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House of the Dragons Likely to Air 2022

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Last night, the trades had word from the HBO’s session at the TCA Winter gathering, with executive Casey Bloys discussing the status of post-Game of Thrones successor shows and the fact that he expected House of the Dragons would not premiere before 2022.



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I don't think he's being honest about why the Long Night pilot failed.

At the least, he sidesteps the core issue: he says House of the Dragon has more book material to be based on, with Fire & Blood, while Long Night had no prequel novellas.

...yeah, and you're the ones who said Long Night was a great idea for a prequel in the first place.  So now he's admitting this, after millions of dollars and months of production time were blown on a failed show pitch no one asked for.

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> At the least, he sidesteps the core issue: he says House of the Dragon has more book material

> to be based on, with Fire & Blood, while Long Night had no prequel novellas

That is why :: film matter set in the Time of Heroes would have to be composed from scratch, but matter describing the early Targaryen kings can follow the book.

I hope that House of the Dragons starts not with the Dance of the Dragons, but at the proper beginning with Aegon I landing on Westeros, or even earlier showing the Targaryens still home on Valyria, andDaenys's dream starting it all off, and then the evacuation to Dragonstone.

And please do not kill off dragons (as I suspect is why Rhaegal died in the Game of Thrones movies) merely to save on CGI expenses. A dragon, or a human, can be kept alive but out of camera view and could come back later. And, thank the Seven for the Melisandre character, as a way to bring killed-off important characters back (but preferably sparingly).

I would like to see the Targaryen dynasty restored under Jon married to Daenerys; they would both be claimants to the throne;  both could reign at the same time as king and queen, as happened in Britain in the real world with William and Mary (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_and_Mary). Any fault in Daenerys's mental attitude could be cured and recovered from. And they could have plenty of children.

Another discovery of dragon eggs in Essos, this time genuinely from the far east, could get badly-needed fresh blood into the Westeros dragon breeding stock.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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If House of the Dragons starts properly at the beginning, they should for example keep track of how big Balerion is at various times. I read that he is the youngest (and thus likely the smallest) of the 5 dragons that the Targaryens brought across from Valyria. "Even Balerion once rode on someone's shoulder." (i.e. when he was still a hatchling), it could be said, literally, and also to mean "Many things known of as being big, started off small".,

 

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It's not going to be all of Fire & Blood, we're reasonably sure it's going to be the second half, covering the Dance of the Dragons - and thus after Balerion has died of old age.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/16/2020 at 5:31 PM, The Dragon Demands said:

I don't think he's being honest about why the Long Night pilot failed.

Can't blame him to be honest. If he's fully honest and talks about the main reason about why the Long Night pilot failed, he would have lost his job with HBO and jeopardized all future employment. And this is just the main reason not all of the other reasons.

On 1/29/2020 at 2:10 AM, The Dragon Demands said:

It's not going to be all of Fire & Blood, we're reasonably sure it's going to be the second half, covering the Dance of the Dragons - and thus after Balerion has died of old age.

I feel like they are making a mistake not to adapt all of Fire & Blood. If they were wise, they would start with either:

  • Jaehaerys and Alysanne
  • Aegon's crowning at Oldtown and the First Dornish War

The power of the Dance of the Dragons loses its meaning if we don't see how the rights of the Targaryen women were being infringed upon and dismissed. And that all begins with resident misogynist Jaehaerys.

Edited by BlackLightning

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On 5/13/2020 at 7:46 PM, The Dragon Demands said:

Well no those are both weird starting points: after the war of conquest is largely over?  The long peace of Jaehaerys?

I think the long peace of Jaehaerys should be included to act as a counterpoint to lead up to the Dance, the Dance itself and the aftermath.

Does anyone really want to see the War of Conquest? We all know how it goes and the story of the War of Conquest is rather thin. Whereas, the First Dornish War and the reigns of Aenys and Maegor are very interesting.

