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Dance of the Dragons Pilot Near Orders

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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.



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Hmm...I wonder if this news portends badly for how the 'Bloodmoon'/Long Night pilot has been received by execs, or if they plan to produce and air two GoT off-shoots contemporaneously on HBO? 

The Dance of the Dragons civil war is certainly far more compelling source material (not to mention setting) for me than the Age of Heroes ever was.

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I note in the article that AT&T's take over of HBO came with indications that they felt HBO was lax about creating original programming in volume, so... I think it likelier than not that they're considering two shows, perhaps airing Spring and Autumn. But if that's not their plan, then yes, this suggests Bloodmoon may have some issues.

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If there are problems with Bloodmoon, then cast Naomi Watts as Rhaenys, The Red Queen (aka The Queen Who Never Was).  She's the right age.

Alexander Skarsgard for Daemon though must happen.

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5 minutes ago, Ran said:

Jason Isaacs has always been my go-to for Daemon.

A bit too old, don't you think?

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1 minute ago, SpaceChampion said:

A bit too old, don't you think?

Daemon was almost 50 during the Dance.

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I'd think they'd start several years before that to set the Dance up.  Starting right with the war doesn't make narrative sense.  They'd need to show the end of Viserys' reign, his relationship with Alicent and Rhaenyra, the intrigue between the Greens and Black.  Starting with Daemon warring in the Stepstones might be good, and then him estranged from Viserys and unwelcome at Court.  Or his days forming the Goldcloaks.  Lots of stuff needs to be set up, and Isaacs is already 56, and perhaps would be 57 or 58 by the time of production.  Skarsgard is 43.  Starting a six or seven year show with Daemon at about 43 or 44 would make sense.

And Skarsgard could credibly seduce teen Rhaenyra.  Isaacs looks his age and would be over 60 by the time the show ended.

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Eh. I like Skarsgård, but he's not remotely anywhere near my vision of Daemon.

And in any case, he's now locked in to playing Randall Flagg in The Stand.

 

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@Ran a lot of news sites are saying that this will cover all sorts of stuff from Fire & Blood like the Conquest...is it true that it’s an anthology?

because it sounds more like a bunch of lazy reporters didn’t even know what fire and blood IS, so they got confused when told “a dance of the Dragons show is based on Fire and Blood” - but not all of Fire and Blood.

well, we’ll soon break them of that.

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You haven't seen him play Zhukov in The Death of Stalin, I take it.

I admit, I'm confused by the fact that Deadline and THR seem to be reporting subtly contradictory things between one another (Deadline says it's Cogman's project that Condal has revised, THR says it's not that at all, it's something new but in the "same world" or something), and explicitly contradictory with EW. Because of Hibberd's long-running access, I suspect he is the one nearer the mark than they are, but one can see how to square the circle a bit, if a strict Dance focus  has shifted to a somewhat broader story, perhaps beginning... lets say, back in the latter days of Jaehaerys's reign, setting up the later conflict, with the Dance as the end goal rather than the thing that starts up in the first or at latest the second season.

But an anthology series trying to cover the entirety of Targaryen history from the Conquest on... I think that's not too likely, even if there's one aspect that could be appealing to HBO, namely the ability to jump to new casts from season to season, keeping the acting budget down. But it can be alienating to viewers, potentially. On the gripping hand, this is what True Detective and American Horror Story have been doing for awhile, so... maybe?

But for now I believe it's the Dance.

Edited by Ran

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I feel a lot of the other asoiaf characters would be best portrayed in a historical hbo show of the conquest of the new world.

2 hours ago, Ran said:

Daemon was almost 50 during the Dance.

 

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

You haven't seen him play Zhukov in The Death of Stalin, I take it.

oh I have, and don't get me wrong:  "Any sedition must be reported to the Central committee with the full extent of that - haha! You should have seen the look on your face!" --- but that's more "playful" bravado.  We're talking a man who oozes machismo.  A man who the Gold Cloaks would fight to the death for.

