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House of the Dragon Series Order Announced

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@Lord Varys

I agree. One of the things GRRM could have done was not make the Targaryen family tree so damn small.

Why couldn't Daella have had more children? Why couldn't Viserra be the mother of Medrick and Torrhen Manderly? Why couldn't Vaella have lived and married maybe the widowed Eustace Hightower? Why couldn't Prince Aegon (son of Baelon) have lived to take part in the Dance (as a Green) with children of his own? And while Rhaena + Aerea did get interesting stories I would still have liked for Rhaena or her daughter, Rhaella, to have been the mother of Corlys. (I'd also honestly prefer Alysanne to be Maegor's daughter instead of Jaehaerys's sister.)

As for the Dance itself I would, for example, have given Aegon II an actual arc wherein he becomes a prototype of Aegon III to really drive home just how accurate Gyldayn was when he named the last chapter of the Dance "the short, sad reign of Aegon II".

Edited by The Grey Wolf

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16 hours ago, Mystical said:

Oh I don't know. How many people thought it was Viserys in the flashback of the R+L marriage that Bran visited? Because there were quite a few. Of course it was most likely just the same wig but even I thought that at first since the actor playing Rhaegar looked like Harry Lloyd in profile.

Not to mention that the major difference between this new show and GoT is that there were many different families in the mix. This show will probably be 90% just focused on Targs where 90% of them all have the same damn look.

Exactly. When I first started the show, before I read the books, I kept getting Robb and Theon confused. Judging by the Targs featured on GOT, they're all going to be wearing the same white wig, so it'll be easy to mix them up.

It's also pretty common for TV shows to only have one woman per hair color. When there's more than one, there's something else physically differentiating them. Take GOT, which has a huge cast. There are four important red-haired women: Sansa, Cat, Ygritte, and Ros. Sansa is much younger than the others, and Cat is much older. Ygritte and Ros are then contrasted by their vastly different wardrobes, with Ros wearing revealing silk dresses, and Ygritte wearing bulky snow suits. 

I fully believe the cast and crew will be able to make the characters visually stand apart, I'm just curious as to how they go about it. (I'm also looking forward to the costumes. One thing I liked about season six was that it had a different costume designer).

* * *

Fire and Blood has plenty of great material for a show, but I also think that there's a lot of great material where George left out. The post-Regency period could make for a really entertaining, chaotic family drama. You start at the end of Aegon III's reign, then carry through Daeron's conquest, Baelor and his sisters, Aegon IV as a Henry VIII-type figure (and judging by all the Tudors' superfans I know, I think that could really sell), and ending during Daeron II's reign, before Dunk and Egg starts. (I also think George could easily release make F&B a trilogy, with this period making up the second volume, but that's another conversation). Viserys II could be portrayed as a cross between Ned and Tywin: the long-suffering patriarch who spends his whole life preventing his family from implosion. 

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On 10/30/2019 at 10:01 AM, Ran said:


I really think there are very few people who watch something like Rome and think too much about how much better it is just because it's based on real history. Half of them probably only had the vaguest sense of what was real history and what was fake in that show, to be honest. If the story is good, if the drama is good, most people will enjoy it. If it's not, they won't. 

Rome captured people's attention because it was told from the perspective of different families and different classes. It moved back and forth between the soldiers and the power players. This approach isnt really built into Fire and Blood and a potential show would be awful if it just focused on people who are from House of the Lizard. They could make it good if they included stories of people who don't give a fuck about the throne.

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That's a non argument. AGOT is told from over half a dozen perspectives, and the show included even more perspectives. Fire and Blood is written by a single maester a hundred and fifty years after the Dance, based on three or so contemporary but biased sources. It would be absurd to judge the potential of a series in which the characters involved will each get their unique voices based on a book that is intentionally written in the voice of a single editor using a few sources. And there's plenty of non-Targs in the Dance.

