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Westeros

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  1. The unexpected sight of sails from the east, sails belonging to royal galleys flying royal banners, caused a stir in King’s Landing. More than a moon before, Aegon, Prince of Dragonstone, had sailed with his household and hanger-ons to take possession of the ancient seat of House Targaryen with its walls and towers shaped by Valyrian magic. He had done so, all said, at the behest of his lord father, Viserys the Second of His Name, and all agreed that the prince was not greatly enamored of the notion. Though he did as he was bid, it was clear he had no love for Dragonstone. The prince spent little time with his lady wife, Naerys, and even less with his good-daughter, the Dornish princess Mariah, who carried her first child with Prince Daeron. Instead, his companions and courtiers took up what little entertainment they could find, whether it was debauching themselves in the inns and brothels of the port, or feasting in the sorcerous citadel. And even those pleasures, eventually, grew tiresome. One day Prince Aegon announced that he found Dragonstone too gloomy, and commanded preparations be made to set sail that next day. Before he departed, he made a sudden change, removing old Ser Ganen Bar Emmon as castellan on Dragonstone unceremoniously and replacing him with Ser Wellard Sunglass, nephew of nephew of the master of coin Beron Buckwell who many believe was being considered by the king as his Hand. The welcome at the docks of King’s Landing was without any pomp—a few gold cloaks, grooms with horses dispatched from the Red Keep, and little else—and Prince Aegon rode to Maegor’s Holdfast. The king, it must be said, was not best pleased by his son’s early return, accepting it grudgingly only after speaking privately with Princess Naerys. Little more came of it, Prince Aegon continuing with his rakish ways, much the happier in the royal city. Eventually Princess Mariah and the rest of the courtiers returned to the city as well. Visit the Site!
  2. In the months since Prince Aegon’s return from Dragonstone, he has carried on with his ways, and so has King Viserys. His efforts to improve the running of the realm has continued apace, adjusting the codes of laws, arranging for new mints, reorganizing some of the royal household, and more. But the small council, that he has not touched—so far. Rumors are always rife, that he means to make changes to better suit him and the Seven Kingdoms, yet so far he has declined to make any immediate choice. After all, this small council has largely been of his own choosing, men he has known long as Hand to three previous kings. And speaking of the Hand… when will that office be filled? There are rumors he means to name Beron Buckwell, and others that he means to name Terin Ryger, and even one (rather foolish, most agree) that he will name Lord Baratheon. It’s true the king meets often with individual members of the council, and treats privily with lords great and small, but it is hard to make much of it. The realm is not consumed by questions of influence and power at court—there has been other news. In the crownlands, feats of arms have been of great interest, with a number of tourneys forming a circuit throughout the land. Some count the first of these as the celebratory hastilude celebrating the marriage of Rymella Meadows to Ser Rynos Prester (won by the famed tourney knight, the lady Rymella’s goodbrother Ser Joffrey Caswell), but the richer prizes began with the tourney at Rosby, won by the King’s Scales, Ser Burton Crakehall. An even grander tourney took place at Duskendale, wherat the Dornish knight Ser Aidan Dayne defeated the royal steward Ser Conrad Arryn for the prize. The circuit continued beneath the eaves of the kingswood, with great pomp and pageantry to the delight of the lords and ladies who watched the proceedings, and once again the King’s Scales carried the day. The grandest tourney of them all, however, was outside the walls of King’s Landing, with hundreds of knights and squires jousting over two days. Many great feats of arms were done by the likes of Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, the fiery young Ser Quentyn Ball, the splendid Ser Joffrey the handsome, and more… but it was the Knight of the Twilight, Ser Aidan Dayne, who won the rich prize and crowned his northron lady wife as the queen of love and beauty. The gods smiled on him, as it smiled on other victors. And they smiled as well on the court, for soon after the Princess Mariah was carried away to childbed, and gave birth to her second son, Aerys. It was a joyous occasion. But as the gods give, so can they take: not long before, news from the west reached the court, naming the passing of the ancient Lord of Crakehall, Jonos. A giant of the westerlands, high in the regard of Lord Lannister, he had seen many kings come and go through his long and noble life. But now he was dead, and it fell upon his eldest grandson Ser Burton Crakehall to take on the mantle of lord. He did so with the king’s blessing, and with his blessing he ventured home for a time, to see to the affairs of his grandfather and to do homage to the Lord of Casterly Rock. Visit the Site!
