Westeros

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Domain

News

More Fire and Blood Excerpts

A trio of new Fire and Blood excerpts have been released since our last post, as well as a new #TargaryenThursday video from George R.R. Martin, one that bears commenting on.

The first of the new excerpts actually comes from the Russian publisher, published on the website of the Russian edition of the magazine Maxim, and of course is all in Russian. But Google Translate can help make it understandable, even if there are some quirks. One thing I will note is that it’s clear that the translator had to work off an earlier draft of that particular material, as there’s at least one detail that was changed by the final version of the book.

The second excerpt comes from Entertainment Weekly, and covers material already published for the most part in “The Princess and the Queen” and The World of Ice and Fire, but contains some new details that had been edited out.

And finally, the Times of London has another excerpt, although it is behind a paywall. The text makes it sound like it, too, will largely contain material already previously seen, but again some new details may slip out.

Below, you’ll find George’s Targaryen Thursday video, and our comment on it:

Wild Cards Franchise at Hulu

While George and other members of the Wild Cards Consortium have been hinting that big things are afoot with the Wild Cards universe, including in GRRM’s recent “Not a Blog” covering a wide range of matter including a status update on The Winds of Winter (yep, still working on it!), they have been quite cagey about the specific details.

But now The Hollywood Reporter and Variety have revealed a substantial amount of information, namely that streaming giant Hulu and Universal Cable Productions are on the verge of a deal to bring not one, but two, Wild Cards series to the streamer. When the deal is struck, Andrew Miller—tapped to be the showrunner—will lead the opening of a writers’ room for the projects to develop the ideas further and produce scripts. x

So far as we know, this is the closest that Wild Cards has come to seeing production, although it’s not entirely there yet. However, the THR article frame this as being part of Hulu’s play for a franchise, because franchise television is becoming an increasingly major aspect of the broadcast and streaming portfolio (as Game of Thrones fans know very well; the other obvious example is The Walking Dead on AMC, which has revealed plans for more spin-offs, including feature-budgetted films). Wild Cards presents a unique opportunity as one of the most developed superhero universes outside of the major comic publishers, with stories spanning from 1946 on to the present to draw from.

For my part, I hope one of those series would closely track to Wild Cards, the original novel that started it all. It rapidly covers the period from the release of the alien virus in 1946 to the early 80’s, which the books that follow use as their starting point. Seeing the stories of Dr. Tachyon, Golden Boy, Croyd Crenson, and more would work very well as a way to quickly build the reality that a series set more in the present day might exist within.

New Fire and Blood Excerpt

The Hollywood Reporter has released an exclusive excerpt from the forthcoming Fire and Blood. This excerpt is from a piece originally written for The World of Ice and Fire, providing some details regarding Aegon I’s reign after the Conquest, including the development of King’s Landing as the royal capital and the founding of the Kingsguard.

The book will be released on November 20th. If you missed it, we have an exclusive interview, as well as exclusive art, from Doug Wheatley who provides the book’s interior illustrations.

Fire & Blood Interview with Artist Doug Wheatley

On this #TargaryenThursday, we’re publishing an exclusive interview with Doug Wheatley, the artist whose work is featured throughout the forthcoming Fire and Blood. A veteran artist long associated with Star Wars comics, Wheatley has a wide portfolio, including having provided illustrations for our own The World of Ice & Fire (a fact we reference in our first remark).

There’s a number of images illustrating the piece, including an exclusive revealing the hapless Aenys I! Here’s the interview:

Fire and Blood Chapter List Posted

The full chapter list Fire & Blood (on shelves from November 20th)  has been posted at GRRM’s official Facebook page for the forthcoming. The book, the first of two planned volumes covering the history of the Targaryen dynasty from its beginning to its end, is over 709 pages long.

Here’s a sneak peek of Fire & Blood’s Table of Contents, including the Targaryens who will be featured in the upcoming book (available Nov. 20)

Some of the material herein was originally written for The World of Ice and Fire, but most of it has only ever been seen in abridged form, sometimes very heavily abridged as with the material concerning the regency of Aegon III (we had to cut it down to about two thousand words). The exceptions are the history of Aegon’s conquest, which we published in full in TWoIaF, and the “Sons of the Dragon” which was published in full… but which George has since (slightly) expanded. And then there’s the new material, namely almost the entirety of the material concerning King Jaehaerys I and his sister/wife Good Queen Alysanne. We’ve seen it, and there’s a lot of meaty new details about their reign, their children… and, perhaps, a few things that might be of interest to those more concerned with their more recent descendants.
John Howe to Illustrate 2020 Ice and Fire Calendar

A fan on our forum has turned up a great find: Random House has quietly revealed that next year’s 2020 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar will be illustrated by the legendary John Howe.

