Westeros

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Domain

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GRRM Donates to Northwestern University, Endows a New Chair

George R.R. Martin has always been very generous, and as his success as grown, so too as his generosity. Wildlife recues, film and television training programs, writing scholarships... and now the latest example, as he donates $5 million to his alma mater of Northwestern University to establish a new writing workshop for journalism professionals to explore creative writing, as well as to endow the new George R.R. Martin Chair of Storytelling.

For more details, see the press release from Northwestern below:

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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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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.

Before the Dance: New Video Has George R.R. Martin Narrating

A pleasant surprise today, as the official Game of Thrones channels dropped a new video, this time a rather unique one as it had George R.R. Martin narrating the history of the Targaryens (as well as the Hightowers and Velaryons) that leads up to the time of The House of the Dragons, with animated graphics from none other than artist Doug Wheatley, the illustrator of Fire and Blood.

Very interesting that the Hightowers get a little bit of focus in this video. The Velaryons are to be expected, of course, although an interesting thing we noticed about this video is that it only mentions the marriage of Corlys to Rhaenys as one of the ties the families have to one another, when of course Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters had a Velaryon mother. It’s a short video, but since Aegon and the Conquest was mentioned, it seemed like a detail they could have slipped in there if they wanted to.

GRRM-produced Short Film Wins Festival Award

Great news from the LA Shorts International Film Festival! GRRM’s adaptation of his friend Howard Waldrop’s story “The Night of the Cooters” has won “Best Sci-Fi”. We previously wrote about the project when the teaser came out last year. Read the full press release for all the details.

Los Angeles, August 1, 2022 –

With Vincent D’ Onofrio (Daredevil, Ratched) leading from behind and in front of the camera, George R.R. Martin’s adaptation of Howard Waldrop’s renowned short story of the same name Night of the Cooters garnered “Best Sci-Fi” at this year’s LA Shorts International Film Festival. Closing the festival with the show stopper, screenwriter Joe R. Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep, Hap and Leonard) moderated a cast Q&A following the world premiere to a full house at Laemmle NoHo theaters, and from the “Best Sci-Fi” nod, the audience really liked it!

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House of the Dragon Inundation Continues

Hot on the heels of EW‘s exclusive, the Hollywood Reporter has published a two-part extravaganza from Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon chronicler James Hibberd (Part 1, Part 2 digging further into both the origins of House of the Dragon, its story and production, and the future of the show as well as other shows in the Game of Thrones universe.

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Prince Daemon trying out his brothers chair.

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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GRRM on The Winds of Winter

We’ve been in the midst of a vacation over here a Westeros, but George R.R. Martin has been keeping busy! A recent Not a Blog post goes into some length about the state of the highly-anticipated The Winds of Winter, a post which seems to have been prompted after a recent round of interviews (including this excellent interview by the team at Game of Owns). It’s the lengthiest update he’s given on the book in some years, and is well worth reading closely. And while he’s at it, George reveals how the story has been slowly moving further and further away from what he envisioned years earlier, even as late as when he met with the showrunners of Game of Thrones to discuss his plans.

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Fire and Blood Tie-ins to House of the Dragon

Random House has revealed their publishing plans for the summer, and fans have noticed that July seems particularly stacked with House of the Dragon tie-ins using Fire and Blood as the focal material.

First, Random House revealed that on July 12th they will publish tie-in editions of Fire and Blood that will feature a cover using photography from House of the Dragon. Second, Random House announced that the 2023 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, to release on July 19, will be based entirely on Fire and Blood. And, in a departure from the previous calendars, this will feature an array of artists rather than just one. No word yet as to who has contributed.

Fans may notice these July dates, and speculation has run that the dating relates to the as-yet-unannounced premiere of House of the Dragon.

[Affiliate links to Amazon.com can be found in this post)]

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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.

New Book Gives Insights on HBO’s Game of Thrones

A new book released today, James Andrew Miller’s Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, is a massive 1,000 page tome that looks at the rise of HBO as the destination for prestige television from the past and all the way to the present. In the course of it, of course, the book can’t but help touch on Game of Thrones. While it covers ground already revealed in past interviews and books (such as James Hibberd’s Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon), there’s a few new details… particularly from a voice fans have not heard before, George R.R. Martin’s long-time entertainment agent, Paul Haas, concerning the final season and its relation to GRRM’s plans for A Song of Ice and Fire.

[Note: This post contains Amazon.com affiliate links.]

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George R.R. Martin in the Eyrie on the set of Game of Thrones.

Happy Birthday, GRRM!

Today marks the 73rd birthday of one George Raymond Richard Martin, known and beloved as George R. R. Martin, or GRRM for short. George has posted a brief remark on this happy occasion at “Not a Blog”, quoting from T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.

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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

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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