at this one, but here’s what the artist himself had to say:”Meera is of course the spunky girl helping Bran and crew reach the three-eyed raven north of the wall — The Reeds are the rulers of the Cranogmen, who live in the swamps and marshes and are sometimes called ‘frog-eaters’ — so I figured this Tiana, a bayou beauty herself, would be a perfect fit!”
While the casting for the Game of Thrones show is nothing short of absolute perfection, it’s normal to sometimes wonder what our beloved characters would look and act like if they had been cast with different celebrities and actors. Whether you love these celebrities and or characters or hate them, whether they’re actors or politicians, whether they would’ve been perfect for the role or not, you can’t deny it’s fun imagining what could have been. We should also take this moment to thank our lucky stars that none of these were actually cast for our favorite roles, and give a round of applause for the HBO show’s casting team. Without any further ado, here are 17 funny instances where some of our favorite characters get a makeover, sometimes a sex change, and possibly a change in behaviors. There could be some spoilers ahead, as always, because the internet is dark and full of spoilers.
Jack Nicholson as Tyrion Lannister
Everyone’s favorite jokester. Am I talking about Tyrion or Jack Nicholson? Both! Though Peter Dinklage is superb at portraying Tyrion, one can only imagine the way Jack would carry the character to where he is by the end of season 7.
Rowan Atkinson as Daario Naharis
Daario would be a completely different person if Rowan Atkinson had been playing him. Imagine a Mr. Bean type character, complete with awkward moments and funny noises.
Nicolas Cage as Ned Stark
The internet’s favorite actor to poke fun at – Nicolas Cage. I can almost see him saying “Winter is Coming” National Treasure style.
Donald Trump as Tyrion Lannister
Whatever your political stance is or how much you may dislike or like Donald Trump, him as Tyrion has to make you giggle. He’d be a perfect candidate for playing him in the earlier seasons, before Tyrion became a more mature character.
Albert Einstein as The Mountain
Brains…. Both the now-undead Mountain and Albert Einstein love brains! The Mountain loves to smash them, and Einstein uses his for science. I don’t think he’d be great at being a bodyguard, though…
Hillary Clinton as Daenerys Targaryen
Love her or hate her, Hillary as Daenerys would have been an awesome performance. They both make incredibly unforgettable expressions and they’re both bossy, rule-worthy women.
Nicolas Cage as Sansa Stark, Laurence Fishburne Morpheus Sitting on the Iron Throne
Though Nicolas Cage would make an excellent Lady of the North, especially during her whiny years, I don’t think that’d be a good fit. However, I’d love to see Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) sitting on the Iron Throne, offering blue or red pills to Westeros. Surprise: you live in a made-up reality and you’re actually trying not to get killed by machines! What a twist.
Christopher Walken as the Night King
If Christopher Walken dances as the Night King in the same way he did for Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice”, while brandishing his weapon of choice (icy spear for the win), I believe Westeros would bow down to him.
Scarlett Johansson and Jude Law as Daenerys Targaryen and Jorah Mormont
The beautiful Scarlett Johansson would probably smile more often than Daenerys does, and Jude Law would make an absolutely charming Jorah. Who knows, Dany and Jorah might have been a thing if he had been cast for it…
Meryl Streep and Woody Allen as Selyse and Stannis Baratheon
The Devil Wears…. Fiery guilt and braids? Meryl Streep probably wouldn’t have let Stannis burn their daughter alive. But, then again, Woody Allen’s Stannis would’ve probably married his own daughter. Or at least have adopted another one and then married her.
Sharon Stone on the Iron Throne
Ah. Here we have the famous Sharon Stone scene from Basic Instinct where she does her cop interrogation without wearing any undies. I can only imagine that if Cersei didn’t get things her way as she normally does, she’d probably resort to the same kind of… attention-grabbing efforts to get her point across.
Donald Trump as Daenerys Targaryen
Now, this… Would have been interesting to see. We know that Emilia Clarke has the best eyebrow expressions in the show, but Trump Daenerys would definitely have the best fishy lips, and the best army. Huge Unsullied army.
Clint Eastwood as Daenerys Targaryen
Badass Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino style, asking people “where are my dragons?!” would have been priceless. The amount of ass-kicking would also double what it currently is from Daenerys.
Will Smith and Hillary Clinton as Jon Snow
Two very different approaches to Jon Snow – Will Smith and Hillary Clinton. One is too cheery, while the other might go Prince of Belair on everyone.
Nicolas Cage as Jon Snow
Even if Nicolas Cage played Jon Snow, he’d still know nothing. Still better than envisioning Cage as Sansa Stark, though.
Rowan Atkinson as Daenerys Targaryen
Definitely not beautiful or graceful or fierce. Just funny sounds, faces, and disaster.
Donald Trump as Joffrey Baratheon
Joffrey Baratheon – the most hated King in the Seven Kingdoms. Fans hated him. Characters hated him. Nothing else needs to be said about having Trump play him instead of Jack Gleeson.
In a fantasy world, the appearance of characters is rather different to that of the modern, real world. Wigs, prosthetics, coloured contacts and more are used to transform the actors and actresses of HBO’s Game of Thrones into their onscreen counterparts. Here is a list of twenty actors and actresses who look completely different in real life to how their look on the silverscreen.
20 – Varys
Conleth Hill – the Irish actor who portrays the Spider, Varys – unlike a lot of actors on HBO’s Game of Thrones does not wear any facial prosthetics or a wig, but he does however don a bald head. Hill has thick grey hair and a moustache, whereas Varys is bald headed and clean shaven.
19 – The Hound
The Scottish actor Rory McCann who portrays The Hound – one of the most dangerous fighters in Westeros – wears a shoulder length wig, facial hair prosthetics and special effects facial make up in HBO’s Game of Thrones. The Hound’s onscreen appearance creates a stark contrast to McCann’s balding head, light stubble and unburnt face.
18 – Septa Unella
The English actress, Hannah Waddingham, who portrays Septa Unella – the woman who marched Cersei Lannister, naked, through the streets of Kings Landing while crying out ‘shame’ –
Starkly contrasts her onscreen character on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Waddingham had well styled, honey blonde hair, a made up face and is well dressed in figure fitting clothing whereas her on screen counterpart has her hair hidden beneath her headdress, is plain faced and wears loose fitting, conservative grey clothing.
17 – Leaf (Children of the Forest)
Kae Alexander, the Japanese actress who portrayed Leaf – the leader of the Children of the Forest – wore yellow contacts, full body prosthetics and a greyish green wig on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Alexander endured a process that latest between nine and ten hours to be transformed into Leaf. Her off screen appearance contrasts sharply with that of Leaf’s because she has long, black hair, tanned skin and wide dark eyes.
16 – Wun Wun
Welsh actor Ian Whyte, who portrayed Wun Wun – the wildling giant – wore a large foam body suit and silicone rubber prosthetic makeup on his head on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Whyte – while being extremely tall off screen at the height of seven foot, eleven inches – is slenderly built, has short dark brown hair and a slim face.
15 – Osha
Although the English actress, Natalie Tena, who portrays Osha – the wildling woman who cares and protects Bran and Rickon Stark on HBO’s Game of Thrones – does not wear any facial prosthetics or even a wig, she does look entirely different from her on screen character. Tena often has well styled hair, a made-up face and a fun style of clothing whereas Osha has wild hair, a dirty face and ragged clothes.
14 – Yara Greyjoy
Unlike the actresses who portray the other queens in Westeros, Gemma Whelan – the English actress who portrays Yara Greyjoy, the believed to be rightful Queen of the Iron Islands – does not wear a wig on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Whelan has a lightly made up face, neatly styled hair and femininely cut clothing whereas Yara has a plain face, windswept hair and masculine style clothing
13 – The Waif
Faye Marsay – the English actress who portrays the Waif, an acolyte of the Faceless Man – wears her bobbed hair in a braided style, has a plain and sometimes dirty face, and wears loose fitting, plain coloured clothing. Marsay wears her hair sleeked back stylishly, her face well made up and wears modern, fitted clothing that suits her frame.
12 – The Night King
Richard Brake – the Welsh actor who portrays the Night King (In Season 5 before he was recast), the leader and creator of the undead army that has now entered Westeros – dons full bodied prospects and coloured contacts on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Brake has medium length, honey blonde hair, fair skin and a well defined face whereas his onscreen counterpart has icy, blue skin, hauntingly electric blue eyes and ice horns upon his bald head.
11 – Karsi
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen – the Danish actress who portrayed Karsi, a wildling woman who fought with Jon Snow at the Battle of Hardhome – dyed her hair and had a plain, dirty looking face on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Hjort Sørensen has honey blonde hair that is styled elegantly, a well made-up face and wears stylish clothes that suit her tall but slime frame unlike her on screen counterpart who has ragged, dark hair and wears animal pelts.
10 – Jaqen H’ghar
Tom Wlaschiha – the German actor who portrays Jaqen H’ghar, a Faceless Man who trains Arya Stark – wears a wig and unfitting, plain clothing on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Wlaschiha has short, blonde hair and wears fitted, very stylish clothing unlike his on-screen counterpart whom has shoulder length red hair with silvery white strips and wears poorly made, almost ragged looking clothes.
09 – Brienne Of Tarth
Gwendoline Christie – the English actress who portrays Brienne of Tarth, one of the greatest warrior in Westeros – wears her hair in an unkempt, messy style, has a plain face and dons the intricately designed armour that Jaime Lannister had made for her on screen character on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Christie styles her short blonde hair elegantly, has a well made-up face and wears sophisticated and well-fitting clothes that suit her tall frame.
08 – Hodor
Kristian Nairn – the Irish actor who portrays Hodor, the largely built, simpleminded servant of House Stark who cares for and protects Bran Stark – dons a beard and has his hair cut significantly short, a dyed pale blonde. Nairn has longer hair that’s often spiked up, has tattoos and wears simple, casual clothing. He also dons a facial star tattoo that was removed via makeup on set.
07 – Pyat Pree
Ian Hanmore – the Scottish actor who portrayed Pyat Pree, a warlock from Qarth and one of the Thirteen – wore dark blue facial makeup on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Hanmore has some light white hair, though is mostly bald, and dons a plain face whereas his on screen counterpart has sunken in eyes with thick black bags and blue lips.
06 – Shireen Baratheon
Kerry Ingram – the English actress who portrayed Shireen Baratheon, the Stag Princess – wore facial prosthetics and dyed her hair darker on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Ingram has honey blonde hair and wears a made-up face that makes her look older whereas Shireen has Greyscale covering one half of her face and has limp, dark brown hair.
05 – Gilly
Hannah Murray – the English actress who portrays Gilly, the wildling lover of Sam Tarly – like her fellow wildling women actresses dons a dirty, plain face and wild, unkempt hair that she dyed for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Murray has lighter hair that is styled in neat waves, an elegantly made up face and wears tightly fitted clothing whereas her onscreen counterpart wears animal pelts and then plain dresses.
04 – Viserys Targaryen
Much like Emilia Clarke, the English actress who portrays his on-screen sister, English actor Harry Lloyd wore a lace front wig for his short stint on HBO’s Game of Thrones as Viserys Targaryen, the exiled heir to the Iron Throne. Lloyd endured a two hour process every morning in order to transform into the unhinged prince whose shoulder length, silvery curls and pale eyebrows were the complete opposite to his own short styled, black hair and dark eyebrows.
03 – Robert Baratheon
Mark Addy – the English actor who portrayed Robert Baratheon, the Stag King – wore a wig and donned a wiry beard on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Addy has extremely short hair and is clean shaven, and is slightly slimmer in build that his onscreen counterpart.
02 – Euron Greyjoy
Pilou Asabaek – the Danish actor who portrays Euron Greyjoy, the captain of the Silence and king of the Iron Islands – wears facial prosthetics, a beard and black lined eyes on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Asabaek has a face lightly lined with stubble and does not have a scar beneath his left eye.
01 – Daenerys Targaryen
Emilia Clarke, the English actress who portrays the ‘Dragon Queen’ – Daenerys Targaryen – wears a waist length, lace front wig on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Clarke’s off-screen appearance – which consists of shoulder length, dark brown hair and dark brows – contrasts with the silvery hair and pale eyebrows of the Mother of Dragons
Have you ever wondered what the Game of Thrones gorgeous world and characters would look like if they had been reimagined by Walt Disney studios? I mean, they’d have to do some real adapting for it to be accepted by Disney and its audience in the first place, but that’s beside the point. The Dornish men and women, the Northeners and Southeners, Wildings, wights, dragons… How would they look in the cartoonish, perfect world of Disney? Fret not, my sweet summer child – artists Fernando Mendonça and Anderson Mahanski not only answered that question, they took us to the world of Westeros in the most innocent, playful, and beautiful way imaginable. Below you’ll find their art as well as other artists, so get your inner bubbly, innocent child ready for some amazing new Disney character we will probably never see on the big screen or Walt Disney World.
Melisandre & Her (Goofy) Shadow
Here we see a beautiful Melisandre (who reminds me of Megara in Hercules) walking her shadow baby, who had killed Renly Baratheon on the fateful night she gave birth to a demon. Totally not Disney appropriate, but you can’t deny she’d make an awesome villain in their universe.
Oberyn & The Mountain
This scene could play out as a silly game of “guess who’s behind you”, but we all know better.
Jon Snow & Ghost
A completely innocent moment between Jon Snow and his pet direwolf. One can only imagine what adventures they’d get themselves into. Also, poor squirrel.