I would like to have a Targaryen show stretching from Daenys the Dreamer to the Defiance of Duskendale. That's probably impossible. So I would settle 

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A proper setup for the Dance should start with the death of Prince Baelon and the Great Council of 101 AC. From there we should have at least a full season on the reign of Viserys I, possibly more, before the Dance proper can begin. Events there could be contracted somewhat, of course, but the way to make it a compelling story would indeed go by way of the actual story in the book which doesn't have a Black and Green party in existence from the start. By showing how the female claim is dismissed in 101 AC (and has been previously in 92 AC) and Viserys I only gains the throne as a scion of the male line, one expects, at first, that the Velaryons will be the one to rebel. Then we have Daemon as an ambitious wildcard, Rhaenyra and Criston Cole, the Hightower Hand taking up Rhaenyra's cause to prevent Daemon's installation as heir, Alicent and Rhaenyra originally being friends, etc.

It would be fun to tell this story as a story of conflicting and shifting alliances until after the deaths of Laena and Laenor and the Vhagar incident the situation is pretty much settled. From there one could move to the beginning of the war rather quickly.

The conflict would be meaningless if we didn't have a detailed buildup for this conflict nor did know the stakes of the various characters involved. We don't only need to know all the royal family, but also their key allies and the court advisers - Criston Cole, Larys Strong, Otto Hightower, Tyland Lannister, Cregan Stark, Jeyne Arryn, etc.

There is also the possibility to start with the death of Viserys I and then use flashbacks very extensively to show the backstory of each character, but that would need a lot of flashbacks and would likely ruin rather interesting side characters like Laenor and Laena Velaryon, Harwin and Lyonel Strong, etc.

Considering the Dance is a very simple conflict with two factions fighting each other (only the Ironborn count as a sort of rogue third faction after the Dance is over) character development is everything in this conflict. After all, the conflict as such is much ado about nothing. Who cares what incest-born brat is going to sit the throne, really? To be invested in Rhaenyra or Daemon or Aegon II or Alicent we do have to know these people very well before they start to kill each other.

The best way to go about it would be to strengthen the tragedy in the narrative, to write it as a series of events leading up the Dance where at every crucial point there was still a way to stop escalation and war. But various people either couldn't see it or made the wrong choice because the listened to the wrong people, etc.

This should go until the very end. It would be great if, say, Alicent Hightower was actual not very keen to go through with the coup during that Green Council session, being pushed in that direction by her father and Criston Cole. Vice versa, Rhaenyra could have been trying to find a peaceful solution but being pushed to take a confrontational approach by her court, sons, and uncle-husband.

If those people were just a bunch of people who hated each other the story would be childishly stupid and simple.

If we were not to get the Dance but start with something different the logical starting point would be the Wars of Conquest. That could sustain 1-2 seasons if done right (i.e. proper buildup of all the kingdoms and the Targaryens on Dragonstone before starting the wars).

The First Dornish War could be interesting, but isn't at the top of my list. The birth of Aegon's grandchildren, Rhaena, and the reigns of Aenys and Maegor could sustain another 3-4 seasons, I'd say - one for the aging Conqueror, one of Aenys, and two for Maegor and the Regency of Jaehaerys I.

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Honestly, F&B book 1 could make at least 5-6 Seasons alone, xD.

Also, it will need massive budget to work tbh. Many Castles that need to bee good this time, many dragons and many armies.

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Tl;dr House of the Dragon should be about Maegor's reign. the Dance of the Dragons is huge and will make for unwieldy, expensive TV (if they don't ruin it by cutting everything interesting out). Maegor's reign is straightforward and self-contained and has a mix of violence and politics

I think House of the Dragon is going to follow the Dance of the Dragons, but I think that's the wrong choice. GOT failed in large part because of the difficulty in portraying such a complex story in the medium of TV and the showrunners' disinterest in keeping any faith with the source material's complexity. I think House of the Dragon will fall at the same hurdle. I personally think that the best part of Fire and Blood to adapt would be the reign of Maegor the Cruel and the rise of Jaehaerys. It could start either at the death of Aenys or part way through Maegor's reign.

