The Targaryen dynasty may have died out by the end of Game of Thrones, but hopefully those dragon-riding maniacs can take solace in the fact the people of Westeros are completely obsessed with their long rule of the Seven Kingdoms. Hopefully, the people of Earth are as well, since HBO’s upcoming GoT prequel series House of the Dragon covers the Targaryen civil wars, and now a second resource book dedicated to the family is on the way.
The book is The Rise of the Dragon, which is George R.R. Martin’s follow-up to 2018's Fire & Blood, which was a chronological history of the Targaryens from their first arrival on Westeros hundreds of years ago to the aforementioned civil wars which will be the focus of House of the Dragon. Rise, on the other hand, will be more of a straightforward resource book, much like 2014's The World of Ice and Fire. I’ll let George explain:
“For those of you who are wondering: What’s the difference between The Rise of the Dragon and Fire & Blood? Think of The Rise of the Dragon as a deluxe reference book, in which Westeros’ most infamous family—and their dragons—come to life in partnership with some truly incredible artists.”
Martin continued: “Fire & Blood was scribed as a grandmaesters’ account of events from Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros through to the infamous Dance of the Dragons, the civil war that nearly undid the Targaryen rule. The Rise of the Dragon will cover the same time period, but is written in a more encyclopedic style similar to The World of Ice and Fire. In fact, The World of Ice and Fire authors Elio M. García, Jr. and Linda Antonsson have returned to help with this tome.”
Rise doesn’t seem like it’s going to be wholly essential reading for fans who read Fire & Blood, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having a resource that allowed me to easily discover who the hundreds of characters discussed in Fire are, especially given the fact that half the Targaryens seem to be named Aegon and the Targaryen family tree is so intertwined with itself it might as well be a ball of yarn. And it should be immensely helpful (or at least enticing) to House of the Dragon viewers who’ll want to dive deeper into the series, which I imagine is the main point of the book. If nothing else, the one picture GRRM shared (seen above) is gorgeous enough to make me wonder if the art alone is worth the money.
The Rise of the Dragon is due on October 25, and can be pre-ordered here.
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