I see that my mighty minions have posted about my upcoming events in New York City later in the month. Yay, minions!
Those of you who enjoy my football posts (yes, I know that is not all of you)… I have been watching the games… and enjoying them, since both the Giants and the Jets have been winning. The Jets had another miracle last minute victory last week, and on Sunday they just crushed the Fins. And the G-Men won a couple of nail biters, including a victory over the Packers in London that was as shocking to me as it must have been to Aaron Rodgers. I had almost forgotten how good it feels to win. So life is magical and full of joy… right now, at any rate.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON has helped brighten my Sundays as well. I mean, I cannot really review the show, that would be crazy, I am hardly objective… but I do want to commend Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik and the cast and crew for the work they’ve done. Sunday’s episode, “Lord of the Tides,” was everything I hoped it should be. Kudos to Eileen Shim, the scriptwriter, to Geeta Patel, the director, to our incredible cast… and particularly to Paddy Considine, for his portrayal of King Viserys, the First of His Name. The character he created (with Ryan and Sara and Ti and the rest of our writers) for the show is so much more powerful and tragic and fully-fleshed than my own version in FIRE & BLOOD that I am half tempted to go back and rip up those chapters and rewrite the whole history of his reign. Paddy deserves an Emmy for this episode alone. If he doesn’t get one, hey, there’s no justice. Meanwhile, I am going to give Archmaester Gyldayn a smack for leaving out so much good stuff.
(No, I am not really going to rewrite FIRE & BLOOD, that was a jape). ((And no, I am not going to assault Archmaester Glydayn, who does not actually exist. I made him up)).
There’s a lot more I would love to blog about, but I do not have the time…
There’s a website called THE WRAP that has a couple cool interviews with Ryan Condal, including one where he spoke about our supposed rivalry with RINGS OF POWER… which mostly exists in the media. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiI47jH99b6AhWVMDQIHeE0Cg4QFnoECA0QAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thewrap.com%2Fhouse-of-the-dragon-rings-of-power-rivalry-ryan-condal%2F&usg=AOvVaw2s5NQfsv28MZaXoSiQOsWU
Ryan says pretty much the same thing I said in that interview with THE INDEPENDENT a few months back. Nothing would please him more than to see both shows succeed. Me too. I am a fantasy fan, and I want more fantasy on television, and nothing would accomplish that more than a couple of big hits. THE WITCHER, SHADOW & BONE, WHEEL OF TIME… and THE SANDMAN, a glorious adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking comic series… those are a good start, but I want more. I want Tad Williams, I want Joe Abercrombie, I want Patrick Rothfuss, I want a good adaptation of Le Guin’s Earthsea books, I want Alan Garner, I want Robin Hobb… oh, the list is long, I could go on and on… and would if I did not have a zillion other things to do. Most of all, I want Roger Zelazny’s NINE PRINCES IN AMBER. I will never understand why Corwin and his siblings are not starring in their own show. And hey, if epic fantasy continues to do well, maybe we will finally get that. A boy can dream.
I wanted to address the “time jumps” in the HOUSE OF THE DRAGON too. Not with any kind of official “statement,” but with some musings on the subject. There’s a lot to be said. I do not have the time to say it now, though. Maybe in my next blog, or the one after that… or maybe never, since work keeps piling up.
Very briefly, however, I think Ryan has handled the “jumps” very well, and I love love love both the younger Alicent and Rhaenyra and the adult versions, and the actresses who play them. (Truth be told, we have an incredible cast, and I love all of them). Do I wish we’d had more time to explore the relationship between Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin, the marriage of Daemon and Laena and their time in Pentos, the birth of various and sundry children (and YES, Alicent gave Viserys four children, three sons and a daughter, their youngest son Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season), and everything else we had to skip? Sure.
