TIME viral

‘Winter Is Coming': George R.R. Martin Does the Ice Bucket Challenge

A Song of Ice (Bucket Challenge) and Fire

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George R.R. Martin took a quick break from killing off all your favorite people in Westeros to add to the ever-growing collection of celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge videos. That’s the trend in which people dump ice water over themselves and post the proof on Facebook or donate to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research. Many stars have done both, and the campaign has raised about $80 million so far.

After being nominated by Neil Gaiman (who he deems a “bastard”) and a few other people, Martin parks himself beside a pool and declares, “God help us all! Winter is coming!” Then some friends dump ice water on him and he emits a sound that can really only be described as a squeal/yelp hybrid. Then he hops into the pool and makes a bunch of Game of Thrones references.

Overall, the whole thing is much less of a bloodbath than we expected.

 

MONEY Small Business

3 Important Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Macall B. Polay—HBO via Everett Collection

There's a lot that real-life startups can take away from the Emmy-nominated fantasy series.

The acclaimed HBO series Game of Thrones—which is up for 19 awards at tonight’s Emmys—provides interesting commentary on the modern state of politics and warfare. But speaking as the founder of an online folder printing company, I’ve noticed that the show also demonstrates some valuable lessons for first-time entrepreneurs.

These might not help you become king of a fantasy kingdom, but they’ve been invaluable to me throughout my more than a decade of successful entrepreneurship.

(Reader beware: This article contains several spoilers.)

Lesson #1: Knowledge is power

In Westeros: The Game of Thrones characters who are most likely to survive are the ones with the best information: Where would Varys be without his network of spies gathering secrets from all across the Seven Kingdoms, for example? Would Cersei and Littlefinger still be around if they didn’t have dirt on their enemies?

In your business: Knowledge is your best asset. But that doesn’t mean you need to train swaths of children to uncover your competitors’ deep, dark secrets a la Varys. You simply must to get to know your industry inside and out, so that you can identify what it is that you can provide your consumers that others aren’t already providing. When you understand your field and the needs that aren’t being met, you’ll be better positioned to fulfill those needs.

For me, recognizing an unmet need was the impetus for starting my own company. After discovering that those seeking custom presentation folders faced extremely limited choices, I set out to provide materials of more variety and greater quality.

Lesson #2: Unearned confidence can be dangerous.

In Westeros: Pride often precedes a fall. Ruthless, arrogant King Joffrey mocks his enemies and abuses his subjects in a display of power and privilege, only to be poisoned at his own wedding. Viserys Targaryen shamelessly proclaims his superiority to the people around him, one of whom happens to be a powerful warlord who “crowns” him with molten gold. Even fan favorite Oberyn meets a messy, head-crushy end when he lets his careless bravado get the better of him.

In your business: Know the difference between confidence and an overgrown ego. Starting a successful business requires boldness, determination, and trust in your own abilities and resources, but be careful not to let it turn into hubris. Make sure your actions are grounded in fact or reason; check yourself against someone you trust before making any rash moves. Overconfident people take risks that they can’t afford, and they often don’t listen to their peers’ good advice (“Trust me, Oberyn, wear a helmet”).

Back when my company was first beginning, I did a lot of different odd jobs on the side. A friend of mine told me that I should concentrate on my core competency: custom printed folders. I didn’t listen to that advice, and it ended up losing my business money in the long run. Once I started concentrating on folders, the company grew much stronger.

Lesson #3: A good mentor helps secure your success.

In Westeros: Each of the Stark children has flourished with the help of mentors, albeit unconventional ones. Arya Stark learned swordplay from her “dance instructor” Syrio; Bran has developed his psychic powers with the help of mysterious companion Jojen; and even Sansa seems to have picked up some lessons in court intrigue from Littlefinger.

In your business: Reaching out to a mentor can be a little scary, since it means acknowledging your own weaknesses as an entrepreneur. But remember that the person helping to guide you probably achieved their success with the help of a mentor of their own. When you make the choice to work for yourself, the only people you have to turn to for guidance are those who have already done the same.

