Stupid Ned Stark

For now, at least, it’s all over but the wailing*: tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones on HBO was the season finale.  But for those of us who have been four books ahead of the television series all year, the main event is still to come.  The fifth book in A Song of Ice and Fire, A Dance with Dragons, is set to be released on July 12th.  But oh, it’s been a long, long wait–long enough that I’ve forgotten a lot of the intricate details that have made the books so great to begin with.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to go re-read the 4.5kg of books that have come so far.

This…is a problem for the Internet.

And as expected, the Internet is on top of things. If you’re in my situation, here’s a few sites that will help:

The Tower of the Hand:  A huge site with an extensive, chapter-by-chapter recap of the story thus far and some fun speculative essays.  It also has a really great scope filter that allows you to hide information on character and history pages based on how many books you’ve already read.  If somebody would implement this filter across the entire Web, it would mark the dawn of a golden age.  The clouds would part, trumpet-bearing cherubim would descend to play a fanfare of glory, and the light would be so wondrous it would make Edward self-immolate like the real vampire he isn’t.  Alas.

A Wiki of Ice and Fire:  Part of the empire, it’s exactly what it says on the label–a wiki of ASOIAF info.  Though I find it a bit harder to navigate than The Tower of the Hand (wikis are meant for searching, not browsing) it’s got just as much info.  Several other parts of are great too, including the forums and the vaguely-stalkerish So Spake Martin.  (The fun kind of stalker, not the creepy kind…I think.)

Wiki:  Yeah yeah yeah, it’s Wikipedia, moving on then.

Wertzone:  As of earlier today, Adam at The Wertzone was apparently thinking along similar lines and has begun a recap of the last 12,000-odd years, part 1 of which is now up.  I took one look at it and said “screw that”, you’ll get links and you’ll like them.  He’s a better man than I.

And, um, well…that’s it.  Not entirely of course, but I started this post expecting to Google about a bit and find a bunch of sites that had recaps and I’m not finding much.  Maybe those two sites are just so encyclopedic, and the story itself so long and involved, that anybody who was tempted to make their own just saw the existing sites and decided it wasn’t worth the effort.  Or maybe my Google-fu is lacking.  Either way, what I didn’t find was a site that fit somewhere in between the volumes of the first two and the brief gloss of Wikipedia.  A nice, thorough-but-not-exhaustive review site would be welcome.  Any thoughts, Internet?

* The wailing.  Oh, the wailing of those who haven’t read the books.  Since I’m putting up links, here’s a couple for those who want to watch the fallout…I suspect that the twitterplosion won’t be quite as fun for episode ten as it was for nine, but nonetheless:

The Television Without Pity forums

The TV Club newbies thread

Live Twitter feed for #gameofthrones (click the chart on the right to go back in time to the end of the episode).