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Mattson Tomlin Talks Aegon the Conqueror

In the course of promoting his upcoming Netflix original anime, Terminator: Zero, writer Mattson Tomlin did answer some questions from EW about progress on the Aegon the Conqueror series he’s developing for HBO.

Revealed back in February, Tomlin says it’s still very early on the script, but he’s been having a deal of back and forth discussion with George R.R. Martin about it.

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Aegon the Conqueror on Balerion, the Black Dread.

Closer Look at the Final House of the Dragon Trailer

We thought that given the very successful launch of the final trailer for the second season of HBO’s House of the Dragon, some of the scenes and images we see sparked some curiosity and thinking from us as we tried to identify various details. Follow us below as we go over 30-odd screenshots from the trailer!

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Behind the Scenes of House of the Dragon Season 2

HBO has released a two minute behind the scenes video featuring comments from showrunner Ryan Condal and an array of the show’s leading actors, including Matt Smith, Emma d’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Olivia Cooke, and more. Lots of glimpses of heraldry, which we always love to see… but yet again we seem to be getting some confusion between who’s using the two-legged dragon and who is using the four-legged dragon. At this stage, I suspect they’ll never really hammer out the details on that one!

In other news from the world of HBO’s expanion of the Game of Thrones universe, Redanian Intelligence has reported, and which has since been verified and expanded on by The Hollywood Reporter‘s James Hibberd, that director Owen Harris was on board to direct episodes of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Per Hibberd, Harris is directing three of the six episodes, which makes us wonder if Harry Bradbeer (also revealed by Redanian Intelligence) is directing the other three. For those who don’t know Harris’s name, he’s directed our favorite episode of Black Mirror, the widely-acclaimed (including winning a Hugo Award!) “San Junipero”.

Also, an interesting note from Hibberd that the show has lost its subtitle of “The Hedge Knight”. This could be a promising sign, in a way, since it could be taken to mean that HBO may be inclined to see this as a continuing series rather than a one-off limited series. We wouldn’t be surprised if at least one of the episodes gets titled “The Hedge Knight”.

Production on A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is set to begin next month. House of the Dragon returns to screens on June 16th.

 

Brian Helgeland on 10,000 Ships

An interesting blast from the past, courtesy of Paul Moore’s Inverse interview with acclaimed screenwriter Brian Helgeland. Way back in 2017, HBO hired writers to develop successor shows to Game of Thrones, and Helgeland was among those named. Helgeland would go on to refer to the project in development the year after, but details remained thin as to what exactly he worked on.

Well, they are thin no longer, as this quote from the interview shows:

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Princess Nymeria as depicted by J.K. Drummond for The World of Ice and Fire, the “Westeros encyclopedia” referred to be Helgelnd.

House of the Dragon: All Must Choose Images

It sounds like Thursday is likely to see a new trailer or teaser for the forthcoming second season of House of the Dragon, according to the latest post from the official sites. Two tweets promise that everyone must choose between “Team Green” and “Team Black”, and each tweet features dramatic images of some of the leading members of each party… plus our first look, I believe, at King Aegon II’s golden dragon (on green rather than the book canon black) that also answers one of the enduring heraldic questions of the show.

More on that below, but here’s the tweets:


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ALL MUST CHOOSE. This promotional banner features the Greens and the Blacks, represented by Aegon, Ser Criston Cole, Aemond, and Alicent on the one side, and Rhaenyra, Daemon, Rhaenys, as well as Corlys Velaryon on the other.

Aegon’s Conquest Series Developing with Writer Mattson Tomlin

Interesting news broke last night that HBO is gearing up to explore the extensive history of Westeros with a new spinoff series centered around Aegon’s Conquest. According to a report from James Hibberd and Borys Kit for The Hollywood Reporter, the network has enlisted much-in-demand writer Mattson Tomlin to develop the project.

Last year, we noted news out of Variety that HBO had starting looking into bringing Aegon’s Conquest to the small screen (and, perhaps, even the big screen—a theatrical lead-in was under discussion) and actively sought a writer to head the development of this thrilling prequel series. That search seems to have ended.

