Way-Too-Early Reactions to HOUSE OF THE DRAGON

It’s official. We’re back in Westeros after a 6-year hiatus from decent storytelling in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy universe.

As the first spin-off show we’re getting in the wake of Game of Thrones, I’ve been cautiously optimistic about this House of the Dragon.

With director Miguel Sapochnik, who directed several of Thrones‘s most harrowing and exciting episodes (see “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards”), Martin himself more closely involved once again, and a star-studded cast, I felt like House of the Dragon had legitimate potential to be great.

After the debut episode, “Heirs of the Dragon”, all I can say is… I think I was right.

This premier introduced a set of characters who are poised to clash politically — or otherwise — and laid the groundwork for the rest of the season in an interesting way. They even managed to introduce a bit of lore that even the most ardent of book-readers could not have guessed.

I will not go into detail about the plot of the episode except to say that there is a jousting tournament with phenomenal cinematography and some pretty brutal violence. (The jousting show at the Maryland Renaissance Faire is one of my favorite events of the year, so I was thrilled to see such an exhilarating sequence in this show.)

I had honestly forgotten how unforgiving the early seasons of Game of Thrones could be, so to see it again in this premier was a bit of a shock.

While I have read part of The World of Ice and Fire, and Fire and Blood sits on my unread shelf, I’ve decided not to follow along with Martin’s writings while watching this show. I want to experience the show for its own merits, and then read the stories again.

Between the intriguing cast of characters, the tight-knit plot, the broader narrative it introduced, and the incredible looking dragons (more than one!), it’s apparent that the showrunners have set out to prove that the expanding Thrones-verse is still a force to be reckoned within the IP-as-content wars.

All in all, the showrunners have set the stage for what I anticipate will be an enjoyable, suspenseful, and action-packed season of television.

And of course, there are the dragons.

Share your thoughts or way-too-early reactions about this first episode of House of the Dragon in the comments below.

Steve D

Blog Rewind: My Philosophy of Ice and Fire

Nearly two years ago, in anticipation of season 7 of Game of Thrones, I wrote a piece about what I view as the philosophy of the books and show.

At the time, I was excited to see how the show would tidily wrap up all of its weaving plot threads in two unnecessarily truncated seasons. Oh, how naive I was.

Still, it wouldn’t be ethical of me to espouse philosophical theories about a fictional universe and not actually revisit them at the story’s conclusion. Let’s see how my predictions panned out in the wake of the series finale!

Beware! Here be spoilers…

Continue reading “Blog Rewind: My Philosophy of Ice and Fire”

An Open Letter to George R.R. Martin

Game of Thrones spoilers probably incoming. I’m not doing this ironically. I have already expressed my frustrations with the last two seasons of Game of Thrones, and I legitimately want to see Martin finish out his series the way it deserves. It would be really cool–however unlikely–if he read it.

So, you know… if you know him, pass this along.

Continue reading “An Open Letter to George R.R. Martin”

A Philosophy of Ice and Fire

Season 7 of Game of Thrones premiers in five days (!),  and I for one am stoked. A lot has been made of the philosophies one can glean from these stories, so I wanted to give my own thoughts.

The ongoing argument is that George R.R. Martin is a nihilist and created these stories to beat his readers over the head with tragedy and suffering.

I disagree, and I will use this post to explain why.

Spoilers ahoy! I will be freely discussing spoilerish information from both the books and the show, so if you’ve somehow managed to avoid them to this point, this post is probably not for you. Continue reading “A Philosophy of Ice and Fire”

Friday Write-Day: Top 5 Favorite Books!

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I was prompted earlier this week to post my top five favorite books of all time by Mr. MLS Weech, a real-live published author and blogger-buddy. So props to you sir, for making me want to write about my favorite books! (His blog is full of insightful pieces on the writing and publishing process – check it out.)

Now then, thinking about my favorite books was surprisingly difficult, because my reading preferences tend to fall into three broad and diverse categories: Continue reading “Friday Write-Day: Top 5 Favorite Books!”

Friday Write-Day: Revisions Abound

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Revising 12 pages minimum per day has been… more work than I had imagined. So far, I’ve done all right in revising The Warden of Everfeld: Memento — 98 pages in and about a day behind my pace to finish September 23, as planned. I hope to catch up and build a nice cushion for myself this weekend.

I suppose it should not be too surprising that revising a novel actually takes longer than just reading it. Continue reading “Friday Write-Day: Revisions Abound”

Creativity Sessions: Cliffhangers as a Narrative Device

I enjoy cliffhangers in novels. As someone in the marketing profession, I also understand why they are often used at the ends of novels. I’ll be just finishing up the story when the author throws a curveball, making me go Oh shit, how can you leave me hanging like that?! And then Book 2 comes out and I buy it immediately, because obviously I have to see what happens. It’s good business.

But as a narrative device? I’m becoming more and more skeptical of the end-of-book cliffhanger. Continue reading “Creativity Sessions: Cliffhangers as a Narrative Device”