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There’s no denying that Game of Thrones is a phenomenon at this point, with millions of fans desperately awaiting the next episode, or binge-watching entire series. For most fans, the books and/or TV series are enough. But for more diehard fans, additional information, context, news, and commentaries are always more than welcome.
With that in mind, we have scoured the Web to find you the best resources to teach you the history and landscape of Westeros. To offer you more breaking news, and gossip than you could possibly read. And to learn about the artistry and craftsmanship that’s needed to create such an iconic show.
NB: If you’re not completely caught up yet, you might want to read our guide on avoiding Game of Thrones spoilers before continuing. You have been warned!
Explore the World of Game of Thrones
Getting your head around the geography of Westeros can be a dizzying challenge. But knowing where Casterly Rock is in relation to Braavos can add a whole new dimension to your understanding of the intricate web of stories that is Game of Thrones.
Search Google Images, and you’ll find mountains of fan-made maps. HBO has even created its own map, though it’s disappointingly undetailed. The most comprehensive by far, is this interactive map of Westeros. Full of painstaking detail, you can see even the smallest of waypoints marked, linking to their respective entries in the Westeros.org wiki.
Even more impressive is the location timeline. Select the characters you’re interested in, then drag the timeline slider (on the right). This will show you the paths these characters are taking, episode by episode.
Read the Latest Game of Thrones News
If you want to keep up to date with the latest Game of Thrones fan theories, news and gossip, there are two websites that stand above the rest. Winter is Coming is an insanely active site covering breaking news, episode reviews, and behind the scenes information. Within a few minutes, you’ll be amazed at how much there is to consume about this now-cultural phenomena.
Alternatively, check out Watchers on The Wall. This is “a Game of Thrones community for breaking news, casting, and commentary”. Based on that description, it certainly doesn’t disappoint. There are in-depth interviews, intricate plot breakdowns, and a popular podcast. Oh, and a countdown timer for the release of the next episode.
Scour Game of Thrones Episode Guides
If you’re sometimes at a loss as to what’s happening, or need to remember where you’re up to in Game of Thrones, an episode guide is what you need. The best is the Episode Guide from HBO. At the top of the page, select the episode you have most recently watched. You’ll be given links to a detailed synopsis, a range of exclusive content, and links to the biographies of the main characters featured in the episode.
Explore the Game of Thrones Wiki
The Game of Thrones Wiki answers any question you might have about Game of Thrones. Whether you want more detail on the Mutiny at Castle Black, or are completely confused about the Old Gods of The Forest, you can find the answers here. The additional sections on Culture and Society, and Production add a ton more context too.
Explore Game of Thrones Houses
The House situation in Westeros appears worse than dysfunctional. And sometimes completely mind-boggling. Luckily, HBO have put together this visual Guide to Game of Thrones Houses to help you grasp who is related to who, and where each lineage begins.
To add even more context, learn about the history of Game of Thrones with these YouTube videos. Additionally, this Viewers Guide to Houses describes the history of each house, and provides profiles for each character. To understand all of this in relation to the history and lore of Westeros, pore over this historical timeline.
Go Behind the Scenes of Game of Thrones
The skill and technology behind the Game of Thrones sets are incredible. A lot of that is down to production designer Deborah Riley. In the video above, she explains the aim is for the viewer to be able to “smell the set”. To “create worlds and environments that the audience believes in”. In other words, it needs to be perfect.
To learn about the craftsmanship that goes into each of these Game of Thrones sets, you should read the interview and watch the videos over at SmithsonianMag. Winter is Coming has a couple of great articles on the subject, too. You can also read about Deborah’s real-life inspirations for the sets she designs.
It’s not just the sets that are awe-inspiring. The Game of Thrones costume designers tirelessly create huge numbers of intricate outfits for the massive cast. In the video above, ex-Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton discusses some of the more well-known outfits we’ve seen in the show, and the challenges she and her team have faced.
Seeing some of the subtleties of these costumes is mesmerizing. Take for example the crown Joffrey wore at his wedding. Not only did it display Baratheon antlers, but it was also intertwined with the roses that were present in Margaery’s crown, symbolizing the gradual control Margaery is taking of his actions. There are several more cryptic costume messages throughout the series too.
Listen to Game of Thrones Podcasts
On top of everything mentioned so far, there are a number of quality podcasts dedicated to Game of Thrones. One of the most highly rated is Cast of Thrones (iTunes). This podcast hosts regular, informal conversations about each episode while the series is being broadcast. During Game of Thrones blackouts, there are discussions on the books, as well as the Telltale video game series.
Another option is A Cast of Kings (iTunes). This is a weekly show in which Vanity Fair contributor Joanna Robinson and author Dave Chen discuss the plots and themes of the HBO series. Both hosts are extremely knowledgeable. Listening to the podcast straight after watching an episode is a great way to understand the subtleties buried within the plot.
If you’d rather listen to a podcast that concentrates solely on the TV show rather than the books, try Game of Thrones: The Podcast (iTunes). This regular conversation between the two hosts, Jim and Aron, offers an interesting analysis of each episode, is genuinely entertaining, and produced to a very high standard.
Down the Game of Thrones Rabbit Hole
As you can see, it seems that Game of Thrones has not only taken over social media, but also a sizable corner of the Web as well. The resources listed above are the most valuable tip of an ever-expanding iceberg. An iceberg of quality content being produced in parallel to George R. R. Martin’s books, and the hit TV show.
This really is an entertainment franchise in full force. A franchise whose fans are not just hosting viewing parties, but also delving as deep as they are willing to go into the folklore, characters, craftsmanship, and news surrounding this franchise. And it seems the deeper you go, the more there is to uncover about this fascinating, fictional world of power struggles and magic.
We always want to hear your comments, so please let us know which other Game of Thrones resources you would add to this list? Or tell us which resources have added the most to your Game of Thrones experience?