Westeros

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George R.R. Martin

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).

Fabien Frankel Cast as Criston Cole

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.

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Fabien Frankel in Gone Today. Here Tomorrow.

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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HBO Developing The Sea Snake with Bruno Heller, Other Projects

Last night (for us here in Sweden, in any case), Deadline added to our knowledge of the projects HBO is actively considering as part of a greater Game of Thrones-universe of successor shows. This appears to bring the total of shows in development to five or six, from what we’ve been told, including work on The Tales of Dunk and Egg, an unspecified animated project, a possible Robert’s Rebellion show (which we still think may be the A Song of Ice and Fire project mentioned by Vince Gerardis’s Startling Inc. website) and the three that follow:

  • 9 Voyages, or The Sea Snake, in development with Rome-creator Bruno Heller, which would presumably be predominantly an adventurous series focused on the young Corlys Velaryon’s famous sea voyages.
  • 10,000 Ships, about the flight of the Rhoynar from Essos and their long journey under the leadership of Princess Nymeria. No writers currently attached.
  • Flea Bottom, about the notorious district in King’s Landing. No writers currently attached.
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A legendary ice dragon in the Shivering Sea. Corlys Velaryon is never claimed to have seen one on his own attempt to sail as far north as men can, but other sailors have.

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.

More Development News and Oddities

Is A Song of Ice and Fire in development at someone not named HBO? Strangely, that may be the case from something we uncovered following yesterday’s post on some recent development updates.

This led us to some digging and and we discovered that Vince Gerardis’s new company Startling Inc. has an official website with a long, long list of various literary works that are in development at various studios, networks, and production companies. As an science fiction and fantasy fan, a lot of the titles are familiar—works by Robert Silverberg, David Eddings, Kim Stanley Robinsion, Larry Niven, Greg Bear, and more are all represented. But Three of these are of special interest to fans of George R.R. Martin: Wild Cards, Sandkings, and something titled A Song of Ice and Fire without HBO explicitly linked to it.

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A fan-made ASoIaF logo from artist Ertaç Altınöz

Roadmarks, Lost Lands Developing

UPDATE on March 4, 2021: George R.R. Martin has posted about the development of In the Lost Lands.

“Some recent piece of development news regarding George R.R. Martin has slipped out the last couple of days. First, GRRM and Kalinda Vazquez are set to develop Roger Zelazny’s novel Roadmark for HBO. A science fiction/fantasy blend, the basic concept is of a mysterious, endless road that travereses time, space, and alternate realities that travelers can use to explore and even try to change the past, present, and future.

Martin has posted about it at his “Not a Blog”, noting that it was one of five pitches he made to HBO as part of his overall development deal with them, all of them based on notable works of science fiction and fantasy that he believed could work well adapted. Vince Gerardis, who helped package Game of Thrones, will also have a co-executive credit.

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GRRM On 2020

In a brief post at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin shares some thoughts on the previous year. A dark time, as he notes, with the global pandemic, and the loss of a number of friends such as Susan Ellison, Kay McCauley, Ben Bova, and Phyllis Eisenstein, while other friends are in poor health. Still, he is hopeful for the future, especially as one of the more positive developments last year was the best writing streak he’s ever had on The Winds of Winter.

In his own words:

“I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of THE WINDS OF WINTER in 2020.  The best year I’ve had on WOW since I began it.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe the isolation.  Or maybe I just got on a roll.  Sometimes I do get on a roll.

“I need to keep rolling, though.  I still have hundreds of more pages to write to bring the novel to a satisfactory conclusion.

“That’s what 2021 is for, I hope.”

GRRM on Kay McCauley

This month has had its joys and its sorrows, and we’re not even half way through. In the latter column, we must add the very sad news of the passing of Kay McCauley, long-time agent to George R.R. Martin and a host of other writers. George has posted a touching remembrance of the “queen of agents” who did so much to represent his work as part of, and then head, of the agency that her late brother Kirby McCauley founded.

