Westeros

Cogman Developing 5th Prequel Series

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HBO has just announced that long-time series writer and producer Bryan Cogman is the fifth writer behind on the successors. EW’s James Hibberd has what details there are to be had, but understandably HBO are tight-lipped about just what ideas are being developed. A couple of months ago, Linda and I recorded videos discussing some of the areas of Martin’s world and its history that might be of interest.

Of all the writers involved in developing these successor shows, Cogman is unique in being the only one to have worked on the series, and has done so from the start—even back to the original pilot, when he was assistant to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

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I hope his isn't the one that gets picked up. Despite him being one of the better writers involved with the show, I think the recent seasons have proven that without GRRM's material to copy from he's just as mediocre a writer as D&D. And even with book material, he managed to ruin the Broken Man monologue.

 

I would much prefer someone fresh doing one of these shows, with no previous attachments to GoT. It'd be nice if it was someone talented, too, like Jane Goldman. Hopefully GRRM is involved with whichever show is greennlit, to avoid what happened to the latter seasons of Thrones.

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8 hours ago, Elayis said:

I hope his isn't the one that gets picked up. Despite him being one of the better writers involved with the show, I think the recent seasons have proven that without GRRM's material to copy from he's just as mediocre a writer as D&D. And even with book material, he managed to ruin the Broken Man monologue.

 

I would much prefer someone fresh doing one of these shows, with no previous attachments to GoT. It'd be nice if it was someone talented, too, like Jane Goldman. Hopefully GRRM is involved with whichever show is greennlit, to avoid what happened to the latter seasons of Thrones.

You do know it's very different taking your own vision and making a story out it from the bottom up, than it is to take someone else's vision and adapt it for television, then asked to finish the story when it's done, right?

Like nobody signed up for this. 

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1 hour ago, lancerman said:

You do know it's very different taking your own vision and making a story out it from the bottom up, than it is to take someone else's vision and adapt it for television, then asked to finish the story when it's done, right?

Like nobody signed up for this. 

They could've left anytime, or at the very least expanded the writer's room to lessen the pressure and increase the talent base. What happened to Jane Espenson and Vanessa Taylor (anyone know why they left)?

The show also could've taken a break to regroup after writing season 4 when they knew they'd either be heavily reworking book material or just making stuff up whole cloth. Other prestige TV shows had similar breaks in the past, so working out the actors' contracts and availability should not have been an issue. And at that point the child actors were all in their late teens so a delay of a year wouldn't be noticeable in their appearance.

Their first mistake was attempting to adapt two books into one season, on the same schedule they always kept. Obviously it would take more time to craft a condensed but still coherent narrative than it would to simply translate a book per season (or one into two, as with aSoS). But it seems D&D either underestimated how difficult it would be or overestimated their ability to meet that schedule, and season 5 was the result. They doubled down on all of the mistakes and mis-adaptions. They didn't even have the excuse that they didn't have the books, since it was supposed to be an adaption of aFfC and aDwD. At that point it seemed to me they'd taken ownership of the show; it was no longer GRRM's but theirs, and they did with it what they wanted. Even when they hit the same plot points, the journey and meaning of those events was completely changed.

Having said all of this, when season 5 aired I hadn't read any of the books, and by the end of season 7 I'd only finished aGoT. So most of my complaints stem from the TV show itself being poorly crafted, not that it was a bad adaption of the books. Even in the early seasons which I enjoyed at the time (due to the show being my only exposure to aSoIaF, as I hadn't read the books), going back I can certainly see how flawed it was. It was never equal to classics like The Wire or Breaking Bad. But when they ran out of material in season 6 it was clearly a very different show, no better than the average Marvel blockbuster.

So either D&D were the wrong people to adapt the books from the start, or when the time came that they were out of books they should've hired better writers or left the show.

And wouldn't a prequel from Cogman just be more of the same? It's still an existing universe created by someone else, and anything that he did would have to conform to what has previously been established. Whatever show is eventually greenlit will be based on characters and events created by GRRM, probably something that features in the World book. So whatever limitations and expectations were present with GoT would still apply to this new series. I'm just surprised Cogman would still be interested in aSoIaF after nine or so years working on it already. Working on a TV show is much different than just writing a book, so I had assumed that like D&D he'd want to move on to something else. Maybe HBO offered him a big enough paycheck to stick around.

Edited by Elayis

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1 hour ago, Elayis said:

They could've left anytime, or at the very least expanded the writer's room to lessen the pressure and increase the talent base. What happened to Jane Espenson and Vanessa Taylor (anyone know why they left)?

