Even as he continues to push back the expected publication date for the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, George R.R. Martin just can’t help teasing Game of Thrones fans with tidbits of information about Westeros. The author posted on his personal blog on April 25 about the upcoming Fire & Blood, which is a 989-page look into Targaryen family history.
It’s important to note that Fire & Blood is not a novel. It’s an “imaginary history” in line with J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion, which was an extensive history of Middle Earth. Sorry, Thrones fans—the HBO series is still way ahead of the books, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for a while.
HBO announced in January that Thrones will return for its 8th and final season in 2019. Martin did not announce a publication date for the long-awaited Winds of Winter, the sixth book in Ice and Fire; he wrote in his post that fans are “going to have to keep waiting” for that one. (Say it with us: ugh.)
But he’s keeping things interesting by providing potential fodder for a proposed Thrones spin-off series. TVLine notes that HBO has deals with four writers to explore different parts of Westerosi history, and Fire & Blood could definitely provide groundwork for that.
In his blog post, Martin wrote, Fire & Blood “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.”
Daenerys’ dragons have been major, recurring characters on Thrones since she received their eggs as a wedding gift in season 1, so it seems safe to say we’re all here for more dragons. The question is, how deep will HBO go with its spin-off series? If there won’t be any familiar characters, how far back will the series start? Will it bear any resemblance to Thrones in tone or look or cast?
Martin notes in his post that Fire & Blood doesn’t follow a traditional narrative, since it isn’t structured as a novel… so it will be interesting to see what comes from that in the TV adaptation, if anything. The post also contains a look at the US cover, as well as an interior illustration from artist Doug Wheatley.
Fire & Blood will be available in stores November 20.