HBO is diving head first into Westerosi backstory with House of the Dragon, a prequel to Game of Thrones. The story is not connected to the main series, but it is based on material from Martin's latest book, Fire and Blood. Given the unconventional layout of that volume, however, fans are wondering if certain things — such as Martin's nod to the Muppets — will make it in.
House of the Dragon is based on Fire and Blood, according to HBO's announcement. That book is not exactly a novel, however, but a fictional history, beginning about 300 years before the main series and recounting about 150 years of Targaryen rule. Martin has helped narrow the subject matter down more, all but confirming that the show will be set during a civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, a little less than 200 years before the main series.
Still, a TV show and a fictional history book will look a lot different, depending on showrunner Ryan Condal approaches it. For example, Martin's book describes things from a tactical, impersonal perspective, as most histories do. We do not know which battles, scandals or characters will appear on screen.
Many fans are holding out hope that House Tully will get the screen time it deserves. This is because the Tullys of this era had a string of unusual names, which Martin apparently borrowed from his favorite Muppets and Sesame Street characters.
It began with Ser Grover Tully, Lord of Riverrun and ancestor of Catelyn Stark in the main series. Grover is not a particularly out-of-place name on its own in Martin's world, until you meet Grover Tully's grandson, Elmo. Fans picked up on the naming Easter egg at once, and were giddy when the book introduced Elmo's two sons, Kermit and Oscar.
Martin was not even cryptic with his Muppets references in writing. In Fire and Blood, he described Oscar Tully as "greener, and cursed with the sort of prickly pride so common in second sons." With the announcement of House of the Dragon, fans joked online that we would finally see whether this generation of Tullys resembles Jim Henson creations in real life.
Top 5 Silliest ASOIAF Easter Eggs:
- Lharys, Mohor, Kurleket (3 Stooges)— History of Westeros (@WesterosHistory) May 17, 2019
- Kermit, Oscar, Elmo & Grover Tully (Muppets)
- Triarch Belicho (NE Patriots Coach Bill Belichick)
- Ser Patrek of King's Mountain (GRRM betting w/friend)
- Weirwood (Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead)
Thankfully, it seems likely that at least some of these characters will appear on-screen. Elmo Tully is a vital ally for Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen at the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons, going against his father Grover's wishes to support her enemies. His armies play a pivotal role in the early battles of the war.
The Tullys resurface as key players at the end of the war, when Kermit and Oscar are venerated war heroes. Having fought in gruesome battles through their teen years, they earn the undying respect of their men, and are instrumental in holding King's Landing for their side. However, they also get a fantastic monologue from Cregan Stark when he arrives there to find them acting as if the war is won.
"Are you babes in swaddling clothes, to be cozened by flowers and feasts and soft words? Who told you the war was done? The Clubfoot? The Snake? Why, because they wish it done? Because you won your little victory in the mud? Wars end when the defeated bend the knee and not before," the Stark ancestor says.