This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
06.10.20 / Non Fiction / Bantam Press / Hardback / 464pp / 978-1787633285
Target Audience: Those who love the Game Of Thrones TV show and want to learn about the passionate and elaborate process of translating the story and characters from the books into the biggest live action event in modern history.
About Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon
THE UNTOLD STORY OF A GLOBAL OBSESSION DIRECT FROM THE SHOW’S CAST AND CREATORS…
This official, complete history of HBO’s Game of Thrones will draw on the author’s many long days and nights spent on GOT sets all over the world and his countless interviews with cast and crew, many of which have never been published before. Packed with stunning photographs from the show and from behind the scenes, this is the only book that will be absolutely essential reading for every Game of Thrones fan.
Game of Thrones is the biggest television drama ever to have graced our screens. The epic saga of warring families, huge battles, arduous journeys and dying heroes has captured the hearts and attention of millions of fans across the world. But its conclusion isn’t necessarily the end of the story…
James Hibberd has extensively covered the show since breaking the news of its pilot in 2008 and has had more access to the show’s top-secret set than any other member of the media. He was in Croatia when Joffrey Baratheon perished; he was in Northern Ireland when Jon Snow desperately fought in the Battle of the Bastards. He has documented every part of the making of the show and has had exclusive access to cast members, writers and directors.
Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon Review
There are some books that when you pick it up you can feel the weight of its contents, the passion, the history and the legacy that it leaves behind. Sure Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon is a hefty book physically but when you flick through the pages you can sense the sheer magnitude of effort it took to bring Game Of Thrones to a television audience.
Before I get into my review I just wanted to give acknowledge the fact that James Hibberd thoroughly explored both the unbelievable highs and the soul-crushing lows of the entire Game Of Thrones history when putting this book together. James could easily have just done a tone-deaf fan piece but instead we get a well rounded insight into the thoughts and experiences of the cast, crew and creators. As well as a feel for how the audience responded to wide variety of character moments, controversies and plot lines.
Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon is the ultimate account of how Game Of Thrones, a show dubbed impossible to translate to TV, changed the landscape of entertainment for decades to come. It is a rich, satisfying deep dive into how the show, its many characters and its mind blowing set pieces were brought to life, along with big chunky sections of glossy photos that get you even more immersed in the tale of GOT’s production. Despite opinions of the quality, I think we can all agree that it took a tremendous and unforgiving amount of dedication to bring this show to air and Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon details just how true that is.
Chronicling events from conception (D&D’s conversations with G. R. R. Martin and HBO) to its devastating close through interviews, quotes and anecdotes, all threaded together by a journalist who really understood, and cared about, what everyone involved were feeling any given time during writing or production. James Hibberd regularly walked the sets, spending time around the cast and creators, interviewing them, watching them work and reflecting on each pivotal stage of the shows evolution. There was no one more perfect to orchestrate this book as it was easy to see that he was as dedicated to GOT as anyone who was working on it at the time.
The book is packed the rafters with all the actors that we know and love. Sharing their thoughts on becoming those characters, what they went through (Kit Harrington and Masie Williams are warriors) and how their characters changed and adapted to survive. We hear from nearly everyone and it’s great to see. I especially enjoyed the casting stories as it was so interesting to see how each role was filled. I also liked hearing about the pranks, shared experiences, the people who didn’t get along and of course the crazy fans.
There is a lot of heart and intensity here. And as I mentioned before it is not all positive or chill. Now. I have to give a heads up that a lot of this book is not new information. It is a compilation of impressions given by the cast and crew at any given time during the making of the show. As well as the wider media reporting on public reactions of every nature. That said, there are some new stories here and there that I loved. But it is the comprehensive and fluid execution of documenting the history of the show that is so irresistible. It’s all in one place in Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon and knowing I can return to it, like I can the show, if I want to lose myself in that world again is an added bonus.
Do you need to be a fan to enjoy Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon? Unless you are interested in film or TV production, I would say yes. Though if you aren’t a fan and you read this then you might become one! But to reach full appreciation of the contents I would say that you need to be connected to the characters and story arcs involved. Game Of Thrones is huge and it changed TV forever. The mythology behind the making of the show is fascinating and I couldn’t get enough. It was a show that had a shot and blew it. It was only the potential of everyone involved that gave them a gold ticket opportunity to have another go and ultimately make some of the best TV ever created. Loved by so many despite a controversial last season.
Thank you to everyone who worked themselves to the bone day in and day out to make Westeros and beyond so immersive and unforgettable. Will TV ever reach this height again? Who knows…
About James Hibberd
James Hibberd is an award-winning entertainment journalist who has written thousands of stories covering the business of Hollywood across nearly two decades. He is currently Editor-at-Large for Entertainment Weekly and was previously TV Editor at The Hollywood Reporter. His freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Cosmopolitan, Details and Best American Sports Writing. He lives in Austin, Texas.