A Complete Guide To The Mythical History Of Westeros

Long before the events of Game of Thrones and George R. R. Martin’s fantasy books, Westeros was home to magic and strange, sinister creatures. We’ve only just started to glimpse this backstory on the show, but the books contain lots of hints. Here’s our complete guide to the fantastical past of this grim world. » 6/09/15 12:53pm 6/09/15 12:53pm

So Did Game Of Thrones Just Reveal A Huge Book Spoiler?

Game of Thrones has been getting ahead of the books by George R.R. Martin for a while now. But it’s also been diverging from the books in significant ways. So when we see an event that’s not in the books, it’s hard to tell if it’s a spoiler for Winds of Winter, or another sidetrack. Except we just got one big hint.
» 6/09/15 8:00am 6/09/15 8:00am

On Game Of Thrones, Remaining True To Yourself Is The Worst Lie Of All

A few characters face terrible choices in this week’s Game of Thrones. They pretty much all choose expediency over principle. In the midst of all this, one character says these choices should be easy as long as you remain true to yourself. But that’s the most insidious lie of all. Spoilers ahead... » 6/08/15 8:00am 6/08/15 8:00am

On Game Of Thrones, Recruiting Followers Is Hard...Unless You're A Wight

Last night’s Game of Thrones was a welcome return to form. It was also a weirdly structured episode: Half a series of vignettes about faith and learning to read people, and half a rip-roaring apocalyptic action movie. But it was all tied together by the contrast between single-minded zombies and undependable humans. » 6/01/15 8:00am 6/01/15 8:00am

Someone Has Done A Statistical Analysis Of Rape In Game Of Thrones

We’ve been debating sexual violence on Game of Thrones since the show began, but the discussion has gotten more heated in the past couple weeks, with The Mary Sue essentially ending its coverage. But is the show just being true to George R.R. Martin’s books, or is it adding more violation? One fan decided to find out. » 5/26/15 3:01pm 5/26/15 3:01pm

Last Night’s Game Of Thrones Was Actually Pretty Hard To Watch

Two different groups of scary fanatics went on a rampage in the latest Game of Thrones episode, and it was pretty upsetting to watch, even by Thrones standards. The Sons of the Harpy and the Sparrows both want to restore old traditions, and they both build on the weaknesses of two very different queens.Spoilers… » 5/04/15 8:00am 5/04/15 8:00am

References and Homages in A Song of Ice and Fire

Most fans have been able to spot the similarities between George RR Martin’s character Samwell Tarly and JRR Tolkien’s Samwise Gamgee. Martin was a huge fan of Lord of the Rings since the books were first published in the USA, so it’s no surprise he left a few homages to Lord of the Rings and some of his other… » 5/01/15 6:20pm 5/01/15 6:20pm

On Game Of Thrones, All The Oath-Breakers Debate The Meaning Of Faith

Many of our favorite Game of Thrones characters have broken sacred vows at this point. Jon Snow slept with a Wildling girl. Cersei made a mockery of her wedding vows. Roose Bolton stabbed his liege lord. But last night, we got to see them solemnly debating the meaning of religion, and what it means to be faithful. » 4/27/15 8:00am 4/27/15 8:00am

The Mechanical Is One Of The Coolest Books About Free Will Ever Written

On its surface, The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis is a fun alt-history about a world where the Dutch conquered everyone with the help of alchemy and clockwork robots. But a lot of the most mind-blowing stuff in this book is actually about the nature, and theology, of free will. Spoilers ahead... » 4/24/15 2:40pm 4/24/15 2:40pm

Ken Liu's Grace Of Kings Is The Bold Epic Fantasy We've Been Waiting For

Ken Liu has plenty of awards for his short stories, and with his debut novel, he's likely to earn acclaim as a novelist as well. The Grace of Kings is an ambitious, astonishing, and sublime work, one that both exemplifies and diverges from what one might think of when it comes to epic fantasy. It should rank… » 4/14/15 4:00pm 4/14/15 4:00pm