The show also could've taken a break to regroup after writing season 4 when they knew they'd either be heavily reworking book material or just making stuff up whole cloth. Other prestige TV shows had similar breaks in the past, so working out the actors' contracts and availability should not have been an issue. And at that point the child actors were all in their late teens so a delay of a year wouldn't be noticeable in their appearance.

Their first mistake was attempting to adapt two books into one season, on the same schedule they always kept. Obviously it would take more time to craft a condensed but still coherent narrative than it would to simply translate a book per season (or one into two, as with aSoS). But it seems D&D either underestimated how difficult it would be or overestimated their ability to meet that schedule, and season 5 was the result. They doubled down on all of the mistakes and mis-adaptions. They didn't even have the excuse that they didn't have the books, since it was supposed to be an adaption of aFfC and aDwD. At that point it seemed to me they'd taken ownership of the show; it was no longer GRRM's but theirs, and they did with it what they wanted. Even when they hit the same plot points, the journey and meaning of those events was completely changed.

Having said all of this, when season 5 aired I hadn't read any of the books, and by the end of season 7 I'd only finished aGoT. So most of my complaints stem from the TV show itself being poorly crafted, not that it was a bad adaption of the books. Even in the early seasons which I enjoyed at the time (due to the show being my only exposure to aSoIaF, as I hadn't read the books), going back I can certainly see how flawed it was. It was never equal to classics like The Wire or Breaking Bad. But when they ran out of material in season 6 it was clearly a very different show, no better than the average Marvel blockbuster.

So either D&D were the wrong people to adapt the books from the start, or when the time came that they were out of books they should've hired better writers or left the show.

And wouldn't a prequel from Cogman just be more of the same? It's still an existing universe created by someone else, and anything that he did would have to conform to what has previously been established. Whatever show is eventually greenlit will be based on characters and events created by GRRM, probably something that features in the World book. So whatever limitations and expectations were present with GoT would still apply to this new series. I'm just surprised Cogman would still be interested in aSoIaF after nine or so years working on it already. Working on a TV show is much different than just writing a book, so I had assumed that like D&D he'd want to move on to something else. Maybe HBO offered him a big enough paycheck to stick around.

Several things, but first and foremost a prequel from Cogman would have the benefit of being a rough outline of a sequence of events. Game of Thrones started on a very specific narrative path predetermined by the books. Small deviations had major consequences later down the line. The less clarity they had the more general the plot became and it showed in that the story became more about playing to set pieces as opposed to plot moments. He would have more creative freedom to carve out a storyline the way he wanted and fill in gaps as opposed to figure out what the next instructions in the manual would be. 

Also Game of Thrones is a massive show even compared to some pretty big shows on television. It's too much to ask that many actors and key figures to wait around while they figure out how to proceed. A lot of fans don't appreciate how many moving pieces go into this. This isn't the Sopranos or Breaking Bad where you are filming in the same location and have a core group of actors generate most of the significant screen time and everyone else can be flown out for a single day of shooting. If nothing else, it's the most ambitious show that's ever been shot and by a significantly greater scale than probably any show ever created. It's not like the Wire where you could wait and get the same several actors to shoot scenes in Baltimore and fly people in out when you needed them. 

I hate to keep harping on this but I don't think anybody would have done much better aside from GRRM who at least could apply his dialogue and a clearer idea of his vision to it, but even that's debateable. One of the last episodes he wrote was one of the worst in the series up to that point. The show started having quality issues in season 5, and they adapted the two books which is where quality issues also arose. The author himself wanted those two books to be one book. Again it's harder to split those books into two seasons. It would not have worked to split the cast up regionally like the books did for season 5 and season 6. And quite frankly, the plot just doesn't advance enough for each character to draw two seasons out of it. They could do it with ASOS because that book goes at a lightning fast pace and so much is accomplished from the start of the book to the end of it. That's not true of AFFC and ADWD. Name a POV character, less probably happens to them in those two books combined than ASOS. And I don't think I'm being controversial saying that the latter two books are largely considered to be of inferior quality to the former three. So it's not merely a D&D issue, it's a GRRM one too. He struggled there, he had two books that struggled to push the plot along that took him forever to figure out, and were largely less well received than the rest of the series. It's not really a surprise that the adaption of it had many of the same issues. Nobody had much of an issue with the first 4 seasons. So when the quality and story was there D&D were fine. So it's hard for me to put it entirely on them. I don't think anybody realized in 2011 when the first season was being finished that 4 years would pass and nothing would be added to the plot and they'd have to schedule a meeting so GRRM could tell them what they had left. 