  3. A friend in Belfast brought to our attention this breaking news from the Belfast Telegraph, revealing that HBO has served notice that it will no longer be holding on to its lease on the sprawling Paint Hall studio complex following the wrapping up of the “Long Night” prequel. ‘ More importantly, however, the article indicates that NI Screen was aware that the House of the Dragon prequel series was definitely or at least unlikely to be filmed in Northern Ireland, which is a shock to some but perhaps not to others: read on >>> View the full article
  4. We have made a change to how NPC submissions work in the sense that we will now generally use StaffPublic notes as a first step before recording an NPC in the CDB/family trees. This is also an excellent way of noting more minor/less frequently recurring NPCs. The updated text of +HELP CDB SUBMIT is quoted below: If you make up recurring characters for use in your roleplay (septas, servants, etc), these should be recorded for posterity. How they are recorded depends on how much of a regular character they are; characters that only appear now and then are best recorded in a StaffPublic note whereas characters that are more present should have their own CDB and family tree entry. In general, Staff determines how a submission should be handled and often characters are added as StaffPublic notes initially and then migrated to the CDB/the family trees if it is merited. Visit the Site!
  5. A very interesting post at the Wild Cards World official website from veteran TV writer and producer Michael Cassutt (a long-time member of the Wild Cards Consortium, and heavily involved in the present work on the two Wild Cards being developed at Hulu) discusses what goes on in the writing room when shows are developed and seasons are broken down, but one particular detail caught our eye as he turned to discuss a number of genre-fiction writers who have become involved in TV shows: “And some novelists have made the leap. Michael Chabon – Michael Chabon! – is showrunning DISCOVERY for CBS All-Access. Charlie Jane Anders is in L.A. right now, working in a room. Close to home, novelists Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck have worked in the room for THE EXPANSE, one of the most acclaimed SF TV series ever, for five seasons now. And other members of the WC consortium have been blessed with these opportunities, including David Anthony Durham on one of the GAME OF THRONES prequels, and Saladin Ahmed on FOUNDATION. Max Gladstone did time in three different mini-rooms, not for the four big TV drama markets listed above, but for the vital and growing world of web series, such as WIZARD SCHOOL DROPOUT.” Durham has written numerous novels, most of them historical, but also a well-reviewed fantasy trilogy, Acacia. He’s also been part of the Wild Cards Consortium since 2011, when he contributed to Fort Freak. Because of this connection to the sphere of George R.R. Martin collaborators, we suspect that Cassutt has let slip that Durham has been added to the writing staff of House of the Dragon following its series order. As some will recall, an initial team of writers was named by George as having helped develop the series prior to the order, but it would not be strange if others came onboard after that stage. That said, it’s also possible that Durham was involved in the now-cancelled Long Night pilot, or perhaps one of the pitches for other successors that have now been put on indefinite hold. Currently, Durham’s own website and Twitter have no further information on the subject, although his new Twitter account does note that next year will see the publication of a new novel for him, a fantasy YA set in ancient Egypt titled Shadow Prince. View the full article
  6. Last night, the trades had word from the HBO’s session at the TCA Winter gathering, with executive Casey Bloys discussing the status of post-Game of Thrones successor shows and the fact that he expected House of the Dragons would not premiere before 2022. read on >>> View the full article
  7. News is moving fast. We posted just a little while ago about Condal’s series getting a rumored pilot order… and now word is that the show, titled House of the Dragon, now has a full series order for ten epiodes, according to Variety. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik will be co-showrunners, with George R.R. Martin and Vince Gerardis as executive producers alongside. This is an amazingly fast news day, to say the least. read on >>> View the full article
  8. In all the reactions to the news that Jane Goldman’s pilot has gotten a pass from HBO, we missed Michael Ausiello of TV Line—who we know has a lot of sources in the industry—reporting that the Ryan Condal-helmed Fire & Blood-based project has an official order for its pilot. To quote Ausiello: read on >>> View the full article