Edited by Bael's Bastard

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4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Exactly. When I first started the show, before I read the books, I kept getting Robb and Theon confused. Judging by the Targs featured on GOT, they're all going to be wearing the same white wig, so it'll be easy to mix them up.

They will find some ways to make them distinct. And I'd not even count on them using those wigs. They could drop the special hairs/eyes concept entirely (although I'm definitely not saying they should).

4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

It's also pretty common for TV shows to only have one woman per hair color. When there's more than one, there's something else physically differentiating them. Take GOT, which has a huge cast. There are four important red-haired women: Sansa, Cat, Ygritte, and Ros. Sansa is much younger than the others, and Cat is much older. Ygritte and Ros are then contrasted by their vastly different wardrobes, with Ros wearing revealing silk dresses, and Ygritte wearing bulky snow suits. 

If we assume for a moment the show is going to start of Baelon's death and the Great Council (which could be a fine nod back to GoT starting with Jon Arryn's death) then we would have very few women there, anyway. There would be Queen Aemma, who would not be sticking around for long, there would Rhaenyra the pampered toddler who is not going to be confused with anybody else, there would be young Alicent who doesn't have Valyrian features (one assumes), and there would be Princess Rhaenys who would have black hair. There would also be young Laena and Laenor, but one could give them actually the hair color of their mother (i.e. black, too) to differentiate them from the Targaryens (or at least do that with Laena if they need Laenor to be fair-haired for the whole Rhaenyra thing).

We would also have few male Targaryens in the beginning, actually. Viserys I and Daemon (and the old white-haired king who would quickly die).

There is not all that much confusion to be expected. Later on when Alicent and Rhaenyra and Daemon and Aegon II have children of their own it could get somewhat confusing, but they would be introduced slowly, one assumes, and only feature when they reached a certain age.

4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Fire and Blood has plenty of great material for a show, but I also think that there's a lot of great material where George left out. The post-Regency period could make for a really entertaining, chaotic family drama. You start at the end of Aegon III's reign, then carry through Daeron's conquest, Baelor and his sisters, Aegon IV as a Henry VIII-type figure (and judging by all the Tudors' superfans I know, I think that could really sell), and ending during Daeron II's reign, before Dunk and Egg starts. (I also think George could easily release make F&B a trilogy, with this period making up the second volume, but that's another conversation). Viserys II could be portrayed as a cross between Ned and Tywin: the long-suffering patriarch who spends his whole life preventing his family from implosion. 

Part of why I'd have liked them starting at the beginning is the fact that FaB essentially has a shitty non-ending, something that would be a complete joke if a series ended with that. In the book, the Regency works as such, but ending the book at that point and not giving us the entire reign of Aegon III was a bad decision.

As a TV show the Regency era would be very weird, both a strange coda to the Dance as well as a buildup for things the source material never delivered, i.e. the actual reign of the Broken King and he dealt with the various enemies that are still out there (Alys Rivers and her son, Unwin Peake) not to mention the dangling plot lines (the dying of the last dragons, the private lives of crucial characters).

In that sense I'd say that if they have to continue the story after the Dance George better get around to write FaB II before they ran out adapting material a second time...

And as I essentially keep saying since forever, FaB II could and should in my opinion only cover the reigns of Aegon III up to Daeron II so that Dunk & Egg don't get spoiled and we actually get as much details on those reigns as we got on the Dance, the Regency and the first ten years of Jaehaerys I's reign. And with the troubled times of Aegon III, the Conquest of Dorne (which easily should be one of the most interesting wars in Westerosi history), the weirdo reign of Baelor the Blessed, as well as the exploits of the Unworthy and the First Blackfyre Rebellion there is very great material there. Easily a book the size of FaB I, or possible a hundred pages more than that.

