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Rise of the Dragon On Shelves Today

Today is the day: The Rise of the Dragon has hit book shelves in many countries! It’s also available as an e-book ... and even as an audio book, read by the wonderful Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones) which is a particular honor since we’re huge fans of his. We’ve been amazed by the positive response online, especially at the various art previews, and we have to say we owe a lot to all the artists who worked hard to make this what this is. There’s a lot of promotion going on, but one we particularly enjoyed is this trailer from our terrific UK publisher, Harper Voyager:

In the lead up to today’s release, George R.R. Martin took part in an online event where he spoke with friend and author David Anthony Durham to promote the book as well as House of the Dragon. While the stream has not been publicly released as of yet, read below for some of our realtime tweeting of some choice remarks and information from George… including an update on progress on The Winds of Winter!

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Two Weeks Until The Rise of the Dragon

On October 25th, The Rise of the Dragon: An Illustrated History of the Targaryen Dynasty, Volume One hit shelves. Based on Fire and Blood by GRRM, the book provides a more condensed account of the events documented in that work of “fake history” while providing over 180 new, full-color illustrations (some were shared in the recent, all packaged in a similar format to The World of Ice and Fire. As we said when the book was first announced, the book is for a very particular set of audiences—those who were daunted by F&B’s size but are interested in something more concise, those who love the artwork, and those who are collectors and completists. If you or someone you know fits that, however…

Ahead of the release, George is holding a couple of events, including one that will be livestreamed for those who purchase a ticket. See more details below, as well as an opportunity to get copies with a different set of autographs entirely… !

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One of the many new pieces of art Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen racing their dragons, Syrax and Caraxes, between High Tide and Dragonstone. By Nutchapol Thitinunthakorn

For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow

Today features a very notable birthday. No, we don’t mean Sophia Loren’s (though that’s very fine company to be in). It’s in fact George R.R. Martin’s birthday today, making him 74 years young. Six years ago we were invited to write a tribute to George over at Tor.com, that you can read here. We know fans of his work—and fans of the good he’s done for the genre, for fandom, and for the various good causes he has contributed to—the world over wish him well on this auspicious day.

One of the nonprofit organizations GRRM has been a major supporter of is the Stagecoach Foundation, which he co-founded to help provide training and work opportunities for residents of New Mexico in the state’s burgeoning film industry. A donation to the foundation would no doubt be very welcome, especially today!

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George R.R. Martin on the set for his cameo in the Game of Thrones pilot, which was later reshot and lost that footage. He has yet to make a formal cameo on one of HBO’s shows.

GRRM Talks Rise of the Dragon

Just two months away from the release of The Rise of the Dragon, a book we’ve co-authored that takes Fire and Blood, boils it down to the essentials, and fills the rest of the pages with over 180 pieces of glorious, all-new artwork from artists both familiar and brand new to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire. Random House has started the wheels rolling promoting the book by releasing this video with George R.R. Martin where he talks about the book and its connection to House of the Dragon:

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GRRM Confirms SNOW In Development

At “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin goes into some detail—as far as he’s able—as he confirms the news that a Jon Snow series is in development under the working title of Snow. In the process, he confirms that Kit Harington is the originator of the series (as revealed by Emilia Clarke in a recent BBC profile), that he and his own team of writers and consultants are working with Harington’s team, and that the project has actually been in development nearly as long as projects that we learned about last year rather than being a very new development.

There’s also some Winds of Winter information, as George notes that he was recently “back with Tyrion,” and GRRM also discusses his recent (misconstrued) remarks on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power as well as continuing work on short films based on the works of the great Howard Waldrop.

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GRRM Updates Fans on Multiple Projects

Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin has provided fans a lengthy update on The Winds of Winter, HBO’s successor shows, and more… and in the process lets the cat out of the bag regarding one project we here at Westeros.org have been working on for the last couple of years.

We’ll provide a quick summary below:

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The Three Chroniclers, by Chase Stone.

HBO Exec on House of the Dragon and Other Projects

A sit-down with various media outlets has provided some fresh information from Casey Bloys, HBO’s and HBO Max’s chief content officer, regarding the future of the Game of Thrones franchise, from the release date of House of the Dragon to the status of a number of projects in development. While there’s nothing really concrete, the one thing Bloys committed to is that House of the Dragon is definitely airing this year, but that the conversation has only just now started thanks to the show officially wrapping.

We’ll provide a brief bullet point of the main information that came out of the interview with Bloys:

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Night of the Cooters Teaser

After years of hints, August saw the official announcement by George R.R. Martin that a short film based on “The Night of the Cooters”, written by long-time friend (and one of the funniest writers in the genre) Howard Waldrop, was in production. Now, the result of that adaptation can be glimpsed for the first time in this teaser:

With a screenplay by award-winning author Joe Lansdale, Night of the Cooters stars and is directed by Vincent D’Onofrio, who fans of Netflix’s Daredevil may have very recently glimpsed on the new Disney+ show Hawkeye. Notably, the teaser’s description on Youtube also reveals that Ramin Djawadi of Game of Thrones and Westworld fame composed the music for the film.

As viewers can see, the short film is executed in a merging of live-action and animation, dubbed “Trioscope” by the inventors of the process, Trioscope Studios who made the four-episode WWII drama The Liberator for Netflix.

