Westeros has a lot of families, royal and otherwise. So many that you wonder how did George R.R. Martin come up with such diverse names. Of all the families though, the most sought-after and mysterious has been House Targaryen. Power, magic, dragons, incest; a history that promises far more than a meager number of Targaryens in Game of Thrones (the show).
Martin has come out to quench that thirst with Fire & Blood, the first of a two-volume set dedicated to the history of Targaryens essentially after they took residence on Dragonstone. It is not a traditional novel and is written in the style of a textbook, covering 150 years of Targaryen generations in Westeros. Unlike the books in ASOIAF, Fire & Blood is narrated by a single person; a maester of the Citadel, Archmaester Gyldayn. He also made an appearance in a previous history book called The World of Ice and Fire, which released in 2014 and was dedicated to the history of Westeros.
The new book is supposed to shed light over some important conundrums. What really happened during the Dance of Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the doom? What is the origin of Daenerys‘ three dragon eggs? Albeit Martin has forewarned to take the information with a pinch of salt because there’s no absolute certainty about what’s being told by Archmaester Gyldayn. “Readers will have to find them and puzzle out whether they’re hints or red herrings,” GRRM told Entertainment Weekly.
The World of Ice and Fire was also an account by a politically motivated maester Yandel, who could have tweaked or elided details about some of the more recent events such as Robert’s Rebellion. This, in turn, helped GRRM to keep some secrets up his sleeves. A similar strategy ensues here, that the versions of history could always have a potential of political motivation or superimpositions over time. And thus there is no commitment to any one of them. This helps in accommodating the changes in the narrative that could happen in the final two books of the ASOIAF series.
Fire & Blood is an unabridged version of the material that was originally written for The World of Ice and Fire but couldn’t find a place in its original conception of being a big coffee book table. The new book also has its own added flesh. George Martin had initially made a jape about naming it GRRMarillion, after J. R. R. Tolkien‘s Silmarillion.
A more detailed look at the world of Valyria or the doom that the Targaryens could foresee would have been a pleasant surprise. But the events in Fire & Blood are essentially Westerosi in nature. Thus, the book starts its journey from Aegon’s Conquest and creation of the Iron Throne, that took place some 300 years before the events in A Game of Thrones.
It moves forward with the tales of future Targaryen generations that fought to retain control over the seven kingdoms brought together by Aegon the Conqueror. And ahead into the civil war (Dance of the Dragons) that vanquished most of the dragons from Westeros and proved almost apocalyptic for the Targaryen dynasty.
There are some noteworthy Easter eggs; the mention of Alyssa Targaryen who closely resembles Tyrion Lannister, thus teasing at Tyrion’s parentage; Dany’s dragons being related to Queen Rhaena‘s Dreamfyre, one of the last and strongest of the dragons killed during the Dance of Dragons;
Queen Alyssane Targaryen‘s dragon Silverwing refusing to fly north beyond the Wall. And her subsequent championing of the Night’s Watch to ward off the threat in the north; Queen Alicent Targaryen, who strikes a close proximity to Queen Cersei when it comes to let-the-world-burn-and-save-our-own instinct. Eventually, Alicent has a grim and lonely fate waiting for her.
With this 736 page-long first volume, Martin promises the grandeur and scope of Edward Gibbon‘s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon’s celebrated work contains six volumes and chronicles the journey from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of the Byzantium. Fire & Blood also contains more than eighty black and white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. The book has been published by Bantam Books on November 20, 2018. You can purchase the book on Amazon.
As we wait for the finale of the showstopper called Game of Thrones, Martin has thrown a big pile of backlog at everyone interested. Let’s hope Daenerys and Jon (or Aegon) have something to learn from it. What are your views about this historical addition to Westeros? Talk to us in the comments.
George R. R. Martin reveals Fire and Blood Vol. 1 cover, release date, and other bits
Game of Thrones Season 8 isn’t coming out in 2018. As Geroge R. R. Martin recently revealed, The Winds of Winter, next book in the ASOIAF series, isn’t coming out in 2018, either. So what are we getting this year? Well, the answer isn’t as satisfying as any of the two mentioned above would have been, but we’re getting a book on Targaryen history. The first volume of Fire and Blood, is all set to arrive this year, and now George has revealed the release date, cover, and a few more interesting bits. Read on!
George recently took to his Not a Blog to talk about Fire and Blood Volume 1, and although he did talk a fair bit about The Winds of Winter, the post was about Fire and Blood. The book will be released on November 20, in the US and the UK. Check out the cover of the book, below:
— George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) April 25, 2018
…a closer look:
— Adam Whitehead (@Werthead) April 25, 2018
Fire and Blood, Volume 1, or as the full title goes, Fire and Blood: A History of the Targaryen Kings from Aegon the Conqueror to Aegon III as scribed by Archmaester Gyldayn, will be 989 pages long, and fully illustrated, with over 75 black & white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. George made it clear that this book isn’t a novel, and will be written like a history book. So how much of Targaryen action are we getting? Here’s a list, by George himself:
“This first volume covers all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters. For those not up on your Westerosi history, that’s Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jaehaerys I (the Conciliator), Viserys I, Aegon II (and Rhaenyra), and Aegon III (the regency). Oh, and there are dragons too. Lots of dragons.”
