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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves - Everything You Need To Know

2/21/2022 • 4 min read

(Updated 02/08/2023)

People have been playing "Dungeons & Dragons" since the dawn of time. Okay, maybe not that long, but the game has been a mainstay in gaming for generations. Maybe you haven’t played it yet, but you can be sure you know someone who has. The guidebooks have never gone out of style, and with the constant rise of nerd culture in the zeitgeist, that popularity isn’t cresting anytime soon. D&D isn’t a fad; it’s an institution.

So it makes sense that a studio would want to take advantage of the game’s massive fanbase. On top of the game’s popularity, the setting calls for all kinds of popular hallmarks: Dragons, swords, and magic. Even people who haven’t played the game probably watched "Game of Thrones." The world is much more poised for a DUNGEONS & DRAGONS movie than it was the last time Hollywood made one back in 2000.

So let’s make some snacks, roll some dice, and see what we can find out about the new D&D movie, which is formally titled DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES.

When Does Dungeons & Dragons Come Out?

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS will open exclusively in movie theatres on March 31.

Watch the New Dungeons & Dragons Trailer

The first trailer for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES was released at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2022. You can watch that here. Like that first look at the movie, the latest trailer, embedded above, positions DUNGEONS & DRAGONS as a funny and fast-paced, action-heavy caper with a charismatic lead performance from Chris Pine.

And for serious D&D and fantasy fans, there are a lot of great details in both trailers. Owlbears are loads of fun, so it's cool to see one in a movie. But one thing really stands out….

Is That a Mimic?!

It's a mimic! The living treasure chest with teeth and a long tongue is an aspect of D&D lore that has been part of the game since 1977. There's a real mimic fandom out there, in part because they are weird and cool monsters — and because they can be supremely irritating if you're in a game with a sadistic dungeon master. Anyone who has played D&D has a mimic experience, and even non-players might be familiar with them because, despite the mimic's attempt to be innocuous, they are quite memorable.

All that said, any "Dark Souls" player looks at the D&D mimic and thinks "our mimics are way scarier."

Is That… Led Zeppelin?

Yes, it is. The DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES trailer is primarily scored with a chopped-up version of Led Zepplin's "Whole Lotta Love." Makes sense, in a way, since "Dungeons & Dragons" and early heavy metal were often paired in popular consciousness, and Led Zep is one of the starting points for metal. Anyway, great tune!

What Is Dungeons & Dragons, Anyway?

The original role-playing game is basically a storytelling framework. One person, the Dungeon Master (DM), creates and narrates a story outline, either drawn from a published scenario or their own imagination. Aside from the DM, each player creates their own character, and typically a party of players and their characters join together to experience the DM's adventure. The outcome of encounters can be somewhat random, with dice rolls determining outcomes, but the game is really about the imagination of all the people involved.

With the DM "playing" a whole array of non-player characters, and the players making choices the DM could never predict, a "Dungeons & Dragons" session can be funny, scary, action-packed, or all of the above — and no two games are the same.

All of which makes D&D an endlessly flexible and customizable game — there are a whole host of rules and systems that groups can apply or ignore based on their own preferences — and a very difficult thing to turn into a movie.

What Is the New Dungeons & Dragons Movie About? Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Well, part of it is about dungeons. And then the other part is about dragons. At some point in the story, the dragons show up in the dungeons and start causing problems for everyone.

OK, we'll admit that we got into old-school DM mode and totally made that up. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES focuses on a thief, a female barbarian, a druid, and a struggling wizard who team up to take on a con man. The only problem is this conman is now occupying a high seat of influence and has aligned himself with a powerful red mage.

In April 2022, when the full title was announced, the movie's promotional Twitter account said, "Our journey begins in The Forgotten Realms but there is still much we don't know. Is there treasure to be found? Any chance of survival? Is there Honor Among Thieves?"

What Are the Forgotten Realms?

How much time do you have? In short, the Forgotten Realms are a story setting. The Realms exist parallel to Earth; they're basically in a different dimension populated by all sorts of strange and magical creatures.

Originally the "Dungeons & Dragons" game system was basically a few core rule books, some companion volumes detailing creatures, monsters and optional mechanics, and some official scenarios. There was a very loose core story. Over time, however, D&D was expanded and merchandized with more story settings, detailed books of lore, and tie-in novels.

The Forgotten Realms were created by Ed Greenwood when he was a child. As an adult, he submitted D&D scenarios featuring the Realms to a gaming magazine. Those were popular, and when TSR, the company which then published D&D, was looking for something new, the Realms became an official part of D&D. The Forgotten Realms setting was immediately popular, and some of the most notable D&D spin-off novels and video games are set there.

Who Is in Dungeons & Dragons?Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

The cast is one aspect of the new version of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS that really shines. For starters, STAR TREK’s Chris Pine plays the lead role of Edgin, a bard. Meanwhile, FAST AND FURIOUS co-star Michelle Rodriguez plays the barbarian, Holga. Hugh Grant plays the villain, or at least one of them.

IT breakout star Sophia Lillis appears, too, as a shape-shifting tiefling druid. And JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM’s Justice Smith plays a sorcerer named Simon. Regé-Jean Page, Chloe Coleman, and Daisy Head have roles, too. That’s quite a cast!

How Faithful Will the Movie Be to the Dungeons & Dragons Game?

Here's the thing: D&D is a framework to make up stories and have fun. The rules are only worth following if they make for a good game. Some people play very faithfully with the rules in mind, while others might disregard most of the rules. Many players find a midpoint between the two approaches in order to have a good time. If this movie is entertaining — and it looks like it will be — then it will be very faithful to "Dungeons & Dragons."

Who Is Making Dungeons & Dragons?

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS comes to us via the writing team of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. The duo directed the fantastic comedy GAME NIGHT, and they made the 2015 VACATION sequel. Furthermore, they helped write SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING.

And if you need even more nerd cred, you might remember John Francis Daley as an actor in the cult show "Freaks & Geeks," in which he spent a delightful episode playing… you guessed it: "Dungeons & Dragons."



All images courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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