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  1. Rumors, always rumors. The king’s meetings with councillors, with high lords, with knights. Doings at the docks where royal galleys come and go, and Lord Corlys Velaryon visiting all of them lending credence to other rumors about the empty office of Master of Ships. Even a rumor that the king had several times visited the Guildhall of the Alchemists, where the pyromancers practice their arcane arts to control fire and make the substance called wildfire. And arguments, always arguments with Prince Daeron—the tension between father and son had only grown in recent weeks. There were other rumors, always, about Aegon the Fourth of His Name: of his beautiful mistress Missy Blackwood, of other women of the court besides, of serving women with swelling bellies and no husbands, of certain brothels growing more and more opulent due to some wealthy patronage… but on this day, a fine, hot summer day, the rumors that mattered most were also the ones that would be confirmed: the Iron Throne had declared war on Dorne. There was no great gathering of the court to hear the declaration from Aegon himself, for he gathered his courtiers for feasts and frolics and debauchery, and otherwise let his Hand and the small council see his will done. But ravens began to fly, and the king’s councillors began to spread the word themselves, and then heralds were sent out to every part of King’s Landing to make the declaration, and some traveled beyond to the seats of the lords of the crownlands. The declaration was brief, and simple: that Dorne had failed to uphold its promises in the peace pact that had been forged by Baelor the Blessed, that such perfidy would never be accepted, and that the king would protect the realm by placing Dorne once more beneath the authority of the Iron Throne. A second declaration, less formal, would follow soon after: a great tourney would be hosted by His Grace the King, and promised spectacles and the greatest prizes seen since the days of the Young Dragon’s Grand Tourney. Ravens and riders sped with word of that as well, clearly an encouragement for the best and boldest knights to hasten to King’s Landing to gather for the event… and to stay for the great army the king intended to gather for the assault on Dorne. The tourney was even given a name in this proclamation: The Tourney of the Dragon. [url={url}]Visit the Site![/url]
  2. The white ravens have flown from the Citadel, following the long debate of the Conclave. Summer has arrived, ending the long Spring of seven years. Why did the debate take so long? The proceedings of the Conclave are said to be closely-held secrets, yet rumors followed on those white wings, rumors that claimed that one faction of maesters believed it a false Summer, and others argued in fact that the signs suggested a very short Summer season. Regardless of the truth, in much of the realm the news of Summer’s arrival was meant with some cheer, and expectations of festivities. Would the king throw a feast? Perhaps even host a tourney? Or are such plans already under way, as some might suspect, for King Aegon has been unusually busy with meetings of the small council and other lords and officers of the court besides. The exception has been Prince Daeron, who has had little and less of the king’s time, perhaps in part due to his spending time away at his seat as Prince of Dragonstone… but it’s well-known at court that he and the king are increasingly quarrelsome, and not even the efforts of Queen Naerys or the king’s mistress Missy Blackwood (who, curiously, has become friends with both the queen and her son) have had much effect. There are other rumors as well, and not only at court but in the city beneath Aegon’s High Hill as well: of strange activity at the Guildhall of the Alchemists, who were recently visited by the king; of the unusual number of ships of the royal fleet that have recently docked; of the Grand Maester’s rookery being full almost to bursting with newly-acquired ravens. But truth be told, in these times it is the happier rumors—of fetes and tourneys and pageants—that dominate the court, regardless of what turmoil may be lying underneath the day to day life of the court. [url={url}]Visit the Site![/url]
  3. Creation Entertainment and Warner Bros. Discovery have announced details on this year’s Game of Thrones Official Fan Convention to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from December 9th through December 11th, including the fact that they’ve added House of the Dragons performers to the extensive line-up of guests, plus a special “virtual appearance” by Ryan Condal, lead writer and show runner of the hit HBO show. Read the full press release below! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Viserys-Poster_01.jpg read on >>> View the full article
  4. As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men… but at last we finished our promised season 1 overview/discussion of House of the Dragon, which you can see here: We’ve some other odds and ends to discuss, such as an extra video we did discussing the finale after Elio’s return from Spain, and a podcast Elio recorded for the Boiled Leather Audio Hour podcast, details about which you can find below! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Gallery/_medium/HotD_S01E10_ArraxSE.jpg read on >>> View the full article
