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Westeros

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  1. Anyone with half a brain gives a princely command due regard, and so did the band of knights assembled by Ser Farien Yronwood, at Prince Maron’s request, to chase after the Braavosi embassy and retrieve the runaway Septa Helia, born Dalt. Ser Valerin Dayne, Ser Jehan Santagar, and Ser Kay Yronwood all joined the future Bloodroyal, along with a number of men-at-arms, in a ride in back-breaking speed through the dusty trails to where a lone, slim gally awaited with a modest crew, so they could give chase to the Braavosi fleet, ever more distant by the day. It was fortunate that the weather was mostly fair -for all the fickleness of autumn- the supplies from the villages in their way not too scant, and their oarmaster a seasoned, hard old man. When they eventually returned, the court heard tales that even the noble knights themselves had rown with the common men, drenched in sweat and generous splashes of saltwater. At long last, as the Broken Arm disappeared behind them, masts appeared in the horizon, and there was all manner of cheer. A cautious few held their tongues, wondering; could the Braavosi ships be sailing slowly enough to still be this south? They weren’t humored by their comrades, however.

    And yet, they were right. When the Dornish ship drew closer, it was too late and the errant corsair vessel, on its way out of the Sea of Dorne, like as not, had spotted them and set their sights on this newest plunder. There was not enough time to make a clean escape. After bloody resistance, the pirates were able to launch a storming; one after the other they were making their way to the galley’s deck, and defeat for the Dornish was inching closer, but while luck had abandoned them, they had the aid of the reckless abandon—or mad fear?—of dead men walking. Finally, the vagabonds were repelled and left behind, not without significant loss in men and stolen supplies. A couple of mercy kills had to even be performed on men writhing in agony after being brutally maimed. Of the nobles, Ser Farien was left with a bad, but treatable gash on his leg, while Ser Jehan was hit hardest; being viciously knocked out by a club and left bloodied and unconscious for almost a day. This attack left neither the menfolk nor the ship in good form. By the time they were ready to turn back around, there was no chance to catch up to the Sealord’s fleet, no mission to continue. Their only option was to limp back to port, to Dorne.

    On land, Prince Malor had in the meantime duly complied with his brother’s orders; heading a party including his lovely cousin the Lady Leyla Martell, the Blackmont heir Ser Arrant, and Danelle Vaith, he had arrived at Lemonwood to lukewarm, at best, reception. He found there that Ser Dinias, upset though he was at Septa Helia’s shame, had accepted that her father Ser Falion be foremost in the discussions with the Prince’s envoys. The desire at Sunspear was that the Dalts would place their trust at the men dispatched by the Prince and not carry their indignance across the Narrow Sea whatsoever - but avoiding that seemed difficult when news spread that the naval expedition had failed, and the erstwhile Septa was in all likeliihood lost.

    Despite the further anger and outbursts that followed, it eventually transpired that princely munificence can paper over even a father’s dishonour. Ser Falion, with the support of Ser Dinias, finally grit his teeth and agreed to stay put and forget the affair, and his daughter. In exchange for his understanding, his son Ser Simon, a household knight at Sunspear, was to be promoted to second-in-command of the castle guard, below only Ser Valerin. It also soothed his pride when Prince Malor took to his grandson Edgar and saw enough skill in the boy to knight him. That was, apparently, the end of tension in the halls of the Dalts. The younger Martell prince was thereafter said to have been gracious enough when faced with these aggrieved relatives, responding to Ser Falion’s bitter complaints with steadfast reassurance that Prince Maron wills a just solution, and confirming Sunspear’s approval via raven before reaching a final agreement.

    And so, it is plain sailing for some, like the disgraced Helia and her lover, and less for others, but if reports floating the court’s way from Lemonwood are anything to go by, the dust has settled, the peace will be kept and Prince Maron, as well as his courtiers, can go on with business more important than a tawdry affair.

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  2. HBO has just revealed that they have cast the two leads for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, known to fans world wide as Dunk and Egg. Peter Claffey, an Irish rugby player-turned-ctor, will be Ser Duncan the Tall. Dexter Sol Ansell has in turn been cast as Dunk’s squire Egg; Ansell’s been acting since the age of 4, and most recently appeared as the young Coriolanus in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

    A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is set to begin filming in Northern Ireland, the old stomping grounds of Game of Thrones, in June with production likely to last several months.



