Tower of the Hand



SCOPE No books readNo seasons watched

If Tywin and Tyrion got along

Warning! This post may discuss events from beyond your current scope. If you're fully caught up, you can remove this spoiler warning from all similar blog entries, or view this post without bypassing the warnings of other entries.

External Link House of the Dragon begins casting. James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly reports that HBO is taking the next step on its Game of Thrones prequel: House of the Dragon has begun casting. There are no official breakdowns yet, so he -- like so many of us -- are left to speculate on what characters the new show will include. Since House of the Dragon is said to be based in part on George R. R. Martin's Fire & Blood, we can expect to see plenty of Targaryens; they are the subject of GRRM's book, which comprehensively (albeit dryly) documents their reign over the Seven Kingdoms in the centuries leading up to the events of Game of Thrones.

Hibberd presumes that House of the Dragon will at some point feature the "Dance of the Dragons," a pivotal event in Westerosi history that is rife with family drama, political intrigue, and hot dragon-on-dragon action. HBO could do far worse than spend a few years bringing this Targaryen civil war to our screens, a mini-Game of Thrones that also benefits from having a beginning, a middle, and, yes, an ending as already written by GRRM.

As Hibberd notes, there is also the possibility that House of the Dragon could be an anthology series, with each season focusing on a different era of Targaryen lore. The Dance of the Dragons would of course be part of this, but this approach would also allow the show to spend time with Aegon I and his sisters as they conquer Westeros, and with Jaehaerys I during his long, progressive, and sometimes sad tenure, and maybe even follow Dunk and Egg on their wacky adventures. At first I wasn't sold on the anthology idea, but HBO (and viewers) might be happier with a non-serialized show that isn't so dependent on how well (or how badly) it executes its final season.

We haven't really addressed House of the Dragon here, so let's start with the basics. What kind of show would you prefer it be: a serialized story or an anthology? Which characters are you most interested in seeing? What is the one thing you would demand of the show, if you were an all-powerful producer? Personally I was always a little disappointed by Game of Thrones' lack of diversity early on, and I'm worried that House of the Dragon will be even more limited in this regard because of its singular focus on a family of fair-haired, purple-eyed beauties. Nevertheless I remain hopeful that the show will both learn lessons from its predecessor and find a way to get out of its huge shadow by the time it debuts, perhaps as early as 2022.


Tyrion and Cersei, parent ersatz

Warning! This post may discuss events from beyond your current scope. If you're fully caught up, you can remove this spoiler warning from all similar blog entries, or view this post without bypassing the warnings of other entries.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

If you're like me, you've had plenty of free time to read this year. But decent reading recommendations are hard to come by, harder still when the public library is closed and you're limited to the library's digital offerings. In my case, I learned to shrug off my normal finicky attitudes toward unknown authors and to embrace whatever book is readily available when I open up my ebook app, regardless of genre and target audience. (Though I do tend to check out the fantasy and sci-fi selections first.)

I've also started taking notes on my readings, paying particular attention to elements that might also appeal to my fellow A Song of Ice and Fire fans. Over the course of the summer I intend to present short, spoiler-free reviews of some of these books. Hopefully you'll find something that piques your interest. If not, I hope that you'll suggest a similar book that has entertained you.

Let me start with The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen.


Robb Stark attacks through the Ardennes with elephants

Warning! This post may discuss events from beyond your current scope. If you're fully caught up, you can remove this spoiler warning from all similar blog entries, or view this post without bypassing the warnings of other entries.

External Link GRRM details steady progress on TWOW. In a new post on Not a Blog, George R. R. Martin gives a rare update on his progress writing The Winds of Winter. The topline is: he's not done writing TWOW, the book isn't imminent, but GRRM does hope it will be finished by some time next year. The ongoing pandemic has kept GRRM in isolation and canceled his travel plans, which he says has helped him focus on the next book:

I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It's going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go.

He adds:

Of late I have been visiting with Cersei, Asha, Tyrion, Ser Barristan, and Areo Hotah. I will be dropping back into Braavos next week. I have bad days, which get me down, and good days, which lift me up, but all in all I am pleased with the way things are doing.

And there's this final tease, too:

Now you will have to excuse me. Arya is calling. I think she means to kill someone.

Regarding his writing pace, GRRM notes that it doesn't match what he was able to do accomplish when he was writing A Storm of Swords back in 1999 and that he's not likely to recapture that pace again. It should be obvious to us by now that the quick publications of those first few books were the aberration; lengthy waits are the rule.

Lastly, GRRM lists some other things that are occupying his time: watching television, reading, and preparing to virtually host WorldCon. He reports that adaptations of his works continue to be developed, including House of the Dragon, which is "still flying along wonderfully" despite the pandemic. For all this and more, go read the entire post in GRRM's own words.


Aegon's Motivation

Warning! This post may discuss events from beyond your current scope. If you're fully caught up, you can remove this spoiler warning from all similar blog entries, or view this post without bypassing the warnings of other entries.

The other side of northern badassery

Warning! This post may discuss events from beyond your current scope. If you're fully caught up, you can remove this spoiler warning from all similar blog entries, or view this post without bypassing the warnings of other entries.

After Dark, What a Chore. Tower of the Hand "After Dark" invites you to mingle with other members and chat about all things off topic. Suppose you could forever remove one chore from your life, whether it be time-consuming, exhausting, or simply mundane. The chore would still be accomplished as it always has it been, except without any effort from you and without any consequence. What chore would you choose to banish from your life?

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Tower of the Hand is an unofficial companion to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and HBO's Game of Thrones, featuring chapter and episode guides, character profiles, family trees, and much more.

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