May of 2019 marked the end of the extremely popular HBO drama Game of Thrones. Although the final season was deemed a failure to fans all over the globe, there is no denying that the show was one of the best displays of storytelling in modern television. Shortly after the final episode dropped, rumors of multiple sequels being in the works began to circulate. The first one to be officially confirmed is House of the Dragon based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire and Blood. House of the Dragon will dive into the rich history of House Targaryen 300 years before the events of the original Game of Thrones series. Like anything Game of Thrones related there will be a lot to unpack. Here is what we know so far and some things to expect with his new GOT spinoff.
George R.R. Martin will be Co-Creator of the Show
Some of the negativity towards the last season of the original series was the lack of input and participation from George R.R. Martin. Creators of the original series David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were given a lot of creative freedom with finishing out the show. The only requirements they had were to make sure the person who defeated the Night King, and the individual who sat on the Iron Throne was who they were supposed to be based on the books. Now at the time of the final season’s release, the last book wasn’t even out, so there was little that Benioff and Weiss could actually go off of. To avoid spoilers, I won’t elaborate on who the characters were that filled these roles. However, I will confirm that the two characters needed to fill each role were who they were supposed to be. Fans are pleased to see a more involved Martin in this show’s production team as Co-Creator. Ryan Condal from Colony and Hercules will join Martin in creating the spin-off series. Other important production notes, Ramin Djawadi will score the series much like the previous one. Miguel Sapochnik, known for the popular episodes “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Long Night” in the first series, will be back in production as well. Overall this should excite GOT fans, as we will get the show the way it was written in the books, how it should be.
Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke Headline Confirmed Cast for the Show
Much like the cast of the first season of GOT, the cast of House of the Dragon (HOTD) has some familiar faces from Hollywood, but a lot of unknowns. Paddy Considine, known for his work in The Outsider, will play King Viserys Targaryen, ruler of Westeros. Olivia Cooke, known for her role in Ready Player One (A movie we reviewed on the Binge Bro Podcast) will play Alicent Hightower, daughter of Otto Hightower who is Hand of the King. Some other names that have been attached to the series include Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers), Matt Smith (The Crown), Steve Touissant (Doctor Who), Eve Best (Nurse Jackie), Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spiderman), and Sonya Mizuno (Ex Machina). The original GOT series gave a lot of actresses and actors a kickstart to their Hollywood careers. Some of these include Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams. This would catapult their careers to stardom as the show would help them land countless roles outside of GOT. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t recognize these names, you will.
House Targaryen is way Different than Other Houses in Westeros
Some houses in Westeros are known for their wealth and power. Some are known for their nobility and reputation on the battlefield. Others are known for their relationships with dragons and… incest? You read that right, and House Targaryen holds the latter two distinctions. The Targaryens make dragons the greatest weapon Westeros has ever seen. This was proven in the last season of the original series when Drogon destroyed all of King’s Landing by himself. The bond between a dragon and Targaryen is for life, and if a Targaryen dies, dragons usually won’t bond with another human. In this upcoming series, dragons will rule the skies as with House Targaryen holding the Iron Throne, CGI dragons will be plentiful. In addition, Targaryens are also known for keeping their family lineage pure. Siblings will often wed and have children together to ensure the power stays within the family. That’s nasty. Another thing to note is a quote from the first series about Targaryens. “They flip a coin when a Targaryen is born to see if they will be mad or not.” If this house is anything like we saw in the first series, we are in for a treat.
As we ready ourselves for the next addition to the GOT universe, the logistics of the show’s release brings some questions and concerns. The first season will be 10 episodes, which is normal for a season of GOT. Filming is underway and the next destination will be in Spain from October 11-21. The big concern I have is the scheduled release date for episode one is January 1, 2022. With filming supposedly ending in late October, this makes for a very quick turnaround for production to make the launch date. Production would have to work around the clock to get this done at the New Year’s start date. Now is this due to a lack of quality TV content on HBO Max? HBO has some of the best movies and older TV shows of any streaming network. But their newer TV content is lacking compared to the likes of Apple TV + and Netflix. The next season of HBO’s Succession will be coming soon as well, but that’s it for new TV content on the platform at the moment. A new GOT spin-off will not only bring new viewers to the platform, but it would add a juggernaut to their TV catalog to kickstart the year. More to come on House of the Dragon in the future. If you haven’t for some reason seen the first GOT series, go watch. Now.