It’s been two years now that lovers of cascading acts and space-time distortions haven’t had the dose of sudden death. The wait is over with the imminent arrival of an ambitious Game of Thrones spin-off. The universe depicted in the fantasy portion of George RR Martin’s writings – the writer also has more science fiction-oriented writings on his pile – reacts like ours, driven by constant expansion. A kind of bottomless pit à la Tolkien from which it seems possible to extract material for adaptations and sequels for decades to come. Because if the general public is largely informed about the A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) lineage, the stories of Essos, Westeros, and other magical lands aren’t limited to this fresco. Between short stories, short novels and “chronicles”, at least it is the large volume equivalent of the main series (in terms of volume) that has been told for years. Given the success of the series produced by HBO between 2011 and 2019, the mighty American pay channel wouldn’t leave RR Martin’s stories to the literary arena alone. More than knowing if this type of project would become a reality, the fundamental question was defining which arch to dig. After several proposals, including the famous cycle The Long Night, which commemorates the birth of the White Walkers and the erection of the Wall several thousand years before GoT, the cascading rejections follow one another and, as in any power struggle, only one contender remains. At least one whose imminent arrival takes the form of a fact, so many revolve in the shadow of myriad rumors and desires, suggesting a whole host of new projects in reflection. The lucky winner is therefore House of the Dragon, which is scheduled to air from 2022 and should start production next April, as Casey Bloys – program director at HBO – emphasized at one of the usual conferences. Press events organized in the winter by the TCA (Television Critics Academy), this time remotely. The process may seem quick and almost hasty, but it’s important to note that this upcoming 10-episode series has an advantage: Unlike The Long Night, which lacked narrative support directly created by Martin, House is pushing of the Dragon on much more fertile soil.
Live it or let it die
This source is nothing but the long story of the Targaryens, told in the novel Fire & Blood (738 pages), published in France in two volumes under the name “Feu et Sang”. The book is the first part of a comprehensive tour through the dynasty of dragon-loving kings and covers Aegon I. Targaryen’s rise to power over Westeros in year -2 before the conquest (which he will lead) to the rise of Aegon III. And his reign around 135 after the said conquest. Knowing that the main GoT series events begin in 298. More than a century of history condensed with its share of epic battles and the development of an entire society, the adaptation of which in the form of a series is therefore complex. Granted, this story has fewer pages than A Song of Ice and Fire, but the information density is so great that creating a digestible show can quickly become a challenge. It wouldn’t be surprising, then, if HBO either defines an exact period of this Targaryen ode or does some sort of hybridization to keep it didactic. So that an introductory episode in the form of a summary of the first years before d ‘continue his selection. Especially since the presence of an Archimester as a storyteller (Gyldayn) enables an intradiegetic summary and thus breaks through the sometimes somewhat mechanical side of the process. Logic wants the series to focus on the scariest episode in the history of the Descendants of Valyria, the Dance of Dragons, a two-year turf war. Of course, the roots of that anger extend further upstream, but the heart of the drama plays out during this time when two branches of the late King Viserys I Targaryen – his daughter Rhaenyra and his second wife, Alicent Hightower – come together to define who will seize becomes the throne: blacks on one side and greens on the other.
Illustration by Doug Wheatley Two years of treason, fine tactics, passion, and civil wars that will see the most glorious representatives of famous families, and especially the majority of the dragons still alive, vanishing. Fire & Blood’s Dragon Dance is a fascinating chronicle of decadence, the end of an era and myths. In a way, this can be compared to the last season of the Game of Thrones series, in which beliefs and fantasies reached their twilight there too. Fortunately, following recent announcements regarding House of the Dragon, it seems to be becoming increasingly obvious that this arc is indeed being developed. According to George RR Martin, the strongest clue can be found in the best possible place. Long known by the nickname “Ends this Volume 6”, the one who actually shared an important element on his personal blog in October 2019, when the House of Dragons project was officially announced. Martin explains that he brought the idea to HBO when it was looking for a sequel to GoT and indicates which works to turn to for an approximate idea of what the series will be about. Obviously Fire & Blood, but also two collections of short stories with many authors published in collaboration with Gardner Dozois: Dangerous Women and Rogue (Vauriens in French). Two stories come from Martin: the princess and queen in the first, the Vaurian prince in the second. Each one recalls the fate of great dragon dance figures before it was developed in Fire & Blood. On the one hand the rivalry between Alicent and Rhaenyra, on the other hand the warlike appearance of Daemon Targaryen, the brother of Viserys. Which is to strongly support the choice of this family conflict as a background. Especially since the cast confirms this track. Indeed, actor Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Death of Stalin) was selected to play the Debonair Viserys, which implies at least a reminder of the facts, at most a first season focused on the drama’s beginnings. Obvious continuity: Emma D’Arcy (Astrid in the excellent Truth Seekers series) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) take on the roles of the stormy princess Rhaenyra and the wild demon, respectively.
Froussse the dragon
Illustration by Gary Gianni for Fire & Blood on the reign side, Otto Hightower – former hand of the King of Viserys – will take on the traits from Rhys Ifans (Elementary, Good Morning England), while his daughter, the dreaded Queen Alicent, will benefit from Olivias Game Cooke (Bates Motel, Ready Player One). She must face the mighty House of Velaryon, also from ancient Valyria. This family is close to the blacks and therefore the princess and is famous for their navigation skills. In particular, its great exponents, Lord Corlys Velaryon, played by Steve Toussaint (Prince of Persia, Pine Gap) and his wife Rhaenys, of whom it is Eve Best (Nurse Jackie, A King’s Speech) who will put on the costume. Finally, in the confirmation of this famous dragon dance, the mysterious Mysaria (Lady Misery), who loves Daemon Targaryen and is much more powerful than she suggests, will appear and spread her influence in the streets of Port-Réal. It’s the actress Sonoya Mizuno (Devs, Ex Machina) who takes care of causing him the necessary mischief. A cast of choice, but it wouldn’t go very far without showrunners and directors: this time by Benioff and Weiss, probably to the delight of the disappointed at the end of Game of Thrones. The new storyteller from RR Martin (who oversees the adaptation) is none other than Ryan J. Condal, whose main achievement in serial mode is the creation of the very beautiful science fiction series Colony. Among other things, he is accompanied in his adaptation /. Production assignment of the talented Miguel Sapochnik, whose lightning bolts are still resonating in several major GoT episodes (especially La Bataille des Bâtards). The latter is also executive producer and shares the position with Vince Gerardis (in the same role on Game of Thrones) and Sara Hess (orange is the new black). So that music lovers don’t feel uncomfortable, Ramin Djawadi (Westworld, Pacific Rim) is again responsible for setting this universe to music in order to maintain an artistic connection that is undoubtedly already ready to deliver pieces as sublime as the famous piece Seven from season six of GoT On Paper, HBO’s suggestion is charming, whether it’s the cast or the context chosen. Fire & Blood focuses on plots and tragedies even more visceral than those of A Song of Ice and Fire, so in its House of the Dragon version it should once again provoke heated debates and panic attacks in front of the screen. Even if, let’s face it, no one will dethrone Cersei. So answer within a few months.