The Brotherhood Without Banners

The Brotherhood Without Banners is a George RR Martin fan group. Our primary mission is to bring together fans of GRRM’s writing for fun and discussion. Oh, and parties. Membership is open to everyone who is a fan of GRRM, even those who aren’t especially into his latest series, A Song of Ice and Fire. That said, ASOIAF is a major focus of our interest, a theme reflected in the title of our group.

What is the Brotherhood Without Banners in the books?

The BwB is a collection of outlaw knights, squires and various other warriors, led by Beric Dondarrion. (Those who fight for a lord, under the lord’s banner, are said to be "bannermen.")

How did this BwB get started?

Long ago (mists-of-time long ago), Lodengarl the Three-Fisted decided that it would be great to get a bunch of online friends and fans of ASOIAF together at PhilCon 2001 (that was the 2001 WorldCon) for a party. In the middle of the night, GRRM and the squires embarked on a quest for Pat's cheesesteak. The late-night cheesesteak chasers were knighted, and a tradition was founded.

Who runs the BwB now?

After many years of successful reign, Lodengarl chose Stego to carry the BwB torch. A few years later, Stego passed the torch on to Xray. Xray is helped by a group of seasoned BwB congoers to keep things running efficiently.

To read more about the BwB and our grassroots philosophy, click here.

Where do I interact with the BwB?

We are most easily found on the discussion forums at Westeros. There is a dedicated subforum for the BWB here. We also have an official presence at every WorldCon, and an unofficial presence at some of the regional conventions. One can usually find a smattering of us at World Fantasy every year as well.

When is the next official BwB event?

Up next is WorldCon 2013, which will be held in San Antonio, TX, USA from August 28 to September 2, 2013. Get more information at the LoneStarCon 3 website.

After that, our next event is Capclave 2013, where GRRM is the Guest of Honor. Capclave happens in Gaithersburg, MD, USA, which is a northern suburb of Washington, DC. The con takes place October 11-13, 2013. Read more about the convention at the Capclave 13 website.

Do I need a con membership to attend the party?

Yes. In the past, security has checked con badges and booted freeloaders. Plus, it’s good manners. This is a fan-run event, not a corporate convention like San Diego ComiCon, and every dollar goes to running the convention, making it the best event it can be.

What about HBO Game of Thrones fans?

We welcome them too, both on the boards and in real life. That said, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to be spoiled for things that happen in future seasons (one season = one book, although book 3 will be split into seasons 3 and 4; book 5 was published in July 2011), then you might want to be mindful of how you interact with us, as we’re prone to cracking jokes about events that happen in all of the books thus far published. The only part of the Westeros forums that will be totally safe for you to read are threads marked "NO SPOILERS" in the HBO subforum, located here, called General (GoT). The next easiest thing is to just read the books, which will obviate spoiler avoidance altogether.

Can I host my own BwB event?

The quick answer: Ask Xray.

The longer answer: Those who aren’t familiar with SF/F fandom might not know that reputation within the community is very important. Groups who end up with a bad rep can find themselves unwelcome at events like WorldCon, which is something we certainly don’t want. So, when it comes to official BwB events, we’re pretty strict about who gets to run one and what those events might be. That said, if you want to organize a pub-crawl with other BwB members, we generally don’t care, so long as you’re not representing it as an official BwB event to outsiders.

Where’s the White Book?

We’re still working on that.