Hardhome and Battle of the Bastards director will be directing episodes of the new GoT prequel, House of the Dragon
George R.R. Martin has broken his silence on the cancelled prequel and said that he wants to write scripts for House of the Dragon, but only if he's done with Winds of Winter.
In terms of having a seismic impact on the state of play in Westeros, it's arguable that only The Red Wedding and Daenerys' descent into madness had the same impact as the news that broke over the last few days.
To clarify, Jane Goldman's pilot about the Age of Heroes and the origins of the White Walkers is done. House of the Dragon lives on.
Yes, fire and blood reigns supreme because HBO will be making ten episodes of a new season that will document the history of House Targaryen - as told in George R.R. Martin's novel, Fire and Blood.
The show will be set a couple of centuries before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones TV show) and Martin also confirmed that Miguel Sapochnik - director of Hardhome, The Battle of the Bastards, and The Long Night - will return behind the lens.
In a post to his blog, Martin said: "Sapochnik will be directing the pilot… well, maybe it is more precise to call it the first episode, and doubtless a number of other episodes as well. There’s no one better."
Aside from his directing duties, Sapochnik is also a showrunner on the new show alongside Ryan Condol (Colony).
#HouseOfTheDragon, a #GameofThrones prequel is coming to @HBO.
The series is co-created by @GRRMSpeaking and Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik will partner with Condal as showrunner and will direct the pilot and additional episodes. Condal will be writing the series. pic.twitter.com/9ttMzElgXm
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) October 29, 2019
Martin also said that when Condol approached him initially about making a Game of Thrones successor show, he wanted to adapt his Dunk & Egg stories into a TV show.
"In fact, that was the show he wanted to do initially, but I’m not prepared to bring Dunk & Egg to television until I’ve written quite a few more stories," said Martin.
The author confirmed that House of the Dragon has been in development for years and that it was the first concept he pitched to HBO when they started talking about successor shows and prequels,.
In terms of the show's development, Martin said that "there’s a writer’s room to be assembled, episodes to be broken down and scripted, a cast and crew to be assembled, budgets and production details to be worked out."
On a very positive note, the Game of Thrones author remains optimistic that the new prequel will also shoot in Northern Ireland. While nothing official has been confirmed yet, it would be great to see Thrones staying on these shores.
"As yet, we don’t even know where we will be shooting, though I expect we will revisit at least some of the countries David and Dan used for Game of Thrones (Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, and Spain)," he said.
In terms of scriptwriting duties, Game of Thrones fans will know that Martin wrote one episode in each of the first four seasons, however he stopped in order to focus on finishing The Winds of Winter.
The author said that he does "expect to be involved" in the production of House of The Dragon and "who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of Game of Thrones. But… let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered Winds of Winter. Winter is still coming, and Winds remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episodes of House of the Dragon," he added.
Sadly, it's not all good news in Westeros because Jane Goldman's prequel will not be made into a show.
Earlier this summer, a pilot episode was filmed in Northern Ireland with Naomi Watts and Miranda Richardson leading the cast.
Directed by S.J. Clarkson and written by Goldman, the show was set "thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones. The series chronicles the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know."
Sadly, that won't be going into production and here's what Martin had to say about HBO's decision.
"It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series. Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her. I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with House of the Dragon. This was never an either/or situation.
"If television has room enough for multiple CSIs and Chicago shows… well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows. Heartbreaking as it is to work for years on a pilot, to pour your blood and sweat and tears into it, and have it come to nought, it’s not at all uncommon. I’ve been there myself, more than once. I know Jane and her team are feeling the disappointment just now, and they have all my sympathy…with my thanks for all their hard work, and my good wishes for whatever they do next," he said.