In the October 2020 release of Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series, author James Hibberd takes readers along the journey, from start to finish, of the award-winning drama series that changed television. Hibberd’s passion for and experience in entertainment reporting lends itself to a book ‘GAMES OF THRONES’ fans are bound to love as much as the show that united them.
Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon differs from a standard behind-the-scenes book in that it features a balance of perspectives from the points of view of the cast, crew, and novels’ author who started it all. We get insight into how what we now define as a megalith of television greatness almost never made it to the screen, and the hurdles it overcame through sheer determination of those who believed in the project.
How did ‘GAME OF THRONES’ (GoT) come to be? Who were the ones who gave the greenlight for the adaptation from novel to television series? What is it like to be the ones who navigate the massive ship through waters that shift from calm to choppy without notice? Hibberd’s book excels by having a multitude of interviews and insights from TV executives, showrunners, directors, production designers, and writers. These were the individuals who brought to life the world we’d only imagined by making tough choices based on what they deemed best for the show. If not for them, we’d never been introduced to the talent of the actors and actresses who became household names.
CHARACTERS OF PROMISE
While reading the interviews Hibberd features in the book don’t be surprised if you laugh one minute then are moved to tears (especially in Emilia Clarke’s stories) the next. From Gwen/Nikolaj’s and Emilia/Kit’s banter to sister-soulmates Maisie and Sophie, the love and respect they have for one another jumps off the page. Friendships forged in laughter, shared struggle, and respect bond the GoT on-screen talent in ways we can never fully understand. Hibberd reveals the depth of mutual admiration the cast have for one another while also celebrating a fellowship that may go its separate ways, but will journey on forever changed. The gifted cast of ‘GAME OF THRONES’ hurdled into stardom together, and it’s only the beginning of a path well earned.
I joined the GoT fandom late in the “game” – only back in 2016, but quickly caught up in time to enjoy the final two seasons as they aired. This brilliant show became one of my favorite TV series of all time, and I have immense respect for the dedication and talent of those in front of and behind the scenes. Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon examines some difficult (and at time debated) creative choices through interviews with those who had to make them. As a viewer, I may not always agree; as a writer, I have the utmost respect for the decision makers.
At the age of 13 I thought that I’d grow up to be a TV writer, for I loved dialogue and character development. From that point on, I yearned to learn the how’s and why’s of making a television series (particular the dramatic kind). I’d buy entertainment-related magazines and read them front to back. I’d purchase series collections so that I could watch the bonus features, hearing from the artists in front of and behind the camera. While my writing path led to YA Fantasy author instead of TV writer, I celebrate the industry for the art it creates and admire those artists who share their talent, consistently seeking to improve their craft.
In Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, James Hibberd’s respect for the industry and those who create within it are infused into each page. He delved into the world of ‘GAME OF THRONES’ from the perspective of both a professional in the industry and a fan of the craft. I borrowed the book from the local library, and devoured it’s contents within five days. I promptly bought a copy to keep in my personal collection.
I highly recommend this book for those in the GoT fandom (though caution newcomers that spoilers are included) and fellow TV enthusiasts interested in how an award-winning, pop-culture phenomenon not only gets made but soars as high as any dragon!
**DISCLAIMER: Do endorsement by any of the aforementioned individuals is implied.**