The House of the Dragon is about to get a lot bigger on HBO. Warner Bros. Discovery has ordered another Game of Thrones prequel set during the Targaryen dynasty to series. Based on George R.R. Martin’s collection of novellas, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, it will bring the beloved duo of Dunk and Egg to life. But unlike its two predecessors, they won’t be moving around like their famous family members. This will be the first Game of Thrones show not to feature dragons. Instead, it will feature a famous One-Eyed Raven.
HBO has finally settled on a second Westeros spinoff. Currently known as A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, the show will follow two legendary figures in the Realm’s history: Ser Duncan the Tall and his young squire/secret Targaryen prince, Aegon. (Yup, another Aegon.) The show has been in development for more than two years. Martin and Ira Parker will write and executive produce the show. Ryan Condal and Vince Gerardis will also serve as executive producers.
According to Variety, at a recent press event, HBO CEO Casey Bloys shared that the series would begin production in spring 2024, at the time, this was pending the resolution of the Hollywood strikes. And now that the strikes have resolved, he has reiterated this timeline. Bloys shared with The Wrap “that the show remains on track to start filming this year, but noted that casting and writing is still in progress.”
HBO also shared an official logline for the prequel:
A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes, and dangerous exploits all await these improbable and incomparable friends.
Martin has released three novellas about Dunk and Egg’s adventures together, which came in the immediate aftermath of the Blackfyre Rebellion. That was the second famous Targaryen civil war in Westeros, the one fought after dragons went extinct. The three stories were later collected in the book that lends its name to the show’s title.
While we know the fate of Dunk and Egg many years later ( which you can read about here if you don’t mind spoilers), there’s so much of their earlier time together we do not. Beyond the three stories Martin has published, he has long said he had/has plans for many more entries. Even if he never writes them, he can now use those ideas as a basis for storylines on the show.
Recently, HBO’s head of drama Francesca Orsi noted more about how the series would structure itself. She offered that it would run “ideally year-to-year and arcing out a three-season series, which maps out the three novellas that George wrote… Of course, we’d like more beyond that, and George is continuing to think about the remaining novellas that he still wants to write, but at this point, we have our eye on three seasons that would map out each book, each novella.”
Even if we simply get adaptations of the three we have read, though, they will provide a fascinating look at the Seven Kingdoms during an important era in its history. The first Blackfyre Rebellion split the Realm in two. But the end of a war does not guarantee peace. And while House Targaryen did not have dragons during this time period, they did have magic. Also, the actions of family members also had major implications on their ancestors 100 years later during the events of Game of Thrones. A couple of them were still around then, too.
Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch was Egg’s brother. (He called out to Egg while dying.) And the Three-Eyed Raven (known as the Three-Eyed Crow in the novels) was one of the most important figures before, during, and long after the Blackfyre Rebellion. Long before he became part of a tree far beyond the Wall he was an infamous sorcerer and political figure. Just getting to see him in his heyday will make this spinoff worth watching.
Not that it needs any more reasons than Dunk and Egg. Warner Bros. Discovery didn’t need a Three-Eyed Raven to tell the people love this duo for a reason. Or that another Game of Thrones spinoff is a good idea.
Originally published on April 12, 2023.