The Targaryen family’s storied past will soon unfold onscreen in HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon. It’s based on Fire and Blood, George R.R. Martin’s history of the Targaryen dynasty. But which era and which monarchs will it bring to life? And when will the series premiere? Here’s everything we know about the show so far.
#HouseOfTheDragon, a #GameofThrones prequel is coming to @HBO.— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) October 29, 2019
The series is co-created by @GRRMSpeaking and Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik will partner with Condal as showrunner and will direct the pilot and additional episodes. Condal will be writing the series. pic.twitter.com/9ttMzElgXm
In January 2020, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said the series was likely to have a 2022 release date for its ten-episode first season. However, with COVID-19 shutting down productions around the world, it’s not clear if House of the Dragon‘s premiere will also be delayed. The show was still in early pre-production when Bloys announced the aforementioned year of release. At that time, no casting decisions had yet been made, and scripts were still being written.
The series is based on part one (of an announced two) of George R.R. Martin’s extensive Targaryen family history, 2018’s Fire & Blood. HBO said in a press release that the prequel is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. That’s when Aegon the Conqueror united six of the seven kingdoms under his rule, launching a nearly three-century dynasty. While we thought that might mean House of the Dragon would be an anthology series, recent reports point to the show instead focusing on the first Targaryen civil war, known as “The Dance of the Dragons.”
That war, roughly 130 years after Aegon stepped foot on what became King’s Landing, contributed to the extinction of dragons, House Targaryen’s greatest source of power. Another dragon was not seen until Daenerys hatched three nearly 150 years later.
HBO has yet to confirm the exact era the show will start with, or if it will explore multiple eras of the family’s reign.
George R.R. Martin co-created the series with Ryan Condal (Colony, Hercules). Condal will write for the show and also serve as joint showrunner with veteran Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik.
Sapochnik led some of the biggest, most famous episodes on the original series. His résumé includes “Hardhome,” “The Winds of Winter,” “The Long Night,” and “Battle of the Bastards,” which earned him a directing Emmy. He will direct House of the Dragon‘s premiere and additional episodes.
No official cast members have been announced. However, a recent casting call seemed to further buoy the theory that the series will tell “The Dance of the Dragons.” The show is looking to cast two female leads who seem to fit the description for would-be Iron Throne ruler Princess Rhaenyra and her stepmother Queen Alicent, two of the central figures in the civil war.
The Canceled Prequel
The series is unrelated to the other Game of Thrones prequel that HBO passed on. Unlike House of the Dragon, which received a straight-to-order pickup, that series actually shot a pilot. Known unofficially as Bloodmoon, it was set thousands of years earlier, during the mysterious era when Westeros’s Age of Heroes descended into the first Long Night.
We know a lot less about that time period than we do House Targaryen’s time on the Iron Throne. Yet we still know more about that cancelled prequel than we do House of the Dragon. So far.
Which is why we’ll keep updating this post with new information when it comes available.
Featured Image: HBO