The Dance of the Dragons is too long and complex a story for a TV audience to care enough about, I think. First of all, you have seventeen descendants of Jaehaerys and Alysanne alive at the outbreak of the war, and none of them could be easily cut without compressing storylines, which I think would be a mistake. Twelve of the seventeen are dragonriders and there are four non-royal dragonriders and two unridden wild dragons, so the CGI costs would be enormous, especially when it comes to dragons fighting dragons, which happens A LOT in the Dance. How many of our plucky riverlords will they cut? Which lords and knights of the Vale, North, Reach, and Westerlands must be ignored to make the story TV size?

The history leading up to the Dance is important, I think, so how are they going to manage that? A lot of exposition? Will they show the Great Council of 101? I think the only way the Dance could be turned into a TV show is if they dramatically cut and compress characters, storylines, and events, way past the point of keeping the overall storyline coherent (they could, for example, reasonably cut out two or three dragons such as the Cannibal and Grey Ghost, but beyond a certain point it stops being the Dance.)

Aegon's conquest would be a bad section to adapt in my opinion because it is almost entirely battles and dragonfire. Sure, epic battles are epic, but a show that is entirely armies marching and dragons fighting causing lots of death would get boring pretty quickly.

Maegor's reign is perfect. The history is simple: old king dies, old king's brother seizes the throne and is opposed by old king's children. It has a small cast of essential characters: eight Targaryens (two of whom, Aerea and Rhaella, are infants at this time so don't need more than lip service to be included), Queen Alyssa, Lord Rogar. That's...it. Important secondary characters would be the High Septon, some Warrior's Sons, and Maegor's five other wives, but compared to the Dance it's a very small cast and you can split it into three camps: Maegor's court; Rhaena and Aegon; Alyssa, Jaehaerys, and Alysanne. 

Maegor's reign is a much more self-contained, simple story and for that reason I think it would translate onto TV better. There's only six dragons rather than the Dance's eighteen, and only one fight between dragons (at the Gods Eye). It has a balanced set of bloody battles and political intrigue. They could kind of make it as long or as short as they want. If they want it longer they could do it from the start of Maegor's six year reign and end it with Jaehaerys turning sixteen and marrying Alysanne - easily get ten seasons out of that, I think. If they only want to do three or four seasons they could start in the middle of Maegor's reign and end it with his death and Jaehaerys' coronation.

Note: my numbers for dragonriders and descendants of Jaehaerys and Alysanne are counts I did off the top of my head, so apologies if they're incorrect. I didn't count Addam and Alyn of Hull/Velaryon because I'm certain Laenor wasn't the baby daddy.

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The show can reveal how the reigns of Jaehaerys and Viserys led to the Dance without depicting their reigns. If they don't start with the death of Viserys, then I would only depict the last weeks/months of Viserys, and have his death somewhere around episode 6-8.

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On 5/22/2020 at 4:05 AM, Rhaenyra's Fool said:

The Dance of the Dragons is too long and complex a story for a TV audience to care enough about, I think. First of all, you have seventeen descendants of Jaehaerys and Alysanne alive at the outbreak of the war, and none of them could be easily cut without compressing storylines, which I think would be a mistake. Twelve of the seventeen are dragonriders and there are four non-royal dragonriders and two unridden wild dragons, so the CGI costs would be enormous, especially when it comes to dragons fighting dragons, which happens A LOT in the Dance. How many of our plucky riverlords will they cut? Which lords and knights of the Vale, North, Reach, and Westerlands must be ignored to make the story TV size?

Actually, the problem with the Dance is that it not particularly complex. There are just two main factions, and pretenders like Hugh and Trystane and Gaemon never really gain their own 'faction of sorts'. They are nice distractions, but do not really carry their own plots over multiple episodes or seasons.

The other big problem is that the entire story in anticlimactic, starting with a lot of great explosions and high points - dragon battles, Blood and Cheese, etc. The clash of three dragons at Rook's Rest definitely is one of the high points of the entire Dance. And that's literally the second event of dragon action.

