‘House of the Dragon’ spinoff casts major roles and announces Season 1 directors!

Caption

Matt Smith at San Diego Comic-Con in 2013. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

When I posted about the official confirmation that the Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon would start production in 2021, I threw in a line about hoping for more HoTD news in the near future. Little did we know the Seven above would take that literally and hand down even bigger news about the series only a week later — including major roles being cast!

EW is reporting that Matt Smith (Dr. Who, The Crown) will play Daemon Targaryen, Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One, Bates Motel) will be Alicent Hightower and Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers) will fill the role of Rhaenyra Targaryen. These are arguably three of the “main” roles in the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, which took place roughly 150 years prior to the events in Game of Thrones and will be the focus of HoTD. The three join Paddy Considine as King Viserys I, whose casting was announced in October.

The article also reports that several directors have been named for the 10-episode series: Clare Kilner (EastEnders), Geeta Patel (The Witcher), and Greg Yaitanes (House). They join HoTD showrunner and GoT fan-favorite Miguel Sapochnik (“The Battle of the Bastards,” “The Long Night”), who will direct the series’ pilot.

What do you think of these new castings? Any thoughts on who they’ve chosen for directors? Let us know in the comments!

142 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I’d heard rumors about Matt Smith, but didn’t see him in this role at all. Guess he’ll be able to prove me wrong. 🙂 I haven’t heard of the other 2, so will have to poke around a bit!

        Quote  Reply

    2. Pigeon: I’d heard rumors about Matt Smith, but didn’t see him in this role at all. Guess he’ll be able to prove me wrong. 🙂 I haven’t heard of the other 2, so will have to poke around a bit!

      Yeah, those are my exact thoughts. I’m surprised about the casting of Matt Smith but I’m curious to see how he is in the role 🙂 I also haven’t heard of Olivia Cooke or Emma D’Arcy. Guess it’s time for a YouTube stroll 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    3. Pigeon,

      Adrianacandle,

      Olivia’s parts in Ready Player One and Bates Motel were pretty major and she was very good in both, imo. I was going to pass on RPO until several people told me it was good. It actually is pretty entertaining. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    4. Clob:
      Pigeon,

      Adrianacandle,

      Olivia’s parts in Ready Player One and Bates Motel were pretty major and she was very good in both, imo.I was going to pass on RPO until several people told me it was good. It actually is pretty entertaining. 🙂

      I’ll have to look into that one as well, thanks! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    5. Adrianacandle: Yeah, those are my exact thoughts. I’m surprised about the casting of Matt Smith but I’m curious to see how he is in the role 🙂 I also haven’t heard of Olivia Cooke or Emma D’Arcy. Guess it’s time for a YouTube stroll 🙂

      Right?? 😄

        Quote  Reply

    6. Ok. Good news. They are moving in the right direction. Ditto on the directors. Matt Smith is I think a really solid choice. I am familiar with Emma D’Arcy from “Truth Seekers” a pretty fun and interesting series over on Amazon Prime from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost…also starring Malcom McDowell. Can’t say I’m familiar with Olivia Cooke…

        Quote  Reply

    7. Clob: Olivia’s parts in Ready Player One and Bates Motel were pretty major and she was very good in both, imo. I was going to pass on RPO until several people told me it was good. It actually is pretty entertaining. 🙂

      Oooh, thanks, Clob! I’m pretty eager to see a preview of Alicent Hightower in action 🙂 Plus, I’m always looking for new series!

      Pigeon: Right?? 😄

      Really, any excuse for a YouTube stroll ;D

        Quote  Reply

    8. I’m getting more excited with every piece of news. I’m not huge on Targaryen drama so for me, HOTD has to earn my love. The news today is a great step toward that. Smith is more than The Doctor. I think he could be really great in this part.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Aren’t the velaryions from valyrian descent and have the same physical features as the Targaryens? Danny Sapani is a great actor but if they are considering him to play Corlys, i think it’s Wrong casting. I’m not in favour when characthers have their race or gender changed!
      If they want more diversity why not create new characters?

        Quote  Reply

    10. Patrick,

      The idea that all Valyrians have to be milky white was tossed long ago. Not even all Targaryens have the silver-blond hair so there’s no point in insisting on it. Pushing for racial purity, even in fiction, is racism.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Adrianacandle: Yeah, those are my exact thoughts. I’m surprised about the casting of Matt Smith but I’m curious to see how he is in the role 🙂 I also haven’t heard of Olivia Cooke or Emma D’Arcy. Guess it’s time for a YouTube stroll 🙂

      Olivia Cooke starred in one of my absolutely favorite movies Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. She was the dying girl and was very engaging. She also played a teen and the main love interest in Ready Player One a couple of years ago which I have viewed several times. She has a pretty extensive number of roles. I think she looks younger than she is. She’s actually 27 now. Me and Earl and the Dying girl was 5 years ago and Ready Player One was only two years ago and she was still playing a teen.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Tron79: Olivia Cooke starred in one of my absolutely favorite movies Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. She was the dying girl and was very engaging. She also played a teen and the main love interest in Ready Player One a couple of years ago which I have viewed several times. She has a pretty extensive number of roles. I think she looks younger than she is. She’s actually 27 now. Me and Earl and the Dying girl was 5 years ago and Ready Player One was only two years ago and she was still playing a teen.

      Thanks, Tron! Between your’s and Clob’s posts, I’m pretty curious to see more of Olivia Cooke’s work 🙂 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    13. Patrick,

      I would say your half right. It doesn’t really matter though in the end. I’m surprised there are no main cast members of color. All the complaints about D&D being two white guys and we have another show being run by two white guys with all white writers and barely any people of color cast. Yet I have read tons of articles over the years complaining there was no people of color writing or directing GOT. Not one article about another two white guys being show runners when that seemed to be a big complaint. Seems like people just want dragons.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Patrick:
      Aren’t the velaryions from valyrian descent and have the same physical features as the Targaryens? Danny Sapani is a great actor but if they are considering him to play Corlys, i think it’sWrong casting. I’m not in favour when characthers have their race or gender changed!
      If they want more diversity why not create new characters?

      100% agreed, Patrick.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Sue the Fury,

      Plus it doesn’t really change the story. In the books if Rhaenyra’s sons had the targ look and were assumed to be legitimate would that stop the Hightowers from taking the crown after the king’s death? There was too much bad blood, and the Greens had a legitimate reason to fear for their safety once Rhaenyra and Daemon took power. Corlys being black and Rhaenyra’s eldest sons possibly being visibly biracial will trigger certain people, but won’t effect the events.

        Quote  Reply

    16. I literally screamed when I saw Matt because I thought he was gonna play Aegon II! But he is a marvelous actor so Im sure he’ll be great as Daemon.

      Im a little concern about Emma and Olivia though, Im sure they are brilliant actresses but Emma was born in 1992 and Olivia in 1993, isnt Alicent supposed to be at least ten years olden than Rhaenyra? Are they gonna hire a 10 year old actor to play Aegon II then? Its a bit weird if Im being honest.

      But I completely trust the writers, set designers, producers, actors and costume designers, btw, do we know if Mrs Clapton is coming back?

        Quote  Reply

    17. Sue the Fury,

      I’m not pushing for racial purity, i just don’t think they should change the race of a character and his house that is established in the books with the excuse for more diversity when they could and should create more original characters to do it! If his origins were omitted then i would not see any problem with that casting.
      I’m also not saying they should go all by the books, otherwhise we would have only Nettle and a few minor character mentioned. They can expend the story to create more diversety!

        Quote  Reply

    18. Patrick,

      Well, I Dont think all the Valyrians were purely white in book canon (maybe Im wrong so please correct me), and, besides, they could change the show canon by making the Velaryons dark skinned. that would be a nice way to intruduce diversity.

      Also, I think they should intruduce us to Nettles earlier, a badass female poc dragon rider from humble begginings who used her cunning (and probs distant Targaryen blood) to bond with a dragon? YES PLEASE. SIGN ME IN. NOW.

        Quote  Reply

    19. For anyone interested in Nettles, here is some info on her from Fire & Blood.

      Nettles is a girl who tamed the wild dragon Sheepstealer. When Prince Jacaerys Velaryon wanted more riders, dragonseeds and non-dragonseeds alike came forth and attempted to ride the wild dragons of Dragonstone, including the “mud-brown” dragon Sheepstealer (“dragonseeds” were bastards of House Targaryen and House Velaryon, conceived and sired by the Lords of Dragonstone in the First Night custom, who would often celebrate the births of these children — this custom was practiced all across Westeros and would later be ended by King Jaehaerys and Alysanne Targaryen during their reign). However, Sheepstealer was pretty… mean… and killed more who attempted to ride him than the other dragons put together — until Nettles comes along.

      Nettles is described as a “‘small brown girl’ of six-and-ten” who brought Sheepstealer to heel, “deliver[ing] him a freshly slaughtered sheep every morning, until Sheepstealer learned to accept and expect her.” She was of humble birth born to a whore and was “black-haired, brown-eyed, brown-skinned, skinny, foul-mouthed, fearless… and the first and last rider of the dragon Sheepstealer.”

        Quote  Reply

    20. One of the biggest assets of Game Of Thrones is the accuracy of the cast. With the amount of characters to cast, it was not an easy job and in my view, it’s hard to think of better choices. The bar is set pretty high for House of the Dragon.
      All these three actors are new for me. My first impression is good for Daemon, is great for Alicent and is ifey for Rhaenyra. Time will tell.
      Don’t take the book Fire and Blood to much for granted. It is written by a Maester of the Citadell and as we saw in GoT (a part I really apreciated) and in A song of Ice and Fire, history is very inaccurate/very subjective.
      I would like House of the Dragon to show the true history (the true reasons behind the events). In doing that, it will differ from Fire and Blood, but that will be great.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Adrianacandle,

      WE STAN NETTLES IN THIS HOUSE.

      And its not only about bringing a much needed poc main character to the spotlight but also it shows how people from the bottom see those on top, we need those characters, its like Davos on GoT, we needed his POV to show us that, after all, its just a bunch of super priviledged people figthting for themselves, not having any second thoughts about the tenths of thousands commoners who died.

      On a side note, Im really intrigued about who is gonna get casted as Helaena Targaryen, it may not seem important but I hope they dont get a super skinny Hollywood type woman, nothing against them by any means, but Helaena could show that you can be plus sized and still be a lovely loved by all Qot7K, and they need to get an actress with some CHOPS because her character clearly goes on a journey, to put it vaguely.

      Anyhow, Im really excited about this show! I adore the DoTD and i cannot WAIT to see it!! Thanks WatchersOnTheWall for always bringing up top quality content throught this troublesome times.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Max,

      Nettles is a really cool sounding character 🙂 I think speculating over her casting would be fun! I’m pretty interested in seeing who will eventually get the role.

      And on that note…

      On a side note, Im really intrigued about who is gonna get casted as Helaena Targaryen, it may not seem important but I hope they dont get a super skinny Hollywood type woman, nothing against them by any means, but Helaena could show that you can be plus sized and still be a lovely loved by all Qot7K, and they need to get an actress with some CHOPS because her character clearly goes on a journey, to put it vaguely.