Our favorite Spider and Spymaster (screw you, Littlefinger) looks up to something as he listens to one of his little birds. I wonder if they’ve been lying to him ever since Cersei took over and cleaned house in King’s Landing…
The Hound & Arya Stark
I can see this as the poster for the movie “F*ck the King – The Adventures of A Girl and The Hound”. Coming to an end in 2018, rater R for mature language, gory images, and lewd content. I’m actually sad it’s not a real thing.
Jaime Lannister & Brienne Of Tarth
Tale as old as time… Beauty and the Beast. Though Brienne is both beautiful and very muscly, calling her the Beast seems a little unfair. But let’s be honest, the early version of Jaime absolutely fits as a diva. Maybe he should’ve been drawn as Gaston instead?
Cersei would be a perfect Disney villain. Beautiful, smart, and gutsy, she puts the majority of witches and evil queens to shame with her evil plans and dirty work.
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to drink wine I go. He’d be the Disney character all children would love – funny, a little unlucky, intelligent, and cute. As long as they don’t include his sex addiction from earlier seasons, he’d be Disney appropriate.
Hodor & Bran Stark
Here we have what should have happened with these two. Hodor and his happy-go-lucky soul and demeanor, and Bran Stark as a curious, innocent child. Rest in peace, sweet giant.
The (Frozen) Night King
Let it go, let it go… The Night King is very Elsa-like in this picture. But it’s a good thing he doesn’t smile in the show, that’s a little creepy.
Daenerys, Drogon, Jon, & Ghost
This is not drawn by Fernando Mendonca, Anderson Mahanski, or Sam Tsui, but it’s a great illustration nonetheless. I do wonder who that little dragon is, and why Dany is giving Jon the side eye.
Daenerys & Drogon
Very Jasmine and Rajah-like, this illustration makes me want a Daenerys Disney movie right now. From her expression to the details on her clothes – they nailed it. Drogon, however, has eaten too many lambs.
Daenerys & Her 3 Dragons
Viserion, Rheagal, and Drogon remind us of the dragon the evil witch Milicent turns into in Sleeping Beauty. Daeneys is channeling her inner Elsa in this picture as well, and this could make for a more serious Disney movie.
It’s been a rumor before the final season of Game of Thrones even began filming: “they’ll shoot alternate finale scenes so the real ending doesn’t leak!” There wasn’t much reason to believe this, but showrunner David Benioff added fuel to the flames by implying as much, and a few cast members said it outright–though, as it turns out, they were either misdirecting the press for fun or misinformed themselves. Whatever their reasons, if there were still any doubts, Maisie Williams is here to put them to rest.
This idea of “alternate endings” took root back in 2017, when HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys claimed “they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end.” Even at the time, we warned readers to take his words with a grain of salt. As I wrote more than two years ago: “HBO doesn’t have the budget to film multiple finale episodes (or even entire sequences) that will never air. That’s just a tremendous waste of money for very little gain,” as “just keeping the cameras rolling and the cast and crew on location costs ridiculous amounts of money.”
At the Sky Up Next showcase red carpet, Maisie Williams corroborated our suspicious while speaking to Metro: “We didn’t [film an alternate ending]. It costs so much money and the schedule was way too tight. We were spending all the money on dragons.”
She jokingly adds, in regards to the much-maligned ending, that she believes “people wish we did,” but they definitely did not: “We didn’t! So, that’s your lot!”
So there it is.
We will never get to watch a scene in which, say, Jon joins Daenerys in the end, or someone other than Bran becomes king. Scripted alternate endings are another–much more plausible–matter, one which could’ve easily been accomplished as a cheap safety measure against leaks, but shooting them was always out of the question.
Good news is hard to come by these days, isn’t it? The world is on fire (literally), the people are divided, and House of the Dragon is potentially 2 full years away. Egad. So when some good news comes along, we have to celebrate it like the miracle that it truly is. And that good news comes from one of our favorite actors. Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), the Queen in the North, and ruler of 1 kingdom, is expecting a child, and we couldn’t be happier for her.
Just Jared broke the news story, and while it’s by no means my business to be personally invasive, I can at least celebrate knowing that Sophie and her husband (singer and actor Joe Jonas) are happy: “The couple is keeping things very hush hush but their friends and family are super excited for them,” reports a close source.
Now, we are not a gossip site, nor are we a tabloid site, and I will not sit here and speculate on anything further, other than to jump in and say we at Watchers on the Wall are thrilled for them, and wish our queen nothing but the best. Up next, Sophie has a project on the new pseudo streaming service Quibi. I’ll be watching in April. Will you?
Nathalie Emmanuel and Aidan Gillan, who played Missandei and Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish respectively, are but two of the latest Game of Thrones cast members to go to bat for the show’s ending and criticize the way some fans reacted to their dislike of it.
Before discussing the ending proper, Nathalie Emmanuel addresses Missandei’s own ending, which also caused a bit of a stir, especially regarding the optics of this black former slave being executed in chains at the hands of Cersei, in a narrative-motivated move to further isolate Daenerys and motivate her following actions. The actress, however, sees it quite differently, finding agency and power in Missandei’s death:
“I was very grateful for the strength that she had when she left. That was a performance choice for me,” Emmanuel tells TVLine. “I was like, ‘She’s not going to be crying. She’s not going to be stereotypically scared.’ She’s scared, but she owns it.”
“This woman survived slavery. She knew that she might go to war and die. And she’s owning it like a badass bitch. And I felt like that’s what I did. I was very proud of it.”
As for the end of Game of Thrones and the reaction to it amongst some corners in the fandom, in particular that infamous petition asking HBO to re-do the ending, Emmanuel is keen to emphasize that “it’s totally fine if you don’t like something”, that it’s “perfectly acceptable.” That petition, however, she appears to find insulting: “What I didn’t like was that people were signing a petition. You can’t ask for receipts on art. You just can’t. The art has been created for you, and you can either choose to like it or not.”
Regarding her personal opinion on the final season and the finale, Emmanuel was “blown away”, as it was “a hard plane to land,” she says. “I don’t think people quite realize the undertaking and the amount of manpower it took to do that.”
In a similar vein to Gemma Whelan’s recent statements, a cast member suspected by some conspiracists to have hated the ending has come out and debunked this notion, which was not so much based on reality as on these fans’ need for validation. The Targaryen crew –especially Emilia Clarke, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Jacob Anderson– were the main focus of this, so it’s nice to see one of them dismiss it so clearly.
On November 25 of last year, Aidan Gillen was awarded with the Bram Stoker Medal of Cultural Achievement by the University Philosophical Society and, as part of the ceremony, he took part in a a long Q&A that’s only been made available recently:
Very much like Emmanuel, Gillen shares his musings on the toxic reaction to the ending by some people, as well as his personal opinion on season eight and the finale:
“There was a lot of flak about the last season of Game of Thrones. I was astounded,” he begins. “The mentality there’s nowadays, when people go on Twitter, and slag the fuck out of everything; I really hate it… It’s a really nasty strain of behavior… For people to turn on the writers of something that people had adored for seven seasons in such a nasty fashion, as they did, I was really taken aback. I really was.”
“I thought that some of the best scenes, the best sequences, of Game of Thrones were in the last season. I don’t have any doubt about that,” Gillen underscores. “They ended it the only way that they could end it; which was strangely reminiscent of how it began: there’s people sitting in this land which seems to have some kind of stability, but there’s also uncertainty and threat, which is, I suppose, what the world is like all the time.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t have suggestions of how it could’ve been better: “There was a part of me that wanted it to end about twenty minutes before it did. It’s just that it was an image that was so fantastic–the dragon flying away, carrying Daenerys Targaryen–that was stunning. I thought the episode before was fucking amazing, too.”
If you’ve been feeling a notable lack of A Song of Ice and Fire art in your life, 2021 already has you covered. Penguin Random House has revealed the cover for their 2021 A Song of Ice and Fire calendar … and, gods be good, it looks gorgeous.
Earlier today, George R.R Martin announced on his Not A Blog that next year’s A Song of Ice and Fire calendar will feature twelve original pieces by artist, Sam Hogg.
“As always we like to bring you a variety of styles from an assortment of freaky talented artists and this year is no different as we feature the work of Sam Hogg,” he wrote.
Martin’s post included a first look at the calendar cover which features an illustration of Quentyn Martell’s ill-fated attempt to tame Viserion and Rhaegal in A Dance With Dragons, which makes me eager to find out which other book-only scenes the calendar might include.
For instance, the theme of Penguin Random House’s 2020 calendar was fantastic beasts and featured paintings by John Howe of beached krakens, giant ice spiders and other Westerosi beasts exclusive to Martin’s books.
In other news, Leslie Jones appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers last night to promote her comedy special, Time Machine, which was directed by none other than David Benioff and D.B Weiss. In the interview she and Meyers reminisce about their show segment, Game of Jones, in which they watched Game of Thrones together and riffed on what was happening.
“I regret we didn’t do more of those … now that I think about it I wish we did at least ten,” Jones said.
This past week has been a good one for Game of Thrones. Episodes from season 8 won awards at the Costume Designer Guild Awards, the Cinema Audio Society Awards, and the Visual Effects Society Awards.
At the Costume Designer Guild awards on Tuesday, Michele Clapton won for costume design excellence in Sci-Fi-Fantasy Television. This is the fifth time Clapton has won this award (she also won for best Period or Fantasy TV Show back in 2014 before they split the categories). However, unlike previous years, designers submitted and were judged for a single episode that best reflected their body of work. Thus, Clapton received her sixth CDGA for her designs for “The Iron Throne.” The full list of nominees and winners is a available at Deadline.
The Cinema Audio Society Awards were held on January 25 where the Game of Thrones’ sound team won for excellence in a 1 hour television series, specifically for season 8’s penultimate episode “The Bells” (which, now that I think about it really is the perfect title for an episode of television that wins an award for its audio).
Production Mixer – Ronan Hill CAS
Production Mixer –Simon Kerr
Production Mixer – Daniel Crowley
Re-recording Mixer – Onnalee Blank CAS
Re-recording Mixer – Mathew Waters CAS
Foley Mixer – Brett Voss CAS
You can read the full list of nominees and winners here.
Finally, yesterday at the 18th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards, hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt (for the 9th time!) at the Beverly Hilton, Game of Thrones, as expected, lost a few awards to The Mandalorian, but it still went home with two of the six awards it was nominated to.
Carlos Patrick DeLeon, Alonso Bocanegra Martinez, Marcela Silva, and Benjamin Ross’s work on the Red Keep Plaza in “The Iron Throne” won them the “Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project” award, while the dragon ground battle VFX in “The Long Night”, created by Mark Richardson, Darren Christie, Nathan Abbott, and Owen Longstaff, was awarded with “Outstanding Compositing in an Episode.”
If you want to take a look at the other winners, click here.
In a new quickfire interview, Yara Greyjoy actor Gemma Whelan touches on everything from her spite towards a certain “man doing appalling things with his horrendous megalomaniac ego” (take a guess!) to her anorexia recovery, and of course she addresses Game of Thrones‘s ending, though perhaps not in the way one would expect.
When asked by The Guardian about what her “greatest disappointment” has been (in general; not just related to the HBO show,) Whelan has a clear–if controversial–answer:
“The fans’ reaction at the end of Game of Thrones because I think it was brilliant.”
Now, her opinion about the ending alone is sure to ruffle a few feathers, not to mention what some may see as a pushback against those fans who disliked the ending, but I believe this answer is valuable: for starters, it’s a good reminder that actual real-life people made this show with their hard work (yes, including the writers), which doesn’t mean they can’t be criticized but it does mean it must be done humanely; and also, it shows there is no secret conspiracy among cast members who actually hate the show but can’t admit to it openly—you have to read between the lines, I’m told; which is handy if you want someone to agree with you when they haven’t actually done so.
Even before the final season premiered, that sentiment was strong among those fans with–let’s say–an overactive imagination. Though much of it centered on Emilia Clarke for obvious reasons, apparently there were similar suspicions about Whelan. If nothing else, it’s nice to see those conspiracy theories (because that’s what they were) debunked.
In other news, Variety reports that Game of Thrones won another award: at Parrot Analytics’ 2nd Global TV Demand Awards, the show went home with the ‘Most In-Demand TV Series in the World’ and ‘Most In-Demand Drama Series’ awards.
Congrats! I think everyone would agree that’s well-deserved.
Fan-favorite actor Miltos Yerolemou, the First Sword of Braavos Syrio Forel himself, returns this year to Con of Thrones, the premier convention for fans of Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the epic worlds of fantasy author George R. R. Martin!
Yerolemou will appear on panels and programming at Con of Thrones 2020 on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19, as well as participate in autograph and photograph experiences with fans and lead Water Dancing sword fighting workshops.
Yerolemou has appeared at every Con of Thrones since the event began in 2017. He won acclaim for his role as Syrio Forel, Arya Stark’s Water Dancing instructor, in the first season of Game of Thrones. Tickets are available for purchase now at conofthrones.net/register. Admission to Water Dancing workshops will go on sale on Friday, February 7, 2020, at 2:00 PM ET.
Autograph and photograph experiences with Yerolemou are available for purchase now. Autographs are $20 and photographs are $35. Autograph and photograph experiences are also available with Game of Thrones actors Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont), Anton Lesser (Qyburn) and Sam Coleman (Young Hodor). Con of Thrones will take place in Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center July 17–19, 2020.
