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…
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.
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.