      Another fun character to speculate casting for, I think 🙂 Depending on when this story starts in the TV series, I think there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing her as a kid. And yeah, I think Halaena is noted to be plumper than other Targaryens so a curvier actress would make sense in the role.

      And yeah, I’m pretty excited to see more HotD news roll out, giving us new stuff to speculate about!

        Quote  Reply

    23. The news about this show has gone from famine to (relative) feast fairly quickly. I haven’t read ‘Fire and Blood’ because I’m one of those naughty people who thought wishes Mr Martin had devoted time* to finishing ‘The Winds of Winter’. With regards to Danny Sapani is there any confirmation that the role he is ‘in talks’ for IS a character that is supposed to be white in the book? I only found something online that he was in talks but nothing more specific. I’m open to learning if other people have found things that name a character he might be playing.

      My skin is the type that goes a lovely shade of lobster if it is exposed to strong sunlight without protection but the phenomenon of casting a POC in a role that is white in source material hasn’t historically been all that frequent. I’d say the reverse has probably been true. In the 1950s TV western series ‘Broken Arrow’ Michael Ansara, an American actor of Lebanese descent played Cochise, a native American chief and if anyone wants to click on this link I’ll allow you to judge for yourselves whether this clip from the 1965 version of ‘Othello’ with Laurence Olivier in the title role has aged well. https://youtu.be/HQ_ypy5aq2E For myself, I liked Lucien Msamati’s portrayal of Sallador Sahn in GoT though the character was white in the books.

      * There is an argument in favour of resting a project if it has become a chore but 9 years going on 10 years is quite a long rest.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Max,

      Max, it’s going back a bit but there was a thread discussing Helaena at one time. My fancast was Liv Hill https://youtu.be/o8-jtgz__R8 (here in the trailer for a film called ‘Jellyfish – she also played an abuse victim in ‘Three Girls’ a TV miniseries about the a grooming gang in the north of England. I also thought Ria Zmitrowitz who played Liv Hill’s characters in ‘Three Girls’ might suit. https://youtu.be/p3LRQtew_Rk

        Quote  Reply

    25. Max,

      Like Dame of Mercia mentionned, the case of Sallador, it didn’t bothered me at all, i actually think it was great casting because it didn’t matter for the storyline and i loved the actor. In the case of Corlys imo it would affect the original story, i would accept it easely if they changed him into a character with interracial origin, ut could work out…
      If they cast him in that role, i wonder how they will handle for exemple the origin of his 3 grandsons?! That storyline would not make sense anymore…

        Quote  Reply

    26. Adrianacandle,

      I was curious too (thanks Tron). Here is the trailer for the movie “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” with Olivia Cooke as Rachel aka the dying girl.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qfmAllbYC8

      Tron wrote: “Olivia Cooke starred in one of my absolutely favorite movies Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. She was the dying girl and was very engaging.”

      From the trailer alone Olivia Cooke did seem quite engaging, and I am looking forward to watching that movie – and seeing her in HotD.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Olivia Cooke was excellent in Bates Motel, as was the entire show. It also had a great ending. Highly recommend checking out the show. She was also in a Sci-Fi movie from 2014 I quite liked called The Signal.

        Quote  Reply

    28. They had a more diverse show ran by a woman and they threw it in the trash. These big corporations do this crap all the time, hire a poc to play a visible secondary role so they can get credit for being diverse without actually doing anything. Danny Sapani will absorb tons of abuse for working, HBO will make billions, and nothing will change. And as an actual poc, hearing that his skin color doesn’t matter is not a good thing. It should matter. Writers should engage with the fact that he looks different. It is so infuriating seeing people, mostly white, so passionately fighting for the right for people like me to get scraps off the table and get abused while doing it.

      Here’s an interview with John Boyega talking about his experience with Star Wars.
      https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/john-boyega-interview-2020

      This is corporate PR relying on the fact that this will draw out deranged racists and people’s self-centered need to play hero by putting themselves in opposition of these racists. It’s certainly not about poc or actual sustainable diversity.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Ten Bears,

      Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is in the same genre as Maisie’s movie Then Came You. Maisie did a good job but I think Me and Earl is the best movie in this genre. It’s clever filmmaking and more realistic.

      I just saw that Olivia Cooke just came out with a British movie Pixie that has very good reviews. It’s not exactly like 2 Weeks to Live but it reminded me a little of it with bungling criminals. I don’t think it’s on video yet. It was released in October in the UK. We were talking about accents in one of these threads. It makes me wonder if she has a British accent. She sounds American in the movies I have seen.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Tron79,

      ”We were talking about accents in one of these threads. It makes me wonder if she [Olivia Cooke] has a British accent. She sounds American in the movies I have seen.”
      _______

      • According to the Wikipedia article excerpted below, Olivia Cooke is a British actress who learned to speak with an American accent for Bates Motel, her “first American role.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivia_Cooke

      – Excerpts –

      “Cooke was born and raised in Oldham, Greater Manchester. “

      ***
      2012-2013: Career beginnings

      “After Cooke performed at the Oldham Theatre Workshop, Beverley Keogh, a casting director next door to her agency, secured her roles in television. Cooke starred in all three BBC mini-series productions in 2012: Blackout, as the daughter of Christopher Eccleston’s character, and The Secret of Crickley Hall, as a young teacher at a tyrannical orphanage in the 1940s…”

      ***
      “In 2012, following The Quiet Ones, Cooke acquired an agent in Los Angeles. After reading the character descriptions for A&E’s contemporary Psycho prequel Bates Motel, she sent an audition tape for the role of Emma Decody. Three weeks later, Cooke earned the part of Emma, her first American role. She was originally disappointed when the producers made Emma Mancunian, believing it was a fail-safe measure regarding her accent. However, aided by fellow English actor Freddie Highmore, who has previous experience with an American accent, Cooke has since been mistaken to be American…”

      • I could not help but notice that Olivia Cooke starred in the 2012 BBC mini-series “The Secret of Crickley Hall.” A certain someone with the initials M.W. co-starred with her, proving once again the old adage that

      All Roads Lead to Arya.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Tron79,

      ”Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is in the same genre as Maisie’s movie Then Came You. Maisie did a good job but I think Me and Earl is the best movie in this genre. It’s clever filmmaking and more realistic.”

      I have not seen either movie yet. Nor have I seen the well-known movie in this genre, “The Fault in Our Stars.” (I learned it was directed by Josh Boone, who also directed “New Mutants.”)

      Anyway, I am anxious to watch Olivia Cooke’s performance in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” which you feel earned the title of best movie in this genre.
      I wonder if in my view it will topple one of my all time favorite guilty pleasure movies: “A Walk to Remember”

      with Mandy Moore as the dying girl.

        Quote  Reply

    32. Ten Bears,

      Donald Sumpter (Maester Luwin) just showed up in the second episode of the Crickley Hall mini series. There are only three episodes and it’s pretty spooky. It’s fun to see Maisie. And Olivia has a large role. They never act with each other because Olivia’s character was from the 1940’s and Maisie is present day.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Tron79,

      … and with Clara’s words, “We could have stuff happen on the way,” so launched a thousand ships 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩 and demands for a spinoff.

        Quote  Reply

    34. Pigeon:
      I’d heard rumors about Matt Smith, but didn’t see him in this role at all. Guess he’ll be able to prove me wrong. 🙂 I haven’t heard of the other 2, so will have to poke around a bit!

      Matt Smith plays a huge asshole in The Crown, albeit a likable one. I’m really happy with the casting.

        Quote  Reply

    35. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      … and with Clara’s words, “We could have stuff happen on the way,” so launched a thousand ships 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩 and demands for a spinoff.

      Yep, maybe one day… They were a good couple!

      The Secret of Crickley Hall was actually a pretty good spooky haunted house story. Maisie played a pretty normal daughter role, but she did punch a girl in the nose at her new school. It was a good role for her. She had some scary moments she had to get through. And interestingly enough, Olivia Cooke played a 21 year old in this one even though she was younger. She had a 1940’s hair style that tried to make her look a little older. And in her next role she plays a 16 year old, so she’s pretty versatile and believable. It was three episodes with a full hour each. They must not have had a ton of commercials in the UK or maybe it went longer than an hour, but it was close to a full hour each. You could tell where the commercials would have been…

      I was just looking up Matt Smith. Would Daemon Targaryen be a villian? I haven’t read Fire & Blood yet. He must be playing a villian. He played Charles Manson in Charlie Says in 2018. He did play Dr. Who for awhile though as others have said…(hence your MasClara pairing (kind of sounds like mascara. Perhaps that’s their shipped name.)

        Quote  Reply

    36. I am completely confused over the timeline in HOTD. lol So the rumour is that the story will start in 105 AC

      [SPOILER] [SPOILER] [SPOILER] [SPOILER] [SPOILER] [SPOILER]

      [SPOILER]
      when Rhaenyra Targaryen died she was 33 years old. Emma D’Arcy is now 28 years old, so by the time when they shoot the final season she would be over 30, so perfect age for the character and there is no need to replace her with older actress. But when the show starts the character is just 8.

      then you have Alicent Hightower who will be 42 years old at the end of the story, played by the actress who is 26 old lol But in 105 AC Alicent is 17, so actress is too old to play her in S1 and too young to play her later.

      Her son Aegon II was 24 when he died…but he will be little boy in the timeline of S1 He was born in 107 AC…there is no need for Rhaenyra to be replaced but I don’t think that the actress who is 26 (she will be older in later seasons) can play mother of someone who is in his 20s as well.

      Matt Smith is 38 years old. Daemon when he died was 49 years old. Again, Smith will be over 40 when they shoot the final season and having 42-43 (or whatever) actor play 49 year old man is not problem at all.

      [/SPOILER]

        Quote  Reply

    37. Tron79,

      I’d never heard of Olivia Cooke until this casting news. Now I am intrigued and excited. She’s got a Rose Byrne vibe going on in some of the clips I’ve found on YouTube.
      Here are two of them, about “Ready Player One.” (Check out her native British accent in the first clip vs. her American accent in the scene from the movie in the second clip.)

      • Steven Spielberg with Olivia Cooke: HBO Screening Room introduction to “Ready Player One” [5:01 long]

      Olivia Cooke speaks at ~ 1:30

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZhw7K3uHFo

      • One of the scenes described in the Screening Room introduction to “Ready Player One” above:
      Virtual reality players meeting each other “in real life” [2:59]

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0alWzKjMXE

      Olivia Cooke closeup starts at about 1:02.

      I am liking her already. If HotD is anywhere near as successful as GoT, Ms. Cooke can forget about anonymity.

        Quote  Reply

    38. BeardedOnion: Matt Smith plays a huge asshole in The Crown, albeit a likable one. I’m really happy with the casting.

      I think he’s a very good actor, and although he wasn’t one of my favourite Doctors, I liked him just fine in the role,as well as The Crown. I think it is more that I don’t picture him as a Targ. It’s not the look I would have expected for the character. But then, I’ve thought that of other characters only to be proven wrong when I see them! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    39. Some redundancy; here’s a Variety article about the casting news:
      —————-

      (from Variety.com Dec. 11, 2020)

      Game of Thrones’ Prequel ‘House of the Dragon’ Adds Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy

      https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/house-dragon-game-thrones-prequel-cast-oliva-cooke-emma-darcy-matt-smith-1234851907/

      Game of Thrones’ prequel “House of the Dragon” has found more Targaryens.