Con of Thrones will host in-depth discussions about both the television and book series, Special Guest Spotlight interviews, live recordings of fan-favorite podcasts, and much more. Previous guests include Game of Thrones stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn), Esmé Bianco (Ros), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Aimee Richardson (Myrcella Baratheon), and Emmy Award-winning Sound Designer Paula Fairfield. Con of Thrones also provides opportunities for autographs and photographs with some of the most familiar faces from Game of Thrones.
Con of Thrones is produced by Mischief Management, in collaboration with their official programming partner—Watchers on the Wall. Additional special guests and additional details will be announced at a later date!
Both author George R.R. Martin and showrunners Benioff and Weiss have largely avoided discussing the differences between the show’s ending and what we may eventually find in his books, and we’ll probably not get a detailed answer until The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are released, if they ever are. In the meantime, any news on the subject feels like a precious gem of information. That is the case with a new interview with Martin, who largely avoids giving us specifics… but also gives us a lot to talk about, especially regarding the ending of Daenerys Targaryen!
The ASOIAF subreddit picked up on Welt‘s German language interview, and user Whitebread100 provided a translation, which we’re thankful for. First, Welt asks Martin about his wide-ranging workload, beyond the writing of his final A Song of Ice and Fire novels:
“I’m currently developing the prequel series for HBO. I also have another deal with the station: I’m supposed to produce more series for them, those that don’t originate in the universe of my own stories,” Martin explains. “I’m working with writer Nnedi Okorafar on a film adaptation of her science fiction novel Who Fears Death. And I own a small art house cinema in Santa Fe, where I live. It all takes up a lot of time. But I like it.”
Now, as for the final season and how it relates to the two remaining books he’s writing, Martin is quick to point out, as he has before in other words, that “people know an end – not the end.” He elaborates: “The makers of the TV series overtook me, which I didn’t expect. Nevertheless I continue what I’ve been doing for years: I still try to finish first the next book Winds Of Winter and then the follow-up novel A Dream Of Spring. These are the things I concentrate on. After that we will see.”
When pressed further about how he’ll tackle readers knowing the broad strokes of the ending, and Dany’s fate in particular, Martin resorts to his favorite answer:
“Counter question: How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have? In Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone with the Wind she had three children. But in the cinema version of the novel she had only one child. Which version is the only valid one – the one with one child or the one with three?” Martin asks. “The answer is: neither of the two. Because Scarlett O’Hara never existed, she is a fictional character, not a real person who would have had real children. Or take The Little Mermaid. We know her from the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen and from the Disney film. Which one is the real mermaid? Well, mermaids don’t exist. You can choose the version you like best. That goes for any story adapted for cinema or television. In this process, change is inevitable. Even if the adaptation is as faithful to the literary original as it was in Game of Thrones.”
As usual, and very much like showrunners Benioff and Weiss, Martin is evasive about which aspects of the final season were based on the outline he delivered the showrunners years ago. What that means is open to interpretation, of course. Personally, what I take from Martin avoiding to answer the Daenerys question directly is that, whatever differences there may end up being in the road to her fall from grace (however many children Scarlett O’Hara has), her story will still inevitably end in that fall. Then again, I’m no mind reader. What do you think his evasiness means?
At the hour when it counted most, when there are no more seasons to earn nominations, Game of Thrones season 8 stepped up to the plate and did what it had to do. With only three nominations on the table, being nominated alone was a nice present, or even winning one! But, two outta 3? That just goes to show all the season 8 naysayers that GOT can still bring home the bacon. But, it’s not only the awards that are exciting – With all the glitz of the awards, comes the glam of the red carpet. And as ever, the GOT cast knows how to bring the heat! So who won? And who showed up to the carpet? Let’s find out together…
Well, as you can clearly tell from the leading image, Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) hit the carpet together. And in case you can’t tell because he’s missing his usual long locks, that’s Commander Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton) himself on the right. I was also pleasantly surprised to find Pollyana McIntosh (Captain of the Garbage People?) from The Walking Dead photobombing them. Of course, they would have lots to celebrate, as the first win of the night came from Outstanding Performance in a Stunt Ensemble, for which GOT has now officially won 8/8 for all seasons. Take a lap, stunt people. You’ve earned it.
Meanwhile, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and his guest were on hand to witness the second win of the night. I’m sure Jaime was smiling and cheering from the audience as his little brother Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) took home the win for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. This was no easy feat, given he was arguably a supporting actor from a larger ensemble going up against Steve Carrell, Sterling K. Brown, David Harbour, and Billy Crudup, but by George [RRM] he did it!
Unfortunately, GOT did not take the cake when it lost to The Crown for best ensemble. It’s very hard for me to argue with that when The Crown this season was led by the always stellar, newly minted Oscar winner Olivia Colman (Queen Elizabeth II) and Uncle Edmure’s Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip). GOT stands in good company, losing alongside The Handmaid’s Tale, Big Little Lies, and Stranger Things. As George always says, it’s an honor just to be nominated. So who else turned up for the whole “affair?” Well, unlike a Dothraki wedding, all in all, it was not a dull affair…
Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth)
In new interviews focusing on their life after Game of Thrones, Theon and Daenerys actors Alfie Allen and Emilia Clarke look back on this decade-long, life-changing job, touching on how it felt to have it end and on the negative reactions to the final season.
At Esquire, Alfie Allen at first reminisces about the past in the show; about his very first day on set, in fact, in which he apparently showed up when he wasn’t needed yet:
“They said ‘we might as well put you in then’,” he laughs. But he didn’t laugh then: he felt “confused, nervous and lost” at first, as the show was his first big acting job.
That was a long time ago, however, and things changed halfway through his eight-season long run: “I think that pressure that I might have put on myself just disappeared in series four or five,” he says. “I think it just became a normal part of my life.”
Now, as he leaves the role of Theon Greyjoy behind, he is taking with him the hard-earned recognition for his talents, including an Emmy nomination: “I’d said goodbye to Thrones but then I got to end on a positive note,” Allen says on the matter.
On the theme of positive notes, Allen says he “can’t really remember ever having that much of a negative experience with any fans,” even after the negative reaction to season eight, which he says has been “blown out of proportion.” Nevertheless, he did have one “bitter” fan encounter after the ending, though he appears to take it in good fun:
“Somebody came up to me the other day in the street and was like ‘Oh man, the arc of your character, and the whole way Game of Thrones ended was just so disappointing!’. I was just standing there and he came up to me to let me know it was shit,” he laughs. “I was just like ‘Thanks man!”
Though Emilia Clarke’s piece on Vanity Fair mostly deals with her life after Thrones, she does describe how she personally experienced the show coming to a close: “When it ended, I felt like I’d been dropped a thousand feet.” This reportedly meant “grappling with events she hadn’t had time to process, including her father’s death” a few years ago. “I slowed all the way down because I had to, to gently build it back up again.”
As for whether playing the ambitious Daenerys has influenced her own confidence and aspirations in some way, Clarke has a compelling answer: “I just think that ambition for everyone looks different at different stages of your life. When you’re young, you see ambition as quite relentless. You win or you lose with ambition.”
Now, that’s a Game of Thrones phrase if I ever heard one!
We can most likely expect House of the Dragon, the new Game of Thrones spinoff, in 2022, reports Deadline, who spoke to HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys today at the winter TCAs. The date was far from set in stone, but it’s the most firm news we’ve received in some time about the show.
“My guess is sometime in 2022,” Bloys said, with Deadline reporting he indicated it was “too early to be more specific.”
George RR Martin dished on the writers room of the spinoff back in November, confirming the involvement of Wes Tooke, Claire Kiechel, and Ti Mikkel, along with co-showunner Ryan Condal who is penning the pilot with Martin.
“They are starting writing,” Bloys confirmed, along with the news that there IS no casting news yet. He teased, “Obviously it’s a big, complicated show.”
In the interview, Bloys did take time to explain the failed pilot Blood Moon, written by Jane Goldman and starring Naomi Watts. Bloys explained to Deadline:
“In development, in pilots, sometimes things come together, sometimes they don’t,” he explained. “One of the things I think Jane took on beautifully, which was a challenge, there was a lot more world creation because she set hers 8,000 years before the (mothership) show, so it required a lot more. That is a big swing. One of the things about House of Dragons, there is a text, there is a book so that made it a little bit more of a road map for a series order.”
“I think Jane did a beautiful job, it was a big challenge but there was nothing that I would point to and say, oh, that one element did not work, just overall it did not quite gel. That’s one of the reasons when we started out to think about ‘Is there a life after Game of Thrones in terms of Game of Thrones’, we purposefully developed multiple projects. We would have been very lucky to do one pilot, have that pilot go and be a success but in development as you know, it takes a lot of tries to get it right, this is no different.”
Also coming out of the TCAs is the confirmation that David Benioff and DB Weiss’ follow-up show for the network called Confederate is officially dead. The controversial drama was announced a couple years as the next exciting step for the duo, but fans rightly pointed out that it was a really really terrible idea. It was commonly assumed to be not happening since D&D moved onto Netflix and other projects but now it’s confirmed: it’s history.
The Directors Guild of America just announced the nominees for its 72nd annual award, and Game of Thrones is among them not once but twice, thanks to the marvelous directors behind its final season. As you may recall, David Nutter took on most of the work, with “Winterfell”, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, and “The Last of the Starks”; Miguel Sapochnik directed the battle episodes, “The Long Night” and “The Bells”; while showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss helmed the series finale, “The Iron Throne.”
You’ll not be shocked to learn which two of these directors got nominated, but you may be surprised about the episodes selected to highlight their directorship.
For the ‘Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series’ category at the upcoming 2019 DGA Awards, there are five nominees; shockingly (or perhaps not so much), they are all nominated for their work on HBO series. All. Of. Them.
Thrones veteran David Nutter, who directed the iconic “The Reins of Castamere” and the Emmy and DGA award-winning “Mother’s Mercy”, is nominated for “The Last of the Starks” (and not for “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” as one may have thought).
Of course, there is also Miguel Sapochnik, who since season five has directed some of the most jaw-dropping Game of Thrones episodes, such as the horrifying “Hardhome”, the Emmy and DGA award-winning “Battle of the Bastards”, and my personal favorite “The Winds of Winter”. Sapochnik has an impressive track-record that continued in his return for the final season; and so, he is deservedly nominated for “The Long Night.”
The other entries for ‘Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series’ are Nicole Kassell for Watchmen’s “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”, Stephen Williams for Watchmen’s “This Extraordinary Being”, and Mark Mylod (who’s also directed Thrones in the past) for Succession’s “This Is Not For Tears.”
Though in its final year Game of Thrones enjoyed some of the strongest and most confident directing in the show’s history, this time it has serious competition, especially with Watchmen. Then again, though the Thrones vote may be split because of the two nominations, the same could happen to Watchmen. Or Succession could win after all!
We’ll see soon enough, as the 72nd DGA awards will be celebrated on January 25.
Last night, we hosted the Watchers on the Wall Awards, our annual celebration of the best of Game of Thrones, celebrating the final season. In case you missed the event, we’ve rounded up the highlights for you, the award winners and the lucky winners of our giveaways!
During the ceremony, there were four exciting prize giveaways for our readers. The giveaway winners are…
Arya Stark with Two-Headed Spear Funko Pop! Figure: Steve
Brienne of Tarth Kingsguard Armor Funko Pop! Figure: Nymeria
Dragon Eggs Shot Glass Set: Heike Accorsi
Sansa Stark Coronation Gown Funko Pop! Figure:Erin M
After months of nominee-gathering, discussion and voting, the time has come! We’re here to announce the winners of the Watchers on the Wall Awards for the final season of Game of Thrones! Every year our readers determine the best of the best of the season, from acting, quotable quotes, and more. Our live ceremony includes more than just awards- we’ll be sharing our own thoughts on season 8 and giving away a basketful of Game of Thrones merch, so grab a drink, settle in and tune into the ceremony, broadcast via YouTube on the video embedded below.
Our first worldwide giveaway of the evening starts NOW! The first commenter on this post wins a special gift-the Arya Stark with Two-Headed Spear Funko Pop! Figure, for the first giveaway of the Watchers on the Wall Awards. Leave a comment- any comment– and be the very first in order to win! And stay tuned for more giveaways throughout the night, as we announce the winners of the Watchers on the Wall Awards.
If you can’t stay for the whole ceremony tonight, we’ll be posting the complete results later on and the video will remain available.
Thanks to everyone for joining us this evening, and to everyone who submitted nominations and took part in voting! There would be no Watchers on the Wall Awards without our readers; we’re eternally grateful for your participation in the process, and your friendship.
Visual effects are one of the most underrated arts of filmmaking, and Game of Thrones is perhaps their greatest exemplar on television, achieving heights in VFX and SFX that the medium could only have dreamt of not so long ago. Thankfully, there is a Visual Effects Society to congratulate them on their work: the HBO show has won five VES awards for each of the lasttwo seasons, and this trend may continue for its final season…
For ‘Outstanding Compositing in an Episode’, Game of Thrones is nominated twice: WETA digital VFX artists Mark Richardson, Darren Christie, Nathan Abbot and Owen Longstaff are nominated for their dragon ground battle in “The Long Night”; and Scanline VFX artists Sean Heuston, Scott Joseph, James Elster and Corinne Teo for their extensive visual effects throughout the fifth episode of season eight, “The Bells”. The show’s only competition here is Stranger Things‘ Starcourt Mall Battle in the season three finale and the effect of Looking Glass’s face in the Watchmen pilot.
