The Problem with Giants and Mammoths, Part 2: Time to Rest in Peace

Giant in Tunnel

Oh Shit!!… Here he comes! How are we gonna stop that? We’ve put 20 arrows in it already!

We hold the gate. We hold the gate! Say the words, damn ya!!!

In retrospect, we should have sealed the tunnel. But the Alliser Thorne’s in our asses wouldn’t listen.

Welcome back to the brand new, freshly constructed, and all-inclusive Game of Thrones vacation destination of choice… WatchersontheWall.com.

It’s time to get the elephant/mammoth out of the room and concentrate more on what we are here for… to break news; to discuss; to guard the realms of fans and essentially everything else we put here. Let us converse about it once more where you will be privy to the remainder of the story and finally, we can let Old Nan rest in peace.

So go grab a Big Mountain Martini (since size is apparently more valuable to some than it is to others) as we bring you back into the fold and we let the Giant go do whatever it is Giants do…

If you missed Part One of this soon to be award-winning piece of prose, fear not for you can find it here. The only part a man shall reproduce is the original disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This explanation/discussion piece is NOT written to trash or reflect badly on one particular person or to badmouth anyone associated with the Dark Side(d) (from this point on referred to as “Giant”). It is also NOT a reflection of the thoughts or feelings of any other WotW staff members other than myself (although it very well may be).

And it will be rendered in at least 2 parts due to a laundry list of facts that I feel you deserve to know. However, this piece is not authored to persuade anyone from never visiting their site again or to get more visitors to WotW. That decision is up to the reader, as it should be.

If you are a brand new reader that is not aware of where the core of the WotW group originated, this article will probably interest you very little if at all. If that is the case please feel free to navigate to the main menu and enjoy the rest of WotW!

If you are still here, well, here goes

Part 2.

This piece is not going to conclude as I had originally intended. It was never going to be a piece of foul-mouthed, back-room, negativity filled slander towards anyone because the fact is, I really don’t know whose fault it is even if you could coherently and undeniably pin it on one person. All I can attest to is what I know.

That being said, the past 72 hours or so have featured an enormous amount of sword swinging, passing the buck, and the reveal of an obvious internal issue with an organizational flow chart… none of which any of us here at WotW want to be involved in.

What we are interested in is putting Old Nan to bed and allowing her to rest in peace. Make no mistake… what she once was and what she once stood for is dead. The resurrection or reincarnation or reorganization of her legacy is not up to us.

What is up to us is how we carry and define ourselves.

But you can take this tidbit of info with you to the Bank of Braavos… the founders of this site never intended to found this site. Our collective goal was to keep Old Nan living and breathing, keeping her morals true, and spreading her legacy of wisdom and experience to as many readers as possible, regardless of who owned the rights to her.

Anyone who would offer up an argument to the contrary is ill informed and is not aware of the sacrifices made. It is known.

Now, the piece I had originally planned on writing was going to pick up with the changes announced literally days before the beginning of Season 4. I’ll include a portion of it here, and then I highly suggest we have a few closing thoughts and put it all behind us. And by the grace of the Seven, or the Lord of Light, or the Old or the New, we leave the drama to the damn TV Show… where it belongs.

Here is a portion of the original Part 2:

The in-season (also referred to as the time frame during which new episodes are airing weekly) can be a highly stressful time period where the contributors get very limited amount of sleep and the editor(s) and moderator(s) get almost none.

Sunday nights are manic and Mondays are just plain nuts (especially if what is supposed to be a consensual love-making scene comes across as the raping of a sister). Let’s not reconstruct or re-discuss. It’s been said that it is sometimes best to let the sleeping dog lie.

But it doesn’t stop there. Recaps take time to write. Editorials take time to write. Curtain calls take time to write. Tweets aren’t magically pulled by an app looking for cutesy hashtags combined with wit. Numbers have to be culled. Reviews have to be collected. Moderation is a thankless, 24-hour endeavor that never ends. And don’t even get me started on analysis.

The weeks of in-season constitute a constructed yet somewhat changeable (depending on breaking news) schedule, especially Mondays.

And all of that seemed to be set until about four days before the season began when we all received word about… wait for it… wait for it… the Live Show.

Again, let’s be fair. This is not an issue with the decision to put on such a production. Was it a shocker to be adding to what we thought was already a full plate? Yes. And at such a late hour?  Yes.  With no indication is was even in production?  Hell yes.  Hell, the new editor didn’t even know.  We all suspected new things to be coming, just not necessarily something that would end up being blasted on almost every post imaginable.

This is also not an issue with the good people that were acquired to be the faces of said production. Host A along with Co-hosts Bee and C are all aspiring actors who were hired to do a job and for the platform they were given, did about as well as could be expected.

And let’s face it… the logic behind it as described to the contributors made some sense. Granted, it was a production that we were never consulted on nor asked to contribute towards (content, structure, or otherwise). All we knew was what you knew… it was loosely based on shows such as The Talking Dead, etc. But there was no outright opposition from the contributors about the show being introduced that I am aware of.

There were obvious concerns due to glaring differences between shows of this type (lack of parent studio backing, or studio audience, or guest cast members, etc.) all of which stacked against it being successful.

However, the most important issue that arose from this idea was that the basics of Old Nan were being ignored if not blatantly overlooked. The written news, features and editorials typically drove the most discussion and traffic. But it became very clear very early on that the emphasis for the duration of the season was going to be placed on this production.

Friendly Reminder: “This is probably the best advice I can give you: Do NOT, under any circumstances, sacrifice the site fan base in order to bring in more readers.”

In other words, expanding the castle walls is great, so long as the foundation is not compromised.

But the Giant was ready to pound.

The replay of the show was then distributed throughout the site to promote further views. But it wasn’t enough.

So the Giant kept pounding.

The full production then got split into smaller segments and redistributed through the site for extra views.

And the Giant kept pounding. And the foundation revealed a stress fracture.

Then came the weapon segments. And the drink segments.

Crumbling could be heard. And he wouldn’t. Stop. Fucking. Pounding.

Then it all seemed to culminate into an outrage for many in a teeny, tiny, unintelligible, pointless segment about a small guy and a small drink. It even sparked a comment from a newer staff member whose thoughts were never deleted yet magically disappeared (only to magically reappear later).

And through it all, as quotas became the norm and the barrage of posts became blinding, readers and contributors alike were dodging advertisers like frozen Wights in a field of fireballs.

But you were all exposed to that. And it’s not news. And it’s no longer relevant.  And since the mudslinging has reached a fever pitch, let’s end this now…

I had an entire section written on advertising, and separation, and the morals of click bait, and the newest trend of native advertising all beautified up into an intriguing couple of paragraphs. But it probably wouldn’t beat this explanation by John Oliver (who just so happens to be a member of the same conglomerate that gives us GoT). And if this is any indication of how the HBO brass feel about it, then the state of Old Nan probably isn’t giving them the warm and fuzzys.

But again, what is going on at the old house is no longer our concern. For the sake of the Seven, or the Lord of Light, or whatever religious entity you so choose to follow, and for the love of all that remains sacred in this world, it is time to move on.

Closing Thoughts.

I want to leave this subject with a couple of personal notes.

A long time ago, a man used to play American football. And though the sport itself left his body tainted and disjointed and in a state of somewhat consistent pain, the life lessons learned could never be replaced by another life experience.

Regardless of how you feel about the sport, there is no better avenue that I am aware in learning the value of team. Successful teams work together. Winning teams rely on every player. Unity is not a noun that can be tossed out with the old towels. It is the harmony of the whole; the solidarity of the group; and the backbone that cannot be discounted.

And herein lies the one simple truth: the founding of WotW came not so much on the heels of creative differences as it did on the importance of keeping a backbone intact.

One of the contributors already had a foot out the door. Another one had not felt very compelled to contribute. One of them felt grossly under appreciated and taken for granted while another wanted to be more involved in helping see the old house grow bigger and stronger but was consistently ignored.

A backbone and the body of a fandom were in danger of being broken forever. And for the sake of what Old Nan stood for, there was really only one choice. Take a right and head for the Vale where they would all end up split, or take a left and head for the Wall where they would have to Take the Black, but at least it would remain intact.

They took a left.