      The HBO series has added three more key players to its cast: Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith.

      Cooke, known from Amazon’s “Sound of Metal,” is set to star as Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Hand of the King Otto Hightower who was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his inner circle. Described as “the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms,” Hightower has both “courtly grace and a keen political acumen.”
      Cooke has several other upcoming projects slated for 2021, including feature “Pixie” opposite Alec Baldwin and sci-fi thriller “Little Fish” opposite Jack O’Connell. She also appears in this year’s “Naked Singularity” opposite John Boyega.

      D’Arcy will star as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king’s first-born, pure Valyrian-blooded child who is a dragonrider. Some say Rhaenyra was “born with everything… but she was not born a man.” The theater performer’s stage credits include “The Crucible” at the Yard Theatre and “Against” at the Almeida Theatre; on TV, D’Arcy has appeared in Amazon Prime’s “Truth Seekers” and “Hannah II” and BBC/Netflix’s “Wanderlust.” She recently wrapped filming on the feature adaptation of “Mothering Sunday.”

      Smith is set to play Prince Daemon Targaryen, King Viserys’ younger brother and heir to the throne. Described as a “peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…”

      The former “Doctor Who” and “The Crown” star will appear in 2021’s “Morbius” opposite Jared Leto, Edgar Wright’s psychological horror film “Last in Soho,” and John Michael McDonagh’s “The Forgiven,” based on the Lawrence Osborne book of the same name. Smith most recently reunited with his “Crown” co-star Claire Foy on stage for a streamed production of Duncan Macmillan’s play Lungs, directed by Matthew Warchus.

      ***
      HBO has given “House of the Dragon” a 10-episode order. Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal will serve as co-showrunners and will also serve as executive producers along with George R. R. Martin and Vince Gerardis. Sara Lee Hess will also serve as writer and executive producer; Rom Schmidt will also executive produce. Sapochnik will direct the pilot and additional episodes.
      ***

        Quote  Reply

    40. Ten Bears,

      I’m just wondering about the character descriptions of Alicent and Rhaenyra in the Variety article….They vaguely sound like Sansa 2.0 and Cersei 2.0:

      “Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Hand of the King…who was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his inner circle. Described as “the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms,” Hightower has both “courtly grace and a keen political acumen.”

      ”Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king’s first-born…Some say Rhaenyra was “born with everything… but she was not born a man.”

      Is Alicent going to be our heroine, and Rhaenyra the villainess we love to hate? 🤔

        Quote  Reply

    41. Ten Bears: Is Alicent going to be our heroine, and Rhaenyra the villainess we love to hate? 🤔

      I don’t know that this will be the case. From what I remember, Alicent doesn’t really come across as particularly heroic in comparison to Rhaenyra (or vice versa). Both fully commit themselves to their struggle for dominance and neither for any nobler reasons than the other. I think this excerpt from The Rogue Prince presents the early part of their animosity pretty well:

      The amity between Her Grace [Alicent] and her stepdaughter [Rhaenyra] had proved short-lived, for both Rhaenyra and Alicent aspired to be the first lady of the realm … and though the queen had given the king not one but two male heirs, Viserys had done nothing to change the order of succession. The Princess of Dragonstone remained his heir, with half the lords of Westeros sworn to defend her rights. Those who asked, “What of the ruling of the Great Council of 101?” found their words falling on deaf ears. The matter had been decided, so far as King Viserys was concerned; it was not an issue His Grace cared to revisit.

      Still, questions persisted, not the least from Queen Alicent herself. Loudest amongst her supporters was her father, Ser Otto Hightower, Hand of the King. Pushed too far on the matter, in 109 AC King Viserys stripped Ser Otto of his chain of office and named in his place the taciturn Lord of Harrenhal, Lyonel Strong. “This Hand will not hector me,” His Grace proclaimed.

      Even after Ser Otto had returned to Oldtown, a “queen’s party” still existed at court, a group of powerful lords friendly to Queen Alicent and supportive of the rights of her sons. Against them was pitted the “party of the princess.” King Viserys loved both his wife and daughter and hated conflict and contention. He strove all his days to keep the peace between his women and to please both with gifts and gold and honors. So long as he lived and ruled and kept the balance, the feasts and tourneys continued as before, and peace prevailed throughout the realm … though there were some, sharp- eyed, who observed the dragons of one party snapping and spitting flame at the dragons of the other party whenever they chanced to pass near each other.

      In 111 AC, a great tourney was held at King’s Landing on the fifth anniversary of the king’s marriage to Queen Alicent. At the opening feast, the queen wore a green gown, whilst the princess dressed dramatically in Targaryen red and black. Note was taken, and thereafter it became the custom to refer to “greens” and “blacks” when talking of the queen’s party and the party of the princess, respectively. In the tourney itself, the blacks had much the better of it when Ser Criston Cole, wearing Princess Rhaenyra’s favor, unhorsed all of the queen’s champions, including two of her cousins and her youngest brother, Ser Gwayne Hightower.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Ten Bears: I was curious too (thanks Tron). Here is the trailer for the movie “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” with Olivia Cooke as Rachel aka the dying girl.

      [link]

      Tron wrote: “Olivia Cooke starred in one of my absolutely favorite movies Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. She was the dying girl and was very engaging.”

      From the trailer alone Olivia Cooke did seem quite engaging, and I am looking forward to watching that movie – and seeing her in HotD.

      I missed this message! (And thanks for the link!)

      I’ve been looking up Olivia Cooke on YouTube and I do think she’ll make a pretty great Alicent. I likewise find her engaging! I was thinking of mau’s comments today over the timeline and ages of these characters.

      I thought of This Is Us wherein Mandy Moore plays a character who goes from her late 20s/early 30s to her 70s so I certainly still think Cooke works. 26-year olds can (and have) passed for 17 or even younger. In Cooke’s case, Tron had mentioned she was playing a teen two years ago and I think Cooke has the right facial features to pull off younger. They can also age Cooke up with make-up. I thought they did really well with aging up Moore to her 70s while they only need to age Cooke up to a mere 42 in comparison, the age at which Alicent dies.

      So I think it’s definitely doable! 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    43. Okay, a fancast for Nettles (bearing in mind I haven’t read F&B), Olive Gray (at circa 7:30 on this podcast). https://youtu.be/UvTCCUPKAVw She’s mixed race. Some actors of mixed race have said they are often deemed to dark for white roles and too pale for black roles. I couldn’t find a clip of her acting though I saw her a while ago on something called ‘Dark Money’ (which was dark – it was about sexual exploitation of child actors).

        Quote  Reply

    44. Adrianacandle,

      Yeeess!! I would love to see Letitia Wright as nettles I think she has the charisma to pull her off, I would also want her to be a very dark skinned woman, because there is a TON of colorism in Hollywood and it’s very annoying. But then again, I settle with her not being whitewashed.

      And Haelena is one of my favourite characters, I honestly hope they do her justice and being complexity and nuances to her that we know she has.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Adrianacandle,

      Yeeess!! I would love to see Letitia Wright as nettles I think she has the charisma to pull her off, I would also want her to be a very dark skinned woman, because there is a TON of colorism in Hollywood and it’s very annoying. But then again, I settle with her not being whitewashed.

      And Haelena is one of my favourite characters, I honestly hope they do her justice and being complexity and nuances to her that we know she has.
      Adrianacandle,

        Quote  Reply

    46. Dame of Mercia,

      Oh, I completely agree with you, they really need to pull it off on that one because her character is so marvellously SPOILER (tragic) BUT I want her to be more than that, maybe being Increidbly sweet and kind and merciful but also being the only one who knows how to play the game of thrones but instead of using it to gain power for herself, using it to help her people.

      imagine if after the DoTD we realise we shouldn’t have been supporting R or A, but H al along, how bittersweet.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Adrianacandle,

      You know, after much thought, I have to say I agree with all of you.

      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

      Yesterday night, I was watching Isabel, a brilliant spanish TV period drama about Isabella of Castille (you can find it on YouTube with English subtitles btw) and what they do is telling the story of Isabella ever since she was a teen until her death, and they used the same actress! So between make up and a great actress (as we know Olivia is) they can pull it off.

      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

      Maybe the show starts with an unmarried 20 year old Alicent, we see her taking care of Jaehaerys and her relationship with King Viserys and Queen Aemma and a 15 year old Rhaenyra (making them only 5 years apart)… and it sort of unravels until the final episode where the (in)famous tourney happens and we see the green and black dresses.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Adrianacandle,

      ”…a great tourney was held at King’s Landing on the fifth anniversary of the king’s marriage to Queen Alicent. At the opening feast, the queen wore a green gown, whilst the princess dressed dramatically in Targaryen red and black. Note was taken, and thereafter it became the custom to refer to “greens” and “blacks” when talking of the queen’s party and the party of the princess, respectively…”

      Is it too early to take sides?

      #TeamGreen 💚

        Quote  Reply

    49. I missed the Letitia Wright fancast for Nettles when I was here before. Correction to an earlier post of mine – I meant to say that I thought Ria Zmitrowitz who played Liv Hill’s onscreen sister in “Three Girls” might be another suitable Helaena. If they did an ‘older’ Helaena perhaps Cheryl Ferguson might suit. https://youtu.be/mIrwJKuyRp0

      Make-up people can work wonders sometimes. I haven’t seen ‘The Crown’ but saw some clips and I thought the actress playing Princess Diana did have something of a look of the late princess in character but when she is in real life she looks quite different.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Ten Bears: #TeamGreen 💚

      That was exactly my thought! It’s like sports teams!!

      Max,

      I just looked up Letitia Wright and I think she definitely has the right look!

      Maybe the show starts with an unmarried 20 year old Alicent, we see her taking care of Jaehaerys and her relationship with King Viserys and Queen Aemma and a 15 year old Rhaenyra (making them only 5 years apart)… and it sort of unravels until the final episode where the (in)famous tourney happens and we see the green and black dresses.

      Yeah, I’m wondering how they’re going to tell this story. I think this would be a great way to do it 🙂

      Isabel reminds me of the 2008 film Bathory, which is based on the life of Elizabeth Báthory. Anna Friel, who plays Elizabeth, portrays her from her teens all the way into her 50s!

      Although… Elizabeth was believed to have bathed in the blood of virgins to keep her skin young so I imagine Friel’s 28-30 year old face helped a lot with that ;D

        Quote  Reply

    51. Dame of Mercia: Make-up people can work wonders sometimes. I haven’t seen ‘The Crown’ but saw some clips and I thought the actress playing Princess Diana did have something of a look of the late princess in character but when she is in real life she looks quite different.

      I don’t watch The Crown either but when its thumbnail featured the actress playing Princess Diana, I had to do a double take to realize this wasn’t the actual real Princess Diana.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Dame of Mercia,

      OC seems to be good at doing accents. I always thought she was American since her accent was so convincing. In “The Secret of Crickley Hall” she had a much lighter British accent. It’s probably her natural tongue, but hard to say. I don’t know my British/Irish dialects very well to be able to figure out where they were born.

