‘Dance of the Dragons’ Civil War Game of Thrones Prequel in Development at HBO!

King's Landing Battle 805 Season 8 The Bells Drogon Daenerys Targaryen Decision

For over a year now we have been reporting on Jane Goldman’s so-called “Blood Moon,” the only green-lit Game of Thrones spin-off pilot among what were once five projects competing against each other to actually go into production. One of those was particularly enticing to many fans—a prequel set more than a century and a half before the events in Game of Thrones, during the Targaryen civil war known as the “Dance of the Dragons.” What made it even more exciting was that it was being developed by fan-favorite Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman. Alas, HBO and Cogman parted ways and he’s off to Amazon now, so that’s not happening… except maybe it is?!

Cogman may not be involved anymore, but the idea isn’t dead in the halls of HBO!

Deadline had the scoop: reportedly, a pilot order is close to be given by HBO for this prequel project developed by author George R.R. Martin himself and by Colony co-creator Ryan Condal, who will presumably be the showrunner if the show is green-lit.

Unsurprisingly given the time period, the project is said to be heavily based on Martin’s “Fire & Blood”, his recently released volume all about Targaryen history. Since Martin has obviously been thinking about Targaryens a lot, perhaps it’s not a coincidence that Condal and Martin have apparently been working on this project in secret since fall 2018!

Martin Fire & Blood

Despite the similar premise to Cogman’s proposal, this is described as a “brand new take” on the material. Speaking of said material, “Fire & Blood” spans hundreds of years, from Aegon’s Conquest 300 years before the beginning of Game of Thrones to more than a century later with the Dance of the Dragons, the civil war that is often pinpointed as the beginning of the end of the Targaryen dynasty. So, unless the show takes an uncharacteristically anthological approach, it would be fixed on one time period. Indeed, according to Deadline “the war will be a significant part of the TV adaptation.” At the same time, Deadline claims the show would begin “300 years” before the original show, so perhaps the story will tackle numerous time periods. We’ll have to wait and see!

So there you have it! If you were worried about the more distant, legendary Long Night setting for “Blood Moon”, or you simply prefer dragons to White Walkers, this may be the show for you—if Deadline is correct and HBO is close to ordering a pilot for it, that is. We’ll keep you informed of any developments!

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    1. I read the deadline headline and came straight to check in on my nerds.

      NERDS?! IS EVERYONE OK?! ARE WE ALL BREATHING? I’M NOT!!! SOMEONE CHECK ON DEE!!! DEE SPEAK IN CAPS TO ME!!!!!

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    2. World created by GRRM is so rich that I can imagine several TV shows being made without feeling it’s too much.

      And 10 years from now “West of Westeros” ofc.

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    3. Awesome. Now bring back Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss please. Wouldn’t even mind seeing Emilia and/or Harry Lloyd recast as other Targs.

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    4. I hope Bryan Cogman is still involved. I’m not sure about the Colony show runner Ryan Condal. I seem to remember I may have watched a couple episodes and lost interest or maybe the premise was just too much like Falling Skies and I had a bad taste in my mouth from watching too many seasons of Falling Skies before I couldn’t take it anymore… That’s one of the amazing things about GOT. I never wanted to stop watching even if I had some disagreements with some decisions. It was never to the point that I just couldn’t stand to turn it on anymore like many many many other series….Maybe I’ll go back and watch a couple Colony episodes and have a better feeling…

      I’m hoping Blood Moon has more to do with TCOTF than life in Rome. I got the idea from some of the filming shots that the setting might be similar to Roman times. I am just really interested in the culture and world of the Children and whoever else might have been around back then. I’m hoping they have more magic and fantasy elements. Maybe a few ice spiders may show up at some point.

      I

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    5. Please let this happen (too)!! The Dance and LN were/are my two most desired adaptations from the history! I’d love for the ‘big periods’ to get covered well first and then maybe we can get some smaller focus stories to fill in. Keep the ball rolling!!

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    6. >Dance of the Dragons prequel
      >”brand new take”

      I’m choosing to interpret this as alt-timeline stuff with the Blacks winning and my giddiness is something to behold.

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    7. Tron79,

      Unfortunately, Cogman is out for now. He signed a development deal with Amazon.

      My read of it is that it will cover about 100 years, from Aegon’s conquest to the Dance of Dragons. I could see them doing a different time period each season. There is so much fascinating history that could be covered.

