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The Fitting Piece Of Advice George R.R. Martin Gave House Of The Dragon's Creator

HBO is soon taking viewers back to the world of Westeros with House of the Dragon, but the new show won’t just be Game of Thrones 2.0, and not only because it’s set nearly 200 years earlier in the timeline. Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood history of the Targaryen dynasty as opposed to the A Song of Ice and Fire novels that inspired Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon will showcase Daenaerys' predecessors in comparatively grand fashion. Creator and co-showrunner Ryan J. Condal opened up to CinemaBlend about the advice that he received from the author. 

CinemaBlend spoke with Ryan J. Condal on the red carpet for the House of the Dragon premiere event, and Condal shared what George R.R. Martin (who had some key details he wanted included in the show) was looking for in the person who would bring the Game of Thrones world back to HBO in a new way. When asked what piece of advice he received from Martin, Condal shared: 

I think he just wanted a fan of his books that cared about the underlying materials and was also a fan of the original series. We worked a lot together on breaking the original story, I think we’ve done a good job and I think he’s pretty happy. His advice was around multicolored dragons and lots of heraldry, I think we’ve provided that. It’s like a technicolor version of Westeros.

When Game of Thrones started, Westeros wasn’t even a full generation removed from the civil war that resulted in the fall of the Targaryen dynasty. When House of the Dragon begins, the Targaryens are in power, and the trailers suggest that the biggest threat to whichever of them holds the Iron Throne comes from another member of their family. (One actor was very possessive of that throne.) It fits that this era would be brighter and more colorful than the Westeros of Game of Thrones, which was more or less fresh off of war at the very beginning. 

Condal’s comments about “breaking the original story” should be exciting for fans, and not just because working closely with George R.R. Martin on it should mean that the show remains closer to the author’s original vision compared to the final seasons of Game of Thrones, after showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss ran out of A Song of Ice and Fire source material. (Martin is still working on The Winds of Winter as the sixth entry.) 

Fire & Blood is a fictional history book, so the House of the Dragon team is evidently going in some “original” directions with the story to fill in some blanks. After all, this era is only part of Fire & Blood, which is only one book about the Targaryens. As Ryan Condal went on to point out, the new show will reveal much more about that legendary family that wasn’t part of Game of Thrones. He shared how he thinks the show will introduce more sides to the Targaryens, saying: 

We don’t really know much about the Targaryans as a house at all. We know one Targaryan and that’s Danaerys, but she did not grow up in Westeros, she did not grow up around any family. She was the sister of the beggar king wandering around on the kindness of strangers. I think she knows the ‘legend’ of the house, but this is the true story of it. I think that’s the wish fulfillment of the fans. They’ve always dreamed of this golden age of Targaryans and 17 dragons and the shining city on the hill, but they haven’t seen it. So I think bringing them into this world and showing them what it was actually like will keep them coming back every week.

House of the Dragon will expand on what fans knew (or thought they knew) from Game of Thrones. Paddy Considine’s King Viserys is certainly no “beggar king,” and there are Targaryens to spare in this era… which will seemingly cause some problems, with Emma D’Arcy’s Rhaenyra and Matt Smith’s Daemon both in the running to be named the king’s heir. 

You can see the first episode of House of the Dragon on Sunday, August 21 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO or with an HBO Max subscription. Matt Smith revealed that there are plenty of sex scenes on the way, but fans don’t have to worry about watching sexual violence like what occurred fairly regularly on Game of Thrones. For some viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.