39 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

That's a non argument. AGOT is told from over half a dozen perspectives, and the show included even more perspectives. Fire and Blood is written by a single maester a hundred and fifty years after the Dance, based on three or so contemporary but biased sources. It would be absurd to judge the potential of a series in which the characters involved will each get their unique voices based on a book that is intentionally written in the voice of a single editor using a few sources. And there's plenty of non-Targs in the Dance.

While it is clear we have to get more character development in the series than we ever got in FaB, the story as such stands. We don't need any insight into Jeyne Arryn doing nothing, Borros Baratheon sitting on his ass, Cregan Stark counting grain. Such plot lines don't need to be explored. They could be cut.

If they are not, the best way to salvage the thing is to change the story and make those characters actually have anything to do with the Dance of the Dragons as such (and not only show up when the curtain is already falling).

5 hours ago, The Grey Wolf said:

As for the Dance itself I would, for example, have given Aegon II an actual arc wherein he becomes a prototype of Aegon III to really drive home just how accurate Gyldayn was when he named the last chapter of the Dance "the short, sad reign of Aegon II".

For what it's worth, I think 'sad' is a poor choice of words there. That should have been 'pitiful' because that's what it was.

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1 hour ago, Bael's Bastard said:

s. It would be absurd to judge the potential of a series in which the characters involved will each get their unique voices based on a book that is intentionally written in the voice of a single editor using a few sources. And there's plenty of non-Targs in the Dance.

That is what I’m saying. To ADAPT it they will need to do a fair bit of writing whole cloth scenes and filling in. If it’s just about the (non-underdogs) striving for domination/supremacy between each other I doubt people will be engaged. So it might be good to show a portion of the story from characters who don’t care about their lizard overlords but who are nonetheless affected by their incessant wars. Show how it affected soldiers, masters, nobility, blacksmiths, people caught up in a civil war that served no purpose.

Or not. If it’s just going to be told from the Targaryen POV, I can still find amusement in how embarrassing they are. Watching them sow the seeds of their own destruction is entertaining in a way.

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4 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Screw coherent storytelling or consistent character building. Just give the viewing sheeple Dragoonnsss and make lots of $$$.

As I say, I'm not filled with enthusiasm for the project, but will try to keep an open mind.

It just seems like a sop for viewers who weren't happy with the decision to turn Daenerys into the love child of Unity Mitford and Genghis Khan over one episode in order to "subvert expectations"

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On 10/31/2019 at 11:13 AM, DisneyDoc2425 said:

That would be great. I really hope they will show in detail the "Battle Above the God's Eye" pitting Prince Daemon Targaryen riding Vhager verses Prince Aemond Targaryen riding his dragon Caraxes (covered in red scales-great for a Targaryen). These were two of the fiercest dragons at the time. Daemon reportedly jumped off his dragon and attacked Aemond on Caraxes (Aemond had limited mobility as he had secured himself in his saddle) with Daemon killing Aemond by plunging his sword Dark Sister into the remaining eye of Aemond. Both riders and their dragons died, but Daemon's body was never found (leading some to believe he was rescued by his possible paramour Nettles (with her dragon Sheepstealer), but there is no reported evidence to support this, but who knows what they might change in the show-but probably not. 

Just in case no one has yet noticed, it's Daemon riding Caraxes and Aemond riding Vhager.  But, yes, this has always been one of the most intriguing battles to me, maybe because it first made an impression with Arya finding Daemon's slashes in the heart tree, maybe because it's remained a good scene with interesting characters whenever it comes up. 

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12 hours ago, SeanF said:

As I say, I'm not filled with enthusiasm for the project, but will try to keep an open mind.

It just seems like a sop for viewers who weren't happy with the decision to turn Daenerys into the love child of Unity Mitford and Genghis Khan over one episode in order to "subvert expectations"

LOL  I do have to wonder on the idea of Targ Nation being a responsive Do Over from HBO for the Dany as Her Satanic Majesty in Mere Minutes.  As more books, more versions of the Dance period became available, I've always felt that there is more to learn about those characters.  For instance, most everything almost feels like Hightower Propaganda in regards to Daemon and Rhaenyra.  And, it almost feels intentional, as if...........waiting for the 'real' details.  Heck, if ideas for this have been around since 2016, maybe there's something to it. 

