Happy birthday, Watchers on the Wall!

Today’s the big day – Watchers on the Wall turns a whopping one-year-old!

To celebrate the occasion, I’ve asked each of the Watchers to share her favorite memory from the past 12 months, or, conversely, what stands out the most to him about being a crow. The answers I’ve received are sometimes funny, sometimes heartfelt, and always nostalgic – perhaps not the most thematically appropriate to Game of Thrones, with its murderous rampages at each and every family-friendly gathering and all, but a wonderful trip down memory lane nonetheless.

Birthday is coming

Renew your vows with us, and then be sure to share your own favorite stories from the past topsy-turvy year in the comments below.

Hodor!

Bex
Bex:

I remember from that time the hard work of Sue and Oz to get the bare bones of the site up with the generous input of the other original members – the many grueling hours and long emails between the “Fantastic Four” and my grateful and lucky self to be a part of this transition to something wholly new.

Sue is the mother and the incredible leader of this site, so getting her email to participate was a no-brainer. I felt an honor to be included in this adventure.

I remember this time because the official launch of the site was the final day of a painful professional/personal experience for me, and it was so exciting to see the development of Watchers on the Wall before we social-media-blitzed it and opened it to the public. It was a new beginning, and I’m grateful to be a part of it, as well as grateful for all the time along the way.

Even if I have not been as involved as intended because of personal and professional reasons, I have always wished the very best for the site and its amazing and meteoric rise. Watchers on the Wall is a phenomenon in its truest form, and I will always recall the weeks – and the breath-held moments – before its birth. The meticulous care and many, many emails it was given speak to a commitment of quality, I think, readers can recognize.

Marko

Hear Marko Roar:

Rather than having a single favourite story, I would like to list a couple of memories, many of which are milestone markers of sorts.

In the very beginning, I thought it very important to stick together in order not to split the community – and I was very happy (and still am) that we succeeded. One of the big days was when we were able to announce that Game of Owns had made the move and become officially affiliated with WOTW. Another big step was having George R.R. Martin giving the site a shout-out on his Not a Blog – first in the comments, and later in several of the posts themselves. And, most importantly, we have established Watchers as the prime source of reliable Game of Thrones information with a thriving fan community of commenters and followers over the past year. Thank you, guys!

Birthday bastard

When we broke the news on the big batch of new season six roles in May, it was lovely to watch our traffic go up as numerous other sites acknowledged our efforts. It’s only appropriate that a very similar thing happened once more this week, on the occasion of our anniversary, with our posting of Kit Harington sightings.

Oh, and lest I forget: there was that placeholder post full of kittens we had up in the days before the launch, of course! Who needs direwolves when there are cats around?

I am sure others will add several more memories that I haven’t mentioned but which I am happy we all have in common.

Sue

Sue the Fury:

When we set to create a new site on our own terms, no one could be sure it would be a success. We’d be shouting into a void if our readers and commenters stayed behind, and the true strength of our old home was always its community. The posts are satisfying to write, sure, but they serve as a jumping off point for discussion and debate, and that’s where the fun starts.

That’s why I was so happy when people made their way over to WOTW, and we got off to a busy start with Comic Con ’14 and season five filming. Getting to share the exhilaration of the season five casting announcements with everyone was such a relief! That was when WOTW really became home.

I’m incredibly grateful for my fellow rebels, and the new people who joined the Watchers on the Wall crew over the last year.

Axechucker

Axechucker:

For me, it was just about making a new home for us.

It was more than a little strange, after WIC had been bought out, to suddenly get various mandates regarding content, post titling, daily output, etc. I know a few of us kind of looked at each other and said, “They know we don’t get paid for this, right?” Because almost overnight it felt like we were being treated like employees at a newly purchased conglomerate.

GOT birthday card

I understand business, and, in essence, that’s what it was (and probably still is over there); Phil, a creative mind, ceded control to a corporation where the bottom line was the bottom line. Like, as a businessperson, why wouldn’t you hope to keep the people who had worked for free and helped make the site a profitable one at the same nonexistent pay rate? That’s, like, a no-brainer. (I mean, aside from basic human morality.)

And people like to say “Well, it isn’t about the money,” when, in fact, it usually is very much about the money. But in our case, it really wasn’t, because once things started falling apart, I know for a fact many of us were ultimately offered compensation – and more than most sites pay out to their base writing core – in order to try and keep that listing ship afloat.

But, ultimately, for us it was about having the freedom to do the thing we loved doing – and doing it the way we wanted. Me, personally, I don’t like writing a lot of stuff in the off-season. I like revving my engines once the season kicks off and then hibernating like a bear for nine months when it’s done. Watchers on the Wall gives me the freedom to do just that.

Jaqen waiting

And I’m pleased to say we have truly found a home. The writers I held most dear (Marko, Sue, Bex) followed me to Oz’s brave beck and call, and we were able to add to the stable some truly talented people; Nate and Geoffery were fantastic gets, and Dame Tina, who knows more about modern computing than any Gen-Xer has any right to really know. Marc-freaking-Kleinhenz, one of Tower of the Hand‘s old mainstays, who I have long admired… not to mention Cian, who was a long-time quiet contributor, finally able to fully flex his considerable talent here with us.

And then to bring in Zack and Game of Owns was, like, the cherry on top. (We were sweating that for a while, since Zack was essentially put in charge of WIC once the bulk of us left… but Sue rightly predicted that FanSided would drive him away with their various weird demands, and that, too, came to pass.)