In the ‘Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode’ award, the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, “The Bells”, stands for the show. VFX supervisor Joe Bauer, VFX producer Steve Kullback, additional VFX supervisor Ted Rae, VFX artist Mohsen Mousavi, and VFX floor supervisor Sam Conway are nominated for the award. Their marvelous work on “The Bells” is up against episodes of His Dark Materials, Lost in Space, Stranger Things and The Mandalorian, as well as Lady and the Tramp.
For the ‘Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project’ award, the explosive “The Bells” is again understandably nominated, thanks to the artistry of Scanline VFX specialists Paul Fuller, Ryo Sakaguchi and Thomas Hartmann, as well as Pixomondo VFX artist Marcel Kern. Hennessy: The Seven Worlds, Lost in Space, Stranger Things, and The Mandalorian are also nominees.
“The Bells” rears its head again in the ‘Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project’ award, for which VFX floor supervisor Sam Conway, SFX coordinator Terry Palmer, and senior SFX technicians Laurence Harvey and Alastair Vardy are nominated. Aladdin and Terminator: Dark Fate are the other nominees.
Finally, Scanline VFX artists Carlos Patrick DeLeon, Alonso Bocanegra Martinez, Marcela Silva, and Benjamin Ross are nominated for their work on the Red Keep Plaza from which Daenerys gives her frightening speech at the start of the series finale, “The Iron Throne,” in the ‘Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project’ award. Their competition is the trench in Lost in Space, the Endless Forest in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and Nevarro Town in The Mandalorian.
The final season of Game of Thrones, especially its fifth episode, was replete with VFX (and SFX) worthy of the most expensive Hollywood films–probably because it almost had a budget to match–, so it’s not shocking to see it nominated for so many awards in this field. And yet, it’s always comforting to see great work celebrated!
Of course, we shouldn’t claim victory prematurely: Game of Thrones is tied with Disney’s VFX-heavy Star Wars: The Mandalorian. Together, Thrones and The Mandalorian lead the VES awards for TV with six nominations each, competing against each other in three of them, so it’s likely the HBO show won’t end up winning every award… then again, we’ll see soon enough, as the 18th Annual VES Awards will be held on January 29!
Exciting guest news for con-goers today! For the first time, Game of Thrones star Iain Glen (Ser Jorah Mormont) will appear at Con of Thrones, the premier convention for fans of Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the epic worlds of fantasy author George R. R. Martin. Glen will appear on panels and programming at Con of Thrones 2020 on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19, as well as participate in autograph and photograph experiences with fans.
Glen won acclaim for his role as Ser Jorah Mormont, a member of Daenerys Targaryen’s Queensguard, in all eight seasons of Game of Thrones. Fans can expect several entertaining and informative sessions with Glen, as well as individualized meet-and-greets. Tickets are available for purchase now at conofthrones.net/register.
Autograph and photograph experiences with Glen are available for purchase now. Autographs are $85 and photographs are $100. Autograph and photograph experiences are also available with Game of Thrones actor Anton Lesser (Qyburn) and Sam Coleman (Young Hodor). Con of Thrones will take place in Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center July 17–19, 2020.
Con of Thrones will host in-depth discussions about both the television and book series, Special Guest Spotlight interviews, live recordings of fan-favorite podcasts, and much more. Previous guests include Game of Thrones stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn), Esmé Bianco (Ros), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Aimee Richardson (Myrcella Baratheon), and Emmy Award-winning Sound Designer Paula Fairfield.
Con of Thrones is produced by Mischief Management. Watchers on the Wall is proud to serve as the official programming partner for Con of Thrones. Additional special guests and additional details will be announced at a later date.
Game of Thrones the TV show is over, but the book series A Song of Ice and Fire remains unfinished, and there’s no reason not to speculate on what might happen in the books to come, as well as what elements from the show might happen in the books.
One of the endgame pieces established on the show was the election of Bran Stark as king of the political region formerly known as the Seven Kingdoms. Not everyone agrees that this will happen in the books, but a case will be made in this essay that Bran Stark becoming monarch would satisfactorily reflect on the failed journey of another character: the almost-king Stannis Baratheon.
On the surface, there might not seem to be many similarities between Bran the Broken and Stannis “he’ll break before he bends” Baratheon. But there are similarities, some so specific that it’s hard to imagine that they’re entirely coincidental.
Before setting off on comparing Bran to Stannis, it’s worth comparing their older and younger brothers as a unit. Both Bran and Stannis are the middle of male siblings, and therefore have the almost universal situation of having an older brother to live up to and a bratty younger brother to deal with. That’s certainly not enough to establish a strong literary connection between these two groups, but all of the brothers have associations with their respective counterparts.
Bran’s eldest brother Robb was named after Robert Baratheon, Ned Stark’s best friend from Storm’s End. Both Robb and Robert rebelled against injustice from King’s Landing, and both became kings. Robert ended the Targaryen dynasty’s rule, and Robb reversed the Targaryen-imposed rule of the North being a vassal state to southern kings.
Each established a legendary reputation for military success during their rebellion, with Robb never losing a battle and Robert – although not undefeated like Robb – leading his army to a record-breaking three victories in one day.
Bran and Stannis do not just have seemingly blessed older brothers to measure up to; they were in the shadow of popular kingly brothers.
The low stone steps balked Dancer only for a moment. When Bran urged her on, she took them easily. Beyond the wide oak-and-iron doors, eight long rows of trestle tables filled Winterfell’s Great Hall, four on each side of the center aisle. Men crowded shoulder to shoulder on the benches. “Stark!” they called as Bran trotted past, rising to their feet. “Winterfell! Winterfell!”
He was old enough to know that it was not truly him they shouted for—it was the harvest they cheered, it was Robb and his victories, it was his lord father and his grandfather and all the Starks going back eight thousand years. Still, it made him swell with pride. For so long as it took him to ride the length of that hall he forgot that he was broken. Yet when he reached the dais, with every eye upon him, Osha and Hodor undid his straps and buckles, lifted him off Dancer’s back, and carried him to the high seat of his fathers.
— A Clash of Kings, Bran III
“Robert could piss in a cup and men would call it wine, but I offer them pure cold water and they squint in suspicion and mutter to each other about how queer it tastes.” Stannis ground his teeth.
— A Clash of Kings, Davos II
The connection between young Rickon and young-ish Renly might not be as obvious as the similarity between Robb and Robert, and it’s not enough to suggest that any resentment that the middle brothers might have in dealing with their respective younger brothers really reinforces a Bran-Stannis connection. But Rickon (in the books) seems to be following in the steps of Renly in regards to their roles in the political narrative.
Renly was the first Baratheon to declare himself king in defiance of the Lannisters, with much pomp and celebration. And, if we accept Lady Catelyn’s observation: childishness.
This is madness, Catelyn thought. Real enemies on every side and half the realm in flames, and Renly sits here playing at war like a boy with his first wooden sword.
— A Clash of Kings, Catelyn II
He was the first to die in The War of the Five Kings, his rising star dramatically fizzling out.
Renly’s quest to become king was largely enabled by the ambitions of the powerful and rich House Tyrell, who sought to gain political power by using Renly and his weaker claim as an excuse to displace their largest rivals, the Lannisters.
Rickon is just a child, and is not likely to be a mastermind seeking glory, but he exists in the story more than just to irritate Bran by hanging out with Big and Little Walder. Even though he exits the narrative at the end of A Clash of Kings with his wildling guardian Osha taking him to refuge, the boy remains a political piece in play in the North.
Lord Wyman, the leader of powerful and wealthy House Manderly, has publicly sided with the new Bolton regime, but in A Dance with Dragons he dispatches Ser Davos Seaworth to follow the available clues to Rickon Stark’s whereabouts with the hopes of delivering the Stark child to Manderly protection in White Harbour. With Rickon, the last known surviving heir to Winterfell, Lord Wyman asserts that he can rally the North against the unpopular Boltons.
Supporters of the Great Northern Conspiracy theory suggest that although Manderly has not made this explicitly clear, Lord Wyman’s true goal would be to support Rickon over Stannis’ claim to rule the North. The similarities from a plot perspective between Rickon and Renly can be clearly summarized:
Rickon being used to deny Stannis’ claim to the North would be a replay of Renly being used to deny Stannis’ claim to the throne.
Rickon’s weaker claim, like Renly’s, will be supported despite him having a living older brother. To be fair to Lord Wyman, few know that Bran is even alive.
Rickon: Wait! I know Bran is alive! Lord Wyman: That’s adorable. Let’s keep that a secret for now.
But, Rickon’s impact on the overall narrative does not seem promising. For years, readers have examined the associations of the names of each Stark child’s direwolf as reflective of the child. Rickon’s direwolf is named Shaggydog, and a shaggy dog story is a story that’s rambling and complicated and ends without justifying its telling. So Rickon’s story will likely fizzle out like Renly’s ambitions.
If we can accept that Robb and Rickon are or will be reflections of their respective Baratheon, we should now consider the similarities between Bran and Stannis and how that might affect Bran’s story in The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
Stannis Baratheon is known for being the unpopular Baratheon brother (although he does have his fans with some readers.) One doesn’t have to ask anyone other than Stannis for this confirmation:
“You have given me an honored place at your table. And in return I give you truth. Your people will not love you if you take from them the gods they have always worshiped, and give them one whose very name sounds queer on their tongues.”
Stannis stood abruptly. “R’hllor. Why is that so hard? They will not love me, you say? When have they ever loved me? How can I lose something I have never owned?”
— A Clash of Kings, Davos I
His unpopularity made it easier for Renly to gather support, since Renly could make the case that Stannis was an unsuitable candidate for king, based entirely on his brother’s personality.
“I have twice that number here,” Renly said, “and this is only part of my strength. Mace Tyrell remains at Highgarden with another ten thousand, I have a strong garrison holding Storm’s End, and soon enough the Dornishmen will join me with all their power. And never forget my brother Stannis, who holds Dragonstone and commands the lords of the narrow sea.”
“It would seem that you are the one who has forgotten Stannis,” Catelyn said, more sharply than she’d intended.
“His claim, you mean?” Renly laughed. “Let us be blunt, my lady. Stannis would make an appalling king. Nor is he like to become one. Men respect Stannis, even fear him, but precious few have ever loved him.”
— A Clash of Kings, Catelyn II
If there are differences between little Bran and grim Stannis, one of them is certainly in being loved. Bran is loved, no argument can be made otherwise. Bran’s adorable. Even when he’s crabby.
But Bran’s crippling accident took away more than the use of his legs, it took away his dreams. (Some of them, at least.)
Bran had never asked to be a prince. It was knighthood he had always dreamed of; bright armor and streaming banners, lance and sword, a warhorse between his legs. Why must he waste his days listening to old men speak of things he only half understood? Because you’re broken, a voice inside reminded him. A lord on his cushioned chair might be crippled—the Walders said their grandfather was so feeble he had to be carried everywhere in a litter—but not a knight on his destrier.
— A Clash of Kings, Bran II
Stannis was handicapped politically by his personality, while Bran felt that he was looked down upon for his injuries, particularly among the ableist Northmen.
Leobald seemed surprised that he had spoken. “I’m grateful, my prince,” he said, but Bran saw pity in his pale blue eyes, mingled perhaps with a little gladness that the cripple was, after all, not his son. For a moment he hated the man.
— A Clash of Kings, Bran II
But things changed for both Stannis and Bran, when to their respective courts came colorful characters.
Even her eyes were red . . . but her skin was smooth and white, unblemished, pale as cream. Slender she was, graceful, taller than most knights, with full breasts and narrow waist and a heart-shaped face. Men’s eyes that once found her did not quickly look away, not even a maester’s eyes. Many called her beautiful. She was not beautiful. She was red, and terrible, and red.
— A Clash of Kings, Prologue
Melisandre of Asshai, the Red Woman, brought the gospel to Stannis that he wasn’t simply an overlooked noble, but Azor Ahai, the prophesied reincarnation of a legendary hero.
During his tenure as the prince of Winterfell, Bran received a similarly-described individual with a specific color palette, who would support the magical initiation that had started with Bran’s crow-haunted dreams.
Her brother was several years younger and bore no weapons. All his garb was green, even to the leather of his boots, and when he came closer Bran saw that his eyes were the color of moss, though his teeth looked as white as anyone else’s. Both Reeds were slight of build, slender as swords and scarcely taller than Bran himself. They went to one knee before the dais.
— A Clash of Kings, Bran III
The fact that Melisandre and Jojen Reed are described primarily by a color feels very intentional on Martin’s part, as well as highlighting their magical connotations, as if Gandalf the Grey, Radagast the Brown, and Saruman the White were also on the scene. Melisandre is clearly the embodiment of fire, the symbol of her magical god R’hllor, and Jojen is connected to the Old Gods and their gifts of greensight and green dreams.
To summarize, both Renly and Stannis are middle sons, with heroic kingly older brothers and younger brothers vulnerable to being political pawns. Both are presented with the idea that they have a magical destiny by agents of two major religions who strongly and visually identify with those religions.
If we are not supposed to see similarities between Stannis and Bran Stark, then this is one very large coincidence.
Assuming that this is not coincidental… there is one large difference between Stannis and Bran as magical figures. One of them is actually a magical figure (Bran) and one of them (Stannis) is not.
It’s not entirely clear why Melisandre is so convinced that Stannis Baratheon is her foretold savior, Azor Ahai. She came to Dragonstone because Stannis’ wife Selyse was a true believer in R’hllor. When King Robert died and Stannis had suspicions that Joffrey was not Robert’s true son, it might have seemed fortuitous that Lord Stannis was destined to be king, and if he would bring the faith of the Lord of Light to Westeros, then perhaps he was the faith’s hero Azor Ahai reborn.