But before coming to that end, the backbone stood as strong as ever, ready to advance the purpose as they had done in years past and weather the storm regardless of who held the reigns. And they did, through every episode and every day, and every untagged spoiler and every editorial and every recap. All deadlines were kept. All schedules were met. All numbers culled, and no stones unturned.

And if it is your desire to imply that the same group of unpaid, unprotected and un-contracted contributors acted unprofessionally in fulfilling their duties and sustaining their oaths regardless of the ever-changing environment and the dissension of the readership, then so be it.  By the same token, if this type of action being maintained throughout the busiest time of the year constitutes the definition of never really giving something a chance, then brand us with the “A” and we’ll be on our way.

But you might want to look into the facts and seek a revised dictionary, for if this is really how you feel…..

we can politely, and professionally, agree to disagree.

Personally, I’d take a double scoop of that flavor of unprofessional any day. But that’s just me.

It’s time for Old Nan to rest in peace and for us to move on. So let’s do so, peacefully and tactfully.

And now her watch is ended.

 

As an act of peace and goodwill, I initially asked Sue and the other Watchers to disallow comments on this post. But I don’t know if that is necessarily fair to the readers of either site. The original design was only to help readers have a better understanding as to why certain decisions were made regarding our departure.

So let’s tastefully chat about it if you so desire and then close this chapter.  In going forward, I ask that you turn your focus to helping us spread the word about Watchers on the Wall. We hold no lands, wear no crowns, and desire no glory which in modern terms means we have no budget.

We can only rely on you to help us spread the word. So invite your friends, share us on FB, tweet about us, Tumblr about us, Reddit us or whatever. This Wall is yours to build, so please give us a hand!

I wish the others nothing but the best in their reorganization.

Next time… let’s talk about Game of Thrones.  And may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz

“Unbowed. Unbent. Unsullied.”

You can find Oz on twitter, here.

 

100 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Apparently I got myself banned there.
      Anyway, glad to see we’re finally done with the drama (assuming this is the last major post about the issue). I hope you will return to your good old Looking Forward posts now.

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    2. Not gonna lie I checked out WiC for the first time in a while, and the top post was an job offer advertisement for other FanSided sites….and the comments were very amusing. This site is awesome. Keep up the good work folks

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    3. That being said, the past 72 hours or so have featured an enormous amount of sword swinging, passing the buck, and the reveal of an obvious internal issue with an organizational flow chart… none of which any of us here at WotW want to be involved in.

      I vaguely remember seeing that but forgot what it was about. Does anyone have a link or archived link? If not, can you at least summarize what it was? Was it on this website or the other one?

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    4. I’m just waiting for them to change the name of the old site to talisa.com. It started out as one thing but then it just got changed more and more by those at the top until it no longer resembled what it was supposed to be. I think of the new editor as Oona Chaplin, clearly talented, but will only be able to work within the confines of the role they are given.

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    5. Thanks for your honesty.

      Let’s move forward and put our combined efforts into making this site a success. It will be a slap in the face to corporate manipulation and a victory for the “little guys” in this fandom.

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    6. So I can kind of understand Fansided’s thought process with some of their decisions, however, I think they were misguided ones.

      When Fansided bought wic.net they paid $X.XX amount for it. In order to recoup their initial investment they felt it was a bright idea to increase the content of the website which would in turn increase views and thus ad dollars.

      The problem with this thinking is that this is not a sports website where a team can be dissected from infinite angles. Wic.net was more akin to a news website than to a sports website and there’s only so much GoT news in a given period of time.

      No one cared about the initiatives brought by Fansided such as the live show and martini making which u could tell from the comment count. Content for content’s sake turned into click bait.

      Fansided did not see the results of their work so they took another misguided approach. Instead of stopping the content that nobody wanted they tried to jam it down people’s throats. Also to no avail.

      Then came other ridiculous problems such as Wic.net constantly forcing you to log back in and disbanding the mobile edit button. I have no idea how these decisions contributed to Fansided’s goals.

      Now there major mistake was not signing Sue the Fury and the other contributors to contracts and/or non compete clauses. Sue is the one with the sources! How can u not acknowledge this when wic.net whole exisistence was based primarially on news.

      The only shocking thing is why Sue, Oz, Fabio and the others did not leave sooner.

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    7. However, the most important issue that arose from this idea was that the basics of Old Nan were being ignored if not blatantly overlooked. The written news, features and editorials typically drove the most discussion and traffic. But it became very clear very early on that the emphasis for the duration of the season was going to be placed on this production.

      Yeah…we had no idea what was going on, but the live-show *really* felt like something…alien. The cast members weren’t even half-bad, really. But it felt like something FanSided shoehorned into here to try to ride the coattails of Talking Dead. And as you said it wouldn’t even have been that much of a problem (it wasn’t that offensive, they made their own content)….but they suddenly seemed to be treating it as the *primary news focal point* while crowding out all of the regular contribution columns.

      Even so I’m stunned that they told you of this four days before the premiere; even if you weren’t “working” on it, it was a massive drain on time to moderate its comments section.

      The replay of the show was then distributed throughout the site to promote further views. But it wasn’t enough.

      Then came the weapon segments. And the drink segments.

      Crumbling could be heard. And he wouldn’t. Stop. Fucking. Pounding.

      Major question: what do you mean by “it wasn’t enough”? That is, were you told that the new FanSided features weren’t making enough advertising revenue to justify the expense that went into making them? Or do you just assume that, and it “wasn’t enough” in the sense that “more advertising is always better”?

      Because if the features weren’t paying for themselves in terms of pageviews….they should have stopped doing them, not DOUBLE DOWN on a failing business model!

      I’m reminded of….has anyone here seen the old MTV series “Daria”? In one episode the unscrupulous high school principal tries to raise money by selling out to Mountain Dew to have vending machines installed in the schools. The problem is that they quickly realize that the vending machines aren’t actually paying for themselves. So the principal’s “solution”….was to start putting vending machines in every hallway, and ultimately in EVERY CLASSROOM to encourage the students to buy more….not realizing, apparently, that if she bought new vending machines that was another expense (it was like a Ponzi scheme). Eventually, one of the teachers sat down and bothered to do the actual math that the principal hadn’t done….and figured out that hypothetically, even if EVERY student bought over a dozen soda cans *per day, every day*, they still could never plausibly make back the cost of installing the vending machines in the first place! (basically, the manufacturer had gouged them)

      http://www.dariawiki.org/wiki/index.php?title=Fizz_Ed
      http://youtu.be/mx7HETxui5Y?t=13m26s

      But I’d like some clarification on what “it wasn’t enough” meant; are you specifically aware that the pageviews for the new features like the live show simply were not popular enough to pay for themselves? So their response was to frantically fill “quotas” by making more of them? If anything, that’s what made so many of us start to regard them as “boring filler” rather than “content we actually want to invest time in reading” — heck, I’d see the headline “Lannister inspired cocktail” and not even bother reading it!

      To take all of the nervous system metaphors out…..they bought WiC.net, which was popular for the features and columns and reporting of its four core staffers…then, taking a page from every corporate playbook, sidelined its original core staff to introduce their own in-house and *untested* features, simply ASSUMING they would be popular, when the entire point was they paid money for writers already *proven* to be popular?

      In going forward, I ask that you turn your focus to helping us spread the word about Watchers on the Wall. We hold no lands, wear no crowns, and desire no glory which in modern terms means we have no budget.

      FanSided already lost Game of Owns podcast.

      On the Game of Thrones Wiki side of things, we got 8 million hits during finale week. Obviously this drops off significantly in the off-season, but rockets back up with new Season 5 casting announcements.

      But I’ve done what I can by making our front page news item on the GoT Emmy nominations link *DIRECTLY* to the WatchersOnTheWall.com news post about the topic. This is not being manipulative: WotW.com was the only one that even reported on it for DAYS! WiC.net is drastically far behind on news, if it reports it at all, so I’m just honestly linking to the only news site that posts “actual news” worth mentioning!

      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Game_of_Thrones_Wiki

      “It was Daemon who gave us these cloaks, and they’re gold no matter how you turn them.”

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    8. Then it all seemed to culminate into an outrage for many in a teeny, tiny, unintelligible, pointless segment about a small guy and a small drink.

