The Game of Thrones off season is a bit like watching an office building be erected from the ground up right outside your office cubicle: You glance out the window every day, but all you ever see are a bunch of construction workers circling a giant hole in the ground, handing each other various supplies. You go about your day, week, month, attending this meeting and that, but suddenly one day, you take a peek and they’re working on the 22nd floor; how did that happen? What I’m saying is that we’ve had such little news of late regarding House of the Dragon, other than the regular assurance of “it will air in 2022” that’s it’s become easy to forget that we’re finally due to get that long-awaited first spinoff to Game of Thrones THIS. YEAR. And finally, all that patience is starting to pay off because Westerosi creator himself, George R. R. Martin has just published one helluvan update. Let’s dive in, yeah?
Since you’re so busy, let me summarize what is going on in the world of Westeros (and beyond), in all of George’s tight-lipped glory.
On the live-action TV front:
- HOUSE OF THE DRAGON – Has finished filming in London, and is in the post-production phase. Quoth George, “So far, I am very excited. What I have seen, I have loved. I am eager to see more.”
- THE SEA SNAKE – Formerly titled Nine Voyages, it is changing names to avoid too many shows with numeric titles. Bruno Heller, former showrunner of one of the greatest shows ever made (Rome), is hard at work, but is still in the pilot-writing phase of this Corlys Velaryon-centric story.
- TEN THOUSAND SHIPS – Is keeping its numeric title, while forging ahead with its Queen Nymeria-centric plot, where she captained the Rhoynar to safety after the Second Spice War, about a thousand years prior to the events of Game of Thrones. Showrunner Amanda Segel is a couple episodes’ worth of drafts deep as of this writing.
- DUNK & EGG – Steve Conrad, the showrunner, has been meeting regularly with George because “He’s [Conrad] determined to do a faithful adaptation of the stories, which is exactly what I want; these characters and stories are very precious to me.” The first season will adapt The Hedge Knight (novella #1), with the possibility of the whole series to be titled after it as well, a la Game of Thrones. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is being kept on tap as another possibility.
On the animated TV front:
- THE GOLDEN EMPIRE – This is a working title for a show with “beautiful” art and animation, that will be set in Yi Ti. A “great young writer” is working on it, but that’s all George is currently allowed to say.
- OTHER ANIMATED SHOWS: “I don’t think I can say a word about the other animated shows. Not yet,” per George.
On the book front:
- FIRE & BLOOD VOLUME 2 – George is ~200 pages in but has a long way to go. He is tossing around the idea of simply calling it Blood and Fire but hasn’t decided yet.
- DUNK & EGG NOVELLA #4 – George wants to write more, in order to keep pace with the development of the Dunk & Egg TV show.
- COFFEE TABLE FIRE & BLOOD – This will be a condensed, and fully illustrated version of the already-written Fire & Blood, assisted by his former The World of Ice and Fire collaborators Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, and his Fevre Art director Raya Golden.
- WHO’S WHO IN WESTEROS – The working title of a book with no description, sans the aptly descriptive working title.
- Roadmarks for HBO
- Dark Winds for AMC
- Wild Cards for UCP + Peacock
- Night of the Cooters for ?
Absolutely nothing else you care about except…:
Lastly, I feel like I’m forgetting something…ah yes, the extremely detailed update (did I say extremely) on the long-awaited The Winds of Winter, in case you all (me) were wondering how that’s going:
Yes, of course I am still working on THE WINDS OF WINTER. I have stated that a hundred times in a hundred venues, having to restate it endlessly is just wearisome. I made a lot of progress on WINDS in 2020, and less in 2021… but “less” is not “none.”