Melisandre probably has some chicken-egg circular logic to support Stannis’ clear role as king and Azor Ahai.
Melisandre: Stannis is the rightful king because he is our lord, Azor Ahai reborn. I know that Stannis is Azor Ahai because he is the rightful king. Obviously.
Melisandre is also not above blindly accepting events to support her zealotry. A little bit of confirmation bias and Stannis is truly the hero (not a ham) born of smoke and salt. She even went so far as to stage a farcical recreation of Azor Ahai forging the famed magical blade Lightbringer as if that would make Stannis the legit savior figure. But this sword was more forgery than mystically forged, and that can’t really be considered solid bona fides for Stannis’ supernatural status.
Whereas Bran seems more like the real deal. Maybe not Azor Ahai reborn, but Bran is magical. He’s a warg and a greenseer, which is extremely rare. He not only has the blood of the First Men, but the blood of thousands of years of Starks, who have been associated with Winterfell, the heart of the North. Is Winterfell a magical place? With its hot springs and heart tree and convenient location to shelter so many during the winters, it feels like a place of beneficial blessed nature, just like Harrenhal feels supernaturally cursed.
The show has indicated that Bran has a destiny to be the king of the many kingdoms, but is there evidence that he’s Azor Ahai? Wouldn’t Melisandre know? Wouldn’t her flames tell her so?
In A Dance with Dragons, Melisandre has a single point-of-view chapter where she’s desperate for information on her hero Stannis, who has gone marching off into peril.
The red priestess closed her eyes and said a prayer, then opened them once more to face the hearthfire. One more time. She had to be certain. Many a priest and priestess before her had been brought down by false visions, by seeing what they wished to see instead of what the Lord of Light had sent. Stannis was marching south into peril, the king who carried the fate of the world upon his shoulders, Azor Ahai reborn. Surely R’hllor would vouchsafe her a glimpse of what awaited him. Show me Stannis, Lord, she prayed. Show me your king, your instrument.
— A Dance With Dragons, Melisandre I
She’s presented with apocalyptic visions of shadows and skulls and crumbling towers. When she breaks from that channel to try to tune in on a vision she had seen once – of a grey girl on a dying horse – she gets a glimpse of someone unexpected.
A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? she thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf’s face threw back his head and howled.
— A Dance With Dragons, Melisandre I
Melisandre’s prescient scrying in the flames is tricky at best, and there could be other explanations of why she’d see Bloodraven and Bran when looking in the flames, as if they’re using the same prophetic astral plane as a shared party line. But one takeaway is that Melisandre went looking for Stannis, and ended up seeing Bran.
She also sees Jon Snow, who is an excellent Azor Ahai candidate and has a strong claim to the Iron Throne. In Melisandre’s world view, Azor Ahai is closely associated with kingship; it’s not correct to conflate the two, but there does seem to be some correlation.
The books will probably be different in major ways from the show, but if we take some of the endgame elements as given: Bran being king, Jon in exile, Stannis dead, then the ‘Stannis —> Bran’ focus (with Jon in the middle) satisfies one of George RR Martin’s favorite storytelling element: the threefold reveal.
Simply stated, the threefold reveal will present a succession of answers to a certain question, with two incorrect ones and the final correct reveal. For example:
Who is Jon Snow’s Mother?
Answer 1) No one of importance. Like, some chick named Wylla, or a fisherman’s wife from the Sister Islands. (This is the wrong answer.)
Answer 2) Ashara Dayne. (This is also a wrong answer, but it’s a cool answer. There’s some drama here.)
Answer 3) The real answer. R + L = J
If Stannis is Melisandre’s initial candidate for Azor Ahai/King – he’s the first part of the threefold reveal, and false.
With the knowledge that Jon Snow is a Targaryen with the best claim to the Throne, he’s the second part of the threefold reveal. A reasonable answer, kind of spicy. But if Jon is going into exile at the end of the series, he doesn’t become king, so that’s not quite right either.
Bran is then the third part of the threefold reveal.
Stannis establishes the end goal – kingship (with the eventual defeat of the Others wrapped in as a complementary goal) but cannot achieve that goal in the story. Instead, he acts as a foil to a character with similar (but not identical) characteristics who does achieve the goal. In this case, magical middle-brother Bran Stark.
SEEING THE FUTURE IN THE FLAMES/DREAMS
If Bran is a kind of improved version of Stannis, then his untold story in the books might adopt more elements from Stannis’ narrative journey. Unfortunately it’s hard to know what how Stannis’ story is going to unfold definitively in the books. The show has Stannis dying in an attempt to capture the virtual heart (and loyalty) of the North. If it is a given that Bran will become the high king, then dying won’t be in his cards.
The other notable element that’s currently absent in the books is Stannis’ sacrifice of Shireen, consigned to the flames in exchange for a magical advantage. The logistics won’t be the same in the books, but it is probable that Shireen will indeed burn with a desperate Stannis intentionally agreeing to sacrifice her.
If Bran is an analogue of Stannis, will there be a similar sacrifice in his story? Was Hodor the sacrifice?
Will Rickon’s role be as a sacrifice required by Bran for some magical advantage against the Others? Rickon has the same ancient (and probably magical) blood of the First Men that Bran has, and blood magic is a thing in this world. The requirement for Bran to sacrifice his little brother would also reinforce the Rickon-Renly connection.
The Others will need to be driven back and since there is no singular point-of-failure command-and-control feature among the Others in the books as there was for the White Walkers on the show, something less simple than Arya stabbing the Night King will probably take place. And what that will be might require Bran and the choices that he makes.
And that might also go a long way in making him king.
Perhaps this is why the resolution of the Long Night failed to deliver to some of the show’s watchers. It was an epic event, but not necessarily mythic in the way that Bran’s active and supernatural involvement might have made it.
Comparing characters in a written work is a compelling activity, because character similarities and differences are often intended by the writer to be noticed, even if the reader’s perception of these attributes operates unconsciously. Shakespeare included the Norwegian prince Fortinbras in Hamlet not because Fortinbras had a major impact in the story, but because his decisive action to assert his rights contrasted with Hamlet’s natural inaction and indecisiveness.
When a set of characters share characteristics or circumstances with another set, the comparison is even stronger. Sir Thomas Mallory had a handful of lesser kings in Le Morte D’Arthur with whom Arthur could be favorably compared, but his decision to include the love triangle of Sir Tristan, Queen Isolde, and the unsavory King Mark of Cornwall was specifically intended to be the yardstick against which Lancelot, Queen Guinevere, and King Arthur were to be measured against.
This essay might have cherry-picked characteristics between Stannis Baratheon and Bran Stark to establish a possible correlation, and the fact that their brothers have shared characteristics with their respective counterparts can only reinforce that.
But, it doesn’t make it true, necessarily.
Bran might become king in the books, which would validate the show and demonstrate that Bran’s journey is the culmination of what Stannis was trying to accomplish. And present Bran as a sort of successor to Stannis as a character.
If he does not become king, then this essay is largely the same as Melisandre looking into her flames and imagining Stannis becoming king. Which would then make Bran exactly like Stannis.
Bran: Except, actually magical.
The proof will be when The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring come out, to continue and conclude the adventures of Rickon Stark, Bran Stark, and Stannis Baratheon. But until that happens we’ll have to take what clues we can from Martin’s text, informed by what’s happened on the show, and make our best guesses.
Being right is good, but being wrong isn’t that bad either. But it’s probably not ideal to stop thinking about the story to come.
Stannis: I’d rather be right. Bran: How unfortunate for you.
We haven’t heard much about the Game of Thrones Studio Tour ever since it was officially announced back in April of last year, but now we have more details and a more accurate date for its opening.
As reported by The Irish News, the Studio Tour at Banbridge’s Linen Mill Studios, where much of the show was filmed, will employ up to 194 people, operating 12 hours per day, seven days a week. Expected to cost £23.7 million ($31 million USD), this Game of Thrones museum is predicted to attract up to 600,000 visitors per year, resulting in a £396.2 million ($520 million USD) boost in tourism spending for Northern Ireland by 2030, after ten years in operation. Indeed, as we originally announced, the tour is debuting in 2020, though it’s now projected to open this fall.
An official mock-up of the Studio Tour’s entrance
The expanded studio will offer a 110,000-square-foot interactive experience in which guests will be treated to a close look at a wide selection of items pulled straight from the show and have the opportunity to walk through authentic set pieces, from the first to the final season, as well as informative displays highlighting the production spaces and the craftsmanship and artistry of the creative teams who brought the show to life.
There will also be a restaurant and a ‘back-lot’ café, designed to replicate the studio catering experience that the cast and crew of the show enjoyed (I hope) during production, which should be quite interesting.
So, anyone planning a trip to Northern Ireland this fall?
The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place this evening at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. It wasn’t a big year for Game of Thrones at the awards, but show star Kit Harington pulled in a nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series, and turned out to present at the ceremony as well. Harington appeared at the Globes with wife and former co-star Rose Leslie on his arm, with the couple looking happy and gorgeous on the red carpet. Unfortunately, Harington lost the prize to Brian Cox of HBO’s Succession.
A few pics from the red carpet:
Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) with Lisa Bonet. The couple brought their own style as usual, a welcome change from an otherwise mostly unsurprising collection of red carpet looks.
Rose Leslie looking ravishing in sheer green, a great compliment with her red hair:
Oddly enough, Tobias Menzies, who played Edmure Tully on GoT, was also up for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama this year, for his role as Prince Philip on The Crown.
Actress Sienna Miller presented with Harington, handing off the award for Best Foreign Film to Parasite.
Talking to E!’s Ryan Seacrest from the red carpet before the show, Harington looks back on playing Jon Snow for a decade and admits to it being a challenge to detach from GoT.
It’s strange to think we don’t have many more events like these! Perhaps we can look forward to more group cast pics from the SAG Awards on January 19th?
After months of voting, planning and debating, it’s finally time for the Watchers on the Wall Awards, celebrating the very best of the final season of Game of Thrones! Join us on Friday, January 10th at 8PM ET for a live ceremony, streaming from YouTube and embedded here at Watchers, as we announce the award winners chosen by the community. While we share the GoT season 8 winners, we’ll be discussing the final season, and as always, there will be giveaways galore!
Be ready for the event at 8PM sharp, because the giveaways start with the very first commenter on the ceremony post! The rest of the contests will be popping up throughout the ceremony so tune in, join in the fun, comment, and win.
If you can’t make it this Friday night to hear about the winners, have no fear- we’ll be posting the awards results later on, with final polling numbers.
Thank you all for your contributions, in making the Watchers on the Wall Awards happen, this year and every year since their inception. Save the date, and join us Friday!
Game of Thrones isn’t only popular on HBO. It’s also been a darling of torrent sites–a popular form of piracy based on peer-to-peer downloads–ever since the HBO series began. In fact, as of season seven it’d been the TV show most pirated via torrents every year since 2012; since season two. As you may not be surprised to learn, season eight didn’t break the streak.
As reported by specialist site TorrentFreak, “the interest was again overwhelming” for this final season; so much so that this year Game of Thrones “visibly boosted traffic” on torrent sites.
The torrent podium this year was shared by the HBO mini-series Chernobyl, on second place, and Disney’s The Mandalorian, which may well take the throne next year as the two HBO shows won’t be there to compete; and did in fact unseat The Walking Dead from the top-three for the first time in many years. However, as TorrentFreak points out, The Mandalorian may have been such a massive hit on torrent sites in large part because Disney+, the streaming platform in which the show is exclusively streamed, has only been available in a few countries, mostly in North America and Oceania, and will remains so until March of this year.
As we mentioned last year, “torrent” does not refer to any kind of unnoficial / illegal download, so the overall piracy numbers would be much higher if they were to be calculated, which is no easy feat. Nowadays, many (perhaps most) users of pirated content do not bother with peer-to-peer downloads, resorting to streaming sites instead; they require no direct downloads, so they can be watched instantaneously, at the expense of quality and long-term storage. Game of Thrones was as popular as ever on streaming sites, but there is simply no easy way to calculate just how popular.
Whatever the overall numbers may be, Game of Thrones held to its title as most torrented TV show of the year for as long as the show existed, which is a sort of honor; though I’d wager HBO would rather people watch their shows through official means, this record remains an indicator of popularity.
After a long and thorough fandom process, we’ve reached the end of the road in the voting for the Watchers on the Wall Awards, with today’s categories: the Funniest Scene and Best Visual/Special Effects Scene of Season 8.
Additionally, we’re happy to announce that we’ll be revealing the winners of the Watchers on the Wall Awards on Friday, January 10 at 8PM ET. Join us for a live ceremony, streaming from YouTube and embedded here at Watchers for your enjoyment. As we share the winners, we’ll be looking back on the final season of Game of Thrones, reminiscing over the good, the bad and the ugly, and throwing in a few giveaways just for fun!
Now onto the voting! In the category of Funniest Scene of Season 8, the finalists are:
Final round rules: To choose the winners, cast your vote in the polls below. Please make sure you vote in both polls and click VOTE on each poll! At the end of one week (Saturday 1/04/20 at 5PM ET), the scenes with the most votes will be the winners! The results of the polls will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony on January 10th.
Game of Thrones has made it into afairfew ‘Best of’ lists, whether they are celebrating season eight’s achievements in the context of 2019 TV or the show as a whole for lists encompassing the entire last decade. Now, truly at the end of the year, there’s been an explosion of such lists and of course Game of Thrones can be found in most of them!
