March 27, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Winter is coming…to Android. HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 2 starts April 1, and one of the best shows of 2011 will return to be even better the second time around. It’s also going to get mighty busy soon, so you might want to download a couple of Game of Thrones apps.
If you have read or are reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which Thrones has faithfully depicted, you know that there’s a great deal of names, places, and story lines to follow in season 2. A number of new major characters from powerful families and lands will appear, so these Android apps may help you follow everything without needing to take notes.
A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones is the ultimate cheat sheet for everything that takes place in Westeros, the mythical land where the Ice and Fire series is based. The app provides information in four key areas – Houses, Characters, Places, and Maps. The Houses section provides basic information on the 9 families who dominate Westeros, as well as detail the principal characters in each. The descriptions are short and spoiler-free because they are meant only to give a foundation understanding of the relationships between families. AGOT also features a search feature to look-up a specific character’s name or locations discussed, which be helpful if you get confused during the war.
While the previously-mentioned app features a map of Westeros, it’s crude and incomplete. If you really want to get a better picture of The Realm, download Westeros Map. The app provides a simplified view of the places you’re familiar – Winterfell, King’s Landing, The North, etc. – but also the places that will grow in importance like the Iron Islands and the Free Cities.
Westeros Map can pinch-to-zoom to get a little closer on a location, though the zoom level isn’t very detailed since the map is strictly for reference of determining how far or close characters will be throughout the season. (It’s best used on a tablet but works on a phone too.) Aside from zooming in and out, users can search for a location and then see a marker to get a shortcut to it.
HBO and HBO GO
Now that you’ve got your trusty companion apps, you can watch Game of Thrones and be prepared for plenty of battles, schemes, and fancy words. But if you ever find yourself unable to watch on your television, don’t forget the HBO GO app. Current HBO subscribers can watch full episodes of A Game of Thrones on Android thanks to the HBO Go application. The app provides on-demand streaming of full episodes and behind-the-scenes footage for free (HBO subscription through cable provider required). And don’t forget about the official HBO app, which provides the same video bonus content, episode synopsis, and character bios (including cast info). Regional compatibility will vary.