  9. According to Deadline, the Jane Goldman-led pilot set in the era leading up to the Long Night is not getting a series pickup from HBO. While there’s no official statement from HBO to this end, reporting has it that Goldman has been contacting cast and crew to inform them of this. As we noted at Worldcon, Linda and I did some consulting work on the project. Our interaction with Jane and follow executive producer James Farrell impressed us with their dedication and interest in the setting and its history. Some guessed this might be the outcome after word spilled last month that a new pilot was nearing an order from HBO, one somehow based on the Targaryen history in the Targaryen history presented in Fire & Blood (Amazon) and being developed by Ryan Condal. At his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin spoke very approvingly of the bible and pilot script Condal had put together, but so far there has been no clear confirmation that this is the next pilot to be filmed. View the full article
  10. The court had gathered to see the king’s first public appearance of any note since his crowning. All the great lords and ladies in the city flocked there, some only lately arrived in the time since the death of Baelor and the enthroning of Viserys. Most of the Kingsguard were present, and all the small council, and all the royal kin—even the new Prince of Dragonstone, Aegon, and the king’s three nieces—are witness to when Viserys entered with two knights of the Kingsguard as his escort. He wore his late brother’s simple, plain golden crown, and dressed no differently than when he was Hand of the King. The only notable absence, one may say, is that of the High Septon, whose predecessors had been constant fixtures at Baelor’s court… but this may be because the High Septon is a mere boy; instead, some of the Most Devout were gathered to represent the Faith. The king took little time to have many new edicts announced: the rescinding of a number of taxes and levies and restrictions (including, it later transpired, the ban on brothels and prostitution), the removal of the exemptions from taxation for households with maiden daughters, the reduction of tariffs and duties in the port, the command of an accounting of the royal revenues and expenses following these changes, the determination to open an additional royal mint, the establishment of a council to assist in the revision of the codes of law, an increase in the number of royal justiciars, and a the issuing of an invitation to the Nine Free Cities to send emissaries to discuss issues of trade on the narrow sea including the protection of merchants from corsairs and pirates. Numerous decisions on matters on law and trade, some quite obscure, were announced before the court, and many were amazed that Viserys had moved so quickly to address changes so soon after Baelor’s death. Once the edicts were done, courtiers were invited to present requests or issues before the court. Perhaps overawed by the breadth of the king’s commands, only a few came forward. Of the more notable petitions, one was from Ser Balon Selmy, an officer of the Kingswood who wished to swear himself to Viserys as a retainer in his household. This Viserys accepted. The first to come forward, however, was most notable of the day: Princess Daena, the defiant daughter, sister, and niece. She baldly demanded seven years of household funds that had been kept from her and her sisters by Baelor’s edict placing them in the Maidenvault. Many at the court were shocked at her raising the issue before them all, but she was fearless… and the king himself seemed to be irritated by it, at least as first, especially when she complained about Baelor placing her and her sisters in the Maidenvault. Yet Viserys had to allow that her argument had some merit, and though he did not agree that the full funds were owed, something was, and directed the Master of Coin to determine what was due to the princesses. The day’s court ended with judgements, as criminals were brought before the king. Unlike Baelor, who inevitably forgave all who came before him, the king listened and made his determinations according to the law almost invariably. Murderers and rapers held in the black cells, in particular, were almost all sentenced to die—except in one case of a remorseful young man who killed a friend in a drunken dispute. In that case, King Viserys gave the youth the choice either to hang, or to take the black. After the king departed, the courtiers gathered to talk about the petitions, edicts, and judgements, and to share their views (with care, of course). In the days that followed, more edicts of various note followed, largely to do with matters of administration and bureaucracy. But there was other news beside, such as word that Prince Daeron’s wife, the Princess Mariah of Dorne, was with child. This invariably followed jests about the other piece of news regarding the royal kin, namely that Daeron’s father Aegon, now Prince of Dragonstone, was tasked with preparing a visit to his seat. All signs suggested that Aegon was most unwilling to leave the pleasures of King’s Landing for the remote Dragonstone, but the prince’s father would have his way sooner or later. Visit the Site!