Many of my friends are successful business owners, so I make it a point to consult with them periodically. Learning from their experiences helps me to avoid common pitfalls and ensure that my company is running as efficiently as possible.

Mentors aren’t just there to make you feel good about the work that you’re doing, though; they should have enough experience to tell you when you’re doing something wrong. Sometimes the advice that you need most comes from someone as bluntly honest as the Hound—though ideally, your mentor will be a bit more supportive.

Can you think of more business lessons to be learned from Game of Thrones? Share your thoughts on Twitter, with the hashtag #GoTbizadvice

Vladimir Gendelman is the founder and CEO of Company Folders, an innovative presentation folder printing company.

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program.

TIME

Taylor Schilling to Star Opposite Peter Dinklage in Off-Broadway Play

Taylor Schilling and Peter Dinklage Getty Images (2)

Women's prison meets Westeros

Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage and Orange Is the New Black star Taylor Schilling will team up to star in a 2015 Off-Broadway production of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country.

Dinklage will portray Mikhail Rakitin, the friend and unrequited admirer of Schillings’ Natalya, the bored wife of a landowner. Dinklage’s wife, Erica Schmidt, will direct, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Given that Peter Dinklage and Taylor Schilling’s shows are set in the coldly unforgiving world of Westeros and the often ruthless environment of Litchfield Prison, respectively, it seems they’ll be able to lend some interesting perspective to the 19th century Russian material.

The play will run from January 9 to February 15 next year, at the Classic Stage Company in Manhattan’s East Village.

TIME Books

The 5 Greatest Fantasy Novels of All Time

From C.S. Lewis to Susanna Clark, Magicians author Lev Grossman makes his top picks

TIME book critic and technology writer Lev Grossman recently published The Magician’s Land, the final book in his fantasy trilogy. To accompany his essay about how fantasy literature is transforming the pop-culture landscape, he’s also named the five most influential fantasy books ever written.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Takes Crown for Online Piracy

Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO

Fans illegally download Game of Thrones 300,000 times every day

Correction appended

Game of Thrones rules over all challengers when it comes to online piracy.

Just a few months after setting online downloading records with its season premiere, the hit HBO show has been named the most pirated form of entertainment, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Semetric, a company that monitors online media consumption, says that episodes of Game of Thrones at the height of their popularity make up more than half of all television-related downloads on piracy websites that use the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol — that’s more than the total of all music downloads on those sites.

While the rise of streaming services has somewhat supplanted music piracy, Game of Thrones is still in high demand. The show ended its fourth season in June — when fans downloaded the finale 2 million times within 24 hours — but there are still approximately 300,000 downloads of the series each day.

The original version of this story incorrectly described the role of BitTorrent in Semetric’s findings.

[WSJ]

TIME Television

George R.R. Martin Admits Die-Hard Game of Thrones Fans May Have Already Uncovered the Show’s Biggest Surprise

Kit Harington as Jon Snow
Kit Harington as Jon Snow Helen Sloan—HBO

Jon Snow really knows nothing — but the fans might

For awhile now, there’s been a theory floating around Game of Thrones forums and discussion boards that centers around the notion that Jon Snow isn’t entirely who he appears to be. Up to this point, both viewers of the television show and readers of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire know Snow as Ned Stark’s bastard, a more-than-competent member of the Night’s Watch and a knower of nothing. But according to this theory, dubbed “R+L=J” by its proponents and endorsed in recent weeks by no less than Ned Stark (Sean Bean) himself, Snow is much more.

R+L=J suggests that Snow is not, in fact, the bastard son of Ned Stark. Rather, he’s the love-child of Ned’s sister, Lyanna (the betrothed of Robert Baratheon) and her captor/suitor Rhaegar Targaryen, (son and heir of the mad king, Aeyrs II Targaryen). There are many little clues sprinkled throughout the series to support this theory, but it didn’t start gaining mainstream traction until earlier this summer when Bean apparently confirmed it.