And the best part? The fandom followed. You all have no idea how tickled I am when any of the old-school WIC names pop up, as they regularly do, in any post’s comments. It’s really like settling back in to a comfy chair and having a fondly-worded, agreeable conversation with people you really enjoy talking to – and all about a show you all really love.

(What? That sometimes happens.)

So, here’s to another year, and then another… and then maybe an HBO-fueled Targaryen invasion spinoff prequel. What say you?

Nate

Nate:

When I first joined the Wall, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d find there. A three-eyed raven? White Walkers? The Ice Dragon?

No, instead I found community, a family amongst my fellow Watchers, and friends amongst our faithful users. That, I’ve discovered, is the heart and soul of Watchers on the Wall, and what makes this site so unique.

Direwolf cake

It is a privilege and an honor to be a part of such a talented group of people sharing the same passion and dedication for the source material.

Simply put: I love it here. These people truly are my brothers (and sisters), and I’m glad to have taken the Oath.

Thank you for being so welcoming to me, and happy birthday, Watchers!

Petra

Petra:

As a newcomer, I can only speak of my experiences as a Watchers on the Wall reader. I graduated college this spring and didn’t have access to HBO on campus. So, from April to May, I kept up to date on season five through WOTW, indulging in snippets of “spoilery” material like they were super-rich maple candies I could only eat one at a time.

Geoffery

Geoffery:

It’s been an amazing first year for WOTW. For me, watching the site develop from the very beginning, lurking around in the comments section to becoming a member of the posting community and, finally, as a site-writer has just been fantastic. I am thrilled to be part of such a wonderful online space and proud to have seen it develop in the way it has, with the freedom for us to express our love and knowledge of the Thrones universe in our own way.

But if I had to single out one particular memory from my time here, it would have to be when we were able to announce that casting had begun for season six. Having access to exclusive Thrones news – especially Greyjoy-themed news – before anywhere else had announced it was just the biggest thrill for me. Getting a couple of mentions on GRRM’s Not a Blog was also brilliant.

All in all, I’m just happy to be along for the WOTW ride. I shall raise a glass of Arbor Gold (it’s not poisoned – I double-checked) in the hope our next year will be just as fabulous!

Dame Pasty

Dame Pasty:

Having been a reader and frequent commenter at the old site, I was thrilled to join Watchers a month or two after the move. My initial intentions were to primarily be a “techy” and let the core group of writers do that thang that they do so well. But, over time, I started contributing to the content, as well, and that has been surprisingly rewarding.

I have two favorite moments, really. The first is when I posted my first “brush-up” video and no one sent me a dirty bomb in response. It really motivated me to continue posting. And the second is really a silly fangirl kind of thing, but here it is: it was when GRRM finally acknowledged our site in a Not a Blog post after I bombarded him with a request for said linkage through his publisher, his Facebook page, and his Not a Blog site. Who knew sending several copies of the same annoying email would grab his attention!?

Those are just of my two favs, but the whole experience has been great not only because of our enthusiastic and dedicated readers, but also because my fellow Watchers are a bunch of incredibly smart, funny, and insightful people who I am privileged to have met.

Game of Thrones beer

Now, let’s get this party started. Who brought the beer?

Cian

Cian:

Shortly before I joined the Watchers crew, I emailed the “other site” to request writing for them. Admittedly, I had not been frequenting the site as much as I had in previous years, and, as such, was completely unaware of the drastic changes that had occurred. I received no response or acknowledgment, which I am now thankful for. In fact, I only became aware of what had happened via Twitter, as it was happening. WotW was born, and I asked Axey on Twitter how I could go about hopping on board. He directed me to Sue, and soon after I became a Watcher. I am so grateful to our mutineers for allowing me into their ranks so early in the game. To be honest, that in itself is one of my most memorable moments.

Before joining the site, I had little to no experience in sourcing and citing news and stories. As such, the first news post I wrote back when we found out about Jaime and Bronn on the beach was terrifying. With the help of the fine folk at this site, however, it has since become second nature.

Another memorable occasion was being allowed to write a few Curtain Calls for season five. As far as I was concerned, that was sacred ground, and I couldn’t hope to match the finesse and heartfelt grace of Axey’s writing. The ones I wrote seem to have been well-received, though, and that’s all I can ask for. I’m just delighted I was even considered.

A year and 80 posts later, I’m still loving it. These last few years before the show ends will be bittersweet, and we’ll never have them again. I can’t wait to share them with all the great fans who continue to show their support for the site.

Oz of Thrones

Oz of Thrones:

It’s incredibly hard to pinpoint one favorite memory/story after what has been endured over the past 365 days. The creation of the site was instituted on the belief in a community and the resulting camaraderie of the supporters of the bottom. And the dissension at the old apartment was about to sever an important portion of the fandom as we knew it, forever.

The Wall was a leap of faith. But it was also built with a “nothing to lose” mentality. Worst case scenario was that nobody read it, and, as a result, we would all ride off into the sunset carrying a good story with a tragic ending to brag about to the grandkids one day… similar to Game of Thrones, I suppose.

But the biggest question was, would the community support and help us build the internet’s version of ice and rock?

Festivities

I’ve always been a (somewhat naive) believer that if you do the right thing for the right reasons, good things will eventually come to you. I also believe in quality over quantity. And while those values don’t necessarily translate to monetary gain, at least I sleep good at night. It was never about money or benefits or the goddamn t-shirt Phil was supposed to send me. It was about holding together a group of intelligent readers and writers who shared a common devotion to a work of art and making sure that the gate was always open to anyone who was interested in Taking the Black with us.

