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The last few days have been jam-packed with House of the Dragon information, all of it leading to the big panel a San Diego Comic-Con, and the August 21st premiere of the show beyond that. The latest? A video from HBO giving us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the show in production, with brief comments from show runners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, and creator George R.R. Martin:

But what really kicked it of was Entertainment Weekly and its exclusive article from Nick Romano, who visited the sit and spoke extensively with the cast and crew of the show. Since that initial release, EW has been releasing more articles and photos on a daily basis, again leading up to the big SDCC premiere.



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Just a minor correction here:

Jaehaerys I did, of course, attend the Great Council. He famously denounced a claimant as an impostor who introduced himself as his own bastard son. He couldn't have done that if he hadn't been there.

The Old King was absent from the final deliberations of the council, meaning or indicating that he didn't join the lords when they finally voted on Viserys vs. Laenor ... but he definitely was there at Harrenhal.

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It's actually a topic that came up when working on RotD. Note that nowhere does it actually say Jaehaerys attended, and it doesn't say he skipped the vote -- it says he did not attend the council, period. The claimant who was exposed as a liar and arrested would then have been after the fact, or after whatever time it took for word to go back and forth between Harrenhal and KL about this person claiming to be Jaehaerys's bastard.

It sort of makes sense, because the guy presenting himself falsely as Jaehaerys's bastard right in front of Jaehaerys would have been too ridiculous to contemplate. But if the king was not in attendance, well, he could have convinced himself that he could pull it off and be selected before the Old King could do anything about it.

Edited by Ran
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18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The Old King was absent from the final deliberations of the council, meaning or indicating that he didn't join the lords when they finally voted on Viserys vs. Laenor ... but he definitely was there at Harrenhal.

That's what I thought as well, but the text says he wasn't there at all. Maybe there was a change in the text? Because the German edition says he just didn't attend the final deliberations. There are even more differences between the German and the English editions, since the former one doesn't mention the 'nine lesser claims'. I guess in the end Jaehaerys could have just sent a letter to Harrenhal, saying the hedgeknight was a liar.

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58 minutes ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

That's what I thought as well, but the text says he wasn't there at all. Maybe there was a change in the text? Because the German edition says he just didn't attend the final deliberations. There are even more differences between the German and the English editions, since the former one doesn't mention the 'nine lesser claims'. I guess in the end Jaehaerys could have just sent a letter to Harrenhal, saying the hedgeknight was a liar.

Did we really take out the nine lesser claimants thing? Don't recall that, could be because of the double weirdness of there being fourteen claims and then suddenly nine.

But the wording 'final deliberations' comes from TWoIaF and would be Ran & Linda's phrasing to reconcile 'the king not attending the council' and 'the king explosing his fake bastard son as a liar'-

In any case, I don't think it makes sense to conclude Jaehaerys wasn't at Harrenhal. He didn't attend the council means he wasn't in the hall, didn't preside, and thus didn't influence (or didn't try to influence) the final decision.

But it can't mean he wasn't there. He cannot have written a letter to deal with an impostor ... I mean, it would have been distasteful to even inform him about such a fake claimant. Who would have done that? And who would have waited to deal with the guy until such a time as a raven returned from KL with a royal reply?

And how he would have thanked the lords if he wasn't there - by writing to everybody present at Harrenhal? It also feels odd that Viserys should have been named Heir Apparent and Prince of Dragonstone only after the king in distant KL had learned about the final ruling ... to ensure that this ruling would stand such a royal decision should have been made at Harrenhal in front of all the lords and ladies still present.

But most importantly ... there is just no person out there who could have convened and presided over the council if the king hadn't been there. Prince Baelon, the old Hand, was dead, and Ser Otto Hightower was only named Hand after the council was over. And the royal family was divided over the succession. Neither Viserys nor Rhaenys could have possibly presided over the council in place of the king. Daemon is a no-go as well, for obvious reasons, and Vaegon was himself a claimant, so also unlikely. No Targaryen or Targaryen descendant would have had the authority to run a council which would rule on the validity of his or her claim to the Iron Throne. The High Septon was there, but only to bless the assembly not to step in for the king and preside.