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  3. In the annals of Westerosi history, few events have captured the essence of chivalry and deception quite like the Tourney of the Setting Sun. Set against the backdrop of an unruly king’s machinations and personal vendettas, this grand spectacle unfolded amidst rumors that ran like wildfire, painting a portrait of King Aegon IV’s clandestine designs. Forbidding the Kingsguard from participating in the event, the king sought to manipulate the tourney to honor his mistress, Melissa Blackwood, as the Queen of Love and Beauty; knights indebted to him, friendly to him, or seeking his favor had especially been urged to give the crown to Missy. Despite the cloak of secrecy, whispers of the king’s intentions echoed through the court, setting the stage for a contest rife with intrigue.

    Despite the name for the event (meant to slight the Dornish, as represented by Princess Mariah, wife of the Prince of Dragonstone), torrents of rain drenched the tourney grounds, a pall of uncertainty hung heavy in the air. The absence of Queen Naerys and Prince Aemon, juxtaposed against the presence of the king’s paramour as well as his cousins the royal princesses, cast shadows over the proceedings. Yet, amidst the downpour, champions and challengers alike braved the elements, some eager for glory, a few desirous of the honor of donning the white cloak.

    Four champions began the day to face all challengers, despite rain and wind and mud. Ser Jarwen Hollard, Ser Blayne Condon, Ser Myles Hightower, and Ser Dennis Lannister, each connected to the king’s service, stood ready to defend their honor. Yet, their dominance was soon challenged by a motley crew of jousters, each driven by their own aspirations and desires. The initial jousts saw Ser Malwyn Hightower, emboldened by his audacious request for Princess Mariah’s favor, facing off against the formidable champions of the king’s household. As the clash of lances resounded across the field, Ser Malwyn’s daring display drew both admiration and ire from the assembled courtiers.

    With the champions duly challenged and replaced, the stage was set for the emergence of new contenders, including the brash Dornish squire, Lewyn Sand, of infamous lineage. Despite the absence of his far-famed mentor, Ser Aidan Dayne, Lewyn’s prowess in the lists soon became the talk of the court. His bold request for Princess Daena’s favor, against the backdrop of simmering tensions, only served to heighten the intrigue surrounding his participation.

    As the tournament progressed, each tilt brought fresh surprises and upsets. Ser Toren Tully’s victory over Ser Balon Selmy showcased his skill and determination, while Ser Malwyn Hightower’s defeat at the hands of the heir to the Ring, Ser Jon Roxton, underscored the unpredictability of the jousting field.

    Princess Daena’s spirited wager on Lewyn Sand’s success led the king to angrily agree to wager an ancient torc of gold from Valyria against the defiant princess’s favorite ruby ring, exciting the court. When the squire unhorsed the stalwart and renowned Ser Argos Waxley, the king seemed apoplectic in anger, while Daena cheered and laughed with glee. Despite the rain and wind and mud, the resounding clash of arms echoed again and again through the arena, as more champions met challengers, and some prevailed, and some did not. Ser Symeon Westerling emerging triumphant over Ser Otho Royce, presaging the greatest feat of arms on the day, while one of the king’s favored knights, Ser Morgil Hastwyck, won a place among the champions by defeating Ser Toren Tully.

    As the day wore on, the tournament continued to unfold with breathtaking intensity. Ser Arros Beesbury’s victory over Ser Merys Lydden marked yet another chapter in the saga of triumph and defeat, as the assembled knights battled fiercely for honor and glory. Across the field, Ser Morgil’s decisive defeat of the challenger, Ser Doran Dondarrion, once sworn shield to Baelor of blessed memory, underscored the unforgiving nature of the competition.

    However, the king’s mirth was short-lived, abruptly halted by the unexpected arrival of his wife and sister, Queen Naerys, who made a dramatic entrance despite the inclement weather. In a gesture of deference, Missy Blackwood graciously yielded her seat beside the king to the queen, solidifying the notion of their amicable relationship.

    As the final challengers stepped forward to test their mettle, the red-haired and fiery-tempered Ser Quentyn Ball, known as Fireball, emerged as a formidable contender. With a display of unparalleled skill, he bested Ser Arros Beesbury, claiming his rightful place as the last of the four champions, and setting the stage for the tournament’s thrilling conclusion.

    Amidst the flurry of the tournament’s climax, a figure shrouded in mystery emerged as a final challenger. Clad in armor from helm to heel, a white surcoat adorned with blue teardrops over his armor, his dappled grey destrier showing more than a little lineage tracing back to the sun-kissed sands of Dorne. Whispers danced on the wind, hinting at the origins of both horse and rider, weaving tales of distant lands and hidden alliances. Granted entry despite his enigmatic guise, for it looks poorly to turn away a mystery knight, the silent Knight of Tears cast his gauntlet into the ring, challenging all four champions. And not only did he challenge them, but he defeated them, one by one: with a brazen audacity that left the crowd spellbound, he bested Ser Quentyn Ball first, followed by Ser Luthor Rivers and then Ser Morgil Hastwyck, until only the valiant Ser Terrence Toyne remained to test his mettle.

