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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Variety has a report drawn from a longer profile of HBO and HBO Max content CEO Casey Bloys. In it, Bloys suggests that summer 2024 is a good guess for when the second season of House of the Dragon would air. Like the season before it, this second season is due to start in March, and as we know from that first season it wasn’t until August of the following year that the season premiered, so this seems in line with expectations.
Bloys also goes on to make comments on more Game of Thrones spin-offs:
Half way through the season, and “The Princess and the Queen” makes the boldest jump yet as a decade has passed since the previous episode, new actors play key roles, and a passel of new young characters appear. Linda and I return with with our usual non-review focus on providing some more background information and changes from the source material to the screen. Lots of background in this particular episode:
Ser Laenor supports Princess Rhaenyra as she’s called to present the newborn Prince Joffrey to the queen.
This tweet says it all:
Over at The Hollywood Reporter, James Hibberd provides a bit more detail, citing HBO’s report that in the US the show has cleared over 20 million viewers since the premiere, the kind of strong opening they were hoping for.
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.
Prince Daemon trying out his brothers chair.
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.
Via James Hibberd at The Hollywood Reporter, we’ve learned that Kit Harington is attached to star in Jon Snow spin-off series set after the end of Game of Thrones. Suffice it to say, the new has sent shockwaves through fandom, casual and hardcore alike. For our part, it doesn’t seem all that surprising, for the reasons laid out in Deadline‘s confirmation.
Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin has provided fans a lengthy update on The Winds of Winter, HBO’s successor shows, and more… and in the process lets the cat out of the bag regarding one project we here at Westeros.org have been working on for the last couple of years.
We’ll provide a quick summary below:
The Three Chroniclers, by Chase Stone.
A sit-down with various media outlets has provided some fresh information from Casey Bloys, HBO’s and HBO Max’s chief content officer, regarding the future of the Game of Thrones franchise, from the release date of House of the Dragon to the status of a number of projects in development. While there’s nothing really concrete, the one thing Bloys committed to is that House of the Dragon is definitely airing this year, but that the conversation has only just now started thanks to the show officially wrapping.
We’ll provide a brief bullet point of the main information that came out of the interview with Bloys:
Via a report in Variety, we’ve learned that Steve Conrad—creator of Amazon’s Patriot and other shows—has been attached as lead writer and executive producer of a potential (emphasis on the potential) Game of Thrones-universe hour-long series based on the Dunk and Egg novellas [Note: Amazon affiliate link].
To date, three novellas introducing readers to Ser Duncan the Tall and Egg have been published, with a fourth existing in a partial state. Beyond that, George R.R. Martin revealed substantial hints about the future of the two characters as planned in additional novellas in our own The World of Ice and Fire, sketching out Dunk’s and Egg’s history all the way through their deaths.