We can’t wait! George also addressed questions about whether the prequel series will have links to Fire and Blood, and provided a ‘we’ll have to see’ answer. What do you think? Excited?Talk to us in the comments, down below!
Winds of Winter not coming out in 2018. Won’t release any more advanced chapters, says GRRM
Game of Thrones ends with Season 8 in 2019. On the other hand, the series of books on which it is based, A Song of Ice and Fire, is yet two volumes away from finishing. The show has already surpassed the story-line of the books, and we were expecting the next book, The Winds of Winter to come out this year, but a recent announcement by author George R. R. Martin himself, says that the book isn’t coming out this year. Read on!
George recently gave an update on his Not a Blog, about the upcoming Fire and Blood book, the first volume of which is arriving this year. Speaking of Winds of Winter in the post, he said:
“No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least. You’re going to have to keep waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER.”
That’s that. No ETA. He also commented on the Game of Thrones prequel series development, especially whether one of them is based off of Fire and Blood:
“Oh, and I should also say… as most of you know, HBO is presently developing a number of different prequels to GAME OF THRONES. I know I am going to be asked whether those shows are going to be based on material from FIRE & BLOOD. It’s a logical question. The only answer I can give is… ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say. So let’s move that to the side.”
Now, as you know, George has given us some samples chapters and such from the book, and it seems like he plans on not releasing or reading more of them. George said in the comments section:
“I think I have probably released too many sample chapters already. Put them all together, and what, there are probably more than a hundred pages (I honestly don’t know, I have never tried the exercise).
In the past, I have always been happy to release sample chapters, and to read other chapters at cons. But in this age of the internet, no good deed goes unpunished. That was brought home to me when the Dozois anthology BOOK OF SWORDS was released, and I found myself reading reviews that slammed “Sons of the Dragon” as ‘old, retread’ material because I’d read the story at a couple cons… for the entertainment of the few hundred people in the audience, but of course summaries went up all over the web, and somehow in the minds of some what should have been a brand new reading experience became old and familiar. It’s not worth it putting up sample chapters and giving readings if it means it will come back and bite me in the ass when the book is finally published.”
He also responded to an angry fan who noted that George should have focused on finishing Winds before working on prequel series and Fire and Blood:
“I am not sure HBO would agree that the spinoffs (I prefer the term “successor shows” myself) could have waited. With GOT set to end in 2019, they put five of them in the works, so as to have a new show… or more than one… to take up the mantle in 2020. (Development takes time). The successor shows were going to happen regardless. I prefer that they happen with my participation and guidance, rather than without it.”
What do you guys think about this? Talk to us in the comments, down below!
Cover art for A Clash of Kings comic book revealed. To go on sale this June
A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of books on which Game of Thrones, the show is based, has given birth to a wide variety of tie-ups, collaborations, merchandise and publications. For those of you who don’t know, Dynamite Entertainment publishes A Song of Ice and Fire comic books. The first book, A Game of Thrones has already been fully adapted into comics, and now the second book, A Clash of Kings, will now follow. The comic books are scheduled for a June 7 release, and artist Magali Villeneuve, recently tweeted a picture of her artwork for the cover of the first issue.
The artwork shows her rendition of Stannis Baratheon and Shireen. Check it out, below :
— ☀️ Magali Villeneuve ☀️ (@Cathaoir1) March 24, 2017
Villeneuve has previously also worked on the 2016 edition of A Song of Ice and Fire calendar.
For the comics adaptation of A Clash of Kings writer Landry Quinn Walker will be working with artist by Mel Rubi. Westeros.org says that the first issue will have more than just one cover. It will apparently come out in variants. The variant by Mike S. Miller, who has previously worked on the Dunk & Egg adaptations will have Melisandre, Stannis, Shireen and the fool Patchface, a character from the books that never made it to the show. Check it out, below :
Next up, is the variant by Marc Simonetti, who worked on The World of Ice and Fire. It shows Melisandre looking at the red comet from what looks like Dragonstone :
Lastly, is Rubi’s variant, which shows Melisandre, Stannis Baratheon, and another character which is said to be Maester Cressen :
We’re really looking forward to the release of these comic books, and we think you should be too. In the meantime, you can get A Game of Thrones comics, which are available in 24 volumes, here. They are either available complied into four graphic novels, selling at $25 each, or as individual comics priced at $3.99 per piece.
Have you read any of the comic book adaptations, or are you planning to? Tell us in the comments, below!
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