Season eight is one of Gamesradar’s “25 Best TV Shows of 2019”. At the #21 spot, it’s pointed out that, though “a bit rushed,” it was still “spectacular stuff.”
In Variety’s “25 Best TV Shows of the Decade”, Game of Thrones takes the #16 spot, as “the ultimate and perhaps final example of a consensus TV hit in the era of the fragmented audience,” and “a show that stands in for its era.” It was also celebrated in their “Best Episodes of the Decade” list, with Blackwater, the show’s first battle episode and first location-contained episode as well, which makes it stand out even today.
As for their “Best TV Performances of the Decade”, it’s difficult to argue with Variety‘s choice, even though Thrones had such a fantastic (and gigantic) cast: Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister stands not only for the show but for herself, as she “ported in sharp, askew humor as well as real fear” to a character that could’ve just been the stereotypical evil queen. “This monster was, at every moment, human,” as they put it.
Thrones is also one of People’s “Best TV Shows of the Decade”, with its impact on the medium being highlighted in particular, as “entertainment writers have been vigilantly scouting for whatever new series could be billed as ‘the next Game of Thrones.’”
Tell-Tale TV admits it “struggles a bit in its final seasons” once there was no more source material “but it also set an impossibly high bar of success for future cable dramas to aspire to,” became “the last broadly appealing, culturally unifying water cooler show we see for a while”, and “brought fantasy television into the mainstream.”
Popsugar calls Game of Thrones one of their favorite TV dramas of the past decade, as “a worldwide phenomenon” that “solidified fantasy as a great TV genre.”
Game of Thrones is named one of the shows that shaped the decade at GQ, who highlight, as many others have, that the show was the last bastion of appointment TV: “With the rise of the binge-watch, this was the decade that we did away with appointment viewing—except when it came to dragons, dwarfs, and zombies.”
According to Vulture, it was “without question, the TV juggernaut of the 2010s and the show that captured the public’s imagination more than any other.” Despite an “uneven final season,” a fact remains: “While a lot of shows have tried to be the next Game of Thrones (and many more will try in the decade-to-come), there is only one true king.”
RollingStone places Thrones as the 15th best show of the decade and points out that its “sheer ambition, and its ability to most of the time keep all of its disparate threads feeling vital and tied to one another, remains a staggering achievement.”
Much broader than most, Refinery29′s listicle, “Top Pop Culture Moments of the Last Decade”, still manages to name Game of Thrones as the “top pop culture” thing for four different years: 2011, for its premiere; 2013, for the Red Wedding; 2015, for Jon Snow’s death; and, in much less positive terms, 2019 for its controversial final season.
Dan Weiss and David Benioff’s show makes it to the TOP 5 in USA Today’s “Best TV Shows of the 2010s”, focusing on the “impeccable acting, gorgeous costuming and an expansion of our collective ideas about what TV can achieve.”
Also as the fifth best TV show this decade, at Decider Meghan O’Keefe claims that “though its final season left a sour taste in many viewers’ mouths, Game of Thrones redefined what television could be in the 2010s,” and that “there’s no way to talk about TV in the 2010s without bending the knee for the awesome power of Game of Thrones.”
At The Hollywood Reporter, it was less of an editorial affair and more of a poll: more than 3,500 members of the film and TV academies and other industry sources were asked to pick their favorite shows of the decade, and Game of Thrones got the top spot, winning over nineteen other worthy entries, including Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Stranger Things, Fleabag, The Americans, Black Mirror, Fargo, and many others.
Finally, at CNET, the HBO series was named their most influential TV show of the decade! Beating the likes of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Stranger Things, Modern Family, Westworld, True Detective, Rick and Morty, The Expanse and many others, Game of Thrones is justly described as “a televisual juggernaut, the absolutest of absolute units when it comes to television in the 2010s.”
That’s it! 2019 is almost over and so is the decade (not technically, but let’s go with it, okay?), and Game of Thrones defined both more than most any other piece of art or entertainment one could think of. Yes, it’s all over, but our memories remain–and, of course, we’ve got the books and House of the Dragon to look forward to. Let’s hope the 2020’s are even half as amazing as the 2010’s were for this fandom!
Welcome back for another round of Watchers on the Wall Awards finals round voting! In between your last-minute holiday shopping runs and family gatherings, spare a moment to celebrate the words of Game of Thrones. This week, we’re choosing our favorites of season 8, from the quotes that made you giggle, to the speeches that made you weep, to the serious bits that made you think. When it comes to our awards, we break it down into multiple categories: Funniest Quote, Best Speech, and All-Around Best Quote! There are three polls in this post, so make sure to vote in all three to make your final choice known in this year’s awards ceremony.
We narrowed down two of the categories in our prelims. You can see the results from the prelims here:
All three polls are found below, so debate, consider and vote!
Final round rules: To choose winners, cast your vote in each category in the polls below. In the finals, unlike the preliminaries, fans have one vote to cast in each category. At the end of one week (Friday 12/30/19 at 5PM ET), the quote/speech in each category with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the polls will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony, specific date to be announced soon!
Watchers on the Wall is proud to be the official programming partner for Con of Thrones once again, creating panels and events in tandem with Mischief Management. As we head into the new year, we’re looking for a select number of knowledgeable attendees to present on their favorite subjects from the Seven Kingdoms and beyond at the convention. Do you have a presentation, paper, panel, or workshop on a subject related to Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire? Do you have a particular theory, a presentation on dragon lore, or an in-depth character study of Theon Greyjoy? All kinds of proposals, from informal discussions to formal academic presentations, are welcomed.
Visit ConofThrones.net for more details and to submit your idea. The submissions deadline is April 28, 2020.
Con of Thrones is the premier convention for fans of Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the epic worlds of fantasy author George R. R. Martin. Tickets are available for purchase now at conofthrones.net/register. This year’s convention will take place in Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center from July 17–19, 2020. The Rosen Centre Hotel is the official partner hotel for Con of Thrones 2020. Book now for a reduced rate.
“One costume can tell you as much about someone’s journey as another character having six costumes,” Emmy-winning costume designer Michele Clapton says in a new interview in which she breaks down her thought process behind the design for Daenerys’ white fur coat. Plus, the brilliant Game of Thrones sound editing team for season 8 has been nominated for three Golden Reel Awards.
Michele Clapton recently spoke to TV Guide about her work on Game of Thrones, offering us a sample of the fascinating insights available in her book, Game of Thrones: The Costumes, which hit bookstores last month.
In the video below, Clapton specifically discusses Daenerys’ much-loved white coat, which debuted in the season 7 episode, “Beyond the Wall” when Daenerys rescues Jon and company from the White Walkers. Clapton explains that the coat design was born out of practicality, that “if she’s riding a dragon to the North, she should be warm,” but that it evolved from there to reflect Daenerys’ self-perception at that time.
“It’s the first time she’s performed a completely selfless task, because it’s usually for her own gain — and on this occasion, it was actually for her love,” she says (which I must say is an interesting take on Daenerys’ modus operandi). “So, I loved this idea, as I developed this costume, that it’s almost [as if] she sees herself as this savior, this angel. And so when she arrives and descends on this dragon, she is this sort of angel of mercy. I think it just said so much about her mental state at the time, how she saw herself.”
In other news, the MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors) has nominated Game of Thrones for three Golden Reel Broadcast Media awards, which celebrate excellence in sound editing.
The sound team for the episode “The Bells” is nominated for Best Dialogue/ADR in an episodic long form program:
Supervising Sound Editor: Tim Kimmel
Supervising ADR Editor: Tim Hands, MPSE
Dialogue Editors: Paul Bercovitch, John Matter
The team for “The Bells” is also nominated for Sound Effects/Foley:
Supervising Sound Editor: Tim Kimmel
Sound Designer: Paula Fairfield, MPSE
Sound Effects Editors: Bradley Katona, MPSE Luke Gibleon
Foley Artists: Jeffrey Wilhoit, MPSE Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit
Foley Editor: Brett Voss, MPSE
Lastly, music editor, David Klotz, is nominated for music editing in “The Long Night.”
If you want to remind yourself how beautifully music was utilized in that particular episode (or if you just need a nice cry), enjoy this clip from Game of Thrones Live:
Con of Thrones announced today another addition to the special guest line-up for 2020: Games of Thrones actor Sam Coleman (Young Hodor)! Coleman will appear at Con of Thrones on Friday, July 17, and Saturday, July 18. This is a welcome return, as the actor was a favorite at past cons. Tickets for Con of Thrones, the premier convention for fans of Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the epic worlds of fantasy author George R. R. Martin, are available for purchase now at conofthrones.net/register.
Autograph and photograph experiences with Coleman are available for purchase now. Autographs are $10 and photographs are $20. Autograph and photograph experiences are also available with Game of Thrones actor Anton Lesser (Qyburn). Con of Thrones will take place in Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center July 17–19, 2020.
As in past years, Con of Thrones 2020 will host in-depth discussions about both the television and book series, Special Guest Spotlight interviews, live recordings of fan-favorite podcasts, and much more. Con of Thrones is produced by Mischief Management; Watchers on the Wall serves as the programming partner for the convention, and we’re excited to help bring a fun variety of panels and events to fans. We’ll be opening up for panel submissions very soon!
The Game of Thrones Season 8 Blu-ray and DVD releases have been on the market for a few weeks now and they’re already breaking records. Despite streaming services obviating the need of physical media for many, season eight is officially a best-seller!
According to specialist website MediaPlayNews, on the week of its release on December 3, Game of Thrones: The Complete Eighth Season “topped the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc Unit sales,” as well as “the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.” The final season of Game of Thrones won over Angel Has Fallen, which even in its second place sold only “38% as many copies as Game of Thrones.”
The Blu-ray versions accounted for a slight majority of the sales over the older DVD format; for a ratio of 53%/47%, specifically. The 4K Blu-ray subset enjoyed a respectable 10% of overall sales, which is quite impressive for such a new, expensive format.
One would think the criticism season eight received would be reflected on its home media sales, but it seems loud online fan discourse doesn’t reflect the reality of potential buyers. As per MediaPlayNews, to find a TV show on top of the disc sales charts is “a rarity” in these days of streaming, when almost anyone can rewatch the season online.
Of course, getting the Blu-ray is the only way to get all the juicy extras, from commentary tracks and making-of docs to narrated “Histories & Lore” features; not to mention a consistent HD picture quality not dependant on the whims of your Internet Service Provider. Personally, I’m particularly eager to experience “The Long Night” as I originally did: with its untouched painterly quality and no crushed blacks!
The home release of Game of Thrones Season 8 landed this December, just in time for the holiday season! HBO was kind enough to send Watchers on the Wall a copy of Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection Limited Edition Collector’s Set for review, so we were able to get a close-up look at the ultra-premium Blu-ray set that includes every season and a host of special features. Does it live up to the hype? Let’s find out!
The Complete Collection exclusively features the Game of Thrones: Reunion Special, a two-part reunion show with cast members from the final season including Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, Sean Bean and many more, and is hosted by Conan O’Brien. The set features additional bonus content including all-new deleted and extended scenes, animated histories and lore pieces, behind-the-scene featurettes, audio commentaries and the documentary Game of Thrones: The Last Watch.
My first impression of this Collector’s Set was the sheer size of it. The box is HUGE for a Blu-ray set, 13 x 13 x 5 inches. I wasn’t expecting that, just going off the photos of The Complete Collection. And hot on the heels of that was the impact of the beauty. It’s apparent a great deal of thought went into the concept of this Collector’s Set, and the work paid off. The overall packaging is beautifully conceived, with illustrations provided by Robert Ball, best known for his work on the well-loved Beautiful Death series for Game of Thrones. The collection is uniquely housed in a wooden shadow box, filled with Great House sigils, settings and the Iron Throne itself. A Hand of the King pin seals it closed as needed for a rich touch. The shadow box lends the feel of a story unfolding, rather than being just another pretty disc holder. This really is a collectible.
Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection Bonus Features Include:
• Game of Thrones: Reunion Special: A reunion show shot live in Belfast with the cast, both past and present, hosted by Conan O’Brien and available exclusively on these complete series collections. The reunion special is assembled in segments focused on Houses Lannister, Stark, & Targaryen and concludes with the key players all onstage for their final reflections on the years they shared in Westeros and Essos.
• Bonus content and retail exclusive videos from previously released individual season box sets, totaling more than 15 hours of extra materials for fans to explore when they’ve finished watching the series.
The Complete Series and Season 8 formats also exclusively feature:
• Game of Thrones: The Last Watch: A documentary featured on DVD in two parts by filmmaker Jeanie Finlay chronicling the making of the final season.
• When Winter Falls: Exclusive 30-minute featurette with showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with major stars and behind-the-scenes players, breaking down all that went into the colossal filming of the “Battle of Winterfell” in Season 8, Episode 3.
• Duty is the Death of Love: A compelling look at how the team behind Game of Thrones and its major stars, including Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke, brought the show to its conclusion in the series finale, “The Iron Throne.”
• Audio Commentaries: Audio Commentaries with cast and crew, including the show’s creators, Benioff and Weiss, on the final season. • Deleted and Extended Scenes: 5 never-before-seen deleted or extended scenes from season 8. • Histories and Lore: New animated pieces giving the history and background of notable season 8 locations and storylines.
As you can see from the clip above, the Reunion Special is a breezy treat, with footage from the earliest years destined to tug at your heartstrings and have you reminiscing. The cast are clearly good friends, and family at this point, and have truly been on a journey together. I don’t know that it adds a lot of deep insight into the show at this point but it’s just nice to see them together once again, and Conan O’Brien has always been very good at working with the cast of GoT. An edgier moderator might’ve pushed them harder but that’s clearly not what they were going for in this loving look back on ten years together.