From the Random House listing, which reveals that this edition of the calendar is themed:

The magical creatures of A Game of Thrones and beyond come to life in a 2020 calendar inspired by George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, featuring illustrations by acclaimed artist John Howe.

Fantastic beasts are not solely the purview of Newt Scamander. Such creatures also abound in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels—one of the most successful and beloved fantasy series ever written. And who better to bring these creatures to life than acclaimed artist John Howe, who has built a huge reputation for his stunning work in Middle-earth? Here are sphinxes and krakens, sea dragons and ice spiders—a thrilling panoply of creatures both real and legendary . . . and some a bit of both. With twelve stunning full-color paintings, plus a bonus fold-out poster, this annual calendar—now in its tenth year!—is a “timely” addition to a franchise that has continued to grow with each passing year.

Howe, most famous for his outstanding art set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth and his contribution to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, is no stranger to Westeros: he illustrated Meisha Merlin’s limited edition of A Clash of Kings, a few samples of which fans can find on his website.

The calendar will be on sale on July 16, 2019.

Seeing Unseen Westeros

The Unseen Westeros art project is still raising funds, and with the help of the organizers we’ve gotten the opportunity to look at the art they’ve collected from the forty talented, professional artists (many who have worked on Game of Thrones!) for their planned art exhibition in Berlin. In the video below, we selected five of the many locales the artists have depicted to give some information and share our thoughts.

If you click through to Youtube, you’ll see timestamps to each of the particular places we talk about, but they are a Rhoynish town, Lorath, the Rhoynish festival city of Chroyane (before its ruin), the Summer Isles, and the mysterious Stygai within the Vale of Shadows. Let us know what you think in the comments, and remember to check out the Kickstarter!

GRRM Profile and Q&A in the New York Times

We knew something was up awhile back when a fact-checker for the New York Times contacted us with some questions for an article that was in the works by Charles Yu. That piece has now been published, a lengthy profile and interview with George R.R. Martin about his work with a special focus on A Song of Ice and Fire and the world Martin has built in the process of writing the novels. Westeros gets mentioned, as does the Wiki of Ice and Fire and the Brotherhood without Banners fan group, which is terrific.

As a companion to the piece, the NY Times also published a Q&A with GRRM with questions from fans. Some questions are silly, but some interesting ones as well, including one on dieties and the conflict with the Others that led George to immediately pass on answering before the question was even out.

Adobe Features Unseen Westeros

The Unseen Westeros project is still fundraising, and the organizers have done something quite cool: they’ve teamed up with Adobe (the world’s leading maker of graphics software, particularly Photoshop) to provide a number of “making of” videos showing timelapses of several pieces being created from start to finish.

As an added feature,, there’s a pretty cool set of tutorial videos by Philipp Scherer using his depiction of Norvos toward the bottom of Adobe’s feature. Well-worth checking out if you’ve any interest in digital art!

If you like what you see, considering supporing the Kickstarter to help make the exhibition a reality!

New Coins from Shire Post

The good folks at the Shire Post Mint have launched a brand new Kickstarter campaign, this time for one of the most expansive coin sets yet featuring coins of the Seven Kingdoms from before the Targaryen conquest.

The concept art is exciting, and the fact that the top tier Kickstarter reward is a limited edition of 50 wooden-and-resin maps signed by GRRM makes it clear that this is a particularly important entry in the Shire Post’s history with the A Song of Ice and Fire series that stretches back 15 years.

Fire and Blood Event in Jersey City

The WORD bookstores and George R.R. Martin have announced a special event to promote Fire & Blood: George’s only ticketed event to promote the book, with John Hodgman interviewing him with a Q&A following. The event will take place on November 19 in Jersey City, at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre. Tickets will admit two people, and will include a signed copy of the book.

Besides that, a limited number of pre-signed books can be purchased without a ticket.

This is not the first time Hodgman has interviewed George—back in 2011, he interviewed GRRM for The Sound of Young America podcast.

Fire and Blood Excerpt

An excerpt from Fire and Blood volume 1, a history of the Targaryen kings from Aegon I to Aegon III, has now been posted at George R.R. Martin’s “Not a Blog”. Along with it, there’s a video from George discussing the book’s “author”, Maester Gyldayn, whom GRRM describes as a very distinguished scholar, but idiosyncratic with views that Martin doesn’t vouch for.

