For all its warts and somewhat controversial ending, there’s no doubt that Game of Thrones still remains one of the biggest undertakings in television history. The adaptation of the George R.R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire series was firmly part of the zeitgeist, capturing so much of what the author was trying to establish with that world. Well, now we are on the verge of getting another story in this universe, with the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon coming down the pike for HBO. And if the author can be trusted at all, this next series is set to be even darker and more brutal than what we got the first time around.
Recently, George R.R. Martin posted to his blog about having seen a rough cut of the Game of Thrones prequel and it seems very clear that he likes what they’ve done here. While it wouldn’t pay at all to take a dig at the upcoming series before it hit the screen, we also know that Martin has been honest, in the past, with his opinion about the HBO adaptations. Because of those past stances, it does lend a bit more credence to what he had to say after seeing this first run of the new series. Check out some of his early thoughts:
I’ve seen a rough cut of the first episode. And loved it. It’s dark, it’s powerful, it’s visceral… just the way I like my epic fantasy. Ryan and Miguel have done an amazing job, and the cast… just as with Game of Thrones, most viewers will only have heard of a few of the actors, but I think you are going to fall in love with a lot of them. Only to have your heart broken later when… but no, that would be telling. I think the Targaryens are in very good hands. Anticipate away. I do not think you will be disappointed.
House of the Dragon is set to go back in time, two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones, and will tell the story of the Targaryen, the ancestors of Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys who would eventually make her own play for the Iron Throne. The series is set to explore some of the madness wrapped up in that family and the brutal ends that often justified their own means. If the original series was any indication, and George R.R. Martin backs it up to some degree here, their series won’t hold back and no one is safe. That was a hallmark of the author’s books and then the show, that even the most popular characters weren’t always destined to reach the end.
From the early looks at the series, House of the Dragon will have another commonality with Game of Thrones in that the production value appears incredibly high. We know that HBO threw a ton of money at the series the first time around in an effort to fully capture the enormity and scale of the world, lending credence to just how high the stakes were for the Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, and the rest of the world. From this perspective, it was a stunning achievement.
This Game of Thrones prequel is set to hit HBO and HBO Max sometime in 2022. It will star Paddy Considine as King Viserys I and Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra. We know from the original George R.R. Martin and subsequent series that the relationship of these characters and their fates play a major part in what is to come in this world. And according to the author, we are going to really like some of these other characters as well. Other notables include Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower.
As for George R.R. Martin and the next book in the Game of Thrones/ Song of Ice and Fire series? Well, we’ve been waiting forever for Winds of Winter and there is still no clear timeline for when we will get his ending to the story.