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Publisher's Summary

The official, definitive oral history of the blockbuster show from Entertainment Weekly's James Hibberd, published with HBO's official support.

It was supposed to be impossible. George R.R. Martin was a frustrated television writer who created his best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels to be an unfilmable saga bound only by the limits of his vast imagination. Then a pair of first-time TV writers teamed with HBO to try to adapt Martin's epic. We've all seen the eight seasons of the Emmy-winning fantasy series that came next. But there is one Game of Thrones tale that has yet to be told: the 13-year behind-the-scenes struggle to pull off this extraordinary phenomenon. 

In Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, award-winning Entertainment Weekly writer James Hibberd chronicles the untold story of Game of Thrones, from the creative team’s first meetings to staging the series finale and all the on-camera battles and off-camera struggles in between. The audiobook draws from more than 50 revealing new interviews and unprecedented access to the producers, cast, and crew who took an impossible idea and made it into the biggest show in the world. 

Game of Thrones and all related characters and elements © & TM Home Box Office, Inc.

©2020 James Hibberd (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“James Hibberd covered Game of Thrones from start to finish and he knows where all the bodies are buried. It's all here, in his oral history of the series: how it began, how it ended, dragons and direwolves, what went on in front of the cameras and what went on behind the scenes, the triumphs and the stumbles, the tough decisions, the forks in the road, the reasons why. Actors, directors, showrunners, producers, executives, even me.... Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon has it all, everything you ever wanted to know. Game of Thrones was an amazing ride. Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon is an amazing read.” (George R. R. Martin)

“A great read, informative and insightful ... Hibberd’s impressive reach also helps; he speaks to just about every major player in the show’s orbit, from actors like Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, and Kit Harington to directors like Neil Marshall and Miguel Sapochnik, the people responsible for some of the show’s most ambitious episodes.” (The A.V. Club)

“After spending a decade religiously covering the HBO fantasy hit series, the Entertainment Weekly writer delivers all of the behind-the-scenes secrets of Westeros in a must-read for fans. With over fifty interviews to offer new insights and never-before-seen photos from the secretive set, Hibberd might just become King in the North (Pole) this holiday.” (E! News)

What listeners say about Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

a bit of a stretch

The inside is more of a compendium of previously published material with a lot of excuses being made for the final season. It is an interesting read if you watch the show in 10 years, which is hard to imagine as 3 years after the ending the ahow is currently regarded as the biggest pile of ... Well anyway some might enjoy it.

4 people found this helpful

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Lame

Bought this with an Amazon credit to try and understand how D&D could have effed up S08 so bad. Basically it was just a recap of the series with some potentially unheard sound bytes from cast and crew you may not be able to find on YouTube.

Credit to the author - he’s doing an ok job. Well performed and well written. The content is trash - or, at least, nothing a GOT fan may not be able to find online.

Don’t waste your money

4 people found this helpful

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Everything GoT!

I must say I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't quite sure what it was going to be going into it, but once I got started on it I really hated to put it down. I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan, So I had to have this book. The only real criticism I have for the book is the constant non-stop praise for showrunners Dan and Dave that seems to go on and on and on as a never-ending theme throughout the book. I highly recommend this book for anyone who's a Game of Thrones fan whether you enjoy season 8 or not.

3 people found this helpful

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  • RB
  • 12-09-20

For every fan and even more

Whether you’re a fan or not, this behind the scenes look at Game of Thrones is very fascinating! For fans: this book goes far beyond the behind the scenes extras provided in the show.
For non-fans: an interesting read for a show that dominated television and a read to learn about the industry.

1 person found this helpful

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Feel like an insider

Great to hear everyone's thoughts and feelings along with some great stories!
Well written, well performed.
Thank you!

1 person found this helpful

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  • S
  • 11-02-20

D & D apologists

I liked getting the perspectives of all the cast, but a lot was saying sorry

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A Well Written Book with Few Surprises

This T.V. History was a fun trip through the series that provided an interesting perspective on a show many of us already loved. James Hibberd did an excellent job both writing the story, and taking the time to interview anyone and everyone he could think to talk to. As he says near the beginning of the book, he was a fan of the show from the early days and enjoyed writing the book. Most books like this quote lots of interviews with the cast, crew, producers, and writers, but I can't remember one in which the writer spoke to quite as many people involved as Hibberd did. At least in such a way that he could identify so many of his sources. I can't know for sure, but it appears that having HBO's seal of approval allowed for far more access than I've usually seen in these books. If you are a fan of the show, and the kind of person who is interested in reading a 500 page history of a TV show, then there's no reason not to give the book a try.

That said, there are few things that might bug readers. The first is that being an official release appears to have provided a few limitations with the access it provided. It was very clearly told from the "shows" point of view. When the book addressed well known criticism of certain aspects of the show, it felt like those criticisms weren't given much weight other than to allow the producers to explain why the criticism is wrong. It's understandable but felt a bit disappointing as well. Additionally there was rarely much discussion of things like story lines that were considered but dropped, or viewpoints that were argued about in the writers room. It's possible that for 10 years a group of writers were unified in the shows story ideas but it seems unlikely at best. One of the most interesting parts of these books is usually learning about all the roads not taken or how seemingly genius decisions in hindsight almost didn't happen. That seems to be absent here. Given how much control the creators had, and that much of the show was based on source material, it's again possible that there simply wasn't much of this, but I find it hard to believe GOT was that far beyond every other show ever made.

That said, I did enjoy the book. Despite all of the attention the show got. The articles, interviews, and behind the scenes looks that released over the years, I was still impressed at the sheer audacity of the show, and the grueling nature of shooting a show as ambitious as GOT. It honestly felt like a very quick read and I never felt like it overstayed its welcome.

The narrator of this book was also excellent. He does such a good job that I forget he isn't actually the author. It felt like he was telling a story rather than reading one and it made the experience all the more enjoyable.

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great book for fans of the show

The author is clearly fond of the show and that is the perspective he brings to this book. It is a celebration of the show and insight into its creation and production from beginning to end. If you are like me and watched and enjoyed the show without getting to deeply into it, this book will help you understand it even better. If you are already an in-depth fanboy it may not be all that informative to you. It is formatted around interviews the author did with almost everyone involved with the show and quotes are used to tell the story. It can get repetitive as an audio when he always identifies the speaker in the same format. For example, Kit Harington, John Snow then the quote. It is a big help to a more casual fan I assume. I wish there had been more critical analysis of the problematic final season, but the author lets the creators justify their decisions with what frequently amount to weak excuses like If we did it differently then it just wouldn't be Game of Thrones. I feel you can't explain an entire season that did not seem like the rest of the show as having be done to be consistent with their approach to the show. Even more I I felt another main defense was a cop out. They seem to believe those critical of Season 8 ignore all the hard work that went into it. Fans of the show admire the excellent story development not the hard work behind the scenes I respect the latter when it serves a good story and the final season was just not well told. The reader makes the good decision to not do voices as it would have seemed strange if he tried to imitate the actors on the show. He is a bit flat in his delivery but overall, I found him a good listen and a good reader.

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Distracting when narrator can’t even pronounce names right

I was getting so annoyed and thought did the narrator not even watch game of thrones? He kept mispronouncing Lyanna Mormont/Stark. It was distracting and the only reason I gave 4 stars. How’d they not catch this in editing?

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Terrific behind the scenes look

What a great listen - loads of stories from the crew. I will probably relisten when I do a rewatch of GOT- great job Hibbs!!