      …I missed out on this completely and have no idea what you’re talking about; what happened?

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    9. I raise a glass to Old Nan, remembering that her Winterfell once stood proud, and yet it burned to the ground. The Wall still stands and the brothers and sisters manning and womaning it are the ones that truly matter.

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    10. I posted about this on my tumblr when news of “the separation” came upon Tumblr. It doesn’t surprise me in the least what happened. Fansided does not have a good reputation amongst the sports blogging and fan-community (many individual team sites are good) however everything is driven by: quotas, click baits, and re-hashing of news posted elsewhere. So I can’t say any of this surprises me. I’m just glad to be here where my favorite contributors are!

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    11. Turncloak: When Fansided bought wic.net they paid $X.XX amount for it. In order to recoup their initial investment they felt it was a bright idea to increase the content of the website which would in turn increase views and thus ad dollars.

      The problem with this thinking is that this is not a sports website where a team can be dissected from infinite angles. Wic.net was more akin to a news website than to a sports website and there’s only so much GoT news in a given period of time.

      No one cared about the initiatives brought by Fansided such as the live show and martini making which u could tell from the comment count. Content for content’s sake turned into click bait.

      Fansided did not see the results of their work so they took another misguided approach. Instead of stopping the content that nobody wanted they tried to jam it down people’s throats. Also to no avail.

      Then came other ridiculous problems such as Wic.net constantly forcing you to log back in and disbanding the mobile edit button. I have no idea how these decisions contributed to Fansided’s goals.

      Now there major mistake was not signing Sue the Fury and the other contributors to contracts and/or non compete clauses. Sue is the one with the sources! How can u not acknowledge this when wic.net whole exisistence was based primarially on news.

      The only shocking thing is why Sue, Oz, Fabio and the others did not leave sooner.

      TRUTH!

      The incompetence that makes me lose what little respect I had for FanSided is that they were so short-sighted that they didn’t even bother to pursue a non-compete clause. That kind of incompetence will be rewarded as it deserves.

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    12. Does this mean we shouldn’t make any more cocktail jokes?

      The fact that the easy-to-navigate archive system was killed at the old site was my biggest problem with the new ownership. We complained and an archive system was brought back, but it wasn’t the same and it wasn’t user-friendly. Otherwise, the core content was still there all through the season, and it could still be found with a little patience.
      Now that core is over here.

      I might go back to the old site once the “in” season comes back around next year, to see if they’ve build anything interesting over the ashes, but for now I really don’t see the point. I know I can find the content (and the people) I looked for right here.

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    13. I just saw the “Tiny Tyrion” martini video.

      Jesus.

      That’s stunningly offensive to a character who struggles with discrimination due to his dwarfism.

      Frankly, I might have even settled for a “half sized halfman martini” or something moderately more witty than that.

      And who the heck is this girl in the video? She seems like one of those utterly interchangeable talking-head actors on IGN/BuzzFeed videos who you can tell didn’t even write their own content! Yes she’s easy on the eyes, but you’re just hiring models and actors instead of “actual female fansite writers”?

      To be honest I can’t even remember the last time I watched one of those cocktail videos start to finish. Dear god, it had absolutely nothing to do with the TV series….there was nothing “Tyrion” about it other than that they called it “a Tyrion martini!”

      Jokes on them. Joke’s on them all.

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    14. As a long-time mostly-lurker on the other site, I just want to say how happy I am that I inadvertently caught mention of this place there before it got deleted. I don’t really do social media, so I would have had no clue otherwise.

      As someone who used to religiously visit the other site daily, the last several months saw that dwindle considerably. I just couldn’t take the crap they were serving up anymore. And the spoilers… dear Seven, all the damn spoilers!!!

      Just wanted to say kudos to you guys on taking that left, and as another Unsullied by solemn personal oath, I am so happy that I get to read and skim the comments in Oz posts again. Best of luck to you all!!

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    15. Magiese:
      Does this mean we shouldn’t make any more cocktail jokes?
      I might go back to the old site once the “in” season comes back around next year, to see if they’ve build anything interesting over the ashes, but for now I really don’t see the point.I know I can find the content (and the people) I looked for right here.

      You raise an interesting point: all Thrones fansites struggle to remain active during the off-season.

      But….we’re generally remaining fairly active here, because Sue has actual set reports….even if they’re just a photo here and a photo there, at least it’s something “new” to check in on.

      More importantly….the four core writers here had a LOT more to say and speculate about Season 5 casting news than WiC.net did.

      I mean, they eventually report on basic news but….only if it’s already trickled down to the point that even Entertainment Weekly or YahooNews is reporting on it. They’ve been VERY slow lately, thought that might just be due to the recent shakeups.

      My point is that I’m confident that WatchersOnTheWall.com can be active even in the “off season” because it thrives on discussing set production reports. In contrast, what the heck has WiC.net been doing these past TWO MONTHS?

      Like a bear waking from hibernation, of course, the great surge of viewership will resurge when Season 5 premieres but…..,

      …..this is me hoping here, but if their live show and cocktail videos weren’t capable of paying for themselves in the IN SEASON, during this past Season 4….how the heck do they think they’re going to sustain themselves in the off-season, financially? Do they somehow think there’s going to be a giant draw for those video series during Season 5?! If anything, they drove people AWAY!

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    16. I liked the idea of the Winter Is Coming Live show but overall the execution was okay. I definitely couldn’t stand any of the other videos. The alcohol one was stupid, the weapons one was OK. I didn’t care that they advertised the shit out of that show by posting little segments of it on every article. I think it’s really funny you mention the show as being one of the problems. It would’ve been better if they could’ve gotten you guys onto it more and maybe consulted you guys.

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    17. Well the problem was that it was one hell of a big “but” — it felt like the website was pulled out from under the *actual staffers* and kept getting overshadowed by in-house FanSided videos, which were then given priority.

      And while they weren’t the worst video reviews…they weren’t particularly memorable either.

      I mean the FORMAT. Even Game of Owns has Unsullied viewers, but the whole thing often consisted of the main male cast member asking leading questions to try to nudge the two female co-panelists into things book readers know are going to happen.

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    18. I completely understand why you guys left and respect it. As a GoT fan, I like 2 sites better than one. You guys have more going on than they do. Just make sure you blow them out of the water. I like the polls. I think it’d be really cool if you guys had a bio of each character with a picture and cool discription, something with a lot of detail. No one else really has that, Westeros.org has a weak ass version of it. You could make a list of geography’s too with detailed descriptions and who hails from there. Just a few ideas of things I think fans would love to see.

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    19. Like many others (I guess) I’m pretty much done with the whole FanSided affair. The only thing I think would be a good idea, is a statement from the GOO guys, especially from Zack. Adam Best seems to try to shift the blame on him, when it comes to deleting/blocking comments. I would like to hear Zack’s site on it.

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    20. Your history is a stunning reveal. I feel badly for your team that you were treated disrespectfully and worse. I don’t need to tell you that you did the right thing by leaving.

      You were generous in offering your fans another site in which to indulge in GoT & ASoIaF obsession. I can’t express enough how surprised I am that you simply created a new website. Just BRAVO!

      Thank you for your tenacity, your integrity, and for WotW.

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    21. Want to know the hilarious thing? If WotW had the (minimal) funds to do it and set up the right Ad Words campaign they could get WotW ads to show up on Old Nan that might help wayward watchpersons find us.

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    22. Abyss: The only thing I think would be a good idea, is a statement from the GOO guys, especially from Zack. Adam Best seems to try to shift the blame on him, when it comes to deleting/blocking comments. I would like to hear Zack’s side on it.

      The staff with contracts generally have an NDA. Which I’m guessing Best is counting on. Another reason I’m very glad I never signed a thing.

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    23. Weirwood Leaf,

      I don’t know that they necessarily meant to be disrespectful. But at times, it did seem that we would have made all of their lives easier if we had just left at the time of the acquisition.

      My belief now is that it will become a full-fledged branded site… something that Zack was battling behind the scenes with since the transition.

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    24. Glad to see your folks decided to start this site. There’d be nowhere else to go.

      I actually think Fansided could have driven content increases (and less so, membership). But their methodology was so poorly executed. There’s a lot to write about, and they chose some incredibly superficial and sometimes completely unrelated content.