Although, of course, they could always...........FUCK IT UP, LOLOL

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On 10/31/2019 at 4:54 PM, Rose of Red Lake said:

Of course Targs will probably all look the same, they're all inbred. 

I think the Targaryen fan base that roots for them to burn people and goes YAAAAAAS while on screen people are screaming in agony turns a lot of GA members off. The GA will tire of the show if it is written solely from the Targaryen POV. There needs to be a perspective shift (the original series did this well). The Conquest would be more interesting from the POV of people they are attempting to conquer. The Targaryen's belief in their own superiority could also be exposed. I hope they spend a good amount of time showing the Dornish POV. 

Well, since during the Dance you also the people of KL who ended up killing the dragons in the dragonpit, and those self-declaring kings, I'd expect them to write in a KL-er civilian character who's the eyes and heart of the people who have to live through this Dance. They could focus on Blackwood who ends up with Lord Stark. Of course there's Nettles as well, and she's bound to be a sympathetic character. And there's Corlys Velaryon and Oakenfist. Though they're Valyrian looking in the books, the show can decide to alter their family appearances. They can amp up a focus on the Hightowers, and also alter their looks from the books.

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23 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Rome captured people's attention because it was told from the perspective of different families and different classes. It moved back and forth between the soldiers and the power players. This approach isnt really built into Fire and Blood and a potential show would be awful if it just focused on people who are from House of the Lizard. They could make it good if they included stories of people who don't give a fuck about the throne.

I still consider I Claudius one of the best series, despite it being almost years old. The sole POVs are those of the emperor's family (mainly Claudius). 

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On 10/30/2019 at 6:53 AM, Rose of Red Lake said:

Cool, I can't wait to see more delusional notions of supremacy, lust for power, hubris, madness, and tragedy for Westeros' most disasterous House. Excited to watch a family that we know eventually fails to live up to their own hype and to watch audiences fall for tyrannical propaganda all over again because they like pretty white people.

I take it we can count your heart amongst Aegon's many conquests?

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36 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

I still consider I Claudius one of the best series, despite it being almost years old. The sole POVs are those of the emperor's family (mainly Claudius). 

I think the focus on a singular character (telling his autobiography) made it work. Don't really see that kind of focus for this series. It's just one king after the next. 

40 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Well, since during the Dance you also the people of KL who ended up killing the dragons in the dragonpit, and those self-declaring kings, I'd expect them to write in a KL-er civilian character who's the eyes and heart of the people who have to live through this Dance. They could focus on Blackwood who ends up with Lord Stark. Of course there's Nettles as well, and she's bound to be a sympathetic character. And there's Corlys Velaryon and Oakenfist. Though they're Valyrian looking in the books, the show can decide to alter their family appearances. They can amp up a focus on the Hightowers, and also alter their looks from the books.

Sounds boring, but I guess with good character arcs and a good actors it could work. 

31 minutes ago, Many-Faced Votary said:

I take it we can count your heart amongst Aegon's many conquests?

He would certainly capture Ozymandias' heart. "Aegon of House Targaryen. I idolized him. A young conqueror, he swept along the Vale and the Stormlands, subduing the Reach before turning his armies toward Dorne. Ruling without Barbarism! At King's Landing he instituted the world's greatest seat of learning. True, people died, perhaps unnecessarily, though who could judge such things? Yet how nearly he approached his vision of a united world!" 

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4 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

He would certainly capture Ozymandias' heart. "Aegon of House Targaryen. I idolized him. A young conqueror, he swept along the Vale and the Stormlands, subduing the Reach before turning his armies toward Dorne. Ruling without Barbarism! At King's Landing he instituted the world's greatest seat of learning. True, people died, perhaps unnecessarily, though who could judge such things? Yet how nearly he approached his vision of a united world!" 

