HBO’s Game of Thrones was first aired back in 2011 and the rest we know is history. Created as a fantasy drama series, Game of Thrones was adapted from George R.R. Martin’s critically acclaimed series The Song of Ice and Fire. Considered to be one of the greatest television shows of all time, Game of Thrones won a record 58 Primetime Emmy Awards, the most for any drama series.
Game of Throne‘s record viewership and massive popularity helped HBO to expand the budget enormously. The final season’s budget was a whopping $15 million per episode, making it the most expensive show till date. Despite the resources and popularity, the show descended from its glorious first four seasons to extremely polarized later seasons. The final season was particularly criticized for its wafer-thin plotline, incoherent arcs, and the general lack of effort by the showrunners.
The show’s firm grip on the world of pop-culture has been rapidly slipping away after the disastrous final season. After its departure from the original storyline, Game of Thrones started slipping away from its complex story and complicated characters, relying more on cliched tropes. Before Game of Thrones gets blown away into the distant past, HBO’s plans of releasing a prequel to the story might just save it in time.
In May 2017, the plan to release five individual series under the banner of Game of Thrones was proposed. The plan was also set in motion with George R.R. Martin on board along with Bryan Cogman, Carly Wray, Brian Helgeland, Jane Goldman, and Max Borenstein. But unfortunately, these projects have been abandoned by HBO. Also, Bryan Cogman confirmed that his series won’t be moving forward.
With Jane Goldman as the showrunner, HBO had announced back in 2018 that a prequel would be releasing soon. Named as Bloodmoon, the story was set in the Age of Heroes. Roughly beginning 10,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the show was set to explore the first descent of White Walkers on Westeros, the Long Night, and the Andals conquering most parts of Westeros. The show had also cast Naomi Watts as the lead character. Sadly, HBO pulled the plug on the show for undisclosed reasons.
Fortunately, the idea of a prequel was green-lit by HBO in October 2019 when it was decided that a show based on material from Fire & Blood and the abandoned Cogman’s project would be produced with George R.R. Martin on board.
For those not associated with the books, Fire & Blood narrates the history of Targaryen conquest of Westeros and the subsequent events which unfolded. Though Aegon the Conqueror has been mentioned numerous times in The Song of Ice and Fire, Fire & Blood provides an in-depth story. The book also mentions Aegon’s reign along with his sister/wives Visenya and Rhaenys.
Another important arc which Fire & Blood covers in the Targaryen Civil War caused by Rhaenyra Targaryen and Aegon II Targaryen. Rhaenyra being the only daughter of Viserys I was the elder-half sister of Aegon II Targaryen. After the death of Viserys I, both of them claimed the throne which created a massive rift in the kingdom of Westeros. With houses of Stark, Arryn, Tully, Greyjoy, and Velaryon supporting Rhaenyra, Aegon II was backed by houses of Lannister, Baratheon, Hightower, and Redwyne.
This massive civil war was visceral as both the warring sides had dragons under their command. The civil war was called the Dance of Dragons as wars were fought by dragons and the dragon-bloods. Aegon II was able to capture Rhaenyra and fed her to his dragon. Subsequently, Aegon II was badly injured in the war and succumbed to his wounds. As a result, Aegon III Targaryen, the son of Rhaenyra ascended the throne.
The Targaryen Civil War caused massive losses in life and property. But, this also marked the end of dragons and most of them perished in the war. Under Aegon III, the dragons became extinct only to return when Daenerys Targaryen became the Mother of Dragons.
House of the Dragon has reportedly started casting for its major characters who shall be playing a pivotal role in the series. Till now, no news has been released regarding the probable actors who are being considered or the characters from the book who shall be making their appearances.
The major characters who might be introduced in the series are listed below:
1. King Aegon the Conqueror
The first Targaryen king who conquered the seven kingdoms of Westeros. From Winterfell to Casterly Rock, Aegon I united all the kingdoms by making them his loyal subjects.
2. Queen Visenya Targaryen
Sister/Wife of Aegon I, Visenya rode Vhaghar into battle. A beautiful woman, Visenya was also stern and unforgiving.
3. Queen Rhaenys Targaryen
The younger sister of Aegon I, Rhaenys was beautiful, kind-hearted, graceful, and impulsive. She also loved music and poetry. She spent most of her time riding her dragon, Meraxes.
4. King Viserys I Targaryen
Under his reign, Westeros saw peace and prosperity for a long time. His death marked the beginning of the Targaryen Civil War.
5. Queen Alicia Hightower
The second wife of King Viserys, she plotted the plan to make her son Prince Aegon II the king by delaying the news of Viserys’ death to the people.
6. Prince Aegon II Targaryen
The son of Viserys and Alicia, Prince Aegon planned a coup to overthrow Princess Rhaenyra. He succumbed to his injuries during the civil war.
7. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
The only daughter of King Viserys I and Queen Aemma of House Arryn, she was first in line to be the ruler of Westeros. During the civil war, she was captured by Aegon II and fed to his dragon.
There have been speculations that House of the Dragon might actually be an anthology-styled series depicting different timelines and characters as the show progresses. The rich and bloody Targaryen history can easily span over five seasons where fans might get the chance to witness the infamous Blackfyre (Targaryen bastards) rebellion, The Great Spring Sickness, and Robert’s Rebellion which marked the end of Targaryen rule over Westeros. Till further news arrives, the internet is dark and full of rumours.
House of the Dragon is set to release in 2022.