Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: For Any Game of Thrones Fan, A Worthy Read

For Hollywood success stories, Game of Thrones is a classic case of David becoming a Goliath. It started as a dream from George R. R. Martin, who dared to create on his own terms, making the industry believers in his grand vision of his world of "A Song of Ice and Fire". Author James Hibberd chronicled the series for various outlets like Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter from Martin's early TV writing where his creativity clashed with the more frugal television studios. Jaded by the process, the author decided to dedicate his writing to his novels creating such lavish and grandiose worlds that no studio would ever tackle optioning his work for the screen.

Game of Thrones, HBO
Game of Thrones, HBO

Two young and green visionaries in David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were more than happy to take on that challenge meeting Martin, discussing his work, and the painstaking process of finding a platform that would take a chance on them that eventually took them to HBO. Hibberd's journey through Game of Thrones in Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon doesn't leave any stone unturned from its humble beginnings and compromises Benioff and Weiss had to make throughout the adult high fantasy series. The book breaks down things from casting choices, TV-centric deviations from the novels that cut certain book characters and parts out, its eventual overlapping of the books, and trying to match the demands of Martin's vision to budget and time constraints.

Fan Recaps Game of Thrones Season One with Arrested Development Mashup
Image courtesy of HBO

The most engaging aspect of Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon is the cast and crew interviews breaking down key moments of the show from their most casting/hiring to their final scenes and how they felt about them. Most of the core cast that participated from the first to final seasons participated in the book. Some notable omissions are Olenna Tyrell actress the late Diana Rigg and High Sparrow actor Jonathan Pryce but are mentioned. It's particularly engaging knowing how the biggest stars of the series grew up and how far along they came from the show like Stark actors Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright to Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke.

Iwan Rheon as Ramsey Bolton and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones. Image courtesy of HBO/WarnerMedia
Game of Thrones. Image courtesy of HBO/WarnerMedia

I'll give credit for Hibberd for going above and beyond for Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, because he could have just stopped at the work of the cast and crew, but he also dove deep into the mixed fan reaction of the controversial final eighth season and the cast and crew's internal feelings on their arcs and show's end. It even touches on the coffee cup controversy. It's a definite must-read for anyone who's a fan of the HBO series and Martin's works that goes deep into the minds of the artists from filming to handling the fame that came from one of the most relevant pop culture franchises of the 21st century.

Game of Thrones: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Talks "Degrading" S1 Rape Scene
Game of Thrones. Image courtesy of HBO/WarnerMedia

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Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series

Game of Thrones, HBO
Review by Tom Chang

10/10
Author James Hibberd's Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon is a must-own for any Game of Thrones fan from start to finish as it explores the creative minds behind the HBO series from author George R. R. Martin, creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and stars like Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and more.
Credits

Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon
James Hibberd

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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