I look around, and I don’t know where 2021 went. I blinked and it was gone. Not a year that I am going to mourn much, any more than 2020. A global pandemic, so many deaths (including friends of mine, as well as celebrities of all sorts), politics grown increasingly toxic… it was a year best forgotten. I did, however, get a lot of work done in 2021. An enormous amount of work, in truth; I seem to have an enormous number of projects.
(I am not complaining. I like working. Writing, editing, producing. There is nothing I like better than storytelling).
I know, I know, for many of you out there, only one of those projects matters.
I am sorry for you. They ALL matter to me.
Yes, of course I am still working on THE WINDS OF WINTER. I have stated that a hundred times in a hundred venues, having to restate it endlessly is just wearisome. I made a lot of progress on WINDS in 2020, and less in 2021… but “less” is not “none.”
The world of Westeros, the world of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, is my number one priority, and will remain so until the story is told. But Westeros has become bigger than THE WINDS OF WINTER, or even A SONG OF ICE & FIRE. In addition to WINDS, I also need to deliver the second volume of Archmaester Gyldayn’s history, FIRE & BLOOD. (Thinking of calling that one BLOOD & FIRE, rather than just F&B, Vol 2). Got a couple hundred pages of that one written, but there’s still a long way to go. I need to write more of the Dunk & Egg novellas, tell the rest of their stories, especially since there’s a television series about them in development. There’s a lavish coffee table book coming later this year, an illustrated, condensed version of FIRE & BLOOD done with Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson (my partners on THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE), and my Fevre River art director, Raya Golden. And another book after that, a Who’s Who in Westeros. And that’s just the books.
There are also the successor shows. Those have taken a ton of my time and attention this year. I have seen some comments out there questioning how much I am involved in these new series. The answer is: a lot. Deeply, heavily involved in every one of the new shows. It’s my world, and while I have been working closely with some fantastic writers and showrunners, ultimately it is up to me to try to keep the canon… well, canonical… and to do all I can to help make the new shows great. (And I love these stories too).
So far, I am very excited. HOUSE OF THE DRAGON has wrapped in London and is now in post-production. What I have seen, I have loved. I am eager to see more. I am excited about the other successor shows as well, however. I am dying to tell you all about them, but I am not supposed to, so…
Well, maybe there a few things I can tell you. Things that HBO has previously announced, or hinted at, or…
We are developing live action shows for HBO, and animated shows for HBO Max. No, can’t tell you how many. But it is my hope that a number of these shows will get on the air. Not all, no, it is never all, but more than one. I certainly hope so. Some of the ideas we are working on are quite different in tone and approach than what has gone before, and that thrills me. The world of Westeros (and Essos, etc) is huge, and there is room in it for many types of stories, about a wide range of characters.
What can I tell you? Well, let’s see. Bruno Heller, the creator and showrunner of ROME, is writing his pilot script for the Corlys Velaryon series. That one started out as NINE VOYAGES, but now we’re calling it THE SEA SNAKE, since we wanted to avoid having two shows with numbers in the title. The other one TEN THOUSAND SHIPS, the Nymeria series. Amanda Segel, our showrunner, has delivered a couple drafts of that one, and we are forging ahead. The third of the live action shows is the Dunk & Egg series, helmed by Steve Conrad. My team and I have had some great sessions with Steve and his team, and we really hit it off. He’s determined to do a faithful adaptation of the stories, which is exactly what I want; these characters and stories are very precious to me. The first season will be an adaptation of the first novella, “The Hedge Knight.” Contrary to what you may have read on line, the show will not be called DUNK & EGG, which could be mistaken for a sitcom by viewers unfamiliar with the stories. We’re leaning toward A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS for the series title, though THE HEDGE KNIGHT has its partisans as well.
Over on the animated side… well, I am not allowed to talk about most of what’s happening, except to say that things are moving very fast, and I love love love some of the concept art I am seeing. And.. wait, come to think of it, the news leaked several months ago that one of the animated shows would be set in Yi Ti. That’s true. Our working title is THE GOLDEN EMPIRE, and we have a great young writer on that one too, and I think the art and animation is just going to be beautiful. I would tell you more if I could. I don’t think I can say a word about the other animated shows. Not yet.
So… there is lots going on.
And HOUSE OF THE DRAGON is coming soon. That’s what you will see first.
And me? I will continue to work with the writers and showrunners and directors and producers on all these shows. Plus ROADMARKS for HBO, and DARK WINDS for AMC, and WILD CARDS for UCP and Peacock. And NIGHT OF THE COOTERS should be finished this month.
And in addition to all that, let me say one again, yes, I am still working on WINDS OF WINTER.
Current Mood: tired