      I do find some similarities in tone in Pixie to Maisie Williams’ “Two Weeks to Live”.

      So now I feel like I need to catch up with folks here at WotW, because I haven’t wanted to read Fire and Blood. In the back of my mind I keep thinking it’s a history book and it might read like “The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, With Descriptions of Many High Lords and Noble Ladies and Their Children”

      Ned: I should be curious to examine the book that you lent Jon the day before he fell ill.
      Pycelle: I fear you would find it of little interest. It was a ponderous tome by Grand Maester Malleon on the lineages of the great houses.

      Petyr: Now there is tedious reading if ever I saw it. A sleeping potion, my lord?
      Eddard: Jon Arryn was studying this volume when he was taken sick.
      Petyr: In that case, death must have come as a blessed relief.

      I think I’ve asked this question before, but how did folks find reading Fire and Blood?

        Quote  Reply

    53. Adrianacandle,

      Yes! Exactly! I’m sure they can do the character justice!

      Also, I cannot wait to hear about the costume design, I think that’s gonna be very very tricky, because Michele Clapton did a marvelous job creating a distinct fashion for each one of the kingdoms and royal families, but now, the new designer will (Should) have to take those styles and make them more ancient, which is gonna be VERY complicated. I’m sure they’ll do a great Job and I cannot wait to see the iconic green and black dresses respectively.

      Ahhh this is gonna be so fuuun!

        Quote  Reply

    54. Tron79,

      Well, I’m a history and history of art college student so I’m all about family lineages and such lol

      HOWEVER, I have to say, many of my friends found the book very interesting, mostly because it’s not a “here is this king. Who did such and such and had X and Y children” it’s much more dynamic and enjoyable, it’s honestly a great read, and it makes you realise how unstable and unfit most of the targaryens were as rules of the 7K.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Patrick,

      well, if I am not mistaken Corlys Velaryon married Rhaenys Targaryen, daughter of Daemon Targaryen, who was refused the right to sit upon the IT because she was a woman.

      So if Corlys is a black man and marries a Targaryen (the epitomy of whiteness), their children will me mixed raced or even white passing, and one of those, Laenor, will marry Rhaenyra Targaryen, another super ultra white woman (grand daughter of three Targaryens and an Arryn), so I dont think I’ll change the plot, at all.

      But you are more than welcome to disagree, of course, and I do see your point, But if they were to put any of the main characters as black, that would have to be Corlys Velaryion, and tbh, Im really into it! the actor looks like a badass!

        Quote  Reply

    56. Tron79,

      ”So now I feel like I need to catch up with folks here at WotW, because I haven’t wanted to read Fire and Blood. In the back of my mind I keep thinking it’s a history book and it might read like “The Lineages and Histories of the Great Houses of the Seven Kingdoms, With Descriptions of Many High Lords and Noble Ladies and Their Children”

      That was my understanding as well: I thought “Fire & Blood” was more like an encyclopedia or history book than actual storytelling. (I have not read “Fire & Blood” and to be candid have not felt the urge to do so.)

      I would think the upside to that is that the HotD showrunners and writers have somewhat of a blank slate; they’ve got a basic “skeleton” of characters and events, which they can flesh out – for better or worse. [I could liken it to GoT’s “Hardhome,” which took a vague, second-hand reference in the books to a strange event, and extrapolated from it a fabulous show-only centerpiece for King Crow Jon Snow and the AotD. ]

      By the way, in response to another comment upthread – maybe by Latrine Digger Brian? – legitimately questioning Condal’s (sp?) track record and credentials, I noticed in the 12/11/20 Variety article that Sara Lee Hess is a co-producer and writer on HotD. I looked her up. According to IMDB, Sara Hess has extensive experience writing for “House” (which I liked) and “Orange is the New Black” (which I’ve heard was really good, though I’ve never seen it.)

      Like LD Brian, I was perplexed and disappointed that “Blood Moon” with Jane Goldman as writer and Naomi Watts as lead actor was deep-sized without explanation by HBO, apparently based only on the pilot episode. I enjoyed Jane Goldman’s “Kick-Ass,” and I’ve made no secret that I’m a huge admirer of Naomi Watts.
      If the “Blood Moon” pilot sucked, I wondered why its showrunners didn’t get an opportunity for a do-over, like Benioff and Weiss did when their original GoT pilot bombed. HBO took a chance, and let them re-make the pilot and then greenlit the series. But I digress…

      Back to HotD: GoT MVP director Miguel Sapochnik is one of the showrunners, and is going to direct the pilot and several other episodes (according to Variety). HBO ordered an entire first season of HotD, sight unseen. I’ve got to figure Sapochnik’s involvement in some of GoT’s best-received episodes (e.g., S8e5 “Hardhome,” S6e9 “Battle of the Bastards,” and S6e10 “Winds of Winter”) had something to do with that. While I’m not sure who wrote the scripts for those episodes, I believe they were scripted and directed with little if any source material as guidance. I have to assume HBO has faith that Sapochnik will do a good job as a showrunner and director of HotD. I do.

      I would also imagine that Sara Hess will bring a much-needed female perspective and sensibility to a story that – at least by the casting news thus far – will feature prominently Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra. I’m looking forward to some real nuance and complexity in their relationship, and not just childish sniping or a cheap “Mean Girls” rivalry.

      I get it that part of the story may entail the king trying (and ultimately failing?) to please his queen and appease his daughter. Still, I’m hoping that the friction in the Alicent-Rhaenyra relationship
      (and their respective partisans) develops organically, with neither one coming off as simply selfish and petulant. (Both characters can have good faith motives, even as their objectives diverge, right?)

      Of course, I am speculating solely from the casting news that HotD will have prominent roles and rich storylines for Olivia Cooke as Alicent and
      Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra. At least as to Olivia Cooke, it appears she’s got a promising film career, with plenty of roles under her belt already and several movies due out soon. I’d be surprised if she took on a role in what could be a multi-year HBO series, only to play second fiddle to a gaggle of CGI dragons. [If the show is just going to be a CGI dragonfest, I’m afraid I’ll jump ship after an episode or two. I had already reached my DSP (Dragon Saturation Point) sometime during S6 of GoT.]

      Bottom line: Casting these actresses and hiring Sara Hess gives me hope that HotD will be successful on its own merits: Riding the coattails of Game of Thrones will only go so far. If the show doesn’t attract and retain an audience as a stand-alone venture, I doubt it will last very long.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Max:
      Tron79,

      Well, I’m a history and history of art college student so I’m all about family lineages and such lol

      HOWEVER, I have to say, many of my friends found the book very interesting, mostly because it’s not a “here is this king. Who did such and such and had X and Y children” it’s much more dynamic and enjoyable, it’s honestly a great read, and it makes you realise how unstable and unfit most of the targaryens were as rules of the 7K.

      Thanks. With you saying it’s a great read I am encouraged. I may have to give it a go to keep me going while waiting for covert filming photos, eventual trailers and the pilot.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Tron79,

      I also recommend you the novelettes “The rogue prince” and “the Princess and the Queen”, the former will give you a better undertanding of Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and, honestly, he is a marvelously complex character, he is both a hero and a villain and I LOVE HIM, whereas the latter explores the character dynamics between Queen Alicent Hightower and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Max:
      Tron79,

      I also recommend you the novelettes “The rogue prince” and “the Princess and the Queen”, the formerwill give you a better undertanding of Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and, honestly, he is a marvelously complex character, he is both a hero and a villain and I LOVE HIM, whereas the latter explores the character dynamics between Queen Alicent Hightower and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.

      Thanks! I’m going to check those out.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Max,

      ”…. the latter [“The Princess and the Queen”] explores the character dynamics between Queen Alicent Hightower and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.“

      Oh, do tell! Spoiler code if necessary. Call me lazy for not reading the novelette. I’m still curious about the “dynamics.”

        Quote  Reply

    61. Ten Bears:
      Max,

      ”…. the latter [“The Princess and the Queen”] explores the character dynamics between Queen Alicent Hightower and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.“

      Oh, do tell! Spoiler code if necessary. Call me lazy for not reading the novelette. I’m still curious about the “dynamics.”

      I just ordered Dangerous Women 1 which has the GRRM novella in it. Ten Bears, the Princess story is a novella in the book so not nearly the time commitment. Btw I am making my way through the Stephen King writing book. It’s mostly about his life so far but it’s a fascinating life.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Matt Smith gets a huge thumbs up for me. Never saw him in Dr. Who, but love the job he did with Prince Phillip on The Crown.

      BUT I’m not going to give too much credit yet. This series will have the pick of the litter for who they want to cast, so won’t be surprised if they get some good names. I still think we’re heading into a Red Wedding though with this series.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Max,

      I was wondering does Harwin Strong have to be the father of the boys? It could be another man who is black/foreign, hell even the Strong’s could be black! It might make some people uncomfortable, but who cares?

        Quote  Reply

    64. Ten Bears,

      The central question of the dance is can/should a woman rule the 7K? Alicent and the Greens argue no, a woman should not rule. It will be hard for them to not come off as villains to a modern audience.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Tron79,

      It’s been a while since I read Stephen King’s book “On Writing.” I don’t remember much, except for a few things:

      1. He stressed that even the best writer needs a good editor.

      2. To write well, read a lot.

      3. General Rule of Thumb and Formula:
      Write the first version for yourself, and the first revision for your audience.
      First draft – 10% = Second draft.

      4. His restatement of the “Chekhov’s Gun” principle, and a corollary:
      “If a gun is on the mantle in Act I, it must go off in Act III.
      The reverse is true: If [something] plays a part at the end, it must be introduced early.(Otherwise, it looks like deus ex machina – which it is.)”

      5. Don’t use adverbs.

      6. Excise unnecessary words and extraneous details. (That’s where a good editor comes in.)

      I read “On Writing” for pleasure during a Stephen King books binge. I hope it’s got some helpful tips.

        Quote  Reply

    66. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      ”… This series will have the pick of the litter for who they want to cast, so won’t be surprised if they get some good names. I still think we’re heading into a Red Wedding though with this series.”

      – Do we know if there are other leading roles yet to cast which would attract “good names”? I would assume HotD would look for “big name” actors for those characters.
      – However, if GoT is a template, the “main” characters might not emerge until later in the show; or characters who appear to be secondary or minor at the beginning might wind up becoming protagonists; or main characters played by “big name” actors might get Ned Starked in the first season.
      – What do you mean by “heading into a Red Wedding though with this series”? Are you anticipating a shocking bloodbath in which lots of characters get wiped out in a single episode? Or that the show itself is going to self-destruct?
      – I am trying to be cautiously optimistic. I remember when “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was first announced, and I thought the name was dumb and the show would therefore suck.
      I still think the name was dumb. The show, however, was really good for the most part, and had a pleasing two-part series premiere, a long run, and a satisfying two-part conclusion.

