House of the Dragon: GRRM On Not Wanting to End Up Like Stan Lee

With Ryan Condal & Miguel Sapochnik's ten-episode "Game of Thrones" prequel series House of the Dragon expected to make a big impression at this weekend's San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) ahead of its premiere next month, George R.R. Martin has been asked more and more about just how far he sees the GOT universe expanding. Along with House of the Dragon, there's also a Jon Snow sequel spinoff series starring Kit Harington, a "Dunk and Egg" series, and a series focusing on The Sea Snake's nine voyages from writer Bruno Heller. And that's not including the 3-4 animated projects in various stages of development. Of course, there's no guarantee that any of those will end up hitting our screens, but the idea of having a carefully expanding GOT universe is one that isn't lost on Martin.

house of the dragon
House of the Dragon (Image: HBO/Screencap)

"The MCU has 'The Avengers,' but they also have something offbeat like 'WandaVision.' That's what I hope we can do with these other 'Game of Thrones' shows, so we can have a variety that showcases the history of this world. There are only so many times you can do a competition for the Iron Throne," Martin explained during a recently-published interview with The Hollywood Reporter. That said, the scope of such an undertaking and what his direct role would be in it is a question that Martin asks himself. "Sometimes I sit around trying to figure out who the hell I am in this whole scenario. Am I George Lucas? Am I Gene Roddenberry? Am I Stan Lee? How do I relate to this IP? Because those are three different stories as to where they wound up." But while Martin isn't sure who he would want to be, he knows who he wouldn't want to be when it comes to the universe he created. "Not Stan Lee at the end. He had no power, no influence. He wasn't writing any stories. He couldn't say, 'Don't do this character.' He was just a friendly person they brought to conventions and who did cameos. To be sidelined on the world and characters that you created… that would be tough," Martin added.

HBO's House of the Dragon stars Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans. In addition, Milly Alcock, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Emily Carey, Harry Collett, Ryan Corr, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Wil Johnson, John Macmillan, Graham McTavish, Ewan Mitchell, Theo Nate, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, Phia Saban, Gavin Spokes, Savannah Steyn, and more:

Paddy Considine as 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.

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon.  But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.

Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king's first-born child, she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.

Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, "The Sea Snake." Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As "The Sea Snake," the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.

Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, a dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon, "The Queen Who Never Was" was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favored her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male.

Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, of Dornish descent, the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven.  Cole has no claim to land or titles; all he has to his name is his honor and his preternatural skill with a sword.

Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, who came to Westeros with nothing, sold more times than she can recall.  She could have wilted… but instead she rose to become the most trusted — and most unlikely — ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne.

Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower. The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king's brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.

ADDITIONAL CAST (in alphabetical order):

Milly Alcock as Young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. She's the king's first-born child, of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.

Bethany Antonia as Baela Targaryen, eldest daughter of Laena Velaryon and rider of the young dragon Moondancer.

Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena Targaryen, second daughter of Lady Laena and sister to Baela.

Emily Carey as Young Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. Alicent was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.

Harry Collett as Jacaerys Velaryon, eldest son of Rhaenyra Targaryen.

Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin 'Breakbones' Strong. 'Breakbones', Harwin is said to be the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms.  Ser Harwin is the eldest son to Master of Laws Lyonel Strong and heir to Harrenhal.

Tom Glynn-Carney as Aegon Targaryen, first-born son of King Viserys.

Jefferson Hall as Tyland Lannister, a crafty and calculating politician, twin to Lord Jason Lannister.

Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister, the Lord of Casterly Rock and twin to Ser Tyland Lannister.

David Horovitch as Grand Maester Mellos, a voice of reason and trusted advisor to King Viserys.

Wil Johnson as Ser Vaemond Velaryon, younger brother to Coryls Velaryon and commander in the Velaryon navy.

John Macmillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon, son of Corlys Velaryon and  Rhaenys Targaryen.

Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling, who has served in the Kingsguard since the days of King Jaehaerys; he is a paragon of chivalry and honor.

Ewan Mitchell as Aemond Targaryen, second-born son of Viserys, nephew to Daemon, and half-brother to Rhaenyra.

Theo Nate as Ser Laenor Velaryon, son of Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen.

Matthew Needham as Larys Strong, younger son of Master of Laws Lyonel Strong, brought to court by his father.

Bill Paterson as Lord Lyman Beesbury, Lord of Honeyholt and Master of Coin on King Viserys's small council.

Phia Saban as Helaena Targaryen, second-born daughter of Viserys, sister to Aegon and Aemond, half-sister to Rhaenyra.

Gavin Spokes as Lord Lyonel Strong, Master of Laws to King Viserys and Lord of Harrenhal.

Savannah Steyn as Lady Laena Velayron, daughter of Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen.

House of the Dragon Production Details: Co-Creator/Executive Producer, George R.R. Martin; Co-Creator/Co-Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer, Ryan Condal; Co-Showrunner/Executive Producer/Director, Miguel Sapochnik; Executive Producer/Writer, Sara Hess; Executive Producers, Jocelyn Diaz, Vince Gerardis, and Ron Schmidt. Based on George R.R. Martin's "Fire & Blood."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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