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Dance of the Dragons Pilot Near Orders

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2 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Depending how Rhaenyra will be portrayed it might not exactly be all that unjust... If they make her the instigator of Blood and Cheese, if they show her being happy about Maelor's death, if they have her enjoy the humiliation of Helaena and Alicent (or have her indeed command the murder of Helaena!) then there would be little redeemable about Rhaenyra - if you keep in mind that she definitely should, in addition, command the arrest of Addam Velaryon and the murder of Nettles.

See thats the greatness of Aegon III witnessing it. Its his mother, no matter how messed up she was, letting him see it is where the gold is. To the viewer he'll be the rightful heir after her and wonder how it'll affect him and Westeros.

Aegon II and Amon will be viewed as a-holes from the get-go; first time we meet them Aemon says "Is Aegon king or do have to kiss the old whore's cunny?" The Walder fanboys will jump on it and become hardcore Greens, no doubt.

16 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Dany gets a better death scene than Rhaenyra. The motivation and backstory is nonsense, but Jon killing her is actually a pretty good idea in principle.

Seen just a death scene Dany's was indeed grand. But a death scene is never just a death scene, it needs to bring something into the story as well as taking something out. A wtf-moment isn't worth much on its own.

Rhaenyra had a son left alive which makes it less pointless. Dany was the last pretty much everything which should've resonated in some manner and not just be glossed over in five sec.

I struggle to see how Jon killing Dany could have played out interesting in terms of bringing something into the story.

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10 hours ago, Sigella said:

See thats the greatness of Aegon III witnessing it. Its his mother, no matter how messed up she was, letting him see it is where the gold is. To the viewer he'll be the rightful heir after her and wonder how it'll affect him and Westeros.

As I said, I'm very skeptical about a faithful adaptation of Aegon III. The 'pale shadow' would essentially be some child actor with big eyes and no lines, watching how the world around him burned. There is certainly a potential for a sad and tragic story there, but as I said above I don't see the ending with Aegon III becoming as anything positive. His story, if told properly, would be the story of the destruction a child in war. There is no positive spin to that. No character growth, but instead the destruction of a character.

Even in FaB it is clear the pre-Dance Aegon the Younger - while a solemn and introvert boy - was in no way as damaged or traumatized as King Aegon III after the Dance.

10 hours ago, Sigella said:

Aegon II and Amon will be viewed as a-holes from the get-go; first time we meet them Aemon says "Is Aegon king or do have to kiss the old whore's cunny?" The Walder fanboys will jump on it and become hardcore Greens, no doubt.

Yeah, combined with the fact that you cannot really sell the guys championing the misogynistic 'only men should rule' or 'women should not/never rule over men' in our day and age it is quite clear that the Greens will be the villains and the Blacks the good guys - which would make this not exactly a complex or very interesting story.

In the book it is more nuanced, but it is clear that the Blacks are the ones who have the moral highground even if they also do some questionable things.

10 hours ago, Sigella said:

Seen just a death scene Dany's was indeed grand. But a death scene is never just a death scene, it needs to bring something into the story as well as taking something out. A wtf-moment isn't worth much on its own.

Rhaenyra had a son left alive which makes it less pointless. Dany was the last pretty much everything which should've resonated in some manner and not just be glossed over in five sec.

I struggle to see how Jon killing Dany could have played out interesting in terms of bringing something into the story.

I still don't see how Jon killing Dany can work in the books. But it is quite clear that, theoretically speaking, somebody killing a person they love for some weird reason is a better plot than a brother killing his sister for because he very much hates her. It is a bit drastic, yes, but ultimately neither surprising nor particularly controversial in the setting we are talking about.

I mean, I don't like Aegon II at all, but one has to admit that it is clearly understandable why he did what he did and also why he enjoyed what he did.

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@Ran

I don't know if you and Linda are going to put out another YouTube news video on this just yet due to GRRM's confirmation blog post...or if there isn't enough time.

But here's a quick idea;  it might be worthwhile to simply take your old video on the "successors: Westeros", cut it to just the "Dance of the Dragons" section, and repost that as a standalone, just to reiterate your thoughts on a Dance prequel now that everyone is looking for views on it.  A repost wouldn't take up much of your time.

Edited by The Dragon Demands

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It's an idea. I did link it in a recent Tweet, but maybe worth at least posting it. 

Funny how that was 2 years ago, and even then we were noting how there was a lot to ponder about regarding just when to start it.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

It's an idea. I did link it in a recent Tweet, but maybe worth at least posting it. 

Funny how that was 2 years ago, and even then we were noting how there was a lot to ponder about regarding just when to start it.

Thanks!

