Posts Tagged: HBO

Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner DozoisGeorge R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, recently spoke about his series and HBO’s television adaptation, Game of Thrones, at ConQuest 44. More specifically, Martin revealed details about his contribution to the upcoming companion book, The World of Ice and Fire, which was recently delayed by a year, now set for a Fall 2014 release.

Martin revealed that he was required to provide 50,000 words for the companion book, but, in the end, wrote nearly 250,000 words, which is nearly equivalent in length to A Game of Thrones. The average fantasy novel clocks in at around 120,000 – 150,000 words. So, it’s a lot. You can claim many things about Martin, but, with word counts like that, it’s difficult to take many of the various tired criticisms, such as the idea that Martin spends too much time enjoying life (Football games, conventions, editing anthologies, not being a hermit) and not enough time writing, are phooey. He writes a lot of words. They just aren’t the words that a lot of his fans and followers necessarily want him to write. At the end of the day, 250,000 extra words of A Song of Ice and Fire lore is great news, I’d say. Tower of the Hand describes the book, based on Martin’s comments:

The premise of the “World” book is that it is a copy of a tome presented to Robert just after the Rebellion. The “article” he read was written by a Maester Glyndon. Glyndon distilled his work from three other accounts of the conquest: one from a septon, one from a Grand Maester, and one from “The Tales of Mushroom” a court fool. George actually wrote all three of these pieces as well.

The extra words, a large novel’s worth, will be saved for “a project they are now calling the ‘GRRM – arillion.'” No real word on what this means, but presumably it would be a similar companion book released after the series is finished.

In addition, Martin also discussed ‘The Princess and the Queen,’ his contribution to an anthology called Dangerous Women, edited by Martin and Gardner Dozois and published in December 2013. ‘The Princess and the Queen’ is speculated to be the story of Rhaenyra Targaryen and the first Dance of Dragons, many years before A Song of Ice and Fire proper takes place. Like The World of Ice and Fire, Martin wrote significantly more for this story than he expected, submitting 80,000 words (to himself?), and editing it down to about 30,000 words in its final form. Further, he said that he hopes to write five or six more novellas about Dunk and Egg, one of which includes The She-Wolves, which places Dunk and Egg at Winterfell, with some likely crossover with some events that occur in A Dance with Dragons, so fans of the series, like me, have much to look forward to.

Last week, news spread that George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, signed a new two-year contract with HBO, including his continued participation in their ASOIAF adaptation, Game of Thrones and the development of new projects. On February 10th, in response to a question from a fan on his personal blog, Martin confirmed details about those ‘projects,’ including a potential prequel series to Game of Thrones.

Tuf would be fun. Dunk and Egg are being discussed. Robert’s Rebellion is part of Ice & Fire, won’t be a separate series. Sandkings was done by the OUTER LIMITS; I retain feature film rights, but television rights are gone.

While he speculates about his other properties, he admits specifically that discussion has taken place regarding Dunk and Egg, the heroes of his A Song of Ice and Fire off-shoot novella series. They would be a fun concept for a show, but I wonder if there is proper mass appeal for two characters that most fans of the series likely don’t even know exist. As he says, Robert’s Rebellion would be perfect, but nearly as big a production as Game of Thrones itself, and it’s integrally tied to the events in the series and might be redundant by the time the series/show ends. Non-A Song of Ice and Fire properties is an interesting idea, but, again, I wonder about the mass appeal. Me? I’m curious where the rights to the Wild Cards series rest.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Art by Sidharth Chaturvedi

There is nothing in the world so easy to explain as failure – it is, after all, what everybody does all the time.

If HBO hasn’t already won over the Fantasy crowd with its award-winning adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, True Blood, based on Charlaine Harris’ popular Sookie Stackhouse series, and upcoming adaptation of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, they’re looking at some potential competition from the BBC, which recently announced the acquisition of Susanna Clarke’s beautiful, bloated and baroque Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Of the acquisition, the BBC says:

[The series is] based on the bestselling novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Peter Harness. Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell is set during the Napoleonic Wars in an England where magic once existed and is about to return.

Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell is produced by Cuba, the production arm of leading literary and talent agency Curtis Brown in association with Feel Film and Farmoor.

Toby Haynes directs, Nick Hirschkorn will produce with Nick Marston, Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin are executive producing. Matthew Read is the Executive Producer for the BBC.

Cuba is also the production company behind BAFTA-winning Boy A and critically acclaimed Broken.

So, not much, beside a bunch of names which most non-British fans probably won’t recognize, but it appears to be a project worth keeping an eye on. I attempted to reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell several years ago, when it was first released, and found it bland and almost impenetrable and didn’t finish it; but it’s always been on my bucket list, as my tastes have evolved significantly since then and I expect I could better appreciate Clarke’s work nowadays. This television series might be just the kick in the pants I’m looking for.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

So, uh, this is happening:

Of course, a pilot is just a pilot, and doesn’t necessarily mean that the HBO adaptation of American Gods is any closer to being greenlit than it was last week, or last month, but it’s encouraging to know that Gaiman is so heavily involved. I guess this answers early questions about Gaiman’s involvement in the series.

My thoughts on GAME OF THRONES

Author George R. R. Martin tried desperately to talk HBO out of making a TV show out of his epic “Game of Thrones” books — for fear that a flop would kill his popular series, according to a new book.

In the preface to a new book, Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones, Martin recalls telling the shows future producers, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff that ‘[i]t’s too big. It’s too complicated. It’s too expensive,’ and that ‘Hollywood Boulevard is lined with the skulls and bleached bones.’ Read More »