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House of the Dragon Showrunner Interviewed

In one of the first interviews with House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal since HBO’s straight-to-series order was announced, Beyond the Trailer‘s Grace Randolph manages to draw out a few details about the show and Condal’s relationship to the novels and George R.R. Martin in the course of discussing his passion (and that of fellow guest, writer and Veep showrunner David Mandel) for collecting Hollywood memorabila.

Besides revealing himself to be a very knowledgeable collector (for example, he shares the fact that there were only two hats used for Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark), he reveals a handful of things about the show:

  • The show has already hired a costume designer and a production designer. Rumors early in the year suggested Deborah Riley was on board as production designer, resuming her role from Game of Thrones, but this has not been confirmed.
  • As far as costumes and production design go, Condal says fellow showrunner Miguel Sapochnik‘s mantra has been, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” meaning that the show will draw heavily from the costuming and production design already featured on Game of Thrones. However, Condal mentions that they will look for subtle ways to tweak costumes and production designs to visually suggest that the show is set some “200 years” in the past from the original TV show.

It’s an entertaining interview with both writers/showrunners, with some fun anecdotes and some very neat examples of memorabilia (lets just say both Condal and Mandel are fans of certain iconic Lucasfilm movies). Well-worth watching the whole thing! The interview promotes Mandel’s and Condal’s new podcast, The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of, which is focused on collecting props. The first two episodes released yesterday, and can be found at all the major podcast sources.

House of the Dragon Filming in England

UK Production News, a database for film productions in the UK which has proven to be a reliable source of information, has updated as of yesterday with information concerning the production of House of the Dragon, which reveald yesterday its first lead casting. First reported by Redanian Intelligence, a website focused primarily on The Witcher but which has kept a close eye on other genre productions, the database was updated to show two things: that the main production hub would be Warner Bros. Leavesden Studio complex and that plans now seem to begin filming in late 2020.

Redanian Intelligence‘s report shows the full listing of information from the database as of yesterday, but a visit today shows that it was updated with one more piece of information, that the first season is 10 episodes, which was reported back in July when the straight-to-series order was announced. So, no apparent change there.

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HBO Reveals First Actor Cast in House of the Dragon

From EW’s James Hibberd (whose Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon [paid link] is now out), HBO has revealed the first actor cast in next year’s House of the Dragon: Englsh actor Paddy Considine, known for a variety of roles including Edgar Wright comedies and, most recently, HBO’s The Outsider. According to the report, he has been cast to play King Viserys I Targaryen.

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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)” href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paddy_Considine_2011_(cropped).jpg”>CC BY-SA from the Cambridge Film Festival

House of the Dragon On Track for 2022

Deadline has reported on an interview with Casey Bloys, the president of HBO, following HBO’s strong showing at the 2020 Emmys. Towards the end of the article, Deadline reports:

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New Details Revealed About the Failed Original Pilot

We’ve reported previously that James Hibberd will be publishing an in-depth oral history of Game of Thrones—filled with new interviews and never-before-heard anecdotes from behind the scenes—titled Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon. Over at EW, a lengthy excerpt has been posted sharing a wide-array of comments from producers (Benioff and Weiss first and foremost, as well as Bryan Cogman), actors (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Jason Momoa, Mark Addy, Iain Glen), and executives (most notable Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler) concerning the original pilot which was heavily reshot by Tim van Patten, including recasting of several key roles. There’s some decidedly new details just in this short excerpt, which bodes well for the rest of the book’s insights. Below are a couple of quotes from GRRM himself that are interesting.

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Way Cleared for Game of Thrones Studio Experience

According to the BBC, borough councils in County Down, Northern Ireland, have given permission for the Linen Mill Studios Game of Thrones tour experience which was first announced in April. It seems the global pandemic has delayed plans, as the original notion had been to open over the Spring in 2020, which obviously did not happen. The tour will essentially be a permanent exhibition of sets, props, and costumes with interactive elements at the studios that were used for some of the filming of the production (most notably one or more ship sets were made on site).

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Game of Thrones: Tale of Crows On Apple Arcade

Devolver Digital Games, who have previously published the charming Reigns: Game of Thrones, are at it again with a Game of Thrones-themed mobile game. This time, That Silly Studio has developed Game of Thrones: Tale of Crows which has been released as an Apple Arcade exclusive for subscribers to the iOS service. The particular genre of mobile game—an “idler”—means that actions and decisions are made periodically, sometimes after hours or even days of nothing in particular going on.

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HBO Ends Hold on Paint Hall Studio

A friend in Belfast brought to our attention this breaking news from the Belfast Telegraph, revealing that HBO has served notice that it will no longer be holding on to its lease on the sprawling Paint Hall studio complex following the wrapping up of the “Long Night” prequel.

More importantly, however, the article indicates that NI Screen was aware that the House of the Dragon prequel series was definitely or at least unlikely to be filmed in Northern Ireland, which is a shock to some but perhaps not to others:

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(Above: A photo from the season 1 set visit, taken in the bowels of the Paint Hall as Bryan Cogman led George R.R. Martin, Parris McBride [the photographer], and I between sets.)

