‘House of the Dragon’ on HBO: Everything you need to know

It’s been a while since Snow broke the wheel in game of thrones. In the House of the Dragon, which falls on August 21, we return to Westeros. Game of Thrones has lost some shine in its final seasons, but House of the Dragon could be one of the TV highlights of the year if it reclaims that magic.

We know quite a bit about the upcoming hit series. It was pricey, costing around $20 million per episode, according to Variety, which is fitting. After all, Game of Thrones became famous for bringing Hollywood production values ​​to your living room. We also know that it is a prequel. Fans hoping to see Ned Stark or Tyrion Lannister again will end up being disappointed, as House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the murder of Jon Arryn that precipitated eight seasons of mayhem.

Here’s what you need to know before watching HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel.

What is the plot of House of the Dragon?

House of the Dragon is about the Targaryen family, who ruled Westeros for 300 years. The House of the Dragon begins approximately 100 years after the reign of House Targaryen.

Game of Thrones viewers know that the Targaryen dynasty effectively ended with Robert’s Rebellion, a civil war that saw Robert Baratheon succeed the “Mad King”, Aerys Targaryen, as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. By the time Game of Thrones begins, 17 years after the rebellion, there are only two known Targaryens: Daenerys and Viserys. In Game of Thrones, the Targaryens were once a great house. In House of the Dragons we see them as the beautiful house.

At least for a moment.

House of the Dragon depicts the beginning of the end for the Targaryens. It follows what in A Song of Ice and Fire lore is called the Dance of the Dragons – a civil war that breaks out after two Targaryen voices thwart claims to the Iron Throne. King Viserys raised his daughter, Rhaenyra Targaryen, to succeed him, but after Viserys’ death, it was Viserys’ eldest son to his second wife, Aegon, who was crowned the new ruler.

This starts a war that sees many dragons slain and many Targaryens slain.

King Viserys in

Paddy Considine as King Viserys.

HBO

Is House of the Dragon based on a book by George RR Martin?

Yes. George RR Martin, seemingly on a never-ending quest to dither the writing of Winds of Winter, published a book called Fire and Blood. It is a fictional history book that chronicles House Targaryen.

House of the Dragon showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik recently told IGN that the series will differ in some ways from the book.

“The fun of this show is that it kind of plays like a companion to the storybook,” Condal said. “It communicates with the story book. In a sense, some things will line up. Other things will be told very differently. But the idea is that ultimately the events are the same. It’s just the ‘why’ and ‘how’ they happened that changes as you see the actual story.”

In an interview with SFX, Condal said the show is “like Succession, [but] with dragons.”

Emma D’Arcy plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith is Prince Daemon Targaryen.

HBO

Who rules the House of the Dragon?

As noted, Condal and Sapochnik are the showrunners for House of the Dragon. This makes them the rough equivalents of David Benioff and DB Weiss, who gained wide acclaim (and, later, criticism) for their roles as Game of Thrones showrunners.

Condal is credited as the creator of House of the Dragon. Prior to the HBO epic, Condal penned the screenplays for Hercules and Rampage, both starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Sapochnik is a household name among die-hard Game of Thrones fans, as he directed many of the show’s most famous episodes, including Season 5’s Hardhome and Season 6’s Battle of the Bastards.

As an aside, Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi has returned to write the score for House of the Dragon. It has nothing to do with the making of the show, but is worth mentioning – because Game of Thrones’ score ruled.

Is House of the Dragon the only Game of Thrones prequel?

It is now! There were originally two Game of Thrones prequels planned. The other, starring Naomi Watts, was set to take place 1,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

If you have an insatiable solution to all things fire and ice, your best bet, besides House of the Dragon, is the ever-delayed Winds of Winter. It’s the sixth book in the series, one Martin has been writing since 2011. Martin will also write a second volume of Fire and Blood, but not before finishing Winds of Winter, according to a July blog post.

House of the Dragon debuts on HBO and HBO Max on August 21.

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