While fans have been thoroughly enjoying House of the Dragon and all the drama between the two sides of House Targaryen, book readers can’t help but notice that the beloved series is missing one of the most entertaining characters: Mushroom the fool.
The History of the Civil War Told from Three Accounts
Fire & Blood is a history book in Westeros told from multiple perspectives. It contains the story of the Targaryen’s from when they first arrived and conquered the land (a very straightforward account with no room left for argument), to the end of Dance of the Dragons, which has information from three different sources.
The events prior to and during Dance of the Dragons (the basis of HBO’s House of the Dragon series) were recorded by Septon Eustace (who served when Viserys Targaryen was king and for a while after his death), Grand Maester Munkun (who served under Aegon III after the Dance of the Dragons), and Mushroom the fool.
While Septon Eustace’s (who preferred Aegon II to Rhaenyra) and Grand Maester Munkun’s accounts were considered to be the more accurate accounts of what happened, in some cases, it was usually Mushroom’s (who preferred Rhaenyra) accounts that were the most accurate.
He was the court fool during the Dance of the Dragons and was said to be enjoyed by both sides of the war. He was a dwarf that stood three feet tall and had a very large head. People considered him to be far too simple to repeat what they spoke of around him, so Mushroom was privy to a lot of sensitive information.
His knowledge of kingdom secrets led to him recording his own first-hand accounts of what happened in the different courts, which would become known as The Testimony of Mushroom.
Archmaester Gyldayn, who wrote Fire & Blood in-universe, considered some of his tales to be the most accurate retelling of events, though he does advise that they be dealt with sceptically.
While the dynamic between all three accounts works for the book in a very entertaining way, bringing in the different narrators would have made the series far more complicated than it already was. Ryan Condal, one of the showrunners of House of the Dragon has said that “the fun of the adaptation is getting to really interplay with the book as a companion piece.”
Rather than letting House of the Dragon be a retelling of a history book, it takes the events spoken about in Fire & Blood and fleshes to create the story, providing fans with details that would have never been recorded, such as Rhaenyra and Viserys I’s discussion of the prophecy of the Prince That Was Promised, which was had alone in the Red Keep.
While readers will miss the hilarity of Mushroom, they can rest easy knowing that the House of the Dragon showrunners will make sure to bring his tales to life. Who knows, the fool’s account may end up being the most accurate.