Episode 1: Winter Is Coming

Chuck, Molly, Eric and Brendan had a great time at the viewing party Sunday night. Several enthusiastic fans joined us.  One guy came dressed as Jon Snow, with two buddies in "maester" (monk) costumes. Molly, the hostess, was adamant that she finish preparing her taco cup hors d'oerves before the viewing, which meant waiting for the last person to show up who was bringing the chicken breast. So we waited for that to cook and drank and talked for a long time.  We didn't sit down to watch the premiere until like 11:30. Afterwards it was a little late, and we were a little too drunk, to record a proper podcast.   So we reconvened Tuesday night, rewatched the episode and recorded this scintillating discussion.

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  • Chris Voorhees

    Chuck D! Howareya man? Love the discussion…be back for more! I’m a newcomer to Martin, just read the first novel the last couple of weeks…i’m hooked.

    Apr 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm
  • excellency

    Hey Chris! Great to hear from you. Thanks for posting the first comment ever to our blog. And welcome to the wonderful world of GRRM fandom. I’ve been bugging friends to read A Game of Thrones for years and all of a sudden, with a little help from HBO, everyone is doing it. Feel free to share any thoughts you have about the books, the show or the podcast here and we’ll incorporate them into the next discussion.

    Apr 25, 2011 at 11:41 am
  • Chris Voorhees

    I do have a question! I’ve finished the first book and started the second, I’m sure it will become more clear as I go along, but I’m impatient…hence…who are the seven gods? I assume the Septas or Septons are a religious order, and they are the “new” gods? Are the “old” gods basically analogous to pagan deities? What’s with the “faces” in the wood? And is the “lord of the light” the beginning of monotheism? Finally, I keep thinking of the Maesters as monks…but they aren’t a religious order are they? Is there a historical referent for them?

    Apr 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm
  • Chris Voorhees

    ok…you’ll need to check me…I may get confused regarding what I’ve read and what I’ve watched…so my real question is, how do you think they’ll provide information (e.g. regarding the various religions of Westeros) at a pace appropriate for TV when the author introduces this background info at a really slow pace?

    Apr 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm
  • excellency

    Chris, I totally remember being intrigued by the Faith of the Seven and the nature of the Maester’s order after reading the first book. Rest assured you will learn a lot more about both in a gradual but satisfying way. However, if you want answers now, you can cut to the chase by visiting ‘A Wiki of Ice & Fire’ here: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Maesters and here: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Faith_of_the_Seven

    I think the show will treat the background details much the way Martin did. By dropping details for a long time without explanation. You can see Maester Luwin’s chain from the pilot episode, but it probably won’t be explained until a later episode, perhaps in a tutoring session with Bran. Or perhaps attention will be drawn to Grand Maester Pycelle’s grander chain. The nature of the seven is not immediately necessary to go into. But in the pilot Cat and Ned do have a brief exchange in the godswood about a difference between the old gods and the new.

    Apr 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm
  • Chris Voorhees

    Yeah, I remember that conversation…where Ned states that hers is the religion with all the rules. That’s what made me think about the flexibility of paganism vs. the more rigid structure or stratification of organized Christian religions. Just yesterday I got to a chapter in the second book that referenced the Father, the Mother, the Crone, etc. and I was completely confused, so I did break down and seek out a website that provided a synopsis. Thanks for the citations though…I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers…but screw it, its impossible! Cheers.

    Apr 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm
  • Molly

    I find this site pretty helpful for the short and sweet explanations. http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/#!/guide/appendix/

    Apr 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm
  • excellency

    I think it’s neat how almost everyone in Westeros worships the seven, but as magic seems to be seeping back into the world, we start to sense that R’hllor and the Old Gods have some actual power.

    Apr 27, 2011 at 9:57 am