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'House of the Dragon': HBO to home in on House Targaryen with 'Game of Thrones' prequel

Sounds like there will be less ice, more fire in the new Westeros show

The new show will detail the conquests and failings of the ancestors of Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke in 'Game of Thrones'). Courtesy HBO 
The new show will detail the conquests and failings of the ancestors of Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke in 'Game of Thrones'). Courtesy HBO 

On Wednesday morning UAE time, HBO officially announced the name and details of its Game of Thrones prequel: House of the Dragon will be set 300 years earlier than its TV predecessor.

HBO is committed too: they have ordered 10 episodes of the show, rather than asking to see a pilot first.

For the past few months, the prequel that has been talked about is the Jane Goldman-led show set thousands of years before Game of Thrones. Starring Naomi Watts, a pilot had already been filmed for that show, but it has now been widely reported that the cast have been emailed to say HBO has pulled the plug, so there will be no show.

Back to House of the Dragon, which is definitely happening: it will tell the story of the House Targaryen and is based on George RR Martin's latest book Fire & Blood.

House of the Dragon, isn't being led by GOT showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Ryan Condal of Colony (2016-2018) fame will be the showrunner alongside British director Miguel Sapochnik, who helmed many of Game of Thrones's most notable episodes, including Battle of the Bastards.

George RR Martin himself and Ryan Condal are co-creators, while Condal will write the series.

"It's my pleasure to announce today that we are ordering House of the Dragon straight to series for HBO," said Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming. "It tells the story of House Targaryen and the early days of Westeros."

What will the show be about?

Remember, Daenerys (or Khaleesi) is a Targaryen, and so the show will be about her ancestors. The house ruled the Seven Kingdoms for many generations (with varying results) until Robert Baratheon took over and House Baratheon became the new royal house.

The book the show is inspired by covers roughly the first half of the Targaryen dynasty. The book Fire & Blood was released in November 2018, and is considered the first volume of a two volume series.

The book is presented as a 'historical document' written by Archmaester Gyldayn. It is subtitled 'A History of the Targaryen Kings from Aegon the Conqueror to Aegon III'. And that's exactly what it is: the book covers an exhaustive list of monarchs and characters. Decades can go by on a page, and so there's a lot to untangle.

This means there's also a lot of seasons of TV to be had.

We hope, and imagine, that the show won't try and run through everything the book covers in its centuries-long plot, but will instead hone in on key moments.

The book is particularly inspired by the bloody history of the British monarchy, and as the Irish Times wrote: "There are at least three chapters in here that are so packed with Machiavellian machinations, political intrigue and set-pieces that any one of them alone could be the basis for the next Westeros-based TV series."

Updated: October 31, 2019 02:34 AM

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