"I followed the path of Aegon's war machine along the Trident, imagining his armies taking castle after castle; ancient blood on ancient iron. Strangely, before subduing the Vale, he struck north towards Winterfell.  Perhaps because of the challenge it represented: the ancient world's greatest puzzle was there, a knot that couldn't be untied. Aegon cut it in two with Blackfyre. Lateral thinking, you see. Centuries ahead of his time."

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"As yet, we don't even know where we will be shooting...though I expet we will revisit at least some of the countries David & Dan used for Game of Thrones ( [Northern] Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, and Spain)

 

What locations would a Dance of the Dragons prequel need?  I've done breakdowns of this before, and it would largely re-use locations we've already seen - it's not comparable to when in Season 3 we were introduced to "all of Slaver's Bay".  Many of them would be expansions of stuff introduced before in Game of Thrones.  We wouldn't need many cold weather sets (Castle Black etc.) or desert sets (Dorne isn't prominent), not much of Essos - the Free Cities are prominent but they could be mostly interiors, they don't need to be fully realized sets.  I don't think they'd be going back to Morocco or Iceland, and...I'm not sure if they're allowed back in Malta.

So we' need:

  • King's Landing
  • Dragonstone
  • Winterfell (possibly just interior sets to treat with lord, not fully realized exterior)
  • Eyrie (like Winterfell)
  • Riverrun (like Winterfel)
  • Highgarden (like Winterfell)
  • Pyke (like Winterfell)
  • ***Storm's End (do it justice after shorting it in Season 2, and it would appear near the beginning)
  • Sunspear?! (if it cameos, it wouldn't need to be a huge exterior set, but like Season 1 Eyrie)
  • Oldtown (DRASTICALLY expanded from what little we saw in Season 7)
  • Casterly Rock (….possibly a bit more, when ironborn attack, but that would be in a much later season, not the first)
  • ****Harrenhal = MAJOR recurring exterior location, from first season onwards

What else would they realistically need?

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7 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

 

What locations would a Dance of the Dragons prequel need?  I've done breakdowns of this before, and it would largely re-use locations we've already seen - it's not comparable to when in Season 3 we were introduced to "all of Slaver's Bay".  Many of them would be expansions of stuff introduced before in Game of Thrones.  We wouldn't need many cold weather sets (Castle Black etc.) or desert sets (Dorne isn't prominent), not much of Essos - the Free Cities are prominent but they could be mostly interiors, they don't need to be fully realized sets.  I don't think they'd be going back to Morocco or Iceland, and...I'm not sure if they're allowed back in Malta.

So we' need:

  • King's Landing
  • Dragonstone
  • Winterfell (possibly just interior sets to treat with lord, not fully realized exterior)
  • Eyrie (like Winterfell)
  • Riverrun (like Winterfel)
  • Highgarden (like Winterfell)
  • Pyke (like Winterfell)
  • ***Storm's End (do it justice after shorting it in Season 2, and it would appear near the beginning)
  • Sunspear?! (if it cameos, it wouldn't need to be a huge exterior set, but like Season 1 Eyrie)
  • Oldtown (DRASTICALLY expanded from what little we saw in Season 7)
  • Casterly Rock (….possibly a bit more, when ironborn attack, but that would be in a much later season, not the first)
  • ****Harrenhal = MAJOR recurring exterior location, from first season onwards

What else would they realistically need?

Driftmark, with Castle Driftmark, High Tide, Spicetown, and Hull would be the major new location, especially with it apparently being the case that we the first (couple of?) season(s) will cover the reign of Viserys I rather than jump directly into the Dance.

Dragonstone should get massive new locations, too - the Dragonmount, lairs of the wild dragons, dragon pits (whatever those are) and hatcheries, along the docks and the village(s) where the smallfolk is living.