  5. Today is the day: The Rise of the Dragon has hit book shelves in many countries! It’s also available as an e-book ... and even as an audio book, read by the wonderful Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones) which is a particular honor since we’re huge fans of his. We’ve been amazed by the positive response online, especially at the various art previews, and we have to say we owe a lot to all the artists who worked hard to make this what this is. There’s a lot of promotion going on, but one we particularly enjoyed is this trailer from our terrific UK publisher, Harper Voyager: In the lead up to today’s release, George R.R. Martin took part in an online event where he spoke with friend and author David Anthony Durham to promote the book as well as House of the Dragon. While the stream has not been publicly released as of yet, read below for some of our realtime tweeting of some choice remarks and information from George… including an update on progress on The Winds of Winter! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/Cover_RiseOfTheDragon.jpg read on >>> View the full article
  6. The final episode of the first season of House of the Dragon is done, and we’re (actually, just Linda initially, but we’ll have more videos in the days to come) back with some thoughts, background, commentary on changes, and more in our latest video at the Westeros.org Youtube channel: And that concludes the first season of House of the Dragon! The Dance has truly begun. https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Ep110-Still_Rhaenyra_01.png View the full article
  7. The penultimate episode of the first season of House of the Dragon is done, and we’re back with some thoughts, background, commentary on changes, and more in our latest video at the Westeros.org Youtube channel: We’re in the home stretch now, with just two episodes to go. Next up will be “The Green Council”, followed up by “The Black Queen” to conclude the first season of House of the Dragon. https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Alicent-Otto-Criston_01.jpg View the full article
  8. A year has passed since the Folio Society released their fourth entry in their illustrated editions of A Song of Ice and Fire, and like clockwork they have now released the fifth volume, A Dance with Dragons! Like the previous volumes, it comes in a beautiful, slipcased two-volume edition with beautiful artwork by Jonathan Burton. Below, you’ll find the Folio Society’s video for the launch, as well as a few images they’ve sent to us share! From the Folio Society: New alliances and fresh conspiracies spawn as the fight for the Iron Throne continues… The fifth book in the most celebrated fantasy series of the 21st century arrives in a resplendent two-volume set. This special collector’s edition of A Dance with Dragons features 16 full-colour illustrations by series artist Jonathan Burton, as well as unique illustrated chapter headings, endpapers printed with emblems of the warring Houses, and a slipcase decorated with a golden monogram on the exterior and a secret image on the interior. Two binding designs, also provided by Burton, capture the drama that runs through the heart of ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ like the blood red sap of the Weirwood tree. To help keep track of the intricate plotlines, this edition comes complete with updated and expanded genealogies. Discover the other titles in the Folio ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series. https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/GT5_1080x1080_02.jpg read on >>> View the full article
  9. On October 25th, The Rise of the Dragon: An Illustrated History of the Targaryen Dynasty, Volume One hit shelves. Based on Fire and Blood by GRRM, the book provides a more condensed account of the events documented in that work of “fake history” while providing over 180 new, full-color illustrations (some were shared in the recent, all packaged in a similar format to The World of Ice and Fire. As we said when the book was first announced, the book is for a very particular set of audiences—those who were daunted by F&B’s size but are interested in something more concise, those who love the artwork, and those who are collectors and completists. If you or someone you know fits that, however… Ahead of the release, George is holding a couple of events, including one that will be livestreamed for those who purchase a ticket. See more details below, as well as an opportunity to get copies with a different set of autographs entirely… ! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/RotD_Rhaenyra-Daemon_01.jpg read on >>> View the full article
  10. Another episode down, and we’re back with some thoughts, background, commentary on changes, and more in our latest video at the Westeros.org Youtube channel: We’re in the home stretch now, with just two episodes to go. Next up will be “The Green Council”, followed up by “The Black Queen” to conclude the first season of House of the Dragon. https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Viserys-Ep08_01.jpg View the full article
  11. The official Youtube page for the Game of Thrones Studio Tour at the Linen Mill Studio in Northern Ireland— exclusive home to an enormous assortment of props, weapons, armor, costumes, and even whole sets from the TV show—has released a lengthy video where the show’s weapons master, Tommy Dunne, speaks at length about his work on the show as it relates specifically to the infamous catspaw dagger that has now become so central to House of the Dragon. See below for the video! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Gallery/_medium/GameOfThrones_Dagger01.png read on >>> View the full article
  12. Another episode down, and we’re back with some thoughts, background, commentary on changes, and more in our latest video at the Westeros.org Youtube channel: The next episode will give us what we believe will be a last time jump this season (and perhaps for all the show from here on out), aging up the children a bit further. https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Episode-07_01.jpg View the full article
