HBO will soon bring viewers back to the world of Westeros with “House of the Dragon,” but the new show won’t just be “Game of Thrones 2.0,” and not just because the action takes place almost 200 years earlier on the timeline. Based on George R. R. Martin’s “Fire and Blood” story of the Targaryen dynasty, unlike the “Song of Ice and Fire” novels that inspired Game of Thrones, “House of the Dragon” will showcase Daenerys’ predecessors in a relatively grandiose manner. Creator and co-showrunner Ryan J. Kondal told CinemaBlend about the advice he received from the author.
CinemaBlend spoke with Ryan J. Condal was on the red carpet of the premiere of “House of the Dragon,” and Condal shared what George R.R. Martin (who had some key details he wanted to include in the show) was looking for in the man who would bring the world of “Game of Thrones” back to HBO in a new guise. When asked what advice he received from Martin, Kondal shared:
I think he just wanted his books to have a fan who cared about the basic materials and was also a fan of the original series. We worked a lot together to change the original story, I think we did a good job, and I think he’s very happy. His advice was about multicolored dragons and a lot of heraldry, I think we provided that. It’s like a color version of Westeros.
When the “Game of Thrones” began, Westeros did not even have time to escape for a whole generation from the civil war that led to the fall of the Targaryen dynasty. When “House of the Dragon” begins, the Targaryens are in power, and the trailers suggest that the biggest threat to whichever of them holds the Iron Throne comes from another member of their family. It is quite logical that this era will be brighter and more colorful than the Westeros from Game of Thrones, which at the very beginning was more or less fresh after the war.
Kondal’s comments about “breaking the original story” should be exciting for fans, and not only because the close collaboration with George R. R. Martin should mean that the series remains closer to the original vision of the author compared to the last seasons of Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss has run out of source material for A Song of Ice and Fire. (Martin is still working on “The Wind of Winter” as the sixth entry.)
“Flame and Blood” is a fictional history book, so the Dragon House team is obviously moving in some “original” directions with the story to fill in some gaps. After all, this era is only part of “Fire and Blood”, which is just one book about Targaryens. As Ryan Kondal noted, the new show will tell much more about this legendary family that was not part of Game of Thrones. He shared that, in his opinion, the show will present more sides of the Targaryens, saying:
We don’t know much about Targaryans as a home at all. We know one Targarian, and that’s Danaeris, but she didn’t grow up in Westeros, she didn’t grow up in any family. She was the sister of a beggar king who wandered at the mercy of strangers. I think she knows the “legend” at home, but this is the true story. I think this is the fulfillment of the wishes of the fans. They had always dreamed of this golden age of Targaryans, 17 dragons and a shining city on a hill, but they never saw it. So I think if you bring them into this world and show them how it really was, it will make them come back every week.
“House of the Dragon” will expand on what fans knew (or thought they knew) from “Game of Thrones.” Paddy Considine’s King Viserys is certainly not a “beggar king,” and there are extra Targaryens in this era… which will presumably cause some problems, as Emma D’Arcy’s Rainier and Matt Smith’s Damon are both fighting to be named the king’s heir.
You can watch the first episode of “House of the Dragon” on Sunday, August 21, at 21:00. ET on HBO or with an HBO Max subscription. Matt Smith said that there are a lot of sex scenes ahead, but fans don’t have to worry about sexual abuse, which happened quite regularly in Game of Thrones. To find out about some of the viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our schedule of TV premieres for 2022.