For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction—therefore, the following update literally had to happen, in simple accordance with the laws of nature. Within hours of word getting out on Tuesday that HBO had pulled the plug on their Naomi Watts-starring prequel pilot co-created by Jane Goldman and George R.R. Martin, the network announced it was moving forward with House of the Dragon, a 10-episode, straight-to-series prequel based on Martin’s 2018 A Song of Ice and Fire series companion book Fire & Blood.
Martin and Ryan Condal are the new show’s co-creators, while Condal and Emmy-winning Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik will partner as its showrunners, with Sapochnik—who helmed many of the most critical Thrones episodes, including “Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards,” “The Winds of Winter” and “The Bells”—directing the House of the Dragon pilot and additional episodes, and Condal scripting the series. Condal and Sapochnik will executive produce alongside Martin and Thrones EP Vince Gerardis. The project is Sapochnik’s first under a new overall deal through which he’ll develop and produce content for HBO and HBO Max alike.
House of the Dragon is set 300 years (as opposed to the Goldman/Watts pilot’s thousands) before the events of Thrones and revolves around House Targaryen, the platinum-haired, violet-eyed, dragon-riding conquerors made infamous by the likes of Rhaegar, Aegon and, most of all, Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys in HBO’s flagship Thrones series.
“The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories,” said HBO programming president Casey Bloys in a statement. “We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan and George.”
Miguel and George are known Thrones quantities—it’s Ryan who’s the true X factor of this new prequel series. The Colony co-creator and showrunner’s resumé as a screenwriter includes a pair of so-so Dwayne Johnson blockbusters in 2018’s Rampage and 2014’s Hercules, and he’s currently at work on a Lionsgate feature film adaptation of Gerry Duggan’s 2018 graphic novel Analog. It would appear Condal knows how to give audiences fireworks—House of the Dragon shouldn’t require much more than that in order to soar.
HBO’s announcement makes no mention of House of the Dragon’s production timeline or expected premiere date—reached by Paste, an HBO rep declined to share any further details. In the meantime, feast your eyes on HBO’s poster for their new prequel below.