Sunday, June 23, 2013

Game of Thrones Kindle Dictionary

One day as I was talking to some friends who were reading the Game of Thrones series on their kindles, I realized that it would be awesome to have a dictionary that was tied into the Kindle and had all the characters and locations built in so that you could look it up.

With the X-Ray stuff that comes with the book there are some details about the characters, but not too much, and there is no information about the locations or maps.  In particular, the maps that come with the books look awful on the kindle.

So I decided to try and do something about it.

To do this I first had to determine exactly how to create a dictionary for the kindle.  Luckily I found an extremely useful site that detailed exactly how to make a dictionary and provided the software necessary to actually create it.  The link with all of the necessary information is Kindle Dictionary.

Second I had to determine where to get the information from.  To do this I primarily used the Game of Thrones Wikipedia page, which can be found here.  I also supplemented it with my knowledge of the series.

I started by taking the list of characters and then going through them and adding descriptions for them.  Since I wanted this to be useful for all readers, not just those that have read all the books I went through a lot of pains to remove all spoilers.  In particular I had to remove past tense verbs for characters who were dead and plot points from later books.

I then talked to my friends who were reading the series and added a few more categories that they wanted such as ship names and house information.  Finally, I added all the locations and maps for most of them.

All in all it ended up being a pretty extensive dictionary and seems to be fairly useful.  It certainly isn't perfect, but I think it is a good first start.

I will just go over a little bit about how it works, which is basically just how a Kindle Dictionary works.

 If there is a word that you want to know the definition of you simple highlight it, either with your finger or .... other Kindle Device. I have a touch, so I don't know how the other Kindles work.  Anyway, you highlight the word and it brings up the beginning of the definition.  In the picture below I highlighted Robb and so it brings up the definition for Robb Stark.  If you wanted to read the entire definition then you click the full definition button.  There are some names with multiple characters, such as Jon.  For those I had to make disambiguation pages that have the list of all Jon's and then you can pick the one that you want to read about.

I tried to include locations for all of the maps.  The example below shows that.  In this case it is just a map of the North that has the information for Widow's Watch on top of it.

The Kindle allows you to increase the size of the images.  To do that just click and hold on the image and then the following screen will pop up.  You can click the magnifying class to get the image to go full screen.

Which isn't really large... but larger at least.

For places where the map did not fit on the page I added a sentence saying that the map was on the next page.

And that was pretty much that.  That was a lot of work boiled into a short description.  I finished this In April or May probably and gave it to my friends.  I always ask them about feedback and they always have forgotten something they wanted to be added, but in general they seemed to find it useful.  So I figured I should share it with the world.

The Dictionary file can be found here:
The README, which is basically what I have written here can be found here: README

The information that I used to create this dictionary, which was the Song of Ice and Fire wiki, is covered by the creative commons.