Now, it seems, another person loosely tied to the Game of Thrones universe is hinting at its veracity: George R.R. Martin. Here’s what the author had to say at the Edinburgh International Book Festival:

“I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming. But I can’t change the plans… So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bulls**t and creative, some of the theories are right. At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution… So what do I do then? Do I change it?! I wrestled with that issue and I came to the conclusion that changing it would be a disaster, because the clues were there. You can’t do that, so I’m just going to go ahead. Some of my readers who don’t read the [online fan] boards, which thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of them, will still be surprised and other readers will say: ‘See, I said that four years ago, I’m smarter than you guys’.”

It’s possible that Martin could be talking about an entirely different major twist — but R+L=J would be huge for the Game of Thrones universe and has certainly been the most prominent theory in recent months.

As for what this revelation would mean for Westeros, that’s less clear. Though Snow’s Stark-Targaryen parentage would be an impressive pedigree, it wouldn’t change his status as either a bastard or a member of the Night’s Watch (and as such, has resolved to “hold no lands” and “wear no crowns”). That said, virtually every claim to the Iron Throne is contested and convoluted at this point. Maybe Snow could throw his cloak into the red keep after all.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Season 5 Actor Dies Shortly After Filming New Role

Actor J.J. Murphy, who was slated to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch in the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, died on August 8, 2014 at the age of 86.
Actor J.J. Murphy, who was slated to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch in the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, died on August 8, 2014 at the age of 86. Independent Agency—Youcef Boubetnikh

The 86-year-old was set to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch in the show's upcoming fifth season

Belfast-born actor J.J. Murphy, who was slated to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night’s Watch in the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, died on Friday at the age of 86. He had begun filming his scenes in Northern Ireland — where much of the popular HBO drama is filmed — last week. HBO has not yet said whether the role would be recast or Murphy’s scenes would be re-written.

According to The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Murphy served as a mentor to many young actors in the region, including Liam Neeson.

It’s not clear whether Murphy’s untimely death will cause a snag in production for the upcoming season, but — given the size of the role — it isn’t likely to have a significant impact on scheduling.

[via Belfast Telegraph]

TIME Earnings

Time Warner Posts Solid Earnings But Shares Still Lag

Murdoch Said To Mull Sky Proceeds To Boost Time Warner Bid
Pedestrians walk past the Time Warner Center in New York, U.S., on Monday, July 21, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

After 21st Century Fox withdraws its $80 billion merger offer

Time Warner posted solid quarterly earnings Wednesday, but investors are still punishing the company for rebuking a takeover bid by 21st Century Fox. The media giant generated a profit of $850 million and adjusted earnings per share of 98 cents during the second quarter, topping analysts’ estimates of 84 cents. Revenue for the quarter was $6.79 billion, missing estimates of $6.87 billion.

Time Warner shares took a pummeling in after-hours trading Tuesday when Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox announced that it was withdrawing its offer to buy the company for $80 billion. The offer valued Time Warner at about $85 per share, and the company’s stock rallied above that figure as some investors guessed that the merger was a foregone conclusion. With Fox out of the picture, Time Warner shares dove more than 12 percent in after-hours trading to below $75.

That swiveled the pressure back on Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes to prove that his company can be just as prosperous without joining forces with Fox. In a conference call with investors, Bewkes said he wouldn’t comment on the 21st Century Fox offer, but he went to great pains to outline his company’s rosy future. He noted that Time Warner has had the greatest shareholder returns of any company in its peer group (that would include Fox) over the last six years.

“Our strong performance this quarter and the last several years is evidence that our strategy is working,” he said. “The board and our senior management team appreciate very much the continued support of our shareholders.”