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The burning of Harrenhal during Aegon’s Conquest, as depicted by artist Marc Simonetti for the 2023 World of Fire and Blood Calendar

House of the Dragon in Early Summer

At a press event, HBO’s Casey Bloys unveiled a first-look trailer at the second season of House of the Dragon, according to Variety. While details of the trailer are embargoed, we’re guessing that it’ll air within the month, and perhaps within days.

Bloys also indicated something that seems to confirm our speculation when a casting call went out in the UK: Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight is “will begin shooting next spring, pending the end of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.” That caveat is a curious detail there, which suggests that they plan for at least one significant role going to a North American actor… or maybe they’re just wanting to leave open the possibility? But I’m guessing the former, they have their sights on someone.

Will those fan-casting Oscar Isaac as Baelor Breakspear be getting their wish? We’ll have to wait and see!

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A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight Casting Begins (Probably)

Out on X, fans waiting for any drip of news regarding House of the Dragon or any other Game of Thrones successor got their wish today ... maybe. This casting call began to make the rounds of fandom, fromthe official account of British casting director Lucy Bevan:

It’s an open casting for an HBO show, presumably filming or about the UK, and they’re looking for just two characters right now which suggests they’re leads: a young boy of 9-10 with green or blue eyes, pale skin, and a “neutral English accent”, and then a “soldier” who is at least 6’4” tall with a “humble disposition” who is also “perceptive and thoughtful” and of any ethnicity. This seems suspiciously like what HBO would call for when casting for the roles of Egg and Ser Duncan the Tall, respectively, for the straight-to-series A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight!

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House of the Dragon Season 2 Targets Summer 2024

With the recent end of the WGA strike (the second longest in its history), Variety has issued a report touching on Hollywood trying to get back into motion after the work stoppage, citing a number of shows. One paragraph in particular, however, discusses HBO specifically, noting that a number of their shows saw no production at all… but one big one, House of the Dragon, has in fact wrapped filming:

HBO is eager to take fans back to Westeros for more backstabbing, incest and power plays with the second season of House of the Dragon, targeting a summer 2024 premiere, and looking ahead to a yet-to-be-ordered third season of the Game of Thrones prequel. While House of the Dragon was able to wrap filming on Season 2 during the strikes, as the scripts were already complete and the production is under a U.K. union contract, HBO was not able to produce new episodes of The White Lotus, Euphoria, and The Last of Us, and will be putting its focus on those projects in 2024, instead of new development.

Summer 2024 sounds pretty good to us.

Of course, besides HotD, the end of the strike also means that scriptwriting can resume on A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which HBO had ordered straight to series just before the strike.

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HBO Exec on House of the Dragon, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Very interesting report from Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva following an interview with Franesca Orsi, HBO’s head of drama. It’s a wide-ranging interview covering a lot of HBO’s shows, but for our purposes, the most interesting tidbits relate to House of the Dragon, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, and potential other Westeros shows.

Addressing the on-going production of season 2 of House of the Dragon, Orsi noted that HBO was fully prepared to rewrite and reshoot anything that needed fixing once the WGA strike ends and the writers can take up their pens again to do writing work, but until then they are confident with the completed scripts they had to work with and have not dealyed producation at all. Speaking of a potential season 3 approval, it sounds like they’re not far from giving an immediate go ahead to season 3 to try and improve the turnaround from season to season. That said, how many seasons for the show in total remains a question:

“George and Ryan are going to meet after the writers strike. They had originally planned to meet before the strike took place and that was to figure out at what point the series itself was going to end. Is it four seasons? I don’t think from where I sit at this point will be any less than four. But could be more. We’ll see.”

 

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GRRM Update on A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

George R.R. Martin has posted to his “Not a Blog” to discuss the big news that HBO has ordered A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight (a working title, GRRM notes, that is not finalized) straight to series. George goes into some more detail about the project, pointing out that he first floated the Dunk & Egg stories for adaptation seven years ago, so things can move slowly… until they don’t. He also notes that despite reports (spurred by his own remarks that some things had been shelved, and some shifts of the Starling Inc. website that we reported on here), both the 10,000 Ships and Sea Snake shows remain in development. But more on that later.

