Fire & Bloodthe game of thrones prequel to the new HBO series Dragon House is based on, positions itself as an in-universe storybook. Just like our own stories, multiple sources are important. Fire & Blood presents several different accounts of the events of the Dance of the Dragons. But Dragon House merges these narratives into a single timeline, showing the true story of events. It’s a smart move for an already complicated show, but it also eliminates Fire & Bloodthe funniest character in the process.
The book can basically be split into two halves: the first is about the story of the Targaryen family when they first came to Westeros, while the second half is about their civil war, called the Dance of the Dragons. The first part of the book is told very simply, but the second half divides the story into three tales: Septon Eustace, Grand Maester Munkun, and Mad Mushroom.
The fungus is described in Fire & Blood as “a three-foot-tall dwarf possessing an enormous head”. He was court fool of the Targaryens during the Dance of the Dragons and, according to him and others, was well liked by both sides and thought too “straightforward” to repeat sensitive information he had heard – a clear error of from everyone involved. These facts gave him an interesting perspective on the events of the war, recalling firsthand the conversations of some of the most important moments, which he recorded in Mushroom’s testimonial.
Although Eustace and Munkun’s stories are often more accurate, they often err on the side of decency and present a clean and chaste version of the story, two things the story often isn’t. Mushroom, on the other hand, prefers the most salacious version of all events, even if he has to invent the more sordid details himself. However, according to Archmaester Gyldayn (the in-universe author of Fire & Blood), Mushroom’s bawdy tales are sometimes a fairer look at the events of the time, though they should be treated with skepticism.
This interplay between the three narratives and the often ridiculous stories of Mushroom provides much of the humor in Fire & Blood‘s story and is one of the best parts of the book. But it is not present in Dragon House. This shouldn’t shock you so much; after all, the series is already complicated enough, and the introduction of three different (unreliable) narrators would only make this problem worse.
Instead, showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, along with series writer George RR Martin, have assembled a singular timeline for the show that presents the events of the Dance of the Dragons as they really happened. products, to help keep things simple. Which means that the Mushroom account still has an important role to play.
“As fun as that Rashomon The style of storytelling is, we kind of left that to the book and decided to try instead to define what we thought was the objective truth of this real story, as we saw it,” said Condal in an interview with Polygon. “Some historians are right, and some historians are wrong. Sometimes they’re all right. Sometimes they’re all wrong – sometimes Mushroom is even right, by chance. And I think that was the fun of the adaptation, it’s to really interact with the book as a companion piece.
Condal says he thinks the book and the series will complement each other, each adding deeper and more interesting nuances to the other. In the series’ only first episode, we witness a critical conversation between Rhaenyra and King Viserys that we couldn’t see in the book because the two were alone in the Red Keep. Condal also says that having a real version portrayed on the show helps give the book and the show an added theme of how the story can change depending on who is recording it.
Even if he will not be a character in the series, or at least will not be the narrator, Fire & Blood readers can rest assured knowing that Dragon House will bring pieces of Mushroom’s testimony to its timeline. And who knows, maybe the fool will be right more often than Grand Maester Gyldayn thought.