A man who knows the difference between Liberate Me and Liberate Tutemet Ex Inferis!

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Quote

I admit, I'm confused by the fact that Deadline and THR seem to be reporting subtly contradictory things between one another (Deadline says it's Cogman's project that Condal has revised, THR says it's not that at all, it's something new but in the "same world" or something), and explicitly contradictory with EW. Because of Hibberd's long-running access, I suspect he is the one nearer the mark than they are, but one can see how to square the circle a bit, if a strict Dance focus  has shifted to a somewhat broader story, perhaps beginning... lets say, back in the latter days of Jaehaerys's reign, setting up the later conflict, with the Dance as the end goal rather than the thing that starts up in the first or at latest the second season.

….I'm pretty sure it's the Dance, and someone got confused that they might show the leadup to it instead of a cold open on Viserys I's warm corpse.

if it WAS an anthology....how the heck could they have come up with five separate prequel pitches?  Something covering "all of Fire & Blood" would do most.  Heck, GRRM himself publicly let slip that "two" prequel series were based on material from Fire & Blood.  

It's possible they drastically shifted tactics to make an anthology....but they DO NOT say that, they say he's just covering Cogman's prequel. Argh.

This search tool for registered trademarks may prove useful in days ahead:

https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/welcome.html

In the leadup to the Long Night prequel announcement, "Home Box Office, Inc" filed trademark.

I've been regularly checking back new trademark applications by HBO there - filter by applicant name and by date.

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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Here is my understanding of the prequels saga up to this point.

It was announced HBO commissioned not one, not two, not three but four prequel pilot scripts from several writers. EXCEPT...GRRM, that lovable lug spilled the beans and stated that HBO had actually commissioned five prequel scripts and yes that fifth script became BLOODMOON or whatever they are going to call the show with Naomi Watts about the Age of Heroes that recently finished filming its pilot episode. 

At the time not much was known about those other four shows but it seemed obvious to me that they would mostly be centered around events in the greater WOIAF that include dragons because ...well because dragons! Now at the time, I knew that GRRM has specifically stated that Dunk & Egg were not an option as he didn't want to have a tv show based on a book series he had not finished for reasons I think we all understand and he also stated that Robert's Rebellion was off the table because the GoT already knew most of what went down. Therefore my thoughts on the four possible shows went like this :

1. Aegon's Conquest

2. Dance of the Dragons: Targ civil war

3.  The Doom of Valyria

4. This was the one I was never sure of so when we finally find out what this was I will be most interested. Maybe something set in Essos? I would be interested to hear thoughts on what this should could have been. 

 

Anyway, it turns out I was correct about Dance of the Dragons because Bryan Cogman had stated he was writing the script for this show but that HBO rejected it and then he went off to do Lord of the Rings for Amazon. This being the case I don't think they turned him down just the dance with someone else. My guess would be that HBO will move ahead both with BLOODMOON and a show focused on Fire & Blood but that have combined options 1 and 2 into a single show.  I read both the EW and the Deadline stories about this Targ centered show and they are a bit muddled with DL stating that it is focused on the Conquest and then fall of the dragons while  EW stated that the show will eventually focus on the dance.  My guess is that the show will be an anthology like American Horror Story but focusing on major Targ events throughout Fire & Blood. If you will pardon me for being crass my guess is HBO in having to decide between hot bisexual incestuous three ways of Aegon's Conquest and nonstop dragons fighting dragons of the civil war decided why not have both!!

We are getting Westorosi Targaryan Story is what I am saying but I don't think this means BLOODMOON is bit going to make it. I think HBO wants both and I think HBO always wanted two post-GoT shows. I also suspect that they wanted the conquest and dance from the start but both wanted to keep GRRM happy with BLOODMOON along with liking the concept and decided to spend a small amount of money on a couple of other script ideas just to see what might develop. 

 

 

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Correction:  No, Long Night was not the fifth idea announced after the initial four, as its showrunner Jane Goldman was part of the original batch of four who were announced.  HOWEVER, Long Night may well have been the last one pitched.

