G.R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, arguably one of the best fantasy book series ever put to page, gave birth to a TV series that was – again – arguably one of the best series ever made, but this time put to screen. Following its rather unceremonious end in mid-2019, people immediately looked to the promise of spin-off series, rather than accept that their journey through Westeros had come to its end. And of course, they got what they were looking for.
Given the absolutely biblical amount of money this franchise has made, and is capable of making, the chances of overexposure to Game of Thrones-themed content is about as certain as the coming of winter.
While you may have been hoping the next thing out of G.R.R Martin’s world was going to be Winds of Winter, which had previously been touted as a contender for the best fantasy books released in 2019, it has once again been pushed back. Instead, what we’ve got ahead of us now in a prequel series, announced as House of the Dragon.
The Now-Dead Game of Thrones Spin Off
Initially, we were promised a spin-off series starring Naomi Watts called Bloodmoon, which was apparently as bad as the title sounds. It was due to be set thousands of years prior to the events of Game of Thrones, and was rumoured to cover tales such as that of Bran the Builder and the origins of the White Walkers. That all sounds rather good – and would hopefully give a bit more context to the whimpering way the White Walkers were defeated. However, reports suggest that even after multiple edits of a pilot filmed in the summer of 2019, HBO just was not happy with the product and canned it.
But that doesn’t mean we’re going to go without a spin-off. Oh no, it was said that around four projects were in the conceptual stage even before the final season of Game of Thrones aired, and we’ve already got the next contender up to bat, in the form of House of the Dragon. So what is House of the Dragon about, and how does it fit into the Game of Thrones universe?
What is House of the Dragon About?
It’s not exactly going to come as a shock that House of the Dragon is going to revolve around the Targaryen family. However, there is a lot of history in this house spanning many centuries of Game of Thrones lore, so whereabouts along the chronology of this mythos will we will emerge, bright-eyed and ready to start again?
As yet, it’s not totally clear. The tag line, Fire Will Reign, doesn’t give much away, although as part of the official announcement, it has been stated that the series will be based on G.R.R Martin’s book, Fire & Blood. This is a weird sort of faux-history text charting the rise of the Targaryen kings, particularly the events following the Doom of Valyria, the conquest of Westeros by Aegon Targaryen, and the civil war that nearly ripped apart the House of the Dragon.
What we do know is that events will unfold around 300 years prior to the first Game of Thrones season, and will basically involve a lot of dragons, fighting and incest, because you know, G.R.R Martin.
What Else Do We Know About House of the Dragon?
At the time of writing, details are scant. Really damn scant. We don’t have an air date, although HBO will probably attempt to get this one off the ground quickly, to draw in subscribers for its new platform, HBO Max, yet another streaming service launching in 2020.
The other details we know are that its script is being put together by G.R.R Martin himself – before you say anything, he’s promised to finish Winds of Winter before he gets cracking – and Ryan Condal, a screenwriter credited for Ramage and Hercules (oh dear) and TV series Colony (better). Miguel Sapochnik has then been given the role of showrunner. His is probably not a name you are familiar with, but I reckon you are familiar with some of his work, which includes directing some of the best Game of Thrones episodes – Hardhome, Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter (that one where Cersei blows up the Sept). Clearly he is a man fond of big set pieces, and has the skills to pull them off. House of the Dragon seems likely to be quite the epic if he’s at the helm.
House of the Dragon also been picked up for a 10 episode run, similar to the earlier Game of Thrones seasons. Whilst there is no promise that this will make it to air after the collapse of Bloodmoon, it’s unlikely HBO will want to waste more money on projects that go nowhere, so we’re pretty confident this one will probably premiering on our TV screens within the next few years.