I think we can imagine the Lord of Harrenhal preside over the final vote, with a string of maesters overseeing the details of the procedure. That can make sense in a scenario where we have had a number of council session during which the presence of the king helped people to learn to follow proper protocol and procedure. It would also make sense to see Jaehaerys helping to get rid of the freak and misfits claimants while taking a back seat when the final clash came so that the losing faction couldn't blame him for the final ruling. After all, it was clear from the start that Aemon's and Baelon's descendants might end up at each other's throats. The council was convened to stop a succession war between Viserys/Daemon and the Velaryons, not to assess and dismiss the danger coming rom the 'claims' of (foreigner) bastards or unpopular archmaesters.

The Lord of Harrenhal wouldn't have drawn so many lords to Harrenhal in the first place ... just as Walter When apparently didn't draw so many lords to his famous tourney 200 years later.

In context, if some other dude but the king really excelled at making the council go smoothly in Jaehaerys' absence ... then it would be very weird that said person wouldn't have then succeeded Baelon as Hand. In fact, he should have been named Hand to run the show at Harrenhal. A Hand could have acted in the king's stead during the council. But there was no Hand. And Otto was explicitly called to court from Oldtown afterwards, he didn't sit on the Small Council nor was he a courtier before who could have been entrusted by Jaehaerys to organize and preside over the council.

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33 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't think it makes sense to conclude Jaehaerys wasn't at Harrenhal.

Well, I think Jaehaerys should have been there, but it's hard to argue against the sentence "King Jaehaerys had not attended the council, but when word of their verdict reached him, His Grace thanked the lords for their service and gratefully conferred the style Prince of Dragonstone upon his grandson Viserys." As I said, it seems GRRM changed his mind, so the Worldbook has him being absent from the final deliberations, but now he wasn't there at all.

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27 minutes ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

Well, I think Jaehaerys should have been there, but it's hard to argue against the sentence "King Jaehaerys had not attended the council, but when word of their verdict reached him, His Grace thanked the lords for their service and gratefully conferred the style Prince of Dragonstone upon his grandson Viserys." As I said, it seems GRRM changed his mind, so the Worldbook has him being absent from the final deliberations, but now he wasn't there at all.

Manuscript history has the 'the king didn't attend the council' line throughout. There were no changes there, nor is the alleged royal bastard line a later addition.

We always had this contradiction and George never changed his mind on the matter.

I guess the Old King is both there and not there, just as Rhaenyra and Laenor's wedding took place both on Driftmark and Dragonstone (or also in KL, who knows?).

I understand why one would put considerable authority on the line claiming the Old King wasn't there - but it doesn't fit easily with the other events depicted and one can interpret it so that 'the council' in question there was just the last session, not 'the larger event of the Great Council at Harrenhal'.

If I try to wrap my head around the idea that Jaehaerys was completely absent then the result is the wall of text above and an incoherent mess where folks behave like decent people who should and would actually be at each other's throats. I mean, who would have kept those pricks in line if not Vermithor's presence? Not just the royals sharpening their knives but also the ambitious lords. I have even trouble imagining that anyone would side with Viserys against the Velaryon in such a setting, considering the wealth of the Velaryons.

If such a thing could go this well with an anonymous committee running it then it is rather surprising that Westeros is still a monarchy. They should had decided to that the council board govern the Realm like it governed the council, doing away with monarchy and royal families and dragons for good.

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I guess we just have to accept that no lord dared to make trouble because of the Targaryen power and the sacredness of the event (the High Septon himself gave his blessing), and the royals behaved well because the two important sides both thought they would win. Just because people could go wild doesn't mean they will. Thinking about it, claiming you're the bastard son of the king is a stupid move to begin with, but doing it in the presence of said king would require a special amount of stupidity.

ETA: Just noticed Ran said the same, although I could swear he didn't when I read his post for the first time. ^^

Edited by The Wondering Wolf
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3 hours ago, Ran said:

It's actually a topic that came up when working on RotD. Note that nowhere does it actually say Jaehaerys attended, and it doesn't say he skipped the vote -- it says he did not attend the council, period. The claimant who was exposed as a liar and arrested would then have been after the fact, or after whatever time it took for word to go back and forth between Harrenhal and KL about this person claiming to be Jaehaerys's bastard.

It sort of makes sense, because the guy presenting himself falsely as Jaehaerys's bastard right in front of Jaehaerys would have been too ridiculous to contemplate. But if the king was not in attendance, well, he could have convinced himself that he could pull it off and be selected before the Old King could do anything about it.

Will ROTD clarify if Jaehaerys was knighted?

