As a rule, I avoid covering marketing stunts, but as an exception to that rule, I’ll do so when the stunt turns out to be genuinely helpful. You wouldn’t expect that from most companies, least of all a satellite TV provider, but DirecTV reseller Direct.TV’s “Game of Thrones: The King’s Roadmap” — an interactive, grand geographical timeline and tour of Westeros that’ll get you up to speed — fits the bill.
Game of Thrones season three snuck up on me. I didn’t realize the first episode had aired until the episode recap blogs were clogging news aggregators. I haven’t finished Game of Thrones season two yet, mostly because I had a kid last summer, which means I’m down to a couple hours of TV a week counting weekends. Game of Thrones, for all the stuff I like about David Benioff and D. B. Weiss’s surprisingly authentic translation of George R.R. Martin’s books (which I own in first editions), is on my back-burner. That said, this map makes me want to reshuffle things.
The map’s a work in progress, of course, since the show’s only up to the third book (of seven, or so we’re told). Actually the first half of the third book, either because A Storm of Swords is too darned long (at a whopping 1,216 pages it’s still got 200 on A Clash of Kings) or HBO’s hoping to give Martin more time to finish the series (he still has two books to go, and he took six years to finish the last one). In any case, Direct.TV says it’ll update the roadmap once a week as new episodes air — season three finishes its run of 10 episodes in early June 2013.
My only quibble: When you click the “Game of Thrones” banner at top, instead of taking you to the top of the page with its handy “skip to season X” links, it throws you at the Direct.TV main page; if you want to return to the top, you’ll have to scroll all the way back manually. (Or, you know, you could just read that as a metaphor for Westeros’ “low magic” setting.)
Alternately, you might find our own “Game of Thrones: A Graphic Refresher” helpful.
Game of Thrones: The King’s Roadmap [Direct.TV]