But there are only so many minutes in an episode (more on HBO than on the network shows I once wrote for), and only so many episodes in a season. Fewer and fewer as time goes by, it seems. When I was a boy, shows had 39 episodes a season. By the time I was writing for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, it was down to 22. Cable shrunk that even further. THE SOPRANOS had 13 episodes per season, but just a few years later, GAME OF THRONES had only 10 (and not even that, those last two seasons). If HOUSE OF THE DRAGON had 13 episodes per season, maybe we could have shown all the things we had to “time jump” over… though that would have risked having some viewers complain that the show was too “slow,” that “nothing happened.” As it is, I am thrilled that we still have 10 hours every season to tell our tale. (RINGS OF POWER has only 8, as you may have noticed, and my AMC show DARK WINDS is doing 6 episode seasons). I hope that will continue to be true. It is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish.
But right now, Ryan Condal’s focus is on HOT D season two, and mine is on THE WINDS OF WINTER.
Current Mood: busy
I am a bad blogger, I know. (Or should that be a bad Not-a-Blogger??). I keep meaning to post stuff, but there’s so much going on that I keep falling behind…
Last week was a great football week. So life was magical and full of joy. That Jets win especially was a miracle. Two touchdowns in the last two minutes? Seven hells. The Giants had a good solid victory too, if less exciting.
This weekend, however… bah, humbug, life is meaningless and full of pain. The Jets turned back into the Jets, no more miracles. They really should bench Flacco and give Mike White another chance. He was so impressive last year, when they put him in. But I guess we get Zach back next week. Maybe that will help. Then the Giants lost too. Saquon looked great, but the O-line did not. We have been drafting O linemen for a decade, yet the line never gets better. Sigh. I hate losing to the Cowboys too.
Never mind. Let’s talk about something more exciting: HOUSE OF THE DRAGON! The show opened strong and has only been getting stronger. Thanks to all of you who are watching, and helping to spread the word. And thanks to our amazing cast and crew as well. We are more than halfway through the season now (I meant to blog after our debut, I really did, but time got away from me). Milly Alcock and Emily Carey were incredible as young Rhaenyra and young Alicent, were they not? With Sunday’s episode, Emma d’Arcy and Olivia Cooke took over as the adult versions of the characters. I think you will love them too. Or hate them, maybe. Love/ hate. Westeros, like the real world, is full of complex characters, capable of both good and evil. Meanwhile, Matt Smith and Paddy Considine and Rhys Ifans and Fabien Frankel and Steve Toussaint and the rest of our cast continue to excel. I would be hard pressed to say which of them I love best. And I should say a few words for our writers too, who never get the attention that the stars do. Sara Hess, Charmaine De Grate, Ira Parker, Ti Mikkel, and rest of our scriveners have done my story right, I think. And last but not least, our showrunners, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik… HOT D would not exist without them. (Oh, and let me give a tip of the hat to Jocelyn Diaz, another one of our EPs, who helped immeasurably).
I hope you guys are enjoying HOT D as much as I am. And hey, four more episodes to go… the best is yet to come. And then on to season two!
And speaking of second seasons… DARK WINDS, our adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s classic Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee mystery novels, has already assembled its writers’ room, and is well into hammering out s2 scripts. This year the show will be adapting Tony’s novel PEOPLE OF DARKNESS (parts of which were melded into season one).
Oh, oh… before I forget… NIGHT OF THE COOTERS, the first of our short films adapting the classic short stories of Howard Waldrop, is making the film festival circuit. Directing by and starring Vincent d’Onofrio, COOTERS won the award for Best Science Fiction Short at the LA Shorts Film Festival in August, and has also been accepted into the Santa Fe International Film Festival, and FilmQuest in Provo, Utah. We do not have the screening schedule for FilmQuest yet, but I will share it when it comes in. Here in Santa Fe, COOTERS will open the festival at the Jean Cocteau on October 19, at the Jean Cocteau. Vincent will attend, for a talk and Q&A after the screening. See you there, I hope.
There’s more, there’s more, there’s always more, but I don’t have time right now. I will blog again. Eventually.