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On 9/18/2019 at 3:26 AM, Lord Varys said:

As I said, I'm very skeptical about a faithful adaptation of Aegon III. The 'pale shadow' would essentially be some child actor with big eyes and no lines, watching how the world around him burned. There is certainly a potential for a sad and tragic story there, but as I said above I don't see the ending with Aegon III becoming as anything positive. His story, if told properly, would be the story of the destruction a child in war. There is no positive spin to that. No character growth, but instead the destruction of a character.

Even in FaB it is clear the pre-Dance Aegon the Younger - while a solemn and introvert boy - was in no way as damaged or traumatized as King Aegon III after the Dance.

Aegon III will have some semblance to that of Rickon in aGot, I imagine there will be at least three different versions of him; first his normal self, then getting a bit more destroyed for every loss of brothers and finally the mutism-mode after his mother dies.

Then him softening a bit to his wife and stepping up to rule when he reaches his majority.

On 9/18/2019 at 3:26 AM, Lord Varys said:

Yeah, combined with the fact that you cannot really sell the guys championing the misogynistic 'only men should rule' or 'women should not/never rule over men' in our day and age it is quite clear that the Greens will be the villains and the Blacks the good guys - which would make this not exactly a complex or very interesting story.

In the book it is more nuanced, but it is clear that the Blacks are the ones who have the moral highground even if they also do some questionable things.

Nope, because there is great nuance to the people around them. Like Criston Cole's perfect black knight that turns into spiteful-revengeporn-level green is quite a journey in itself. Helaena shouldn't be made out bad, if they paint her good her fate will be even heavier. All we know is that she made a dry comment about Aegon II shunning her bed so that could be elaborated. Prince Daemon is really dark grey. There's ample opportunity for elaborations on both sides.

Anyway, the Hightower-Targs parallels nicely with house Lannister in the Abomination, they worked even though they where pretty bad because they were interesting.

On 9/18/2019 at 3:26 AM, Lord Varys said:

I still don't see how Jon killing Dany can work in the books. But it is quite clear that, theoretically speaking, somebody killing a person they love for some weird reason is a better plot than a brother killing his sister for because he very much hates her. It is a bit drastic, yes, but ultimately neither surprising nor particularly controversial in the setting we are talking about.

I mean, I don't like Aegon II at all, but one has to admit that it is clearly understandable why he did what he did and also why he enjoyed what he did.

Me neither. 

Its the crescendo-scene, they will have fought a bitter war for years and finally one gets eaten by a dragon. It doesn't need nuance at that point, nobody's gonna need a flute-solo when the cymbals and and piano is having crazy time. Its a pretty grand scene.

 

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5 hours ago, Sigella said:

Aegon III will have some semblance to that of Rickon in aGot, I imagine there will be at least three different versions of him; first his normal self, then getting a bit more destroyed for every loss of brothers and finally the mutism-mode after his mother dies.

Then him softening a bit to his wife and stepping up to rule when he reaches his majority.

Assuming we get to Aegon III's regency in this show we are talking about this would be the portrait of a faithful Aegon III. The question is whether that would make a compelling story - and I doubt that. Aegon III would be neither a compelling main child character, nor a hero people could cheer for or identify with. All a faithful Aegon III could inspire would be pity - and perhaps even some disgust, considering how meek he behaves around Peake and Long.

5 hours ago, Sigella said:

Nope, because there is great nuance to the people around them. Like Criston Cole's perfect black knight that turns into spiteful-revengeporn-level green is quite a journey in itself. Helaena shouldn't be made out bad, if they paint her good her fate will be even heavier. All we know is that she made a dry comment about Aegon II shunning her bed so that could be elaborated. Prince Daemon is really dark grey. There's ample opportunity for elaborations on both sides.

I meant in relation to the entire point of the war. No self-respecting person can cheer the Green gang because they want to defend mysoginistic 'hallowed Andal laws and traditions'.

And I'd not really count Criston Cole (who definitely could have an interesting story and arc if they started with his humble beginnings, rise to the Kingsguard, infatuation with Rhaenyra, etc.) as a Black. When the proper political bickering and rivalry starts he is a die-hard Green.

Helaena could only be a compelling character, I'd think, if they actually gave her a proper character and something more to do than grow mad and confined her to her apartments after her oldest son was killed. Because that's basically her story in the book. If she would get her own character, agenda, goals, hopes, fears, plans, etc. in the show that would all inventions of the writers and nothing that George gave her in his own writings.

