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HOUSE OF THE DRAGON


Jay
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House of the Dragon, HBO’s straight-to-series prequel to Game Of Thrones, is on track for a 2022 debut, HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys said in an interview with Deadline during TCA.

 

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Written by Ryan Condal based on Martin’s Fire & Blood book, House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen, rich in the dragonlord ancestors of Daenerys.

 

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I mean it’s basically why he wrote F&B, right, to give them material to adapt. They might as well give it a whirl.

 

I’ve been listening to the audiobook on and off, and it’s really a rough go. I’ll try reading the actual book, see how I like it. Just got my limited edition copy a week or two ago; it’s very nice. Unfortunately, though it is billed as the “GRRMarillion,” it really is nothing like the Silmarillion, IMO. Where the Silmarillion is sweeping and mythological, F&B is all relatively recent history. The Targaryens conquer Westeros (you don’t even get to get into the Doom of Valyria) and squabble with the Faith and squabble with each other. A treat for those who love King’s Landing intrigue, I guess, but a letdown if you prefer the mythic North or the mystic East.

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Why?  The problem with GOT was Benioff and Weiss's writing, not the core world and backstory, and B&W are not involved in this

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25 minutes ago, Jay said:

Why?  The problem with GOT was Benioff and Weiss's writing, not the core world and backstory, and B&W are not involved in this


Because it’s just funny to hear him talk about how close he is to finishing something when everyone knows he’s nowhere near it. He talked about just missing a deadline for Winds of Winter that would have seen the book published before season 6. 😂

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38 minutes ago, Bilbo said:

And it’s also part of an unpublished series. I can’t wait for HBO to outstrip Martin (again)!

 

I don’t think that’s a factor. Martin is not promising to write a Volume 2 for a long time, if ever. The book we have already spans centuries. I presume the show will pick a particularly meaty epoch and stick with it, eg.:

fireandblood.jpg

Even if the show is a smash hit, they basically have to recast it and reformat it any time they want to press on to other material.

 

22 minutes ago, Quintus said:

This spin-off will get slaughtered by … Amazon's LotR.

 

I have serious doubts about that. Westeros is much less sacred ground than Middle-earth, and they have more straightforward source material to work from. You essentially know what you’re getting (dragons and tits), and it’s harder to screw it up. The Second Age series, who knows what it will be like? Who the hell can write Tolkien pastiche? It could be a total disaster.

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6 minutes ago, Bilbo said:


Because it’s just funny to hear him talk about how close he is to finishing something when everyone knows he’s nowhere near it. He talked about just missing a deadline for Winds of Winter that would have seen the book published before season 6. 😂

 

What does Martin not finishing a book have to do with this spinoff show?

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19 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

What does Martin not finishing a book have to do with this spinoff show?

Because the book this spinoff show is based on is the first of two volumes and only one has been published 

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12 hours ago, Quintus said:

This spin-off will get slaughtered by The Witcher and Amazon's LotR.

 

Witcher any good?  Don't know the first thing about it but your enthusiasm would be an enticement.

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3 minutes ago, Dixon Hill said:

 

Witcher any good?  Don't know the first thing about it but your enthusiasm would be an enticement.

 

Depending on your sensibilities towards serialised fantasy worlds in their difficult introductory phase, it's decent with caveats: 

 

12 hours ago, Pellaeon said:

I have serious doubts about that. Westeros is much less sacred ground than Middle-earth, and they have more straightforward source material to work from. You essentially know what you’re getting (dragons and tits), and it’s harder to screw it up. The Second Age series, who knows what it will be like? Who the hell can write Tolkien pastiche? It could be a total disaster.

 

Valid points. 

 

But wait, Amazon aren't lifting straight from the Appendices nor The Silmarillion for their series?? Is this the case?? 

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They don’t have Silm rights, and IIRC their agreement with the Tolkien Society has a strict caveat that they don’t contradict anything in any of the books they can use as source material (LotR, possibly Unfinished Tales if rumours are to be believed).
 

This makes it highly likely that they’ll fabricate many characters and events to avoid such contradictions. But I’d like to be proved wrong!

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39 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Fuuuuck so here's me thinking we're gonna eventually see the Fall of Gondolin depicted on screen when it's likely never going to happen. Cancel this made up shit!

 

I reckon it will be mostly Second Age stuff. Which is closest to GOT.

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46 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Really? Yes! It's back on!

Second Age is confirmed. The rest is speculation on my behalf (based on their teasers and stuff) but what else would they do in the second age? 

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Well... that's the worry isn't it.

 

I wonder if they have the necessary rights to be able to depict the iconic scenes/stories from the Silmarillion without actually calling it The Silmarillion. If not, we won't be getting things like the Fall of Gondolin.

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4 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Well... that's the worry isn't it.

 

I wonder if they have the necessary rights to be able to depict the iconic scenes/stories from the Silmarillion without actually calling it The Silmarillion. If not, we won't be getting things like the Fall of Gondolin.


Fall of Gondolin is the 1st Age so we won’t see that. 
 

The Appendices give the tale of years so they’ve broadly sketched out what happens in the second age. That’s what they’ll be basing this on. The broad strokes will be what’s in the Appendices but I imagine a lot of the minutiae will have to be created. 

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I don’t think there is any issue of rights. My understanding is that they have the rights to any and all of Tolkien’s 2nd Age writings. They negotiated this directly with the Tolkien Estate and their publisher, HarperCollins. It’s not movies, so it’s not a sub-license of the old Saul Zaentz movie deal which only included Hob+LR. This all went down after Christopher Tolkien stepped down as head of the Estate.

