The Rise of the Dragon is “a condensed version” of Fire & Blood

Olivia Cooke as "Alicent Hightower" and Rhys Ifans as "Otto Hightower" in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO
Olivia Cooke as "Alicent Hightower" and Rhys Ifans as "Otto Hightower" in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

Yesterday, it was revealed on George R.R. Martin’s Not a Blog that we were getting a new Game of Thrones book…sort of. The Rise of the Dragon is an illustrated history of the Targaryen dynasty, but it wasn’t clear in the initial post whether it was going to include new material, or if this was just Martin’s earlier book Fire & Blood but with pictures.

Well, the book is being worked on by Elio M. García, Jr. and Linda Antonsson, the same folk who helped Martin put together The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros. They cleared some things up over on, writing that The Rise of the Dragon is “a condensed version of the already-published Fire and Blood. It contains virtually no new information, and what new information it has is very minute, very trivial matter—the sort of things that warms the cockles of our hearts, perhaps, but not something that makes it worth buying if you’re already familiar with Fire and Blood.”

Honestly, that’s also a little confusing: like, they say the book has “virtually no new information” but there is a some “very trivial” stuff that’s new? But we get the gist: if you already read Fire & BloodThe Rise of the Dragon isn’t going to tell you anything new.

The Rise of the Dragon will make a nice companion piece to House of the Dragon

That said, The Rise of the Dragon will contain a whole mess of new artwork from folks like Magali Villeneuve, Marc Simonetti, Chase Stone, René Aigner. Some of them have worked on the stunning A Song of Ice and Fire calendars, some showed off work at the Unseen Westeros art exhibition, and all are very talented. To me, they’re the reason to get this book.

Also of interest is that García and Antonsson are under contract for more than one book. There’s been talk of a “Who’s Who in Westeros” kind of book on the horizon, and of course, we have to mention that the cover of The Rise of the Dragon marks it as “Part 1.” As we speak, Martin is working on a second volume of Fire & Blood; the first tells the history of the Targaryen dynasty roughly through the end of the Dance of the Dragons while Part 2 will bring us up to the fall of Aerys Targaryen. One assumes that The Rise of the Dragon, Part 2 will be an illustrated version of that.

Finally, we should mention that HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon is also based on Fire & Blood. It’s no coincidence that this new book is coming out this year. There’s also a calendar based on Fire & Blood on its way. HBO is surely hoping that all of this will help drive interest in its new show.

The Rise of the Dragon comes out this October in both the U.S. and the U.K.

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