Whether such a Helaena would have much to do with George's picture of the character we cannot even guess since George's Helaena isn't really a character. She might have been a pretty nice girl and good mother before her breakdown, but even that's just a guess from the brief moments she says something. But we have no idea, for instance, what she thought about her mother's scheming and their plan to steal Rhaenyra's crown. Was she happy or disgusted to be crowned queen? We don't know. Did she like, resent, or was neutral towards her half-sister? We don't know that, either. And a similar thing goes for Daeron, by the way? Did he feel for Rhaenyra and her sons the same way Aegon II and Aemond did? We don't know that, either.

5 hours ago, Sigella said:

Its the crescendo-scene, they will have fought a bitter war for years and finally one gets eaten by a dragon. It doesn't need nuance at that point, nobody's gonna need a flute-solo when the cymbals and and piano is having crazy time. Its a pretty grand scene.

If you just think of the event as an isolated event on the screen it can be a great scene, yes. But I don't think it is a good or compelling plot. It won't be a surprise if we see Aegon II taking Dragonstone before, and to see a beaten and broken woman getting killed is not a great twist, either. It is like presenting the eventual death of an old and sick person as a surprise or great exit - when that's actually the thing one would expect to happen.

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Basically, my mental image of major "stopping points" in the Dance of the Dragons which would serve well as season finales, are these major battles.  Unless they want "season 1" to be about the reign of Viserys ending with his death...let's call this "season zero" for the sake of argument....but adapting with the idea that it starts with Viserys I's death, I think the natural stopping point for season 1 is the battle of rook's rest.  Moving along in that fashion.....

one season needs to end with Rhaenyra capturing King's Landing.  I'll get back to that.

They might want to show some major battles out of sequence; i.e. the Butcher's Ball wasn't much of a set piece so much as a slaughter; do you lump that in at the end of a season or at the beginning?  probably a good eye-catching season premiere followup to the fall of King's Landing....

So we'd have a Season that begins with Butcher's Ball, Rhaenyra triumphant, but gradually across that season things fall apart - ending either with First Tumbleton or the Storming of the Dragonpit and Rhaenyra's death...which would be a LOT to pack into one season.  I could see them ending on any one of those three events....and that's not even getting into Caraxes vs Vhagar.

The final season is pretty clear:  picking up after Rhaenyra dies through the Muddy Mess and Aegon II's death.

 

But "Season 2" of this would be too big:  search for Dragonseeds through capture of King's Landing and the Fishfeed.  Might it be better as two seasons?  split up just as book 3 o AsoIAF was split into two seasons?

the war itself lasted 2 years, and I had a mental picture of roughly half a year per season, for a time:  1 - through Rook's Rest, 2 - through Rhaenyra capturing KL, 3 - fall of Rhaenyra, 4 - fall of Aegon II.  a TV adaptation might need to expanded this to one year per season and saying the war lasted four years (I don't have a problem with that).  But "Season 2" in there...that's basically ALL of the major land warfare, Honeywine, entire Riverlands campaign through the Fishfeed.  You can DO that as one season, but it would be stuffed compared to other seasons.  

So I see four...preferably five seasons out of this (and directly leading into a Regency show).  

 

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Separate issue:  aging up the younger characters

while there are no sex scenes comparable to Daenerys's wedding night in the premiere of Game of Thrones, which unavoidably required her to be aged up, there's the more general pressure of aging up child actors to get a better performance.  A 16 year old can give a better performance than a 14 year old.  A six year old Rickon was preferable to a three year old Rickon.  

….BUT, this depends on how big their roles will ultimately be - how much screentime would Aegon III, Viserys II, and Aegon III's children ultimately get?  should they be expanded or reduced?  Expansion would require older actors.

Ages of younger characters at the outbreak of the Dance of the Dragons:

Blacks:

  • Jace Velaryon - 15
  • Luke Velaryon - 14
  • Joff Velaryon - 12
  • Aegon III - 9
  • Viserys II - 7
  • Baela & Rhaena (twins) - 17
  • Nettles - 16

Greens:

  • Aemond One-Eye - 19
  • Daeron the Daring - 15
  • Jaehaerys & Jaehaera (twins) - 6
  • Maelor - 3

A separate issue are the Lads, who would show up later in the TV show's run.  Benjicot Blackwood was 11 when the war broke out.  And the green Lord Kermit Tully was of an age with Baela & Rhaena, 17.

To be honest, aging up 14 year olds to be 16 in order to get better actors doesn't concern me much or even change the story that much (aging up Robb Stark didn't change him that much in the TV show)

The question is....thinking of Rickon…..how prominent should or will the child characters be?  At least at the start?  Rhaenyra's two youngest sons both grow up to be kings and are important characters...eventually.  And Aegon II's three small children?

Because while not consummated, the war technically ends with two 11 year olds getting married.

 

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