In Brief

House of the Dragon: what we know about Game of Thrones spin-off

HBO orders prequel series set 300 years before GoT telling story of House Targaryen

HBO has given the green light for a prequel series to the hugely popular fantasy show Game of Thrones.

The announcement came hours after news that a Game of Thrones prequel pilot starring Naomi Watts had been scrapped. The untitled project from George RR Martin and screenwriter Jane Goldman was set thousands of years before the events of the original series in the era known as the Age of Heroes.

It has been abandoned in favour of a new series, called House of the Dragon. “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, at an event in Los Angeles, reports Radio Times.

Here’s what we know so far…

What is it about?

The ten-episode project will be set about 300 years before events in the original series. Bloys explains that it “tells the story of House Targaryen and the early days of Westeros”.

The Verge says the series is a history of House Targaryen as they fight through a civil war, while Vulture says this means “we might be in for some Mad King drama, and should definitely be in for a lot more dragons, since the Targaryens used to have a lot of those!”

What's it based on?

The series will be based on Martin’s 2018 book Fire and Blood. The novel’s official blurb says it is “the definitive history of the Targaryens in Westeros as told by Archmaester Gyldayn”.

It adds that it “chronicles the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through the Dance of the Dragons: the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever”.

The Guardian said of the novel that “it’s hard not to thrill to the descriptions of dragons engaging in airborne combat, or the dilemma of whether defeated rulers should ‘bend the knee’, ‘take the black’ and join the Night’s Watch, or simply meet an inventive and horrible end”.

How similar the series will be to the book is unclear. Forbes says that “while House of the Dragon may incorporate a lot of the lore and framework from the book, it’s unclear just how much help Martin can be here, as it will have to be fleshed out with a lot of material he hasn’t written”.

Who is working on it?

Martin will write the script along with Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik, who directed the “Battle of the Bastards” episode from season six of GoT, will oversee the pilot and other episodes, as well as acting as co-showrunner with Condal.

The Wrap says that the pair will also be executive producers alongside Martin and Vince Gerardis, who produced Game of Thrones.

It is not yet clear when the series is expected to air.

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