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.
Last month, we shared that Ryan J. Condal’s and David H. Mandel’s podcast focused on film and television props, The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, would have an episode featuring a head of department from House of the Dragon. That episode has now aired, and reveals (among other things) that the show’s master armourer and head of the armoury department (which provides all the weapons for the show) is Tim Lewis, a leading armourer in the film industry with credits such as The Outlaw King, The Old Guard, and Ridley Scott’s upcoming The Last Duel.
Lewis’s website includes an extensive gallery of some of his work across a number of films. In the course of the podcast, Condal and Lewis of course discussed a bit of what’s going on on House of the Dragon. More details below:
Swords made for The Outlaw King and Macbeth, designed by Tim Lewis.
The second season of Ryan J. Condal’s and David H. Mandel’s podcast about movie props, The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, has launched. This first episode is ostensibly about the 40th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the bullwhip famously wielded by Indiana Jones, but in the course of it some hints about House of the Dragons were provided by Condal.
The first piece of information concerned plans for future episodes, with Condal stating that he’ll be getting one of the members of the HotD production to be a guest to discuss what he or she does. He did promise it would be spoiler-free, because otherwise he’d be fired, but we can expect some interesting discussion in the weeks to come.
The second piece of information was that Condal confirmed there would be “bespoke” swords for “heroes”—that is, custom-made swords for leads and significant characters—but that the armorer that has been hired for the show has a vast supply of swords from past productions he has worked on that will be among those used for background performers and the like. In fact, according to Condal, the supply of past weaponry or armor that an armorer or swordsmith can bring to a production is part of the calculation when deciding who to hire.
So, whoever is responsible for the swords on House of the Dragon is someone with a great deal of experience making swords for film and television productions. We would guess that they are also UK based, as it would just be very convenient. Interestingly, Condal mentioned Terry English (Excalibur, Aliens) several times in the course of the podcast, but a look at his credits suggest he may be retired from the gruelling production schedule.
Back in November, we mentioned that House of the Dragon exective producer, show runner, and lead writer Ryan Condal was co-hosting a podcast about film and television props with director and producer David Mandel. We’ve been keeping an eye on The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of since then, in large part because it’s genuinely interesting listening for those who share a similar interest in movie history (especially as Mandel and Condal also share a love of many of the same iconic late 70’s-80’s films—Aliens, Star Wars, Blade Runner, etc.—that we do).