How real historical intrigue inspires Game of Thrones

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The Lancasters always pay their debts. In blood.
The Lancasters always pay their debts. In blood.
Photo: TED-Ed

You know nothin’, Jon Snow. Especially how much more full of shifting alliances and intrigue The Wars of the Roses was than your epic television series is able to show. Game of Thrones superfans may already know that 15th-century England inspired much of the structure of George R. R. Martin’s overarching book series, but having it all laid out — lovely animations and visuals to support the historical information — is our first exposure to that fact.

The short animated video, written by Alex Gendler and animated by Brett Underhill, even illustrates how Game of Thrones matches directly to historical facts with some fun Pop-Up Video-style flourishes. You’ll love it.

What Westeros would look like in Apple Maps

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The Lands of Always Winter look like my backyard. Photo: MongoLife/Etsy
The Lands of Always Winter look like my backyard. Photo: MongoLife/Etsy

Let’s just leave aside the obvious Apple Maps jokes and focus on how cool this Etsy user’s Westeros map is.

It’s the continent where the war, sex and epic political conniving takes place in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, made to look like a modern map you might find on your iPhone or Mac.

How cool is that?

‘Synergy, bitches’: Silicon Valley premieres right after Game of Thrones

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It's getting hot up in here. Photo: HBO
It's getting hot up in here. Photo: HBO

For nerds of all stripe, this Sunday night will be an imploding black hole of greatness, with the Season 5 premiere of Game of Thrones, and, right after that, the Season 2 debut of our favorite tech-themed dramedy, Silicon Valley.

In the delightfully awkward trailer, you’ll see the boys rounding up their VC resources to compete with Google stand-in Hooli, who’s hot on the Pied Piper trail to get their algorithms for data compression to market first.

Get your Apple TV ready, because Sunday is all HBO.

This is the best Game of Thrones recap ever

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Key and Peele GoT

Game of Thrones…is coming. The fifth season takes over your Apple TV this Sunday and we’re all pumped for the latest intrigue, dragons, and deeply menacing looks. Not to mention all the great naked people.

If you’ve missed the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, however, you have two choices.

You can binge watch all 40 hours of HBO’s take on George R.R. Martin’s blood and sex-fest, or you can catch up in two minutes, 49 seconds, with this absolutely hilarious recap from comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.

Sesame Street parody makes Game of Thrones look absolutely adorable

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Get ready for Game of Chairs. Photo: Sesame Street
Get ready for Game of Chairs. Photo: Sesame Street

We can’t wait for Game of Thrones to make its fifth season debut next Sunday filled with all the mystery, violence and betrayal that have cemented the fantasy epic as one of TV’s best shows.

We don’t recommend letting your kids tune into the newest episodes, but Sesame Street gives kids the next best option with a funny parody of the hit HBO show that pits Joffrey, Daenerys, Tyrion and Cersei in a serious Game of Chairs contest. Ned Stark does the officiating without managing to lose his head, and Grover makes a surprise power play at the end that could forever change Westeros.

Watch the full clip below.

Cue the dragons: New Game of Thrones clips hint at war to come

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"Who said anything about him?" Photo: HBO

“I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come,” says spymaster Varys to Tyrion, the Lannister least likely to beat anyone in a duel.

That’s the takeaway line from one of a pair of new clips out today from HBO’s hotly anticipated Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere, which is slated to air April 12.

Isn’t that (and the newly announced cable-free HBO Now) why you all got a new Apple TV? I know I did.

Minecrafters aim to re-create Westeros in its entirety

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Two years, over half a continent, and thousands of people. Photo: WesterosCraft Gif by Buster Hein
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 will use Game of Thrones to break cable’s iron grip

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hbo-gameofthrones

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.

Meet House Forrester in new Game of Thrones video game

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Pretty good likeness, don't you think? Photo: Telltale Games
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.

9 great TV shows to binge-watch this holiday weekend

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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.Photo: HBO

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.

Photo: HBO


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