      – I guess we will find out about HotD soon enough. (Time flies.) If the Sapochnik-directed pilot fires on all cylinders that’ll be a good sign.
      A lot depends on the writers though, doesn’t it? I’m trying to remember a quote I once read by Hollywood screenwriter. (Maybe it was Dale Launer?) Anyway, it went something like this: “Even the best director can’t make a good movie out of a crappy script, but even a mediocre director can make a good movie out of a great script.”

      Let’s hope for the best, LDB!

        Quote  Reply

    67. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      It’s been a while since I read Stephen King’s book “On Writing.” I don’t remember much, except for a few things:

      1. He stressed that even the best writer needs a good editor.

      2. To write well, read a lot.

      3.General Rule of Thumb and Formula:Write the first version for yourself, and the first revision for your audience. First draft – 10% = Second draft.

      4. His restatement of the “Chekhov’s Gun” principle, and a corollary: “If a gun is on the mantle in Act I, it must go off in Act III.The reverse is true: If [something] plays a part at the end, it must be introduced early.(Otherwise, it looks like deus ex machina – which it is.)”

      5. Don’t use adverbs.

      6.Excise unnecessary words and extraneous details. (That’s where a good editor comes in.)

      I read “On Writing” for pleasure during a Stephen King books binge. I hope it’s got some helpful tips.

      Yes thanks for the suggestion. I’m about 2 hours into the audio book version. Listening is good motivation to get me off the couch, however avoiding human contact in the neighborhood is challenging unless you walk in the street. I am constantly on the lookout for the child who gets too close or a mini van that appears from over a hill.

      I was encouraged from his account of Carrie. He said he tossed his first draft into the trash and was going to let it go. His wife found the crumpled up papers and convinced him to keep writing it. He has a very supportive wife which he also said was important! He said that writing can be hard and not to give up. That may seem obvious but coming from Stephen King it was helpful. It made me feel better as I struggled to figure out where my story was headed. I was getting ready to give up but I gave it more time and I came up with some new ideas.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Sotan:
      Ten Bears,

      The central question of the dance is can/should a woman rule the 7K? Alicent and the Greens argue no, a woman should not rule. It will be hard for them to not come off as villains to a modern audience.

      Oh dear, you’re right. “Women can’t rule” won’t fly with a modern audience. A female character who takes that position will be slammed as a self-loathing misogynist.
      Maybe HotD will tweak that “central question” so that Alicent doesn’t come off as a villain right off the bat? (She can have some other source of friction with Rhaenyra, can’t she?)

      And another thing: From my preliminary review of Olivia Cooke’s prior film roles, I have a tough time believing she’d take on such a regressive, anti-feminist role. Then again, what do I know….

        Quote  Reply

    69. Tron79,

      ”Avoiding human contact in the neighborhood is challenging unless you walk in the street. I am constantly on the lookout for the child who gets too close or a mini van that appears from over a hill.”

      Holy sh*t, Tron. That reads like a good first couple of lines of a novel or short story. 🤓

        Quote  Reply

    70. Ten Bears,

      GRRM has said that he took some inspiration for ASOIAF from Maurice Druon’s series “The Accursed Kings”. The fourth book in that series is called “La Loi Des Males”* in the original French. It’s actually grounded in French history where the second (adult) son of Philippe Le Bel takes the throne after the deaths of his older brother and that brother’s infant son even though the older brother had a daughter. Things were complicated by the fact that the daughter’s mother had had an affair and so the child’s fatherhood was in question. HoD has a pseudo-medieval setting after all, not a fake 21st century one.

      *In case anyone is thinking my French is grotty, I realise the ‘a’ in ‘Males’ should have a circumflex accent but I don’t know how to do them on a mobile phone.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Max,

      Also, I cannot wait to hear about the costume design, I think that’s gonna be very very tricky, because Michele Clapton did a marvelous job creating a distinct fashion for each one of the kingdoms and royal families, but now, the new designer will (Should) have to take those styles and make them more ancient, which is gonna be VERY complicated. I’m sure they’ll do a great Job and I cannot wait to see the iconic green and black dresses respectively.

      Definitely! That visual division, sparked by those dresses

      and representing the first major milestone wherein Alicent and Rhaenyra’s relationship becomes increasingly more bitter and fraught and their struggle for power intensifies

      , makes those specific dresses all that much more iconic. I’m pretty curious to see them visualized on-screen 🙂

      Sotan: The central question of the dance is can/should a woman rule the 7K? Alicent and the Greens argue no, a woman should not rule. It will be hard for them to not come off as villains to a modern audience.

      Well, I didn’t find the succession war between Alicent and Rhaenyra much different from succession wars where claimants/contenders/or participants were men (ie. the War of the Five Kings, the Blackfyre rebellion).

      Alicent and Rhaenyra each do their fair share of crappy things, which will probably impact audience view of them — but I think that’d be more to choices made by all of these characters, male and female alike, including prominent male characters such as Daemon and (I imagine) Alicent’s sons as well as Rhaenyra’s sons.

      I don’t think the idea of women in power is new to the 2020s viewing audience.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Ten Bears: However, if GoT is a template, the “main” characters might not emerge until later in the show; or characters who appear to be secondary or minor at the beginning might wind up becoming protagonists; or main characters played by “big name” actors might get Ned Starked in the first season.

      I think, based on the story as laid out by the novellas and world books, HotD’s main main characters (Alicent, Rhaenyra, Daemon) are evident from the beginning with major roles from the start and won’t be getting Ned Starked early in the series. However, there are some characters who may became more major later on

      like Alicent’s son Aegon.

      Anyway, I’m optimistic as well 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    73. Adrianacandle,

      So wait… will Alicent be angling for one of her sons to be heir to the throne over the king’s daughter Rhaenyra? Is Alicent’s public position that “only men should rule” just a pretext for muscling out the king’s daughter?

      Stupid non-book reader question time: If Alicent is a Hightower and not a pure-blood dragonriding Targaryen like Rhaenyra… who’s the other “dragon” in the dance of dragons? Does Alicent have a son or sons fathered by the Targ king?

      I take it that Alicent herself won’t ruin her pretty green gown made of the purest silk from Tralalaeeday by mounting a dragon and engaging in aerial dogfights with her stepdaughter.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Adrianacandle,

      Thanks for that information.
      I was just curious if all the major roles have now been cast. Or should we be on the lookout for

      casting of Alicent’s son Aegon

      ?
      Or Joe Pesci as the Lord of Light? (J/K)

        Quote  Reply

    75. Ten Bears,

      So wait… will Alicent be angling for one of her sons to be heir to the throne over the king’s daughter Rhaenyra? Is Alicent’s public position that “only men should rule” just a pretext for muscling out the king’s daughter?

      Well, not really. How succession typically went is that a son (no matter the birth order) comes before a daughter in line to the throne and

      Alicent bore the king two trueborn sons. So Alicent felt her sons should be the heir apparent given succession laws. However, Viserys still named his eldest daughter as heir. Both Alicent and Rhaenyra sought control and this was at the heart of their conflict — a succession crisis.

      Stupid non-book reader question time: If Alicent is a Hightower and not a pure-blood dragonriding Targaryen like Rhaenyra… who’s the other “dragon” in the dance of dragons? Does Alicent have a son or sons fathered by the Targ king?

      I believe the claimant conflict is between the half-siblings Rhaenyra and Aegon, Alicent’s son. Other dragonriders involved are Daemon Targaryen, Rhaenyra’s sons, Alicent’s sons, and Nettles is also a dragonrider who fights on Rhaenyra’s behalf.

      I take it that Alicent herself won’t ruin her pretty green gown made of the purest silk from Tralalaeeday by mounting a dragon and engaging in aerial dogfights with her stepdaughter.

      I don’t think she can fly a dragon even if she wanted to but she is very much an active participant in the war and takes a major role.

      Thanks for that information.
      I was just curious if all the major roles have now been cast. Or should we be on the lookout for

      casting of Alicent’s son Aegon

      ?

      I think this depends on when they’ll start the story.

      Aegon isn’t born until after Alicent and Viserys marry in 106 AC while, before this point and during Aegon’s infancy and childhood, Rhaenyra and Alicent are both very much in the picture. Rhaenyra (born 97 AC) is 10 by the time Aegon (born 107 AC) is born. The tourney which spawns the Team Green vs. Team Black rivalry occurs in 111 AC when Rhaenyra is 14, Alicent is 23 (born 88 AC), and her son Aegon is 4.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Adrianacandle,

      Interesting… I wonder how they will age the actresses. Olivia Cooke (Alicent) is 26. She will be 27 in two weeks (on December 27, 2020). Emma D’Arcy (Rhaenyra) turned 28 in June 27, 2020. Yet Alicent is supposed to be nine years older than Rhaenyra.

      No problem. I’m sure the makeup department and hair stylists will be up to the task.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Ten Bears,

      Regarding the actors, I just meant they’ll have their pick of all the good British character actors and probably will land a big name or two (like Naomi Watts, Sean Bean, Miranda Richardson, etc).

      I think one of us needs to watch Colony and report back because that will give us the best idea of the quality to come. iirc from reading George’s blog, he was a big fan of Colony and that’s how he knew Condal (and presumably was his connection to being invited to write a GoT spinoff pilot). But Colony is barely remembered by anyone. You might say, well it could be a hidden gem that was stowed away on Sci Fi. But there have been plenty of good shows on less popular networks that got buzzy and blew up (Cobra Kai, Breaking Bad, etc).

        Quote  Reply

    78. Adrianacandle,

      No, women in power is not a new concept for ppl in 2020. Glad we agree on that. What can’t be denied is that team Green’s argument is that Aegon II is the eldest legitimate SON of the king and as per Andal law and tradition should be king. Which automatically means that Rhaenyra is disqualified because of her sex. Fairly or not this will turn modern audiences off. You are right in that everyone does bad things and no one will come off looking good.

        Quote  Reply

    79. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Colony is an ok show. I loved the concept and mostly enjoyed the execution. It wasn’t prestige tv level good, but it was a decent show that I wished wasn’t cancelled. Most important, the storytelling overall got stronger every season as the world was expanded which bodes well for HOTD.

        Quote  Reply

    80. Dame of Mercia,

      That’s a good catch. Another inspiration is The Anarchy in 11th century England. King Henry I heir dies tragically and his last living child is his daughter Maud who is married to a french nobleman no one likes (most of the English nobility were French post conquest). The king makes the lords swear oaths to put his daughter on the throne, but after his death they pull a Mariah and say “I don’t know her”. While Maud is in France her cousin Stephen (Stephens mother was the King’s sister) with the support of the lords is crowned king starting a civil war. It ends with Stephen losing his heir, Maud never ruling and Maud’s son Henry II becoming king.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Ten Bears,

      The show will hinge on the relationship between the two women. They have a very complex relationship, how that’s written, acted/portrayed is everything. There are no heroes or str8 villains in the main cast, almost everyone does some pretty ugly things.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Sotan,

      No, women in power is not a new concept for ppl in 2020. Glad we agree on that. What can’t be denied is that team Green’s argument is that Aegon II is the eldest legitimate SON of the king and as per Andal law and tradition should be king. Which automatically means that Rhaenyra is disqualified because of her sex. Fairly or not this will turn modern audiences off. You are right in that everyone does bad things and no one will come off looking good.