The six Histories and Lore in the final edition are all excellent in quality of production, as always, though somewhat lacking in variety, with Conleth Hill (Varys) narrating four out of the six. Swing by our post where we debuted “The Greyjoy Rebellion” for a sneak peek of that clip!
When it comes to the Histories narration and the audio commentaries choices, I understand that the choices often depend on practical availability/scheduling, so that may partially explain the odd choices. I think fans will agree we would have loved to see more people in the mix on the audio commentaries (line-up in this post). The technical commentary provided on “The Long Night” is fascinating and valuable, but a separate commentary from the actors also would’ve been amazing.
There’s a stack of bonus featurettes, fun deleted scenes, and interviews on the discs to shore up any minor weaknesses though, and Thrones Blu-rays have always operated on another level. Nothing else compares.
Rewatching The Complete Series on Blu-ray leaves no doubt that Game of Thrones is a monumental achievement. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that we’re all so passionate about it, from beginning to end.
Game of Thrones Season 8 on DVD/Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD and Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection are available now in stores and online retailers everywhere.
Endings of popular stories are cursed to be argued about till the end of time–and there’s few as popular as Game of Thrones. Add to that volatile foundation a final season many deem as rushed and a decidedly confrontational finale that would be divisive in the best of cases, and you have the recipe for an ending for which the label “controversial” seems an understatement. Most of the cast and crew alike have been steadfast defenders of their final entry, however, and Peter Dinklage is the latest cast member to put his two cents in from the perspective of the man who portrayed one of the game’s main players for a decade.
Addressing the fan response to the final season, Dinklage tells The New Yorker that he didn’t really follow the controversy, but has thoughts about negative reactions to the ending nevertheless.
“Well, everybody’s always going to have an opinion, and that means an ownership,” he elaborates. “It’s like breaking up with somebody. They get upset. I can’t speak for everybody, but my feeling is they didn’t want it to end, so a lot of people got angry. I feel like what [the showrunners] Dave [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] did was extraordinary. This happens. Monsters are created. And you don’t see it coming. We vote them into office. You look the other way. So for everybody to get upset because they loved a character so much and they had so much faith in that person—there were signposts all along the way for that character.”
According to the actor, Daenerys Targaryen’s infamous fall had to happen “because of what was happening all along. It added up to something. There are people who’ve named their children Khaleesi. You’ve just got to maybe wait till the series finale before you get that tattoo or name your golden retriever Daenerys! I can’t help you! I’m sorry. She went mad. She was driven to that, and she’s a victim as well in terms of how she was treated. She went through it, and she came out angry, as a lot of us do.”
As for the fate of his own character, Tyrion, Dinklage admits he did not expect him to survive. In fact, none of the cast did: “We were all nervous when we got the scripts.”
Looking back on Tyrion’s long and painful journey through Game of Thrones, Dinklage (thankfully) doesn’t see himself reflected on the character, saying “it’s pretty extreme things he went through. He killed his father and his girlfriend. I didn’t really progress along the same path as he did.” Nevertheless, he “did enjoy playing him” and says he “just loved Northern Ireland, where we shot it. It became my second home. So I miss that life. I miss all of that.”
The end (of the year) is nigh and that means only one thing: we’re one more year closer to extinction–and after the apocalypse, A Dream of Spring will finally be released. Oh, and I guess the end of the year also means it’s award season! The final year of Game of Thrones may have been controversial to say the least, but it was also a monumental achievement of television and the various filmmaking guilds are acknowledging that hard work, including the Art Directors Guild, Costume Designers Guild and Screen Actors Guild.
This past Monday the Art Directors Guild nominated production Deborah Riley for her magnificent work in the final season, specifically for “The Bells,” in the category of “One Hour Period or Fantasy Single-Camera Series.” The explosive episode’s (also explosive) production design goes up against Bo Welch’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Martin Childs’ The Crown, Andrew L Jones’s The Mandalorian, and Bill Groom’s The Marvelous Mrs. Meisel. The winner will be revealed on February 1, 2020.
I probably don’t need to remind you this penultimate episode included the Red Keep’s crumbling stairway where the Clegane brothers battle it out and, most prominently, an immense recreation of the streets of King’s Landing in the midst of fire and blood, based on the architecture of Dubrovnik, the Croatian city most commonly used to depict the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. The work of Riley and her team was so good, in fact, that so many watchers at home understandably didn’t realize the streets we saw were a built set, but I assure you it was a thing to behold:
Riley is nominated alongside her team: supervising art director Paul Ghirardani; art directors Philip Elton, Hauke Richter, Nick Wilkinson, and Harry Pain; standby art Directors Mark Lowry and Rachel Aulton; senior draughtsman Brendan Rankin; draughtsmen Owen Black and Jamie Shakespeare; junior draughtsman Grace-Anna Hay; concept artists Kieran Belshaw, Philipp Scherer, Daniel Blackmore, Ulrich Zeidler, and Jessica Sinclair; graphic designers Jim Stanes and Rhiannon Fraser; scenic artists David Packard and Thomas Kirkwood; and set decorator Rob Cameron.
Interestingly, the nomination is accompanied by a design presentation document that shows not only their extensive King’s Landing work on “The Bells” but the major expansions of Winterfell for the final season, in pretty great detail:
When one sees what went into designing and buildings these gigantic, modular sets, one begins to appreciate a fraction of the work that goes into this job. I closely followed the construction of the new Winterfell and King’s Landing sets since their inception during the eighth season’s production, and even I was amazed by the end result–or perhaps I was so amazed precisely because I saw the kind of time and resources it took to make it all real. Whatever the case may be, and whatever you think of the final season, I hope you can appreciate Deborah Riley’s and her team’s hard work and we can all together hope for them to win this Art Directors Guild award.
Next day–yesterday, that is– the Costume Designers Guild presented, as per Deadline, their own award nominees, which of course included Game of Thrones‘ perennial costume designer Michele Clapton and her work on the series finale in particular, “The Iron Throne.” Nominated for the “Excellence in Sci-Fi / Fantasy Television” CDG award, she is competing with Joyce Schure for Carnival Row’s “Aisling”, Natalie Bronfman for The Handmaid’s Tale’s “Household”, Cynthia Summers for A Series of Unfortunate Events’ “Penultimate Peril: Part 2”, and Sharen Davis for Watchmen’s “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice.”
There is little doubt why “The Iron Throne” was chosen to stand for Clapton’s work in season eight. All of it had marvelous work, especially in regards to Daenerys and Sansa’s amazing costumes, but “The Iron Throne” featured Sansa’s coronation dress (for which you can still vote –amongst others– in our own Best Costume award.)
I would say it’s the perfect costume for Sansa’s coronation as Queen in the North–with the quintessential Northern design mixed with all the people who inspired her, all of it with Sansa’s own flair–, but don’t let a costuming ignoramous like me explain it to you; instead, go read professional fashion designer Hogan McLaughlin’s final “Game of Threads” piece here at Watchers on the Wall. It truly is a work of art, and it holds a special place in the show’s history (and in Michele Clapton’s heart, reportedly) as her own hands are seen on-screen helping Sansa put it on, in one of the show’s final scenes.
Last but not least, today the Screen Actors Guild released their nominees for their 26th annual awards, and Peter Dinklage was among them in the ‘Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series’ category. The other nominees were Sterling K. Brown for This Is Us, Steve Carell and Billy Crudup for The Morning Show, and David Harbour for Stranger Things.
Dinklage has always been an awards-favorite, especially compared to his sometimes undervalued Thrones co-stars, as it’s so difficult to stand out in such an ensemble show. Nevertheless, Dinklage’s Tyrion gets to shine on awards season one last time, adding this SAGA nomination to his long list of nominations and wins. He may not have been the standout protagonist of season eight, as he was in seasons two and four especially (for which he didn’t get so many awards, funnily enough), but Dinklage still delivered an excellent performance, particularly in the series finale.
Remember what I mentioned about standing out in an ensemble? Thankfully, the SAG Awards account for that with the ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series’ award, for which Game of Thrones‘s entire main and recurring cast was nominated: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Ben Crompton (Dolorous Edd), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Joe Dempsie (Gendry Baratheon), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn of the Blackwater), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Rory McCann (Sandor ‘the Hound’ Clegane), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Staz Nair (Qhono), Daniel Portman (Podrick Payne), Bella Ramsey (Lyanna Mormont), Richard Rycroft (Maester Wolkan), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Rupert Vansittart (Yohn Royce), and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark.)
When competing for a lead actor award, it’s easy to see how Game of Thrones may lag behind, as it just doesn’t have the time to dedicate to a single actor or character that other shows do, but this kind of ensemble cast award appears to be tailor-made for this show, so I really hope it wins. The cast did magnificent work this final season, and it deserves to be rewarded. The other nominees are no slouches, though, with the ensemble casts of Big Little Lies, The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Stranger Things all competing for the big shared prize.
Finally, there is the ‘Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series’, in which Game of Thrones is up against Glow, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and Watchmen. I’ve watched all of these shows, and there’s some incredible stunt acting in all of them, but–pardon my bias–I can’t see how the Game of Thrones stunt team doesn’t go home with this award. Some truly remarkable (and record-breaking) stunts were performed in this final season.
While we’re in this awards spirit: TVLine included Jaime and Brienne’s sex scene in its list of sexiest TV scenes of 2019, pointing out they are “happy to pretend that Jaime and Brienne’s story ended after Ser Jaime introduced his Oathkeeper to her maidenhead, and they lived happily ever after”. Jorah’s death in defense of his queen also made the cut in their list of the year’s best TV deaths. Here I Stand!
Before you go–this time really last but probably also least–The Wrap reports that Game of Thrones was the most tweeted TV show of 2019. A dubious honor, to put it mildly, but it does reflect how much of a cultural juggernaut the show had become by its final season.
Winter may still be yet to come, but Game of Thrones continues its awards demolition, whatever the season (of Earth or of television). However, among the plethora of awards shows, the Golden Globes have never really been GOT’s jam. While it’s been fairly regularly nominated for best series, its history of actor nominees record few and far between nominations. Season 5 and season 7 only received nominations for best TV drama, and season 6 received nominations for best TV drama as well as Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) for best supporting actress – TV. Prior to that, the ONLY other actor ever nominated for a globe was Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), for best supporting actor – TV. So, Kit Harington (Jon Snow) being the only nominee for GOT this year, acting or otherwise, is no small feat, and one of which he should be proud. Well, it just so happens that he is.
“I’m the ‘loner Throner,’ it seems…I just imagine myself sitting down at a table all by myself as the ‘loner Throner!’” Kit tells the Hollywood Reporter. Speaking of sitting down at a table, it turns out that’s where he was when he found out about the nomination, blissfully unaware that an announcement was even being made: “I didn’t expect to be nominated[.] I thought the show might be, but I was just at home, learning lines, and then my publicists called. It was very unexpected and wonderful.”
Now, before the hoity toity “See, I told you even he didn’t care about season 8!” backlash rolls in, I’ll let you know that Kit does not waver in his defense of the show and his character: “We spent a lot of years with this thing [GOT]. Obviously, I dearly loved it. I loved every moment of it. I loved the character. It’s a weird feeling, but I feel kind of happy for him, the character, if that makes sense.”
Ok, fine, but…surely Kit couldn’t have loved the ending, right?
“For me, that’s the perfect ending for him…It’s where I wanted him to be. I didn’t want him on the throne, and I didn’t want him to be dead. I wanted him to be in the North, where he belongs. My feeling is where he ended in the show is exactly where he should have ended. There was a full-circledness to it. This [nomination] feels full circle, too. It’s a lovely way to say goodbye to the character. It’s a lovely way to say goodbye to the show. It’s perfect, in my book.”
The Golden Globes will be hosted by Ricky Gervais, and air Sunday January 5th on NBC.
The 77th Golden Globe Awards will be celebrated this coming January 5, which means the nominations were revealed today, just four weeks before the event. Game of Thrones never sweeps at the Golden Globes as it does at the Emmys, but the show did get a key nomination: Kit Harington!
Nominated for the ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Television Series’ category, Harington is accompanied by stiff competition: Brian Cox for Succession; Rami Malek for Mr. Robot; Game of Thrones‘ own Edmure Tully, Tobias Menzies, for The Crown; and Billy Porter for Pose.
This time Game of Thrones didn’t get any nominations for Best Actress (with, say, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, or the many other likely candidates), which is business as usual; Lena Headey was the only Thrones actress to ever be nominated, back in 2017. As for Best Drama Series nods, the show’s gotten them in the past, but it’s never been consistent: it got none for seasons two or three, and it’s never won. In fact, the HBO show only ever won anything at the Golden Globes back in 2012, when Peter Dinklage went home with the Best Drama Actor award for the first season.
With this track-record and the impressive competition, Harington’s chances for winning on January 5 don’t look stellar, but we can hope, and we certainly congratulate him for the nomination alone!
Nominations were announced today for the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards, and Game of Thrones performed well, pulling in four nominations for the final season of the show. The winners will be announced live on The CW network Sunday, January 12th, 2020, in a gala ceremony at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA. The event will be hosted by Taye Diggs, and broadcast live 7:00 – 10:00 pm ET.
