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This page is about the book. For other uses, see: Fire and Blood (disambiguation)
Fireandbloodcover

US (left) and UK (right) cover art.

Fire & Blood[1] is an imaginary history book[a] written by George R.R. Martin. It chronicles the history of House Targaryen beginning with the Doom of Valyria from the perspective of Archmaester Gyldayn.

The full title of the in-universe book as written by Gyldayn is Fire & Blood, Being a History of the Targaryen Kings of Westeros.

Publication history[]

Fire & Blood was first announced on August 31, 2013 on Martin's blog "Not A Blog," with the working title GRRMarillion (a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion.)

In 2014, more than 200,000 words from the manuscript of the companion book The World of Ice & Fire were incorporated into Fire & Blood. In the summer of 2016, Martin had already pitched the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, based on material from the book.

On July 22, 2017, Martin revealed on Not A Blog that Fire & Blood had grown so large that it would have to be published in two volumes.

In April 2018, the manuscript for the first volume was revealed to be 989 pages long. An excerpt was released in October the same year. The book was published on November 20, 2018.

On March 9, 2022, Martin revealed that he was considering the title Blood & Fire for the second volume, and that he had already written a couple hundred manuscript pages.[2]

On March 17, 2022, Martin announced The Rise of the Dragon: An Illustrated History of the Targaryen Dynasty, Volume One, which was published on October 25, 2022. The book is a condensed edition of Fire & Blood, edited in an encyclopedic style by Elio M. García and Linda Antonsson, who previously co-authored The World of Ice & Fire, and featuring new illustrations.[3]

On July 12, 2022, Fire & Blood was reissued with new cover art promoting House of the Dragon.[4]

Contents[]

The book covers the history of House Targaryen from 114 BC to 136 AC, starting from the day Aenar Targaryen and his family migrated to Westeros and settled on Dragonstone.

In contrast to the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, which are narrated by POV characters, Fire & Blood is a history book, narrated from the perspective of Archmaester Gyldayn, who lived (according to a semi-canon source) into the reign of King Robert Baratheon, many years after the events detailed in the book. Gyldayn bases his records on various sources, among them:

  • The chronicles of Grand Maester Runciter
  • The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling by Grand Maester Munkun, based on the account of Grand Maester Orwyle
  • The Reign of King Viserys, First of His Name, and the Dance of the Dragons That Came After by Septon Eustace
  • The Testimony of Mushroom, based upon the verbal account of the court fool Mushroom, whose style is very ribald and depraved

Gyldayn repeatedly emphasizes that all the aforementioned sources are not entirely objective and reliable (least of all The Testimony of Mushroom), and they often contradict each other: Munkun's account is pro-Rhaenyra; Eustace's account is anti-Rhaenyra; Mushroom takes no side but his account consists of ribald tales and gossip, piling stabbings, poisonings, betrayals, seductions, and debaucheries. Gyldayn expresses his skeptical opinion about the reliability of the different sources, casting doubts especially regarding Mushroom's tales, but presents them all to the readers.

In A Dance with Dragon, while Tyrion is busy writing down all the information he can get about dragons, he muses about the "fragmentary, anonymous, blood-soaked tome sometimes called Blood and Fire and sometimes The Death of Dragons," the only copy whereof is supposedly hidden in the Citadel.[5] Blood & Fire is the title that George R.R. Martin is considering for the second volume of Fire & Blood.[2]

Illustrations[]

The hardcover version of the book contains more than 75 black-and-white illustrations by comic book artist Doug Wheatley. The paperback version contains 5 additional illustrations.

Reception[]

Fire & Blood received mixed reviews from critics. Hugo Rifkind of The Times described it as "interminable, self-indulgent crap." Roisin O'Connor of The Independent stated that reading the book feels like "you've been assigned a mildly interesting, but often tedious, piece of homework." Publishers Weekly stated that "Martin's evocative storytelling style and gift for gripping narrative are mostly absent from this dry history."

More positive critics of the book included Dan Jones of The Sunday Times, who called it "a masterpiece of popular historical fiction," and Chris Lough of Tor.com who proclaimed it as "the best Song of Ice and Fire book in 18 years," referring to A Storm of Swords.

Adaptations[]

House of the Dragon (2022-present)[]

Fire and Blood HBO cover

House of the Dragon cover art for Fire & Blood

Main page: House of the Dragon

In October 2019, George R.R. Martin's pitch for House of the Dragon was greenlit by HBO, receiving a 10-episode straight-to-series order. Ryan Condal was announced as co-creator, and also as showrunner along with Miguel Sapochnik. The series adapts the "Heirs of the Dragon" and "Dying of the Dragons" portions of the book.

Nine Voyages[]

Main page: Nine Voyages

Another adaptation of material from the book, Nine Voyages, was revealed to be in development in March 2022. It focuses on a young Corlys Velaryon, who is one of the main characters of House of the Dragon. Bruno Heller, creator and showrunner of the historical drama Rome, is writing the pilot script.

Aegon's Conquest[]

Main pages: Aegon's Conquest (Rand Ravich/Far Shariat), Aegon's Conquest (Mattson Tomlin)

A live-action television series based on Aegon's Conquest has been discussed multiple times at HBO. Due to its description, it would be adapted from the chapter "Aegon's Conquest" from Fire & Blood.

References[]

Notes[]

  1. Although some sources describe Fire & Blood as a novel, George R.R. Martin has stated that it is not a novel and prefers the term "imaginary history."

External links[]


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