      Yes, that is Alicent’s claim to fame in a medieval setting but regarding if this will potentially turning audiences off, I wonder if we should leave that to the audience (including us) to debate and discuss instead? Especially considering there’s another side to this: Rhaenyra, also a woman, was named heir by her father and this didn’t change

      upon the births of his sons with Alicent.

      This is not to say the laws of succession are fair — not at all — said laws are classist and sexist. However, because they are the typically observed laws and we’re looking at a medieval universe,

      it’s a reasonable expectation for Alicent to have — as the king’s wife — to expect their sons would come ahead of his eldest daughter. And on that basis, she is vying for control through her son’s claim. Meanwhile Rhaenyra is vying for control based on the king’s will. She was raised by her father to be his heir, which continues when Viserys maintains Rhaenyra as his heir apparent despite Aegon’s birth. I think the basis upon what each Alicent and Rhaenyra are angling for power will bring about debate and whose claim should be observed.

      And that’s actually a nice segue way into my Team Green vs. Team Black reply to Ten Bears! 🙂

      Ten Bears,

      It’s going to be hard to root for Alicent, isn’t it?
      Here’s Team Green’s theme song.

      That reminds me of Arrested Development’s version of that song XD;;

      Anyway! From what I’ve observed, I’ve seen Alicent-supporters and Rhaenyra supporters both! I think I lean more toward Rhaenyra but as far as characters go in the written material,

      neither comes across smelling like a rose and both definitely have marks against their character by the end of this whole thing.

      Interesting… I wonder how they will age the actresses. Olivia Cooke (Alicent) is 26. She will be 27 in two weeks (on December 27, 2020). Emma D’Arcy (Rhaenyra) turned 28 in June 27, 2020. Yet Alicent is supposed to be nine years older than Rhaenyra.

      No problem. I’m sure the makeup department and hair stylists will be up to the task.

      Yes, but I don’t know if the 9-year age gap as established by the written material is a terribly important aspect to the meat of the story (ie. when Rhaenyra and Alicent are both adults).

      Where I believe it will be most glaring is in the early part of their story, when Rhaenyra is clearly still a child (and I think they’ll have to hire a child actress for that role). However, later on, maybe not so much. Kind of like in other shows where they have a child character reach adulthood but have the adult looking virtually the same (ie. The Tudor’s Anne Boleyn and Henry’s daughter Mary. Natalie Dormer’s Anne looks much the same as she did when Mary was a child and when Mary is a teenager).

      My personal prediction is that styling and make-up may be focused on making Olivia Cooke appear younger as early-Alicent and then leave her appearance alone until she has

      full-grown sons

      while Rhaenyra is played by a child actress when the character is aged 10-14. Perhaps Emma D’Arcy will be playing Rhaenyra as a teen (16/17+?) and make-up/styling will be focused on making her appear younger during this point in the story when this same point can allow Cooke to look closer to the age she is.

      However, I expect that as Rhaenyra becomes an adult, their 9-year age gap may close and become less apparent.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Sotan,

      Oh yes, “the white ship” event. I just looked it up on Wikipedia and it seems that the king’s son could have been saved but he tried to save his half-sister. Lady Di’s brother has recently written a non-fiction book about the happening though I can’t comment on its worth as I’ve not read it.

        Quote  Reply

    84. I’m so sorry, this is off-topic but

      is Google acting funny for anyone else right now? Google claims that none of my accounts exist while YouTube is returning a “something went wrong” error.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Adrianacandle,

      All seems to be working normally for me at the moment. My YouTube app allowed me to change to my various YouTube accounts and google allowed me to do a search for Vanity Fair.

      Btw I just found that Olivia Cooke has the lead role in Amazon’s Vanity Fair series from 2018. I just started watching the opening episode. She uses a British accent in this one.

        Quote  Reply

    86. What do you think of these new castings?

      Somewhat unexpected. It’ll be interesting to see if they turn out to be a good fit for the roles on-screen (they probably will, if GoT is anything to go by).

      Just for fun, here are a few suggestions for other roles. I think these British actors and actresses would be very good in any GoT prequels:

      Mark Strong. Jeremy Irons. Michael Fassbender. James Purefoy. Luke Roberts. Richard Armitage. Ray Stevenson. James Callis. Clive Owen. Adrian Paul. Rupert Penry-Jones. Timothy Dalton. Jason Isaacs. Hugh Laurie. Jared Harris. Toby Stephens. Hugh Grant. Colin Firth. Peter Firth. Liam Neeson. Brendan Gleeson. John Hannah. Mark Ryan. Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Gerard Butler. Helen Mirren. Judi Dench. Joanna Lumley. Natascha McElhone. Haley Atwell. Keeley Hawes. Jaime Murray. Kate Beckinsale. Emily Blunt. Rachel Weisz. Helena Bonham Carter. Jessica Brown Findlay. Annabelle Wallis. Lara Pulver. Art Malik. Riz Ahmed. Shazad Latif. Archie Panjabi. Laila Rouass. Colin Salmon. Peter Mensah. Idris Elba. David Oyelowo. Chiwetel Ejiofor. John Boyega. Hakeem Kae-Kazim. Thandie Newton. Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Henry Golding.

      Some of these are probably more feasible than others; I also expect I’ve missed a few more suggestions.

      The list obviously becomes much longer when you include suitable actors and actresses from the rest of the world.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Adrianacandle:
      Tron79,

      Thanks for letting me know! Everything’s back to normal for me now! It looks like Google experienced a massive outage early this morning but stuff on my end has been restored.

      Oooh, I like the sound of Vanity Fair! Is it like a The Devil Wears Prada thing? 😀

      Great!!

      I’ve only watched the first 20 minutes so far and it’s got me hooked. Here’s a good description from IMDb
      Executive Producer and Writer Gwyneth Hughes’ adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s literary classic is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke) as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Her story of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting, and dancing”, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.

        Quote  Reply

    88. Adrianacandle,

      Vanity Fair is an Amazon original so it’s free if you have Prime. My guess is that this was a good audition reel for OC since there’s a lot of Game of Thrones maneuvering going on with her story.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Tron79,

      Excellent, I have Amazon Prime! I looked it up on Rotten Tomatoes and it looks like it was received pretty well so I think I will give it a watch to get a better idea of Cooke as an actress 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    90. Ten Bears,

      It’s exactly as you described it.

      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

      so the dance of the dragon is a very poetic name that refers to a Targaryen civil for the control of the 7K, those two factions were:

      – THE BLACKS, who supported Rhaenyra, the first Born child of the previous king, Viserys I. She was declared as his sole heir, going against the own rules that allowed him to sit upon the iron throne on the first place instead of his cousin, who, herself was the only child (“Sadly”, a daughter) of the eldest child of the previous king, Jaehaerys I, whilst Viserys was the eldest child of the second son.

      – THE GREENS, who support Alicent Hightower’s son, Aegon, as the rightful king.
      You see, King Viserys was married to Aemma Arryn, however, she sadly died in childbirth (as do most women according to George lol), so Viserys I decides to marry again, and he chooses Lady Alicent Hightower as his second wife.
      Alicent is a very beautiful, cunning girl from an extremely powerful family (think about a Margaery type of character) and gives him him several sons, the eldest being Aegon.
      Of course, the law of Westeros establishes that boys come before daughters in the line of succession, however, King Viserys I ignores the law and declares his first born child, his daughter Rhaenyra, as princess of dragon and his rightful heir.

      Both women want the absolute control of Westeros and both of them have legitime reasons to do so, what I love about this period of history is how incredibly complex the lead characters (Alicent, Rhaenyra and Daemon) and the dynamics between each other are, all of them are heroes and villains, kind of like the starks and Lannister’s.

      I hope that served you as a quick summary!

        Quote  Reply

    91. Max:

      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

      Of course, the law of Westeros establishes that boys come before daughters in the line of succession, however, King Viserys I ignores the law and declares his first born child, his daughter Rhaenyra, as princess of dragon and his rightful heir.

      It’s been a while, so excuse any mistakes on my part, but as I remember it, there was no law per se establishing that, in this case, Aegon (son of Alicent) should come before Rhaenyra in the line of succession. George’s point was that feudal inheritance and succession is fundamentally unstable and regularly leads to these kinds of shitshows.

      On the one hand, Aegon had the power of custom and precedent on his side: he was male (obviously), and his father Viserys I (whose death sets all this into motion) had himself succeeded to the throne thanks to the Great Council of 101 favoring the claimant descended from then-king Jahaerys through the male line, as opposed to the most notable rival claimant, Laenor Velaryon, who had been the king’s descendant though the female line.

      On the other hand — and once again, correct me if I’m wrong — there was no LAW that outright forbade women to succeed. To boot, Princess Rhaenyra was the favored and presumed successor of King Viserys, his first child, groomed for the crown from the early age, and Viserys even organized some sort of huge bend the knee-festival-banquet-court event-whatever-the-hell-one-calls-these-things where lords and ladies from all over Westeros came to the Red Keep to meet their future queen.

      Bottom line, legally speaking — as much as anyone can speak in legalese with these kinds of fluid custom-based succession systems — both Aegon and Rhaenyra had solid claims to the throne, but honestly, Alicent and her father the Hand were power-hungry bastards that plunged the Kingdoms into war. Had they tried to maintain a veneer of legality, say by organizing another Great Council to resolve the issue, one could excuse their power grab as smartly manipulating the rules of the game. But they did not. They killed or arrested all proponents of Rhaenyra’s claim they could find in King’s Landing and put the crown on Aegon’s head almost before anyone knew that Viserys had died, all the while knowing full well that the late king’s wish was for his firstborn daughter to succeed him. They were truly steaming piles of s**t.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Mr Fixit,

      On the one hand, Aegon had the power of custom and precedent on his side: he was male (obviously), and his father Viserys I (whose death sets all this into motion) had himself succeeded to the throne thanks to the Great Council of 101 favoring the claimant descended from then-king Jahaerys through the male line, as opposed to the most notable rival claimant, Laenor Velaryon, who had been the king’s descendant though the female line.

      I had completely forgotten this was established with the Great Council of 101. Thanks for the refresher! 🙂

      For reference if anyone is interested (from Fire & Blood):

      In the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC thereby established an iron precedent on matters of succession: regardless of seniority, the Iron Throne of Westeros could not pass to a woman, nor through a woman to her male descendants.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Mr Fixit,

      Well, There wasn’t an specific Salic law that forbade women to sit on the IT, however, there was a legal precedent where a man came before a woman in terms of succession, as you pointed out, that’s the Council of 101 at Harrenhal.

      Honestly, Westeros’ legal system is very messy and vague, but you are right

        Quote  Reply

    94. Adrianacandle,

      “I had completely forgotten this was established with the Great Council of 101. Thanks for the refresher! 🙂

      For reference if anyone is interested (from Fire & Blood):

      In the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC thereby established an iron precedent on matters of succession: regardless of seniority, the Iron Throne of Westeros could not pass to a woman, nor through a woman to her male descendants.”