      Basically, it could have grown if the content was anything people wanted.

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    25. Okay, I have my supersized Martell Mojito. Now I will jump back to the top and actually read Oz’s article.

      I just have to say ya’ll are AWESOME!!!! (and my drink is too!)

      Edit: Tears for Old Nan.. sniffle, sniffle. Carry on OZ!

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    26. Well, a lot of the GOT cast know you guys. Maybe one can be so kind as to tweet out a photo with the WotW site address. Maybe send someone a t-shirt with it on it? Or just ask them to help you out. I’m sure they’re disappointed by Old Nan too.

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    27. Oz of Thrones: My belief now is that it will become a full-fledged branded site… something that Zack was battling behind the scenes with since the transition.

      What exactly is a “branded site”?

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    28. Thank you Oz for your background informations!

      I am a user, that is easily to satisfy. When the whole Live-Show stuff started, i watched the first minutes of the first replay, noticed that i never heard of any of these guys and it felt, like someone said earlier, alien. So from that point on i completely ignored all these stuff posts about the liveshow, the drinks, the weapons. And i hope i dont hurt anyone, cause i cannot remember who posted these, but i couldnt stand all of the “what is gillys approach to the throne”-posts. I cant remember what they were called. So i started to ignore them as well. The stuff i was looking forward were tripper recaps, i liked the video-recap-post, because i noticed for example ozzyman through this, who is hilarious, i think. Oz Posts of course and all of the regular news i was reading there since i joined the side, after i finished the books what was between season 2 and 3. I like to read comments, so i noticed the more time since the acquisition passed, the rougher the tone in the comments got. I cant say that one thing was the reason for the other, but i hated that. I like the tone here. Alot. So, when i, read axeys twitter (i think) about them having left the side and potentially starting a new one, all i could think of was “thank god”. So here we are. I like the wall and all my brothers here.

      You guys have my complete support. Thanks for doing, what you guys do. 🙂

      PS: Sorry for my english.

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    29. I lurked the other site since (almost) the very beginning. It was always one of my first bookmarks whenever I got a new device like a phone or tablet. In fact, I still checked it daily out of habit even after I finally found you guys at this website. Tonight I deleted the bookmark so this will be my only destination for GOT news and updates. Thank you for creating this place. I’m definitely sad to say farewell to the other site, but I will remember it for what it once was and not for what it became. RIP WiC.

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    30. The Dragon Demands,

      FS has their “brand” or their “style” on all of their sites. From what we were told, their original plan was to make the old site resemble all of the other sites they own. Zack kept this from taking place as best he could.

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    31. This site is easier to use.
      I did not enjoy the drinks and roundtable videos.
      Goodbye WiC… Hello WotW.
      That is all… thank you for posting the link here!

        Quote  Reply

    32. I abandoned ship once the cocktail videos started, but I could see right from the moment the live show was announced that the WiC was no longer the site I once loved. However, I would never have guessed that dark side(d)’s disregard for you guys would go so far as not even telling you about the live show, that’s absolutely stupid. With that lack of communication and respect, it’s no surprise that the site was dying.

      This kind of sums it up, really:
      “21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable […] 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it”

      I haven’t really been commenting here much (I got a job between leaving WiC and WoTW starting, so I just don’t have the time), but I am extremely glad that you guys all left to start this site up, you’ve really managed to capture the passion and atmosphere that the old site once had.

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    33. Wow. Im pretty shocked that they never invited you all to join the staff or at least PAY you freelance for your work. OR, alternatively, give you some power in the site or at least acknowledgement in lieu of monetary rewards.

      I can only conclude that their intent all along was to freeze you out until you got fed up and left, which is indeed exactly what they got – which makes it all the more infuriating that they would say you guys had “poor conduct”.

      Basically, you guys were dating a passive aggressive jerk who refused to acknowledge he wanted out of the relationship, and instead decided to just be a smarmy asshole until you dumped him. Good riddance, and always support the bottom!

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    34. KingsroadHitchhiker,

      I gotta say, I am so glad I caught wind of this place too. I’ve never watched a drink video (thought the idea was STUPID) and only watched a Live recap video once. Thought it was stupid. This new site is the reason I went to the old site and now that I know it’s moved here, I am very happy.

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    35. Thanks for informing us once more…

      As others mentioned, it does not appear as a big surprise that the core team was never consulted for the Fansided videos. There was a complete disconnect between the video and written team. I guess you could have asked the video hosts about “supporting the bottom” and none of them would have had any idea what that’s about. Did they ever acknowledge reading anything from the WIC blogs? That disconnect in two parallel voices for analysis was not conducive to coherent discussion by the readers.

      Contrast that to Simone Boyce’s “Daily Raven” videos last year, obviously working closely with AxeyFAB. (not that the content was perfect, but it BELONGED).

      Personally, even though I’m a daily reader since the very beginnings, I suggest to keep up the tendency to post articles only when necessary. Combine news items when they are very frequent and more than daily, and don’t be afraid of silence in the off-season. We’ll hang on and cherish the good stuff when it does pass your relevance filter.

      On the other hand, rounding up fan art from time to time would also be welcome (like you do for laughs, and for tumblr GIFs). I greatly liked Azad’s comic strip art, even though some punchlines were flat. Commenters on WIC were uncivil with their critics…

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    36. I’m reminded of….has anyone here seen the old MTV series “Daria”?

      Oh gawd I loved that show! And remember that of which you speak. Worked for 30 years in a very large school system. Stranger things have happened.

      Now, back to the issue at hand – thank you for setting the record straight, and thanks for setting this up. I have linked your addy to the other sites I frequent. Hope it helps draw more folk in!

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    37. Oz of Thrones:
      The Dragon Demands,

      FS has their “brand” or their “style” on all of their sites.From what we were told, their original plan was to make the old site resemble all of the other sites they own.Zack kept this from taking place as best he could.

      That is interesting b/c Patrick Allen flat out stated in the initial post that they intended to leave the layout alone and have minimal links to their other network sites. Whatever. Like you said, it’s water under the bridge. I’m just glad you all were able to stay together and create this site.

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    38. The Dragon Demands,

      I love you for that Daria reference! It’s one of my favorite all time shows. I dressed as Daria for Halloween one year because I remind people of her. Except now I’m picturing Axey* in that Ultra Cola can shaped cheerleading uniform Brittany had to wear.
      * Not to pick on Axey or compare him to a ditzy cheerleader. He’s just the only one I have a face for instead of just an avatar.

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    39. James:
      I liked the idea of the Winter Is Coming Live show but overall the execution was okay.I definitely couldn’t stand any of the other videos.The alcohol one was stupid, the weapons one was OK. I didn’t care that they advertised the shit out of that show by posting little segments of it on every article. I think it’s really funny you mention the show as being one of the problems.It would’ve been better if they could’ve gotten you guys onto it more and maybe consulted you guys.

      I think that was more or less the point — that they didn’t involve the people who had already been working on the site at all in the new projects and decisions. Heck, any of their new ideas could have been at the least decent if someone familiar with the character of the website, the show, and the fanbase had been involved in the creative process.

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    40. Guess this is my new site to lurk on , such a shame what happened to WiC , I’m glad you guys are going back to what made WiC so great in the first place minus the annoying adverts and idiotic cocktail videos .

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    41. I never watched one of live recap shows. I just didn’t see the point at all, if I want so see something like that I’ll just watch thronecast. They even have actors making guest appearances and all.

      The cocktail videos… I’m ashamed to admit that I watched a part of the first one. I had no idea what the fuck it was, so I clicked on it. That was the dumbest idea ever.

      But the thing I hated the most was the weapons section. I watched two of those and the idiot who made it was just wrong. The moron never had his facts straight about the origin of weapons and/or canon facts, he was just talking out of his ass . Which is disgraceful because there are TWO (!!!) fully functioning wiki’s about the show and the books to fall back on.

      And IIRC he was also wrong about pretty much everything else. I’m not much of a medieval weapons expert, but from being apart of the ASOIAF fandom and reading up on it, I did learn a few things. This guy was serving grade ‘A’ Hollywood bullshit.