    As the final blow resounded across the field, the silent knight claimed victory, seizing the coveted silver-and-gold crown of the Queen of Love and Beauty. With a flourish, he bestowed the symbol of honor upon Queen Naerys’s lap, eliciting a chorus of cheers from some of the assembled throng and silence from those who adhered most to the king. A palpable tension lingered in the air as the mystery knight departed without a word, soon lost to sight amidst the crowds, and efforts to follow him seemed to go astray. As whispers spread like wildfire in the aftermath of the tourney, speculation soared to new heights. Many were quick to attribute the silent knight’s valor to none other than Prince Aemon himself, casting him as the clandestine champion who dared to defy his brother’s command for the honor of his sister, Queen Naerys.

    Yet dissenting voices echoed amidst the clamor, pointing to the conspicuous absence of one of the few knights in the realm who could challenge the Dragonknight, Aidan Dayne, while his lady wife was present. Was that not strange? And was it not curious that the Knight of Tears rode a horse with sand steeds in its lineage when Aisling was known to keep a private stud of fine horses—sand steeds from Dorne among them, gifts from her husband—and had dabbled in crossing lineages? And yet… why would Dayne forsake tradition and crown another woman as Queen of Love and Beauty when his heart belonged to another? And why not reveal himself, as so many mystery knights do, to the benefit of their renown? Such questions lingered unanswered, fueling the mystery that shrouded the identity of the enigmatic knight.

    As the dust settled and the tournament’s echoes faded into memory, Prince Aemon’s whereabouts remained a subject of fervent debate. Some claimed he had vanished into the shadows, orchestrating events from afar to safeguard his sister’s honor. Others would later say that he admitted making a small, private pilgrimage undertaken in the quiet solitude of King’s Landing’s septs, great and small, a gesture of gratitude to the gods for the blessings bestowed upon his family, not least being the recent safe delivery of a new Targaryen princeling, Maekar, son of Daeron and Mariah. In the wake of the tumultuous tourney, a pall of discontent hung heavy over the royal court, the king’s absence a palpable reminder of his simmering fury. As the evening waned, the feasting hall lay eerily silent, bereft of the usual revelry and mirth that accompanied such grand events.

    It was not until the following day that the courtiers learned of Ser Terrence Toyne’s exaltation to the esteemed ranks of the Kingsguard, his valor on the field of battle earning him the coveted white cloak. With solemn determination, Ser Terrence embarked upon his vigil within the hallowed confines of the royal sept, his steadfast resolve a beacon of hope amidst the gathering storm.

    The day of his vigil was also set as the day of the melees that would conclude the festivities, though they were festivities that the sulking King Aegon refused to participate in. A pall of gray hung low in the sky, a somber reminder of the deluge that had drenched the tournament grounds just a day prior. The earth, still sodden from the downpour, bore the weight of countless hoofprints and the imprint of countless feet. Despite the overcast skies and the lingering chill in the air, the atmosphere crackled with anticipation, for the melee promised to be a spectacle with scores of knights planning to compete. Knights and spectators alike gathered upon the field, their spirits undaunted by the dreary backdrop against which the day’s events would unfold.

    As the melee unfolded upon the rain-soaked field, two knights emerged victorious amidst the chaos and clamor of battle. Ser Arros Beesbury, his armor dented but his spirit unbroken, fought with the ferocity of a lion, his blade a blur of motion as he laid low his foes with each resounding blow. With unwavering determination, he carved a path to triumph, his name destined to be etched in the annals of history. But alongside Ser Arros stood another champion, his valor and skill no less remarkable. Ser Omrys Baratheon, his armor gleaming in the muted light, proved himself a stalwart defender upon the field of combat. With courage and cunning, he met each challenge head-on, his resolve unshakable as he battled his way to victory.

    And as the final blows were struck and the dust settled upon the battlefield, it was Ser Arros who emerged triumphant, his name revered by all who witnessed his valorous deeds. For his efforts, he was rewarded with a prize befitting his status—a purse of five hundred gold dragons and a fine destrier from the king’s own stables, its flanks adorned with richly embroidered caparison and gleaming armor.

    Yet Ser Omrys too was duly honored for his bravery and skill, his victory a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Westerlands. For his triumph in the foot combat, he was bestowed with a purse of three hundred gold dragons and a suit of silvered plate from the king’s armory.

