It’s been a roller coaster few days for Game of Thrones fans, that’s for damn sure. First, it was announced that series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss were departing their upcoming Star Wars trilogy to devote their attention to their Netflix projects. Then, I broke down in sobs as I learned that Bloodmoon was not being ordered to series. Several hours later, it was announced that a brand new, unannounced show, House of the Dragon, was ordered to SERIES without a pilot. And all this was amidst the reports of an allegedly disastrous interview David and Dan gave at the Austin Film Festival (I want to stress that these were untrue, as Luka attested when dissecting the actual recording). Yes, it’s been a wild week, everyone, and it’s still only Wednesday. So what did the one true god of Westeros and Essos have to say? Join me, and let GRRM lead the way…
“[Miguel] Sapochnik will be directing the pilot… well, maybe it is more precise to call it ‘the first episode’… of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and doubtless a number of other episodes as well. There’s no one better.” I’m not sure how much “doubtless a number of other episodes” suggests, but I’m sure time will tell. There’s no way to predict that far in the future. What is interesting is that, while Miguel Sapochnik was unquestionably one of the strongest directors from the entire ranks of GOT, he was usually brought into handle episodes feature massive battle sequences. So, unless the pilot will start with a bang and a battle (unlikely, I’d venture), it will be nice to see how Miguel handles the smaller stuff. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d argue that I hope this series focuses less on the fire and the blood and more on the talking and the political machinations. While I of course can’t wait to see the climactic heights of the Targaryen civil war, and the FX that will surely come with it, I long for the smaller, talkier scenes. I can’t wait to see what Miguel does with the lower key stuff now that he’ll (presumably) have the opportunity to do so.
“[Co-showrunner Ryan Condal] tells me that he discovered the series just after A STORM OF SWORDS was published, and ‘I’ve loved the books for 19 years.’ (He is also a huge fan of my Dunk & Egg stories. In fact, that was the show he wanted to do initially, but I’m not prepared to bring Dunk & Egg to television until I’ve written quite a few more stories).” Wow. So it looks like Ser Duncan and his loyal squire won’t be appearing on our TV screens anytime soon. George has often talked about how he has plans to write more about Dunk and Egg’s adventures, so I wonder if he’s now formulating them with a potential series in mind.
George goes on to mention that the writer’s room, budget, and locations are yet to be assembled, but he presumes production will revisit at least some of the many locations GOT frequented. He even suggests that he may get to write some episodes, but before you article in a fiery rage to go send him some hate mail, please read his cautionary reminder:
“…let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered WINDS OF WINTER. Winter is still coming, and WINDS remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episodes of HOUSE.”
Lastly, and most importantly, he weighs in on what happened with Bloodmoon, or as he (and much of the Internet) had been calling it, The Long Night:
It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series. Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her. I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. This was never an either/or situation. If television has room enough for multiple CSIs and CHICAGO shows… well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows. Heartbreaking as it is to work for years on a pilot, to pour your blood and sweat and tears into it, and have it come to nought, it’s not at all uncommon. I’ve been there myself, more than once. I know Jane and her team are feeling the disappointment just now, and they have all my sympathy… with my thanks for all their hard work, and my good wishes for whatever they do next.
He does have a bit more to say about it, so I’d really recommend checking out his full post. I’m curious why he believes that it had nothing to do with HOTD, but I think he just feels as upset about it as we do, and his sorrow is palpable. And now, like you all, I very much hope the next writing of George’s that I read is not in blog post form…