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    8. The Targaryen prequel might work better as a 8-10 part miniseries rather than a full fledged multi-season show. Unless they expand on the book to include the story of the founding and rise of Valyria as well as it’s eventual Doom…

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    9. “Condal and Martin have apparently been working on this project in secret since fall 2018!”
      But he did not finish Winds of Winter… This is laughable, really.
      The Dance Of Dragons would be great for a series of 2 seasons, 10 Episodes each. This would be ideal.
      The one I want to see is Valyria. The greatest civilization the world has ever seen.

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    10. mau:
      World created by GRRM is so rich that I can imagine several TV shows being made without feeling it’s too much.

      And 10 years from now “West of Westeros” ofc.

      “Ask me again in ten years”. It would be great if all the surviving cast returned, not only Arya. I would be curious to know how they are living. Maybe they could arrange for having Jaime, Cersei and Daenerys still on the show. What if the problems start because there are rumors Daenerys is still alive?

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    11. mau:
      cos alpha,

      Maybe not 10 years, but several years for sure. I want feeling people in SW fandom have now with Kenobi’s show. And it takes time for that level of hype.

      The hype level is already at critical mass. The built-in audience has been there since GoT season 4 at the latest. Everyone is ready.

      https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/494/628/0df.jpg

      It’s a cash cow just waiting to be milked. Once the inimitable Ms. Williams is ready to revisit Arya and deposit her $25 million check, we’ll be good to go.

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    12. This should definitely be a mini-series or a very short series, but with a huge budget. Focus on quality not quantity.

      The amount of complex dragon CGI in this will be through the roof (assuming it gets greenlit).

      They’re going to need a LOT of money. So they better make it short and sweet. Tell the story and end it. Don’t milk it.

      I think 20-30 episodes maximum is probably a good idea.

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    13. Ten Bears,

      I highly doubt there will be any shows set after Game of Thrones’ ending.

      Both HBO and GRRM pretty much said there wouldn’t be (which makes total sense)

      I really hope there aren’t, anyway. I honestly can’t see it working. What would it even be about ?

      Are they just going to invent random lands west of Westeros for Arya to have random adventures in ?

      Maybe that could be a mini-series, but I can’t see it being a multi-season thing.

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    14. Nick20: Are they just going to invent random lands west of Westeros for Arya to have random adventures in ?

      I’d watch the hell outta that!! 😀 They could actually begin the series with Arya having learned the languages and things they skipped/skimmed on GoT, and more. They wouldn’t even need to go into much detail on where and how. She’d just be older, more traveled and more experienced.

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    15. People keep talking about “what’s going to be the next Game of Thrones?” This is the first show I’ve heard about that may be a serious contender.

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    16. Clob: I’d watch the hell outta that!!😀They could actually begin the series with Arya having learned the languages and things they skipped/skimmed on GoT, and more.They wouldn’t even need to go into much detail on where and how.She’d just be older, more traveled and more experienced.

      Can I pull up a chair next to you?
      I’d watch the hell out of that too.

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    17. Nick20: Are they just going to invent random lands west of Westeros for Arya to have random adventures in ?

      She’ll discover Middle Earth

      Wait, couldn’t Bran just tell her what’s West of Westeros?…eh nevermind. I guess he doesn’t want to spoil it for her 🙂

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    18. cos alpha:
      mau,

      Oh, please! Not 10 years from now! 10 months!

      Well, here’s what Maisie Williams said about the prospect of an Arya sequel.
      [Excerpt from Tingslondon.com July, 2019 – interview of Maisie Williams]

      ***
      She adds, “They [Benioff and Weiss] brought me into this world and it would be strange to do something without them. But I do think playing Arya again would be wonderful. I miss her a lot. I think the show needs to stew for a little bit, but maybe a ways down the road…?”

      For now, Williams is enjoying her downtime away from the set and she is reluctant to commit to another small screen role.
      “Now that I’ve been given some time off, it’s not like I’m never going to act again, but I’m just trying to figure out some other things that I enjoy,” she shares. “I don’t want to sign another 10-year contract for a while. A lot of TV is incredible right now but those shooting schedules are just wild.”

      She continues: “At the moment, I’m just reading a lot and figuring out what’s out there.

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    19. Mr Derp: She’ll discover Middle Earth

      Wait, couldn’t Bran just tell her what’s West of Westeros?…eh nevermind. I guess he doesn’t want to spoil it for her 🙂

      Bran the Useless?
      He’d probably forget to calibrate his GPS transponder and wind up perving on some unsuspecting couple during an intimate moment.

      I mean, so many injustices and deaths in S7 + S8 could’ve been avoided if Bran had simply used his time travel sightseeing and real-time global surveillance powers. Instead… he just sat around, rolled his eyes back, repeated other character’s catchphrases, and spouted variations of “everything happens for a reason.”

