Last week, George posted an update to Not a Blog recounting a trip he took to the UK in late October and early November, in which he refers to meetings with his UK publishers concerning both A Song of Ice and Fire and Wild Cards, and then added some details regarding the play currently called The Iron Throne (it’s a working title):
And since we are talking theatre… one of the meetings I had in London was with Dominick and Duncan, the director and scriptwriter of our own stage play, the one we have been working on for the past few years. Originally we were calling it HARRENHAL, but we have now settled on THE IRON THRONE as a title… until we think of something better. Regardless, things are coming well, I think, and we are hopeful of being able to open in late 2024. Maybe. But you never know. There’s still a lot of work to be done.
The play was first announced way back in March of 2021. Dominic and Duncan would be Dominic Macmillan, the play’s director, and Duncan Cooke, the playwright.
And then George wrote a bit about his days working with Ryan Condal and the writers of House of the Dragon....
George R.R. Martin and House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal on the set of the TV show, in what may be the godswood of Harrenhal.
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.”
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.”
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.
An interview long in the making, we finally got to sit down with Ryan Condal, lead writer, executive producer, and now sole show runner of House of the Dragon last week to talk about the show. After Linda had a chance to say hello then headed off to keep an eye on our very rambunctious puppy Lancelot, we started the interview.
We open up with a question on post-production, and then get into the weeds on favorite book characters, depictions of violence, heraldry, a forgotten Valyrian house, the change from book canon when casting the Velaryons, whether Ryan will continue with the show after completing this particular story, and more.
Click here for the interview!
Ryan Condal behind the scenes with a maquette of Caraxes. ©️ Ollie Upton/HBO
Well, this was big, surprising news. The Hollywood Reporter‘s James Hibberd has reported that after three, exhausting years working on bringing the first season of House of the Dragon to the screen Miguel Sapochnik is leaving the show and Ryan Condal will be the sole show runner. However, the very experienced director Alan Taylor—who played a key role in directing a number of early episodes of Game of Thrones—has come on board as an executive producer and director instead.
And here is our last interview from the European premiere of House of the Dragon, with co-show runner and head writer Ryan Condal. Though it’s the last interview from the event, it’s not going to be our last interview with Ryan, who’s agreed to sit down with Westeros.org for a proper interview in the next few days. Feel free to comment on the video below with any questions you’d like to ask and we’ll try and pick the ones we find the most interesting to present to Ryan!
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.
HBO has announced which members of the House of the Dragon cast and crew will be present for the panel at Main Hall H during San Diego Comic-Con... and have now unveiled their plans for both an at-event special interactive experience for attendees and the release of an Augmented Reality game called House of the Dragon:DracARys (see what they did there?) for Android and iOs devices. See below for more information!
Ryan Condal’s and David Mandel’s The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of podcast about movie and television prop collecting has returned after a mid-season hiatus, and it starts with a bang as Condal recruits none other than George R. R. Martin to discuss his own history as a collector, as well as just a wee bit of discussion of House of the Dragons at the end. Fans should find this one pretty interesting, in particular George’s feelings regarding the ideal adapters of his work going forward.
Discussion of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon related matter begins around the 1 hour, 18 minute mark.