House of the Dragon
Get excited for 2022. (Image via Google Images)

‘Game of Thrones’ Is Getting a Prequel: Get Ready for ‘House of the Dragon’

HBO’s wildly successful series ended with a bitter taste in some fans’ mouths, but the new program has a chance to give them another glimpse into the fictional world they loved so much.

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House of the Dragon
Get excited for 2022. (Image via Google Images)

HBO’s wildly successful series ended with a bitter taste in some fans’ mouths, but the new program has a chance to give them another glimpse into the fictional world they loved so much.

A prequel to the wildly successful show “Game of Thrones” has been confirmed. It will be called “House of the Dragon,” inspired by George R.R. Martin’s book “Fire and Blood,” which takes place 300 years before the events of the popular fantasy show. “House of the Dragon” is estimated to be released in 2022 with 10 episodes that will air on NOWTV, like “Game of Thrones.”

Only time will tell how the show is received. The book it’s based off of has been criticized for being a fictional textbook, and not in a good way. But there are many people that could not get into the “Game of Thrones” books that loved the series, so this criticism is likely to be rendered invalid in the transition to TV.

Despite being very early in production, trailers have already been released, explaining the key historical events the show will cover. The animated videos are crammed with awesome dragon fights and a lot of white-haired family drama mixed with the fantasy politics of the royals.

The showrunners began casting in July and so far, the only casting confirmation is Paddy Considine as King Viserys, who was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen.

The Announcement

HBO told fans about “House of the Dragon” shortly after they announced that the prequel about the Age of Heroes wouldn’t go ahead.

The estimated air date for the show will take place in 2022, as Casey Bloys, the HBO programming president, has said. Writing for the prequel has already started.

George R.R. Martin’s history of the Targaryens, which was released in November 2018, covers the “Dance of the Dragons” and the aftermath of the downfall of Valyria. These events are mentioned in the trailers, making their appearance in “House of the Dragon” basically guaranteed.

Fire and Blood

Martin’s website describes the source material, “Fire and Blood,” as:

“Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragon lords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.”

Ryan Condal and Martin will write the series, and Condal will serve as co-runner with Miguel Sapochnik, the director who did the iconic episode “Battle of the Bastards,” and will also direct some episodes in “House of the Dragon,” including the pilot.

However, Martin won’t be involved in the scripting for a while. In a blog post, he wrote, “I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered Winds of Winter.”

The Prequel’s Trailers

There have been two trailers released so far to generate hype, but as the cast hasn’t been confirmed yet, it was animated and voiced by the cast of “Game of Thrones.” The first trailer was released in 2019 and is only four minutes long. It follows House Targaryen as they flee Valyria and settle in Dragonstone, and then focuses on Aegon’s Conquest of the Seven Kingdoms.

The second most recent video to be released is 20 minutes long and gives a concise overview of the Targaryen Civil War, triggered by an argument over who should sit on the Iron Throne.

King Viserys Targaryen I, who will be played by Paddy Considine, was a fair king. His wife did not bear him any sons, so he declared his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, as his heir, but remarriage brought male heirs into the line of succession. The king refused to change the order of succession, and this triggered a civil war when he died.

The civil war ultimately ended in the death of both claimants, leaving Rhaenyra’s son Aegon III to claim the throne. Seeing as both sides had dragons, the destruction was massive, leading to the extinction of dragons later on.

“House of the Dragon” is expected to be short and action-packed. The span of events covered in the trailers is about 150 years, so the series will have plenty of material to work with. Although the “Game of Thrones” finale disappointed both the cast and audience alike, perhaps this prequel will make up for it. But it may be unwise to have high hopes — there’s a history of follow-up releases to successful series falling short. The cast for “House of the Dragon” will play a huge role in its success, and the likes of Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington are hard to match. Despite this, dragon fights, family feuds and the conquest of the Seven Kingdoms sound like an action-packed show that is likely to succeed, just maybe not as much as “Game of Thrones” did.

The Cast

So far, only Viserys’ actor has been confirmed, who celebrated by posting a picture of the Iron Throne on Instagram. There have been rumors circulating about “Vikings” star Travis Finnel playing King Viserys’ younger brother Daemon, but there isn’t any confirmation officially, just massive support on Reddit.

Knife Edge Media has put out a casting call for the three main characters Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys, but no mention of Daemon.

The most popular choice to play Queen Alicent, the King’s second wife, is Emily Blunt, and Zendaya is a popular choice in the “fan casting” of the non-white, low-born character Nettles, who tried to ride Sheepstealer, a wild dragon. Again, there is no official confirmation of this.

Although not much is known of the prequel yet, fans online seem supportive so far, especially in response to the trailers and the casting of Viserys, and as the release date draws closer, more is sure to come. The release date was pushed back from 2021 to 2022 because of COVID-19 but writing has officially begun and the fact that casting is in progress is a good sign.

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Emily Davies

Solent University

Third year journalism student, interested in literature and environmental issues.

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