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4 hours ago, Ran said:

It's actually a topic that came up when working on RotD. Note that nowhere does it actually say Jaehaerys attended, and it doesn't say he skipped the vote -- it says he did not attend the council, period. The claimant who was exposed as a liar and arrested would then have been after the fact, or after whatever time it took for word to go back and forth between Harrenhal and KL about this person claiming to be Jaehaerys's bastard.

It sort of makes sense, because the guy presenting himself falsely as Jaehaerys's bastard right in front of Jaehaerys would have been too ridiculous to contemplate. But if the king was not in attendance, well, he could have convinced himself that he could pull it off and be selected before the Old King could do anything about it.

Nah, that's not a really good argument.

Bastard guy certainly could have come up with the story all by himself - and then he would have been a moron. But that's nothing we have to presuppose here.

If his mother or relations or friends told him a silly story - say, like Glendon of the Pussywillows was fed the idea that he sprung from the loins of mighty Fireball - then he may have actually believed it, and if he believed it then what better way to get his royal daddy to recognize him than by presenting himself at a council with all the Realm in attendance? Surely the king could never reject the truth in front of such a prominent audience?

And we don't even have to go with bastard buy being totally convinced. He could have merely believed or hoped that he was the king's son because he was told/believed that his mother was close to Jaehaerys is some capacity in the time before his birth. If you think that the king fucked your mother once you might also hope or believe that he is ashamed enough to at least recognize you as his son. That wouldn't give you the throne, of course, but it could get you a title, a knighthood, or at least an income.

And it is not that any of the other 'claimants' showed a lot of brain or inventive pretexts as to why they should be king. We have alleged very distant relations with possibly forged papers who actually argue that being a distant relation of the king through an ancestor living a hundred years before the Conquest gives you some claim to the throne (that's like some fourth cousin of Henry Tudor thinking he should be king instead of James Stuart), we have foreign bastards of a princess turned whore, we have an alleged bastard of King Maegor, etc.

The idea that His Grace would have needed to 'expose such a liar' is also kind of weird. How do we imagine this via letter? Jaehaerys being there would have meant the king saying 'You are no son of mine' would settle the issue ... while Jaehaerys believing the story would make it true.

The gist of bastard guy's story indeed is that he claimed he was the Old King's son with the Old King being present ... and then Jaehaerys himself ended the charade somehow, leading to the man's imprisonment ... which indicates the man must have angered the king to no small degree since apparently the other bastard guy wasn't imprisoned because he claimed to be Maegor's son.

But we shouldn't really bother trying to make sense of this. It isn't very well-written and clearly creates an inconsistency ... just as the idea that the triarch's son - who cannot have been older than, say, ten - actually personally tried to bribe the Westerosi lords.

1 hour ago, The Wondering Wolf said:

I guess we just have to accept that no lord dared to make trouble because of the Targaryen power and the sacredness of the event (the High Septon himself gave his blessing), and the royals behaved well because the two important sides both thought they would win. Just because people could go wild doesn't mean they will. Thinking about it, claiming you're the bastard son of the king is a stupid move to begin with, but doing it in the presence of said king would require a special amount of stupidity.

See above. While it is certainly possible that the Targaryens might behave nicely for once ... it feels very odd that they would with there being no authority to stop them. I mean, let's say I'm Rhaenys and Laenor just lost his vote. Who is there who can force me to accept that? Whose authority is larger than mine? Whose dragon is bigger than my Meleys? What does stop me from claiming that the vote was stolen from my son? The dragonless party prince they want to be king instead of me and my son?

If Jaehaerys I is there and I respect him as my grandfather and king then I might swallow this. Even more so if his dragon is actually bigger than mine.

And as for the lords ... well, this is the first Great Council. There's no precedent for it, no established rules and proceedings, and no authority but the authority of the king to see it all through. If Corlys is so rich as he is ... then what's stopping him from actually buying votes? Or threatening lords into compliance.

If there was a Hand then we could assume he may have done all that. But there is none, and it is clear the council itself was the idea of the unpopular archmaester prince who would have been singularly ill-suited to act in his father's stead ... but the way it is this Great Council working as smoothly as it did is about as likely as a Great Council stopping the outbreak of or ending the War of the Five Kings.

