Two years, over half a continent, and thousands of people. Photo: WesterosCraft
If you’ve ever wanted to stroll through the streets of King’s Landing, gaze up at the icy Wall, or thrill to the giant statues of Dragonstone, now’s your chance.
Thousands of dedicated Minecraft players have set their minds to re-creating not just one or two cities from Game of Thrones but rather the entire continent of Westeros, the fictional world created by George R.R. Martin and given visual life by the folks at HBO.
They’ve completed about 60 percent of the continent so far, with no signs of stopping. The map itself is massive, with a relative size of 500 square miles, or roughly the size of Los Angeles.
Check out this overview video, narrated by actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays young Bran in the HBO show.
HBO is planning to launch a new standalone streaming service in 2015, and if you’re like me and can’t wait to watch the latest chapter in Khaleesi’s quest to become take back the iron throne, you’ll be happier than Hodor on Maiden’s Day to hear the a la carte service could land just in time for the Game of Thrones season 5 premiere.
The new HBO streaming service will offer viewers access to HBO’s entire catalog of shows, movies, documentaries and live programming without need a cable subscription, for the first time ever. There’s no word yet on pricing, but its expected to be a cord-cutter’s dream, giving Apple TV users more premium content to watch on demand.
Fortune reports development of the technology underpinning HBO’s streaming service has been rife with conflict. Rather than using in-house technology built by its new CTO, HBO struck a deal with MLB Advanced to use their white-label streaming technology. A special project codenamed “Maui” was recently killed off by HBO, after executives determined a third-party could help them offer a stand alone service faster.
Pretty good likeness, don’t you think? Photo: Telltale Games
In George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, anyone can play the Game of Thrones, including little-known House Forrester.
Telltale Games, the house behind video gaming hits like The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead, have brought this more obscure Westeros family to the forefront of a brand-new game set in Martin’s Game of Thrones universe, and it looks delightfully dramatic.
Check out the trailer below, which includes some fine voicework from Natalie Dormer and Peter Dinklage as their respective characters from the show, wily Margaery Tyrell and diminutive Tyrion Lannister.
Whether or not you were lucky enough to get Friday off, the holiday weekend following Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to play couch commando with some catch-up TV. But what to watch? With 2014 being a great year for television, the choice can be a bit overwhelming.
But have no fear! Scroll through the gallery for Cult of Mac’s 9 must-watch TV shows to gorge yourself on this weekend. Just remember to get up and take a walk every hour or so.
The Leftovers starts with one of the most intriguing high concept ideas for a show since Lost: What would happen if 2 percent of the world’s population — roughly 140 million people — suddenly disappeared without explanation?
Taking place three years after this so-called "Sudden Departure,” The Leftovers has just completed its first season, and been consistently watchable since the beginning. With strong characters and a compelling premise, I can’t recommend this show highly enough.
In a world that has experienced Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight series, and with Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman on the way, it would be fair to ask why we need to see Gotham City make yet another screen appearance. The twist with Gotham, of course, is that this is a world before Batman, in which Bruce Wayne’s parents have just been shot, and the Rogues' Gallery we know and love are still becoming the characters we will know them as.
Gotham is uneven in places, but it’s also got gems of brilliance that make you realize how great this show could become. Speaking personally, I’m a huge Batman fan, but also one that’s incredibly picky about comic book adaptations. And I’m certainly watching Gotham.
Quite simply, The Walking Dead is a phenomenon. Now in its fifth season, the show’s premise — about a ragtag group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world filled by flesh-eating zombies — isn’t showing any sign of slowing down.
And with the show’s producer claiming they still have enough ideas to fill seven more seasons? It’s not going away anytime soon.
The year’s breakout hit, True Detective should be required watching for most everyone. The show tells the story of two Louisiana State Police homicide detectives as they hunt for a serial killer across seventeen years.
While that may sound like something you’ve seen before, not only does True Detective excel as a crime drama, it also incorporates supernatural horror themes: making this the perfect blend of, say, Zodiac and H.P. Lovecraft. And did I mention the superb Matthew McConaughey performance?
The show that made Benedict Cumberbatch an A-lister, Sherlock is a terrific BBC crime show now having completed three seasons. Adapting the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories, but placing them in modern day London, the show plays out in 90-minute mysteries that work both as self-contained dramas, and The Odd Couple-style comedy.
It’s both brilliant and — at only 9 episodes — not too difficult to catch up on. Start it today and you’ll be finished by Monday!