      • Well, fair of not, I thought the whole idea about rules of succession was to establish certainty and stability – so there would be no question who the next in line was when a king died. If precedent – publicly pronounced by a Great Council and accepted as “the law” – mandated that a younger son had a superior claim over a first born daughter, then a king who tried to upend those orderly rules was asking for trouble, especially after he passed away and his survivors were left to feud over whether the late king’s whims superseded the orderly rule of succession.

      • We saw in GoT how much force a dead king’s “Will” had once he was dead. (And what was it that Varys said? “Power resides where men believe it to reside,” or something like that.)
      Meanwhile, Olenna recognized that Renly proclaiming himself king, even with popular support, amounted to treason: Robert had a son, and if Joffrey was illegitimate then Stannis was next in line.

      • Rules are in place for a reason. Certainty over who will ascend the throne presumably minimizes the risk of internecine murders and civil wars. If a king could simply try to change the rules on a whim or by executive order, that would be a recipe for insurrection – and bloodshed. (Quite a legacy to leave for his widow, children, lords and subjects…)
      Determining the right of succession by a popularity contest (see Renly vs. Stannis) turns brothers and sisters against each other, and makes them commit treason – or exterminate their siblings and their siblings’ families to eliminate any competing claimants.

      Am I right? Isn’t that the whole idea? If everything is up in the air the minute a monarch dies, a kingdom will descend into turmoil.

      • Question about Alicent:
      I’m a little unclear. Did Alicent know her husband the king had designated his daughter Rhaenyra his heir before they got married?
      If so, then Alicent knew what she was getting into, and seeking to elevate her son as presumptive heir after her husband’s death was morally indefensible.
      If not, then she would rightfully feel deceived, i.e., that the king had married her under false pretenses. (Marrying a king with the expectation that her son would be the heir to the throne, only to have that hope dashed after the marriage, would be a reprehensible thing for a husband/king to do to his wife/queen.)

      So, which was it? I’ve (prematurely?) declared myself already for Team Green.
      I admit I was swayed by watching a bunch of trailers for Olivia Cooke’s movies. She consistently comes off as sympathetic and heroic.
      If Alicent is going to be a departure for her, requiring her to play a nasty, underhanded character, I want to jump off the Team Green bandwagon.

      P.S. I can certainly understand that a young actor would welcome the challenge of playing a morally grey character, after early roles playing the “goody two shoes,” the love interest, the underdog, or “the dying girl.”

      #TeamGreen💚 (?)
      .

        Quote  Reply

    95. Max,

      ”Alicent is a very beautiful, cunning girl from an extremely powerful family (think about a Margaery type of character) and gives him him several sons, the eldest being Aegon.
      Of course, the law of Westeros establishes that boys come before daughters in the line of succession, however, King Viserys I ignores the law and declares his first born child, his daughter Rhaenyra, as princess of dragon and his rightful heir.”

      Right. Got it. I’m just trying to understand if Viserys declared his daughter Rhaenyra (from a previous marriage) his rightful heir before or after his remarriage to Alicent, and if Alicent knew this going in.

        Quote  Reply

    96. Ten Bears:
      Public Service Announcement
      from King Stannis

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EdVqgF3XYAAZ44O?format=jpg&name=medium

      “Actor” [like “doctor”] is now the preferred, gender-neutral term for both male and female actors. “Actress” is being phased out.

      (I don’t make the rules. I just relay them.)

      Some things are best left unsaid.

      Ha, j/k 🙂

      Ya know that midwives are supposed to use the term “birthing” a baby now instead of “delivering” it? Apparently, it could make the mother feel offended that she’s just the vessel for delivery and nothing more than that. It’s a big no-no to say “delivering a baby” now.

      I am being serious. That’s how insane people have become.

      #Cancel the Word Police

        Quote  Reply

    97. Mr Derp,

      I hear ya!
      And don’t get me started on the trend of using the plural “they” and “their” as genderless substitutes for the singular “she,” “he,” “his” or “her.”

      Stannis would throw a fit. Or put some heads on a spike.

        Quote  Reply

    98. LatrineDiggerBrian:
      Sotan,

      Were you happy overall when you found out Condal was coming on for House of Dragon?

      Hey LDB! Hold that thought.

      I was going to reply to your comment (concern) in the Comment Section under the prior post.
      Maybe I’ll do so here, tomorrow.
      Short version: I share your concerns. Frankly, based on his prior writing credits (which you laid out) I too wonder how he got selected.
      All I can think of is that he must have come up with a story treatment or spec script that absolutely knocked the socks off the HBO executives and GRRM.
      Anyway, gotta go. Please check back…

        Quote  Reply

    99. Ten Bears,

      Some people do use the pronoun “they” and it’s fine. Including our new HOTD star Emma D’arcy. I would appreciate it if you respect that when posting here.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Ten Bears,

      I’m a little unclear. Did Alicent know her husband the king had designated his daughter Rhaenyra his heir before they got married?

      Oh, yes. I think she knew Viserys had designated Rhaenyra as his heir before they got married.

      Alicent’s father, Otto Hightower, served as King Viserys’s hand well before Alicent’s marriage to Otto. In fact, it’s Otto (who’d later become Alicent’s great supporter when she vied for power against Rhaenyra) that pushed for Viserys to name Rhaenyra as his heir in order to stop Viserys’s brother Daemon from inheriting, who Otto… wasn’t fond of:

      On one point Mushroom, Septon Eustace, Grand Maester Runciter, and all our other sources concur: Ser Otto Hightower, the King’s Hand, took a great dislike to the king’s brother. It was Ser Otto who convinced Viserys to remove Prince Daemon as master of coin, and then as master of laws, actions the Hand soon came to regret. As Commander of the City Watch, with two thousand men under his command, Daemon waxed more powerful than ever. “On no account can Prince Daemon be allowed to ascend to the Iron Throne,” the Hand wrote his brother, Lord of Oldtown. “He would be a second Maegor the Cruel, or worse.” It was Ser Otto’s wish (then) that Princess Rhaenyra succeed her father. “Better the Realm’s Delight than Lord Flea Bottom,” he wrote. Nor was he alone in his opinion.

      And this is, of course, would serve as an irony because it’s something Otto would come to regret. Rhaenyra would be the primary rival claimant to

      his grandson, Aegon, as he and Alicent vied for power through Aegon’s claim.

      Anyway, though Viserys had deep affection for Rhaenyra and felt she was “his life’s greatest joy”, he was still trying to follow the precedent set by the Great Council of 101 — if his first wife (Rhaenyra’s mother) Queen Aemma did not have any sons, Daemon would be his heir. However, when she dies in childbirth and Daemon “was observed in a brothel on the Street of Silk, making drunken japes with his highborn cronies about the ‘heir for a day’,” “Viserys became livid. His Grace had finally had a surfeit of his ungrateful brother and his ambitions.”

      Rhaenyra was publicly declared as Viserys’s heir:

      Once his mourning for his wife and son had run its course, the king moved swiftly to resolve the long-simmering issue of the succession. Disregarding the precedents set by King Jaehaerys in 92 and the Great Council in 101, Viserys declared his daughter, Rhaenyra, to be his rightful heir, and named her Princess of Dragonstone. In a lavish ceremony at King’s Landing, hundreds of lords did obeisance to the Realm’s Delight as she sat at her father’s feet at the base of the Iron Throne, swearing to honor and defend her right of succession.

      And Alicent is unhappy when Viserys made no move to change the succession and Rhaenyra remained heir:

      The amity between Her Grace and her stepdaughter had proved short-lived, for both Rhaenyra and Alicent aspired to be the first lady of the realm … and though the queen had given the king not one but two male heirs, Viserys had done nothing to change the order of succession. The Princess of Dragonstone remained his heir, with half the lords of Westeros sworn to defend her rights. Those who asked, “What of the ruling of the Great Council of 101?” found their words falling on deaf ears. The matter had been decided, so far as King Viserys was concerned; it was not an issue His Grace cared to revisit.

      Still, questions persisted, not the least from Queen Alicent herself. Loudest amongst her supporters was her father, Ser Otto Hightower, Hand of the King. Pushed too far on the matter, in 109 AC King Viserys stripped Ser Otto of his chain of office and named in his place the taciturn Lord of Harrenhal, Lyonel Strong. “This Hand will not hector me,” His Grace proclaimed.

      So… long answer with lots of quotes but yeah, seems Alicent knew 😉

        Quote  Reply

    101. Mr Fixit,

      They killed or arrested all proponents of Rhaenyra’s claim they could find in King’s Landing and put the crown on Aegon’s head almost before anyone knew that Viserys had died, all the while knowing full well that the late king’s wish was for his firstborn daughter to succeed him.

      Hmmmm… that sounds familiar. Oh, yeah, like when Ned the Dolt, Last of His Name, walks into the Iron Throne room to find Joffrey already seated there. (The difference being that Ned knew the dying wish of his friend and liege, but had chosen to subvert it.)

        Quote  Reply

    102. I wonder if Emma D’Arcy is related to one of my longtime British crushes, James D’Arcy. It doesn’t seem like it would be a very common name. 🤔

        Quote  Reply

    103. Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      I hear ya!
      And don’t get me started on the trend of using the plural “they” and “their” as genderless substitutes for the singular “she,” “he,” “his” or “her.”

      Stannis would throw a fit. Or put some heads on a spike.

      They/them is often used by people who are non-binary, I have a couple of friends who prefer it as their pronoun.

      I remember getting in trouble in school because I’d say “they” if I didn’t know specifically who I was talking about (like “what did they look like?” etc.) I always kind of thought it made sense!

        Quote  Reply

    104. Ten Bears,

      According to a site I found the first written use of a singular ‘they’ in English was in 1375 in a poem ‘William and the Werewolf’ (not Dire Wolf) and writers including Dickens and Austen used it. https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/the-astonishing-history-of-singular-they/ For myself, I use it in informal conversational speech though probably not so much in more formal, written English. I don’t like ‘you guys’ as a plural for women but don’t correct people who use it thus (I’d be on a hiding to nothing if I did).

      Getting back on topic – in the books wasn’t Ser Jorah’s wife with expensive tastes a Hightower before marriage? I’m going to try and be glass half full rather than glass half empty about HoD. It’s pretty easy to stop watching something if I dislike it.

        Quote  Reply

    105. Pigeon: They/them is often used by people who are non-binary, I have a couple of friends who prefer it as their pronoun.

      Yeah, that’s been my experience as well with people I know who are non-binary where they opt for gender neutral pronouns because they do not identify as either ‘he/him’ or ‘she/her’.

      Doing a quick search of Emma D’Arcy, they identify as non-binary themselves (as Sue pointed out above) and D’Arcy appears to accept both ‘they’ and ‘she’ per their Instagram profile.

        Quote  Reply

    106. Sue the Fury:
      Patrick,
      Pushing for racial purity, even in fiction, is racism.

      It’s nothing to do with “racial purity”, as you put it. ( And why do you feel it appropriate to use a Nazi expression? )

      There is nothing racist about preferring casting to reflect the source material. In many cases it doesn’t really matter what race a character as, as long as it’s believable in the context of the story. But it should be consistent with the wider story and relationships with other characters. This is sometimes ignored in the rush for “diversity”.