There are some other great moments - the Gullet, the Battle Above the Gods Eye, the Storming of the Dragonpit - but in the end the war ends with whimper, not a big explosion or epic battle.

That is going to cause a lot of problems for the adaptation. It would even suck if the Dance were a proper novel or a series of novels. I mean, do we expect the high points of ASoIaF to have been in ACoK and ASoS or do we expect the stakes to rise even higher with TWoW? I think the latter. But the Dance is effectively at an end after the Storming of the Dragonpit and Second Tumbleton. Everything afterwards is just mundane politics and backstabbing.

The one thing that can make things interesting is the characters - and you are right there: They have to be properly introduced and build up so that people care about them.

If we don't know Alicent, Rhaenyra, Criston Cole, Aegon II, Aemond, and Daemon as people then the story just isn't going to work. They have to have depth. If they are lacking depth then a show based on the Dance is not going to work.

On 5/22/2020 at 4:05 AM, Rhaenyra's Fool said:

The history leading up to the Dance is important, I think, so how are they going to manage that? A lot of exposition? Will they show the Great Council of 101? I think the only way the Dance could be turned into a TV show is if they dramatically cut and compress characters, storylines, and events, way past the point of keeping the overall storyline coherent (they could, for example, reasonably cut out two or three dragons such as the Cannibal and Grey Ghost, but beyond a certain point it stops being the Dance.)

I think they should start with the Great Council of 101 AC, not just for the Targaryen backstory, but also to introduce crucial characters from other houses. They could mess around with the ages there and give us a young Cregan there, a young Tyland Lannister, Lord Grover Tully and Elmo, Borros Baratheon and his father, the Hightowers and Arryns and Strongs, etc.

From there one could use 1-2 seasons to depict the reign of Viserys I in considerable detail with the first season focusing on Rhaenyra's childhood, Alicent's wedding, the birth of the sons, Otto's dismissal, the Criston Cole story, Daemon's war, and culimating with Rhaenyra's marriage. The second season with the story of Laenor and Laena Velaryon, the Velaryon boys and their Targaryen uncles, the Vhagar episode, etc.

That way one would cast a great young girl actress for young Rhaenyra for season 1, switching to her adult actress for season 2 and sticking with that one. The other children would get child actors for season 2 with them switching adult actors around the Vhagar incident or the wedding of Aegon and Helaena.

In addition one could build up things throughout the Realm by giving more background to the later Black and Green lords - how did the Lannisters end in camp Green? How was Rhaenyra's progress throughout the Riverlands before her wedding? What happened behind the scenes, etc.

One wouldn't have to stick to the amount of years that passed, it would be sufficient to show that the children grew up eventually. And it might make a lot of sense to make Aemond and his nephews much older looking in the Vhagar scene.

Working with flashbacks could work to a point, but it could easily be too confusing. Besides it wouldn't really suck you into the story.

The ideal thing would be that people don't know what's coming when the show starts, i.e. it should remain unclear throughout season 1 who is going to fight who when the war begins: Will the Velaryons rebel against Viserys I/Rhaenyra? Is Daemon going to murder his brother? Are Rhaenyra and Criston Cole going to marry and run away? What do the Strongs want? And so on.

On 5/22/2020 at 4:05 AM, Rhaenyra's Fool said:

Aegon's conquest would be a bad section to adapt in my opinion because it is almost entirely battles and dragonfire. Sure, epic battles are epic, but a show that is entirely armies marching and dragons fighting causing lots of death would get boring pretty quickly.

That could work pretty well if a lot of thought went into things. Buildup first, etc. If it were rushed it would suck, but not if it was scripted as a plot streching over five or more seasons.