    In the aftermath of the tourney, rumors and speculation ran rampant, each whisper adding fuel to the fire of intrigue. From whispers of Prince Aemon’s clandestine involvement to the enigmatic knight’s true identity, the truth remained elusive amidst a sea of deception. But from these whispers, bards began to weave their songs, and soon enough the winesinks and pot shops resounded with words of the Knight of Tears and Queen Naerys, many of which would hint at the Dragonknight by referencing love like a dragon’s flame and the white of his surcoat sullied only by the blue of his tears.

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  4. It sounds like Thursday is likely to see a new trailer or teaser for the forthcoming second season of House of the Dragon, according to the latest post from the official sites. Two tweets promise that everyone must choose between “Team Green” and “Team Black”, and each tweet features dramatic images of some of the leading members of each party… plus our first look, I believe, at King Aegon II’s golden dragon (on green rather than the book canon black) that also answers one of the enduring heraldic questions of the show.

    More on that below, but here’s the tweets:




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  5. In the heart of the realm, the royal city of King’s Landing, a strange omen (or not, depending on how you ask) has come to pass. Missy Blackwood, the royal mistress to King Aegon IV, has given birth to a son, whom she named Brynden. However, joy was tempered by the babe’s fragile health—an albino with a conspicuous red birthmark across his cheek. His two elder sisters were both more robust at birth and thrived.

    Maesters express doubts about his longevity, citing his feeble constitution. Despite this, Lady Melissa is resolute in her determination to nurture him. She has been frequently seen in the godswood of the Red Keep, seeking solace or divine intervention for the well-being of her ailing child. To add to her pleas, Queen Naerys and Prince Aemon have been known to light candles for the child in the royal sept, further proof of their liking for the king’s mistress.

    Meanwhile, King Aegon, seemingly unconcerned by the precarious state of his illegitimate son, forges ahead with the planning of a grand tournament. If rumors are to be believed, the event is to be titled the “Tourney of the Setting Sun,” a not-so-subtle jibe at Dorne in the aftermath of the ill-fated invasion. This, even though Princess Mariah, the king’s good-daughter, is heavily pregnant and on the verge of delivering a fourth child for Prince Daeron, the heir to the throne. The court has largely taken against Dorne and the Dornish, as it is the mood of the king, yet there are those who increasingly adhere to Prince Daeron and Princess Mariah.

    A subtle tension simmers within the Red Keep, exacerbated by the strained relationship between King Aegon and Prince Daeron. The king’s apparent lack of concern for his weakened offspring, coupled with his preoccupation with various vices, has shifted the burden of governance to the small council. Disagreements are said to be rife among its members, particularly between Lord Bracken, the Hand, and Prince Daeron, the Prince of Dragonstone.

    The lack of communication between the king and his heir leaves the court in a state of uncertainty, and there are rumors that at times the king muses of sending some of his councillors to certain of the Free Cities in an attempt to make an alliance to rival that which Prince Maron of Dorne concluded with the Sealord of Braavos. Merchants from Pentos have of late—ever since news of the embassy of the Sealord to Dorne—left lavish gifts to the king, on behalf of the magisters and the Prince of Pentos, and it’s said they hope that finding a fracture between Dorne and the Iron Throne and widening it might advance their own interests in the narrow sea.

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  6. Just a little over half a day left on CMON‘s crowd fundraising campaign for their next ASoIaF-based game, A Song of Ice and Fire: Tactics. Made to the same scale as their miniatures games (with thanks to Dark Sword Miniatures, who hold the license for all miniatures), this tactics-based game has already very much cleared its fundraising goal, with over 5500 backers raising $1.6 million (and counting). There’s some pretty impressive miniatures on display, in particular an enormous Drogon miniature that is a crowndfunding exclusive.

    Here’s a trailer for the game from CMON:

    Below, you’ll find the press release for the game with additional information!



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  7. Thanks to publishing news site Edelweiss, we’ve learned the full list of featured locations in the upcoming A Song of Ice and Fire 2025 Calendar, which we previously reported on back in December when the cover art, featuring Starfall, was revealed. All the illustrations are by artist Eddie Mendoza, whose work has previously graced The Rise of the Dragon.

    Here’s the list of all 13 featured locations, continuing the tradition of twelve images for the months and a bonus two-page spread:

    • Moat Cailin
    • Dragonstone
    • the Inn at the Crossroads
    • the Nightfort
    • the Bridge of Skulls

     



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  8. Interesting news broke last night that HBO is gearing up to explore the extensive history of Westeros with a new spinoff series centered around Aegon’s Conquest. According to a report from James Hibberd and Borys Kit for The Hollywood Reporter, the network has enlisted much-in-demand writer Mattson Tomlin to develop the project.

    Last year, we noted news out of Variety that HBO had starting looking into bringing Aegon’s Conquest to the small screen (and, perhaps, even the big screen—a theatrical lead-in was under discussion) and actively sought a writer to head the development of this thrilling prequel series. That search seems to have ended.



