Back in May, the beginning of the WGA strike shuttered many productions, but not House of the Dragon. Now SAG-AFTRA has called a strike for many of the same reasons as the WGA… but it’s currently being reported that a couple of UK-based productions will continue filming because actors who are members of SAG are also members of the UK’s Equity, and their contracts are (allegedly) under the terms of Equity. And of course, one of those productions not shutting down (reportedly) is, once again, House of the Dragon. According to the Deadline article, the UK’s laws don’t allow sympathetic strikes, and actors are receiving guidance telling them to continue to report in to work if their contracts are under Equity rather than SAG.
This year’s nominees for the Emmys have been announced, and HBO’s House of the Dragon has done well for itself with
eight (or nine, sort of) nominations, contributing to the phenomenal HBO/MAX total nominations of 127, and tying a decades-old record (set by CBS in 1973 and matched by NBC in 1993) of 4 separate dramas nominated in Best Drama. See the categories below!
Over the last weeks, HBO has been releasing a series of videos titled “Inside the Craft”, exploring different aspects of bringing House of the Dragon to life. The latest entry focuses on armor, and particularly the armor of the Gold Cloaks. It features show runner Ryan Condal, armourer Simon Brindle (who worked on Game of Thrones), and costume designer Jany Temime. Some really good, close-up looks at a number of suits of armor, and some glimpses of armor from the tourney in the first episode that were seeing only fleetingly:
As part of its Emmy awards coverage, Deadline has been publishing examples of episode scripts that have been submitted for consdieration as final nominees, and now we’ve come to House of the Dragon‘s turn as they have now published the pilot script for the first episode, “The Heirs of the Dragon”, and they’ve done so in a draft that includes various revisions, some of which were scenes or pieces of dialog that never made it to the final cut of the production.
There’s some particularly interesting discussion between Viserys and Daemon regarding the Targaryens and their dragons that was dropped, and I notice that it seems like our first introduction to Daemon was supposed to be his commanding the City Watch on its violent purge (notice that all the detailed description of Daemon and Dark Sister in that section)... but then at some point it was decided that instead we should first meet him in a scene that focuses his relationship to Rhaenyra, in the throne room.
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.”
The Writer’s Guild of America has begun a strike, which means members of the guild will not be writing for any productions they’re working on. There’s a lot of questions about just what this means for many productions, questions that Variety has tried to answer with its FAQ. But fans of House of the Dragon have worried about the show being delayed because of the strike, and as it happens, Variety has an answer for that question as well.
Per Variety, all the scripts for the season have been finished ahead of time, and production will continue. So, good news! However, as some may realize, most scripts are not completely done and in final form when a show is produced. There’s often talk of rewrites and the need to ADR (“Automated Dialogue Replacement”) to insert new dialogue or change existing dialogue. As Variety notes, it’s unclear just how that aspect of things will work for programs already in production. Will they take different footage from different angles to give them more wiggle-room to add entirely new dialog when a character’s mouth can’t be seen? Will they employ some of the new tech out there to simply dynamically change a character’s lips to the words they’re saying? We live in fascinating times, as it were.
Now that production is in full swing, casting news for the second season of HBO’s House of the Dragon was sure to be around the corner… and today we get the first tranche of new actors and roles for the show, courtesy of Variety. All four are characters from the original source material, described in George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood:
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.”
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:
Creation Entertainment and Warner Bros. Discovery have announced details on this year’s Game of Thrones Official Fan Convention to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from December 9th through December 11th, including the fact that they’ve added House of the Dragons performers to the extensive line-up of guests, plus a special “virtual appearance” by Ryan Condal, lead writer and show runner of the hit HBO show. Read the full press release below!
Paddy Considine will be one of the guests at the convention, alongside Steve Toussaint (Corlys Velaryon) and Matthew Needham (Larys Strong)
As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men… but at last we finished our promised season 1 overview/discussion of House of the Dragon, which you can see here:
We’ve some other odds and ends to discuss, such as an extra video we did discussing the finale after Elio’s return from Spain, and a podcast Elio recorded for the Boiled Leather Audio Hour podcast, details about which you can find below!
Arrax approaching Storm’s End.
The final episode of the first season of House of the Dragon is done, and we’re (actually, just Linda initially, but we’ll have more videos in the days to come) back with some thoughts, background, commentary on changes, and more in our latest video at the Westeros.org Youtube channel:
And that concludes the first season of House of the Dragon! The Dance has truly begun.
Rhaenyra by the Painted Table, lit by fire from below.
The penultimate episode of the first season of House of the Dragon is done, and we’re back with some thoughts, background, commentary on changes, and more in our latest video at the Westeros.org Youtube channel:
Next up will be “The Black Queen” to conclude the first season of House of the Dragon.
The Green Council, as Otto and Alicent Hightower inform the councillors of the king’s death while Ser Criston Cole watches.
Another episode down, and we’re back with some thoughts, background, commentary on changes, and more in our latest video at the Westeros.org Youtube channel:
We’re in the home stretch now, with just two episodes to go. Next up will be “The Green Council”, followed up by “The Black Queen” to conclude the first season of House of the Dragon.
King Viserys on the Iron Throne.