...the problem is that they were ANNOUNCED out of order, relative to when they were pitched.  Cogman's busy schedule with Season 8 meant his got announced a month later than the others, even though Martin actually ASSIGNED him the Dance in May 2018 (before the June 2018 announcement).

….I still think Long Night was one of the last ideas announced.

I, to, have no idea what the "fifth prequel" is or perhaps was:  Long Night, Valyria, Targaryen Conquest, Dance of the Dragons.  Those are a mix of what we know or what seems obvious.  Robert's Rebellion and Dunk & Egg are off limits.  I'm not sure what else they thought would appeal to a TV audience (i.e. I don't know if they'd even want a Blackfyre Rebellion pitch just yet).  

Whatever the case, this was later narrowed down to what Martin said as recently as this past August were "three" pitch ideas.....

the NEW wrinkle to all this is that we assumed Cogman leaving earlier in spring reduced it to four, and then this narrowed to three of the five originals....when it turns out that Cogman's prequel was simply handed off to Condal, the Dance of the Dragons.  Well not too big of a wrinkle:  I had assumed Carly Wray was doing the Dance, turns out it was Cogman, but I already thought "the Dance" was the third idea.

So now we've got three pitches: Jane Goldman's Long Night, Ryan Condal's Dance of the Dragons...and one other.  Which I kind of hope is a Valyria prequel given rumors that a lot of work already went into that...but I have no idea whatsoever.  there were rumblings even last August of 2018, that those were the top three ideas being considered.  But I have no idea whatsoever and I'm kind of afraid to find out.

"Keep GRRM happy with Bloodmoon" - I seriously doubt Martin wanted to make Bloodmoon.

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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Not particularly keen about a Dance show. There is not much character development in FaB in that department, and to start it in medias res (i.e. shortly before or immediately when the Dance starts) wouldn't make much narrative sense. And then - a war that lasted only two+ years means this could be only 2-3 seasons if they stick to the old routine, with most of the dragon fights taking place in the first and early second season.

There wouldn't be a great climax but a war ending with a whimper, and a continuation in the Regency era - while actually having a lot of character development - would feel really awkward, sort of like some sort of chamber drama.

There are some good buildup elements if such a show started with the prelude to the Dance, but there are not many interesting characters or plots there, especially not in the 121-129 AC period.

And if they actually covered the early reign of Viserys I then they would have to recast crucial characters as they grew older, at least the many children - speaking about them: there are too many and, yes, they are too young again ;-).

The Hightowers and Viserys I and Laenor-Rhaenyra and some Daemon tidbits could be fun - as would all the events in 120 AC - but aside from that there isn't really that much interesting potential.

I guess it could be fun if they really decided to play out the Dance and take things very slowly by properly introducing many of the characters and slowly building up the war as such - meaning that a first season would end with the death of Princess Rhaenys, say, the second with the fall of King's Landing, the third with the Battle Above the Gods Eye, the fourth with Rhaenyra's death, and the fifth with Aegon III's coronation.

A good way to give us background would be to make extensive use of flashbacks, possibly making the series take place in two different times.

If they slowly uncovered and explained the rivalry between Rhaenyra and Alicent by showing us their past, exploring the parentage of Rhaenyra's sons, the hatred between Daemon and Otto, the issue between Aemond and Lucerys, etc. this could actually be both entertaining and fun.

But the story overall would still have no good ending, and, actually, no good theme that is worth to be told aside from the obvious - families shouldn't kill each other and succession wars are always stupid (not to mention one should not listen to weirdo advisers). Which one would have already learned by watching the previous show.

And if I have to guess they would likely not cast and portray Rhaenyra as a not-so-sympathetic plump, compulsive woman... Which leads us to the fact that this show - if adapting the material faithfully - would be seriously lacking in heroes. Aside from Addam of Hull, Jacaerys Velaryon, and Baela Targaryen there are no main characters in the story that could be presented as proper heroes - and only two of those would have a reasonable amount of screen time.

Edited by Lord Varys

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