      In fact the only new thing I appreciated was the anatomy of a thrones segment. The author was often wrong and I didn’t like how it watered down over the season. But I still think that the initial idea of lifting some of the imagery and technical stuff (camera angles, editing, etc.) out of every episode and discussing that would be a great addition to any fansite.

      In fact, it would be a great series of posts for the dry season, when there isn’t much news to report anymore and we’re all yearning for that first trailer. If someone with a filmschool background could be found for it, that would be awesome.

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    42. I knew about things like Adsense and Adwords but it wasn’t until very recently that I realised people were paid to post tweets and comments. I’m not saying that happened at the site that shall not be named but I did wonder if they were hiring people who work for the online sites that market out “writing” jobs. Even that needn’t be a bad thing of itself; people have to eat and if a GoT fan could earn some extra money by writing an article I would not necessarily condemn them; I would condemn somebody for writing silly features though. I’m not saying EVERYTHING since the new regime took over was junk. It was the “Is Flossie Flapkins hotter than Lucy Lastic” type pop-up votes that got my goat really though. Oz wants us to “let it go” so we should respect his wishes but I will add this. I looked you know where recently (never say never) and one of the big cheeses had asked that if people had concerns about the site that they would send an email and not post in the comments. There was also a spiel by a big cheese about how they had built their empire up from nothing. People can draw their own conclusions from those comments. Anyway, now that the founding of the new site has been put in perspective hopefully Oz will be “freed up” to continue writing his insightful and witty unsullied features.

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    43. Veltigar,

      You might be in luck regarding that last main point you make …
      Looking forward to some interesting debates, as long as eveyone engages in them politely.

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    44. Really well written Oz and thank you for clarifying things.

      Since the first episode of GoT I became instantly hooked and obsessed and WiC became my go-to site for news and all things Thrones. Even if you were only lurking(like I did) you couldn’t help but feel to be a part of the community. And that is thanks to the staff and commenters to make that happen

      I didn’t mind the show or even the cocktail videos(although it was stupid). But what annoyed me was the pop-up poll(I’m Unsullied and got spoiled by it, cheers!) and the increasing amount of filler posts.
      How many posts have we got of Maisie being interviewed and in every interview saying the same thing? The first one is insightful, but with the 30th one you’re just not bothered by it any more. The lowpoint for me was the “breaking news” of Sophie and Maisie going to a festival. Seriously? That’s TMZ stuff!

      Anyways thank you all for leaving and starting WotW. Really appreciate it! And looking forward to your Looking Forwards Oz. Raise a glass for Old Nan.

      Also read the comments of that CEO guy(specifically regarding the latest one), and well….

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq8bXE_RcDA

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    45. Wow, Oz. Thank you. This is really a great piece, with some inspired comments following. This helps bring some more clarity back into the fold.

      Does anybody remember the shitty fan site for the Miami Dolphins they offered back in the day as a “sample”? I’m glad Zack kept them from turning the site into anything like that…. would have been even more painful. Perhaps all this would have just happened sooner, though… I doubt it. Took the stress of season 4 and all the changes around the content (obviously including but not limited to all the terrible video content) to expose how empty their vault really was.

      So many seemingly simple to fix performance issues. And the problems were always changing, at that. So many terrible ads, and click bait. Indeed, how many posts I never even gave a fuck enough to click on. Increasingly, so many really mean-spirited mutherfuckers hangin out.

      I will not miss any of that.

      Thank you Oz. Really great writing. Though I’m just a northern hack, you put this shit to rest in style. Cheers.

      Oh, I’m glad you brought up football. What a game last night…..
      We sat SEVEN rows back, right behind the uprights. Me and Aria.
      the denver dothraki will fall once again. Just called it, just now.
      Wildlings FTW
      GO HAWKS!

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    46. Take a right and head for the Vale where they would all end up split, or take a left and head for the Wall where they would have to Take the Black, but at least it would remain intact.

      They took a left.

      So wonderfully put! And left was a wise choice. Happy that I’m here to enjoy it.

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    47. Oz of Thrones: er heard of any of these guys and it felt, like someone said earlier, alien. So from that point on i completely ignored all these stuff posts about the liveshow, the drinks, the weapons. And i hope i dont hurt anyone, cause i cannot remember who posted these, but i couldnt stand all of the “what is gillys approach to the throne”-post

      Oh dear god it’s the old cliche of buying a successful company only to change everything about it – negating the entire concept of buying a company that ALREADY had a winning formula.

      It’s not that FanSided is inherently bad because it is different – I actually love TheMarySue.com…but that’s due to the strength of the writers on it.

      I wouldn’t mind if they hired people with…”knowledgeable” things to say about the series. Heck, even IGN’s video reviews seem to at least “pay attention” to the TV series. While they weren’t the worst videos, it felt like people with short term memories who didn’t really pay attention.

      ThroneCast in the UK was an entirely different feeling, you know? This was no ThroneCast.

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    48. Veltigar: But the thing I hated the most was the weapons section. I watched two of those and the idiot who made it was just wrong. The moron never had his facts straight about the origin of weapons and/or canon facts, he was just talking out of his ass .

      Specific examples?

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    49. I enjoy Rebecca Pahle’s Dame of Thrones pieces. She’s a very good writer, one of my favorites at the Mary Sue, and I don’t think every post has to be an uber-serious no-fun-having bit. I like the variety presented in the posts. I think the issue is just that there were so many problems going on at the site by that time, and there was just TOO much new stuff all at once. And hey, to each their own as far as taste.

      We’ll still have interview posts here but they’ll be like what you’ve seen so far- usually several rounded up at once, unless an interview has some really amazing new info or tons of talking points.

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    50. The Dragon Demands,

      Two that I remember from the top of my head, in the video about wildfire he says that Davos was the archer who ignited the wildfire that destroyed Stannis’ fleet. Also, in the same video, he says that Beric Dondarrion used wildfire to set his sword on fire in his fight against Sandor.

      After that I didn’t bother watching anymore.

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    51. Sue the Fury,

      Agreed! Dame of thrones was fun. “Player of thrones”…. Less so.

      I also did enjoy the video recap, because I always enjoy hearing the thoughts of unsullied. though it was nothing special and there are plenty of homegrown independent unsullied vids out there (and ably compiled by the real Ex-WiC crew)!

        Quote  Reply

    52. Sue the Fury: We’ll still have interview posts here but they’ll be like what you’ve seen so far- usually several rounded up at once, unless an interview has some really amazing new info or tons of talking points.

      Oh I like the interviews with the cast, crew and writers and I like the way they were handled on WiC in the past and how they are handled here. Nice and tidy.

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    53. OK. WiC reported that Charles Dance will voice act in Witcher 3: Wild Hunt… Not only is the info barely related to GoT, that “news” is also almost 4 month old (could be that it was not made official up until now). – I guess I should just stop visiting the site, it just makes me sad…

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    54. Was about to join you all but everything has already been said. The live show, player of thrones, cocktail posts and especially the weapons videos were utter garbage. Glad we’re rid of Fansided.

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    55. Veltigar: Two that I remember from the top of my head, in the video about wildfire he says that Davos was the archer who ignited the wildfire that destroyed Stannis’ fleet. Also, in the same video, he says that Beric Dondarrion used wildfire to set his sword on fire in his fight against Sandor.

      After that I didn’t bother watching anymore.

      Oh dear lord…

      EDIT: Having watched it, I seriously think he was just quoting stuff we wrote on Game of Thrones Wiki. I mean he uses specific turns of phrase from our article on “Wildfire”. He also thinks that Davos is the one who said “piss on wildfire and you get your cock burned off”.

      Look, anyone can use GoT Wiki to “fact check” something….he sounds like he’s simply “quoting” it, without comprehension.

      Meanwhile….again, that it feels “alien”…..the guy in the video seems like just some vapid model actor they hired; he seems to have no understanding of the lines he’s saying, he’s just reading something someone else wrote. Or did they “write” this? But they don’t sound too experienced.

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    56. I, like so many others, are so happy and grateful y’all decided to take the chance, leave the old place, and take the Black. Thank you!

      I also wanted to say that while I absolutely understand and agree it’s time to put all the drama to rest, the fact so many stood up to defend you against the Giant’s claims is a testament to how much people have appreciated all the work y’all have put in over the years!