Then there are Tumbleton, Bitterbridge, various Riverlands towns, Duskendale, Rook's Rest, and Maidenpool.

Also, if we see Daemon's Stepstones' war, various islands of the Septstones, especially Bloodstone. Also, since Viserys gets stranded there, we should get a very detailed look at Lys (not necessarily only during the Regency material since they could decide to not make Viserys' survival a secret and give us his story during the Dance).

There would also be many new KL locations - Mysaria's brothel, the rat pits Aegon II has his revelries, Cobbler's Square, where the Shepherd is preaching, etc.

Casterly Rock - which we should see - should get a massive overhaul and be recreated as the huge hollow rock it is! The same would go for Harrenhal - if they have the budget they could create this gargantuan castle. The same would also go for Highgarden, if we see it.

The best way to make this thing work is to ingnore the D&D nonsense and actually return to George's designs.

How important the great castles would be in this setting I cannot really guess at this point. The main focus especially in the first season should be on the Red Keep, Dragonstone, and Driftmark, depicting many new locations and places, especially royal apartments and the like.

Showing other places in the peaceful era and introducing other players could be done via royal progresses and the like.

How important a location like Oldtown and the Hightower would be if Otto and Alicent are mostly at court remains to be seen. At this point we don't even know the name of Otto's elder brother, the father or Lord Ormund and grandfather of Lord Lyonel.

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well the Harrenhal stuff we got on screen already was...serviceable, for a TV budget.

Some of you couldn't stand to watch the Season 8 behind the scenes videos, understandably, - in fact, more than once on twitter I heard channel leaders say "I actually tried to force myself to watch them but had to stop before I put my fist through the screen" - due to the hubristic stupidity on full display.  Particularly, the nonsense of how they built vast fully realized sets with no regard how to do it under time limits (Winterfell) or, drastically out of proportion to their use (they built a fully realized SET of streets, like 17 alleyeways branching off a main street, for the sequence of Arya running through it as it burns....purely to show off Maisie Williams for an Emmy award, as it has no real plot relevance, I mean they admit it's contrived to focus on Maisie of all people....but that part in the "Last Watch" documentary, when that little gremlin Bernadette Caulfield is walking around age with the other staff producers, shocked that they spent seven months building a set they burned down over a single weekend.  For one big scene.  Even overtly saying "why didn't we have Cersei walk down the street once to grab lunch or something?"

this was like...."Waterworld" or "Cuthroat Island" levels of waste.  

So I don't want to make a wishlist of all possible locations that SHOULD be in it, but the bare minimum of locations that should reasonably be in the story.

I mean...another example:  think back to Season 1, when George R.R. Martin himself wanted a montage of Robb "calling the banners", showing the ravens arriving at all...ALL the major castles of the North, showing Last Hearth, showing Dreadfort….and just....this is beyond the reasonable scope of a TV budget, relative to their use..frequency of use, or importance.  

I think they COULD fold Driftmark into Dragonstone (just have Corlys in the council on Dragonstone)….BUT there's a strong case for expanding to actually show Driftmark (if we get a lot of Rogue Prince stuff).  I'd push for it but wouldn't be crushed if we didn't get it.  I'll lump Hull and Spicetown together as just "Driftmark" (much as I refer to the Winter Town collectively with the castle as just "Winterfell and its surroundings").  

Stepstones...is it possible that the scouting in the Canary Islands of Spain was really for this?

I mean warm semi-tropical islands would be easy and fun to film on (compared to a glacier in Iceland).  Not like they need to build huge towns, just a lot of pirate camps.

 

Quote

Tumbleton, Bitterbridge, various Riverlands towns, Duskendale, Rook's Rest, and Maidenpool.