The results speak on their own. I get to work with one of the best teams I have ever been associated with and provide content regarding a show that should go down as a groundbreaker in television history. Oh, and that phone call from Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn) and the resulting friendship is pretty sweet, too.

But most rewarding is that we created a successful community… and you can’t put a price tag on that.

130 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. thank you all for your creativity, your insights.. AND your news. Enjoy OUR celebration of your site.
      Winter may be coming – but Watchers on the Wall is the place to be…..

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    2. I pledge my fealty to WotW every time that I visit the site – thanks so much and congrats on one year of being the best place to land for GoT news and discussion!

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    3. Happy 1st Birthday Watchers! I remeber the time last year… it was all really exciting when I found the new place here and made my first posts. I had been a long time lurker at Old Wyk and was following the sad downfall there. I’m so glad you all followed your hearts and created this awesome place here.

      To another exciting year!

      ps. I’m still waiting for my door prize 🙂

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    4. It is truly a quality source to go to for all things GOT and GOT fan community, free of the unwanted side-effects of Internet ‘journalism’.

      Thank you and happy birthday! Never stop playing!

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    5. Happy Birthday, WotW! Which of you took smash cake pictures? I am happy to see that this site grew & evolved in the way that it did. For myself & this community, but specifically for you guys & the leap of faith it took to start anew. Not easy.

      “These last few years before the show ends will be bittersweet, and we’ll never have them again.” Noooooo. Shut your mouth. I can’t heeeeeear you!

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    6. You must be exceptionally nice people. That you are exceptionally talented and amazingly dedicated goes without saying. Glad that I had the gumption to find out what happened when my favorite writers (Oz, in particular) stopped appearing at the other place and I found them here.

      This article answered a bunch of questions about what went down to make this site possible, how instrumental each of you were to its success (and also why there hasn’t been much of Axey since season-end. Glad to know you will be back when the season starts up again, Axe. )

      ’tis a worthy celebration, this is. Happy Name Day!

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    7. Happy birthday! Thanks to all of you who made this possible and keep up with the good news!
      Ps: season 6 filming leaks are coming

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    8. Happy Name Day WoTW!

      We’re all so grateful for all your hard work and scoops. Thanks for making this a safe, exciting and positive place where we all can obsess over our favorite series!

      Looking forward to the next seasons.

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    9. Oh, yeah, and finally, an explanation about Oz’s devotion to crazy Lysa! No wonder – she called you, did she? Now that’s cool.

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    10. Happy Birthday Watchers!

      The amount of work and love you put into this site and this community is fantastic and I sure hope this is the first of many birthdays.
      A year in, I can barely remember the old place. Everything here is like it was, or even better (such as the theme, very discreet, nice to look at at work ^^ and the “Always Support the Bottom” button).

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    11. Sparkle:
      Happy Birthday to my favorite site that feeds my addiction. Coffee and WotW are my favorite vices.

      Indeed. Before WotW, I had to get my GoT news from seedy characters in dark alleys on the bad side of town. It came in tiny plastic bags and I could never be sure if it was clean or not.

      Now, thanks to this site, I am able to manage my addiction and become a functioning member of society.

      THANKS “WATCHERS ON THE WALL”!

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    12. Congratulations on your fantastic first year, and here’s to an even better second one. You all deserve so much praise for this site, and I thank you so much for it.

      Personally I think the biggest sign of how well you guys have done is how the site has grown and attracted new regular visitors. Many of these people probably don’t have a clue what went on before, so the fact that they choose to visit here regularly shows what a great job you are doing. WiC has a greater ability to pull people, because of the Fansided brand and the respect the site had created due to you and Winter Phil. I’m sure a lot of new people have a look round other GoT sites, and the fact that they stay here should be noted.

      Good Luck for the next year and beyond. Everytime I see a new post I’m kind of excited, and it’s great to hear news/opinions/speculation. Of course, it’s also worth congratulating all the people who comment here, particularly the ‘regulars’ (I don’t want to name names in case I forget someone, so if you think you are one of these people, well done! ). It’s great to read friendly discussion and speculation that is intelligent and well thought out. Although I do tire of the moaning that goes on some of the time, I don’t mind if the argument is well constructed, and comes from a person who clearly cares about the series. There’s only one person whose posts I skip, because everyone who comments regularly make salient and interesting points. The comments are a perfect compliment to the articles and add to the community. Even those who don’t comment or only occasionally comment are still very much part of the community, because they have helped to grow this site in some way.

      That is what is great about this site. It’s not about money or ego, it’s about love and passion for both the series and the community. It’s both why trolls never really prosper and why the site has grown; because deep down everyone can clearly see that there are no ulterior motives here. It is the perfect example of a great fan site, and is one every GoT fan should visit.

      Well Done again, and best of luck in the future. ????

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    13. Happy birthday, watchers on the wall!

      I still remember, like it was yesterday, when I read coincidentally something about the upcoming new site in Axechuckers twitter-feed. Time flies!

      Keep up the good work, guys! And enjoy yourself some drinks, as long as they are not GoT-related cocktails, that have nothing to with GoT. 😀

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    14. Love this site, and I hope it will continue on after the show is done. After all, we’ll have years of waiting for books and plenty to speculate on!

