Though the initial, ambitious exhibition fundraiser did not quite pan out, the organizers behind the amazing Unseen Westeros project have bounced back with a new initiative that’s done very well indeed!
The new Kickstarter has already beaten its goal as it provides funders the opportunity to support the artbook, with any funds raised beyond what’s needed to produce the books to be put towards realizing the exhibition in some form (perhaps in a new location, or for fewer days) with a prospective exhibition date still set for January.
There’s just one week left before the Kickstarter closes out, and it looks like it will be the only way to get a hold of the professionally-printed, 150 page art book featuring all the artworks by professional artists.
Also timed with the launch of the book, a last promotional video from George discusses how useful Fire and Blood could be for Daenerys, but alas, she has no access to it. The video was posted exclusively at Esquire.
Linda and I are planning at least a couple of videos about the book, and we’re even considering doing a livestream to interact with viewers directly, answering questions or discussing ideas they may have. Keep an eye on the site as well as Twitter and Facebook for news on that!
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:
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.
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.
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:
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)
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!