  11. Earlier this month, I posted about our experience at the Dublin Worldcon and the Belfast Eurocon. But in Belfast, I had the opportunity—courtesy of Northern Ireland Tourism, who’ve invited us to see the “Game of Thrones Territory” twice before; the first of these is recorded here—to do a bit more than just convention events. Not only did I get to visit the Belfast leg of the Game of Thrones Exhibition and the Glass of Thrones stained glass monuments placed at notable locations within the city. View the full article
  12. Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin comments on the recent news that HBO is nearing ordering a pilot for a Game of Thrones successor, this one based on the Targaryen history in Fire and Blood. Notably, GRRM chose to cite the Entertainment Weekly account from James Hibberd as the “most complete”, and that one (unlike stories from Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter) is explicit that the focus of this show is the Dance of the Dragons, something that the other stories seemed to underplay or reject. read on >>> View the full article
  13. Exclusive word from Entertainment Weekly, who has the scoop that HBO is “nearing a pilot order” for a second prequel, this one with a script written by Ryan Condal (who is noted to be one of several writers who have worked on it). And the subject of that prequel? The Dance of the Dragons, first described in detail in The World of Ice and Fire and then expanded upon in even greater detail in Fire & Blood. read on >>> View the full article
  14. The remains of the blessed King Baelor, the septon-king who had brought peace to the Seven Kingdoms and Dorne with his gentle piety, were given to the flames in the courtyard of the Red Keep in the watches of the night. A solemn ceremony, beginning from his death when the silent sisters were charged with the tending of the body and following through with seven days of lying in state and vigils by the knights of the Kingsguard, culminated in the king’s corpse being placed on the bier, a crown of flowers upon his brow. He had wasted away in his long fast, and there was little flesh to his bones, but even now some said he seemed greatly at rest, a beatific smile upon his lips. In attendance was much of the king’s court, the boy High Septon and the Most Devout, and many others besides. Most notably missing, however, were the king’s sisters, the three princesses in the Maidenvault. When the remains had become little but ash and bone, they were collected once cool enough, placed in a gilded reliquary. A grand guard, led by Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and a small army of septons escorted the king’s remains through the city, where many thousands of Kingslanders had turned out along the ways and streets to get a last glimpse of their beloved king, who had loved them best of all the Targaryen kings within living memory. And trailing behind this funeral march, with their own guard, were the princesses Daena, Rhaena, and Elaena, at last leaving the Maidenvault (with permission) wearing dark veils. Many whispered to see them, and some wondered if Daena the Defiant would claim her brother’s throne, she who had once been his wife and queen. They say Rhaena was the only one to openly weep, when that solemn company reached the bare bones of the great sept Baelor said the gods desired, where the reliquary containing Baelor’s remains would be entombed. And after? The procession returned, the princesses were placed once more in the Maidenvault after having been kept at a distance from any who might have approached to speak to them. But only for a little while. Within the hour, a smaller gathering were summoned to the throne room, and where the late king’s uncle, the Hand, Prince Viserys, was crowned by the boy High Septon. Hailed as Viserys, the Second of His Name, he accepted the fealty of all those gathered there, one by one placing his hands about theirs, hearing their vows. At the end, three Kingsguard knights entered, and with them the three princesses. The king, seated high upon the throne, let all know that he wished to restore to them the freedoms that they had once had, and that he would make marriage contracts for them so that they would never be alone. One by one, beginning with Elaena, they came before him. He stepped down the high steps of that perilous throne. What words might have passed in private then are unclear, but what was clear enough was the portent here. First Elaena knelt, and Viserys accepted her fealty. Then Rhaena. And then, after a long tense moment, Daena’s. It was done. The Seven Kingdoms had a new king, and one who had made sure none of his brother’s surviving children would contest his claim. Visit the Site!
  15. King Baelor, the First of His Name, the renowned septon-king whose zealous piety has brought peace between the Seven Kingdoms and Dorne, has collapsed. On the fortieth day of his fast, an act of penance to attempt to right the wrong of his defiant sister Daena’s birth of a natural son, the king was praying in the late hours of the night before the Father in the royal sept, bent down on hands and knees in show of abject humbleness, when a novice of the sept replacing candles cried out at seeing Baelor sink forward, and then fall onto his side. Ser Peron the Pious and Ser Aleyn Florent were outside the sept, guarding its doors, and rushed in at the cry. Baelor, little more than skin and bones after a moon and more of letting nothing pass his lips but water and bread despite the urgings of his friends, councillors, and kin, was carried away by the Kingsguard knights to Maegor’s Hodlfast as the novice was sent to rouse the maesters. Since then, there has been little word, but Prince Viserys has gathered all the maesters in the castle, and the Grand Maester with them, to tend to the king. It is rumored that the king does not wake from his stupor, and efforts to rouse him with wine and honey on his lips have no effect. Septons, too, have gathered, most praying devoutly outside Maegor’s Holdfast, standing their own vigil . . . but then the High Septon came, the boy the king himself commanded to be raised to that august office, and with him a host of the Most Devout. They were ushered into Maegor’s Holdfast. Some have taken heart at this: King Baelor swore the boy could work miracles, and mayhaps his little hands will bring the healing grace of the Seven. Visit the Site!
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