The second season of Ryan J. Condal’s and David H. Mandel’s podcast about movie props, The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, has launched. This first episode is ostensibly about the 40th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the bullwhip famously wielded by Indiana Jones, but in the course of it some hints about House of the Dragons were provided by Condal.
The first piece of information concerned plans for future episodes, with Condal stating that he’ll be getting one of the members of the HotD production to be a guest to discuss what he or she does. He did promise it would be spoiler-free, because otherwise he’d be fired, but we can expect some interesting discussion in the weeks to come.
The second piece of information was that Condal confirmed there would be “bespoke” swords for “heroes”—that is, custom-made swords for leads and significant characters—but that the armorer that has been hired for the show has a vast supply of swords from past productions he has worked on that will be among those used for background performers and the like. In fact, according to Condal, the supply of past weaponry or armor that an armorer or swordsmith can bring to a production is part of the calculation when deciding who to hire.
So, whoever is responsible for the swords on House of the Dragon is someone with a great deal of experience making swords for film and television productions. We would guess that they are also UK based, as it would just be very convenient. Interestingly, Condal mentioned Terry English (Excalibur, Aliens) several times in the course of the podcast, but a look at his credits suggest he may be retired from the gruelling production schedule.
After a deal of footage has made its way to the internet from photographers with long lenses, HBO has now released to media images of some of the costumed lead performers from House of the Dragon. These feature Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen, Steve Touissant as Corlys Velaryon, and Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans as Alicent Hightower and her father Otto Hightower. See the images below, with some comments.
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen” and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen. Typical Targaryen looks, as expected. Rhaenyra’s costuming fits the description of her preferred colors and textiles such as maroon and velvets. Her long braid is also drawn from Martin’s description.
After a number of flame emojis were tweeted by the official Game of Thrones Twitter account, with the number growing every 15 minutes, the burst of flames culminated in the exciting announcement that production of House of the Dragon has commenced in a tweet with an intriguing picture of a distanced production team (including, if I’m not mistaken, showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan J. Condal):
Although we’re not generally planning to track details of filming of HBO’s House of the Dragon, a recent report from Cornwall Live caught our attention for a couple of reasons. One, we did not know that the famous Mont-Saint-Michel has a Cornish cousin in St. Michael’s Mount (apparently in close vicinity to Penzance harbor, of The Pirates of Penzance fame!) Secondly, and more to the point, one of the photos revealed what appears to be the show’s version of the heraldic arms of House Velaryon… and they don’t fit what George R. R. Martin confirmed to us over 20 years ago.
This mail, from our first year of correspondence with GRRM, refers to the fact that he had been visiting Westeros.org to look at the heraldry we had been producing from the books and then from his own notes. Though my original mail to him is lost, from context I think I must have remarked that we took a guess that he meant an actual seahorse and not the mythical or sea-horse (confusingly, both are also known as hippocampus).
GRRM has finally gotten his wish to break some news regarding House of the Dragon, revealing that British actor Fabien Frankel has been cast in the role of Criston Cole, a knight who will remembered (and reviled) in later days as the Kingmaker. A classically-trained actor who attended RADA and LAMBDA, he is a relative newcomer with his first credits in 2019 (the Emilia Clarke romcom Last Christmas, no less!) Most recently he has appeared in The Serpent, a BBC-Netflix co-production.
Fabien Frankel in Gone Today. Here Tomorrow.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, George R.R. Martin has renewed his overall deal with HBO, this time for a reported “mid-eight figure” contract that spans five years. An overall deal is one in which any new ideas or pitches a creator generates will belong to the studio. George first signed an overall deal with HBO back in 2013, which was then renewed in 2016. The article proceeds to run through the five projects in various stages of development, as well as House of the Dragon which begins filming next month if all goes to plan. We did like the speculation on the animated project:
During the regular TCA presentations, where various networks and studios present themselves, performers, and new shows to the Television Critic Association, Casey Bloys had a number of things to say about Game of Thrones prequels and projects. Deadline has a detailed report, and The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Bloys that touches on it as well.
The main takeaway—beyond the more concrete reveal that House of the Dragon is going into production in April—is that while reports of prequels being explored in live and animated form, it’s still very much up in the air. Though Bloys suggests that “zero” of these shows going forward would be the “wrong number”, it’ll be a matter of finding stories worth telling (and, one hopes, worth telling well!) that determines how many of these shows will go ahead.
HBO has announced a number of additional castings for House of the Dragon, which is set to begin filming this April. Deadline has a good report with details based on HBO’s official press release, but we’ll summarize here:
Via our friends at Los Siete Reinos, we’ve learned that an on-line resume, posted by his representatives at the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, shows that award-winning Game of Thrones and Westworld composer Ramin Djawadi is returning to Westeros to compose the soundtrack of the forthcoming House of the Dragon.
Back in November, we mentioned that House of the Dragon exective producer, show runner, and lead writer Ryan Condal was co-hosting a podcast about film and television props with director and producer David Mandel. We’ve been keeping an eye on The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of since then, in large part because it’s genuinely interesting listening for those who share a similar interest in movie history (especially as Mandel and Condal also share a love of many of the same iconic late 70’s-80’s films—Aliens, Star Wars, Blade Runner, etc.—that we do).
Big news out of Hollywood today, as Variety first revealed that HBO is in early development on adapting the Dunk & Egg novellas (collected in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms [affiliate link]) to the screen:
“The one-hour show would be based on the series of fantasy novellas by George R. R. Martin, which follow the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk) and a young Aegon V Targaryen (Egg) 90 years prior to the events of “A Song of Ice and Fire.
“No writer or talent is currently attached to the project, but sources say it is a high priority for HBO as the premium cabler looks to build on the success of Game of Thrones.”
“But that’s not all. HBO has been meeting with other top writers pitching others ideas based on Martin’s works. Among the ideas being contemplated is a prequel series based on Robert’s Rebellion, the war for the Iron Throne that upended Westeros a couple of decades before the events in Thrones. All the ideas are prequels; there are no sequels or spinoffs from the original series currently under consideration.
“One of the writers is a name familiar to HBO genre fans: Bruno Heller, who created the ambitious historical drama Rome [affiliate link], a series that was seen as a bit of a short-lived precursor to Thrones. That said, no writer is yet attached to any project.”
HBO Max has released a look forward for the next year—a tradition HBO has been doing for many years—and decided to go a step further by hinting at things to come in 2022. Specifically, at the end of the video below, a dragon appears, breathes fire, and reveals what seems likely to be the logo for House of the Dragon (the three-headed dragon, of course, wreathed in flames):
This is not at all a surprise, as back in September HBO executives revealed that the show was being targeted for 2022. It’s interesting to see HBO Max using its arrival as the big hook for the final moment of its promotional video, however, showing that the company is puting a great deal of weight on it being a big draw to their platform.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One female lead) has been cast as Alicent Hightower, Emma d’Arcy has been cast as Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown) has been cast as the “rogue prince”, Daemon Targaryen. This follows rumors along those lines about Smith over the last couple of weeks.
Princess Rhaenyra (depicted by Magali Villeneuve), Queen Alicent (depicted by Doug Wheatley), Prince Daemon (depicted by Marc Simonetti)
HBO’s official Game of Thrones social media channels have awoken to unleash the first concept art from House of the Dragon, featuring designs for two un-named dragons. We have some thoughts on just who they may be below…
The depiction of this dragon suggests it’s a young one, more similar in size to Daenerys’s dragons in the first half of GAME OF THRONES. By its coloring, we’re guessing this is a concept for Sunfyre, also known as Sunfyre the Golden.
Over at his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has posted a new update on various topics, including HBO’s House of the Dragon as well as where he’s at with the greatly-anticipated The Winds of Winter. Along the way, he gives some hints about what he’s been working on on the “big, big book”:
“Of late I have been spending a lot of time with the Lannisters. Cersei and Tyrion in particular. I’ve also paid a visit to Dorne, and dropped in to Oldtown a time or three. In addition to turning out new chapters, I’ve been revising some old ones (some very old)… including, yes, some stuff I read at cons ages ago, or even posted online as samples. I tweak stuff constantly, and sometimes go beyond tweaking, moving things around, combining chapters, breaking chapters in two, reordering stuff.”
(The newly-released A Storm of Swords (affiliate link) anniversary edition, featuring new illustrations from Gary Gianni.)