On the same day one Game of Thrones prequel series was reportedly cancelled, HBO decided to announce that it was moving forward with another called House of the Dragon, based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood, which is set 300 years prior to the events of the show and tells the history of House Targaryen. (Martin is the author of A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, which served as the basis for Game of Thrones.) Martin created the series with Ryan J. Condal (Colony), with the latter serving as showrunner with Miguel Sapochnik, who will direct the pilot and future episodes. Martin, Condal, and Sapochnik are also executive producers alongside Vince Gerardis.
Unlike the now-dead prequel from Jane Goldman and starring Naomi Watts, House of the Dragon has been given a straight-to-series order with 10 episodes, though there’s no word on a possible release date. Now the only Game of Thrones prequel officially in the works, it was first reported last month before being confirmed Tuesday at HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia’s HBO Max presentation — the upcoming streaming service set to launch in May 2020 in the US — towards the end, after deals for shows such as South Park, The West Wing, and Rick and Morty, and movies such as Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Shining, A Star is Born, Singin’ in the Rain, and 2001: A Space Odyssey were revealed.
“The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories,” HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan, and George.”
In addition to being the co-creator and showrunner on Colony, Condal is known for co-writing the screenplay of the Dwayne Johnson-starrer movies Rampage, and Hercules. All three titles have had mixed reactions from critics and audiences. Condal is also working on remakes of Logan’s Run, and Highlander. While he’s new to Game of Thrones, Sapochnik has been involved with some of the biggest episodes, including season 5’s “Hardhome”, season 6’s final two “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter”, and season 8’s “The Long Night” and “The Bells”.
Fire & Blood is in fact the first of two volumes of the history of House Targaryen. (The second one is yet unpublished.) It starts with Aegon I Targaryen’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, then charts his reign, the lives of his sons Aenys I and Maegor I, the reign of Aenys’s son Jaehaerys I, and the succession crisis following the death of his sons. That brings us to the famed civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons — mentioned on the show and in A Song of Ice and Fire book with a similar title — before ending with the first few years of the reign of Aegon III.