I'd love to see Peter Jackson adapt Lord of the Rings with the caveat that he could do the Fellowship and Towers, but then for the finale he has to act like he never read Return of the King and just go off a cliffnotes summary of the ending. And that story as big as it is, is more linear.

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On 9/20/2017 at 1:52 PM, Elayis said:

I would much prefer someone fresh doing one of these shows, with no previous attachments to GoT. It'd be nice if it was someone talented, too, like Jane Goldman. 

Forget Jane Goldman. Kingsman 2 is a shitshow. Not entirely her fault, since the script was written with Matthew Vaughn, but still.

I feel like Cogman, having worked on GOT, would enjoy a serious advantage over the other competitors. Not fair to the other four, but then, that's life I guess.

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9 hours ago, Newstar said:

Forget Jane Goldman. Kingsman 2 is a shitshow. Not entirely her fault, since the script was written with Matthew Vaughn, but still.

I feel like Cogman, having worked on GOT, would enjoy a serious advantage over the other competitors. Not fair to the other four, but then, that's life I guess.

Cogman and Martin working to develop the Dance sounds pretty awesome to me

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8 hours ago, jcmontea said:

Cogman and Martin working to develop the Dance sounds pretty awesome to me

Cogman is the only one of the bunch with GOT nerd bona fides: GRRM when first mentioning the fifth writer compared his knowledge of the series to Elio and Linda's. So if you think the biggest problem with GOT was that D&D didn't have sufficient appreciation and understanding of the source material and weren't true ASOIAF fans, Cogman would definitely be the best bet.

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14 hours ago, Newstar said:

Cogman is the only one of the bunch with GOT nerd bona fides: GRRM when first mentioning the fifth writer compared his knowledge of the series to Elio and Linda's. So if you think the biggest problem with GOT was that D&D didn't have sufficient appreciation and understanding of the source material and weren't true ASOIAF fans, Cogman would definitely be the best bet.

Yea. I didn’t really have that problem but always been a big fan of B Cogman and excited what George and him can do together. 

Only thing that concerns me with the Dance is how tragic the whole thing is. Not sure there is a redeemable character in the bunch. That show would truly be the Sopranos meets Middle Earth. 

Edited by jcmontea

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It's quite obvious that season 5/6/7/8 are going to be/have been a shit show.  The writers backed themselves into corners with location problems and script dead ends, dorne and the original script for the BOB being the big ones here.  They front loaded the start of season 7 with marginal pacing and then threw it all out the window to get the set pieces they wanted in non sensical movement and forced drama.

No one other than a casual watcher can be happy with season 7.  Even GRRM has gone silent.  Up til season 5 I was willing to give it the benefit of the sour by it's actually just sub par storytelling now.  Cogman will need to work hard too pander to the EPs and the 'traditional' casual GOT viewer and honestly it all concerns me it will be more of the same.  

Winds need to drop soon, it's getting ridiculous.

Edited by The Dragon has three heads

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On 9/23/2017 at 10:03 PM, jcmontea said:

Yea. I didn’t really have that problem but always been a big fan of B Cogman and excited what George and him can do together. 

For my money, if I had to choose between a fanboy who was a decent writer and a non-fan who was an excellent writer (assuming those were the only choices), I'd pick the latter, but not everyone would make the same call.

 

Quote

 

Only thing that concerns me with the Dance is how tragic the whole thing is. Not sure there is a redeemable character in the bunch. That show would truly be the Sopranos meets Middle Earth. 

 

Morally ambiguous or downright evil characters can still be compelling with great writing, but honestly, the DOTD characters just seemed like a bunch of selfish assholes. That they mostly died horribly seemed to be about what they deserved, and I couldn't get worked up over the bad things that happened to the few good characters in the bunch. 

I'm sure there's a sufficiently talented writer out there who can make the DOTD characters' stories compelling and sympathetic, but is Cogman that guy? I'm not convinced.

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3 hours ago, Newstar said:

For my money, if I had to choose between a fanboy who was a decent writer and a non-fan who was an excellent writer (assuming those were the only choices), I'd pick the latter, but not everyone would make the same call.

i agree with that. 

3 hours ago, Newstar said:

Morally ambiguous or downright evil characters can still be compelling with great writing, but honestly, the DOTD characters just seemed like a bunch of selfish assholes. That they mostly died horribly seemed to be about what they deserved, and I couldn't get worked up over the bad things that happened to the few good characters in the bunch. 

totally. the Sopranos is the perfect example of evil characters being compelling. 

the DOTD characters are the worst. Will require great writing to make them compelling and also really need great actors. You get the casting for Rhaenyera wrong and the show simply does not work.  