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    15. Thanks for creating and nurturing this site.

      I was thrilled to see the amount of exposure that WOTW received on “mainstream news” sites about Kit and his man bun in Belfast.

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    16. Happy 1st Birthday, WotW!

      I used to visit the old site during the season but mostly stay away during the off-season (though I do recall The thread and meltdown when Pedro Pascal was cast as Oberyn! 😀 ) One day I went there after a long absence and felt bewildered and lost at what the site had become. As a reader, my fondest memory of the last year was the day I first discovered this site and realized that all you fine folk had moved to a brand-new home! Thank you for creating a wonderful GoT site!

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    17. Happy Birthday WotW! Lol Axey doesn’t like to write in the off-season. That made me laugh.

      I had complete faith. Knew you’d all pull it off. I’m very proud of you who founded it this site. That you’ve decided to try. And proud of the fans that they followed the trail home. Just like I KNEW they would. It’s a big ass WALL. Hard to miss it. 🙂

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    18. I was a dedicated lurker at the old place (here to for the most part), but I remember when it got bought out and drink videos started getting posted. I was happy to see the core group find a new place on the web for those of us who like their GoT’s news without corporate influence. Many happy Namedays for WotW! Valar Morghulis!

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    19. Kay: I used to visit the old site during the season but mostly stay away during the off-season (though I do recall The thread and meltdown when Pedro Pascal was cast as Oberyn! )

      I know this is a little off-topic but why would there have been a melt-down over casting Pedro? He was great in that part! Who melted- the site-runners or the posters?

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    20. Jeb, “I’m sure a lot of new people have a look round other GoT sites, and the fact that they stay here should be noted.”

      Exactly!!!!

      Happy Birthday WotW, keep the great work going. You have filled the void of the wait between seasons 5 & 6 for me. Thank you!!!!!

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    21. What a lovely day, what a lovely day! Well done guys and congratulations for your first year! It’s been awesome!

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    22. Here is to many more years, guys! – What? 10 seasons and a movie, right?

      Probably like it is the case for many long time posters here (and “there”), my best moment was when it all started. When I came to WotW, I wasn’t sure how it would be here after all these years on the other site. Would the old folks be there? Would newer people come over as well? – Or would the whole thing just be dead from the start?
      I asked myself these questions for no reason. As soon as I got here it was like coming home, the only thing that had changed was that my GoT home was in another place now. – Home is were the heart is (so your real home’s in your chest).

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    23. I remember testing phase with the kitten post (I found the site via google before it had officially launched).

      I officially hate this site as it constantly enables and feeds my Game of Thrones addiction. Maybe, I could stay clean without you criminals. Just kidding, I love the work you are doing and I would probably just search for another website/fandom to waste my time.

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    24. This is a nice site. As an older fan (both senses of the phrase!), I’ve found it fun to be writing about SoI&F again after so many (many!) years!

      (The fandom without “Robbettes” and “Dayneites” still is a little weird to me….)

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    25. Happy Birthay to WotW !! You guys and girls do an excellent job with the place – especially for people like me that need our fix on GoT/SOI&F news.

      I wasn’t here when you guys started up but I’ve seen the unfortunate result when a creative fueled site undergoes a corporate buyout. Television Without Pity was one of my favorite sites back a while ago and it was sad to see what happened with it when the corporate move drove out the creative talent. I’m glad you guys had the dedication and love of subject to find a place for the creative talent you have to flourish.

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    26. Happy birthday to the best GoT website in the whole universe. It has been a great first year; here’s to many many more to come! I truly love you, guys!

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    27. I came over here from WiC largely because I couldn’t stand the show bashing over there. I needed a community to discuss the show I loved, but wasn’t sure what I’d find here. Despite a few show hating trolls (you know who you are) I generally find the community here to be more welcoming, thoughtful and informed, people who find interesting things to say about both book and show, and how they intersect and diverge and what it might mean in the larger context. And on more than one occasion, its a good show to discuss and gossip about the story we all love, and the people involved with the daily grind of bringing it to our screens and pages. Happy Name Day!

      Lemon cakes for everyone!

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    28. Shane Snow:
      Happy name day! Serious question tho, when the show is over does this site no longer be open?

      They’ll probably switch to more book content, and maybe if HBO (or someone else) does a Westeros spin off.

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    29. Happy Name Day!

      I’ve been a lurker and sporadic poster going all the way back to the announcement by HBO that the Game of Thrones pilot had been picked up and I found WiC via a google search. It pleased me greatly to see the heart of WiC was able to be saved and transplanted to a new body. And dare I say, even better than the original incarnation.

      Here’s to another great year of GoT coverage, and may the bottom always be supported!

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    30. Quite possibly my favorite article y’all have done! Such positive emotions. <3

      Happy Name Day to the King in the News.

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    31. I never went to the “other” place. In fact, I think I found this site through Sue’s tumblr which I found through Bex’s tumblr. This site is an excellent place for news, squabbles and lols, everything I look for in an online community. Plus, I won house sigil magnets! Thanks to you all for your hard work on behalf of all of us who love these books and this show. I love that you’ve made this (for me anyway) more fun during the off-season than during the season. Cheers!

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    32. Winteriscoming.net is much better. Here the writers and the users are just tv show’s blind fanboys . Also the content is pretty limited.

      Wic.net>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>watcheronthewall.com

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    33. BOo:
      Winteriscoming.net is much better. Here the writers and the users are just blind fanboys of GOT. Also the content is pretty limited.