That's the real question:  MINOR locations which aren't very distinguished.  Seasons 1 to 3 of the TV show, in the riverlands campaign....really didn't build up each major town Robb was maneuvering around but glossed over much of it.  Tumbleton isn't like, the Eyrie or Storm's End, it's a generic 'town".  While I would like a good looking bridge for Bitterbridge, I don't think it's the equivalent of "we need to build and introduce Volantis next year as a major location".  

But there aren't really many "new" locations, new fully realized locations, so much as expanding on old ones.  

The big ones to stress I think are Driftmark and Oldtown (the narrative might not take the war to Oldtown that much, but it explains who the Hightowers are.  then again, how much did we need to see Casterly Rock on screen in the first 6 seasons of game of thrones?)

Storm's End will be great to see, but really...they just need to do what they did with the Eyrie:  not a major fully realized set, but a very well done large throneroom interior, plus a good matte painting for the exterior.

I increasingly wonder about the Canary Isles as the Stepstones, but again:  that's location shoots, not giant fully realized sets.

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27 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

well the Harrenhal stuff we got on screen already was...serviceable, for a TV budget.

Sure, but if they had money to throw at things they could make it fit more with the original design, not to mention that Daemon and Aemond and their dragons could destroy it further.

27 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

I think they COULD fold Driftmark into Dragonstone (just have Corlys in the council on Dragonstone)….BUT there's a strong case for expanding to actually show Driftmark (if we get a lot of Rogue Prince stuff).  I'd push for it but wouldn't be crushed if we didn't get it.  I'll lump Hull and Spicetown together as just "Driftmark" (much as I refer to the Winter Town collectively with the castle as just "Winterfell and its surroundings").  

Nah, that wouldn't work if we have even a story based on the Dance as it is given. Driftmark is a very important place during and after the Dance. Corlys, Rhaenys, Laenor (even after his marriage), Laena and Daemon live there. It is part of the Battle of the Gullet, Nettles grows up on Driftmark (in Hull and Spicetown), Alyn and Addam and Marilda live in Hull (and if we get back story then the back story of the Hull boys is one of the most important and interesting things to explore).

High Tide could also be one of the most beautiful castles we will ever get.

The other so-called major castles don't be flashed out in all that much detail since essentially no action is taking place there.

27 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

That's the real question:  MINOR locations which aren't very distinguished.  Seasons 1 to 3 of the TV show, in the riverlands campaign....really didn't build up each major town Robb was maneuvering around but glossed over much of it.  Tumbleton isn't like, the Eyrie or Storm's End, it's a generic 'town".  While I would like a good looking bridge for Bitterbridge, I don't think it's the equivalent of "we need to build and introduce Volantis next year as a major location".  

Bitterbridge is just a location where one major event takes place. Tumbleton is more important as the location for two battles and the place where an army hangs out for a very long time.

27 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

The big ones to stress I think are Driftmark and Oldtown (the narrative might not take the war to Oldtown that much, but it explains who the Hightowers are.  then again, how much did we need to see Casterly Rock on screen in the first 6 seasons of game of thrones?)

I think Oldtown and Casterly Rock and Riverrun and the Eyrie could be pop up occasionally, especially if they are visiting the places before the Dance starts. But since no fighting takes place there it depends how much they want to flash it out - if the Regency material and the Ironborn stuff feature prominently, then the West and Oldtown should get some prominence, but if that's not done then one really doesn't need that.

The Hightowers will likely already be at court or come to court in the first episodes - I imagine the first season will (or rather: should) start with 'Heirs of the Dragon', meaning we start with Baelon's death, the Great Council, and then Otto's appointment to Hand. Alicent as nurse to the Old King could set up her character in a pretty interesting way.

27 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Storm's End will be great to see, but really...they just need to do what they did with the Eyrie:  not a major fully realized set, but a very well done large throneroom interior, plus a good matte painting for the exterior.

Oh, sure, I just meant in-series locations, don't care whether they build it, use CGI or combine everything. In fact, I actually prefer matte painting since that can create the correct designs much better than building things or using real locations.

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