Movie Reviews

Honor Among Thieves Trailer Might Tease A Dungeons & Dragons Movie Sequel

What looks to be a massive D&D Easter egg in the second Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer may be setup for a sequel. Even though Paramount’s Dungeons & Dragons reboot hasn’t even released yet, the studio may already be laying the groundwork for a future installment. A key detail in the trailer indicates the movie will include the building blocks for a new threat to take the spotlight in a second D&D movie.

While much of what happens next for the franchise will depend on Honor Among Thieves’ box office success, the potential exists for an expansive, live-action Dungeons & Dragons universe. The studio has ordered an eight-episode D&D series for Paramount+, and that may not be the extent of their plans. Continuing the stories of Honor Among Thieves’ characters would be an option for the franchise’s future, but it’s not the only one, as D&D boasts a huge world ripe with storytelling opportunities. Curiously, one of the many paths it could take may have been teased in the new trailer for the movie. Here’s why Honor Among Thieves may be building up to an adaptation of The Crystal Shard, one of the most important stories based on the tabletop game.

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At 1:31 in the new Honor Among Thieves trailer, an ice tower can be spotted standing on its own in a snowy wilderness. Exactly what it is isn’t revealed by the footage, but the setting of the film provides a big clue. It’s been confirmed that the characters in the movie will visit Revel’s End, a prison in the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game that was actually created specifically for the movie. Revel’s End is located in Icewind Dale, a freezing wilderness that stretches across miles and miles of terrain in the D&D universe. One of the biggest landmarks in Icewind Dale is a crystal tower known as Cryshal-Tirith. Given that Icewind Dale is probably the place shown in the trailers, it makes sense that the tower glimpsed at 1:31 and Cryshal-Tirith are one and the same.

Cryshal-Tirith was introduced in the pages of The Crystal Shard, a 1988 novel set in Dungeons & Dragons’ Forgotten Realms campaign setting. In addition to being the first book to feature iconic D&D hero Drizzt Do’Urden, R.A. Salvatore’s The Crystal Shard introduced readers to Icewind Dale, a world that would later appear in various other novels and video games. In the book, an incompetent wizard named Akar Kessell was left for dead in the Icewind Dale before coming across Crenshinibon, a magical, sentient crystal created by the magic of seven, all-powerful liches thousands of years ago. Unbeknownst to Kessell, Crenshinibon manipulated him and promised him power and authority. Kessell placed the crystal in the ground, which in turn transformed into a colossal tower made of crystal.

After establishing a personal headquarters for himself at the top of Cryshal-Tirith, Kessell used Crenshinibon’s powers to lure monsters from all over Icewind Dale to serve in his army, which he intended to use to force his will on the people of the region. In response to Akar Kessell’s rise, Drizzt and several other heroes worked together to stop him. The battle culminated in Kessell’s death, which triggered Cryshal-Tirith’s destruction. However, this was only a temporary end to the threat posed by Crenshinibon. In the aftermath of Kessell’s downfall, the crystal fell into the hands of other Dungeons & Dragons villains, who also used it for evil purposes.

Based on the Icewind Dale connection, there’s a good chance the ice tower in Honor Among Thieves is indeed Cryshal-Tirith. If it is, it’s a clever Easter egg. But it’s also a hint of something so much bigger. As noted above, Cryshal-Tirith doesn’t have a permanent place in D&D’s world, given that it falls when Crenshinibon’s host is killed. If Cryshal-Tirith currently exists at this point in the Dungeons & Dragons timeline, that would imply that Crenshinibon has already been found and activated (but Cryshal-Tirith hasn’t been dismantled yet.)

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Assuming that the movies are sticking with Dungeons & Dragons lore, Akar Kessell should be at the tower, likely preparing his army for conquest. After all, Cryshal-Tirith wasn’t in operation in Icewind Dale for long, which is why the events of The Crystal Shard may be playing out within the timeframe of Honor Among Thieves’ story. If so, Akar Kessell’s actions or the migration of monsters toward Cryshal-Tirth may be alluded to during the movie, thus furthering the movie’s setup for an adaptation of the classic Dungeons & Dragons novel. In the book, the characters weren’t initially aware of Kessell’s activities or the problems secretly brewing at the ice tower.

Honor Among Thieves directly setting up Akar Kessell and Crenshinibon would have interesting implications for the Dungeons & Dragons franchise’s future. His history in The Crystal Shard suggests he’d be the main villain of whatever project he’s featured in. Theocratically, this may be the story planned for Paramount+’s untitled Dungeons & Dragons TV spinoff. No plot details have been announced, so it’s at least possible that it’ll be a live-action retelling of the fight with Kessell in the Icewind Dale. The show diving into a Drizzt Do’Urden story would make sense, considering that Wizards of the Coast, the publishers of Dungeons & Dragons, previously hinted at an interest in using Drizzt in a different project [via ComicBook.com]

Alternatively, the plan may be to be make The Crystal Shard the basis for the story of a second Dungeons & Dragons movie. Going in this direction would naturally raise questions about the futures of Honor Among Thieves’ main characters, however. The Dungeons & Dragons universe is big enough that it doesn’t need to reuse the same cast, so it’s hard to say if Honor Among Thieves is a one-and-done story for them. If the plot isn’t reworked to center on them, they could be abandoned entirely or combined with the core cast of the original novel to allow Drizzt to serve as a principal character.

With a live-action D&D universe slowly taking shape at Paramount, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before Drizzt eventually enters the picture. And since The Crystal Shard was his first published story, a Dungeons & Dragons movie or show pitting him and his friends against Akar Kessell would be a fitting starting point for his character. Based on the fact that the ranger has headlined over 30 novels at this point, Drizzt’s conflict with the wizard may only be the beginning.

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