      Wic.net>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>watcheronthewall.com

      And they have Tybees bewbs. +2

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    34. Cian:
      Rygar,

      Thanks for the kind words!
      However, Phil had nothing to do with it, and everyone is still on good terms.

      Edit: Marko beat me to it.

      In all honesty, I am truly happy he put family first and made the decision to leave. Selfishly I miss his contributions and his love/insight of this series. If it wasnt for him, we all wouldnt be here so please send him our thanks and regards.

      Edit: Not the Lannister way either. More like the Ros way. His next romp is on me.

      Edit Edit: That’s what she said.

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    35. Thronetender: I know this is a little off-topic but why would there have been a melt-down over casting Pedro? He was great in that part! Who melted- the site-runners or the posters?

      The meltdown was by the posters, of course, who had very strong ideas of exactly what Oberyn should be. 😉 And what they had in mind was not a Chilean-born American actor who was relatively unknown to them. I agree with you, Pedro was practically perfect as Oberyn.

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    36. BOo,

      By all means, return there and circle jerk with your book purist friends while getting crocked on Tiny Tyriontinis.

      This is THE website to go to for GoT news (and discussions for that matter). Accept no substitutes.

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    37. Seeing this site grow and establish its legitimacy has been thrilling. When y’all scooped the Kit sightings and were being sourced by some pretty major outlets, I couldn’t help but swell with pride.

      My personal favorite moments have to be getting the shout-outs during the Game of Owns season 4 Owns podcast, and winning a Targ mug and patch. I use that mug all the damn time.

      And that’s just me. I feel this site really dedicated itself to its community and everyone here is made to feel welcome, appreciated, and sometimes quite literally rewarded.

      Ablist Appletinis for everyone!!!

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    38. Thanks for a great first year, everyone! Having seen other sites go downhill under new management before, it was a dream come true for this kind of successful mutiny to go down and bring back what everyone loved about that other site 🙂

      Can’t wait for some more great scoops here during the off-season, I’m finding casting and location news even more exciting than episodes these days!

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    39. The most hilarious part of when Game of Owns announced that it was moving on August 19th is that the staffers at Fansided’s-WIC.net adamantly insisted that would never happen, only a few weeks before.

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    40. Happy Birthday Watchers on the Wall!! Thank you for creating and keeping this community vibrant.

      I visit other GoT sites, but this is the only one I keep coming back.

      Cheers!

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    41. I’d like to offer my sincere gratitude to everyone who has worked so hard over the past 365 days to build and shape this community into what it has rapidly and definitively become: the best damn Game of Thrones website on the Internet! Anyone who has passed a long offseason by engaging in the time-honored tradition of tracking down every last scrap of casting and filming news related to the show knows that this community is far and away the best place to find such material, thanks to some well-informed sources and a network of tireless and loyal spies from all over the world. After a recent slew of exclusive casting calls and surreptitious sightings of a certain actor in Belfast, more people are realizing that fact each and every day.

      More importantly, however, Watchers on the Wall has become a venue for respectful discussion, enthusiastic debate, In-depth analysis, joyful celebration, intermittently necessary group therapy, and good old-fashioned geeking out. All of those qualities should be the lifeblood of any strong fan community, but if you venture out elsewhere into the realm, you’ll find them to be unfortunately rare. At times, I’ll look at how raucous, contentious, and uninformed certain discussion venues across the Internet have become (be they GOT-related or not) and I’ll start to feel increasingly cynical and worn down. Then I’ll remember what we have here, and my enthusiasm will be be renewed. For that, I’m supremely grateful.

      Of course, what we have wouldn’t be possible without our fearless founders: Sue, Axechucker, Marko, and Oz. When the night was darkest, those four brave souls took a chance, stepped into the fire, and emerged with something we thought was gone from the world. The hard work and selfless love that they’ve showered onto their creation have forged a strong foundation and inspired countless others, including the people who have joined them in gathering news, writing posts, or working behind the scenes to make sure that the website looks great and runs smoothly. Dame, Cian, Marc, Bex, Nate, and Geoffrey – as well as anyone else I haven’t mentioned by name – deserve an immense amount of credit for both devoting their time and respective skills to help keep things running and for adding new voices to the conversation. I’d also like to extend a special acknowledgment to the GOO crew: the day that it was announced that Zack, Micah, Eric, and Kate had decided to join us here was one of the most triumphant in the young history of this website, and a sign that the spirit of the old community had truly been reclaimed.

      Last but certainly not least, I want to thank all of the members of this community – each and every one of you. Some of you, like me, are battle-scarred veterans of the previous website who happily but uncertainly followed our commanders as they embarked on this new venture. Others are new recruits who arrived in the past few months thanks to word-of-mouth facilitated by Season 5. But ultimately, where you come from or how long you’ve been here doesn’t truly matter. If you’ve been a regular commenter on this website over the past year, then odds are I’ve read your thoughts about Game of Thrones and found an opinion worthy of consideration and celebration. Collectively, you guys are a significant part of what makes Game of Thrones my favorite show on television, and by far the most fun to discuss. We don’t always agree, but the vast majority of us are united in our love for the show. That level of enthusiasm and interest makes every opportunity I have to discuss Game of Thrones with all of you both a pleasure and a privilege.

      So Happy Name Day, Watchers on the Wall! Let’s all raise glasses of our chosen adult beverage to several more years of speculation, celebration, and passionate but good-natured debate! The Long Night may be coming eventually, but hopefully it can hold off for a while. Right now, those of us who have chosen to Take the Black are having way too much fun! 🙂

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    42. Happy Birthday! And, thank you for making a GoT site for us whackos by you whackos. It’s always better when the whackos are all whacko together.

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    43. The Dragon Demands,

      Unfortunately pinching other folks’ work seems to go on quite a bit on the internet – not just on GoT sites. Isn’t there a way one can disable other people from being able to copy one’s site/blog. Perhaps Dame Pasty could advise on that if she has the technical knowledge (sorry, my Dame, I don’t want to put you on the spot).

      On a lighter note, many happies to the WotW runners/writers and thanks for all the hard work.

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    44. I love this site (and spend far too much time on it) Dame Pasty’s brush ups are particularly fab. Ta very much!

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    45. BOo:
      Winteriscoming.net is much better. Here the writers and the users are just tv show’s blind fanboys . Also the content is pretty limited.

      Wic.net>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>watcheronthewall.com

      Not really. I’m a book reader and absolutely hated the way they discussed both the books and the show those who stayed over there. I don’t care for snubbery. I found this site looking for something better, and realized that the reason I liked WotW was because the writers I used to like at WiC moved here.

      With your “trashing” strategy you are not going to create traffic over there. If you are a representative of the kind of people who hang around there, there is little incentive to go back!

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    46. GhostCR: Not really. I’m a book reader and absolutely hated the way they discussed both the books and the show those who stayed over there.

      heh, good point: I suppose that the “Robbettes” live on in other ways, don’t they!

        Quote  Reply

    47. Ravyn,

      I think the site used to have some other writers who used to find the news, and the last big one they did was the Season 4 casting… don’t know what happened to them though.

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    48. I think it’s adorable those who prefer the old place are still aware enough of what’s going on here to come over and comment. 🙂

      As for my favorite memory, which I didn’t post earlier, it was definitely the day GOO announced WotW would be their home. I like to think of it as the GOO-Crew-Coup. I’d read at the old place for a long time, and was so sad to see the transformation happening there. When WotW launched, I hoped beyond hope it would fly (“you will never walk again, but you will fly”). With the GOO-Crew-Coup, I knew it would not only fly, but soar, as that was the final element for all to feel right and in place.

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    49. …What kind of mandates could you get over “post titling?”

      (What stunned me to the point of hatred at the stupidity of it all is I don’t think it honestly ever occurred to them that you were all volunteers, doing it for free and with no contractual obligations)

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    50. The Dragon Demands: I don’t think it honestly ever occurred to them that you were all volunteers, doing it for free and with no contractual obligations

      If corporate mentality was involved, then, no: the thought of people working like that is not existent in that mindset.

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    51. Dame of Mercia:
      The Dragon Demands,

      Unfortunately pinching other folks’ work seems to go on quite a bit on the internet – not just on GoT sites.Isn’t there a way one can disable other people from being able to copy one’s site/blog.Perhaps Dame Pasty could advise on that if she has the technical knowledge (sorry, my Dame, I don’t want to put you on the spot).

      On a lighter note, many happies to the WotW runners/writers and thanks for all the hard work.

      To be honest it was more “the last straw” given how upset I was at how they alienated the original writing staff, and how without them, they were not longer reporting on “actual news” but just floundering about repeating clickbait other sites posted. So it was the legitimate excuse I needed for a blacklisting they had coming to them for a while.

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    52. Happy Birthday and many more. You all should be pleased and proud of what you’ve accomplished. All of you have worked hard in making this a wonderful site. You rock….hard!

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    53. I got hooked on the books several years back, and when I heard there was going to be a show I was beyond excited. Found the old site during the first season itkept me so charged up about the show. But over time the more I read the more I was disappointed – something was missing. Then I heard from a fellow reader on another non-GOT site about this place and well, its like old hometown week – I recognize everyone! Well mostly. I only know a few people in real life who are into the show, so its such a treat to come here and discuss all the details. Sometimes its tedious or frustrating, sometimes I swear I am done. But then I remember what I am missing and so I return – And generally glad I did.

      So congrats and thank you to everyone who makes it work – whether we are mods or just posters, or if we are sullied or unsullied, we are all of the watch! And a very happy birthday to you!

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    54. Happy name day, and thank you for this awesome site. I am a huge nerd for Game of Thrones but this is the only site I regularly visit, so I’m very grateful. Keep up the good work!

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    55. OM7Gs, HAPPY YEAR!

      Looking back, I checked twitter just as constantly as any impending casting news, waiting to see if WotW would be up in time for Comic Con 2014! You did it! You won my rebel heart and kicked ass from day one and couldn’t have been any more professional as the old place emptied out and fell apart like a soup sandwich. I’m not generally a mean spirited person but the Game of Owns acquisition was such a sweet triumph… and like the last thrust of the needle in Polliver, I smiled and a red smile smiled back at me. If two or more of you happen to meet up in the same place at any time, I’d order you an online pizza at your wish. Hit the inbox. We’ve already shared so many bottles of wine together you don’t even know. NOBODY does this better! WotW, fuck yeah!

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    56. BOo: Winteriscoming.net is much better. Here the writers and the users are just tv show’s blind fanboys . Also the content is pretty limited.

      Wic.net>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>watcheronthewall.com

      Oh look, it’s that dude who’s been banned under multiple names! In a way, it’s heart-warming you joined us for the anniversary too. Reunions and all. <3

      (And yes, BOO and Ana are the same person. Same IP, yawn.)

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    57. Darkstar:

      You kind ser, need to desist with the false name. I am Darkstar, as I have been since I found the old site during the 1st season of GOT, where I won a dragon pendant for coming up with the merchandise idea of a Painted Table coffee table. I am still waiting on my coffee table, though. I guess I should contact Phil about that. 😉

      I was so glad when WotW righted the listing ship that was, and wish for many more insightful, entertaining years to come. The team here is awesome and I am drinking in your honor.

      Happy Name Day! I have Pigeon Pie and a drink recipe for all.

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    58. Y’all probably don’t recognize my name as I don’t post often. However I was a daily visitor to WiC for many years and noticed once FanSided took over how the site content and just the fun and intelligence of it, deteriorated rapidly. I can’t thank you all enough for jumping ship and founding WotW to bring the fun back. You Rock!!! Watch on! XOXO

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    59. Happy name day, Watchers on the Wall!

      Oh, and since Dame Pasty mentioned her ‘brush-ups for episodes’, did I miss her review for the final one? Or is that supposed to get released right before season 6 premiere?

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    60. Happy birthday, WOTW!

      Thanks for all the coverage. You are the best companion during the airing of a season as well as the best distraction during the long wait for a new one.

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    61. Happy birthday watchersonthewall !!

      I wish to thank this wonderful website, and its writers who are always fun and interesting to read, for all the job they’ve done. I’ve never checked on a fan website for so long and so regularly (everyday), and that is because the content is always of good quality and makes me proud to enjoy the GOT boat with you, WOTW fellows 🙂

      I’m all solennal and shit but can’t I be the serious grandpa who’s always talking about serious things on every birthdays?

      All I can say is that, WOTW guys, you can be proud of the job you’ve been doing for a year now, and I surely wish you to never stop informing us, at least until the end of GOT (just thinking of Game of Thrones coming to an end one day makes me feel sad and uncomfortable…).

      Am I invited to the party ?? 😀

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    62. Sue the Fury: (And yes, BOO and Ana are the same person. Same IP, yawn.)

      Surprise!!!

      Not.

      Darkstar: Happy Name Day! I have Pigeon Pie and a drink recipe for all.

      Is there any chance the drink recipe would be for some type of punch?

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    63. Birthdays are for drinking

      Thank you to readers for being fans and defenders of the show which sounds weird to say but it is appreciated

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    64. Wimsey,

      Yeah we have this regular troll who has been with us for so long, he’s almost like part of the family. But the content of his posts is pretty predictable. What’s funny is he used to trash WiC in the same way when he haunted us there.

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    65. After a stint on Westeros dealing with all the pseudo-intellectuals who trotted out D Phil theses on the minutiae of GoT and especially AsoiF and after lurking on The Other Site but not feeling inspired to post, I finally have come to my GoT home. You have have done a superb job of taking the best from you know what and adding spice, structure, humour, moderation–in both senses of the word–information, insider news, and an smart, active readership. I feel like Goldilocks: after too hot and too cold, I have come to Just Right.

      Happy Birthday!

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    66. Sue the Fury: What’s funny is he used to trash WiC in the same way when he haunted us there.

      Clearly he’s a corporate troll, then!

      😀

      Bex: Birthdays are for drinking

      And given that every day is (many) somebody’s birthday….

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    67. Wimsey,

      He is probably a minion of Lindaaaaaaaaaa, sent to make a sad attempt at spoiling the best party of the GOT universe.

      Give it up dude; not a chance.

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    68. Only found you recently after being disillusioned for ages with that OTHER site, wondering where all the good content and commentary went, and now I know!
      Thanks for being here to hold my hand in the long cold wait til next season.

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    69. Happy Name Day, Watchers!

      I have to say, you’ve really built this community up. As a late-comer to the series, I found it pretty easy to nudge myself in amongst a group of very thoughtful and obsessive fans of a series I love to death. This doesn’t happen very often anywhere else and I want to thank you for making this possible. I look forward to another great year of treating my withdrawal symptoms before getting another fully loaded, short-lived dose of awesomeness.

      With that, for all of you, keep writing deep material, keep discussing thoroughly, and cheers to your enormous dedication and talent.

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    70. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALL!!
      I was sooooo happy the day I came upon this site. All the good folks suddenly disappeared from the rapidly-tanking WiC so I went looking for you-all and found the Wall! I took my oath right then and there, and from that day until my last, I will be here with you-all. Thank you for all of the polite, well-reasoned discussion, and for the many lol comments (Rygar, you rascal). Cheers!!

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    71. You guys do a great job with this site so cheers to all of you. However nows not the time to be complacent. Show the other site who must not be named who is the king of the iron throne of sites. Increase off season content aand that’s the best way for that to be done.

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    72. Congrats!
      Though I’m mostly lurking, I do peek in to see what’s going on pretty much every day, rain or shine, and I cannot think of a time I’ve been disappointed.
      Cheers. 😀

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    73. Thanks for creating this amazing site. I think it is a perfect mixture of casting and other GOT news, comments on the episodes, book comparisons and lots of nice, sometimes heated, sometimes fun but rarely insulting discussions with an enthusiastic community.
      I spend way to much time on this site reading most of your articles and many comments. I am looking forward to the next years of Watchers on the wall and raise my glass of Dornish Red to cheer you.

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    74. I was a lurker in the other site. And just that. I looked at it everyday, until someday I realized that I haven’t looked at it for a whole week and didn’t miss a thing. Then I opened it… and yeah, I just didn’t miss a thing. Weekly posts about random stuff, superficials and not even a little inviting for a debate. Then instead of look at it daily, I begin look at it weekly. And then once every two weeks. It was just boring. Then I asked in reddit for a good site… And found out about WotW. It was like a dream. To find a site not just as good as the one you used to visit, but now even better! You guys are doing an amazing work. Happy birthday, watchers, and may the summer lasts for ever here 😀

      ps.: Oz, I’m a huge fan of you. Yours “looking forward” are the best!

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    75. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Very few grammar errors on here to annoy the Stannis in me?

      Many thanks to all who make this wonderful site what it is.

      The only negative is the time I spend on here when I ought to be doing something boring.

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    76. My abiding memory is the day I googled GOT fan sites after seeing nobody at the other place. I clicked on WOTW can’t remember the post but when I scrolled the comments and saw greatjon of slumber and tyrion pimpslip I knew I was home. My other fave was OZ on game of owns

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    77. Congrats wotw! So happy with all the mentions you’re getting! Just coming out of the lurking woodwork to say happy nameday. Forever grateful for all you guys do. *sliding back into the background fog*

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    78. Congratz on the anniversary – and thanks for all the work you do! Easy to forget you don’t get paid for it…

      I’m don’t read or post that frequently. Came to the other site after one such period of not reading much and was baffled at the changes. Not the pop-ups or the ads, I expected those sooner or later as good stuff never stays free, one way or the other. Was baffled at the topics n the downright mistakes made in postings. The best moment of the last year has got to be the relief of finding (back) this site.

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    79. BOo:
      Winteriscoming.net is much better. Here the writers and the users are just tv show’s blind fanboys . Also the content is pretty limited.

      Wic.net>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>watcheronthewall.com

      You’re welcome to the other site. As to being “fanboys” some of us are female and I assume you missed the article here when Axey put the two Ds on trial though I feel you are trolling.

      Sorry Sue missed your request not to feed the troll.

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    80. A big thank you from another person who doesn’t actually post comments too often but I do check the site almost every day.

      The book purists and show-bashing that went on at the old site had turned me off, not to mind the ridiculous posts about cocktails, but once I found this site I never looked back (not even once!) so thanks and keep it up!!

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    81. Late to the party, so all I’ll say is Happy Birthday, and thank you for continuing your hard work here at this site. And thanks to the posters for all the great comments. Already a year – time flies when you’re having fun! 🙂

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    82. I’m a little late for this one, but Happy Anniversary WoTW…
      This is the best GOT fan site I have ever seen.. and the only one I visit. I used to visit WiC and mostly only read Oz’s posts. I feared being spoilt. Prior to season 5 starting, I was confused why I wasn’t seeing any of Oz’s looking forward posts on WiC…. he explained to me that the fandom had moved, not really sure why, but I am glad! And here we are.
      Now, I trust this crew to protect their unsullied so I have been able to enjoy multiple articles and be a real part of the discussions. And unfortunately for my employers, I live on this site. Ha! 😀

      Keep up the great work, and thank you for all you do.

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    83. Late as well. Happy Name Day WotW!! For all you do, this Dornish Red is for you!!

      I started in season 4 over at WiC and actually found it enjoyable, especially Oz’s topics. I found other entertainments during the off season, but as GoT’s was ramping up and I was seeing adverts for season 5, I happily went back. I recall the first thread I read was an interview with two of the cast members and it was a day old. There were exactly two posts. I was shocked, couldn’t figure out what had happened, so I post that and the next person to post said that everyone had come here…they left the URL for WoTW.

      The rest is history. Thank you to that anonymous person who led me here. I went back and your post or URL had been removed. That said a lot right there. So it is about 6 weeks from the last episode of season 5 and I am still here. I do hope that WotW keeps the great articles coming on the off time. The internet would be lacking and sad without you.

      Thank all the staff and admin for the great job you do in moderating the different threads. Been there, done that and sometimes it is a thankless job. *bows* (for the billionth time, I am a she-type, but too old and brittle to courtesy)

      Cheers. Huzzah. Many more!!

        Quote  Reply

    84. I just really feel this site would be better with some corporate tie-ins and maybe some linkage to that really great WiC.net site, maybe by joining the Fansided network??

      All joking aside, you guys entertain, and I’m glad that the site I watched grow from a fledgling and blossom into (hopefully) someone’s well earned cashout hasn’t really flown away, but just been reborn like a phoenix or a Snow. I was with WiC in the beginning and am now a Watcher on the Wall. Keep up the fun and always support the bottom!

      PS my favorite moment was when IGN tried to steal your namesake for their own. Glad you guys sorted that out!

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    85. I tried to stay optimistic when Fansided first bought WiC, but it pretty quickly became apparent that the pessimists were right. I’m glad the community has a new home here at WotW, and has been able to maintain all the things that made it fun at WiC before the buyout. This is definitely my favorite GoT site. Thanks for all the hard work, and Happy (late) Name Day!

        Quote  Reply

    86. Thronetender,

      When they cast N C-W as Jaime Lannister, there was a huge controversy over his nose. They (book wankers) said his nose was too big, if one was so inclined, one may be able to dig up the casting announcement somewhere else *cough cough*.

      But now, can you imagine any other actor in that role?

        Quote  Reply

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