To be honest, the last thing we expected when WarnerMedia rolled out its public relations machine to announce that their 2021 film slate would be heading to HBO Max first was an update on George R.R. Martin, Miguel Sapochnik, and Ryan Condal's Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon. But that's exactly what fans got on Thursday when WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar announced that principal photography was set to start "in a few months" on the series. And just to add emphasis to the line "look out for dragons overhead," Kilar included not only new logo key art but also two pieces of dragon concept designs (which you can check out below). Of course, we have to wonder: with the news being released on the same day that so much HBO Max news is breaking, could this be a sign that House of the Dragon could hit streaming first (like with Euphoria this week)?
In early October, it was reported that Paddy Considine (The Outsider, The Third Day) was set to lead the project in the role of King Viserys Targaryen, chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy. But good men do not necessarily make for great kings.
Written by a writing team headed by Condal and including Sara Lee Hess and based on Martin's novels, the 10-episode series has Game of Thrones director Sapochnik ("The Battle of the Bastards," "The Winds of Winter") directing the pilot and additional episodes, and partnering with Condal as co-showrunners. Martin, Condal and Sapochnik executive produce alongside Hess and Vince Gerardis.
With Martin's novel Fire & Blood covering 150 years in the history of Westeros, there is definitely not a lack of other potential characters to consider. The initial reports that casting was underway also referenced that the Dance of Dragons (the Targaryen Civil War that destroyed nearly all of Westeros) is in the series' long-term plans, with the series expected to begin a slow build towards the bloody event. If that turns out to be the case, then some of the characters that could be folded into the television series could also include Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Queen Alicent Hightower, and Aegon II Targaryen.
During HBO's Television Critics Association's winter press event in January, Bloys revealed that writing was already underway with a look to 2022 for the show's debut. On his blog, Martin revealed that he expects to be involved with the series and possibly write a script or two, but not before he's wrapped the next novel, The Winds of Winter. While keeping details close, the author recommended Archmaester Gyldayn's Fire & Blood as well his two anthologies with Gardner Dozois (Dangerous Women, Rogues) as a little pre-series "homework." Martin mentioned on his Not A Blog about the Hollywood slowdown caused by COVID-19 but said that work on the prequel was "flying along wonderfully thanks to Ryan Condal and his writers, and the tireless Ti Mikkel."