Game of Thrones may be over, but we’re far from done with Westeros.
HBO have officially ordered a full prequel series titled House of the Dragon, set roughly 300 years before the events of the original show and telling the story of House Targaryen, the royal line which includes Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen. This news comes shortly after they pulled the plug on a second Thrones prequel set thousands of years earlier from producer Jane Goldman, which filmed a pilot starring John Simm and Naomi Watts.
Prior to the title reveal, Martin wrote on his blog: “The show stirring up all the internet headlines right now is one of the other [successor shows]. Also a prequel. Set thousands of years after Jane [Goldman]’s show in the history of Westeros.
“And yes, it is based on material from one of my books,” he added, specifically referring to his non-narrative faux-history novel Fire & Blood, which poses as a chronicle of Westeros’ first dragon-riding Kings.
With House of the Dragon now officially on the way, here’s everything we know about the upcoming series.
When will the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon be on TV?
Currently, this is some way off. HBO have made a series order so production will begin to ramp up soon, but at the time of writing the show has yet to even set a main cast. Therefore, to allow time for casting, filming, editing and visual effects, it could well be a year or two before we even have a trailer.
However, we do already know where the 10-episode series will air in the UK – Sky Atlantic and NOWTV, the same place that aired Game of Thrones, with the broadcaster re-upping its deal with HBO after House of the Dragon’s announcement.
Will any Game of Thrones characters return?
Probably not – unless the Night King or some Children of the Forest make a cameo.
The series is supposedly set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, meaning that none of the characters we’ve grown to know and love would appear.
However, if the series does adapt the period in Westerosi history that it’s rumoured to, we will see the ancestors of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons and other families that we’re more familiar with – as well as Aegon “the Conqueror” Targaryen and his sister-wives Rhaenys and Visenya, all of whom were mentioned regularly in the series.
And there is one familiar face that we might seen again – that of famously large dragon Balerion the Black Dread, Aegon’s mount whose skull resided in the dungeon’s of King’s Landing throughout most of Game of Thrones. Though he might have a little bit more skin on his bones…
What will the Game of Thrones Targaryen prequel be about?
The time period rumoured for the prequel – around 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones – puts it right in the time when Aegon Targaryen first flew his dragons to Westeros and named himself king, kicking off a bloody (and fiery) war that ended with the forming of the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms (give or take Dorne for a few years).
With that in mind, it seems likely that the series would concern itself with Aegon’s so-called War of Conquest, though it could be that the drama will begin some time before that to establish how and why he came to his ambitious coup.
Alternatively, it’s possible that the Targaryen Civil War – known as the Dance of Dragons – will be the focus of the prequel. EW seems to think so, though the timeline doesn’t quite line up.
Thrones author George R.R. Martin said: “For what it’s worth, those who have read Fire & Blood will realise it contains enough materials for a dozen shows.
“I can say that there will be dragons. Everyone else has said that, so why not me?”
While the specific plot details are yet to be nailed down, we do know that the Targaryen family will be front and centre throughout.
Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming, said after the show’s announcement: “The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories. We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan and George.”
We’ve gone into a bit more depth about potential storylines here…
Who’s making the series?
George RR Martin, who wrote the original A Song of Ice and Fire book series that Game of Thrones is based on, has been working on the series with Ryan Condal, the creator of sci-fi TV series Colony.
“[The series] has a script and a bible, and both of them are terrific, first rate, exciting,” Martin said. “They’re the work of Ryan Condal.”
“He’s a helluva strong writer, and a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, Dunk & Egg, and Westeros in general. I’ve loved working with him, and if the Seven Gods and HBO are kind, I hope to keep on working with him for years to come on this new successor show.”
Director Miguel Sapochnik will also serve as co-showrunner with Condal, and has been tapped to direct the first episode as well as several others, having previously helmed prolific Game of Thrones chapters including Battle of the Bastards and Winds of Winter.
Regular Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman reportedly worked on an earlier version of the idea that has now been shelved.
Who’s in the cast?
Currently unknown, but we’re probably looking for platinum blondes OR people with some solid wig experience. And whoever they are, we’re sure they’ll be hitting up Emilia Clarke for some dragon-riding tips soon…