  13. A royal masquerade was an event rarely heard of in the reign of Baelor, blessed be his memory, and that of the late Viserys who had so wisely steered the realm. But the reign of Aegon, Fourth of His Name, is a different one… not least because it was not his queen and sister, Naerys, who organized the event. By all reports, it was Missy Blackwood, the king’s latest mistress, who originated and arranged the event. Despite this, the involvement of the Red Keep’s master of feasts showed that the king himself had given the event his approval, and rumors swirled that Lady Melissa and he would make a spectacular entrance during the event. This led to weeks of the court taxing every skilled seamstress and tailor, who in turn emptied the best drapers of their bolts of finest cloths to execute rich garments that befit their patrons? station (and perhaps even exceeded it, to ruinous cost in certain cases). When the evening came, hundreds had gathered in the enormous feasting hall, a riot of colors, of satins and silks and velvets decorated with costly accouterments and fanciful masks. The theme of the event had circulated among the attendees, and this had guided their choices as they attempted to find heroes of ages past to disguise themselves as. The range of figures was numerous: Galladon of Morne and Florys the Fox rubbed shoulders with heroes of the Rhoyne and ancient First Man witch queens, Garth Greenhand jested with Lann the Clever, an empress of ancient Yi Ti conversed with Daenys the Dreamer, and many more besides. The aforementioned Daenys was none other than Princess Elaena, who along with Princess Rhaena (dressed as the legendary - and entirely non-existent! - Princess Daeryssa, oft rescued by Serwyn of the Mirror Shield) had been cajoled by Princess Daena to attend the event. Daena herself had come as a dragonrider, some dragonlord of Valyria who she was heard to say had tried to find the end of the world and had returned a failure. The princesses were not alone among the royal kin who were present, however. Princess Mariah of Dorne came as none other than Princess Nymeria, her storied ancestress… while the Prince of Dragonstone came as a strange, hunchbacked figure with a mask portraying a less-than-fair face who transpired to be the ancient founder of the Citadel, Peremore Hightower. Grander still, however, was the entrance of King Aegon and Lady Melissa. They were carried in on a platform borne by liveried bearers, and on it were castles of spun sugar amidst a “desert” of more sugar blended with spices, and amidst them were the king and his lady wearing dragon masks. His was black, and hers was bronze, and in their hands were torches. A herald announced the arrival of the Dragon’s Wroth, and together Balerion the Black Dread and Vhagar set their torches to the sugar castles around them, making them bubble and melt. The spectacle of it brought cheers from much of the crowd… but not the Dornish knights and ladies dressed as ancient Rhoynar warriors, and not Nymeria, and not Peremore the Twisted. They remained at the event after the king and his mistress dismounted the platform and sat at the high table, for a time, but it was clear the Dornishmen and women were not eager… and when Prince Daeron at last had occasion to speak with his father, all could see that the king was dismissive of him. Not long after, the prince and princess departed the event, and with them a number of their household and companions, a fact that raised eyebrows and caused many whispers in the crowded hall as it has been the latest sign in a division between father and son. [url={url}]Visit the Site![/url]
  14. An interview long in the making, we finally got to sit down with Ryan Condal, lead writer, executive producer, and now sole show runner of House of the Dragon last week to talk about the show. Scheduling conflicts kept pushing the time of the interview, including one potential time to do it face-to-face in Amsterdam for the European premiere, and most recently we were minutes away from a scheduled Zoom talk when Ryan ended up being delayed due to issues in post-production that he had to deal with. Third (fourth?) time was the charm, however! After Linda had a chance to say hello then headed off to keep an eye on our very rambunctious puppy Lancelot, we started the interview. We open up with a question on post-production, and then get into the weeds on favorite book characters, depictions of violence, heraldry, a forgotten Valyrian house, the change from book canon when casting the Velaryons, whether Ryan will continue with the show after completing this particular story, and more. Click here for the interview! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_BTS-Ryan-Condal_01.jpg View the full article
  15. Half way through the season, and “The Princess and the Queen” makes the boldest jump yet as a decade has passed since the previous episode, new actors play key roles, and a passel of new young characters appear. Linda and I return with with our usual non-review focus on providing some more background information and changes from the source material to the screen. Lots of background in this particular episode: https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Gallery/_medium/HotD_Laenor-Rhaenyra-Joffrey_01.jpg View the full article
  16. Today features a very notable birthday. No, we don’t mean Sophia Loren’s (though that’s very fine company to be in). It’s in fact George R.R. Martin’s birthday today, making him 74 years young. Six years ago we were invited to write a tribute to George over at Tor.com, that you can read here. We know fans of his work—and fans of the good he’s done for the genre, for fandom, and for the various good causes he has contributed to—the world over wish him well on this auspicious day. One of the nonprofit organizations GRRM has been a major supporter of is the Stagecoach Foundation, which he co-founded to help provide training and work opportunities for residents of New Mexico in the state’s burgeoning film industry. A donation to the foundation would no doubt be very welcome, especially today! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Gallery/_medium/IMG_5079.JPG View the full article
  17. The very eventful “We Light the Way” has aired globally, and we’re back with our usual non-review focus on providing some more background information and changes from the source material to the screen. We even have some dragon facts! If you enjoyed the video, please do consider liking and subscribing, and feel free to comment with your own thoughts or questions! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Gallery/_medium/HotD_EP105-Still_Alicent.jpg View the full article
  18. We’re back to discuss the events of “King of the Narrow Sea”, with our usual non-review focus on providing some more background information and changes from the source material to the screen. It’s an eventful episode, although one distinctly lacking in new dragon facts to discuss: If you enjoyed the video, please do consider liking and subscribing, and feel free to comment with your own thoughts or questions! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Gallery/_medium/HotD_EP104-Still_Daemon.jpg View the full article
  19. The Kingswood is a hard beast to tame, a green vastness where all sorts of secrets and dangers nestle persistently. The Wardenry sees to maintaining order by dotting it with outposts where from troop spills into the wood to uproot poachers, thieves and other ruffians yet. Alerted by an outrider, a small column marched out on this day for such purposes, for apparently some wretched lot of peasants or the other had forgotten their place and were seen preying on supplies meant for the feeding of the King’s men. No more than five or six troop were dispatched, as how could more be needed to deal with cowering smallfolk, who would surely fall on their knees and beg for mercy? Taking a well-hidden—or rather badly kept—trail encroached on by elms, birches and moss, they finally descended on the poachers. They were to find no ragged poachers sporting makeshift bows; instead before them were hardy men, armed with short swords and daggers and hunger, curiously not intent on fleeing. Different tales have circulated between the men of the Warden of the Kingswood since then, but all agree the scuffle was vicious and the patrol repelled ignominiously and forced to stagger back to safety bearing all kinds of injury. The name of a Dornish witch is on more lips by the day, and the stricken outpost has been supplied with some reinforcements. [url={url}]Visit the Site![/url]
  20. Both Linda and I got our first glimpses at the House of the Dragon-inspired beverages from Danish brewery Mikkeller (dubbing themselves House Mikkeller of Denmark, naturally) at the premieres of House of the Dragon in Stockholm and Amsterdam. The red Caraxes cans were very prominent at the afterparty bars, and seemed to be quite popular. Mikkeller Brewery contacted us about trying a sample of the beers, which we were glad to do despite neither of us being experienced with beer (non-alcholic or otherwise!) and we have to say it was a very interesting experience that makes us think we’re going to have to start branching out from the ciders which are normally all we drink when it comes to alcohol. Below, you’ll see our video “review”, which I put in quotes because we’re woefully lacking in knowledge to give thorough and detailed impressions! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Mikkeller.jpg View the full article
  21. We’re back to discuss the third episode of House of the Dragon, titled “Second of His Name”. As usual, we discuss some changes from the source material, provide some additional background information for things touched on only lightly in the episode, and finally some dragon facts (quite brief ones, in this case!) https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Ep3_Title.png View the full article
  22. Well, this was big, surprising news. The Hollywood Reporter‘s James Hibberd has reported that after three, exhausting years working on bringing the first season of House of the Dragon to the screen Miguel Sapochnik is leaving the show and Ryan Condal will be the sole show runner. However, the very experienced director Alan Taylor—who played a key role in directing a number of early episodes of Game of Thrones—has come on board as an executive producer and director instead. https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Miguel_Sapochnik.jpg read on >>> View the full article
  23. Another new episode of House of the Dragon, and another episode of Linda and Elio discussing it! This time we look into some of the changes to a couple of Kingsguard knights, and dive more into House Velaryon now that the episode reveals a change the show has made to their relationship to the Targaryens. You can see the episode below: Share your thoughts on the video, and let us know if there’s any changes or background details you’d like us to discuss in future episodes! https://www.westeros.org/Graphics/Images/_medium/HotD_Ep2.jpg View the full article
  24. This tweet says it all: Over at The Hollywood Reporter, James Hibberd provides a bit more detail, citing HBO’s report that in the US the show has cleared over 20 million viewers since the premiere, the kind of strong opening they were hoping for. View the full article
  25. Been a long time since we’ve done one of these, and suffice it to say the combination of rusty recollection plus a bunch of new equipment made this a bit of a trial. Add a very lively puppy plus sundry other things, and this video is later than we hoped, but it’s done. As we remarked in our “Not a Review” of the first six episodes, we’re not really reviewing the show (as we did—and then Linda did solo after I quit—with Game of Thrones) but instead discussing some of the choices and changes made in the adaptation, as well as providing some background information and (of course) dragon facts. You can see the episode below: View the full article
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