But, okay, I think we can imagine that Jaehaerys may not have attended the council at all. But even that wouldn't mean he wasn't at Harrenhal to ensure that the council worked. He could have stayed in his tent the entire time, or in whatever tower the king usually resides when visiting Harrenhal. All we know is that he allegedly didn't attend the council, we don't know where he was.

And while it feels weird to assume it would have taken him long to learn about the final ruling if he was there ... it also feels weird (and, quite frankly, ridiculous) that he was informed via letter or messenger about bastard guy ... so this remains just a silly inconsistency.

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Other thing:

I'm not sure Aemma Arryn is ever styled 'Princess Aemma of House Arryn' ... nor do I think she would in-universe.

Her mother was a royal princess, but she was born an Arryn of the Vale, meaning she would be a simpl lady. Just as Laenor and Laena Velaryon didn't get royal honorifics, either.

The wives of kings become queens and the children of kings become princes and princesses (and also their siblings, at least sometimes), but the wives of princes do not.

Mellario of Norvos is no princess, Larra Rogare, Jocelyn Baratheon, Alyssa Velaryon, etc. all only become queens if and when their husband took a throne ... but their marriages to princes didn't change their honorifics.

So unless there's special insight we don't have, Aemma Arryn would have been Lady Aemma of House Arryn while Jaehaerys I still sat the Iron Throne, even after her marriage to Prince Viserys in 93 AC. Only in 103 AC would her title change from 'Lady Aemma' to 'Queen Aemma'.

One can argue that it is kind of odd that royal honorifics aren't extended to folks who marry into the royal family ... but that seems how it is.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

If his mother or relations or friends told him a silly story

The text says Jaehaerys did not attend the council and as Ran said, GRRM wrote it like that deliberately. So I would rather try to find explanations for things which may look a bit weird first than come up with scenarios which support that Jaehaerys must have been there. The hedge knight would have told the council when and where he supposedly was fathered by Jaehaerys, and the king could have written a letter, stating he wasn't even at this place at the time in question. Case settled.

7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

it feels very odd that they would with there being no authority to stop them.

I think this discussion has come up many times now, all I can says is that there are rules and norms for people in Westeros, few for royals and even fewer for dragonriders, but there still are. When you break the rules or act out of the norms, there are repercussions. Of course you can go wild just because you have a dragon, and see how well this ended with Maegor.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not sure Aemma Arryn is ever styled 'Princess Aemma of House Arryn' ... nor do I think she would in-universe.

Aemma is always styled 'lady' in the books, which makes sense. Laena and Laenor weren't princes either.

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Part two: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-features/inside-house-of-the-dragon-trailer-cast-1235182776/

Hibberd mentions a lot of the things talked about on this site that hasn’t been mentioned much elsewhere: how grey the characters will be, how big of a success HOTD needs to be to proceed, how there isn’t enough material for more than three or four seasons (and I’m glad they don’t plan on dragging it out, personally). I also appreciated Hibberd acknowledging that, no, it wasn’t just Twitter trolls who didn’t like S8.

There’s talk in here about how Rhaenyra fears being trapped by motherhood, which is somewhat worrying. On the one hand, it’s true—Rhaenyra wasn’t able to respond to the coup faster because she had just given birth. But in the books, Rhaenyra also clearly loves motherhood and her children. I hope they don’t erase that.

The article also confirms that the statues are of previous Targ kings.

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Huh. I’m surprised they didn’t wait for Comic Con.

I’m also surprised by all the characters they’re not showing: Aegon II, the elder Strongs, Mysaria, Laena. None of Rhaenyra’s boys either, although I can understand that one more. If anything, the focus is almost entirely on Aemond among the younger generation. (I think that may have been Halaena that Alicent was talking to about Rhaenyra taking out her competition, based on the long blonde hair).Very little focus on romance either.

The costumes look fantastic, the wigs, aside from older Rhaenyra’s, look like garbage (sorry). They’re really hammering home the green imagery in everything Alicent wears. I’m coming to embrace neurotic Alicent.

The dialogue is a little. . . cheesy. But then again, it is a trailer.

If I was a non-book fan, I would be very confused by what’s going on haha.

Ultimately, I think that framing this as Rhaenyra taking on the patriarchy and “starting a new order” is going to backfire. I don’t think people are going to take well to another promising Targaryen queen who loses everything, becomes paranoid and bitter, and is then brutally killed by her male relative. And at the end of the day, regardless of new female directors and writers, this is still a show being produced by two guys.

Edited by The Bard of Banefort
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