Winter is coming sooner that you might think. What was once a year-long wait for the Third Season Premiere for Game of Thrones has now dwindled down to less than 3 months! However, that’s still quite a long time to wait for something as awesome as Game of Thrones. In that case, here is a little something that might get you through the off-season without pulling your hair out in anticipation. Back on January 1, Game of Thrones fan-site WinterIsComing.net, released a one-off collector’s edition magazine with loads of information about the series. Now, I’ve been a big fan of WiC for a while now as their content and analysis show is always spot on. That being said, I was very intrigued to hear about this magazine. With their exceptional track record I was sure that WiC would fill the pages with the same quality content found on their site. And once again, they failed to disappoint.
In a nutshell, the magazine is a companion piece to the series, sort of a mini version of Bryan Cogman’s book Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones if you will. Each article is written by a member of WiC’s writing staff and packs everything from character summaries to learning how to speak Dothraki into its 82-pages.The first half of the magazine is really for newbies and those looking to gain more knowledge about the series as it’s mostly character introductions and plot recaps. Full, two-page spreads are dedicated for the most important characters, namely Tyrion, Jon, Dany, Arya, and Robb, with a short summary for each one. Other notable characters are mentioned in the following pages on a smaller scale, but a particularly nice touch are the cast quotes about what’s in store for their characters in Season Three.
There’s an article titled “Game of Thrones Cheat Sheet” that is pretty badass. Basically, it’s a complete recap of events that have rounded out the story since Season One. Even for a super-fan like me, it was nice to catch up on all the past events in the show. With the deviations from the book becoming more prevalent in Season Two, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of the differences. However, this cheat sheet is a great way for fans to recap, or simply catch-up, on the series.
Ok, so now we can finally get to the really good stuff. After the recaps and character introductions, the second half of the magazine is almost completely dedicated to Season Three. Starting out with a wonderful collection of stills from HBO’s In-Production featurette, this section goes on to feature spoilers for the show’s upcoming installment, as well as new cast members. Brand-new interviews with Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) make an appearance, with both being very good reads; and an additional interview with Game of Thrones script-writer, Bryan Cogman, is also included. The rest of the magazine is rounded out with a few more analytical articles, as well as some other content that will surely entertain fans; including cartoons depicting the most gruesome deaths from both seasons, a House alignment questionnaire, and fan art. I’m not going to go in to details about the each section, you’ll have to buy a copy to find out, but it goes without saying that this magazine truly packs a punch.
I do, however, have a few minor complaints. Mostly just nit-picky stuff. First problem I have, and this was the same with Cogman’s book, is that there isn’t a single map to be found. One question I get a lot from new readers is, “Where is Danaerys compared to everyone else?” With all the various locations mentioned throughout the series, newbies often get confused as to exactly where everything is. A reference map seems essential for any companion guide to the show, yet it is surprisingly absent. Further, I would like to have seen some of the set pictures that WiC has found during production for Season Three. Some were truly epic and would’ve made a nice addition to the magazine’s content. Although, I do suspect trying to get permission to use some of these images is somewhat of a challenge. Probably more trouble than it’s worth, especially for a one-off publication such as this (damn you copyright infringement!).
All-in-all, the magazine is packed with content and includes a little something for everyone. New viewers can relish in the character profiles and plot recaps, while more experienced fans can find valuable information in the Season Three section and the various articles that take a closer look at certain aspects of the series. For anyone looking to satisfy their Game of Thrones fix, this magazine is perfect!
Copies are on-sale now for $7.99 at newsstands throughout the U.S. only (sorry Europe!). However, you may be able to find one on eBay if you’re international. For the U.S., most local newsstands should carry the magazine. Try grocery stores, drug-stores (mine was bought at Rite-Aid), as well as retail chains like Target and Wal-mart.