It’s been a long time coming, but HBO is finally gearing up for the much-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon. While its predecessor is arguably the most successful HBO series ever, will the prequel earn the same fanfare and accolades? HBO and HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys opened up a little about the expectations for the show.
House of the Dragon was first announced in October 2019, not long after HBO axed a different prequel series. Although the exact timeline setting may be a big question following recently released images, the new show will essentially take place 300 years prior to the events set in Game of Thrones, and will also be based on the literary works of acclaimed (if not entirely prolific) author George R.R. Martin. It seems like a recipe destined to follow in its predecessor's glory, though Casey Bloys tells Variety that the network doesn't have preconceived notions for
Coming off the heels of Game of Thrones’ success (even despite the controversial last season), it might be easy to think the network's brass would have lofty expectations for the new series and its large ensemble cast. But it appears as if Casey Bloys & Co. understand that it will be mightily hard for House of the Dragon to match those same levels, especially with its first season. And even though it’s been a few years since the Lannisters and Starks were holding the fort on Sunday nights, hopefully viewers will be quick to obsess over the near series as they were GoT proper. Plus, it should help the numbers by having HBO Max as an already established service where it can thrive alongside HBO proper.
House of the Dragon will likely prove to be a formidable player for HBO come its premiere, regardless of how it matches up to Game of Thrones. Back in January of this year, fan-favorite Peter Dinklage revealed his thoughts on the upcoming prequel, noting that he thinks it’s going to be “a really good show.” And part of his assessment comes from the fact that HBO was taking a pretty huge risk on GoT, even with the novels' fanbase, whereas House of the Dragon is “a proven thing that works,” even though that obviously comes with its own risks.
It should prove interesting and telling to hear about House of the Dragon's viewership and ratings numbers, since the show will likely have a stronger streaming presence, where we'll have to rely on the company's own word for how well things are going. It's entirely possible that Game of Thrones' polarizing final season might cause some potential viewers to hold off on watching until hearing what others thing. In that respect, the show could quickly gain a bigger audience by the end of the season if people seem to enjoy it.
The first season of House of the Dragon wrapped filming in London in February, and fans will finally get reacquainted with the Targaryens when it premieres next month on HBO. It’s always hard to tell what spinoffs, reboots, and revivals will be like compared to the original series, but since it is the first GoT follow-up to get ordered to series, HBO (hopefully) must know what its doing.
Make sure to have your HBO Max subscription active and ready for House of the Dragon's premiere on August 21, and fans can watch every season of Game of Thrones to prep for it.
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