        Quote  Reply

    107. Matt Smith is an interesting choice not someone who immediately comes to mind but one who has a solid body of work behind him (especially Doctor Who). He has a key role but interesting that there are no big name actors/actresses yet unlike GOT or Bloodmoon who had Sean Bean/Naomi Watts.

      Really glad Miguel is directing, Winds of Winter was hands down my favourite GOT episode and he must take huge credit for that.

        Quote  Reply

    108. Grandmaester Flash: It’s nothing to do with “racial purity”, as you put it. ( And why do you feel it appropriate to use a Nazi expression? )

      There is nothing racist about preferring casting to reflect the source material. In many cases it doesn’t really matter what race a character as, as long as it’s believable in the context of the story.But it should be consistent with the wider story and relationships with other characters.This is sometimes ignored in the rush for “diversity”.

      Yea, labeling racism right off the bat kind of crushes and sabotages any chance at an honest conversation, which is what I thought we were supposed to be having.

      I personally don’t have a horse in this race. The more diversity the better to me, but I just think it would be a good idea if Sue would stop labeling everyone as racist who doesn’t see things exactly as she does. Political discourse is necessary in order to have a healthy democracy. It’s healthy to challenge people’s thoughts. It encourages conversation. Using Nazi rhetoric like Sue did kind of sabotages all of that, just for the sake of trying to claim the moral high ground.

      This is great example of why having these conversations has become nearly impossible.

        Quote  Reply

    109. I was perplexed and disappointed that “Blood Moon” with Jane Goldman as writer and Naomi Watts as lead actor was deep-sixed without explanation by HBO, apparently based only on the pilot episode. I enjoyed Jane Goldman’s “Kick-Ass,” and I’ve made no secret that I’m a huge admirer of Naomi Watts.If the “Blood Moon” pilot sucked, I wondered why its showrunners didn’t get an opportunity for a do-over, like Benioff and Weiss did when their original GoT pilot bombed. HBO took a chance, and let them re-make the pilot and then greenlit the series.

      Perhaps the storyline for the whole series wasn’t deemed interesting enough. Unlike GoT and HotD, this had to be written pretty much from scratch.
      I must admit I wasn’t enthralled, it seemed too far removed in time from the world we had come to know.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Ten Bears: Otto seems like a real doofus.
      Who should they get to play him?

      Oh, he certainly (and ironically) created his biggest problem when he was pushing to get Daemon removed from the line of succession by urging Viserys to make Rhaenyra heir 😉

      But he’s also described as a “methodical” man as well so while he definitely created what would be his biggest obstacle, I’m not sure that he’s a complete doofus… Although, if Max is willing, I’d like to hear his thoughts on Otto Hightower!

      Good question on who should play him! Otto goes from a fairly young man of about 30 (when Alicent marries Viserys) to an older man later on in the story.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Ten Bears,

      Dude what’s it to you? They want that label, they should have it. Say what you wanna be called and that’s what I call you. Unless of course I really wanna piss you off or we’re on friendly terms and I’m just messing with you.

      Me you can call me Ishmael. I couldn’t give more fucks. I know what’s in my birth certificate and I totally identify but not everyone is like me and there’s that.

      Now can we stop bitching about how not everyone is able to identify as a she or a he and let them live in peace?!

      Jesus, this fandom never changes.

        Quote  Reply

    112. Sue the Fury:
      Ten Bears,

      Some people do use the pronoun “they” and it’s fine. Including our new HOTD star Emma D’arcy. I would appreciate it if you respect that when posting here.

      Dear Sue:
      I certainly will and do respect that when posting here – and everywhere else. Please be assured it was not my intent to take issue with any person’s self-identification or personal pronoun choices. As an ally of the LGBTQ community and firm believer that gender presents itself along a wide spectrum, I celebrate the casting of non-binary actors. (I could mention that

      the love of my life was non-binary,

      but that probably sounds trite and is not relevant.)

      All I meant to observe was that using plural pronouns in the same sentence as a singular subject can sometimes sound confusing or ambiguous. It had nothing to do with and person’s gender expression or recognition of non-binary people’s pronoun choices.

      However, I admit I should have chosen my words more carefully. To borrow a mea culpa from Lord Glover:

      “A man… can only admit when he was wrong, and ask forgiveness.”

        Quote  Reply

    113. Adrianacandle,

      OH OKAY, I COULD TALK ABOUT OTTO HIGHTOWER, BUT ONLY BECAUSE YOU ASKED ME TO, NOT BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT THE HIGHTOWERS OR ANYTHING.

      Okay so, first things first, despite my dornish beauty and my inteligence I cannot, for the life of me, learn how to hide spoilers using a code so…

      SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

      Otto Hightower was born as the second / youngest son to the Lord of Oldtown, his elder brother, would one day become the head of one of the most ancient, wealthy and prominent houses in all the realms whereas he would get absolutely nothing.

      However, Otto was a highly inteligent and ambitious person and became a man of great knowledge during his time, so much so that he was summoned to KL to become the new HoTK, a position he held during many years, serving three kings.

      It was during his service to King Viserys I Targaryen that he became enemies with the Rogue Prince, Daeron Targaryen. Otto plotted his way around the small council, succesfully removing him from office at many times, however, Daemon was given the control of the City Watch, and, with several thousands of men at his disposal, Otto knew that if something were to happen to the king, Daemon could easily make a coup d’etat an become Maegor the Cruel, thats why he inicially supported Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne, he preferred to see a small girl that he could controle rather than his Nemesis.

      King Viserys held an impressive ceremony, with most of the lords of Westeros swearing fealty to princess rhaenyra and declaring her the heiress to the throne, nonetheless, when Queen Aemma died giving birth, and Alicent, Otto’s daughter became Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, making Otto, a mere second son, the most important and influential lord on the 7K, just after the King himself, with his blood, hopefuly, sitting on the iron throne in the future.

      Queen Alicent did her “duty” as QoT7K and gave the King not one, but three sons! Obviously, everyone was expecting Aegon, the eldest among those boys, to become the next KoT7K, but King Viserys was still fixed upon making his daughter Rhaenyra Queen regnant, which was politically idiotic.

      Dont get me wrong, being a 21st century person I have great sympathy towards Rhanyra, and I think she was usurped of her rightful place as Qot7K, nonetheless, I do understand the green cause, for thousands of years boys came before girls, Dorne was an anomaly, the rest of Westeros was (is) a very misogynistic place, Otto and Alicent grew up knowing that the eldest son inherits and the daughter marries and gives birth, heck, King Viserys himself only sat upon the IT because he was a man, he was the eldest son of the second son of King Jaehaerys I, by his own logic, Rhaenys (the ony daughter of the eldest son and heir of Jaehaerys) should have sat on the Iron throne.

      Otto proved being a very knowledgeable man and, despite being removed from the post by his own grandson, he was a very competent hand, inmensurably helping the greens.

      He was the first person executed for treason by Queen Rhaenyra once she captured KL.

        Quote  Reply

    114. Sue the Fury,

      Yeah, no.

      Or at minimum you wouldn’t have said this about the Asian outcry when Scarlett Johansson was cast in Ghost in the Shell.

      That’s not how it works. Claims of racism when a white person is cast in a role of ambiguous ethnicity of a Japanese IP is fine. Doing the same when an established almost translucent character is turned into an ethnicity of color is somehow not okay and racist? That’s hypocritical.

      I’m all for diversity, but that battle should be with the guy who wrote the source material – or they should add more roles to accommodate more ethnicities.

      Basically this:
      – Casting for Dragonball/The Last Airbender = trash/incensitive/racist.
      – Casting for Shang-chi and the Ten Rings: Exactly as it should (mostly Chinese actors for as far as I know).
      – Casting for Ghost in the Shell: Ambiguous, but I understand the reasoning.
      – Casting black actors for white characters.. Same as TLA but in reverse.

        Quote  Reply

    115. Max,

      ”Otto proved being a very knowledgeable man and, despite being removed from the post by his own grandson, he was a very competent hand, inmensurably helping the greens.

      He was the first person executed for treason by Queen Rhaenyra once she captured KL.”

      So…Otto got Ned Starked?

        Quote  Reply

    116. Ten Bears: So…Otto got Ned Starked?

      I don’t know that Otto’s situation there was all that comparable to Ned Stark’s.

      Otto switched from Team Rhaenyra because the situation changed to one in his favour: his daughter Alicent and his grandchildren via Alicent and Viserys would be the heirs to the throne under the precedent set by the Great Council of 101.

      Whereas before, when Queen Aemma was still alive, there was no Queen Alicent, Viserys had no son, and Otto really, really disliked Daemon (who would be Viserys’s heir). So, at this point… Rhaenyra certainly looked pretty good to Otto as Viserys’s heir. Otto wanted Viserys to defy the precedent set by the Great Council of 101 at this point if it meant Daemon wouldn’t be Viserys’s heir.

      …until his grandsons, Viserys’s trueborn sons, enter the picture that is. That’s when the prospect of Queen Rhaenyra becomes far less appealing to Otto because now Viserys has trueborn sons and what’s more, they are Otto’s grandsons.

      With Joffrey, he wasn’t actually Robert’s son, which is why Ned supported Stannis as heir over Joffrey. Ned was interested in Robert’s true heir succeeding him but he was not acting for personal gain, as Otto was. If Ned was, it actually may have been more in Ned’s favour that Joffrey remain heir since he was betrothed to Sansa. Yet Ned broke that betrothal and sought to support Stannis.

      Meanwhile, there was no funny business with Rhaenyra’s parentage. She was truly Viserys’s daughter and Viserys named her as such knowing all the facts… unlike Robert. Rhaenyra wasn’t committing treason by pushing her claim whereas the Lannisters definitely were since Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella weren’t Baratheons and Cersei knew it.

      Also, unlike Joffrey, Rhaenyra wasn’t displaying any concerning or troubling behavior. Other than personal gain, there wasn’t really a reason to be concerned about Rhaenyra’s abilities as queen. She was even raised to be such. Viserys adored Rhaenyra, she was raised as his heir, and she was known as the “Realm’s Delight,” which Otto uses in his argument to name Rhaenyra over Daemon as heir (“It was Ser Otto’s wish (then) that Princess Rhaenyra succeed her father. ‘Better the Realm’s Delight than Lord Flea Bottom,’ he wrote. Nor was he alone in his opinion.”). Rhaenyra had, when she was younger, the love of the nobles and smallfolk alike.

      So… I’m certainly not surprised Rhaenyra would consider Otto’s support of Alicent as treasonous, especially considering herself as her father’s heir was his idea in the first place when it served his own personal interests.

      Meanwhile, Cersei was lying through her teeth about the parentage of her children for the sake of power and Joffrey’s entire claim was false.

        Quote  Reply

    117. Ten Bears,

      Otto was the

      first to be executed for treason, yes. His execution was followed by that of Ironrod (Jasper Wylde), who supported the claim of Alicent’s son against Viserys naming Rhaenyra as his heir and insisted “by law a king’s son must come before his daughter,” all the way to his death. Rosby and Stokesworth were next: they originally supported Rhaenyra before defecting to Alicent when Team Green took the crown under Aegon II. Both tried again to return to Team Black but, uh, that hardly went over well… 😉

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *