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Time to go mobile
Wikia made a Mobile App for the Wiki, starting in Season 5: http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:The_Dragon_Demands/New_Free_Mobile_App_for_Game_of_Thrones_Wiki!
New Wiki-Skin for Season 5
As those of you returning may have noticed, the Admins got together with the Wikia staff a few months back to make a new Wiki-Skin for Season 5 - the skin should have been updated for Season 4 but was not, meaning that we got stuck for two years with those stupid character-head posters...with their dead fish-eyes staring out at us (they weren't good posters, why did we make them the wiki-skin?)
At any rate, for the first time since the beginning of Season 3, we have a new Wiki-skin (I also rebuilt the top navigation bar some months ago).
Up until a few weeks ago we were busy so unfortunately the templates were still grey-blue for white text, but now we have black text, making them illegible - I finally got around to fixing that though, it should be fine now.
However, I wonder if there are any minor tweaks we need to make to it, given that it doesn't display with the same proportions on every computer screen.
We may need to post screenshots of this. What does the wiki-skin look like to everyone else?
On my current computer it is decent...but the last half an inch or so of the wallpaper sidebars is just black, under the map images.
I've seen other computers (at work, library) which are square - unlike my laptop - and don't display it well at all.
So how is the wiki-skin showing up for everyone?
We need to make sure it displays properly and is fitted well with the sides, flush with the sides. Not sure how to do that but we might need to flag down the Wikia Tech team to help us make minor refinements to that.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:20, April 12, 2015 (UTC)
Front Page redesign for Season 5
The front page consists of a main section on the left, and a sidebar on the right.
Currently, going down in the main left column, we have:
- Front page slider
- Welcome to Game of Thrones Wiki message
- Side-by-side first and last episode links
Obviously these stay where they are.
Then we have a series of collapsable navigation templates I made. Those take up some space but they greatly aid navigation and make it spiffy (actual content in the boxes, such as characters, is a separate matter).
Below that we have two large sections that didn't fit earlier, but which aren't near the top. Random visitors to the front page who scroll down an inch or two will see the top of the blue navboxes and scroll down some more, but these are down there.
First, we've got slots for two featured videos - use a lot of space, but generally important to have.
Then we have a Poll (going to make a new one after the premiere) which takes up a lot of space, but is at the bottom of the page so anyone going down that far would be taking the time to read it -- I mean what's the other option? Make the poll "more visible" by putting it at the top? Displacing "most recent episode?" Silly.
In the right hand column we have:
- An advertisement video square we cannot control, next to the slider (roughly)
- Featured article (currently the Sand Snakes) - Good.
Then we have:
- About Game of Thrones
- Spoiler Policy
- Latest News
- Recent edits
- Contributing info
The right hand column only extends to the bottom of the video section, the poll is below that (and thus uneven).
We can't just make the poll wider (even if we could, with coding) because it's not as if the text is wrapped around multiple lines - that's just how much space one line questions take).
It makes sense to put the "Contributing" disclaimer stuff at the bottom, good.
I think "About Game of Thrones" and "Spoilers" go together, in that order, because they're explaining "we cover through the current aired episodes but not book spoilers".
Now on the one hand, this is kind of a disclaimer, meaning it doesn't need to be up top....but on the other hand, don't we want random new visitors to see it? Or would they bother reading it at all, instead of just charging into what they came to read about Jon Snow?
As for the "Live NewsFeed" and "Recent Changes"...some would say they're not necessary, but the right-hand column is so much shorter than the main left column (the poll sticks out at the bottom) that it actually needs to be longer, not shorter.
And then there's the contributing info tab, which kind of makes more sense next to the other disclaimers...
...okay, screw it, we need things that catch people's eye on the top computer-screen's worth of material, and news works better at that. Anyone reading the front page carefully would read all of it, scrolling down to read the disclaimers.
Therefore I'm going to put "News" and "Recent Changes" at the top, but under "Featured Article".
We might be able to even out the two sides a bit more if I could somehow add more than 5 entries each to News and Recent Changes -- though the current poll is also unusually long, later polls shouldn't be more than, I don't know, 3-5 options, that isn't as bad. We'll play around with the proportions, but moving them anywhere else is inadvisable. --The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:15, April 12, 2015 (UTC)
Btw I've finally replaced those long outdated front page navigation images - which were in a weird italicized font of uncertain origin - which new images which actually use a "Game of Thrones" style font. This should match up with the other navigation tables.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 00:32, April 26, 2015 (UTC)
We've explanded from a four by four grid of 16 characters in the front page to 20, but now it's agreed to expand it to a five by five grid of 25 (anything wider wouldn't display properly).
So we have five new slots to fill.
The basic idea for these is that they're "viewpoint characters" who "carry" major portions of the storyline. In the novels they'd be POV characters, and often they are the same people, such as Arya Stark. A few storylines in the TV series are now shown from their own POV, i.e. the Tyrells.
The other thing to keep in mind is what I call the redundancy principle: if two main cast members are always together, their storylines overlap -- with a limited number of slots and a great need to prioritize, those that overlap aren't as vital. Example: we never see Rickon or Hodor without Bran, so Bran would stand for all of them (though even then those two aren't big enough, the scenes are structured around Bran). Thus one person who "carries" a storyline not seen by any other character might merit their own slot, i.e. when the camera spends a lot of time with Ygritte that doesn't involve Jon Snow during Season 4.
Most of these are kind of obvious, though. So right now, we've got:
- Top row: "House Stark and close allies, who appear in Season 5" - Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly, Arya, Sansa, and Brienne of Tarth. Bran isn't in Season 5 so he's not in this.
- Second row: "House Lannister" - Tywin and Joffrey are out, Cersei's younger two children are stepping up in the story, so it's: Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, Tommen, Myrcella. Tommen might overlap a bit but he's important because he's the king, and Myrcella will have a bigger role in Season 5 which several subplots revolve around.
- Third row: Stannis, Margaery, Littlefinger, Varys, Daenerys - each carries their own subplot, or represents a distinct faction (in fact, both, for all of them). A problem with Daenerys's storyline is that really, almost all of the characters she interacts with technically don't pass the "redundancy" test - we hardly ever saw her supporting cast when they weren't with her - though at least that was starting to change in Season 4. Anyway, no denying that these five on this row are worth inclusion.
- Fourth row: Roose, Ramsay, Reek, Doran, the Sand Snakes - Roose and Ramsay are major villains, Reek is a viewpoint character of sorts (plus the only ironborn on here, given how much their subplots have been ignored since Season 2). Meanwhile, Doran the head of House Martell is the big new cast member in Season 5. The Sand Snakes were great because, apart from being important new characters, they have a group name, so they're a three-for-one: one box for three characters.
So who should be in the fifth row:
...thinking on it, Olenna and Loras, as they're fairly important this season and major characters people would be looking for.
I wouldn't put Ellaria or Trystane in because they're redundant with Doran or the Sand Snakes.
...we put Melisandre in because she's big this season and not always just doing stuff with Stannis in every scene. Davos, for the moment, seems to just be in every scene with Stannis, so unfortunately while important, he overlaps (in the novels, Stannis isn't a POV narrator, all of his scenes are told from Davos's POV narration). Again, the idea being that people randomly browsing who have no idea how to navigate the wiki beyond what they click on the front page would be able to use this character as an "access point": read the Stannis article, click on links in his article, branching out to all other articles in his storyline that he touches.
We'll put Tormund in because now that Ygritte is dead we need a wildling viewpoint, and he seems to be fairly prominent this season.
Lastly...there were not obvious choices beyond that (other than using Davos, who again I think is redundant)....so I decided, why not use Shireen? Apart from people liking her, reports say that Shireen is more prominent this season (understandably so; she's not just locked away in Dragonstone anymore, but interacting with everyone at Castle Black). --The Dragon Demands (talk) 19:37, April 12, 2015 (UTC)
Oh...thank you for the photos. Well if enough other people want Ellaria instead of Olenna, fine (by which I mean Gonzalo84 and QueenBuffy wanted it, so that votes me down two to one). The one thing though is you mixed up the photos to try to space them out, but I was trying to group them together (more or less) by faction/relation (not to say I was entirely successful). I'll take another stab at reshuffling them...--The Dragon Demands (talk) 20:05, April 19, 2015 (UTC)
Revisions following the mid-point of Season 5
Well episode 5 of 10 just aired, and I've been asked for some revisions to the character boxes:
Keeping to the "redundancy principle"...Tormund only really appears on-screen with Jon, and there are other more diverse subplots which could be better suited by other characters.
