A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin is one of the richest and most rewarding series currently being published in SFF, and is notable for bringing a more modern, realistic take on sexual and social mores, medieval life and the waging of war to the fantasy genre. This track celebrates both the books and the TV series, with workshops, gaming, discussion and more, and you can whet your appetite beforehand by following the track on Twitter and Tumblr. It's going to be jam packed, so sign up quickly - Winter is Coming!
5pm-6.15pm Sigil Designing Workshop – We all love our favourite houses, but what if we could design our own? Come along and design your own sigil and house words to decorate the walls of our dedicated Game of Thrones space at NineWorlds! Art supplies available, or bring your own! Unlike the rest of the track, this workshop is child friendly.
6.45pm-8pm Don’t Fight For Honour, Don’t Fight For Glory – a lively debate on our favourite houses, to get us in the mood for the weekend! Everyone welcome from the Last Hearth to The Arbor and everywhere in between! Whether you’re a Tyrell or a Tully, a Baratheon or a Bolton, come and tell us why you love your favourite house. Suitable for both book and show fans.
8.30pm-9.45pm Game of Fun! – end the day with sessions of the board game or play the card game. If you have your own sets, the organisers would appreciate you bringing them with so more people can join in.
10am-11.15am Maiden, Mother, Crone – From Arya to Yara and back again, Game of Thrones has a host of unique and varied female characters – something of a rarity in fantasy TV shows! This will be a discussion on the women of Westeros and the Free Cities, with guest panellist Laure Eve . Suitable for show watchers (spoilers to the end of Season 3). If the topic of violence towards women comes up, there will be sufficient content warning for people to leave if necessary.
11.45am-1pm Some Place Even Renly Never Found – a talk about sexuality in the ASOIAF books, the good, the bad and the problematic. This talk will be aimed at people who have read all of the currently published novels in the ASOIAF series, and there will be spoilers as far as the end of A Dance With Dragons.
1.30pm-2.45pm Beneath The Heart Tree or In The Sept – a light-hearted look at vows and the people who make them and break them, with opportunities to swear allegiance to the Nights Watch, the Kingsguard, or your favourite house, in the presence of the Hand of the King! (Followers of R’hllor the Red God are also welcome!) Come as your favourite character or create your own to interact with others.
3.15pm-4.30pm Why That Character Isn’t As Bad As You Think – The Starks are great and the Lannisters are evil, right? But the Starks held Theon hostage for ten years, and Tyrion gave Bran the chance to ride after his ‘accident’. Just who are the bad guys in these books? This session gives us a chance to discuss the challenge of POV narration in a morally grey universe, and offers an opportunity for fans of misunderstood characters to talk about their favourites. Lively debate welcome. This discussion will be aimed at the book readers amongst us, with spoilers as far as A Dance With Dragons.
6.45pm-8pm Tears Aren’t A Woman’s Only Weapon – a talk and discussion on sex work in Westeros. This session will focus on Ros, Shae, Satin, Chataya and Alayaya (two of the characters from the book who were amalgamated to create Ros), making the session suitable for both book and show viewers, with Spoilers to A Dance With Dragons and Season 3. Trigger warnings for coercion probably are needed for this session.
8.30pm-9.45pm Knowledge Is Power – Able to quote every one of Tyrion’s witticisms by heart? Certain you know the names of Dany’s dragons? Then end the day with a pub quiz style trivia session on the Game of Thrones TV show. The prize isn’t quite the Iron Throne, but it’s still worth fighting for!
11.45am-1pm Warrior Women And The Armour of Courtesy – Arya, Asha and Brienne, Cersei, Sansa and Dany – each have different ways of negotiating the world GRRM has written for them. Let’s explore the women of the books in all their glory! This session is aimed at book readers, and there will be spoilers to A Dance With Dragons. The track organiser will be joined by medieval fiction author Susan Bartholomew
1.30pm-2.45pm An Audience With Miltos Yerolemou The track head will be joined by none other than Miltos Yerolemou, who played Arya Stark's 'dancing master' Syrio Forel in HBO's Game of Thrones who will be answering questions about the show and his performance in it.
3.15pm-4.30pm I’ve Been On Trial My Whole Life – it won’t escape the notice of even the most casual reader or viewer that Game of Thrones and ASOIAF have a very high count of characters with disabilities – amputees, characters with mobility impairments, mental health problems and dwarfism all feature prominently. This will be a panel discussion of both character and fan attitudes to these characters, focusing on both portrayals in the books and the show, with guest panellist Kiruna Stamell .
5pm-6.15pm There Are No True Knights – a discussion of the men of Game of Thrones, from those who win wars with words to the ones who are very good at hitting things with swords, and the all the ones in between! The first half of this talk will be aimed at discussing the male characters on the show, and in the second half we’ll be talking about the men in the books. The track organiser will be joined by Game of Thrones star Miltos Yerolemou, the Spanish translator of the ASOIAF books, Cristina Macía and Susan Bartholomew.
6.45pm-8pm The Tilt – Three slightly smaller talks, each taking up roughly a third of the time of a full session. Come for one or all of them! The topics are:
The Fat Lord – ever noticed that Sam Tarly, Lord Manderly and Magister Ilyrio’s waistlines are referenced in every other sentence? Wonder why Fat Walda is called Fat Walda, and Varys is referred to “plump”? We’ll be talking about size, villainy and effeminacy in George RR Martin’s characters.
Dead Wrong/You Never Saw The Steel Underneath – the mischaracterisation of dead characters, with a focus on Joanna Lannister and Lyanna Stark.
The Women Are The Wronged Ones Truly – exploring the treatment of Catelyn Stark and Cersei Lannister in their translation from page to show.
8.30pm-9.45pm Your Ship Isn’t My Ship, But That’s Okay – a discussion on shipping, ship-shaming and interesting pairings in the ASOIAF/Game of Thrones fandoms.
A note on race, from the track organiser: I was debating having a session on portrayals of race in the books and show, but I thought it was deeply inappropriate for me as a white person to parcel off characters of colour into their own little separate session. so, given that I am a big fan of intersectionality, what I'm planning instead is that race will be talked about within the sexuality, women, sex work, men, sizeism, disability and warrior sessions when the relevant characters are discussed. If anyone who identifies as non-white thinks this is an inappropriate way of handling this, I am more than happy to scrap a session currently on the program in order to create a session on race, because it is, in my opinion, hugely overlooked by the ASOIAF fandom, and I want the content of this track to be as inclusive and un-tokenistic as possible. Feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to talk further about this.