The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Domain


House of the Dragon Flood Gates Open

The last few days have been jam-packed with House of the Dragon information, all of it leading to the big panel a San Diego Comic-Con, and the August 21st premiere of the show beyond that. The latest? A video from HBO giving us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the show in production, with brief comments from show runners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, and creator George R.R. Martin:

But what really kicked it of was Entertainment Weekly and its exclusive article from Nick Romano, who visited the sit and spoke extensively with the cast and crew of the show. Since that initial release, EW has been releasing more articles and photos on a daily basis, again leading up to the big SDCC premiere.

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Fascinating image of King Jaehaerys I, the Old King, at the Great Council of 101 AC. Also pictured (from left to right) are: Prince Viserys Targaryen, his wife Lady Aemma of House Arryn, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Ryam Redwyne, Lord Corlys Velaryon the Sea Snake, and Rhaenys Targaryen the Queen Who Never Was.

Of course, adaptation means changes, and this particular image is fascinating for the many quite minor changes from Fire and Blood all packed together: Jaehaerys did not actually attend the Great Council, had a very long beard and long hair, wore a circlet with seven previous stones around it, the Targaryen sigil should have two legs rather than four (more on that later), and Rhaenys Targaryen famously had black hair (being half-Baratheon).

We note this not as a critique, but just an observation that the show’s adaptation needs are going to lead to more such changes, both small and large.

Ollie Upton/HBO

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Our first good look at Prince Daemon Targaryen’s fantasic helmet. Note the garnets or rubies decorating the armor here and there, and the etched (two-legged) dragon. His face being largely unprotected is madness, bravado… or the reality of productions not wanting to cover up the faces of their lead actors (The Mandalorian not withstanding.)

Ollie Upton/HBO

Along with its main article, EW has gone ahead and released additional galleries and articles, with writer Nick Romano promising new pieces daily all leading up to SDCC. Here’s a list and some comments:

  • Cover Shoot Gallery
  • Exclusive Stills: The two images above are drawn from this gallery, but all the images are well-worth looking at for the additional information and commentary that goes with them.
  • Show Runners Explain the Race of House Velaryon: This is a refreshingly honest thing to see, as Ryan Condal explains that the Velaryons being black is a deliberate change from the canon; when casting first hit, some fans tried to convince everyone it was in fact canonical. That said, the article suggests Condal got the idea from GRRM musing about making the “Velaryons” black, when in fact we think this is a very understandable confusion with his having publicly mused on the subject regarding the “Valyrians” in general. Some years ago he made a lengthy comment on this topic at “Not a Blog”, explaining his reasoning and why he didn’t do it.
  • Video on the Wigs of Westeros
  • Show Runners on the Iron Throne: This provides practical reasons for why the proper monstrosity of the Iron Throne could not be realized, but also explains how they tried to honor it.
  • Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling of the Kingsguard
  • The Catspaw Dagger: This was an interesting piece as originally it claimed that the Valyrian steel dagger seen in trailers was not, in fact, supposed to be the dagger used by the catspaw in Game of Thrones. Now it correctly states that it is the sam dagger, although it’s a newly-made prop based on the original (and apparently slightly smaller in dimensions than the original).
  • Condal on the Targaryen Sigil: Given our love of all things heraldic, this was also very interesting to us as Condal acknowledges that Game of Thrones confusingly used two-legged and four-legged Targaryen dragon emblems, which was likely the result of some sort of asset management mix-up in the later seasons of the show due to the fact that the pilot actually had the same four-legged dragon before the error was recognized and subsequently corrected. Moreover, Condal seems to suggest that they will try to retcon in an explanation to patch up Game of Thrones‘s mistake, suggesting that there’ll be a plot point about the shift from four legs to two…. although rather curiously, two-legged Targaryen dragons appear on the pauldrons of Targaryen guards in the trailers, which suggests to us an asset management mix-up may still be affecting the show.
  • Steve Toussaint on Past GoT Auditions: The actor, who plays Corlys Velaryon, reveals he auditioned multiple times for Game of Thrones, including for the role of Areo Hotah.
  • Steve Toussaint on The Sea Snake and Corlys’s Experience

Finally, there’s a couple of video that EW has added to its Youtube channel that we’ll include here:

More content is sure to come from both HBO and EW in the next few days, so keep an eye out! As to our verdict? House of the Dragon looks incredibly promising, with sumptuous costuming, impeccable production design, enthusiastic actors, and a highly capable creative team.