On A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, George has some particular new details to share:

Our premiere season will be an adaptation of the first of the three published novellas, “The Hedge Knight,” the tale of how Dunk & Egg first met during a tournament at Ashford Meadow.  The pilot script is already written, and I think it’s terrific.  It was written by Ira Parker, who is no stranger to Westeros.  He was part of Ryan Condal’s writing staff for the first season of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and wrote the fourth episode of Hot D’s first season, “King of the Narrow Sea.”  That’s the one where Prince Daemon returns to King’s Landing after conquering the Stepstones, and takes Princess Rhaenyra down into the stews of Flea Bottom.  Ryan Condal is on board as well, as an Executive Producer.  So am I.

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HBO Orders A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight

In a big presentation to announce their upcoming plans, including the launch of a new streaming service combining HBO MAX and Discovery+ called MAX, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that they had ordered A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight straight to series (no pilot episode) with the following log-line describing the basic idea of the show, which is based on the Dunk & Egg novellas:

A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes, and dangerous exploits all await these improbable and incomparable friends.

Fans have long wanted to see Dunk & Egg brought to the screen, as they give a very unique look into the Seven Kingdoms and the Targaryens from the eyes of a man of low birth who rises to great fame over his lifetime. Notably, HBO has also shared details about the writers and executive producers for this series.

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Production Begins on Season 2 of House of the Dragon

To mark the occasion of the official start of production of House of the Dragon, HBO has put out a press release with the announcement, a remark from showrunner and lead writer Ryan Condal, and some other notes, plus a nice behind-the-scenes shot of the Iron Throne:

Production has commenced on the second season of HBO Original drama series House of the Dragon at Leavesden Studios in the United Kingdom.

Logline: Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, the series, set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, tells the story of House Targaryen.

Ryan Condal, Co-Creator/Showrunner/Executive Producer, quote: “House of the Dragon has returned. We are thrilled to be shooting again with members of our original family as well as new talents on both sides of the camera. All your favorite characters will soon be conspiring at the council tables, marching with their armies, and riding their dragons into battle. We can’t wait to share what we have in store.”

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HBO Eyeing Aegon the Conqueror Series, Possible Feature Film

Variety has an exclusive scoop: HBO is actively considering a TV show about Aegon’s Conquest, which would take the Game of Thrones franchise back to the very beginning of the establishment of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros. Per Variety:

As the project is in its very early stages, no writer is currently attached, though sources say that the search is underway as HBO is keen to move forward and get it into development. Sources also say that there may be a feature component to the project, i.e. HBO and Warner Bros. would produce a feature film that would then lead into the potential series, though plans remain in flux at present.

The full story of Aegon’s Conquest was first told in The World of Ice and Fire, which was later expanded with more information about the aftermath in Fire & Blood.

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House of the Dragon Gets 8 Episodes for Season 2, Season 3 (Almost) Greenlit

Some significant House of the Dragon news reported by Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, who has received word (and confirmed some parts of it with HBO) that for “story-driven” reasons the plan of a 10 episode 2nd season has been changed to an 8 episode 2nd season, which has necessitated some re-writing and likely has contributed to the slight delays to the planned commencement of filming (however, production is imminent and the prospective air date remains summer 2024). Per Andreeva’s report:

“It has been reported that House of the Dragon‘s creative team had envisioned the series running for three or four seasons. I hear executive producer-showrunner Ryan Condal, working with author/executive producer George R.R. Martin, took a step back as Season 2 was being put together to take a big-picture view of the series, which follows Martin’s Fire & Blood, and figure out the overall narrative flow, including how to break up the stories season-to-season and what battles to include and when.”

Interestingly, Andreeva notes that even with the reduction of two episodes, Condal and GRRM are still discussing whether three or four seasons work better. Her piece goes into some more detail about just what was moved out of the 2nd season for the prospective 3rd season, which we’ll quote below and speculate on a bit.

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