3 hours ago, Newstar said:

I'm sure there's a sufficiently talented writer out there who can make the DOTD characters' stories compelling and sympathetic, but is Cogman that guy? I'm not convinced.

 

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That actually makes it more interesting, I feel. Game of Thrones has been praised for its ambiguity but even then there's always a kind of clear and cut good guy. The Starks, Jon Snow, etc. Having a story with two shades of varying evil/awful sounds great.

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I think people are overstating the situation regarding characters. 

There are a number of characters who are depicted as pretty good and decent people -- Addam and Alyn of Hull, Aemon's daughters, Daeron the Daring, Rhaenyra's sons and so on -- while there are quite a few others who are at least fairly mixed, such as Corlys Velaryon who never really does anything evil, he just picks a side, or some of the figures around Aegon II who are also fairly complicated and aren't acting solely for their own advancement. 

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5 hours ago, Ran said:

I think people are overstating the situation regarding characters. 

There are a number of characters who are depicted as pretty good and decent people -- Addam and Alyn of Hull, Aemon's daughters, Daeron the Daring, Rhaenyra's sons and so on -- while there are quite a few others who are at least fairly mixed, such as Corlys Velaryon who never really does anything evil, he just picks a side, or some of the figures around Aegon II who are also fairly complicated and aren't acting solely for their own advancement. 

Your totally right. There are redeeming characters. 

I guess my reaction was driven more by the principal figures feeling so horrible/ tragic - Rhaenerya who really goes off the deep end by the time she gets to KL, Dameon, Aegon II, Aemond, Alicent, Cole were the main ones I was thinking about.

And perhaps the tragic nature of the whole thing left me emotionally liking the characters much less wheras if I were to look at them purely intellectually I could identify several redeeming qualities. 

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Can someone summarize WHAT prequels are in the works? Like what story lines? Will we be focusing in Essos or?

I like Cogman. I never realized I liked his episodes better until re watching. I also like that he uses twitter and keeps us somewhat informed. I believe he was the one that said he DID try to get a scene with Ghost for season 7 it just didn't fly

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17 minutes ago, Lady Noble said:

Can someone summarize WHAT prequels are in the works? Like what story lines? Will we be focusing in Essos or?

I like Cogman. I never realized I liked his episodes better until re watching. I also like that he uses twitter and keeps us somewhat informed. I believe he was the one that said he DID try to get a scene with Ghost for season 7 it just didn't fly

I don't think they've specified any, have they? they just said Robert's Rebellion is not one of them

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Cogman quit Twitter recently. That said, yes, he's a good egg.

We do not know what the ideas are except vaguely: all are set in the past, none feature characters present in GoT, no Dunk & Egg, no Robert's Rebellion, at least one not even primarily set on Westeros, at least onexapparently in a time when the dragons still lived (Jane Goldman's remarks suggest it for her), at least one set in an era that's "very exciting" (per GRRM) and is an "adaptation", narrowing down Cogman's potential subject matter quite a lot. 

Edited by Ran

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12 hours ago, Ran said:

Cogman quit Twitter recently. That said, yes, he's a good egg.

We do not know what the ideas are except vaguely: all are set in the past, none feature characters present in GoT, no Dunk & Egg, no Robert's Rebellion, at least one not even primarily set on Westeros, at least onexapparently in a time when the dragons still lived (Jane Goldman's remarks suggest it for her), at least one set in an era that's "very exciting" (per GRRM) and is an "adaptation", narrowing down Cogman's potential subject matter quite a lot. 

Yeah it basically leaves the RP-which gives a morally ambivilant somewhat 'cool' guy as the lead and his lover come later wife as the queen in the dance.  It has potential.  I thought of all the possible movie scripts that the RP into TPAQ had the most potential.

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10 hours ago, The Dragon has three heads said:

Yeah it basically leaves the RP-which gives a morally ambivilant somewhat 'cool' guy as the lead and his lover come later wife as the queen in the dance.  It has potential.  I thought of all the possible movie scripts that the RP into TPAQ had the most potential.

That's what I wanted to hear, lol. I did not enjoy Dunk and Egg at ALL. I do not want to see that story on screen. I'm really hoping the spin-off will take place in old Valyria. I want to see the dragons, mages, volcanoes, etc. I don't want to see Mireen, Yun kai, etc.

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