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James Dashner's 'Maze Runner' series has become a sensation in the world of young-adult fiction – the books have taken up long-term residence on the New York Times bestseller lists, and the first motion picture adaptation of the series will be released by 20th Century Fox in early 2014, starring MTV's own Dylan O' Brien.  Dashner's highly-anticipated next book, The Eye Of Minds, will be released this October, and we've teamed with our friends at Delacorte/Random House to bring MTV Geek readers an EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK at the new book trailer, and a Q&A with the author: Read More...

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image by adramenda on DeviantArt

by Katherine Erlikh

Hogwarts House Pride week kicks off today with a spotlight on Slytherin House. So, best to get your green and silver everything, and open up the Chamber - we're going to have a blast! And a basilisk, but more on that later.

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I am not very familiar with the MMO "Dragon's Prophet" as it is very new; that much, I will admit. However, when I saw the cosplay photos this morning in my DeviantArt search for "dragons" (because everyone is not coping very well with their "Game of Thrones" withdrawals and clearly, the way to fix this is with dragons), well... let's just say I was enchanted. And you'll totally get it when you see it.

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THE CITY OF EMBER deluxe cover

In May of this year, Random House released a tenth anniversary deluxe edition of the young-adult fantasy novel "The Book Of Ember," (Read an exclusive excerpt!) a title that has garnered great acclaim from readers, reviewers and educators, and spawned a loyal fan following (and three sequel novels). We got the chance to speak with author Jeanne DuPrau about what surprises lie in wait in this new edition, and what she's working on next.

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Late Wednesday afternoon, it was officially announced that Universal Pictures had optioned IDW's highly-regarded Locke & Key comic for development as a major motion picture.

For those who may just be hearing of the series for the first time, Locke & Key is a property created by New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill and Eisner nominated artist Gabriel Rodriguez.  The comic follows siblings who move to their family's ancestral estate after their father's death, and there they discover magical keys that unlock long-buried secrets and give their users supernatural powers.  The collected editions have made multiple appearances on the New York Times bestseller lists, garnered several nominations (and one win) at the comic industries annual Eisner Awards, and won two British Fantasy Awards for Best Graphic Novel. Read More...

The Hobbit Fan Vid Reaction

by Alison H. Mayer

Yes, yes, yes we've seen the first trailer for 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug', and nothing warms the heart like a three-hour romp through the magic of Peter Jackson's Middle Earth. Except for maybe, POSSIBLY this video. Read More...

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by Katherine Erlikh

This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the Book Expo America 2013 at the Javits Center. While I have previously attended comic book and anime conventions both big and small, this was my first time at a book convention. It was certainly a very startling and different experience. The BEA is the largest book trade convention in the United States. Publishers, authors, booksellers, teachers, librarians and dedicated readers flock to the expo annually, seeking the panels, new readers, autographs and freebies.

I had very few expectations, but I was thinking it would be similar to New York Comic Con (which also takes place at the Javits). Even though it was quite different, and at times I felt a little lost, I had a great time at the event.

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As usual, let's start things off with ****SPOILER ALERT****!!!!

So at the end of last year, MTV Geek posted how everyone's favorite fantasy author (not to mention the most famous person currently living in New Mexico), George R. R. Martin had put up on his blog a chapter from his unreleased sixth novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter.   For those of you who didn't read it, the chapter revolves around Theon Greyjoy sharing a couple LOL moments with Stannis Baratheon and company.

With the second season of Game of Thrones getting ready to kick off this Sunday on HBO, Martin must be in a happy, giving mood because he decided in a taped interview to read another scene from Winds.  Below is the full interview, with the reading beginning around the 29:54 marker: Read More...

Do you like to look at toys and artwork you'll probably never own? Well, you're in luck today! At the first annual Power-Con/ThunderCon this past weekend in Los Angeles, a gallery was set up consisting of both original artwork and highly sought-after collectibles from the Masters of the Universe and ThunderCats properties. We'll not bore you with details of the elaborate plans we hatched in our heads for "liberating" those vintage MOTU figure prototypes, and will instead get right into some photos!

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MTV Geek and Dynamite Entertainment are pleased to give you your first look at Red Sonja #65 and Queen Sonja #26, hitting stands in December:

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could spend a weekend getaway in the Shire like Frodo and the other Hobbits? Thanks to Montana couple Steve and Christina Michaels our dream of visiting Hobbiton may soon become a reality.

The Michaels have built a life-size Hobbit house and a miniature Shire to match, but it won’t be the rustic stay most of us are expecting. The house is filled with modern amenities including HDTVs, satellite radio, WiFi and Blu-ray players. Read More...

Remember the massive Dark Tower in Lord of the Rings where the Eye of Sauron floated around scanning all of Middle Earth for that precious One Ring? Well, some guy made that thing out of LEGOs and he only had to use an estimated 50,000 bricks!

Kevin Walter is the LEGO madman behind this terrifying creation. It was recently on display at Brickworld 2011 and it stands 5-feet, 9-inches tall! I can’t imagine how long it took him to build this monster, but there’s no doubt Kevin put a lot of time into it. Head past the break to see just how big this thing really is. Read More...

The following review is from our friends at Westeros.org.  Stay tuned for our podcast review and discussion of episode 9: Baelor later on!

Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

Directed by Alan Taylor

IMDB Synopsis (by HBO Publicity)

Ned (Sean Bean) makes a fateful decision; Robb takes a prized prisoner; Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finds her reign imperiled.

Analysis

The sole episode submitted by HBO for Emmy consideration in the writing category, “Baelor” delivered the high emotion, strong themes, and great performances that mark an episode very much worth a few awards. We won’t know the result of the Emmy submissions for awhile, but we do know that the show tied two top-flights shows with 4 nominations at the Television Critics Association Awards, and doubtless there’ll be more significant award considerations to come. This episode contains one of the most iconic scenes in the whole of the series, the death of Eddard Stark before a crowd of Kingslanders, brought to this fate despite agreeing to lie for the sake of his daughter. It’s a moment that no one who’s read the novels ever forgets… and it’s one that brought tears to my eyes when I watched it.

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The following review is from our friends at Westeros.org.  Last week they gave us their review of episode 6, A Golden Crown, and stay tuned for our podcast review and discussion of episode 7 later on!

Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss

Directed by Daniel Minahan

IMDB Synopsis (by HBO Publicity)

Explaining that the future of the Lannisters is at stake, Tywin (Charles Dance) presses Jaime to “be the man you were meant to be” as they prepare for battle. Ned confronts Cersei about the secrets that killed Jon Arryn. With the fate of the missing Benjen (Joseph Mawle) very much on his mind, Jon Snow takes his Night’s Watch vows, though not with the assignment he coveted. After Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) saves Daenerys from treachery, an enraged Drogo vows to lead the Dothraki where they’ve never gone before. An injured Robert takes pains to ensure an orderly transition at King’s Landing.

Analysis

“You Win or You Die” is a moment the show has been building to for seven episodes, and it executes it all very smoothly, very well… but perhaps, for the first time, the fact that we know the story so exactly means that some of the shine has been taken off of this moment; but perhaps that’s only us. This is a very solid episode, and there’s some excellent work both from director Daniel Minahan and writers David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Of the new scenes, by far the best for us was Tywin Lannister’s introduction. Charles Dance was the actor we most wanted from the role when Benioff and Weiss asked the forum, early in casting, for suggestions, so it was fantastic to see him in the part. As we say in our preview, he was born to play this part, carrying off the lean, arrogant, incredibly dangerous persona perfectly. Oh, his Tywin his different, as some will tell you—he shows emotion more easily, he goads Jaime, he’s personally skinning a stag (though we doubt Tywin would never have done that; lords hunt in Westeros, and they’d know how to skin animals)—but it serves to underscore the man he is. Tywin is very much George R.R. Martin’s taking Machiavelli’s fictional prince and realizing him on the page. We’re looking forward to more from Dance. A very minor gripe, though: “I could care less” is a very American phrase and one that’s ungrammatical, since what one really wants to say is, “I could not care less”. It was about as jarring to hear as Eddard talking about fighting “for real”. Fortunately, such missteps are rare with these writers.

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This series of articles takes a close look at George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series from the perspective of a Ph.D. in Medieval history and literature.  Each book in the series will be analyzed against actual historical events in the Dark and Middle Ages along with literature, factual or fictional, from that time.  This is the first time the author is reading the novels, so keep in mind that she’s unaware of major spoilers but that spoilers will be revealed as she progresses through the material.

By Catherine Smith-Akel, Ph.D.

H? hæfde g?d geþanc
þ? hwile þe h? mid handum healdan mihte
bord and br?d swurd; b?ot h? gelæste
þ? h? æforan his fr?an feohtan sceolde.

The Battle of Maldon


The Joust

About a third of the way through Game of Thrones, a tournament is held in the Hand’s honor, a tournament that Eddard Stark wanted no part of. The tournament, however, forwards the plot in several ways, but in particular, with the death of the young knight, Hugh of the Vale, and King Robert’s insistence on taking part in the mêlée.

On the second day of the event, Ned Stark points out to Sansa that the knights are fighting with blunted lances that are supposed to splinter on impact. However, he is inwardly reflecting on Hugh’s horrific death the previous day. In England, King Henry II (1154-1189) forbade tournaments. His third son, Geoffrey of Brittany, was trampled to death in a jousting tournament. This actually changed the history of England—it was Geoffrey’s son, Arthur, who was, named by Richard the Lionheart to succeed him (Richard had no legitimate children). Evil King John (remember him from the Robin Hood stories?) had poor Arthur murdered so he, John, could be king; Arthur was about 15 at the time.

On this second day, Ned must also dissuade Robert from taking part in the mêlée. The eunuch Varys points out how easily it would have been for Robert to have been “accidentally” killed. The only king killed in a tournament was King Henry II (1519-1599) of France. He loved jousting tournaments. Similar to what happened to Hugh in Game of Thrones, King Henry’s eye was pierced by a sliver from a broken lance. The sliver of wood went through to his brain; he died about ten days later. His death, too, had an impact on the succession of the French throne.

A mêlée, however, which Robert Baratheon wanted to join, would have been a perfect way for a knight to kill the king “accidentally.” Mêlées were mock re-enactments of battles. Sometimes as many as 100 knights on each side would participate. King Edward III of England (founder of the Order of the Garter) actually challenged the King of France to a mêlée “au outrance,” meaning to the death of those who participated. The knights would not use blunted tips. King Philippe declined. Read More...

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