 

The tricky part, in my mind, is that Tolkien wrote the Second Age in broad strokes. He didn’t write a lot of “scenes”, hardly any dialogue. We don’t really know what the characters looked like, or how they thought, or how they related, or how they reacted. So this is going to be a bit like a historical drama (Rome, Vikings) where we know about certain big historical events, but the script will have to bring it to life. But obviously they have even less to go on than actual historical dramas.

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I wonder when we'll hear something about the Narnia stuff that Netflix has been developing.  That's potentially more my speed these days.  I'm tired of the big medieval-ish fantasies.

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No doubt they plan to adapt the First Age eventually, possibly as a movie trilogy. The clue is that they recently repackaged writings which have been in print since the 80s in the form of a trilogy:

 

great-tales.jpg

 

I think they probably consider the Second Age a safer property to test the waters with. Plus, it’s not quite so “elvish” as the First Age, so yeah, potentially more GOT-like.

 

2 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

I wonder when we'll hear something about the Narnia stuff that Netflix has been developing.  That's potentially more my speed these days.  I'm tired of the big medieval-ish fantasies.

 

You think they wouldn’t do it as a “big medieval-ish fantasy”?

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7 hours ago, Dixon Hill said:

 

Witcher any good?  Don't know the first thing about it but your enthusiasm would be an enticement.

 

Nice for kids.

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All these years I'd been thinking The Fall of Gondolin took place during the 2nd Age. Just goes to show how much I absolutely did fall out of love and get sick of Middle-Earth, after ODing on LotR fifteen years ago. But when I think about it properly, the first defeat of Sauron took place at the end of the 2nd Age - long after all those balrogs spectacularly laid siege to Gondolin. So presumably, we would see Annatar; not Melkor, in this Amazon series, and the creation of the rings.

 

Fuck me this is mouthwatering.

 

Btw, The Witcher isn't age appropriate for kids. Gore and nudity galore. Belgian kids might be exposed to such content quite early on though, I don't know.

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Re the forging of the Rings, in relation to that they could of course also use Galadriel and Celeborn a lot - only their story is complex and inconsistent already, so a series adaptation of that will probably make things even more confusing in the big picture.

 

I expect we might see Khazad-dûm at the height of its glory.

 

1 hour ago, Pellaeon said:

No doubt they plan to adapt the First Age eventually, possibly as a movie trilogy. The clue is that they recently repackaged writings which have been in print since the 80s in the form of a trilogy:

 

None of that has been in print since the 80s. These are Christopher Tolkiens late "novelisations" of the three tales based on decades of sorting through his father's fragments. Both The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales have shorter versions and fragments of these, but the "full" editions in this collection were compiled much later. The Children of Húrin, the first of them, was published in 2007, and The Fall of Gondolin only came out in 2018.

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Nah.

 

The Children of Húrin was originally printed in Unfinished Tales in 1980.

Beren and Lúthien was originally printed in The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two in 1983.

The Fall of Gondolin was originally printed in The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two in 1983.

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8 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

"novelisations"

Well, only Children of Húrin is (and what a great one!), Beren and Gondolin are more like previously published material recollected to be more focused.

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3 hours ago, Pellaeon said:

Nah.

 

The Children of Húrin was originally printed in Unfinished Tales in 1980.

Beren and Lúthien was originally printed in The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two in 1983.

The Fall of Gondolin was originally printed in The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two in 1983.

 

The "new" The Children of Húrin is different from the UT version. As far as I remember, it combines the Sil and UT versions with some alternates and some previously unreleased bridging material. I haven't read the other two yet (they're up next once I finish my current LOTR re-read), but I'd expected them to be similar.

 

As far as I remember what little I read from Book of Lost Tales ages ago, weren't those the very early versions of all the stories? With the Noldor still being called Gnomes etc.? Surely the recent releases of the two tales are based on Tolkiens most "final" fragments and as much in line as possible with the post LOTR mythology.

 

Anyway, that the three are now available as a bundle is certainly because Christopher Tolkien's final release, i.e. The Fall of Gondolin, marks the first time that the three pillars of the Sil are available in self-contained versions. Makes sense to put them in a box set.

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1 minute ago, Marian Schedenig said:

The "new" The Children of Húrin is different from the UT version. As far as I remember, it combines the Sil and UT versions with some alternates and some previously unreleased bridging material.

 

Ah, well, yes, if you’re reading the UT version, there are a few lacunae where he directs you to read the Silm version.

 

The “new” presentation is undoubtedly more reader-friendly, but it is 99% the same text as if you follow the directions in UT. (Actually, the new book has three passages cut, which are in UT.)

 

1 minute ago, Marian Schedenig said:

As far as I remember what little I read from Book of Lost Tales ages ago, weren't those the very early versions of all the stories? With the Noldor still being called Gnomes etc.? Surely the recent releases of the two tales are based on Tolkiens most "final" fragments and as much in line as possible with the post LOTR mythology.

 

Nope, sorry, the main text in Beren and Lúthien and in The Fall of Gondolin is the early (Book of Lost Tales) version, with Gnomes and Tevildo Prince of Cats and all.

 

The Fall of Gondolin also includes the “late” fragment which is also found in UT.

 

1 minute ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Anyway, that the three are now available as a bundle is certainly because Christopher Tolkien's final release, i.e. The Fall of Gondolin, marks the first time that the three pillars of the Sil are available in self-contained versions. Makes sense to put them in a box set.

 

Absolutely!

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22 minutes ago, Pellaeon said:

Nope, sorry, the main text in Beren and Lúthien and in The Fall of Gondolin is the early (Book of Lost Tales) version, with Gnomes and Tevildo Prince of Cats and all.

 

Interesting. But certainly not a likely basis for any foreseeable film or TV adaptations then. ;) 

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Matt Smith is the name of an actor who starred in the television series Doctor Who for a while as a character known as "The Doctor", and he is seen in those photographs.

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