Also included is a portrait of King Jaehaerys I the Conciliator and his sister and wife, Good Queen Alysanne, by Doug Wheatley to go along with the excerpt recounting their famous progress to the North… a progress which did not go quite as planned, as the excerpt reveals. Among other things, it introduces the taciturn and “notoriously prickly” Alaric Stark, the Lord of Winterfell. Suffice it to say, F&B will provide a lot of surprises and nuances to the picture of Targaryen history that the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and even The World of Ice and Fire (which is “based”, in part, on “Gyldayn’s” writings).

 

Announcing Unseen Westeros

Unseen Westeros is an ambitious project by a group of matte painters and visual effects artists who have all worked on HBO’s Game of Thrones. With the approval and support of George R.R. Martin, German publisher Penhaligon, and Westeros.org, the artists have produced scores of paintings depicting locales from The World of Ice and Fire, many of them first introduced in that book.

Suffice it to say, it’s very flattering to have been a part of something that has inspired so many artists. Linda and/or I are likely to attend one or more of the days of the exhibition, and we may have some more to announce in that regards down the road. We’ve seen quite a bit of the art, and suffice it to say these artists are all extremely talented, and it’s remarkable to see how they bring some of the many fascinating, strange, or epic locales described in the world book to life.

The exhibition is targeting January 23rd to January 27th, with an impressive venue—a former powerplant in Berlin—for the art to be displayed in. Of course, all these things cost, and the project has a Kickstarter to help cover the costs (which they itemize). Supporters to the Kickstarter can get anything from a credit on the backers’ wall at the exhibition to an album from official exhibition music composers Wolf & Moon and on through a limited edition art catalog or even (at the 2500+ euro level—two of those are gone, already!) an original painting.

To learn more about the project and support it, visit the Kickstarter. To apply for free tickets in advance, go to Eventbrite.

Keep an eye out on our Youtube channel, as we’ll be making a video or two responding to some as-yet-unseen artwork to give everyone a taste of what’s to come!

Treasures of Northern Ireland

As we’ve noted in our recent Game of Thrones news roundup, Linda and I were away to Northern Ireland this past weekend on a trip sponsored by Tourism NI to see the Winterfell Festival at the beautiful Castle Ward estate that served as a filming location for Winterfell and much, much more. It marks my fourth visit to Northern Ireland, and each time has been a pleasure from the very first visit to look at the set and watch some of the filming with George to the previous visit thanks to Tourism NI to see the beautifully carved Doors of Game of Thrones, and now on to this one.

We’ve captured a lot of photos and video footage from the junket, just over 30 gigabytes. Keep an eye out over the coming days for posts and videos featuring some of the iconic locations, and even actors—we met with Mark Addy and Ian McElhinney when they were there at Castle Ward, and filmed a lengthy interview McElhinney held before an audience that we’ll publish soon.

And as it happens, some of the treasures are still coming—such as the following treat from Boyd Rankin, weaponmaker-extraordinaire responsible for many of the iconic weapons on the show who also served as Mikken on season 1 on the show (he says it was his well-worn, slightly charred leather apron that was cast) . We’ve already shared a couple of photos on our Instagram from seeing Boyd at Castle Ward, featuring an image of the original Longclaw before it was burned, bear’s head-pommel and all, and another of a new memento for us in the form of a knife made for season 4 that was never used…. but this is a bit different.

Boyd happens to have been involved with the show right from the pilot, and was on hand for filming in Morocco where the original meeting and wedding of Daenerys and Drogo was filmed (that’s when Tom McCarthy was directing, and Tamsin Merchant was playing Daenerys). As fans may know, George R.R. Martin had a cameo during the filming, a cameo that was never repeated… and never made it to air, as the Dany role was recast and the whole of her sequences were reshot. There have been one or two leaked photos from the pilot since then, but none has ever shown George in his costume for his cameo…

... until now, that is. Taken by Mr. Rankin, and used with his permission, this is the first time that we know of that anyone outside of the production has seen this:

 

Starport Graphic Novel Due Next Year

Starport, a massive 270 page graphic novel adaptation of an unproduced pilot script from George R.R. Martin, has just been announced.

Adapted and illustrated by Hugo Award-nominee Raya Golden, who was nominated for her adaptation of Martin’s Meathouse Man, this new graphic novel is a science fiction police procedural set in Chicago. Martin pitched the script in 1994 for the Fox Network; that year was particularly auspicious, despite the pilot not going anywhere, because it was the very same year that he began working in earnest on A Game of Thrones.

Here’s the blurb for the graphic novel: