Back in May, the beginning of the WGA strike shuttered many productions, but not House of the Dragon. Now SAG-AFTRA has called a strike for many of the same reasons as the WGA… but it’s currently being reported that a couple of UK-based productions will continue filming because actors who are members of SAG are also members of the UK’s Equity, and their contracts are (allegedly) under the terms of Equity. And of course, one of those productions not shutting down (reportedly) is, once again, House of the Dragon. According to the Deadline article, the UK’s laws don’t allow sympathetic strikes, and actors are receiving guidance telling them to continue to report in to work if their contracts are under Equity rather than SAG.
This year’s nominees for the Emmys have been announced, and HBO’s House of the Dragon has done well for itself with
eight (or nine, sort of) nominations, contributing to the phenomenal HBO/MAX total nominations of 127, and tying a decades-old record (set by CBS in 1973 and matched by NBC in 1993) of 4 separate dramas nominated in Best Drama. See the categories below!
Over the last weeks, HBO has been releasing a series of videos titled “Inside the Craft”, exploring different aspects of bringing House of the Dragon to life. The latest entry focuses on armor, and particularly the armor of the Gold Cloaks. It features show runner Ryan Condal, armourer Simon Brindle (who worked on Game of Thrones), and costume designer Jany Temime. Some really good, close-up looks at a number of suits of armor, and some glimpses of armor from the tourney in the first episode that were seeing only fleetingly:
As part of its Emmy awards coverage, Deadline has been publishing examples of episode scripts that have been submitted for consdieration as final nominees, and now we’ve come to House of the Dragon‘s turn as they have now published the pilot script for the first episode, “The Heirs of the Dragon”, and they’ve done so in a draft that includes various revisions, some of which were scenes or pieces of dialog that never made it to the final cut of the production.
There’s some particularly interesting discussion between Viserys and Daemon regarding the Targaryens and their dragons that was dropped, and I notice that it seems like our first introduction to Daemon was supposed to be his commanding the City Watch on its violent purge (notice that all the detailed description of Daemon and Dark Sister in that section)... but then at some point it was decided that instead we should first meet him in a scene that focuses his relationship to Rhaenyra, in the throne room.
Among the podcasts I listen to on a weekly basis is the prop collecting-focused “The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of”, in part (but only in part!) because one of its hosts is House of the Dragon show runner and co-creator Ryan Condal (the other co-host? David Mandel, of Seinfeld and Veep fame whose White House Plumbers recently completed its run on HBO). Their areas of interest when it comes to collecting are very similar to what I—and I suspect many fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones, and House of the Dragon—consider pretty central parts of my favorite cinema: big genre works of the late 70s and through the 80s like Conan the Barbarian, Alien and Aliens, Blade Runner, Indiana Jones, and (of course) Star Wars.
Their latest episode (embedded below) features a semi-regular feature of the podcast, where Condal and Mandel discuss an upcoming props auction and go through its catalog together, discussing bits of information they know about a piece or similar ones, speculating on whether the expected sale price is on the mark or too high/low, and whether they’ll be pursuing any particular items themselves. But color me surprised when they mentioned that Propstore’s upcoming Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction from June 28 to June 30th included two lots of scripts from Game of Thrones, apparently from Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger). I decided to examine what information Propstore provided about them, and discovered some fun details regarding scripts that Gillen had personally annotated.
Very interesting report from Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva following an interview with Franesca Orsi, HBO’s head of drama. It’s a wide-ranging interview covering a lot of HBO’s shows, but for our purposes, the most interesting tidbits relate to House of the Dragon, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, and potential other Westeros shows.
Addressing the on-going production of season 2 of House of the Dragon, Orsi noted that HBO was fully prepared to rewrite and reshoot anything that needed fixing once the WGA strike ends and the writers can take up their pens again to do writing work, but until then they are confident with the completed scripts they had to work with and have not dealyed producation at all. Speaking of a potential season 3 approval, it sounds like they’re not far from giving an immediate go ahead to season 3 to try and improve the turnaround from season to season. That said, how many seasons for the show in total remains a question:
“George and Ryan are going to meet after the writers strike. They had originally planned to meet before the strike took place and that was to figure out at what point the series itself was going to end. Is it four seasons? I don’t think from where I sit at this point will be any less than four. But could be more. We’ll see.”
Back in January, the A Song of Ice and Fire 2024 Calendar was announced featuring artwork from award-winning artist Justin Sweet. Now, two new preview images have been added to listings of the calendar, one depicting a scene from the end of A Dance with Dragons, and one perhaps depicting something from The Winds of Winter... or perhaps something being referenced again in The Wind of Winters.
Major news out of Hollywood has been the strike of the Writers Guild of America after the breakdown of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers; more details can be found here. In the wake of that, news of various productions started to come out regarding how they were dealing with the strike, with variations from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s showrunners completely stopping working on their production to House of the Dragon‘s Ryan Condal remaining on set but in a strictly non-writer capacity (this apparently has caused some umbrage among WGA members, who argue that “all” producing is “writing”, but to be honest this seems to fly in the face of their own Basic Agreement which acknowledges there are producers who are not subject to the Basic Agreement, e.g. non-writers can do production work, so why can’t writers do non-writing production work?). George R.R. Martin has now weighed in on the strike, and one particular sticking point—so-called “mini-rooms” which have upended what was once a long and successful means of developing and promoting writers—and in the course of it has laid out where various Hollywood projects stand (for those who don’t want to read it all: everything Hollywood-related is on hold for him, as he’s a proud WGA member and thoroughly in agreement with the strike).
To quote him:
“(Many of you will be wondering, rightfully, about the impact of the strike on my own shows. The second season of DARK WINDS wrapped several months ago. Post production has been completed on five of the six episodes, and will soon be done on the last. The show will likely air sometime this summer on AMC. No decision on the third season will be made until after the strike. Peacock has passed on WILD CARDS, alas. A pity. We will try to place it elsewhere, but not until the strike is over. The writer’s room on A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS: THE HEDGE KNIGHT has closed for the duration. Ira Parker and his incredible staff of young talents are on the picket lines. Across the ocean, the second season of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON started filming April 11 and will continue in London and Wales. The scripts for the eight s2 episodes were all finished months ago, long before the strike began, Every episode has gone through four or five drafts and numerous rounds of revisions, to address HBO notes, my notes, budget concerns, etc. There will be no further revisions. The writers have done their jobs; the rest is in the hands of the directors, cast and crew… and of course the dragons).”
The Writer’s Guild of America has begun a strike, which means members of the guild will not be writing for any productions they’re working on. There’s a lot of questions about just what this means for many productions, questions that Variety has tried to answer with its FAQ. But fans of House of the Dragon have worried about the show being delayed because of the strike, and as it happens, Variety has an answer for that question as well.
Per Variety, all the scripts for the season have been finished ahead of time, and production will continue. So, good news! However, as some may realize, most scripts are not completely done and in final form when a show is produced. There’s often talk of rewrites and the need to ADR (“Automated Dialogue Replacement”) to insert new dialogue or change existing dialogue. As Variety notes, it’s unclear just how that aspect of things will work for programs already in production. Will they take different footage from different angles to give them more wiggle-room to add entirely new dialog when a character’s mouth can’t be seen? Will they employ some of the new tech out there to simply dynamically change a character’s lips to the words they’re saying? We live in fascinating times, as it were.
Over a week ago, we collaborated with the Folio Society on a contest to win one of their gorgeously illustrated, high-quality bound and slipcased copies of A Dance with Dragons to celebrate the 12th anniversary since the premiere of Game of Thrones. That contest ended recently, with over five hundred entries! Congratulations to Jordan from Iowa for winning the competition! For those who did not win this time, the Folio Society has promised to send something special to your e-mail quite soon!
Now that production is in full swing, casting news for the second season of HBO’s House of the Dragon was sure to be around the corner… and today we get the first tranche of new actors and roles for the show, courtesy of Variety. All four are characters from the original source material, described in George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood:
To mark the 12th anniversary since HBO’s Game of Thrones aired on April 17th, 2011—my, how time flies!—the Folio Society and Westeros.org are collaborating to give away a copy of the beautifully illustrated, slip-cased A Dance with Dragons that they released last year. We own all the Folio Society editions of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and they are truly gorgeous!
Entry is easy, just head to https://www.foliosociety.com/uk/westeros and sign up!
• Open internationally
• Closes 23:59 (UK time) Friday 21 April 2023
• No giveaway or spam accounts
• One entry per person
• Winner will be contacted directly over email by The Folio Society no earlier than Monday 24 April 2023
• Not endorsed by or affiliated with Facebook
• Winner must acknowledge their win within 10 days or be redrawn
• T&Cs apply
See below for full terms and conditions, as well as additional images of the book!
George R.R. Martin has posted to his “Not a Blog” to discuss the big news that HBO has ordered A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight (a working title, GRRM notes, that is not finalized) straight to series. George goes into some more detail about the project, pointing out that he first floated the Dunk & Egg stories for adaptation seven years ago, so things can move slowly… until they don’t. He also notes that despite reports (spurred by his own remarks that some things had been shelved, and some shifts of the Starling Inc. website that we reported on here), both the 10,000 Ships and Sea Snake shows remain in development. But more on that later.
On A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, George has some particular new details to share:
Our premiere season will be an adaptation of the first of the three published novellas, “The Hedge Knight,” the tale of how Dunk & Egg first met during a tournament at Ashford Meadow. The pilot script is already written, and I think it’s terrific. It was written by Ira Parker, who is no stranger to Westeros. He was part of Ryan Condal’s writing staff for the first season of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and wrote the fourth episode of Hot D’s first season, “King of the Narrow Sea.” That’s the one where Prince Daemon returns to King’s Landing after conquering the Stepstones, and takes Princess Rhaenyra down into the stews of Flea Bottom. Ryan Condal is on board as well, as an Executive Producer. So am I.
In a big presentation to announce their upcoming plans, including the launch of a new streaming service combining HBO MAX and Discovery+ called MAX, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that they had ordered A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight straight to series (no pilot episode) with the following log-line describing the basic idea of the show, which is based on the Dunk & Egg novellas:
A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes, and dangerous exploits all await these improbable and incomparable friends.
Fans have long wanted to see Dunk & Egg brought to the screen, as they give a very unique look into the Seven Kingdoms and the Targaryens from the eyes of a man of low birth who rises to great fame over his lifetime. Notably, HBO has also shared details about the writers and executive producers for this series.
To mark the occasion of the official start of production of House of the Dragon, HBO has put out a press release with the announcement, a remark from showrunner and lead writer Ryan Condal, and some other notes, plus a nice behind-the-scenes shot of the Iron Throne:
Production has commenced on the second season of HBO Original drama series House of the Dragon at Leavesden Studios in the United Kingdom.
Logline: Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, the series, set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, tells the story of House Targaryen.
Ryan Condal, Co-Creator/Showrunner/Executive Producer, quote: “House of the Dragon has returned. We are thrilled to be shooting again with members of our original family as well as new talents on both sides of the camera. All your favorite characters will soon be conspiring at the council tables, marching with their armies, and riding their dragons into battle. We can’t wait to share what we have in store.”