Conversely, Bronn was always with Tyrion then with Jaime, but he's such a well-developed and interesting character in his own right - increasing in importance now that he's joining the minor nobility - that I think a lot of people would be looking for him.
We didn't want to give away that Jorah would return back in the early episodes, but now he is being focused on quite a bit.
Barristan is out and Daario etc. only really appear in context of Daenerys, but Missandei has appeared prominently enough and in storylines separate from Daenerys to make her worth listing (for more than one person in the Daenerys storyline).
So Davos and Melisandre overlapped too much with Stannis - and it turns out that Melisandre will be going WITH Stannis instead of staying at the Wall with her own storyline. I do think Shireen merits her own slot given how much more focus she's had in the first half of Season 5.
So we'd switch out Melisandre for Jorah, and I think Ellaria Sand for Missandei -- Ellaria is too redundant with "Sand Snakes" story-wise.
Front page News feed
The front page news feed is terrible.
It's just a Google News list of sorts of the top "trending" news, not actual news.
And the mainstream media attempts to discuss the series have earned my disgust and contempt.
Do we really need to know what Buzzfeed has to say in its review? Reviews are not news. Even insightful reviews from major and reputable sources such as io9.com or AintItCool.com, Entertainment Weekly or the New York Times. They have to go.
Then we have the problem that larger news sites like Entertainment Weekly often repeat badly sourced rumors as fact, causing a sensation, which ends up in our news feed.
For example, last November the news was very slow, so when the mainstream news heard that Charles Dance was returning in Season 5 to "play" Tywin, they exploded in speculation that he was coming back from the dead...
...when any idiot who read the books could have easily squashed that rumor by pointing out "his funeral is a major scene at the beginning of the next novel, he'll probably be playing his corpse".
I mean, even TV-only viewers - the attentive ones - mostly must have assumed "he's coming back to play his corpse"....I mean, outside chance some TV-viewers might have pondered "will be be back for flashbacks?" -- but so do book-readers....and, as we've seen, the show hates using flashbacks, so unlikely.
But seriously; they jumped onto "Tywin will come back as a wight" or something, and this went on for weeks - god-damned weeks - rather than bothering to fact-check the obvious?
I half-think they knew, but without any other "news", just needed something to sensationalize.
Well, It's time to put them on a shorter leash.
On top of this...a lot of "news" just reports on what the actors are doing...things that have utterly nothing to do with the TV show.
Paraphrasing Jaime's famous line from the novel, when Meryn says he did what Joffrey told him without question, because he can't just "decide" what orders to follow immediately and what others he should ask a superior to double-check (the blind thinking that got Ned executed), Jaime says in frustration: "If Tommen asks you to saddle his horse, you should probably do that without hesitation. If he tells you to kill his horse, you should probably confirm it with me first." Ugh.
Thus "Emilia Clarke cast as the new Sarah Connor in huge Terminator franchise film" -- is probably news. "Emilia Clarke does cover shoot with Esquire that has no new information about Game of Thrones"...is NOT "news".
Wait...ack, the news is actually an RSS feed; I never use those.
My new solution is to delete the auto-generated news ticker, and just have the Administrators update it by hand.
Some simple guidelines for what is "not news", and should appear on the front page:
- Reviews that pop up in Google Search are not "news".
- Unless they said something significant about the TV show, not just "yeah it's great working on it, and my character has a dark season ahead", actor interviews or photo shoots with magazines are not "news" either. Conversely, a 5 page long magazine interview in which Lena Headey discusses her entire acting career might be news, but a two paragraph red carpet interview is probably not. Only if it's significant or substantive. This extends beyond magazines to media appearances: if Lena Headey makes a guest appearance on Seth Meyers or Jimmy Kimmel and verbally gives an interview, the same rules apply: if it was in-depth and contained significant information, it is "news". It can even be "significant" if she makes a very unique joke - i.e. "Lena pretends to be drunken Cersei doing improv insults" -- might be newsworth.
- Above all, such print or video interviews, with no significantly new information but with fun bits from the actors, aren't "prioritized" but not necessarily excluded: if it's a slow news day in August, yes, we'd probably run that news. During the middle of an actively airing TV season? Other things would probably come up which take priority given the limited number of spots on the front page.
- References in popular culture to Game of Thrones are not "news" unless they are particularly significant: "local politician cracks a Game of Thornes joke" probably isn't news, "South Park does a Game of Thrones episode" probably is news.
- Most statements made by George R.R. Martin or staff writers on the TV series are usually news (Benioff, Weiss, Cogman, Hill, Taylor). Even then, sometimes they're just appearing at a red carpet and repeating a generic line about the show, but not saying anything "significantly new" - which is what would make it "news" - information that does not appear elsewhere.
- Similarly, major interviews with the design team or production crew are at times important enough to put on the front page, i.e. "massive 5 page interview with David Peterson about creating Valyrian" or "massive 5 page interview with Michele Clapton about costume design".
- Anything stupid enough to post a spoiler that we wouldn't post here isn't news we'd want to link to -- particularly some that even put the spoilers IN THEIR HEADLINES. Dear god, I've seen headlines on the auto-generated RSS feeds that...are the equivalent of saying "Robb Stark dies this week!" before the Red Wedding actually aired. Because it's based on viewcount popularity, not any screening. That was another reason for gutting this out of the wiki, to avoid spoilers posted in headlines.
For example, this "Life Lessons We Learned from Game of Thrones" by People magazine appeared in our front page news ticker today: http://www.people.com/article/game-of-thrones-life-lessons
This is not "news". It is an insult to consider this "news".
What, then, are trusted news sources? Apart from, as explained before, "significant" interviews with Martin and the scriptwriters?
- Westeros.org - home of the A Wiki of Ice and Fire that we interlink with, Martin's go-to fansite, run by Elio and Linda who serve as fact checkers for Martin and co-wrote A World of Ice and Fire with him. They focus more on in-depth books to TV comparisons, slow but very measured responses to "news".
- WatchersOnTheWall.com - biggest and most reliable news site for day-by-day news. They do half the work for us of filtering out the "actual news" from the "not real news".
- For both Westeros.org and WatchersonTheWall.com, also rely on them as news aggregators. That is, sometimes they have "original news" based on spy reports they get from the set. Other times, they might just repost a link to a long interview Martin did with Vulture.com -- in which case, you don't need to link to WatchersOnTheWall.com directly, but post the direct link to the actual article they're talking about.
- A few other sites have reliable news - I've noticed Den Of Geek for example - and also a few others such as AintItCool.com, io9.com, TheMarySue.com, etc. -- though usually anything they'd post on Westeros.org or WOTW.com got too first.
Between the two of them, Westeros.org and WatchersOnTheWall.com aggregate most news we'd need - as would their forums and comments sections. These are the main hubs. Otherwise we shouldn't really be wasting that much time searching for news, just reposting links to news they already reported on which seems "informationally significant".
I'm updating the Noble Houses navigation pane.
They come in rows of five, and I think it obvious to include the 13 major "Great Houses" - 7 Kingdoms plus the Riverlands and Crownlands, then the Boltons and Freys usurping in the North and Riverlands (for eleven), and then two sub-branches of House Baratheon, yields 13. What I was doing up to now was listing Karstark and Florent: Karstark because they were important at the time in Season 3, and Florent because - while not mentioned prominently - they are the main rivals to the Tyrells in the Reach and claim they have more right to Highgarden (plus Selyse is a Florent, they remain one of Stannis's few main supporters, and Shireen and Samwell are half-Florent). It kind of gave the Florents "near-Great House" status. I needed to fill out the row.
