fantasy land

The Fantasy Shows Are at It Again

Left: Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, Right: Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings. Photo-Illustration: Vulture, HBO and New Line Cinema

Fantasy lovers rejoice, even though reality sucks in 2020, there’s a lot to look forward to in mystical lands throughout 2021. Here’s a rundown of where many upcoming television series stand, including the Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon, and, oh yes, that Lord of the Rings prequel series as well. This week we got a look at the dragons behind House of the Dragon, the first of supposedly three (?!) follow-up series to GOT. And, following Amazon’s 2017 announcement about not one but two seasons of a prequel series for Lord of Rings (with a massive budget), it’s finally starting to make some moves forward. Plus, a little bit more about the long wait for The Kingkiller Chronicles, and a cool sword from the upcoming series The Wheel of Time.

HBO’s House of the Dragon set to begin production in 2021

Straight from the mouths of babes (the Game of Thrones Twitter account), it was announced today that House of the Dragon is set to start production in 2021, complete with a look at a couple of dragons. The new HBO series will take place around 300 years before the events in Game of Thrones and examine the origins of House Targaryen, the ancestors of the Mother of Dragons herself. Not much more is known about the upcoming series, aside from a casting announcement for King Viserys Targaryen, who will be played by Paddy Considine, and that Martin and Ryan Condal are taking the reins on co-creating the much-anticipated follow-up. GOT fans can expect the ten-episode season to be released in 2022.

Amazon announces 20 new cast members for Lord of the Ring series

Today saw another dispatch concerning a prequel to an iconic fantasy series, this time from Middle Earth. We’ve received a proclamation of 20 new cast members, including Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells, Geoff Morrell, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, and Sara Zwangobani. With the series currently in production in New Zealand, the only known detail about the story is that it takes place thousands of years before The Hobbit or The Fellowship of the Ring. Amazon has been pretty tight-lipped about the series development, so no character names or story lines have been announced, or a release date. Fans will just have to make their best guesses on all of those details for now.

Yep, The Kingkiller Chronicle series is still on hold

Last month, Lin-Manuel Miranda offered some insight into the ongoing development of The Kingkiller Chronicle series, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying only that it’s “still a code that’s waiting to be cracked.” While discussing his current role in Dark Materials on a Reddit Q&A a few weeks ago, questions turned to the long-in-development adaptation of Patrick Rothfuss’s book series, which was recently passed on by Showtime and hasn’t been picked up by another network. The series follows the journey of Kvothe, an adventurer and musician, with busy-bee composer Miranda taking the lead on the music as a co-producer. When asked about where the series stands, Miranda said, “The honest answer? We haven’t cracked it. As YOU know, it’s an incredibly rich story and complex world. When we crack it, there’ll be news. But not before it’s absolutely right. Working with Pat has been a total joy.” There’s your crumb of hope, Kingkiller fans.

Behold, a sword with the Mark of Heron

That must be important, right? Yesterday, fans got a look at one of these mighty swords in a sneak-peek video from The Wheel of Time, one of the next fantasy-novel series moving to the wonderful world of streaming, based on the books by Robert Jordan. Following the big reveal, creator Rafe Judkins answered questions about the show, and the sword, on Twitter, saying that the level of attention to each character’s weapon is high, with the Heron Mark sword itself accumulating “10,000 woman/man hours spent on the design and [its] creation.” Think about that the next time you’re considering crafting a sword for Comic Con. The show will be released on Amazon Prime in 2021.

The Fantasy Shows Are at It Again