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  9. The ancient stones of the Old Palace of Sunspear witnessed an unusual evening as the Sealord of Braavos and his illustrious entourage graced the courtyard, offering a splendid display of Braavosi arts to their Dornish hosts. The courtyard, illuminated by torches, braziers, and bonfires, was crowded with an expectant audience lured by the promise of novelty.

    In attendance were dignitaries from both Braavos and Dorne, gathered around a raised dais where the Sealord, Tenesio Velaron, and the Prince of Dorne, Maron Nymeros Martell, sat in regal splendor. Prince Rhodry Martell, the prince’s uncle, and his wife, Tanyth of House Toland, were also present, reflecting the convergence of powerful figures from both regions. So, too, was the Lord Shariff, Ser Mavros Uller, and his half-foreign bastard Samara Sand who had opted to dress as a bravo, a style she had been accustomed to (it was said) in Braavos. Also present: Ser Farien, heir to Yronwood and husband of Princess Ariana Martell; Ser Arrant, the heir to Blackmont; Prince Cadan’s companion Ser Corrent Gargalen; Allyria Dayne, wife of the castellan of Planky Town; the knight Jehan Santagar; and many others besides.

    The evening’s entertainment began with a captivating mock duel between two of Braavos’s finest bravos, Gerrio and Aldono. Dressed in vibrant linens and silks, the duo wielded slender waterdancer’s swords, their colorful garments reflecting the popinjay fashion of the bravos in contrast to the somber hues preferred by the elites of Braavos. The exhibition, marked by graceful movements and precise strikes, showcased the legendary skill of the Braavosi bravos, drawing admiration from the enthralled audience.

    As the mock duel unfolded, however, the atmosphere shifted when Aldono attempted a decisive blow, only to be thwarted by Gerrio’s agile maneuvers. The tension peaked as Gerrio, with a dancer’s finesse, countered Aldono’s attack and struck him bodily, leading Aldono to rage until Gerrio won the contest by placing his sword on Aldono’s neck. It was clear from rumors afterward that the two men would settle their dispute privately, in some alley or yard of the shadow city… and only one would walk away.

    Following the exhilarating duel, the beautiful courtesans Essella Antaryon (known as the Daughter of the Sands, for her Dornish heritage) and Taela Gresayn (called the Wild Flower) took the stage, offering a cultural bridge between Dorne and Braavos. Essella’s poetic recitation on the founding of Braavos and the shared ties between the two regions echoed through the courtyard. Taela’s melodic accompaniment on the lute added a musical layer to the performance, enhancing the emotional resonance of Essella’s words.

    The mood lightened with the appearance of four mummers who brought levity to the evening. The ribald farce, satirizing King Aegon IV’s failed invasion of Dorne, showcased the comedic talents of the mummers. The play culminated in a call for unity between Dorne and Braavos, to the applause and cheers of the audience who were left wiping tears of laughter from their eyes after the many pratfalls and scurrilouss calumnies against Aegon that the mummers put forth.

    The Sealord and the Prince of Dorne seized the moment to make significant announcements. The Braavosi embassy, would sail for Braavos next week, taking with them envoys from Dorne (rumors already abound that Samara Sand was returning to Braavos, taking her twin children—acknowledged as Prince Rhodry’s—to serve as wards in the Sealord’s court). The Sealord and the Prince of Dorne pledged willingness to provide mutual aid if any power threatened either party, solidifying a diplomatic alliance. Furthermore, plans for a Braavosi trading post in Planky Town were unveiled, promising increased trade and economic ties between the two regions.

    The night continued with a feast that echoed with a newfound alliance between Dorne and Braavos, although some among the Dornish had hoped it would have gone further; indeed, to go so far as a promise of punitive action against the Iron Throne for its efforts. That does not seem to be the case, however, although the Sealord and the Prince both hinted that there may be some more announcements to come. Some wondered if this had to do with the swirling rumors that the prince’s brother, Prince Malor, might take a Braavosi bride… and that the Sealord himself might take a betrothed back with him to Braavos.

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  10. A press release from the WB Shop brought to our attention that HBO is releasing some new House of the Dragon merchandise for this year, taking inspiration from the forthcoming Lunar New Year on February 10th to dub this the “Year of the Dragon”. As you’d expect, there’s a strong dragon-focus.

