FIRE CANNOT KILL A DRAGON: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series, Hibberd chronicles the making of GoT from the producers' very first meeting with Martin to the staging of the controversial series finale and all the epic battles in between.
It’s easy to forget that Thrones was supposed to be impossible to make. Long before Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow became household names, George R.R. Martin was a frustrated TV writer who created his bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire novels to explore epic storytelling beyond the constraints of Hollywood. In 2008, HBO took an enormous gamble to produce his “unfilmable” saga and for the next 11 years, the Game of Thrones team faced one backstage obstacle after another while turning their series into an unprecedented global blockbuster, an Emmy Awards record-breaker (132 nominations and 47 wins in total) and a pop-culture obsession. Across its 8 seasons that aired in 207 countries and territories, GoT received perhaps more cumulative media coverage than any show ever made. Yet no one knows the inside story of GoT as well as Entertainment Weekly Editor-at-Large James Hibberd, a journalist who visited the top-secret show’s sets each season since 2012. In his debut book, FIRE CANNOT KILL A DRAGON: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series, Hibberd chronicles the making of GoT from the producers' very first meeting with Martin to the staging of the controversial series finale and all the epic battles in between.
James Hibberd gives fans an inside look at every aspect of the ground-breaking series and the people who created it, including:
- How Dan Weiss and David Benioff won over an author avoiding an adaptation and a network that wasn’t interested in a fantasy series, and how they then convinced HBO to bankroll the project – despite neither of the showrunners having ever worked on a television show before.
- The making of the show’s disastrous original pilot that you’ve never seen. Game of Thrones was an expensive gamble that almost didn’t make it to air. Hibberd portrays what went wrong when making of the show’s first pilot that was torn apart by the top-brass at HBO, and then all the changes that were made to create an iconic premiere episode.
- Perspectives from the cast and crew on all of the best – and most controversial – episodes, including: “Baelor” (which ends with the shocking execution of Ned Stark); “The Rains of Castamere” (aka “The Red Wedding”); “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (which depicted Sansa’s horrific wedding night); “The Long Night” (which focuses on the long-awaited battle between the Night King’s undead forces and the living); “The Bells” (in which Daenerys Targaryen fully crosses the threshold into fascism and madness); and others.
- How Games of Thrones continued George R.R. Martin’s story… even though he hadn’t finished the books: When the first season of GoT premiered, Martin had already published four books in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, plenty of material for the first few seasons of the show. Then HBO had to continue the series without Martin’s roadmap. Hibberd’s shares how all involved learned to navigate new and treacherous territory as they moved beyond the books and how fans reacted to the changes they made along the way.
- Exclusive insight into the divisive final season: Hibberd invites fans into the writers’ room and on to the set as the Game of Thrones cast and crew worked to deliver an epic ending, sharing the cast’s reactions to every plot twist, their endurance of harrowing on-set conditions, and their reactions to the blowback after the series ended.
- The future of the Game of Thrones television universe, including the spin-off series currently in the works from HBO: the future and legacy of the GoT franchise, including the upcoming House of the Dragon HBO series (set to air in 2022), and other prequel projects currently in development.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of everything Game of Thrones or love-to-hate various elements of the series, there’s no debate that GoT was a wildly ambitious project unlike anything viewers had witnessed before. Hibberd’s fascinating oral history is a must-read for every GoT fan.
About the Author
James Hibberd is an award-winning entertainment journalist who has written thousands of stories covering the business of Hollywood across nearly two decades. He's currently Editor-at-Large at Entertainment Weekly and was previously TV editor at The Hollywood Reporter. He lives in Austin, Texas.