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    57. Queenofthrones,

      Glad someone mentioned the Player of Thrones posts as well. I skimmed a couple of them…they were riddled with inaccuracies. They also included strange fanfiction, with no explanation or preamble as to why it was there, even though GRRM has repeatedly stated he is against fanfiction.

      Also agree with Sue the Fury that Rebecca Pahle is great (along with The Mary Sue in general, most of the time, though they can be uneven).

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    58. Guys…go to Dailymotion and actually watch all six of the “Weapons of Westeros” videos.

      http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x35mcw_winteriscoming_game-of-thrones-weapons-of-westeros-profiles/1#video=x1tdmkx

      …ALL of them are simply reading off sections of the articles on these weapons from Game of Thrones Wiki and A Wiki Of Ice and Fire

      (which Game of Thrones Wiki’s articles link directly to, so I assume if they googled the wiki they’d find the other easily enough).

      No significant work went into these videos, they’re just plagiarizing the wiki. In many cases…these were articles I personally wrote, or contributed extensively to.

      Seriously, watch all six, but open up and read the articles on both wikis for “Wildfire”, “Ice”, “Needle”, “Arakh”, “Widow’s Wail”, and “Dragon”. The videos are under 2 minutes each, please do this.

      Wildfire

      Closely using language from GoTWiki, says Davos made that quote about it and that Davos fired the arrow; while Thoros is famous for using wildfire on his swords, he says Thoros gave one to Beric (despite the fact that Wildfire is green).

      it gets worse from here:

      Needle

      AWOIAF has no article on “Water Dancing”, they’re directly copying the Game of Thrones Wiki article on Water Dancing and on “Needle” (which interlink).

      “The Water Dance, so called for its emphasis on fluid motion, quick advances, and stabbing attacks…This fighting style employs a sideways stance to provide opponents with a smaller target.”

      I PERSONALLY wrote this phrasing into Game of Thrones Wiki:
      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Needle?diff=70312&oldid=67895
      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Water_Dance?diff=63139&oldid=63126

      Widow’s Wail

      They just read off details from AWOIAF – they even used a fanart image of Widow’s Wail from AWOIAF (well, Fantasy Flight Games illustration).
      I think he just used the two, cross-referenced, for this one.
      …did they have legal permission to use that Fantasy Flight Games illustration which they found on AWOIAF’s page for Widow’s Wail?

      Dothraki Arakh
      “The arakh is designed for optimium combat from horseback, it is described as being half-sword half-scythe, with a blade roughly two and a half feet long, and a handle almost the same length, providing excellent control and wrist maneuverability.”

      This is almost a verbatim quote of GoTWik’s “Arakh” article. Even the bit about wrist control, which is something we sort of speculated on which wasn’t stated in the books but our insertion.

      It gets worse….

      “In the books, Martin describes this as a half-sword, half-scythe, actually meaning a curved sword similar to a Persian scimitar. But the armorers for the show took him at his word, creating a weapon that starts out as a sword blade, the curves into a crescent moon. The TV arakh is more reminiscent of an ancient Egyptian kopesh.”

      He’s copying our “in the books” section – the behind-the-scenes photo he uses of a stack of prop arakhs is even the exact same one from our article on “arakhs” – they didn’t bother to find their own. It isn’t an image from the TV series itself but from a production video, they didn’t expend effort into finding it but took advantage of the time and effort the wiki took in finding and screencapping it. Part of it is also copied from AWOIAF – particularly, Meliane brought up that it’s like an Egyptian Kopesh, back in July 2013, and I later interlinked that factoid into GoTWiki’s “in the books” section — the difference is that our page on “Arakhs” links to AWOIAF’s article, so we’re not exactly “plagiarizing” them if we cross-promote with AWOIAF on almost every page of the wiki. This WiC.Net video has no acknowledgements whatsoever.
      The final third of the video is simply VERBATIM reading off the Game of Thrones Wiki article:

      “Jorah Mormont notes that while the sweeping blade is effective and indeed necessary for a warrior on horseback, the arakh pales in comparison to the Westerosi double-edged sword for battling without a mount or at penetrating armor.”

      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Arakh?diff=75255&oldid=74718

      They just block quoted this paragraph!

      Now that paragraph was mostly written back in Season 1 before I joined the site by an Admin who has since left, but that SPECIFIC phrase “effective and indeed necessary”…that’s me! That’s my writing style! They’re directly quoting my work (now owned by Wikia) for monetary gain!

      Dragons

      This video in particular….read Game of Thrones Wiki’s “dragons” article first (not the “Season 1” stuff onwards, the description stuff in the first half). Then watch the video.

      He’s blatantly just reading through the Game of Thrones Wiki “Dragons” article and quoting off verbatim sections from it!

      Nor does he even seem to comprehend what he’s saying, but just skipping around….I mean it doesn’t “flow” well; he’s randomly start saying “dragons are covered in scales” because that happens to be the first line of a paragraph.

      “Although long thought to be extinct, Daenerys Targaryen was able to hatch three dragons and fill the skies once more with their song.”

      …I *personally* wrote that! In particular this isn’t a verbatim quote, true, but he’s blatantly copying the way I framed the article: http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/index.php?title=Dragons&diff=108428&oldid=104321
      “t the same time that the War of the Five Kings began in Westeros, [[Daenerys Targaryen]] – last scion of the deposed House Targaryen – miraculously hatched three new dragons from their eggs, and for the first time in generations, the skies of the world are filled with the music of dragons once again.”

      I included the line as a nod to the closing line of the first novel.

      “Not much is known of how to hatch Dragons, but we turn to the House motto of the Targaryens, ‘Fire and Blood'”

      Again, I wrote that personally: http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/index.php?title=Dragons&diff=121762&oldid=120247

      “The secret key to hatching the eggs seems to involve some form of [[Blood Magic|blood magic]]: as the [[House Words|House words]] of the Targaryens hint, it requires “fire and blood”.”

      WiC.net:
      “Although roughly the size of a cat when born, dragons never stop growing: the largest dragon in recorded history was Bal-er-on the Black Dread [he mispronounces “Balerion” as “Baleron”, hinting that he’s just reading something someone else wrote]…who lived for nearly two centuries and had a skull the size of a horse-drawn carriage.”

      Game of Thrones Wiki, the last link I gave here, also written by me personally:
      “Newly hatched dragons are about the size of a small cat, but they grow very rapidly, reaching the size of a small pony in only three or four years. It is unknown at what age dragons reach reproductive maturity. Dragons never stop growing as long as they live, and they can live for centuries, though many died in combat before reaching such an age. The largest Targaryen dragon, Balerion the Black Dread, lived for nearly two centuries and had a skull the size of a carriage.”

      WiC.net:
      “As reptiles, Dragons are covered in scales, and are also equipped with rows of long spines. Their claws and teeth are as powerful as swords. ”
      Game Of Thrones Wiki, section personally written by me:
      “The teeth and claws of adult dragons are as long and sharp as swords.” (further down the page is the next part ) “As reptiles, Dragons are covered in scales, as well as spiny horns which run down their backs from head to tail.”

      WiC.Net
      “And most delightfully, they have the ability to produce and breathe fire. Most scholars believe that two chemicals are produced by two separate glands in the mouth, and when mixed, combust in a volatile, directional flame-jet. Dragonflame is said to be able to turn flesh to ash, melt steel, and even crack stone. The scales of their bodies also seem to protect the dragons from any fire damage. ”

      Game of Thrones Wiki, section PERSONALLY written by me!

      “Probably the most famous attribute of dragons is their ability to breathe fire. Dragonflame can turn flesh to ash, melt steel, and crack stone. Older dragons can produce more intense flame for longer durations. Dragons seem to produce their fire-breath by expelling chemicals out of two tubes in the back of their throats: when these volatile substances combine, they undergo an intense reaction which bursts into a directed jet of fire. The bodies of dragons are also very resistant to fire, particularly their own flames, which don’t even damage their own mouths as they expel them. ”

      Wic.net:

      “Dragons cannot be tamed, but they can be trained or mastered. The Targaryens rode dragons into battle and unified the Seven Kingdoms.”