Anyway I just added another row. The selection process was based on "who is important as a faction in the TV show", which is very simplified from the novels. By this criterion, "House Tarth" and "House Baelish" don't really count: House Tarth as a political entity has not appeared, only the individual Brienne of Tarth - who is already represented in the character boxes anyway. Littlefinger, meanwhile, is the only living member of House Baelish, and he acts much more as an individual than as a member of "a House", with his own retinue and servants from the Fingers. Again, redundant with him being in the character boxes.
So the five extra ones I picked for now are: Mormont, Umber, Reed, Stokeworth, Forrester. I put "Forrester" in there to throw a bone to the video game stuff. Umber and Mormont...haven't been mentioned as prominently recently, they're not as big as they were in the novels, but still of some importance to the Northern storyline. The novels focus more on the North's vassal Houses - in contrast, the TV viewers don't really need to instantly know who the Marbrands and Leffords are in the Westerlands. House Reed...while not appearing as a political faction, last two years we had two characters from it, and they...allude to their presence harassing the ironborn at Moat Cailin.
Stokeworth I put in given their introduction in Season 5.
IF the Manderlys were included in Season 5 I'd have put them in, given how important they are in the novels at this point.
Other options were Clegane, Tarly, Redwyne, Blackwood, Bracken, Mallister....but they haven't really been as active as political factions that casual viewers would need to know about. They've been mentioned in passing (again, Samwell isn't really representative of the Tarlys as a political faction, Olenna is in it but she's really more a Tyrell). Clegane as a faction isn't that important as they're just a knightly House, though top servants of the Lannisters - and with both Gregor and Sandor out of commission, it didn't seem worth it. I didn't include Blackfyre because they've never been mentioned in the live-action episodes, only the animated featurettes.
Otherwise, I don't think there are any other major vassal Houses that would merit being on the front page, unless some other ones start getting mentioned more prominently.
Meanwhile, "Fansided's WinterIsComing.net" remains blacklisted.
See this forum discussion we had some months ago:
Long story short:
- WinterIsComing.net became one of the premiere fansites for daily news updates and in-depth analysis of the TV series, next to Westeros.org (which has ties with the author himself, and is more based on the books and predates the TV series, and focuses more on in-depth analysis).
- The owner of WiC.net retired a few months before Season 4 began due to personal life reasons. He sold the site to sports news aggregator/website collective FanSided.com.
- FanSided proceeded to run WiC.net into the ground, and horribly abused the entire original writing staff - who were all volunteers who worked for free, and never signed any contracts.
- The original fansite wasn't "for profit", but Fansided wanted to turn a profit on it. So they set unrealistically high, astronomically high production quotas.
- Fansided...bizarrely, really only wanted to buy the brand name "WinterIsComing.net", and treated the original writing staff (8-10 people, four core writers plus commentators) as unwanted baggage. Nor did they seemingly know how to make a "Game of Thrones News Site" at all.
- They went so far as to...try to turn the site into a poorly made ripoff of the success of the "Talking Dead" franchise for "The Walking Dead". The original staff were Game of Thrones experts through years of working on this, but Fansided...hired D-list local actors with no particular insight to host a poor copy of "The Talking Dead", which they called "The WiC.net Live Show" (airing "Live" after each episode). They didn't even tell the original writing staff they were going to do this until a week before the Season 4 premiere.
- As insider reports from the writing staff later said...Fansided genuinely ran a truck off a cliff, and never paused to measure how much "content" they could plausibly produce relative to the astronomically high quotas they had set. Basically, they had...apparently assumed that their Live Show would be a runaway success on the scale of The Talking Dead...granted this TV show is as big, but they're not a cable TV channel! They don't have enough publicity to grow into something that big, that fast...even if they had great commentators, and not just average viewers who appeared on it for a pay check. Now you'd think they'd at least...wait a few weeks to see how it did, if the numbers grew. But apparently the numbers were so bad that by around the second episode of Season 4, they were outright horrified. How high did they assume the ratings would be, and how low did they have to really be in comparison, to justify being shocked by two weeks into it? Pretty low.
- Not pulling enough revenue in to justify the expense of even making the Live Show, they started frantically producing other "filler" content to meet their website viewcount quotas. To stress: they never planned to do this, the writers who later quit stated that in a blind panic, the Fansided team started frantically producing fluff filler articles. One of these was the "Weapons of Westeros" video series...which was actually ripping off wiki articles (by the end, they were near-verbatim copies). **By the end, they resorted to making stories on "Tyrion flavored martinis, the Tiny Tyroni!" -- what does that even mean, a Tyrion "inspired" drink? Nor were they "reporting" on these drinks...they had the Live Show staff try to come up with alcoholic drink mixing tips. I mean they were just...total nonsequitors.
- The original writing staff was being forced to prioritize the Live Show over their own written recaps and reviews of the episodes! That is, to police the comments sections, wasting time they needed to write their own material. It's...it's as if they were squatters on their own website. There was no communication between the two groups: the original writing staff, and the FanSided video team, who kept posting filler material because they had terrible ratings...to the point that they were copying from Game of Thrones Wiki.
- The drinks videos were a real breaking point, the "Tiny Tyrioni" in particular was seen as Ableist and mocking Tyrion's disability...and when the original writing staffers complained they got yelled at. It was obvious they were no longer masters in their own house. Fansided had bought a major fansite, promptly sidelined the skilled writing staff they paid money to "buy", then hired D-list actors who just happened to watch the show, and assume that they could replace the original staff's writing quality?
- So a few months after Season 4 ended, in August the entire writing staff of WinterIsComing.net - who had been working there since Season 1 - quit en masse and set up a new fansite, WatchersOnTheWall.com -- which is basically the OLD WiC.net in all but name. Direct comparisons were drawn to the Simpsons episode when the Stonecutters reform into the "No Homers Club". NO ONE remained behind.
- Fansided stupidly abused a writing staff who had built that fansite...who were working for free, with no contract...and also never bothered to make them sign non-compete clauses in any contract. Normally a non-compete clause says that you can't quit and form a rival website. Had they bothered to invest any attention in the original, skilled writing staff, they wouldn't have made such a boneheaded and obvious oversight.
- It stupidly never occurred to Fansided that all of the on-location reporters, set spies, and local sources in Northern Ireland and Croatia...were contacts the original writing staff personally developed and maintained, who had no loyalty or legal obligation to Fansided. When the original writing staff left, they took all of their unique local sources and contacts with them. Fansided truly never realized how precious the original writing staff was before alienating them by prioritizing their own crappy "Live Show" attempt - and by "crappy" I mean what Fansided admitted privately: it wasn't pulling in nearly enough ratings to sustain itself financially.
- For the next couple of months through Christmas, "FanSided's WinterIsComing.net" (as we now call it to distinguish it from the original writing staff's previous work)...has gone through a revolving door of staffers and head editors-in-chief. Things have been a bit more stable since new years but...they're just a news aggregator now, repeating stuff other news sites like Entertainment Weekly or People.
HBO's publicity department also considers WatchersOnTheWall.com significant enough to give them advanced screener copies of episodes. The TV writers like Cogman know the writers on WatchersONTheWall.com.
Therefore, given that:
- WatchersOnTheWall.com actually is the "WiC.net team" from the first four years of the TV show.
- "Fansided's WinterIsComing.net" are morons, who have no idea how to run a news site and have no particularly insightful Game of Thrones commentary to make, and are now mostly just repeating other news sources anyway (to the point that their new hires have absent-mindedly reported on and linked to exclusive reports at WatchersOnTheWall.com itself).
- Fansided's WinterIsComing.net has extensively plagiarized Game of Thrones Wiki material, infringing on the copyrights of our intellectual property, and made no attempt to either A - remove the content or B - at least put a disclaimer on it crediting the wiki
Fansided's WinterIscoming.net is blacklisted as a news source. We self-consciously hope that they will shut down entirely, as more and more readers realize that all of the original writers that built that original site simply rebranded as "WatchersOnTheWall.com". They are not welcome here or anywhere anymore. The internet chatter for the past year (on Westeros.org, reddit, etc.) is how Fansided is just a naked corporate grab at buying something they have no idea how to run. This isn't just "tense silence around them" - they are pariahs online and in fandom now. Hopefully soon they'll be just a memory.
