I am a fan of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and I am eagerly awaiting the sixth book, Winds of Winter. Like many, I was also glued to my television for every new episode of Game of Thrones, which was a fantastic adaptation of the novel series to television right up until about the end of season 6. Unfortunately, the last two seasons of Game of Thrones, and particularly the final season, really dropped off in quality and execution from what we had come to expect from earlier seasons, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of most fans. So when HBO announced it would be making a prequel series to Game of Thrones called House of the Dragon, I was not that excited due to my recent disappointment with the end of Game of Thrones.
House of the Dragon will be a series set approximately three hundred years prior to the events in Game of Thrones, and will focus on House Targaryen. The series is based on Martin’s book, Fire and Blood. Recently, HBO announced three cast members for House of the Dragon–Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, and Matt Smith.
Cooke has been cast as Alicent Hightower, who is the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. D’Arcy will be playing Rhaenyra Targaryen, who is the first pure-born child of King Viserys I Targaryen. Smith will play Daemon Targaryen, who is King Viserys’ younger brother. According to the backstories written by George R.R. Martin, both Rhaenyra and Daemon are dragonriders, and that hopefully means new dragons on screen.
Also, prior to this recent announcement regarding Cooke, D’Arcy, and Smith, HBO announced that Paddy Considine would be playing King Viserys I.
We know some of the main characters and who will be playing them, but should we be exited about the show? Here are some reasons to be excited. First, the show is set to be based of Martin’s book Fire and Blood, which means there is solid source material for the show. It appears that one of the reasons Game of Thrones faltered at the end is because the show ran out of source material and had to rely on Martin’s outline for the remainder of the story. Second, Martin is one of the co-creators of the show, and he is going to be an executive producer. Hopefully, this will give Martin some control over the direction of the new show and prevent a Game of Thrones type collapse at the end. Lastly, the show has different showrunners than that of Game of Thrones. Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik are the showrunners, and perhaps they can succeed where David Benioff and D.B. Weiss stumbled.
We are seeing some promising developments with House of the Dragon, but I am not yet ready to say I am excited about the show. However, I am definitely optimistic about it, and I am looking forward to more being revealed.