George mentions in passing her parties for the Wild Cards authors, and indeed, it was at one of these—at the swanky Chateau Marmont, during the 2006 Worldcon in Anahiem where we signed the contracts for The World of Ice and Fire—that we first met her. She had negotiated the contract for the book, and had helped us out with various questions including who to talk to at Random House’s royalties department to sort out a problem, and advising us on other matters. She was extremely kind and welcoming to two neophytes such as ourselves, and over the years she always found the time to send a congratulations our way whenever Random House let us know of some new milestone with the book, whether a placement on a bestseller list or a new printing.

She will be much missed.

GRRM Update on Winds of Winter

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.”

 

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(The newly-released A Storm of Swords (affiliate link) anniversary edition, featuring new illustrations from Gary Gianni.)

George R.R. Martin Sues for Rights to The Skin Trade

Last week, it was reported that George R.R. Martin has filed suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Blackstone Manor, LLC, the company that holds the rights to producing “The Skin Trade”, his award-winning 1988 horror novella. According to reports of the suit, it’s alleged that on the day before its option lapsed, Blackstone Manor threw together a skeleton crew and filmed “a few scenes” to try and claim rights to “The Skin Trade” in perpetuity, an act which Martin’s lawyers suggest is tantamount to an “artifice”, a “token production” insufficient to retain the rights.

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GRRM on Writing in the Time of Coronavirus

George R.R. Martin has posted a new entry to his Not a Blog, titled “Back in Westeros”, which discusses the self-imposed isolation he’s been in for much of the year. In a mountain cabin somewhere in the mountains of New Mexico, George has been making progress on The Winds of Winter, and reflects on how the periods in his career where he’s been the most isolated have also been among his most productive.

Towards the end, he gets a little more specific about what he has been working on lately in terms of point of view characters, and one of the one he names is a bit of new information as their presence as a POV had not been confirmed until now.

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(No, this is not actually his cabin!)

GRRM on Mice, TV, and Writing The Winds of Winter

In a new Not a Blog post titled “Writing, Reading, Writing”, GRRM has written from his cabin hideaway about his isolation during the global pandemic. In the course of being up there, his assistant captured two mice that they’ve now made into pets named Timmy and TomTom, and George notes they have not been too helpful in advising him on The Winds of Winter...

... but he actually has a deal to say about the progress he has made, even if he thinks he won’t be able to recapture the blazing rate of speed in which he wrote A Storm of Swords (which peaked at about 150 manuscript pages a month).

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Here’s what he has to say:

“If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write.  I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress.  I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week.  But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week.  It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go.  Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.”

And below the fold, here’s some additional details that are slightly spoilerish in nature:

A Storm of Swords Illustrated Edition in November

George R.R. Martin and Random House have announced the November publication date of A Storm of Swords: The Illustrated Edition. The cover maintains the same style as the two previous editions, but art this time around is being provided by the fantastic Gary Gianni, who has previously illustrated the A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms collection, the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, and the Subterranean Press limited edition of Fire & Blood. The lithograph-style image below, published on GRRM’s Twitter account, is gorgeous:

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GRRM Updates on Writing in the Time of Coronavirus

George R.R. Martin has updated his “Not a Blog” page with a long post discussing the current state of affairs in the world, a number of which impact businesses and initaitives he is involved in: Meow Wolf has closed its doors for now, and GRRM has followed suit by temporarialy shuttering the Jean Cocteau Cinema as well as the Stage Coach Foundation (however, he notes employees of both organizations will be paid for the forseeable future). However, in the interim, the Beastly Books store that shares a location with the Jean Cocteau does remain open for the time being for those looking to take some comfort in the familiar act of browsing shelves and picking up something to read.

In the course of writing on this, however, George does touch on those who are concerned about his own well-being. Never fear, he says:

For those of you who may be concerned for me personally… yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition.  But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions.  I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone.  Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day.  Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here.

That certainly does sound foreboding.