So never link to them as a news source, or cite them in any article. If you see something they've linked to, just post the source (if you happen to see a WiC.net post linking to a Vogue article...why not just directly use the Vogue article?)...and it's unlikely they'll ever get exclusives again, the cast members gravitated to giving interviews with the original writers at WOTW.com (who they already knew, through four years of building up contacts!). In the unlikely even that they present some entirely new information, bring it to the attention of an Administrator here via our Talk pages so we can decide what to do.
Otherwise, continue further discussion on this matter at the forum link I posted above. I only made this repost here because I just archived the past several years worth of Talk page discussions on this Talk page for the wiki's Front Page, and I wanted to make sure casual users (who often check here first) would see it.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 22:57, April 12, 2015 (UTC)
Dear Lord, the "revolving door of Editors-in-Chief" continues over at WIC: it turns out that that Rowan Kaiser guy himself stopped working there after around the third episode of Season 5. So how many is that since the original writing staff left? I think Kaiser was the third one? And the other two were in the off season given that the break with the old writers happened after the Season 4 finale? Yikes, three episodes in and the Editor in Chief leaves? This stuff is comedy gold. I've also noticed that the specific commentator who was doing those "Weapons of Westeros" videos ripping off our wiki mysteriously did not return for this season, haha.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 00:41, June 10, 2015 (UTC)
Lifting the block on WiC.net
Going in to Season 7, I realized it's time to officially "lift" the block on linking to Fansided's Winter-Is-Coming.net. For these reasons:
- 1 - No one who works there now worked there in Season 4. The much-hyped Live Show fiasco crashed, they hired entirely new staff. The specific Live Show people who re-used some of our content verbatim don't work there anymore. So it's a non-issue.
- 2 - ...We probably didn't have the "authority" to do this in the first place :) Upset feelings at the WiC/WOTW split and content copying, they weren't a good news source at the time following the writer exodus, so there wasn't much need to link them anyway. That phase is really in the past, and I'd rather not keep a grudge going for no solid reason anymore.
- 3 - Limited time and energy would be wasted enforcing it, to little effect (I'm pretty sure those immediately responsible from the old Live Show got into hot water for it).
- 4 - Increasingly, we can't "fight a war among ourselves" and need to support any news sites; particularly those willing to actually "evaluate" the TV show. They wrote some rather scathing op/eds about the Sansa and Dorne stuff in Seasons 5 & 6 that were refreshingly honest. I say this in direct contrast with EW.com....who I later realized, disturbingly filtered and redacted their reports on the showrunners' DVD commentary to put them in a more positive light, given that EW.com is the only site they regularly give press releases (okay, you cut out the line in the following sentence in which they admit, "Look, we only put the camera on Theon's face to be respectful to Sophie Turner...and, because we wanted to show off Alfie Allen" -- They're living in a dream world).
So this just ran its course. Anyone involved with the original problem hasn't worked for them in a long time, we shouldn't really be picking sides but uniting against the common enemy (the People's Front of Judea!), it would waste too much time, and they're actually producing more "news analysis" than EW.com and others.
Front page poll
I wish you hadn't changed the poll. It was more relevant since we finally just got to see the premiere after almost a year. QueenBuffy 16:35, April 13, 2015 (UTC)
Ack...you're right, I hadn't thought of this...in the off-season there was so little activity that the poll didn't seem that big, but now we might end up disagreeing on what to make as a new poll. Our traffic is higher in the on-season and we have more to discuss.
Well, the poll I took down was "how would you rate the most recent episode: Good, Bad, or Average?" -- Generally I think that most people who are reading a GOT wiki like the show, and those kinds of polls are kind of bland, compared to a specific question about the most recent episode, such as "Was Robb Stark right to execute Rickard Stark"? etc.
So I figured for the first episode of Season 5, given how unprecedented it is to have a flashback, why not ask, "what do you think of them using flashbacks? Was it too confusing or do you want more?"
...Every Sunday night in Season 5 we would probably need to discuss on the Talk page here what the next poll should be, before we change it. Yeah, I didn't think this through I was just jumping to get it changed.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 21:47, April 13, 2015 (UTC)
I think the episode 2 poll should be "Who would you have voted for in the Night's Watch election?
Maybe. I mean originally I thought the election would last more than one episode, leaving us on a cliffhanger.
Any other poll ideas?
I don't know if Jon declines Stannis' offer in this episode, but if not, it could be "Should Jon accept Stannis's offer about the thing it is about." Or something like "What were your first thoughts about Dorne and Prince Doran?" But I like yours, we should use it. I don't think we need a third option for that, unless the show has more candidates. --Gladiatus (talk) 16:58, April 19, 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, spoilers reveal that whatever happens, it's not a cliffhanger left over for the next episode.
Er...what about "Should Daenerys show mercy to the insurgents in Meereen?"
Yeah, just saw the episode. I think the question about Dany and mercy would be good, or the one "who would you have voted for in the Night's Watch election." --Gladiatus (talk) 13:28, April 20, 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I wanted to run these poll options by everyone first:
"Sansa marrying Ramsay is an invention of the TV series, in the novels she never even meets the Boltons, but remains in the Vale and out of the main plotlines. Do you think:
- If they couldn't do Sansa's storyline from the books, they should have just had her not appear in Season 5 at all, the way they did with her brother Bran.
- It was better to condense Sansa with the Bolton subplot so she actually gets important stuff to do in Season 5 - even if Sansa is being terrorized by Ramsay
- It was better to condense Sansa with the Bolton subplot so she actually gets important stuff to do in Season 5 - and I suspect that Sansa is only pretending to be frightened by Ramsay, to lull him into a false sense of security.
Administrator from Lithuanian GOT Wiki
Hi! I am writing to you with request to add Lithuanian language interwiki link in your's main page.
I have noticed that on the main page of this wiki that underneath the heading "Welcome to the Game of Thrones Wiki" is a poster for Season 6 that isn't the newest teaser poster, which is under the sub-heading "Next Episode". I am unable to change this, but I was wondering if someone else could.
Season 6 promo images and slider update
Ah, the first wave of Season 6 promo image has arrived:
I'm going to be updating the 4 slots in the news slider on the front page now (also I'm getting back to other updates, I've been away for a few weeks due to family medical emergencies).
I'm freeing up all four slots by taking out the iPhone one (Staff said it's inactive now), and I'm going to take out the video game one at least until the Season 6 premiere because they're a bit inactive for the moment, already have a space further down on the front page, and we kind of need all four slots to handle all of the big Season 6 news.
Anyway, what's a good image for a "Season 6" slider photo? That is, the first photo will be a link to "Season 6!" My current choices out of the new batch of images are:
- 1 - Jaime reuniting with Cersei
- 2 - Bran and the Three Eyed raven in a greensight vision (walking round as he did with Jojen in past ones)
- 3 - Blind Arya
Not going to use the Greyjoys for Season 6 because I'm just updating the Kraken sigil slider to the Yara one.
- Alright, I went with Bran and the Three-eyed raven (it's a two-fer; we haven't seen Bran in a full year, and also deals with role being recast with Max von Sydow); then Yara image for Greyjoys; then 3rd slider image of Blackfish Tully pointing out that the Tully/Frey Riverlands subplot is back.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 22:23, February 11, 2016 (UTC)
Major Front page updates for Season 6
I'm going to be updating the front page dropdown navboxes for Season 6.
I just finished a quick update to the open Character navbox. This is just a stop-gap update, we'll know more after the first Season 6 teaser trailer tomorrow night.
The changes I made were: Stannis replaced with Davos, Myrcella replaced with Yara, Shireen replaced with Bran, Loras replaced with Brynden Tully.
Otherwise, I'm on the fence about still including Doran, Ellaria, and the Sand Snakes (at least, all three of these). But we'll get a better idea after the Season 6 teaser - these three are subject to change (i.e. if we find out Loras is actually featured prominently next year, he's top of the list and will replace Ellaria).
All of the character navbox artwork needs to be updated with new ones. Some of them don't fit squarely into the box proportions. Again, this was purely a stopgap measure to quickly update the navbox - function over style for now.
Okay I just finished a MASSIVE new update to the front page, I don't anticipate needing to update the front page to such an extent again:
- Added a "Seven Kingdoms of Westeros" dropdown menu.
- Added another full row to "Organizations"
- Added another full row to "Religions"
- Added another full row to "Beyond the Wall"
- Added another two full rows to "Beyond Westeros"
- Added another two full rows to "Locations"
- Added another three full rows to "Culture and Society"
Might need to play around with the font sizes and centering of the menu titles some tie in the future, etc., but all of the functionality is there now for expanding the dropdown menus.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 05:54, February 14, 2016 (UTC)
"All of the character navbox artwork needs to be updated with new ones. Some of them don't fit squarely into the box proportions. Again, this was purely a stopgap measure to quickly update the navbox - function over style for now."
- Okay, done. I've uploaded new files that all have a uniformed format, are all the same size, and all have the same file extension. Previously it was a bit of a jumbled mess, and now it should be easier to edit. I was also wondering if the High Sparrow could be added... maybe in place of the Sand Snakes? He's much more significant than they are, and Doran is already representing for the Martells. The Crow's Eye should also be added when an image of him becomes available. Xanderen (talk) 10:52, February 19, 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I put in all of yours with a few exceptions: On Row 1, I kept the old Jon photo because it was a good closeup of his face (yours was in profile from the side). Row 3 the only new one I used was Brienne: I think the old Daenerys, Margaery, Samwell, and Varys ones were just clearer (and did form neat squares already). The new Samwell Season 6 preview photo you took this from, for example, just wasn't a very high resolution image of Samwell's face. Not like Arya or Bran whose appearance changes a lot between seasons. Row 4, similarly, I stuck with the old Melisandre photo because it was a better closeup of her face compare to the Season 6 promo image which was a wider shot.
Otherwise great, I fully used all of what you made for Row 2 and Row 5.
One request for change: The Arya image from Season 6 is a good choice, but in the final version it kind of cuts off the top part of her forehead. Can you resize the cropping to include her whole head, then re-upload it under the same image file name? (thus I won't even have to change the name of the image file used in the table).
...Yeah...two out of three Martells were up for grabs, probably better to use the High Sparrow...
- Ack, now the Arya image is too zoomed out; keep the topline what it currently is (keeping the top of her head in), but crop it square so that the bottom line stops just below the bottom of her hair.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 15:34, February 21, 2016 (UTC)
- You did everything I asked, and it was perfect. However, looking at it finished, I realize that showing all of her hair zoomed it out too much - I want to show off those creepy blind contacts she's wearing. So I actually got up and invested the time to play with it myself to get the proportions right. Should be working fine now...--17:15, February 26, 2016 (UTC)
- Okay, but now it doesn't fit in the box perfectly... you'll notice that there is more black space on the right hand side on Arya's box than any of the others. Also, the file you've uploaded is massive... the rest are all the same size: 122 x 90. That's the size they need to be in order to fit correctly. Yours is 1,176 × 882. Xanderen (talk) 19:53, February 26, 2016 (UTC)
Blast, I'm bad at this. Well can you re-crop yours to match the proportions I did? (Including the top of Arya's head, and ending in the middle of her neck - including all of her hair made her overall head smaller in the finished box.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 19:55, February 26, 2016 (UTC)
Dunno - some of the images for other menu bars aren't squared but what I could find at the moment. More generally, other articles need screenshot updates from Season 5, particularly Meereen, Winterfell, etc.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 20:06, February 27, 2016 (UTC)
- Consider it done. I'll start with the noble houses and work my way down. Xanderen (talk) 20:51, February 27, 2016 (UTC)
Hmmmm....High Sparrow image is kind of worrying me; because he's leaning forward part of his face gets covered up by the "High Sparrow" text; may need to swap out for another.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 07:28, March 2, 2016 (UTC)
Doran should probably be replaced with Euron. He should make his first appearance next episode, so maybe wait until then, as we don't have a good picture of him at the moment. --Gladiatus (talk) 18:44, April 25, 2016 (UTC)
Can I make a request/suggestion? That the Tarlys be added, since they're due to appear this season. The Stokeworths really aren't that significant... neither are the Florents. Xanderen (talk) 21:21, February 28, 2016 (UTC)
- I put them in the box in sets of five, you see, to make even rows. Yes I've considered the Whitehills but we don't really have another set of five major Houses. Let's see now. Tarly, Whitehill....three others would be needed. Blackfyre probably.
- You see the "Noble Houses" section idea is for "Houses as factions that TV viewers need to know"; House Redwyne is important but has not really been mentioned by name or had characters with speaking lines. House Clegane? Not really a faction so much as a character. Blackwood and Bracken similarly haven't been introduced prominently...
- Some other "Houses as sub-factions" will appear in Season 6; I'll expand to another row if and when they introduce the Manderleys and everyone else. Hopefully some ironborn? Right now it's a bit premature. It's not supposed to be every House, just the important ones in the storyline.
- I would recommend dropping Stokeworth entirely. There isn't a clear enough image of their symbol. It just looks like a brownish blur, and the family aren't significant to the plot at all. I would suggest Hornwood in their place. While not massively important, at least we know they're going to be included this year. Xanderen (talk) 09:35, March 2, 2016 (UTC)
I'm updating the top navbar's "Characters" tab for Season 6:
The first four have only minor changes:
- Stark - no changes
- Lannister - I swapped out "Bronn" for "Gregor Clegane"
- Bolton/Frey - I removed "Reek" and added in Harald Karstark as a placeholder - there wasn't really another prominent tenth entry we haven't put in already, unless something more important comes up in Season 6 itself.
- Targaryen - I sadly took out Barristan and Drogo (being dead), in order to add in Varys and Jorah Mormont.
The other three we had were more complicated: Baratheon, Martell, and a mixed grab-bag I threw together called "At Court" - which isn't accurate anymore given how widely the characters in it moved apart. We also left out the Greyjoys entirely given how little they were being featured (in fact, not at all in Season 5) but they're coming back with a vengeance this season.
We are physically limited to no more than 7 columns (and the names have to fit).
Therefore, I have recreated "Tyrell" as a character tab: because we're using the tabs for "House Tyrell as a faction", not just the family but including vassals. Now House Tyrell of itself only has four major characters (Mace, Olenna, Margaery, Loras), raising the problem from past seasons that it doesn't work well as a standalone tab with so few entries -- but this is entirely solved this season, in which we're getting introduced to the rest of House Tarly, who are their vassals. Plus I had to move Samwell Tarly out of another list.
And the numbers worked out perfectly with another six entries: "House Tarly", Randyll, Melessa, Samwell, Dickon, Talla.
With so many characters reshuffled, however, the next two were more tricky: I removed the "At Court" catch-all category, and everyone is so spread out at this point, that I instead created a tab generically called "Allies & Enemies". Problem was that this was simply too long and wouldn't fit on the bar, so I had to rename it to the slightly more clunky "Allies & Foes": even that was too long, so I shortened it to just "Allies".
- Brienne of Tarth
- Ser Bronn
- Lyanna Mormont - purely a placeholder (we've she's in Season 6)
- House Baratheon - generic link, purely because they are/were another Great House
- Davos Seaworth
- House Arryn
Really just a catch-all for "important" secondary characters that couldn't fit into other lists due to their length limitations (we can only have seven columns with ten entries each).
Lastly, I shoved together "Martells & Greyjoys" into one dropdown menu - they are UNRELATED, this was purely due to space limitations - Greyjoy is only half as long as the rest, while Martell could be plausibly shortened. The goal is to ease your navigation so you can just hover and click a link instead of having to type the name into the search bar.
The tab link is to "House Martell", then it lists Doran, Oberyn, Ellaria, Trystane, and the Sand Snakes (three for one). The remaining five spots are "House Greyjoy", Theon, Yara, Euron, and Aeron Damphair.
Top navbar update: post-Season 6 premiere
.....due to the apparent severe truncation of the Dorne storyline now, I made a second revision:
Originally, column 6 was "Martell & Greyjoy" - two categories that have nothing to do with each other, purely because I wanted to make full use of the potentially 10 level 3 menu links I could make with a dropdown bar.
Meanwhile, having such a long name as "Martell & Greyjoy" left little room to title column 7, which I wanted to call "Allies & Enemies", but instead had to just title as "Allies". "Allies" only had 9 things in it, however, and in the ten slot I glibly listed "Lady Stoneheart" (it linked to the "Season 6" article).
....now that "The Red Woman" has aired, this is the new structure:
- Column 6 is renamed to just "House Greyjoy" - it was incongruent to double them and House Martell up together. The links to Doran, Trystane, Ellaria, and Sand Snakes are removed.
- This makes the title short enough that I could fit "Allies&Enemies" back into the column 7 title, which is a net benefit.
- "Lady Stoneheart" was removed and replaced with a link to "House Martell".
- Column 6 is now just "House Greyjoy", despite the fact that it only has 5 entries, leaving five potential menu slots unused. Will fill them in with Greyjoy vassals if any are mentioned when they return in Season 6, etc.
Now that he's back I wanted to put Sandor Clegane in, but he only fit in "Allies & Enemies" - I had to pick one to remove as a result, and regretfully I took out Gendry to fit Sandor in; he's more important for now.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 15:34, June 26, 2016 (UTC)
Due to the death of Roose Bolton, I have replaced his image with Walder Frey - given that Walder is an equal tier villain and is also set to reappear this season.
Moreover, I have replaced Ellaria Sand with Kevan Lannister, given that he is the current Hand of the King and has appeared prominently in multiple episodes so far.
Not sure who updated it, but there's a pretty big mistake on Slide 2. According to the title, which doesn't even properly fit, it says that "Cersei and her army have left Braavos" so that she can invade Westeros. Then it has a picture of Daenerys and her fleet. None of this is accurate. Daenerys is sailing to Westeros from Meereen, and there's nothing as of yet to indicate that she made some stop at Braavos. Also, the "Read more" button links to Dany, and though this is a much more minor thing, I think it would be a bit more professional to have it link to her full name, Daenerys Targaryen. These things should probably be fixed by an admin whenever one of y'all can get on it, thanks. Reddyredcp (talk) 22:14, October 27, 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. Yeah, that was a glaring mistake.
Hi! Since there's already a Romanian Wiki (http://ro.urzeala-tronurilor.wikia.com), I've wanted to ask if a link could be added to the 'Language' section? Thank you. RomaniaTheVampire (talk) 16:55, November 19, 2016 (UTC)RomaniaTheVampire
Spoilers at the very top of the page
Maybe, when one visits a character page make it so that the categories eg. "Dead" aren't literally the first few words on the page. This seems like a good idea. Masako No.6 (talk) 14:31, June 17, 2017 (UTC)
- Anything from an episode that has already aired around the globe isn't considered a spoiler.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 18:48, June 17, 2017 (UTC)
Big announcement at Season 7 red carpet
In the past I've given a big speech going into the new season. I don't feel like it now.
Season 5 was a gut-punch of an awful season: Sansa rape, Dorne, Stannis, other stuff....and fools have been duped into thinking they "fixed" these problems in Season 6. Only the narrative shifted. They didn't suddenly make Sansa into "a player" - she doesn't do anything...they forgot Sansa in her own revenge storyline. And Dorne wasn't "fixed", they dropped it like nuclear waste...in hilariously incompetent fashion. Jon Snow's big "Battle of the Bastards" was riddled with plotholes.
After Season 6 ended, I actually sat down and watched the Blu-ray commentaries. I can't afford them so I never did. I assumed other people had scrutinized them....but it turns out that anyone who cares enough to scrutinize things stopped watching the show a while ago, such as Westeros.org (I asked, they haven't watched them)....while blind fanatics who still stick with the show to watch "Khaleesi and the dwarf guy" don't scrutinize what they say. They actually stupidly admit to bizarre, crazy things which would have ended their careers.
Basically it all stems from two things:
- 1 - Benioff and Weiss don't say anything in their commentaries. They just praise the cast members for a solid hour. But one key thing slipped: Season 5 finale, they...bluntly admit that the entire reason the Dorne subplot got shoved in at the last minute was as a vanity project to show off Indira Varma in their cast. Nothing about Doran, "Arianne Martell" wasn't removed for time, she was removed because Indira can't play her. And the phrase they use to describe this is "We reconceived the role to make it worthy of the actor's talents". You see, they impulsively shoved in Dorne late into production, AS they were filming the rest of Season 5. It feels rushed and half-finished....because it was rushed and half-finished. In terms of basic, physical production schedules. They were utterly willing to screw over the entire Dorne storyline, force to shoot and an unfilmable UNESCO world heritage site....all as framing...to show off Indira Varma. There is no "TV-Ellaria", it's "Indira Varma chewing the scenery in an Ellaria costume". The dialogue could be muted.
- 2 - Bryan Cogman's full commentary for the Sansa rape episode. Turns out that James Hibberd's report in Entertainment Weekly redacted out key, embarrassing sections to put a good spin on it. You need to listen to it, text cannot convey this: he sounds like one of the SeaWorld employees in that "Black Fish" documentary, with Stepford Wife sing-song tone, saying "We'd never hurt the whales"....and then the same staffers, ten years later, are looking at footage of themselves in disgust and saying "I was in denial. I knew we were harming those animals, I just didn't want to admit it. And I didn't quit because I thought if I did someone worse would take my job.". Cogman infamously describes literally breaking down crying in horror that they threw out Sansa's book storyline and shoehorned her into a rape subplot. But the key point, the logical disconnect, was during the actual rape scene itself, when he says "The critics are wrong, Theon and Sansa are both Strong Players in Season 5".
Think on that last one. We have Sophie Turner at conventions and in magazine interviews parroting "Sansa's narrative agency wasn't destroyed since Season 5, she's not marginalized, she's a big player!"......What does "Player" mean to them? Because they describe Theon, crying helplessly during a rape, as ...."a player".
Putting both together, I realized that Benioff and Weiss think in terms of the actors. This is nothing more than stunt casting their favorite actors into "heavy" scenes. They're just awards-baiting. NOR are they awards-baiting well. This basic pandering is painfully obvious to Emmy voters, most of whom are professional actors.
They turned Dorne into a vanity project for Indira Varma, because they like her. They think she's "powerful" and a "player" when she...emotes "angry".
Similarly....in the ONE interview they talked about it, they actually said "We put Sansa in the Bolton storyline because we wanted her to have powerful scenes with Theon". What does powerful mean? "Powerful" to them means "crying on cue", emoting heavily. Not "acting" (which is nuanced). Because Benioff and Weiss have literally zero prior experience working with professional actors.
This is why the Sansa rape happened: they can't tell the difference between "Sophie Turner", the actress, having a "powerful" performance...and "Sansa Stark", the fictional character, being raped and brutalized. When Benioff ranted about how "Sansa goes from pawn to player in Season 5"...he wasn't lying, he was being honest.
And with growing horror....I looked over my old page on "Characters Significantly Changed Between Books and TV Series" (which I'm rewriting and rebranding)....and realized This is literally why the showrunners ever changed anything in the TV series, from the beginning.
EVERY time they ever changed anything, with sickening consistency, they described it in terms of "We wanted to give that actor more to do". I...I ignored it at the time, I think we all did...because we assumed there must have been some deeper reason than something that flippant. No one in their position could be that shallow. They're just con men who duped Martin into signing over the rights to the TV series - by their own later admission, they didn't even understand the physical production mechanics of making a TV show (camerawork, set construction, casting process, editing, etc.). They were just novelists who moonlighted as movie script-doctors.
- TV-Dorne only exists in Season 5 as a last-minute vanity project for Indira Varma. They "reconceived the role to make it worthy of the actor's talents".