    We’ll point out some of the items they make a point of, after this pretty cool banner featuring Caraxes



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  11. At this year’s Primetime Creative Arts Emmys, House of the Dragon entered the show with a total of eight nominations in the category (plus a final, yet-to-be-determined, nomination in the regular Emmys for Outstanding Drama). Unfortunately, other shows—particularly HBO sibling The Last of Us—snatched away most of the prizes, but in one category the show proved victorious: Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-fi Costumes! Leading the names credited with the victory was season 1 costume designer Jany Temime, who posted about it on her Instagram:

    The Primetime Emmys will air next Sunday.

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  12. Via the ever-watchful Redanian Intelligence, we learn that HBO’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight has been pushed from a Spring to Summer 2024 production start. We reported back in October on a suspicious casting call that certainly seemed to fit the bill for casting of Dunk and Egg, and the update from RA seems to certainly confirm this as the same casting director, Lucy Bevan, is listed in the update in Production Monthly:

    “A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS: THE HEDGE KNIGHT” Series / Max
    STATUS: Summer 2024 LOCATION: Belfast, Ireland
    PRODUCER: Vince Gerardis - Ryan Condal - Hiram Martinez WRITER/PRODUCER: Ira Parker - George R.R. Martin CD: Lucy Bevan
    A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes, and dangerous exploits all await these improbable and incomparable friends.

    It’s great to see that Northern Ireland will once again host filming of matter from the Game of Thrones universe, as there are many hundreds of talented Northern Irish actors, extras, production, and craftspeople who helped bring Game of Thrones to life who’ll surely do the same for this show. Northern Ireland also has a wealth of possible filming locations.



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  13. Over at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has written about having watched Netflix’s Blue Eye Samurai, a Western animated story of revenge set in Edo Japan. We ourselves suggested fans should check it out shortly after its release when he binged it (over three days, as well, just like GRRM and Parris), suggesting that its adult nature, its bloody action, and its plotting would appeal to fans of A Song of Ice and Fire or Game of Thrones:

    So, a good call from George. But he goes on past praising Blue Eye Samurai to discuss the state of possible animated successors to Game of Thrones... including the big news that the formerly-live Nine Voyages is being retooled as a possible animated series.

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  14. Last week, George posted an update to Not a Blog recounting a trip he took to the UK in late October and early November, in which he refers to meetings with his UK publishers concerning both A Song of Ice and Fire and Wild Cards, and then added some details regarding the play currently called The Iron Throne (it’s a working title):

    And since we are talking theatre… one of the meetings I had in London was with Dominick and Duncan, the director and scriptwriter of our own stage play, the one we have been working on for the past few years.  Originally we were calling it HARRENHAL, but we have now settled on THE IRON THRONE as a title… until we think of something better.  Regardless, things are coming well, I think, and we are hopeful of being able to open in late 2024.  Maybe.  But you never know.  There’s still a lot of work to be done.

    The play was first announced way back in March of 2021. Dominic and Duncan would be Dominic Macmillan, the play’s director, and Duncan Cooke, the playwright.

    And then George wrote a bit about his days working with Ryan Condal and the writers of House of the Dragon....

     



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  15. A month ago, it was revealed that press had been given a screening of a season 2 teaser. We speculated then that it would be something fans would get to look at within a month… and as it happens, to the very day of our post, the season 2 teaser has been released by HBO. See it below!

    Besides this, yesterday HBO released a pair of new character posters featuring Rhaenyra and Alicent… and now today they’ve released quite a few stills or on-set photographs from the new season, to whet the appetites of fans. See those below!



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  16. The arrival of the Sealord of Braavos at the Planky Town had been a splendid event, the purple-hulled galleys causing a stir among the orphans of the Greenblood and the Dornish merchants who keep the port busy. From there the Sealord and his entourage—an array of courtiers, bravos, more than one of Braavos’s famed courtesans, bankers, and more—were largely carried by palanquin and wheelhouse to Sunspear. Droves of the people of the shadow city came out to see the meeting of the Prince of Dorne, Maron, with his Braavosi counterpart, Tenesio Velaron. Even though the sun was high in the sky and merciless, the people came to line the way through the Threefold Gate.

    Having passed under the eyes of the Dornish and the Threefold Gate to arrive at the Old Palace, the Prince helped the Sealord to step out of his palanquin. The great company then retired to the Sandship’s ancient feasting hall, which was arranged to welcome the Sealord in something like Braavosi-fashion, with seats and benches relegated to the margins, leaving the rest of the area open for the noble men and women to speak together. Wine flowed freely, and servants were constantly coming and going, bringing fresh cups and carrying away old, refilling plates of Dornish delicacies and a few dishes said to be favored in Braavos, and more.