      This is a VERBATIM copy of GoTWiki’s article, in the first line, and clearly quoting the second line:

      “Dragons cannot be truly tamed but they can be trained or mastered. The Valyrians rode dragons for millennia. Aegon I Targaryen and his sister-wives, descended from Old Valyria, used the last three dragons in the world to conquer and unify the Seven Kingdoms.”

      (I didn’t write the actual line “cannot be tamed”, though I think I myself later tweaked it to “never ‘truly’ tamed” and refined the bits about the Targaryen invasion….even so this is blatantly ripping off what was written on Game of Thrones Wiki)

      Wic.net:
      “One final fun fact: dragons cannot eat raw meat. Therefore they always roast it with their flame before consuming it, although the meat itself can be anything from sheep to fallen soldiers. ”

      I PERSONALLY WROTE THIS ON GAME OF THRONES WIKI!
      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/index.php?title=Dragons&diff=123127&oldid=120536
      “Dragons are obligate carnivores, with diets consisting entirely of meat. Dragons need to roast their prey with their fire-breath before consuming it. Dragons can eat almost any kind of meat, anything from sheep to fish. Historical dragons ridden as beasts of war were known to eat fallen horses and even men on the battlefield. Fully grown dragons could swallow a live horse whole.”

      Most of these quoted article sections are things *I personally wrote*, which adds further insult. Now once I write it it belongs to the wiki, that’s not my point. And others have tweaked a word here or there in the past two years (“Dragons” and “Arakh” and “Water Dancing” were mostly me, some of the others were done more by other editors but I at least contributed to them personally). But the “intellectual property” belongs to Game of Thrones Wiki and Wikia, the company, and they’re stealing, legally stealing, our intellectual property. At no point in those videos do you see any disclaimers that “we took some information from Game of Thrones Wiki” (almost all, actually)….and this isn’t a podcast or something. These videos were *monetized* and paid for with ad revenue.

      I am stunned at this. They hired actors unfamiliar with the show to…read off Game of Thrones Wiki articles as video content? And BADLY because even with our articles open in front of them, they mix up facts like who shot the wildfire arrow or how “Balerion” is spelled and pronounced?

      This is a new low.

      I am going to complain about this to my superiors at Wikia – I’m an Admin on GoTWiki but they’re the “Staffers” for Wikia the company. I want to pursue legal action.

      Do you guys there is sufficient cause for this?

      If nothing else, I hope that threatening legal action will make them suspend any future videos of this kind during Season 5. I want them to know that they cannot plagiarize Game of Thrones Wiki with impunity. Or if nothing else, to spread the word out as a YahooNews headline, “FanSided isn’t actually making new content, they’re copying stuff from Wikis almost verbatim.”

      Metaphorically, from a legal/financial standpoint, I will burn them to the ground for this.

      WatchersOnTheWall.com, you have an ally at Game of Thrones Wiki.

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    59. Thank you Crows! I almost didn’t click on the FB link about GOO, but I am so happy I did. I thought it was just me about WIC. I would have been incensed to go on WIC and not find my Oz. I think you were the only thing I ever read there by the end of the season. A girl is glad the gang is back in town!

      And I shall not pile on about my horrific experience being tricked into reading fan fiction on WIC…. I would rather be Oberyned than that.

      May peace be in your realm!

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    60. The Dragon Demands,

      Some of the segments are a lot closer than others, and yeah, some bits are absolutely verbatim. That’s pretty shocking. I can understand fact-checking with the wiki, for sure, but just copying from it like that is not okay. Talk to your people at the GoT wiki, we really can’t advise you on this one with legal issues involved.

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    61. Sue the Fury:
      The Dragon Demands,

      Some of the segments are a lot closer than others, and yeah, some bits are absolutely verbatim. That’s pretty shocking. I can understand fact-checking with the wiki, for sure, but just copying from it like that is not okay. Talk to your people at the GoT wiki, we really can’t advise you on this one with legal issues involved.

      I know you can’t. I simply meant, “do I look like a hothead for complaining about this to my superiors at Wikia….or, does it look like they verbatim copied so much of our content (without making any notice of it) that I wouldn’t, you know, lose my adminship for complaining about it to the higher ups?”

      I’m worried I’ll be Daenerys killing 163 slavemasters in self-righteous fury, but not thinking through the long-term ramifications of this.

      But this IS NOT a personal vendetta….they rather blatantly made near-verbatim copies of articles on Game of Thrones Wiki. All they needed to do was put up a disclaimer or citation or something, even in fine print, and they didn’t.

      Well *I* myself am not “threatening” to do anything, other than to inform my superiors (the two Wikia Staffers who check in with us, Grace and Brian) and I hope they know what to do.

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    62. The Dragon Demands,

      They do seem to blatantly rip off the GoT wiki. I think you definitely should report this to your superiors. Don’t expect anything to come of it though. As someone with a little experience in law (though certainly not in the right jurisdiction), I can tell you that from what little I know it’s very hard to make these kinds of intellectual property cases stick. The fact that this is wiki material probably complicates things even further.

      Still, that shouldn’t discourage you. You as a writer and the wiki as a company have more than enough reason to demand an apology from Fansided. That’s the very least they can do. Plus it would be pretty embarrassing for them if the GoT wiki would publicly denounce them. That would hurt their brand, especially if people are made aware of this site at the same time.

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    63. The Dragon Demands

      Not to add fuel to the dragon fire, but if it was my work that was being copied and/or so obviously paraphrased like that, without citation, I would not be happy about it. I would ask myself, if this were a University situation, would it be considered plagiarism (which can often result in expulsion)? I believe the answer, at least in some of the instances you cited, would be, “yes.” I understand your hesitation wondering whether you’d be perceived as a hothead for bringing it to the powers that be on GOT wiki, but I think that would have a lot to do with how you approach them with it. You’d certainly have to take a deep breath, or at least I would, and maybe frame as watching out for their intellectual property, which, even though it originated with you, since you said once you post it, they own it, would be, in essence, what you’re doing. You’d also have to be willing to accept it if they chose not to pursue anything. Perhaps maybe just suggesting they immediately cease and desist with the quoting and obvious direct paraphrasing without citation, and that they go back in and cite that which has already been used, somehow.

      Best of luck. If anyone feels this post has the potential to give rise to more problems, please feel free to delete it (like you need my permission 😉 ). I’m just giving my opinion on what I would do, and it is not meant to perpetuate any drama between the sites.

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    64. No justice, no peace! Al Buhndee, the militant wing of the shadow fandom, stands ready to whine and be kinda annoying.

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    65. The Dragon Demands,

      Well, I was more thinking along the lines of an announcement on the home page about the troubles, with a sly reference to WotW tucked in 😉 But it’s already great that your using links from this site. I imagine you won’t have to refer much to WiC.net anymore for info.

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    66. The Dragon Demands,

      Dragon Demands,

      I’m not a lawyer and anyway I’m based in the UK and probably the rules are different in the USA. But I wondered, are there any law firms that could give you some advice pro bono? Communicating with your superiors sounds a good idea. My understanding is that much of the difficulty in bringing intellectual property cases regarding the internet is that the “rip-off” merchant is often in a different country with less stringent IP rules. You are justified in feeling angry, though, when you have worked hard. Is “Wikia” open-source the way Wikipedia is? What the person(s) using your material has/have done is not ethically right, though, even if it should prove to be legal. Last year I wrote a few pieces for a friend for shorthand dictation (not for publication and not for money and not about ASOIAF). A couple of websites I contacted (to ask whether I could use some of their information only re-written in my own wording and mentioning them as the source) did not get back to me, so in those cases I did not use anything from the said websites.

      People don’t always get away with using other folks’ work. Many, many years ago a college friend more or less copied a magazine article verbatim when penning an essay. As it happened the lecturer marking the essay had read the article the same night that he corrected her essay. He told her he had intended to give her a fail mark but instead gave her the lowest pass he could for cheek (it wasn’t part of an exam). She didn’t pull the same stroke again though and has been known to tell the tale as a dining-out story since.

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    67. The Dragon was asleep.

      Since WatchersOnTheWall.com launched one month ago, and we learned of exactly what happened to the old site….the Dragon has dreamed.

      Now the Dragon is awake.