      He was not very good at obtaining or conveying critical information.

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    20. Ten Bears: Bran the Useless?

      Bran the Broken? Bran the Perv? Bran the Debaucherer? I fully support a contest to give Bran his proper name as king. That would be a fun activity.

      Ten Bears: He’d probably forget to calibrate his GPS transponder and wind up perving on some unsuspecting couple during an intimate moment.

      I have no doubt Bran would “forget” rather frequently. Hell, if he peeked in on his sister’s wedding night, I think it’s safe to say that nothing would be off limits.

      Ten Bears: He was not very good at obtaining or conveying critical information.

      He probably had all the information, but just kept it to himself to see how everything would play out. I would hate to play Bran in poker. His poker face would give Lady Gaga a run for her money.

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    21. I wonder if it is because Bryan cogman needed to help a lot. Even 8×02 is rewritten by D&D and they added scenes. I think bc is not up for big projects.

      Jack Bauer 24,

      They won’t. They said they wouldn’t work on any prequel show.

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    22. Kevin1989,

      That’s what I think too. But still episode 2 was for me one of the best episodes ever. I think the combination of Bryan Cogman and D&D are the best. Let someone like GRRM or Bryan Cogman write it, and let D&D rewrite it to film.
      D&D did a very good job with adapting what GRRM wrote. And they did a good job with adapting what Bryan Cogman wrote. I think adapting is their strength, not writing. And for Bryan Cogman, writing is his strenght and let others adapt what he wrote so it would be filmable.

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    23. What would be cool is when Arya goes west of Westeros is that she arrives on some land and adventures into a cave and gets lost and somehow. …. She goes through a portal and goes back in time to the prequal era they are shooting. She shows up and meets Bran the Builder, and has a relationship with him and those two start the Stark line . Arya tells the stories of whats to come in the future with the night King and all. This is where the stories and drawings in the books come from along with the prophecies. She helps with the long night and has Bran build the wall and Winterfell. Arya could also be the one who starts the faceless men. Think about all the cool stuff from the books in the past that they could work in Arya’s story. HBO could have her film a scene in secret and show up in a finally of the first season and just think how everyone of us viewers would be shocked, it would be the talk until the next season started.

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    24. Chilli,

      Well then, how about “West of Westeros” brought to you by Executive Producer and lead writer Bryan Cogman, directed by Michelle McLaren, and starring Dame Maisie Williams.
      Release Date: Not today.

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    25. Mr Derp,

      ”Bran the Broken? Bran the Perv? Bran the Debaucherer? I fully support a contest to give Bran his proper name as king. That would be a fun activity.”

      I’m in! That would be a fun exercise. (If I knew how to set up one of those “Poll Daddy” things I’d take a shot at it after we came up with some proper names for RoboKing Brandon.)

      With a preference for alliteration, all I can think of off the top of my head is…Bran the Bubblehead.

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    26. Mr Derp:

      ***
      I have no doubt Bran would “forget” rather frequently.Hell, if he peeked in on his sister’s wedding night, I think it’s safe to say that nothing would be off limits.
      ***
      He probably had all the information, but just kept it to himself to see how everything would play out.I would hate to play Bran in poker.His poker face would give Lady Gaga a run for her money.

      1. Well that explains why, after all the buildup and all the sacrifices made to keep Bran alive, he was so useless when it came to gathering intel to defeat the White Walkers: He was checking out Arya & Gendry instead of looking into the past or around the globe to find some clues.

      2. Poker face is right. But he probably just waits with a blank look until an opportunity arises to throw catchphrases back at people; spook them out; and then go back to spacing out.

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    27. Nick20:
      This should definitely be a mini-series or a very short series, but with a huge budget. Focus on quality not quantity.

      The amount of complex dragon CGI in this will be through the roof (assuming it gets greenlit).

      ***

      Oh dear lord, please no. I reached my DSP midway through S7 of GoT.

      (DSP = Dragon Saturation Point)

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    28. Jucor: “Ask me again in ten years”. It would be great if all the surviving cast returned, not only Arya. I would be curious to know how they are living. Maybe they could arrange for having Jaime, Cersei and Daenerys still on the show. What if the problems start because there are rumors Daenerys is still alive?

