A quick reminder that the proper name of the book series is A Song of Ice and Fire.
Winter Is Coming. In April.
Here’s the first teaser for the return of Game of Thrones. It’s a montage of some of the countless highpoints from the first seven seasons, with no hints of what’s to come in the final episodes.
Many of the scenes from Game of Thrones are shot in Northern Ireland, where rabid fans try to anticipate the show’s upcoming storylines by charting the arrival of cast members in Belfast. (“Saw Kit Harington at St. George’s Market. That means Jon Snow is still alive!”) That has not gone unnoticed by Tourism Ireland, which has made a major effort to attract tourists in search of a taste of Westeros.
Tourism Ireland, in collaboration with HBO, has commissioned the Game of Thrones Tapestry, inspired, of course, by the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the Norman conquest. In the new, Irish version, each panel of the tapestry captures one scene from one episode of Game of Thrones. The tapestry is already 66 meters (217 feet) long. When it’s finished in 2019, after panels have been added for the episodes of GoT‘s final season, it will be longer than its prototype, at 77 meters (253 feet).
Until recently, the tapestry was on exhibition at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. It has been temporarily removed, but will be back on view when the most popular series in the world returns to HBO in April 2019.
Meanwhile, you can view the entire (so far) tapestry at this beautifully designed website.
On the left, the scene in “The Ghost of Harrenhal” (S02E05) in which Catelyn and Brienne of Tarth witness Renly Baratheon’s murder at the hands of his brother Stannis’s shadowy assassin.
On the right, from “The Old Gods and the New” (S02E06), King Joffrey incites a riot at King’s Landing, in which he and Sansa are nearly killed.
A Sample from That Other Tapestry
This video is from a classic 1999 experiment by the American psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris.
I’m not a Gamer. I don’t own a PlayStation or an Xbox. But when I see something like this 8½-minute trailer for an upcoming game called Death Stranding, it makes me wonder what I’ve been missing.
No firm release date as yet, but it’s supposed to come out sometime this year.
Watching this reminded me that we’ve come a very long way from Pacman. And that reminded me of Marcus Brigstocke’s wonderful defense of video games against the charge that they’re a bad influence on children:
Ready Player One opens at the end of this month, and this video was posted as “The Final Trailer”. It seems to be a fusion of two trailers, and it doesn’t appear to be an official Warner Brothers release, but it has some exciting content.
Maybe it’s just because I’m giddy about the return of the Thin White Duke these days, but doesn’t the Parzival avatar look Bowie-esque?
Here’s what I wrote after the first trailer was screened at Comic-Con last summer.
And here’s yet another trailer, this one titled “Official Trailer #5”, aka “The Clark Kent Trailer”:
What took them so long?
Hasbro has announced a new version of Monopoly: The Cheaters Edition. In this one, players aren’t merely allowed to steal from the bank and “accidentally” mis-count the number of moves determined by dice rolls, they’re encouraged. Hasbro claims that nearly half of game players attempt to cheat during Monopoly anyway, so there should be a healthy market for the cheaters edition.
If you get away with cheating, you’ll get a reward, but if you get caught, you’ll wind up in jail, handcuffed to the Monopoly board. (See picture above.) This version introduces 15 “cheat cards” describing possible cheats, along with the rewards for success and the punishments for failure.
I’m probably naïve, but I don’t remember a lot of cheating on games like Monopoly and Risk when I was young. About the closest my family came to deceptive practices was when someone would hide the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle, for the honour of making that last placement. That strategy gradually escalated until so many pieces had been hidden by so many people that the puzzles were never finished.
Monopoly: The Cheaters Edition will cost $19.99 and is scheduled to be released this Fall, in plenty of time for Christmas.