The nominations for Game of Thrones are:
Best Drama Series
The Crown (Netflix) David Makes Man (OWN) Game of Thrones (HBO) The Good Fight (CBS All Access) Pose (FX) Succession (HBO) This Is Us (NBC) Watchmen (HBO)
Best Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC) Mike Colter – Evil (CBS) Paul Giamatti – Billions (Showtime) Kit Harington – Game of Thrones (HBO) Freddie Highmore – The Good Doctor (ABC) Tobias Menzies – The Crown (Netflix) Billy Porter – Pose (FX) Jeremy Strong – Succession (HBO)
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Asante Blackk – This Is Us (NBC) Billy Crudup – The Morning Show (Apple) Asia Kate Dillon – Billions (Showtime) Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones (HBO) Justin Hartley – This Is Us (NBC) Delroy Lindo – The Good Fight (CBS All Access) Tim Blake Nelson – Watchmen (HBO)
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown (Netflix) Gwendoline Christie – Game of Thrones (HBO) Laura Dern – Big Little Lies (HBO) Audra McDonald – The Good Fight (CBS All Access) Jean Smart – Watchmen (HBO) Meryl Streep – Big Little Lies (HBO) Susan Kelechi Watson – This Is Us (NBC)
Congratulations to Kit, Peter and Gwendoline! Christie reacted to the news on Instagram in typically exuberant fashion, complimenting her fellow performers and showing gratitude for the nom.
As a character, there’s embodying a character and then there’s becoming said character. Apparently, John Bradley may have unwittingly gone too far in his decade-long portrayal of Samwell Tarly, as the character’s characteristic stutter eventually got out of control and started even affecting Bradley outside of his role in Game of Thrones.
“I got into this trap with Sam, I set myself traps, because he had a traumatic childhood and suffered a lot – and it manifested through a stammer and a twitch sometimes. It can cause psychological barriers to show how he was brought up in a highly charged environment and he was almost frightened to speak and he’s not sure whether he’s allowed to speak or to express his opinion on things and so I thought how am I going to show that?,” the actor explains how he as an actor arrived at Sam’s stammering.
Unfortunately, things went a bit too far. By the mid-point of the show, Bradley had reportedly lost complete control of when he stammered or not. And, in his words, “towards the end of Game of Thrones, it became the only way I could act, and I got into the unconscious mindset that people want me to do this.”
“There are takes of me where it felt like it would be five minutes where I am just standing with other the actors and I couldn’t speak and I just can’t get the words out and certain sounds would trip me up,” he recounts, highlighting one incident with Jon Snow’s actor in particular: “In one scene I came in first with Kit Harrington and in the nicest way he said to me ‘can you come in a bit quicker?’ so I can react a bit quicker and I was like ‘I can’t, I just can’t.’ As lovely as the crew were, they assumed it was because I had forgotten my lines. It took me a while to get out of it and it went away over time.”
To make matters worse for poor John, this stutter ended up being not only an uncontrollable part of his portrayal as Sam but a habit that seeped into any other roles he’d portray: “Towards the end of that journey, that stammer would turn up in non-Sam acting and I’d do auditions when I’d stammer because it just seemed like the default place that I went to when I acted. I think people thought it was part of me but it wasn’t, but it was performance anxiety.”
I think we can all agree Bradley did a wonderful as Sam from start to finish, and that he embodied the character as few others could. Nevertheless, it’s a pity to hear that such an excellent portrayal had a dark side of sorts to it, or at least unintended consequences.
I myself can’t imagine getting into character so much that the character takes a live of their own; but that’s (one of the many reasons) why I am not an actor. As for Bradley, who is very much an actor, I believe all there’s left to say is that we should all wish him well and hope Sam’s contagious performance anxiety was only temporary.
As part of the Watchers on the Wall Awards, we like to pay tribute to all the actors who appear on Game of Thrones, from the leads, to the supporting actors, to the guest performers who bring their talents to the show for a shorter amount of time. It’s time to show some love for the short-term scene-stealers who leave a lasting impression and add to the colorful landscape of Game of Thrones‘ final season!
For Best Guest Actress, our nominees are:
Laura Elphinstone as Nora (In “The Bells”)
Bea Glancy as Teela (In “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” and “The Long Night”)
Carice van Houten as Melisandre (In “The Long Night”)
Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy (In “Winterfell” and “The Iron Throne”)
For Best Guest Actor, the nominees are:
Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn (In “The Iron Throne”)
Vladimir Furdik as the Night King (In “The Long Night”)
Harry Grasby as Ned Umber (In “Winterfell”)
Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully (In “The Iron Throne”)
Marc Rissman as Harry Strickland (In “Winterfell” and “The Bells”)
*To qualify for a guest category, nominated actors and actresses required credited appearances in 1 or 2 episodes in Season 8.*
Final round rules: To choose winners, cast your vote in each category in the polls below. In the finals, unlike the preliminaries, fans have one vote to cast in each category. At the end of one week (Friday 12/13/19 at 12PM ET), the performer in each category with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the polls will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony, specific date to be announced in the near future!
The end of the year and thus, the decade is fast approaching and the “Best of” lists are pouring in, many of them celebrating Game of Thrones for being the television game changer it is. Game of Thrones was also honored at the American Film Institute (AFI)’s 2019 Awards!
Game of Thrones was named one of the 10 most “culturally and artistically significant” television programs at the AFI 2019 Awards.
Indeed, ‘tis the season for top 10 lists (as well as top 50, top 100, etc) not just for the year but for the 2010s decade. And I’m glad to say that Game of Thrones is featured on quite a lot of them.
Uproxx included it on its list (with no numerical ranking) of Best Shows of the Decade, in which Jason Tabrys says that, despite its controversial ending, the show remained a standout for “the creative mixology that turned an unfinished set of fantasy novels into a cultural juggernaut.”
Mashable placed it at #11 in their 15 Best TV Shows of the 2010s along with a truly beautiful summation of how Game of Thrones created a community, as “it gripped viewers in a way that nothing had in years, crossing bridges of culture, age, and other seemingly arbitrary distinctions between people that cease to exist when we’re bonding over television we love.”
Esquire placed Game of Thrones at #10 on its top … uh, 10 list, though with some kind words: “This was a television event the likes of which we’d never seen and will likely never see again.”
PasteMagazine.com put it at #16 on its 100 Best TV Shows of the 2010s, where Josh Jackson highlighted the complex humanity of the story as what “made this show an epic cultural juggernaut,” even past had he considers its prime.
TVGuide.com placed it at #10 on its 25 Best Shows the Decade, with Amanda Bell emphasizing the first few seasons; “when co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had the strength of George R.R. Martin’s books to guide their scripts, their adaptation was superb.” Despite any issues, it “absolutely defined the decade.”
AV Club put Game of Thrones at #30 on its list of the 100 Best TV Shows of the 2010s, with Myles McNutt pointing out how “at its fiery peaks, few shows in the decade burned brighter, but the icy reception to its finale reflects its struggles to measure up in a decade with so many of TV history’s finest endings.”
Film School Rejects ranked it #4 on its 50 Best TV Shows of the Decade list. According to Farah Chedad, “at its best (its mid-point), Thrones was peerless TV, raising the bar for the medium by delivering moral complexity and dramatic curve-balls with great finesse.”
Finally, The Independent and Buzzfeed really showed Game of Thrones some love:
The Independent ranked it at #1 on its list of 30 Best TV Shows of the Decade: “At a time when viewing tastes were meant to be becoming more atomised, Game of Thrones was global event TV, which made household names of the Starks, Lannisters and Greyjoys and provided a whole generation of English character actors with a regular income.”
Buzzfeed ranked it as the #1 best (and “arguably the biggest”) show in its list of the 55 Best TV Shows of the Decade, claiming it “will endure long after the 2010s,” and highlighting Season 6 as its peak.
Moving on from the show overall, there were many lists of best episodes of any TV show released this year or decade, and understandably Thrones made it into a few of them:
TV Guide ranked “A Knight if the Seven Kingdoms”, the quietest yet perhaps most lauded episode of season eight, #5 in its list of the 15 Best Episodes of 2019. Lindsay MacDonald commends it for “taking a break to settle down and do some real character work” in an otherwise breakneck season.
Even more ambitious, in a list of the 50 Best TV Episodes of the Decade, Film School Rejects ranked “Blackwater” at #6, pinpointing it as “the moment Game of Thrones went from a great show to something truly special.”
Finally, Buzzfeed News listed “Baelor”, the episode that first defined the show for much of the audience, as one of the 25 Best Episodes of TV of the Decade, precisely because “no episode of Game of Thrones had a larger impact, on the show, and on television itself.”
These lists are pretty much designed for creating conversation… or conflict (clicks, at any rate), so I imagine there will be many people disagreeing in the comments section below. Let’s just remember it’s all opinions, and that the most productive thing you can do is offer you own instead! Let’s not get angry and celebrate the show that defined the decade for many of us, in more ways than one. Happy holidays!
The Game of Thrones: The Complete Series and Season 8 DVD and Blu-ray boxsets are available as of today, and Watchers on the Wall is celebrating the occasion by revealing the five winners of our recent giveaway contest.
We’ve gathered up all your entries, and if you’re one of the lucky five, you’ll get either the Complete Series Blu-ray, the Season 8 4K Blu-ray, or one of three Season 8 Blu-ray boxsets.
Imagine a drum roll, please, for the revelation of our first winner…
Queen Marx said her favorite moment from the final season is Jon going beyond the Wall at the end. A beautiful ending for a character who’s gone through so much… and now, Queen Marx, you’ll get to relive it, alongside the rest of season eight… and every other season! Indeed, Queen Marx goes home with the grand prize: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection!
Exclusive to this amazing all-encompasing collection is the Game of Thrones: Reunion Special, a reunion show shot live in Belfast with cast from previous seasons as well as the last one, hosted by Conan O’Brien, assembled in segments focused on Houses Lannister, Stark, & Targaryen and concluding with the key players all onstage for their final reflections on the years they shared in Westeros and Essos.
Next, the winner of the 4K Blu-Ray copy of Season 8 is…
Michelle’s favorite moment was Drogon melting the Iron Throne and then carrying Dany away, which she’ll now get to rewatch in excruciating 4K detail.
Finally, we have three Blu-ray copies of Season 8 to give away. The boxset contains not only all six episodes of the final season but amazing extras such as The Last Watch, Jeanie Finlay’s documentary of the making of the season; When Winter Falls, an exclusive 30-minute featurette with cast, crew, and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, chronicling the filming of the “Battle of Winterfell”; Duty is the Death of Love, with Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke, and the writers and producers discussing the series finale; several audio commentaries; deleted and extended scenes; new Histories and Lore animated pieces; and more.
The first two winners of our three Game of Thrones Season 8 Blu-ray boxsets come from Twitter, and they are…
And that’s it! Congratulations, Queen Marx, Michelle, Heike, Joey, and Sergio! These five winners will soon be gifted five new copies of Game of Thrones Season 8 or, in the case of Queen Marx, the Complete Series. We hope you enjoyed the giveaway! Happy holidays and thank you to everyone who took part!
It’s a busy time of year for Game of Thrones fans, is it not? We’re on the cusp of the new year, with season 9 right around the – Oh. Oh, right. Sigh. Well, in any case, the show might be over, but the hits, they keep a’coming! From awards wins to stars idolizing one another to science and GOT merging, we’re seeing it all. We’ve got a couple of itty bitty tidbits to round up so buckle up, and head on in.
Up first? The awards. Never one for sitting on the sidelines, GOT continues to steamroll the competition, and this time at an awards show I’ve never never heard of! What are the Clio Awards? Where are the Clio Awards? Who are the Clio Awards? According to a quick Bing search, I should head over to Google. But according to a Google search, the Clio Awards are the “premier international awards competition for the creative business, celebrat[ing] creative excellence in advertising, and honor[ing] the work and talent that pushes boundaries, permeates pop culture, and establishes a new precedent around the globe.” More specifically, it nominates and awards trophies to ad campaigns, rather than the shows themselves. GOT won three Clio Awards:
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be famous and run into another famous person. Do you just talk like friends, or do you freak out like so many of us? Well now we have an answer that People would be proud of: Stars. They’re just like us!
Next up: the science stuff. Turns out, paleontologists have a sense of humour too, as shown when they discovered a brand new pterosaur. The newly dubbed Targaryendraco wiedenrothihas some meaning behind its name: “…pterosaurs have inspired some biological aspects of the dragons” claim the scientists. Says study leader Rodrigo Pêgas, “I always thought this was very nice, especially because I work on pterosaurs….I am a big nerd and a big fan of Game of Thrones.”
Well these are all the odds and ends for today. What else is going on the world of Westeros? A release date for The Winds of Winter? A casting notice for House of the Dragon? I’m not sure; You tell me!
There’s a reason the Television Academy keeps throwing costuming Emmys at Game of Thrones, year after year: they deserve it. Costume designer Michele Clapton outdid herself once again, with the help of a stellar team to bring her designs to life onscreen, one more time, in the final season. After round 1, our readers have narrowed down the list of nominees to the top five. Now it’s in your hands to choose the Best New Costume! The finalists are…
Daenerys’s sueded grey leather coat-dress with red seams
Sansa’s black leather armor dress
The red-inflected updated version of Daenerys’ fur coat
Sansa’s elaborate coronation gown
Daenerys’ black leather embossed riding coat, with red details
You can view results from the first round of voting HERE!
Final round rules: To choose the winner, cast your vote in the poll below. In the finals, unlike the preliminaries, fans have one vote to cast. At the end of one week (Monday 12/09/19 at 12PM ET), the costume with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the polls will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony, specific date to be announced in the near future!