‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off ‘House of the Dragon’ coming to HBO

Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO

Earlier this week, AT&T subsidiary WarnerMedia held a press conference to unveil specifics about its HBO Max streaming service. At the event, HBO executive Casey Bloys announced his network commissioned a “Game of Thrones” spin-off. The series is titled “House of the Dragon” and will adapt author George RR Martin’s 2018 book “Fire & Blood.”

The program, set 300 years before the events of “Thrones,” has no specific air date. However, the show will be available on the cable network and HBO Max.

‘House of the Dragon’

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “House of the Dragon” received a 10-episode direct-to-series order. As such, the program is going into production immediately without a traditional pilot or test episode being made. Moreover, the publication notes Martin and “Colony” co-creator Ryan Condal will serve as the show’s writers.

Besides, veteran “Game of Thrones” director Miguel Sapochnik will serve as co-showrunner alongside Condal. The filmmaker will also helm several episodes of “Dragon’s” first season, including its first installment.

The “Thrones” prequel will chart the history of the House Targaryen, the family that established the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. “Fire & Blood” begins with Aegon Targaryen unifying the warring continent by conquering it territory by territory. The tome further details the lives and struggles of Aegon’s familial line.

As opposed to the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series “Thrones” is based on, “Fire & Blood” is not a straightforward narrative. Instead, its mythopoeic work that details events of the Targaryen Dynasty the way a history book would. As such, it offers Martin, Condal, and Sapochnik much more narrative latitude than DB Weiss and David Benioff had when they adapted “Ice and Fire” into “Thrones.”

It will be interesting to see if having a less restrictive narrative framework helps the series unfold in a more satisfying nature than “Thrones” did.

The Prequel’s Saga

In 2017, HBO announced plans to develop four and later five prequel television series set in the “Ice and Fire” universe. Bryan Cogman, a co-executive producer on “Thrones,” produced one of those series, but the show didn’t move forward.

Also, “Kingsmen: The Secret Service” co-screenwriter Jane Goldman teamed with Martin to create a different “Thrones” prequel. Set 5,000 years before the TV show, the program would’ve traced the rise of the Houses Lannister and Stark. The show would’ve also detailed the origin of the White Walkers.

Last October, Vulture reported HBO ordered a pilot based on Goldman and Martin’s concept that featured Naomi Watts (“The Ring”) in a lead role. Reportedly, the network was unhappy with the untitled prequel’s first episode and ordered reshoots. However, the network announced it passed on the series ahead of green-lighting “House of Dragons.” Vox reports “Thrones” prequel treatments by Brian Helgeland (“A Knights Tale”) and Carly Wray (“Mad Men”) are still in development.

As the only “Fire and Ice” prequel to get a full-season order, “House of the Dragon’s” reception will determine the fate of the franchise. As it stands, the project’s chances for success are mixed. On the one hand, “Thrones” ended its run as one of television’s most popular series. Conversely, its profoundly underwhelming series finale massively disappointed the property’s fan base.

That said, if anyone can write a new chapter for “Game of Thrones,” it’s George RR Martin.