      I don’t know. I’d rather Jaime, Cersei and Dany stay dead.
      If anyone should return to the living, it should be the guy who was a big f*cker and hard to kill. Someone’s gotta watch over Arya and keep her out of trouble. A prayer to the Lord of Light and a few minutes of CPR by a Red Priestess to get his heart beating, followed by a little pep talk…

      RP: “She is the Princess That Was Promised, born again to bring the dawn”
      SC: “The wolf girl?”
      RP: “But she is more fragile than she seems. She needs your help. And your love.”
      SC: “You dumb c*nt. You stole that from The Fifth Element.”

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    29. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

      IM DIYIIIIIING AAAAAAAHHHHHHH

      DUDE! This is the BEST THING EVER!!!

      I LOVE THE DANCE OF THE DRAGONS! Alicent Hightower is one of the most interesting characters in the entire history of Westeros! 😍😍😭😭

      Well finally get house Hightower!!!

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    30. Jack Bauer 24:
      Awesome. Now bring back Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss please…

      Call me a cynic. It’s hard to catch lightning in a bottle twice. GoT was a rare phenomenon. The GoT prequels could be excellent, but still not catch fire with the public. That they don’t have a direct connection with any of the GoT characters can’t help when it comes to attracting casual viewers.

      As for Benioff and Weiss: Though I do not wish them anything but good fortune in their future endeavors, their Star Wars films could bomb.
      More likely, their rumored five-year, $200 million deal with Netflix will go poof! when Netflix goes belly up. (I honestly cannot understand how Netflix can agree to so many 9-figure deals with Ryan Murphy, Benioff & Weiss, and other big-name showrunners and still expect to turn a profit someday.)

      That cloud could have a silver lining if the timing is right. If their careers have stalled for one reason or another, e.g., a Netflix bankruptcy, presumably they’ll be looking for a project financially enticing to investors.

      And that’s where the Continuing Adventures of ASNAWP comes in. Maisie Williams said (in the interview I excepted above) about Benioff and Weiss:

      “They brought me into this world and it would be strange to do something without them.
      But I do think playing Arya again would be wonderful. I miss her a lot. I think the show needs to stew for a little bit, but maybe a ways down the road…?”

      It HAS to happen, somewhere down the road.

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    31. Young Dragon:
      Clob,

      I second TB. A show focused entirely on Arya would be a dream come true.

      You know, this isn’t the first time there’s been hype for Maisie Williams to reprise a role in a spinoff.

      As soon as her final scene in her 4-episode arc in Dr. Who aired in December, 2015, with the characters talk about “wiggle room”, the fandom was clamoring for a Clara + Ashildr spin-off.

      Here’s the scene from Dr. Who, “Hell Bent” Season 9 finale (aired Dec. 5, 2015), with Maisie Williams and Jenna Coleman.

      at 0:40 – 1:06

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    32. Okay, I usually hate milking the brand.

      But here, we have a very different thing. The world is so huge and offers so much. TV series allows to show thw audience that richness. I love the idea of different takes with different TV series and different stories. I love the idea of involving fresh minds. I also love the odea that Martin may learn on the mistake to sell the project that is not finished.

      Not only is that a gold mine, but it’s also a huge potential for a great series. I’m so happy 🙂

      No news in a couple of weeks, and thwn comes a bomb. I love it. Thanks.

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    33. Jack Bauer 24,

      Good God. Nope.

      I mean, man. There are so many talents in the world. Directors, actors, composers. Lots of them who do not get the chance to prove their abilities.

      It would be good for you to get out of such artistic comfort zone.

      Witcher series are coming. All I hear from my friends is that it would be great if: Ramin Djawadi wrote the music in collab with a polish band Percival (the one who made a music for the game). Yeah, they sre both amazing, but still… why in the world would you return to the same performances. They are already displeased with Sonya Belousova, even though they hsd not a glimps on her work. That’s truly ridiculous and frustrating.

      From what I see, you unconditionally adore D&D. But I personally think it would be educative and healthy for your artistic development if you looked beyond the limits you brought on yourself 🙂

      I also think that D&D made a lot of mistakes, at least in the last 3 seasons, so that it’s another argument to give that job to someone else. In this business, there is no room for mistakes, and they made lots of them…

      Best wishes,
      Sandor 😉

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    34. Jack Bauer 24,

      I actually wouldn’t mind it at all.

      Dan and David have proved over and over that they are extraordinarily good at adapting others work on TV, as we can see in seasons 1-4 of GOT.

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    35. I’m starting to get concerned about the Jane Goldman prequel. Wonder why it’s taking HBO so long to make the announcement, or maybe they already know and are waiting for the right time? Would suck if they didn’t move forward with it. I wonder if it’s a situation like the original show where parts of the pilot need to be recast / reshot, but they’re going to move forward with it.