    Throughout the night, it was noticed that Prince Maron stayed with the Sealord Tenesio, drinking with him and talking with him as one would expect of one potentate with another… but also taking the time to introduce him to various members of his court, whether it was members of the Martell family or even lowly knights in the service of important lords. Elsewhere, other members of the court conversed with those Braavosi who could speak the common tongue, or in some cases through interpreters, and it seemed the representatives of the Iron Bank and the two keyholders in the Sealord’s company drew particular attention from officers of the court… but it was the courtesans who drew most eyes, particularly the woman known as the Mistress of Swords, said to be the Sealord’s particular companion and confidant these past several years and rumored to be among the most influential women in Braavos.

    When the evening drew to a close, the Sealord and his company largely retired… but some of the bravos and more adventurous Braavosi followed young knights and ladies out into the shadow city, to enjoy the hospitality of Dorne once the sun was no longer blazing in the sky.

    And in King’s Landing? If King Aegon stews over the fact that his disastrous attempt to invade Dorne has thrown his enemies into the arms of the Free City of Braavos—mayhaps—he does not show it… but it’s known that ships sailing from King’s Landing have been told to keep an eye out for a large fleet of Braavosi galleys making its way south, and that there’d be a reward for the first to report a credible sighting. He and his small council may not show concern, but they seem more than eager to learn what they can of whatever negotiations take place between the Prince of Dorne and the Sealord of Braavos.

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  17. At a press event, HBO’s Casey Bloys unveiled a first-look trailer at the second season of House of the Dragon, according to Variety. While details of the trailer are embargoed, we’re guessing that it’ll air within the month, and perhaps within days.

    Bloys also indicated something that seems to confirm our speculation when a casting call went out in the UK: Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight is “will begin shooting next spring, pending the end of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.” That caveat is a curious detail there, which suggests that they plan for at least one significant role going to a North American actor… or maybe they’re just wanting to leave open the possibility? But I’m guessing the former, they have their sights on someone.

    Will those fan-casting Oscar Isaac as Baelor Breakspear be getting their wish? We’ll have to wait and see!



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  18. Out on X, fans waiting for any drip of news regarding House of the Dragon or any other Game of Thrones successor got their wish today ... maybe. This casting call began to make the rounds of fandom, fromthe official account of British casting director Lucy Bevan:

    It’s an open casting for an HBO show, presumably filming or about the UK, and they’re looking for just two characters right now which suggests they’re leads: a young boy of 9-10 with green or blue eyes, pale skin, and a “neutral English accent”, and then a “soldier” who is at least 6’4” tall with a “humble disposition” who is also “perceptive and thoughtful” and of any ethnicity. This seems suspiciously like what HBO would call for when casting for the roles of Egg and Ser Duncan the Tall, respectively, for the straight-to-series A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight!



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  19. With the recent end of the WGA strike (the second longest in its history), Variety has issued a report touching on Hollywood trying to get back into motion after the work stoppage, citing a number of shows. One paragraph in particular, however, discusses HBO specifically, noting that a number of their shows saw no production at all… but one big one, House of the Dragon, has in fact wrapped filming:

    HBO is eager to take fans back to Westeros for more backstabbing, incest and power plays with the second season of House of the Dragon, targeting a summer 2024 premiere, and looking ahead to a yet-to-be-ordered third season of the Game of Thrones prequel. While House of the Dragon was able to wrap filming on Season 2 during the strikes, as the scripts were already complete and the production is under a U.K. union contract, HBO was not able to produce new episodes of The White Lotus, Euphoria, and The Last of Us, and will be putting its focus on those projects in 2024, instead of new development.

    Summer 2024 sounds pretty good to us.

    Of course, besides HotD, the end of the strike also means that scriptwriting can resume on A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which HBO had ordered straight to series just before the strike.



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  20. The Conclave has met in the Citadel of Oldtown, the measurements and testaments of maesters across the Seven Kingdoms collated and examined by the wise archmaesters… and on white wings, the word that summer has ended and autumn has begun spreads across the realm. The white raven’s arrival in the Red Keep found the castle already in a festive mood, hard on the announcement of not one, but two women in the royal circle being with child. One was Princess Mariah, now carrying her fourth child for the Prince of Dragonstone, Daeron. The news of that would be celebrated as far as Sunspear, but within the Red Keep itself, the response was more careful and muted… not least because the king, the erstwhile grandsire, hardly acknowledged it.

    But who could blame him, truly, when a child of his own was even now being carried? For the other announcement was that the king’s mistress, Lady Melissa of House Blackwood, was with child. As the custom has always been for noble ladies to wait a time before making an announcement, it shed new light on the rumors of the king having begun plans for a great tourney… for it seems he intends to throw it in honor of Missy Blackwood and her unborn child (“A son, leal and dutiful!” the king has predicted often and loudly) primarily, and to choose a kingsguard knight as almost an afterthought despite the late, lamented Ser Aleyn Florent’s post standing empty now for half a year.