On 5/22/2020 at 4:05 AM, Rhaenyra's Fool said:

Maegor's reign is perfect. The history is simple: old king dies, old king's brother seizes the throne and is opposed by old king's children. It has a small cast of essential characters: eight Targaryens (two of whom, Aerea and Rhaella, are infants at this time so don't need more than lip service to be included), Queen Alyssa, Lord Rogar. That's...it. Important secondary characters would be the High Septon, some Warrior's Sons, and Maegor's five other wives, but compared to the Dance it's a very small cast and you can split it into three camps: Maegor's court; Rhaena and Aegon; Alyssa, Jaehaerys, and Alysanne. 

Maegor's reign is a much more self-contained, simple story and for that reason I think it would translate onto TV better. There's only six dragons rather than the Dance's eighteen, and only one fight between dragons (at the Gods Eye). It has a balanced set of bloody battles and political intrigue. They could kind of make it as long or as short as they want. If they want it longer they could do it from the start of Maegor's six year reign and end it with Jaehaerys turning sixteen and marrying Alysanne - easily get ten seasons out of that, I think. If they only want to do three or four seasons they could start in the middle of Maegor's reign and end it with his death and Jaehaerys' coronation.

Maegor could work as a show, too, if they started it with proper buildup - which then would likely start with the last years of the Conqueror. A good starting point could be the birth of Prince Jaehaerys in 34 AC.

3 hours ago, Bael's Bastard said:

The show can reveal how the reigns of Jaehaerys and Viserys led to the Dance without depicting their reigns. If they don't start with the death of Viserys, then I would only depict the last weeks/months of Viserys, and have his death somewhere around episode 6-8.

How long would you imagine such a show to go? For the Dance as such I don't see more than 4-5 seasons unless they invent a lot of new material or draw things out.

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GOT stretched two and a half years or so into seventy something episodes, I am sure they can stretch the Dance. But who knows how long before the Dance they intend to start, or how long after the Dance they intend to go on.

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51 minutes ago, Bael's Bastard said:

GOT stretched two and a half years or so into seventy something episodes, I am sure they can stretch the Dance. But who knows how long before the Dance they intend to start, or how long after the Dance they intend to go on.

I don't think the Regency material would make sense as being a part of a Dance show. That material would even be more unsatisfactory than the Dance itself - with there being no closures/conclusions for Unwin Peake, Alys Rivers and her son, and some other plot threads. Granted, the Secret Siege is a good story, as is the entire Rogare thing, but it is not great TV show material. Not to mention that this kind of thing would effectively repeat the GoT fiasco in the sense that Aegon III's reign ends in medias res. If they ran out of material there and the show was popular they would have to adapt unpublished material yet again.

If they stick to George's story and don't invent adventures and stories for Cregan Stark, Jeyne Arryn, Elmo Tully, etc. then the Dance has a very limited set of core characters - which are the two Targaryen factions. And if you really condense things to the core story and cut and streamline and combine some plot lines and children then the Dance as such could be fit into 3-4 seasons, with most of the action happening in the first two. I mean, you have to keep in mind that half of the material is not going to be adapted, anyway, since they will go with 'the real version' of the historical events, one assumes, meaning they don't have to bother with the contradicting accounts by other sources which fill pages and pages you can ignore.

And to be clear - the title 'House of the Dragon' doesn't really send the message the story will start with the Dance.

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Posted (edited)

Fire & Blood is basically a wiki, despite GRRM's efforts to make it dramatic at times. There is no proper narrative. There are no clearcut beginnings and ends. Characters (and there are millions of them) are not fleshed out. They don't have arcs. There is no character economy, which would be the case if it was written as a proper narrative like a novel or a novella.

Remember what happened to GoT when D&D had only character cards and bullet plot points to adapt. Fire & Blood provides a LOT of character cards and bullet plot points, but no proper narrative that is fit for adaptation. 

Since the beginning I was saying that the Long Night prequel will suck for the reason of having almost no source material. Not surprisingly to me, it was axed. I am saying the same thing for Fire& Blood. It might get axed anytime. Or maybe HBO might give it a chance and let them make one season; after which the show flops and HBO cancels the show.

