Starved for GAME OF THRONES content in this long hiatus? Welcome to the club! Lucky for us, there is a near-constant stream of GAME OF THRONES news coming from the cast, creators, and (very hardworking) merchandise licensing team at HBO. Here’s your recap of the need-to-know GoT news as of December 17.

What’s the Cast Up To?

Another week of GAME OF THRONES news, another week of vague descriptions of the series’ finale from the cast. Gwendoline Christie (Lady Brienne of Tarth) told E! News that after the last episode, “You’re going to need therapy,” and that it was “incredibly emotional for the cast.” If more concrete statements from your favorite cast members are more your thing, then you’ll be happy to know the cast has filmed a reunion special to be included on the complete series box set. The special filmed in Belfast earlier this year with Conan O’Brien hosting.

We don’t have a full call sheet, but we do know a few sure things: Sean Bean (Ned Stark) spilled to Entertainment Weekly before the official announcement of the reunion that he will be there. And Richard Madden (Robb Stark), unfortunately, confirmed that he would not be in the special since he was filming the movie ROCKETMAN at the time. We also know that Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) was in Belfast during production, as well, despite seemingly not reappearing on the show. Sadly, the special is a “DVD initiative,” meaning it will not air on HBO.

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We’ll miss you and your beautiful face, Richard Madden. Courtesy of HBO.

Another Day, Another Spinoff

“GAME OF THRONES news” might as well be synonymous with “GAME OF THRONES spinoff news.” The GoT universe continues to expand. Despite earlier claims from HBO that they would only be producing one GAME OF THRONES spinoff out of the five that were in development, George RR Martin revealed that “a couple more shows” were “still being scripted” in his latest blog post. He also confirmed that the prequel series, which he is calling THE LONG NIGHT, is currently in casting (Naomi Watts will have the starring role).

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Can you maybe finish one series before coming up with ideas for more? Courtesy of AP.

Martin also told The New York Times about his ideas for even more spinoffs. This one, called SPEAR CARRIERS to Martin, would take place during the main timeline of GAME OF THRONES but would follow minor characters who occasionally interact with the main cast. “It would be more like, ‘Here’s a story about a guy in the City Watch; here’s a story about a prostitute at one of Littlefinger’s brothels; here’s a story about a mummer who’s in town to do juggling and tricks’. And they all get caught up in the events,” Martin said. A comedic addition to the GoT-verse would be a welcome departure for the series, but there is no indication that HBO has any interest in — or has even officially heard– Martin’s pitch.

A Math and Science Interlude

GAME OF THRONES news really does expand to every corner of the universe. Scholars and scientists alike can’t seem to get enough of GoT. Comcast revealed that GAME OF THRONES was its most-viewed on-demand show in 2018, despite not airing any new episodes. Though regional top-ten lists varied widely, the national leader for Comcast’s 22 million subscribers was the first seven seasons of GoT.

GAME OF THRONES fever has spread to the deepest depths of the ocean, apparently. Researchers studying marine worms name two newly discovered species after some of our favorite GAME OF THRONES characters. One, Abyssarya acus, honors Arya Stark, the researcher’s favorite character, combining her name with the Latin word “abyssus” meaning “bottomless.” The other is Hodor hodor, in honor of, you guessed it, Hodor. Hodor hodor is about four times the size of Abyssarya acus.

game of thrones news
Hodor! Courtesy of Paulo Bonifácio and Lénaïck Menot/Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

The Journal Of Injury Epidemiology published a study of deaths on GAME OF THRONES, breaking them down by the manner of death and characteristics of the deceased. Over half of the characters on the show, totaling 186, have kicked the bucket, mostly in very violent ways. “All but two deaths were due to injury, burns, or poisoning,” the study says, “with the majority being caused by assault (63.0%) or operations of war (24.4%).” If you’re a high-born, female, minor character, you’re more likely to survive. But if you’re a low-born, male, and loyal to a side, your odds aren’t good.

The Full GAME OF THRONES Experience

In other GAME OF THRONES news (or not news, really) companies continue to cash in on the GoT brand. Looking to incorporate GAME OF THRONES into every facet of your life? Then look no further, because we are very close to that level of product tie-ins.

Raise a Glass

Whiskey company Johnnie Walker released a limited-edition line of GAME OF THRONES whiskeys, aptly named White Walker. The chilled whiskey has notes of caramelized sugar and vanilla, fresh red berries, and orchard fruit. The special bottle features the iconic Johnnie Walker Striding Man decked out in the Night King’s armor and when frozen, the words “Winter is Here” appear on the bottle. Johnnie Walker is also releasing Game of Thrones-themed versions of their single malt scotch, one for each House of Westeros.

game of thrones news
Courtesy of Johnnie Walker

Travel Beyond the Seven Kingdoms

If you’re more into traveling than drinking, you better book your ticket to Belfast. HBO announced plans to turn the show’s shooting locations in Northern Ireland into tourist attractions. Sets from Winterfell, Castle Black, and Kings Landing will be open to fans. Linen Mill Studios will also feature an official studio tour with exhibitions of props and costumes. For New Yorkers, GAME OF THRONES really is inescapable. MTA MetroCards featuring some frankly odd moments from the series are now available at Grand Central Station in Manhattan. Only 250,000 of them will be available, though, so act fast.

game of thrones news
Spoiler alert, MTA. Courtesy of Thrillest

Gear Up

Not to be outdone, Adidas previewed GAME OF THRONES themed Ultra Boost running shoes. Adidas revealed the Lannister and Targaryen designs this summer, but now we have a look at the White Walker edition — just in time for winter. Designs for Stark and Night’s Watch kicks have also leaked, but it is unclear whether they are the official prototypes just yet.

game of thrones news
Dare I say these sneakers are cool. (I’ll be here all week.) Courtesy of Sneakest

All the GAME OF THRONES News That’s Fit to Print

That’s it for this week, folks! I’ll see you again in two weeks for what I can only assume is more anxiety-inducing descriptions of season eight, travel experiences to add to my bucket list, and products that I don’t need but will probably buy anyway.

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Will you be picking up some new Adidas or adding Johnnie Walker to your bar? Is a reunion enough for you to help revive the DVD industry? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!


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