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Game of Thrones Goes Back to the Books

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By J. Atkin

Last week the most talked about HBO series was canceled after it had barely begun. The unnamed "Game of Thrones" prequel series starring the likes of Naomi Watts was canceled after its pilot episode had been filmed. The fandom would have been much more disappointed if HBO did not announce, almost simultaneously, that had greenlit another "Game of Thrones" prequel, to be titled, "House of the Dragon". Why is that exciting? Well, if you loved the dragons they are much more prominent in the prequel, in part because they have not all perished from the earth as they supposedly had by the time "Game of Thrones" takes place.

What makes this prequel different from all other prequels? The Naomi Watts version included? Well, like at least the first few seasons of the beloved "Game of Thrones" this prequel (unlike the Naomi Watts series) is based on a book already written by author George R.R. Martin. "Fire and Blood," Martin's 2018 tome of over 700 pages, covers a large part of the history of the Targaryen dynasty. For the uninitiated, that is the family of The Mother of Dragons, the lovely Emilia Clarke, from the original HBO series. While "Fire and Blood" covers a large portion of the Targaryen history it doesn't cover all of it. There are more books on the way (though obviously, for those of us familiar with the "A Song of Ice and Fire" books that doesn't necessarily mean any time soon).

So why is this exciting? It is exciting because the most successful seasons of the much beloved, now completed, "Game of Thrones" television program, were the ones that had the most written material, already produced by Martin, to work from. What seasons were those? Most of the first five. Seasons six, seven, and of course season eight were working from blank pages and, particularly at the end, the audience noticed. They noticed a lot. The seasons sped up, the plot got more convoluted, and many many threads were dropped.

So now we wait to see if George R.R. Martin will grace us with books to fill in the oh so many gaps the show left behind. But now we also have another book, and a show coming (despite the recent loss). And we can all be excited because, despite the complaints, we would never have been upset about something that we did not already love in the first place..

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