I can't see how the Dance of Dragons material make a good show unless it is rewritten extensively to resemble a proper novel. And who will do that rewriting good enough for the standards of GRRM?

Edited by Mithras

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8 hours ago, Mithras said:

Since the beginning I was saying that the Long Night prequel will suck for the reason of having almost no source material. Not surprisingly to me, it was axed. I am saying the same thing for Fire& Blood. It might get axed anytime. Or maybe HBO might give it a chance and let them make one season; after which the show flops and HBO cancels the show.

HBO already ordered a full season before they produced a pilot, so it is going to get at least that.

8 hours ago, Mithras said:

I can't see how the Dance of Dragons material make a good show unless it is rewritten extensively to resemble a proper novel. And who will do that rewriting good enough for the standards of GRRM?

Well, there will be arcs and character development in such a show, regardless what the source material is. The writers of the show will have to do that. I'd expect drastic changes to the source material, especially during the later Dance, since the ending has to be a climax, not a whimper.

It also suffers from that stupid 'characters show up and then disappear for ages' thing that made the Jaime story difficult to adapt in GoT. How can they cast prestigious actors for Jeyne Arryn and Cregan Stark and Borros Baratheon when they are, at best, guest appearances if they were to follow the story of the book?

Surprisingly enough the reign of Viserys I has more arcs and character development than the Dance proper. There people are already who and what they are and act things out. There is some small development here and there but overall people pop up, do something, and then disappear/die.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/27/2020 at 9:14 AM, Mithras said:

Fire & Blood is basically a wiki, despite GRRM's efforts to make it dramatic at times. There is no proper narrative. There are no clearcut beginnings and ends. Characters (and there are millions of them) are not fleshed out. They don't have arcs. There is no character economy, which would be the case if it was written as a proper narrative like a novel or a novella.

I'd say Fire & Blood reads more like a history book than a Wiki. That's only naturally since Fire & Blood is literary a Westerosi history book. And adapting history is hardly an uncommon occurrence. I mean the fall of the republic has no ''arc'', no character economy, and not everyone is fleshed out and yet HBO Rome still crafted a large and relatively well defined cast out of it. 

I'd argue that a lot of characters in Fire and Blood do have certain arcs. We see Rheanrya's sanity slipping, we have Benjicot start off as a boy crying over the fallen and growing into ''bloody ben'' and Daeron seems to trade his modesty for some sort of ruthlessness. Its not a character focused narrative but growth is present and can be depicted in an adaption. 

Quote

It also suffers from that stupid 'characters show up and then disappear for ages' thing that made the Jaime story difficult to adapt in GoT. How can they cast prestigious actors for Jeyne Arryn and Cregan Stark and Borros Baratheon when they are, at best, guest appearances if they were to follow the story of the book?

Are you familiar with the Three Kingdoms series? At times that also has the same issue with a lot of characters having huge gaps in their appearances. Most notably anyone from the third Kingdom of Wu. The show deals with it adequately enough so it can be done, even if its not wholly satisfactory. The show also includes a lot of named generals who don't receive a lot of focus but are at least present and name dropped enough to make it feel like a lot of nobles are engaged in the war. 

Cregan's part shouldn't be hard to expand. We know that Rhaenyra's oldest son spend some time in Winterfell and that they struck up a friendship. Such a scenario can easily be expanded into an episode of itself. Its also possible to combine Cregan's character with Roddy the Ruin and have him lead an army of Northmen into the Riverlands. 

Edited by Daemon of the Blacks

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I agree, you could either switch Cregan and Roddy, having Cregan go ahead with a small force and Roddy lead the majority of the northern army down, or create another character to bring the majority of the northern army down. But there are plenty of characters for them to flesh out, and as long as it isn't completely illogical or internally-contradictory they can make up some cool things that don't occur in Fire and Blood or TWOIAF. And for good or for bad, I am not sure we can assume which characters will die in what battles or circumstances. They very well give some things to different characters depending on the arcs they envision for the characters.

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