On paper, making a TV show about Hannibal the Cannibal which didn’t feature Sir Anthony Hopkins seemed the worst idea this side of inviting Dr. Lecter to cater for your dinner party. In practice, Hannibal has turned out to be a triumph: with lead actor Mads Mikkelsen delivering a portrayal of the cannibalistic doc that arguably surpasses his iconic predecessor.
As great as the movies Silence of the Lambs and Manhunter are, none of the other adaptations of Thomas Harris’ novels have been particularly great. Hannibal shows us how much life exists in this franchise.
Given the complexity of its interweaving storylines and family ties, honestly the only way to watch HBO’s superlative fantasy drama series Game of Thrones if you’ve not seen it before is starting back at episode one. From there, you’ll literally have no choice but to plough through it in a giant butt-numbing marathon.
With four seasons having aired so far, and two more already ordered, you might be hard-pressed to make it through the whole thing before work starts again on Monday, but once you start you’ll definitely give it your best shot.
Thanks to a money-hungry decision to split the final season, a la Breaking Bad, the last episodes of Mad Men won’t air until next year. On the plus side, that means this is the perfect time to play catch-up before the world goes Don Draper crazy one last time.
If for some incredible reason you’ve never seen Mad Men before (and how I envy you if that’s the case), the show follows the lives of a few Madison Avenue ad men and women during the 1950s and '60s. We’ve now reached the point of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and things are set for a grand finale.
There have been geek comedies I’ve absolutely hated (The Big Bang Theory springs to mind) but Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley hit the mark perfectly. Following the trials and tribulations of a tech startup and its oddball assortment of founders and employees, Silicon Valley skewers a scene that will be immediately recognizable to anyone who has spent time in San Francisco.
Claiming that this could wind up being HBO’s best ever comedy sounds like it’s overdoing it, but in my view Silicon Valley has all the ingredients to become a genuine classic.
Like Flappy Bird, no one is really sure why Yo became so popular suddenly. The simple app only lets you send the word “Yo” to friends, and yet it received $1 million in funding and peaked at No. 3 on the App Store charts.
Fans of the hit TV show Game of Thrones on HBO should check out a better alternative to Yo called “Yo, Hodor.” Why? Because Hodor.
If you’ve already heard enough about Swift, and are looking for another language to sink your learning-teeth into, how about taking up Dothraki?
The fictitious Game of Thrones language — as spoken by the late badass Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen — is the basis of a forthcoming iOS app, and accompanying book, CD, and online learning course, set to arrive later this year. Costing $3.99, the app is described as “your Dothraki learning experience to go” and features 15 thematic flashcard decks with more than 200 Dothraki vocabulary words, a conversational dialogue, a pronunciation guide, a simplified grammar summary, and interactive games testing your vocabulary knowledge.
The proper iOS Game of Throneswas a bit rubbish, with a whole lot of sitting and waiting around unless you were happy to shell out money for in-app purchases. Fortunately the good folks over at Vulture have created a free-to-play game, which is a whole lot more fun.
You play the “Littlest Lannister” Tyrion Lannister, and the aim is to get as drunk as you can in a great approximation of an old-school arcade game. As games go, it’s a whole lot simpler than capturing the Iron Throne. You guide Tyrion back and forth across the screen using the arrow keys of your computer (or virtual controls for your iOS device) to catch as many goblets of wine as you can.
This portable Pippin design is just one of the faux Apple products in Mike Donovan’s portfolio of retro reveries. Images: Mike Donovan
Imagine a world in which an Apple portable called Pippin rules the video game industry. Nintendo and Sony are nothing more than petrified corpses after a surprise attack from Cupertino vaporizes their platforms with a portable device so simple, so magical, that Michael Spindler would have let John Sculley waterboard him with Pepsi to make it a reality.
That’s the world imagined by Mike Donovan, a New York City designer who draws faux prototypes of everything from retro iPads to iPhones based on the iMac G3. His retrotastic mockup of the gaming gadget that never was, which he shared exclusively with Cult of Mac, takes the concept of Apple’s failed Pippin video game platform to its logical, period-appropriate extension.
“We’re inundated with new tech choices at almost every turn but there is something so alluring about the fun and simplicity of those early ’80s and ’90s gadgets,” Donovan told Cult of Mac. “Plus, who doesn’t love a good throwback?”
This video by game video YouTube user NicksplosionFX is perhaps the most awesome thing you’re going to see all day.
It’s a shot by shot recreation of the stunningly fantastic Game of Thrones television show introduction sequence done in the style of Nintendo’s classic Super Mario Brothers video game.
Whether your a Game of Thrones fan, a classic Nintendo nerd, or a combination of the two, you’ll love that the video maker also has a side by side comparison of the two videos (below) so you can critique his recreation with all your righteous nerd fervor.