Game of Thrones

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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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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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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.)

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.

Dance of the Dragons Pilot Nears Order

Exclusive word from Entertainment Weekly, who has the scoop that HBO is “nearing a pilot order” for a second prequel, this one with a script written by Ryan Condal (who is noted to be one of several writers who have worked on it). And the subject of that prequel? The Dance of the Dragons, first described in detail in The World of Ice and Fire and then expanded upon in even greater detail in Fire & Blood.

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Prequel Pilot Filming Begins

“Bloodmoon”—the likely-temporary title for the Game of Thrones prequel headed by Jane Goldman—has officially begun filming, according to a report from James Hibberd at EW. There were rumors filming in fact started last month, but those flew in the face of Casey Bloys and others indicating that June was the start date.

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GRRM on Successors

In his most recent Not a Blog entry, GRRM ran over various items of note—including Fire and Blood in getting back into the NYT bestseller list, the successful release of Starport (and the possibility that follow-ups may indeed be a possibility, which we noted  in our review of the graphic novel), and even a touch of politics at the end—but for the Game of Thrones fans what must have turned out was his update on the status of various Game of Thrones successor shows.

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Behind the Scenes: VFX

Two weeks left for the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones, and another behind the scenes video has appeared on HBO’s official Youtube channel of the series. This time, the focus is on the often-spectacular visual effects of the series:

The first episode premieres April 14th.

HBO Announces Game of Thrones: The Last Watch Documentary

HBO has just announced that on May 26th—the week after the airing of the final episode of Game of Thrones—a two hour documentary by filmmaker Jeanie Finaly covering the filming of the final season.

You can read the press release below:

For a year, acclaimed British filmmaker Jeanie Finlay was embedded on the set of the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” chronicling the creation of the show’s most ambitious and complicated season.

Debuting SUNDAY, MAY 26 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), one week after the series finale, GAME OF THRONES: THE LAST WATCH delves deep into the mud and blood to reveal the tears and triumphs involved in the challenge of bringing the fantasy world of Westeros to life in the very real studios, fields and car-parks of Northern Ireland.

Behind the Scenes: Camera Work

Another week, another look behind the scenes of Game of Thrones. This time, camera operate Sean Savage discusses his time behind the camera for all eight seasons of the show:

Game of Thrones Art Books Forthcoming

Fans have been wondering whether Game of Thrones, its final season just around the corner, will release art and photography books along the lines of those seen for The Lord of the Rings. Well, they need wonder no longer thanks to Insight Editions which is publishing not one, not two, but four separate books delving into all manner of aspects of the show’s production. And all of them can be pre-ordered now on Amazon. Here’s a rundown:

  • Game of Thrones: The Storyboards - Due Summer 2019, this 320 page art book contains storyboards from artist William Simpson, who’s worked on the show from the beginning.
  • The Photography of Game of Thrones - Another 320 page book, this one due November 2019, collecting Helen Sloan’s extensive photography across all the seasons of the show.
  • The Art of Game of Thrones - 320 pages, due October 2019, devoted to production art for the series. This would include things like matte paintings, character and location designs, and more.
  • Game of Thrones: The Costumes - The shortest of the books, listed at 224 pages due November 2019, this will undoubtedly present photographs and design sketches of Michelle Clapton’s award-winning costumes on the show.