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    36. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      Too soon to fret, isn’t it LDB?
      You know, it may very well be possible that after the divisive conclusion to GoT, the prequel producers and HBO thought it prudent to stay out of the news for a while.

      The last I heard, they’d finished shooting or were nearly finished. I’ve got to figure post-production will take a while.

      Sure, I’d like some detailed filming news. (Especially because I adore Naomi Watts.) Maybe they’re being tight-lipped and making extra efforts to avoid the kind of leaks and spoilers that p*ssed off so many GoT fans.

      I really liked Jane Goldman’s “Kick-Ass.” I trust that HBO’s suits have faith in her too and they’ll move forward with the prequel. And while I agree “it would suck if they didn’t move forward with it,” the upside would be that we’d be one step closer to getting the spin-off I really want…

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    37. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      ”I wonder if it’s a situation like the original show where parts of the pilot need to be recast / reshot.”

      Oh dear, I hope not. Isn’t there a new corporate structure at HBO? I’d worry that if the pilot isn’t presentable without reshoots, the bean counters will just deep six the whole thing – or delay it indefinitely.

      That’s what’s happened to Maisie Williams’s “X-Men: New Mutants.” Its release date kept getting pushed back; they were supposed to do re-shoots; and I think some new corporate entity took over the project and has put it in limbo. The last I heard, Maisie Williams wasn’t sure if it will ever get finished and released.

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    38. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      They are still busy with the CGI etc for the pilot that they shot. If I remember right at the end of this month it should be finished and being shown to HBO. In which they probably think about it for 1 or 2 weeks before green-lighting it.

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    39. Sandor,

      There are pros and cons to bringing in someone new. It would be nice to have a show with a different style and voice, to give us a new viewing experience. At the same time, this show could be as big and complicated as GOT, and we know D&D would be able to pull it off, as they have done it before. Contrary to what you seem to believe, not everyone would be able to manage a production that expansive. As for mistakes, I didn’t notice any massive mistakes. I’ve noticed flaws, of course, but since all shows have them, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Besides, the positives of GOT far outshone any of the negatives.

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    40. Ten Bears,

      Jane Goldman also wrote X-Men: First Class, Kingsman, and some others of Matthew Vaughns. I suppose it’s only been a month and a half since they finished shooting. Hopefully Ramin is scoring the pilot.

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    41. I tend to be sceptical about spinoffs but GRRM has created such a rich and detailed and varied world with its cultures, histories, mythologies that the potential is there.

      When the news of five spinoffs in early stages of development broke, the Dance of the Dragons was my favourite idea but I thought it unlikely because of the dragon CGI costs.

      The Dance of te Dragons has court intrigue, battles, interesting characters and fates, “human heart in conflict with itself”, to quote GRRM. And it takes place in Westeros! I’m not much of a fan of Essosi history/storylines.

      The “Blood Moon” project, taking place during the Long Night period also has potential. Maesters’ history and oral legends place the Long Night at around 8000 years ago, so before the rise of Valyria – Valyria’s rise to power began approximately 5000 years ago. But maybe the histories and legends are confused and the story isn’t what we thought it was – isn’t that the tagline for the potential show? 😉

      I’m glad they’ve ruled out GOT sequels. That story ended. As much as I admire Maisie William’s work as Arya, I’m not interested in further adventures of ASNAWP. They’d be just fanfiction unless GRRM wrote them, and he seems far more interested in older history and legends.

      About GRRM’s history of the Targs in Westeros, the book Fire and Blood is just part 1, spanning from Aegon’s conquest to the end of Aegon III’s regency, 136 AC, so… Once again GRRM is playing with an unfinished project…

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    42. Jucor:
      I wouldn’t mind an anthology series about the Targaryens. I’m still hoping we will have “Robert’s Rebellion” one day.

      Absolutely! The sooner the better 👏🏻

        Quote  Reply

    43. Jucor,

      That’s what I’ve been thinking all along, that Daenarys is really still alive and survives. We see her carried off by one of her dragons but do we really know that she is truly dead?

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    44. In somewhat related news, according to The Wheel of Time tv series creator, Rafe Judkins, their first day of shooting was today: https://twitter.com/rafejudkins/status/1173631127636119555

      We still don’t have confirmation that the first GoT prequel is a go for series yet do we, or that they’ve done more than pilot filming yet? At one point I felt like TWoT would come around last out of all these new fantasy series offerings. They seem to have nearly caught up to or passed some. I don’t know how much support Amazon is going to put into it considering everything they want to do with LotR, but I’m anxious to see.

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