Bewkes touted the performance of HBO as a company highlight. The premium cable network generated $1.4 billion in revenue for the quarter and had the largest growth of any division. Operating income from HBO was $552 million. The medieval drama Game of Thrones was likely a big driver, as it became HBO’s highest-rated show ever during the quarter. The company is reportedly looking to expand the network’s international footprint by offering the streaming service HBO Go without a cable subscription in more countries.

Time Warner’s Turner division also saw growth, generating $940 million in operating income on $2.7 billion in revenue. However, the company’s Warner Bros. production studio saw revenues dip 2% to below $2.9 billion. The division’s operating income rose 28% to $236 million.

Bewkes also noted the spinoff of magazine publisher Time Inc. in June as a signal of Time Warner’s future as a more singularly focused company (TIME is owned by Time Inc.). The media giant has steadily shed parts of its business over the last decade, including AOL and Time Warner Cable, to focus almost exclusively on movies and television. “We’ve only just begun to reap the benefits of being a nimbler … video content company,” he said.

So far Bewkes’ arguments haven’t swayed investors much. Time Warner shares were trading at about $75.20 at 11:30 a.m., up marginally from their open of $74.90.

TIME Kansas

Police: TV Show Reminded Man That Girl Was in Car

This image provided by the Sedgwick County Jail shows Seth Jackson, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 10-month-old foster daughter who he left in a hot car on July 24 in Wichita, Kans.
This image provided by the Sedgwick County Jail shows Seth Jackson, who has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 10-month-old foster daughter who he left in a hot car on July 24 in Wichita, Kans. AP

Police say the girl was inside the car with the windows up for more than two hours

(WICHITA, Kan.) — A child crying on the television show Game of Thrones jogged a foster parent’s memory that he had left a 10-month-old girl inside a sweltering car while he and his partner smoked marijuana at their house, a police affidavit released Monday says.

Seth Jackson, 29, is charged with first-degree murder in the July 24 death in Wichita. No charges have been filed against his partner.

Police say the girl was inside the car with the windows up for more than two hours. It was around 90 degrees outside. An autopsy showed she died of hyperthermia due to heat exposure.

The affidavit says Jackson’s partner told police that Jackson called that day to let him know he would be picking the 10-month-old up from the baby sitter after taking their 5-year-old adopted child to a doctor’s appointment. Jackson told police that when he arrived home, he locked the car and went inside with his 5-year-old and the pizza.

Jackson’s partner said he and Jackson watched one and a half episodes of Games of Thrones and smoked marijuana Jackson had picked up that day, according to the affidavit. The partner told police Jackson realized he had left the 10-month-old outside in the car when he heard a child crying on the TV show.

The men rushed outside, Jackson unlocked the vehicle and his partner removed the child.

The partner told investigators the girl was hot and stiff when he grabbed her from the car and carried her into the house. As he called 911, Jackson attempted CPR but could not get the child’s mouth open, according to the affidavit filed by Wichita police detective Ryan Schomaker.

Officers who responded found Jackson still on the phone when they arrived, making calls and repeatedly stating, “I left her in the car, she’s dead, she’s dead,” according to the affidavit.

Meanwhile, the girl was unresponsive and lying on her back on the couch. Firefighters moved the girl from the couch to the floor once they arrived and attempted to revive her.

Later in an interview at police headquarters, Jackson’s partner told detectives he and Jackson had been foster parents to the 10-month-old girl since she was 2 weeks old. Police have not released the child’s name and documents in the case only use her initials.

Although the girl died of hyperthermia, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said the first-degree murder charge was warranted because the child died during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, aggravated endangering of a child. The case is not charged as intentional murder.

In addition to the 10-month-old, who they were trying to adopt, Jackson and his partner had five other children in their care. They had three other foster children ages 3, 5 and 18, and two adopted children ages 5 and 7. The two younger foster children were visiting other relatives at the time the 10-month-old died.

Prosecutors and Jackson’s attorneys agree the circumstances are entirely different than a widely publicized case in Georgia, where a father faces murder and child cruelty charges on suspicion of intentionally leaving a 22-month-old boy inside a hot car last month as he went to work.

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