Wild Cards Writer on Game of Thrones Successor Staff

A very interesting post at the Wild Cards World official website from veteran TV writer and producer Michael Cassutt (a long-time member of the Wild Cards Consortium, and heavily involved in the present work on the two Wild Cards being developed at Hulu) discusses what goes on in the writing room when shows are developed and seasons are broken down, but one particular detail caught our eye as he turned to discuss a number of genre-fiction writers who have become involved in TV shows:

“And some novelists have made the leap. Michael Chabon – Michael Chabon! – is showrunning DISCOVERY for CBS All-Access. Charlie Jane Anders is in L.A. right now, working in a room.  Close to home, novelists Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck have worked in the room for THE EXPANSE, one of the most acclaimed SF TV series ever, for five seasons now. And other members of the WC consortium have been blessed with these opportunities, including David Anthony Durham on one of the GAME OF THRONES prequels, and Saladin Ahmed on FOUNDATION.  Max Gladstone did time in three different mini-rooms, not for the four big TV drama markets listed above, but for the vital and growing world of web series, such as WIZARD SCHOOL DROPOUT.”

Durham has written numerous novels, most of them historical, but also a well-reviewed fantasy trilogy, Acacia. He’s also been part of the Wild Cards Consortium since 2011, when he contributed to Fort Freak. Because of this connection to the sphere of George R.R. Martin collaborators, we suspect that Cassutt has let slip that Durham has been added to the writing staff of House of the Dragon following its series order. As some will recall, an initial team of writers was named by George as having helped develop the series prior to the order, but it would not be strange if others came onboard after that stage.

That said, it’s also possible that Durham was involved in the now-cancelled Long Night pilot, or perhaps one of the pitches for other successors that have now been put on indefinite hold. Currently, Durham’s own website and Twitter have no further information on the subject, although his new Twitter account does note that next year will see the publication of a new novel for him, a fantasy YA set in ancient Egypt titled Shadow Prince.

House of the Dragons Likely to Air 2022

Last night, the trades had word from the HBO’s session at the TCA Winter gathering, with executive Casey Bloys discussing the status of post-Game of Thrones successor shows and the fact that he expected House of the Dragons would not premiere before 2022.

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House of the Dragon Series Order Announced

News is moving fast. We posted just a little while ago about Condal’s series getting a rumored pilot order… and now word is that the show, titled House of the Dragon, now has a full series order for ten epiodes, according to Variety. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik will be co-showrunners, with George R.R. Martin and Vince Gerardis as executive producers alongside.

This is an amazingly fast news day, to say the least.

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Fire and Blood Pilot Allegedly Going Forward

In all the reactions to the news that Jane Goldman’s pilot has gotten a pass from HBO, we missed Michael Ausiello of TV Line—who we know has a lot of sources in the industry—reporting that the Ryan Condal-helmed Fire & Blood-based project has an official order for its pilot. To quote Ausiello:

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Long Night Pilot Dead at HBO

According to Deadline, the Jane Goldman-led pilot set in the era leading up to the Long Night is not getting a series pickup from HBO. While there’s no official statement from HBO to this end, reporting has it that Goldman has been contacting cast and crew to inform them of this.

As we noted at Worldcon, Linda and I did some consulting work on the project. Our interaction with Jane and fellow executive producer James Farrell impressed us with their dedication and interest in the setting and its history.

Some guessed this might be the outcome after word spilled last month that a new pilot was nearing an order from HBO, one somehow based on the Targaryen history in the Targaryen history presented in Fire & Blood (Amazon) and being developed by Ryan Condal. At his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin spoke very approvingly of the bible and pilot script Condal had put together, but so far there has been no clear confirmation that this is the next pilot to be filmed.

Addendum: Over at EW, James Hibberd shares more news about the pilot being passed on, including a quote from one of the actors prior to the news discussing it, as well as Hibberd’s information on Condal’s proposed pilot which Hibberd indicates will lead into the Dance of the Dragons.

A Visit to Belfast

Earlier this month, I posted about our experience at the Dublin Worldcon and the Belfast Eurocon. But in Belfast, I had the opportunity—courtesy of Northern Ireland Tourism, who’ve invited us to see the “Game of Thrones Territory” twice before; the first of these is recorded here—to do a bit more than just convention events. Not only did I get to visit the Belfast leg of the Game of Thrones Exhibition and the Glass of Thrones stained glass monuments placed at notable locations within the city.

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To read the full article, visit the Features page!

GRRM on Fire and Blood-based Successor Show

Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin comments on the recent news that HBO is nearing ordering a pilot for a Game of Thrones successor, this one based on the Targaryen history in Fire and Blood. Notably, GRRM chose to cite the Entertainment Weekly account from James Hibberd as the “most complete”, and that one (unlike stories from Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter) is explicit that the focus of this show is the Dance of the Dragons, something that the other stories seemed to underplay or reject.

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