    How grand the tourney will be, however, remains a question as the treasury continues to feel the pinch from the many losses of the king’s aborted attempt to conqueor Dorne. Debates have raged in the small council about the borrowing of funds from various sources—the Lannisters, the Hightowers, the Iron Bank of Braavos, even the Archon of Tyrosh—and how to make good on the debts by finding ways to squeeze more from taxes, duties, and other such means of raising funds. King Aegon has no intentions of being constrained by coin counters, and insists that funds be found quickly.

    This has caused a certain tension with the Hand, Lord Bracken, seemingly… although some at court whisper that it is Missy Blackwood’s influence (and her swelling belly) that has upset the Hand, who himself is grandsire to the king’s bastard Aegor Rivers, the boy the king once suggested might be his heir when Prince Daeron displeased him.

    The long, long history of feuds between the Blackwoods and the Brackens explains Lord Bracken’s discomfort well enough, but others at court wonder if it doesn’t have to do with those ill-said words said many moons ago, a tantalizing possibility that the grandsire of a bastard might become, one day, grandsire of a king… _if_ some more pleasing bastard does not come forward, in any case.

    And in Dorne? The Dornishmen have not been idle since King Aegon’s aborted invasion. On the one hand, ravens have flown from Sunspear, to Dragonstone and King’s Landing, Oldtown and Storm’s End, indicating that Prince Maron welcomes the restoration of good relations. In the Boneway and the Prince’s Pass, trade has once again begun to flow in both directions, the ways no longer controlled by the armies that Dornishmen readied to face the invaders but now only patrolled by watchtower guards and the hired hedge knights and men-at-arms who protect caravans and merchant trains from outlaws.

    And in the Planky Town, word that a ship that set sail months before, with a delegation to the Free Cities with the aim of finding allies, has come back now with great tidings: the Sealord of Braavos has agreed to pay a visit to Sunspear in his own person at the end of a journey down the coast of Essos to visit the rival Free Cities of Myr, Pentos, and Tyrosh, with worthies among the Iron Bank and the great merchant houses in attendance. Such journeys by Sealords out of Braavos are rare indeed… and tend to signal the Sealord’s confidence in his rule of the secret city. Tenesio Velaron, the current Sealord, served as a noted admiral of the fleets of Braavos, not unlike a predecessor, Ferro Antaryon, the Lion of Braavos, who himself journeyed to King’s Landing at the invitation of the Young Dragon to discuss a possible alliance with the Iron Throne to secure control of Dorne. Has Prince Maron learned the lesson of history, and sought to make a similar alliance to dissuade Aegon from further adventures?

    And does Tenesio Velaron recall that the Lion of Braavos himself died most unexpectedly, not long after entering negotiations with King Daeron?

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  21. Summer is always a slow time on the game and a difficult time for us to arrange much in the way of events. But now we’re in August and things should gradually be settling down. To kick things back into gear again, we want to hear from you.

    Specifically, we want everyone to put in a +job (use the type REQ) titled “Ideas for my character” where you give us some ideas and wishes (big or small doesn’t matter!) about what you would like to do on the game. Specifically, we’d like to know the following:

    * Is there anything in particular you would like your character to achieve or any particular direction you would like your character to move in?

    * Are there any particular types of scenes/roleplay you would like to participate in?

    How general or specific you are is up to you, but our idea is to try and use what we get from the players and plan things with that in mind. We can’t promise that everyone gets what they want, but hopefully we can use the information to plan scenes and plots that draw people in.

    We won’t necessarily respond to these +jobs unless there are questions or things we need clarification about, but we will collect all the information and work from there.

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  22. Back in May, the beginning of the WGA strike shuttered many productions, but not House of the Dragon. Now SAG-AFTRA has called a strike for many of the same reasons as the WGA… but it’s currently being reported that a couple of UK-based productions will continue filming because actors who are members of SAG are also members of the UK’s Equity, and their contracts are (allegedly) under the terms of Equity. And of course, one of those productions not shutting down (reportedly) is, once again, House of the Dragon. According to the Deadline article, the UK’s laws don’t allow sympathetic strikes, and actors are receiving guidance telling them to continue to report in to work if their contracts are under Equity rather than SAG.



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  23. This year’s nominees for the Emmys have been announced, and HBO’s House of the Dragon has done well for itself with six eight (or nine, sort of) nominations, contributing to the phenomenal HBO/MAX total nominations of 127, and tying a decades-old record (set by CBS in 1973 and matched by NBC in 1993) of 4 separate dramas nominated in Best Drama.  See the categories below!

     


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