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“The World of Ice and Fire” Sample Released

You may remember me telling you that come 2014, George RR Martin would be putting out a new book in the Ice and Fire series. No, it’s not Winds of Winter, no matter how hard you’re hoping. (Nevermind that he should be releasing it this summer if he has any hope of keeping up with the show he’s spawned.)

Instead, the book we will be getting is entitled The World of Ice and Fire. (Current target release date: October.) It is a compendium of all those back story histories that are peppered in snatches throughout the novels. These tales are told in garbled myth form, spat back to us in half remembered children’s tales. If there were a Hermione character in the series she would walk around yelling at the Jon Snows of the world to put down their swords and read this book already. (Instead we’ll make do with Shireen.)

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For those who have not read the books, these histories are almost completely left out of the TV show. Partly for time management, and partly because sudden flashback story telling to hundreds of years before the current drama can be an episode momentum killer. To their credit, Benioff and Weiss have made a concerted effort to include the histories that are cut back in as DVD extras. But divorced from their original introductions and not given in context of the story at hand, they lose a lot of their relevance. (To be fair, the first time someone tells the story of, say “The Year of The False Spring” to pass the time on the road, it doesn’t seem all that relevant either. It’s not until the story is retold for the third time from yet another point of view, that we understand the indirect reveal that makes the story relevant to our characters today.)

For the book readers, these histories are one of the layers interwoven throughout the series, and having them fleshed out into a full historical volume will enrich the story’s telling. For those who only watch the show, this book will give you a whole new level to be working off of as the story unfolds.

Below we have an excerpt from the chapter dealing with Aegon’s decision to unite the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule. Later, this time period will be known as “1 AL” (AL: Years after Aegon’s Landing.)

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Ginny Weasley Articles Released On Pottermore

JK Rowling must be feeling guilty after giving Ginny the shaft a couple of months ago when she said Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. The latest addition to the Pottermore Universe are an archive of press dispatches from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, currently taking place in the Patagonian Desert. (This being a Quidditch World Cup Year explains why the History of the Quidditch World Cup was released back in March.)

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These dispatches are written by former Holyhead Harpy star Ginny Weasley, who has retired into a cushy sportswriter gig.

The first dispatch recounts the security issues around holding such a large scale event in Argentina. Entitled “Disastrous Opening Ceremony Leads to Questions About Quidditch World Cup Security,” we learn how the release of two team mascots accidentally lead to violence.

A bloodbath is precisely what occurred when the two monsters were released into the magical lake through gigantic crystal chutes. Fijian and Norwegian handlers plunged into the seething waters to contain their respective mascots, but their efforts were greatly hampered by the Brazilian Curupiras (red-haired, forest-dwelling dwarves, whose feet point backwards and who protect fellow creatures whom they feel are under threat from humans). Evidently believing that the handlers meant the Dukuwaqa and the Selma harm, the Curupiras attacked.

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American Idol XII: Top Seven Elimination

Well, would you look at this. As we get closer to the Top Five, some of our Idols are building momentum, and it’s reflecting on the iTunes charts.

Irene poses at the party for the finalists of "American Idol XIII" in West Hollywood

#49 “Creep” Jena Irene
#109 “A-Team” Alex Preston 
#152 “Sail Away” Sam Woolf
#215 “Family Tree” Caleb Johnson

I’ve thought since they started showing these rankings that the sales might pick up as we reached the Top Five and the one who last develop fan bases. Idol viewers aren’t the type to buy songs early, only to end up with tracks on their iPods of Top 11 finalists. Personally, I think you can bank on these four being the core of the Top Five, with Dexter probably rounding out the last slot.

That means either CJ goes home at long last, or Jessica (who has never been in the bottom) winds up with the shock!boot tonight. Veteran idol watchers are betting on the latter. I am too.

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(I Should Have Been A Blogger)

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