- Merging Sansa into the Bolton rape storyline was purely to give her "big scenes"...pandering her for an Emmy award. Showing off that the actress can cry on cue. Without thought to plot logic. They reconceived the role to make it worthy of the actor's talents.
- Why was Jeyne Westerling changed to Talisa? The first big mystery we had. Well, GRRM stated at a WorldCon interview that her name is different, that cosmetic difference of name, because they changed the character so significantly that it wasn't the same person and he wanted the token dignity of renaming her. What was different about her? Fundamentally, "Jeyne" became a romance storyline, when it isn't a romance in the books. Okay, that's proven, why is it a romance? As they later admitted, post-Season 3, "Robb has more to do in the TV show primarily because we wanted to show off Richard Madden, the actor". You see, Talisa is nothing more than a vanity project to pander Richard Madden as a romantic lead. That he can emote "romantic". They reconceived the role to make it worthy of the actor's talents.
- Why is Cersei acting like a seemingly loving mother? Increasingly in later seasons? Dear god, we have multiple cited quotes on that one. "When we realized Lena Headey can emote motherly, we started writing Cersei that way to show her off". Why does Cersei have a big speech about losing a black-haired son by Robert in episode 2? Really the first big change we noticed? ....Not in-universe reasons, just to show off that Lena Headey can emote "motherly". They reconceived the role to make it worthy of the actor's talents.
- Why does Stannis's storyline end in a black comedy of failure, ending with him giving a great frowning face? Because they think the actor can emote one hell of a great frowning face. They say this in the Blu-ray commentary. Why draw out Shireen's burning so much? Pander the actors' emotive abilities. They reconceived the role to show off the actor's talents.
- Why was the Battle of the Bastards filmed in order, with 70 live horses? Even though the director warned they'd run overtime? And they did, losing the original ending in which - in all probability - the "North Remembers" and the Umbers turn on the Boltons? Vanity project to get Kit Haringon an Emmy award. Benioff says, I mean says, that the live horses framing Jon enhance Kit's performance. Their original script was basically a 20 minute version of that "Oner" shot and unfilmable. And they filmed in order, despite warnings they'd go overtime....to enhance Kit's performance (as the director states in the Blu-ray commentary). So there was no payoff to "the North Remembers" or even the invented Sansa rape. No one remembered anything. It was all on an unfilmable scale...to win Kit Harington an Emmy award. They reconceived the role to show off the actor's talents - wow, Kit can do a great non-verbal brooding face.
- Why does Arya have a nonsensical chase through Braavos? Fundamentally, because it's about the great performance of Maisie Williams. They probably had some abandoned storyline in there, but thought her performance could carry it anyway.
- Why did Shae become a main cast member, credited as main cast member, when Loras Tyrell was not? They just really like the actress. STATED this is why they were doing it, we just didn't want to believe it at the time. How blind we were.
- Why is Daenerys suddenly fireproof to burn the khals....when it seems likely that this is ONE big scene in the next book, of Drogon burning the khals at her command? Well, they really wanted to have TWO big Emilia Clarke speech scenes, so they split it up into two scenes. It's not about "Daenerys, the fictional character" but "Emilia Clarke" the actress. They reconceived the role to make it worthy of the actor's talents.
- Why is Tyrion randomly making "funny jokes" which aren't all that funny? As if their attitude was "point the camera at Peter Dinklage and the jokes just flow out of him?" Because they think Dinklage is good at delivering funny dialogue. They reconceived the role to make it worthy of the actor's talents.
- And they're not just awards baiting. Minor characters who could never be nominated, they've given more screentime to - at the expense of, say, LORAS, Sansa, Dorne - because "we like the actor". Why did Olly become a recurring character? Locke? Myranda? "Wow, we really like the cast member"......Ros...oh, remember when the biggest thing we were worried about was an invented condensation prostitute character? They stated, "We turned Ros into a recurring character because we like the actress". Not because they liked the fictional character they had created. Cited quotes: "We invented more High Sparrow" speech scenes because we like the actor", "We invented a Missandei/Grey Worm romance because we wanted to give the actors more to do". "We really like the actor who plays Davos" etc.
- ....Why do you think they invented so many Catelyn Stark crying scenes? To de-power the fictional character Catelyn? Or to "give the actor something to do"? They thought "Catelyn" was "strong" because "Michelle Fairley" the actress was giving a "strong" performance. I strong crying performance. Because actors can be having a "strong" day on set even if their fictional character is suffering. And they did the same thing to her daughter Sansa on a bigger scale. There IS NO "Sansa Stark" at this point, no fictional character...just shilling Sophie Turner for an Emmy award.
So lining it up in a row....this is why they ever changed anything. They're starstruck by their own cast members.
Did any of you ever pause to think that we could never figure out what Benioff and Weiss were doing...because we were overthinking it? Because we're smarter than them? I didn't. I kept guessing why I MYSELF would change Jeyne Westerling to Talisa, why I MYSELF would write Cersei as more sympathetic.
It's like someone trying to predict Joffrey....by asking what they would do, why they would be doing what he's doing. Why did Joffrey execute Ned Stark? Well, why would I? I guess because I wanted to intimidate the North, but how does that match my strategic plans with the Baratheons? etc. etc. And you waste time puzzling over that. The reality is that Joffrey did it impulsively. He's a creature of impulse. No forward thinking. He's not rational, so trying to guess his rational objectives doesn't work.
"Why did they downplay Robb Stark's failures to portray him positively while making Catelyn look like an ineffective idiot?"....we asked why WE would do that. The reality is....they like the actors. They like Richard Madden giving a "Strong romantic lead" performance, and Michelle Fairley giving a crying performance.
That's the secret to everything.
I very nearly left this wiki and the how when I realized this. I nearly went mad from the realization.
But this is a message of hope: Benioff and Weiss had one trick: duping people into thinking they were making writing decisions we disagreed with. They're actually not making "writing" decisions of any kind, they're just stunt-casting their own actors as vanity projects, because they are awards baiting. Because they are starstruck that actors can cry on cue, emote on cue.
THEY HAD ONE TRICK: it has run it's course. Like how in the books, Roose Bolton warns that Ramsay Bolton had ONE trick: lying. And it has run its course. Ramsay thinks he's cunning because he betrays people. Roose warns that now no one will ever trust him again: the trick has run its course.
Yeah, they were running circles around us and we were tearing our hair out in confusing in Season 5. Now the answer is plain and simple. We won't get fooled by it again. The next time there's a big nonsensical Sansa scene or a big nonsensical Jon Snow fight....we'll know it's just a vanity project for the actors to win awards.
And in the past, I have not been a good administrator. When I started here I was nearly failing out of college and struggling with clinical depression. And then denial and going cold turkey on my anti-depressants because I was struggling to write my thesis paper and I thought it would help me focus. I lashed out at far too many people. I was angry at a show falling beyond our control. I feel ashamed of how bad I yelled at Werthead years ago...I was a ravening beast. I'm just a dragon who dreamt he was a man, and I try not to "wake the dragon" now...for a time. Now I've finished, graduated from university, life more stable now, sticking to the medication....I look back on my Season 4 self in horror. Then there was a death in my family a year ago so I was gone for months, that left me stunned, then I became an uncle. This puts it all in perspective. I want to try to have a future here based on mutual understanding and dialogue....and ruthless death to our enemies. But people who care about plot logic....not just book-fans but TV show viewers who are watching for substance and not spectacle....we need to stick together now. Winter has come and Benioff and Weiss ran the show into the ground. The lone wolf will die: the pack must survive.
And so, Season 7 is upon us...
What are we going to do?
We're going to power through this. It isn't a matter of "fix" - you can't come back from what happened to Dorne or Sansa or the other stuff. Two drunk morons are in charge.
I don't work for Benioff and Weiss. I work for George R.R. Martin, Elio & Linda of Westeros.org, and the wiki - in that order.
So we'll grit our teeth, power through this and report on it, in good humor, to all the fans out there...
...looking forward to confirmed prequel projects led by other people. Maybe one of them will (gasp) have a woman showrunner, and not another drunk 13 year old boy in an adult's body.