Elden Ring Mythos Created by GRRM

A spate of reports concerning the FromSoftware’s forthcoming RPG Elden Ring, as the developers have provided game journalists access to previews of the game and interviews with the developers. The game, from a developer already extremely famous for its Dark Souls series, added George R. R. Martin to its creative team when the game first entered development. Now, in an interview transcribed at The Verge, Yasuhiro Kitao from FromSoft reveals that GRRM’s participation was very early on and quite particular.

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A newly-released screenshot from Elden Ring.

GRRM and Redford Producing Dark Winds TV Series

Back in February, we connected some dots following our stumbling across Vince Gerardis’s Startling Inc. site listing a number of titles that he had in production and development. Among the items there was a note: “Dark Winds at AMC”. We speculated that this was based on Tony Hillerman’s crime novels and that GRRM was involved due to a post he made back in June 2018.

This is now all confirmed thanks to James Hibberd at The Hollywood Reporter:

“The network has ordered Dark Winds, which is based on author Tony Hillerman’s iconic Leaphorn & Chee books, which follow two Navajo police officers in the 1970s Southwest.

“The series is created and executive produced by Graham Roland (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) and stars Zahn McClarnon (Fargo), who is also an executive producer, and Kiowa Gordon (The Red Road). Vince Calandra (Castle Rock) is the showrunner and also an executive producer. Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals) will direct the pilot and executive produce. Other executive producers include George R.R. Martin, Robert Redford, Tina Elmo and Vince Gerardis. In a rare move, the production has secured permission to film on tribal lands in New Mexico.”

There’s also a statement from GRRM that Hibberd reports, indicating that Chris Eyre (who directed the accoladed film Smoke Signals) and Robert Redford(!) reached out to ask him to become involved and help bring Hillerman’s Leaphorn & Chee series to television.

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Zach McClarnon as Hanzee Dent in the 2nd season of Fargo

Elden Ring Release Date and Trailer

Elden Ring, a game from Dark Souls-developer FromSoftware whose world and story was created in collaboration with George R. R. Martin, now has a release date: January 21st, 2022.  A trailer was also revealed showing some of the gameplay and the amazing environment and character design that FromSoftware is famous for:

The game was first announced this month two years ago, and Hidetaka Miyazaki sat for an interview that discussed just how and why GRRM got involved (TL;DR: he’s a fan of his work from well before A Song of Ice and Fire).

Game of Thrones Comes to Broadway

Well, more correctly, it sounds like something from A Song of Ice and Fire is coming to Broadway, as HBO is not formally involved in any way (but has the option to invest)...

You may remember this post from a month ago, where we stumbled across Vince Gerardis’s website for Startling Inc., which listed a project called “A Song of Ice and Fire with The Works” as being in development. Interestingly, we checked a couple of days ago, and that reference was gone. But the project was not, in fact, dead. It is, in fact, very much alive. Producers Simon Painter and Tim Lawson (of, ahem, The Works Entertainment; although, notably, The Works is not named in the piece, while Kilburn Live is… so perhaps this is a project they’re doing separately from their company?) are working from a story provided by George R.R. Martin to write a spectacular stage play—targetting, New York’s Broadway, London’s West End, and Australia—concerning the events at the Tourney at Harrenhal.

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Wild Cards RPG Stream and Live Auction

George R.R. Martin’s Stagecoach Foundation has teamed up with Legion M for a unique virtual event bringing together a number of Wild Cards authors (Melinda Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams, Carolne Spector, Carrie Vaughn, and Max Gladsone) to livestream a Wild Cards gaming session which aired last night. On top of that, tonight will see a live auction stream for a number of donated items covering Wild Cards, A Song of Ice and Fire, comics, a one hour chat with noted game designer Warren Spector (Deus Ex) and even a private tour of Meow Wolf’s forthcoming Denver experience.

The streaming schedule and more information can be found at Legion M’s event page, while the full list of items for auction can be found at Bidpal.

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GRRM on Sandkings, Winds of Winter, and More

It’s one of those days again, it seems. Shortly after we shared news on the status of the Wild Cards TV adaptation, George R.R. Martin posted his own update. The first was an item we had forgotten to post an update about, namely that just after we revealed that Sandkings was in development at Netflix, by sheer coincidence Collider had learned in an interview that director Gore Verbinski (Rango, Pirates of the Caribbean) was set to direct it, with screenwriter Dennis Kelly (Utopia) writing the script for the high-budget film adaptation of the famous, award-winning science fiction horror story.

George goes on to fill in some details on some other projects, some of which touch on things we recently revealed.

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Screenshot from the 1995 Outer Limits adaptation of “Sandkings”. The “castle” features the face of Dr. Simon Kress, played by Beau Bridges in the episode.

Background for Wild Cards Move to Peacock

About two weeks ago, we were the first to report that the long-gestating Wild Cards TV adaptation, originally set for Hulu, had moved to NBCUniversal’s Peacock. Now The Hollywood Reporter has filled in the blanks, providing details of what Hulu did with the project, why it moved from Hulu to Peacock, and what its current status is since the lead writer has moved on, and a new writer is currently being searched for.

Some salient quotes below:

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Cover art by Brian Bolland for a re-release of the first edition.