      They woke the Dragon, and now there is only one course of action.

      The Dragon will Demand. ..

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    68. The Dragon Demands:
      The Dragon was asleep.

      Since WatchersOnTheWall.com launched one month ago, and we learned of exactly what happened to the old site….the Dragon has dreamed.

      Now the Dragon is awake.

      They woke the Dragon, and now there is only one course of action.

      The Dragon will Demand. ..

      Ah, come on. I can understand that you’re pissed off, but this is getting slightly ridiculous here. “The dragon” should calm down and stop being overly dramatic.

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    69. I was talking about your other posts too. I’m sure you did a lot of great work over there at the wiki and you’ve informed us now in great detail about every single article personally written by you which the evil empire plagiarised and yes, you and the wiki deserve an apology. But still, you’re starting to sound like Emmon Frey waving his royal decree.

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    70. The Dragon Demands: At no point in those videos do you see any disclaimers that “we took some information from Game of Thrones Wiki” (almost all, actually)….and this isn’t a podcast or something. These videos were *monetized* and paid for with ad revenue.

      Given the fact that you are an admin for the wikia, I guess you know that already, but since the content was (most likely) published under the Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 Fansided is save monetizing things from the wikia, as long as it’s a remix, which, from my understanding, it is. For the record, I’m not a license lawyer, so I could be wrong.

      Edit: Actually, maybe they are not. The terms of content use are not totally clear to me… The fact that they didn’t gave any credit to the wikia, could be a problem for them, even under that license.

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    71. I am stunned at this. They hired actors unfamiliar with the show to…read off Game of Thrones Wiki articles as video content? And BADLY because even with our articles open in front of them, they mix up facts like who shot the wildfire arrow or how “Balerion” is spelled and pronounced?

      That is pretty awful, but unfortunately its the way of the internet world anymore. Plagarism is considered the MO for many organizations and individuals. You know, its really not hard at the very least to reference the writer that you are quoting. But obviously it is. It happens all of the time – that is not an excuse, or a suggestion that it should continue. But I am not sure how much a complaint will do

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    72. The Dragon Demands:
      (dude, I’m trying to have a dramatic moment here…)

      THIS IS NOT THE DRAGON DEMANDS WE’VE COME TO KNOW AND TOLERATE! If by the end of the day you have not put wic.net on your silly spike wall, you will not be owed any damn awe! You’ve put ppl for less. Trust me.

      (Can’t believe I’ve typed that! lol)

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    73. Bard,

      Well Bard I was posting that the moment I realized it; that was my instant reaction. Now I’ve calmed down but the gears are turning…

      …..you guys seriously take all of that “they woke the dragon!” stuff literally? I’m just…goofing around, guys…… 🙂

      Well that’s just it, Abyss: I don’t expect “money” or something crazy like that: I expected the one thing that, having read that license you linked, they’re actually officially supposed to do: provide some sort of acknowledgement that “We read some of this from Game of Thrones Wiki” like in the credits at the end or something. They didn’t. They passed it off as their own work. People can QUOTE Wikis for free and without permission: they cannot pass it off as their own research.

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    74. The Dragon Demands,

      And an acknowledgement is exactly what the wiki could get. 🙂 The only reason I hesitate is because “open source licenses” are not as simple as they might look and I’m sure there are loopholes that could be used by Fansided. I mean, I posted the short version, but look at the whole thing , it’s terrifying. 😀

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    75. The Dragon Demands:

      I am stunned at this.They hired actors unfamiliar with the show to…read off Game of Thrones Wiki articles as video content?And BADLY because even with our articles open in front of them, they mix up facts like who shot the wildfire arrow or how “Balerion” is spelled and pronounced?

      Guess he wasn’t really a maester then…I’d have to think even most casual Unsullied viewers would know Davos isn’t the one who fired the arrow that set Davos’ boat on fire…that would be suicide.

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    76. The Dragon Demands,

      You were a pretty convincing “goofer” Dragon. Though it doesn’t take long to say “thank you” or cite a source for information…so what the other party did was rude even if it scrapes by on being the right side of legal.

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    77. Bard:
      I was talking about your other posts too. I’m sure you did a lot of great work over there at the wiki and you’ve informed us now in great detail about every single article personally written by you whichthe evil empire plagiarised and yes, you and the wiki deserve an apology. But still, you’re starting to sound like Emmon Frey waving his royal decree.

      Bard,

      Hahahahaha. This made me lol. You iterated exactly what was on my mind. The Dragon Demands, thanks for the work but come on; leave it be.

        Quote  Reply

    78. Being an old man (over 35) of the fan community I did not know what was going on with the old site as it, and not twitter or tumbler, was my only source of GoT news.

      I was curious about the fluff pieces, but I ignored them. I still went there for the news and recaps. What drove me away was the devolution of the comments section. It makes sense Oz was no longer moderating. A healthy internet community depends on dedicated and informed moderation to save us from ourselves.

      To my shame, I engaged with the trolls. As I said I am over 35. I didn’t grow up in comments sections and learn how to control my nerd rage when goaded. The experience almost ruined my enjoyment of the last season.

      Thankfully the unresponsive moderation of comments on Old Nan had a positive result. I went there today out of boredom and clicked on one of the lazy set photo posts only to find mention of this site improbably undeleted in the comments section.

      I will miss the familiar snowflake on my shortcut bar, but people are far more important than an icon and a url. The people on this site is what made the old place great and I am glad to have found you again. The old man has packed his gear and followed the young folks to the wall, one step ahead of the Giant.

      Now that I am here, I will try to not to annoy you all with the stories about how (insert creaky old man voice) “In my day we had to walk uphill in six feet of snow to get a bootleg VHS tape of some cheaply made genre programing like Zena or Babylon 5. Now eat your adaptation choices and stop complaining or no desert.”

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    79. Being an old man (over 35) of the fan community I did not know what was going on with the old site as it, and not twitter or tumbler, was my only source of GoT news.

      Wait a minute, if you are an old man over 35, what in the hell does that make me being over 55? Yikes. Well, I do think Im doing pretty well just navigating the net amongst all these younguns, so i must be doing ok. I too will miss that little snowflake, but I’ll get used to that big black W instead.

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    80. Very glad that I found out about this new site… I too was still meandering around the old site wondering what the hell happened. Long live Watchers on the Wall!

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    81. I just found out about this whole thing. It was apparent that the content had changed, and I just stopped visiting WiC as often. Happened to check today and read some comments and found the link to this site.

      So pleased to find you guys again! I thought the spirit was lost forever! I had chalked it up to FanSided taking over. I had no idea the whole story behind it.

      This group of editors have long been my favorite source for Game of Thrones show news. The professionalism and the care for the material in which they were reporting made it stand out above the rest. Very glad to that you guys still have a home.

      Supporting the Bottom from the Deep South

      Long live the OG crew!

      I will Take the Black with you and join your watch!

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    82. What would be better? An enormous group hug or an enormous cuddle puddle? Love you all, respect you all… sort of. 🙂

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    83. To be honest, it was not until after reading the new “Unsullied” recap at WiC that I realized something was wrong. What had happened? Where was Oz? I know, my head was apparently in the clouds again. Although I found the whole drink mix videos both pointless and annoying, I never thought they came to be in the manner described above. Fortunately, the WiC comments revealed this site to me. I came for the Oz. I’m staying for the season 5 banquet. Forever /Unbesmirched

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    84. So, so glad to have found WotW in recent weeks. WiC had become down right depressing. Their writing made me feel like they thought that I, the reader, was an idiot.
      So I stopped going to WiC sometime ago. And later, since I was suffering from GoT news withdrawal, I started searching for other GoT fansites via search engine and voila’!, found some very familiar names at WotW. Sorry to hear what lead to the “divorce”, but methinks we’re all better off now watching from the Wall. 🙂 Cheers!

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    85. It took me until week two of the season to remember my favorite online fun after an episode – Wednesday! Twitter Recap! I had stopped going to WiC because, well, yeah. Obvious. So I pull up the twitter recap, and… huh? 10 posts? No real humor? No wit? What happened??

      I figured the old gang had retired and my favorite part of GoT after the show was gone, but am glad to now find this new site. Thanks for re-establishing over in a different corner, guys.

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