George R.R. Martin updates us on House of the Dragon & Winds of Winter; Game of Thrones costume-makers battle COVID-19

Many people seek entertainment such as Game of Thrones to escape reality, especially in times such as these, but sometimes reality hits right back at our diversions. Still, though I can’t claim today’s news are unrelated to the Coronavirus, I assure you I don’t bring grim tidings either. In fact, George R.R. Martin has promising news about the progress of the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel TV series, House of the Dragon, as the man himself keeps working on The Winds of Winter; and some of the show’s own costumers have found a way to battle the pandemic in their own inventive way.


Thursday January 01, 1970

Though Martin only recently told his readers about how his writing was progressing, yesterday he saw fit to give us another, similarly unspecific update on his Not A Blog:
“No big news here, but it has been a week or so since my last blog post, so I thought I would say hi. I am still up in the mountains, doing the social distancing rag, and writing WINDS OF WINTER. I have good days and bad days, but I am making progress.”
The writer also discuses the state of the TV industry during the devastating worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, which has ground almost everything to a halt and delayed most upcoming TV shows. Though the projects he’s involved in would be no exception in terms of filming, they’re not there yet: Martin confirms House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal and his writers are still hard at work on their scripts for the first season, which was given a rare go-ahead by HBO (with no pilot to test it out) last October:
“[W]hile nothing is being filmed right now, development is continuing apace, since writers can still write at home. The only thing I am writing myself is THE WINDS OF WINTER, as I have said many times… but with my producer’s hat on, I am still involved in a number of exciting new shows for HBO, and a few film projects as well. When and if any of these make it to the screen, well, that’s always the question… but I do know that Ryan Condal and his team are roaring ahead on the scripts for HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and that one has a full season’s order from HBO. As for the other stuff I may or may not be involved in, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you all.”
As murderous as ever, good old George.


Thursday January 01, 1970

Meanwhile, BelfastLive reports that Game of Thrones costume supervisor Caroline Hill and costume assistant Rachael Blair (who are quarantining together as flatmates) are helping as they can by making scrubs for the British National Health Service, the NHS.
“We were all working on various TV and film projects across the UK and further afield, but due to the development of COVID-19 the productions were all put on a hiatus until the situation improves,” Hill lays out. “Everyone went from being extremely busy to all of a sudden having very little to do and being advised to stay at home, so everyone was keen to use their skills and expertise to try and help where possible.”
“We decided the best way to support the healthcare workers was by volunteering to make scrubs for the hardworking NHS [Northern Ireland] staff, which will be distributed directly to the staff that need them most.” She goes on to explain she and her “wonderful team of people” are “highly skilled,” “very adaptable and used to meeting last minute deadlines and producing large quantities of costume,” so this is the perfect way for them to help out a gravely (one could say criminally) underfunded public healthcare system.
If you want to see Caroline and Rachael’s work, you can watch a time lapse video here.
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