We will take our dignity back. This wiki will see another day. Not this show, but this franchise will see another day.
I've made some updates and refinements to the frontpage drop-down navigation boxes:
- Seven Kingdoms - two rows of five, listing the 9 administrative regions of "the Seven Kingdoms" plus a link to Westeros.
- Beyond the Wall
- Beyond Westeros
"Locations" grew over time...the vague idea was to limit it to "locations that have actually appeared on-screen", plus the regional capitals which are so important they can't be ignored. Over time these filled in, as we actually saw Riverrun, etc., and now this season we saw Casterly Rock and Highgarden. The only other ones grandfathered in at this point that haven't appeared in screen are Storm's End and Sunspear. Storm's End has been mentioned in dialogue a couple of times and is important enough. Sunspear has been mentioned in dialogue. As for the five full cities of Westeros, we finally saw a second one on-screen now, Oldtown in addition to King's Landing. For the other three...they've mentioned Lannisport fairly frequently, as they have mentioned White Harbor repeatedly since Season 1 (and in dialogue in Season 7), and we at least saw Manderly in Season 6. Gulltown I threw in for the sake of completion.
The point is, The "Locations" tab grew so long as to be unwieldy, with too many rows and no clear organizational scheme:
So I was inspired by something that the German version of the wiki was doing: the left-most column is composed of the Seven Kingdoms articles ("The North", "The Reach", "the Riverlands", etc.) - and then going right along each row from that, locations seen on camera within that kingdom (plus one or two important exceptions, very specifically Storm's End, Sunspear, Gulltown).
The more important kingdom-rows I put near the top (Crownlands, the North, Riverlands), while the ones I kind of had to struggle to fill in all four slots, are near the bottom (the Iron Islands, the Vale, Dorne). For the Iron Islands and Dorne I thought it would be too much of a cheat to list some other location we're never heard of on-screen, so (again, like the German version) I put links to "relevant" articles to help new casual readers find them ("ironborn" article, "dornishmen" article, are more important to the casual TV viewer than "Harlaw", unfortunately).
So I didn't invent new Navigation tabs, the number remained the same: what I did was I took all the individual things from "Locations" and merged them into the other stuff: thus "Beyond Westeros" used to just include "Slaver's Bay", but is now organized to have a row with "Slaver's Bay" on the left, then as you go right "Meereen", "Yunkai", "Astapor". Not perfect, but fits fairly well (to round out the last row to get all five slots, I just threw in "Ib" for the hell of it, to get an even five).....while the previously only two-row "Seven Kingdoms" tab is basically the new "Locations" tab, most Locations from the show are there, it's 12 rows long....this works pretty well...
The one issue is that The North had to span two rows, the only kingdom to do so, because so many locations have appeared. Thus in the left-hand column I repeated "The North" twice, though in the future I hope to leave it blank, just a blue space like an indented hanging paragraph...so "the North" doesn't appear on the second row. Whatever.
The artwork on the icons needs to be updated to put the Stark herarldy back on "The North", probably Tully heraldry back on the Riverlands, and while we're at it, Targaryen heraldry on the Crownlands...we won't load up that last one just yet, but as we move into the prequel era we'll list each kingdom by "who ruled it at the time of the Conquest when these were established as administrative regions" - what they're iconic for (Tyrell more than Gardener).
The total number of tabs didn't change, the old "Locations" got split between "Seven Kingdoms", and a few "Beyond the Wall" and "Beyond Westeros".
I then deleted the old "Locations" menu...and replaced it with "Free Cities", to list the nine Free Cities (plus a general "Free Cities" link icon to make an even ten icons).
I've reordered this slightly but still need to figure a few out. With 25 slots, some are obvious (the "Big Eight" of the 4 surviving Starks, 3 Lannisters, plus Daenerys). Most of this we figured out already:
- Jon, Bran, Sansa, Arya, Jaime
- Cersei, Tyrion, Daenerys, Varys, Bronn
- Theon, Yara, Euron, Tormund, Sandor
- Missandei, Grey Worm, Davos, Brienne, Gendry
- Samwell, Melisandre, Benjen, Podrick, Littlefinger
I moved the Greyjoys from the fifth one down to the third row - more or less in descending order of importance (so few characters survive that earlier attempts to sort rows by allegiance didn't work).
I put Jaime on the top right of the Starks just...so Cersei would be important starting row 2. Plus this way it's going in descending order of the Big Eight (the other option was to put Samwell on the top row....not sure if that wouldn't be better).
The only ones I'm a little unsure of are on the fifth row (not including Samwell).
Podrick has to go - his story is so much in Brienne's shadow it's not worth it.
As always, the issue is: do we immediately remove major characters who died? Or wait for some time to pass and we're looking ahead to Season 8?
Because before, this wasn't too much of a problem when there weren't enough slots to go around - now we'd be putting in relatively minor characters.
At any rate, "characters who died in Season 7, who readers would plausibly be searching for" include: Olenna, Littlefinger, Benjen.
Melisandre...wasn't as important this season, but is important enough to keep?
Well, the only runners-up who had a big enough recurring presence are: Gilly, Jorah, Tycho, Meera - and also, the Night King and Gregor Clegane.
Well, assuming I swap out Podrik for Olenna, then we decide....
"Samwell, Melisandre...Olenna, Benjen, Littlefinger"
With 6 possible replacements.
Meera wasn't that important recently...and as much as I hate to say it, Gilly always runners-up because she overlaps so much with Samwell.
Screw it, I'm putting Samwell in the top right corner and reshuffling the others down, it's too weird to put Samwell so low.
Yeah that looks good; so now the last row is "Tormund, Melisandre...(Olenna), Benjen, Littlefinger".
I'm going to table the issue until the Season 7 Blu-rays come out this Christmas.
Then we'll remove the three major characters who died in Season 7. Vying for those slots are Gilly, Jorah, Meera, Tycho, Night King, Gregor Clegane.
I'm a little unsure on the last two - we know little about the Night King - but at the same time the Night King and Gregor are major navigational draws. If we go by "characters who have been on the show the longest, who we're invested in", then that actually improves the chances for Gilly and Jorah. Tycho...overlaps with the Cersei storyline and Iron Bank front page link really (not so much "a character).
...crud, I personally lean towards Night King despite myself in terms of importance, similarly Gregor Clegane, and...Jorah is the only starring cast member since Season 1 who doesn't have a frontpage slot now, even if his storyline wasn't as huge. But we're talking "looking ahead to Season 8".
So when the Blu-rays come out this December, I personally lean towards swapping out for Night King, Gregor Clegane, and screw it, Jorah Mormont.
Front page updates, June 2018
The Wikia Fandom higher-ups told me to streamline navigation by putting the Characters portal above the news slider. They did an extensive analysis of what people actually click on:
- "Overall, the most popular section of the main page (as in, the most clicked/interacted with) is the character gallery. We've found this is true across a range of wikis. In terms of Game of Thrones Wiki, the next most interacted section is the episode guide. In total, these two sections account for around 20% of visitor clicks on the main page."
The page now reads, descending: Characters, Latest Episodes, News Slider. As per their suggestion. I think the news slider should go on top, but we'll see what happens.
They pointed out that the most important part of the front page is "The Fold" - like an old Newspaper, most new people read the top "Screen" worth of material, not all the way to the bottom.
Space at the top is now at a premium.
The Characters box is now very large and uses up the entire top Fold, with 5x5 = 25 characters in it. There are three format choices:
- Keep it as it is, devoting most of "The Fold" to the Characters box.
- Cut the Characters infobox down, vertically, from 5x5 to 3x5.
- Make it a collapsible infobox, like the others down the page. That way more of the Episodes and News Slider parts actually get visible on the top of the Fold, alerting new visitors to their existence.
I'm going with the Collapsible idea. It fits more different sub-fields within the Fold.
Oh crud...it turns out that the title-image in the collapsible navigation boxes is "centered" in the part of the box that doesn't have the word "expand" in it...meaning it's actually off'-centered within the page.