Game of Thrones was a pop culture phenomenon in its heydey. When it was on, all anyone could talk about was the newest episode, the freshest deaths, and the betrayals that took place that week. Since its season finale, HBO has been trying to workshop a few spin-off prequels to continue stories related to Westeros.
There has been a lot of news regarding these “successor shows,” as author George R.R. Martin likes to call them. One of them has been canceled, while another has gone straight to series order. Some fans are very excited about the show surrounding Targaryen history, but others aren’t so sure.
Which ‘Game of Thrones’ prequels are happening, and which are not?
To recap, on Oct. 29, Deadline reported the pilot series they filmed with Naomi Watts was not going forward. According to the outlet, there was “lengthy” editing, including re-edits because the first cut of the pilot “was not well received.” HBO has not confirmed this officially yet.
That very same day during the HBO Max investors presentation, the company announced that another Game of Thrones prequel, House of The Dragon, will go straight to series without a pilot even being filmed. It was written by Martin and Ryan Condal, with Condal and Miguel Sapochnik as showrunners.
‘House of the Dragon’ will take place not that long before ‘Game of Thrones’
The pilot that was already filmed, which Martin kept calling The Long Night, was set thousands of years before Sansa, Arya, Tyrion, and Cersei. But House of the Dragon actually takes place 300 years before the original GoT series.
This series will, of course, involve a lot of dragons, if you couldn’t tell by the title and it’s based on Martin’s fictional history book Fire and Blood. As Entertainment Weekly pointed out, the history book is specifically focused on House Targaryen and will cover The Dance of Dragons.
What’s The Dance of Dragons?
Shireen Baratheon explained this civil war to her father Stannis in Season 5. It was the conflict between Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother Aegon II. They shared a father, Viserys I, and Rhaenyra was the firstborn, whereas Aegon was the first-born son. Because of this, they both laid claim as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and the civil war commenced.
As Shireen continued, “Brothers fought brothers, dragons fought dragons. By the time it was over, thousands were dead. And it was a disaster for the Targaryens as well. They never truly recovered.” Sounds dramatic enough for a series, albeit kind of familiar.
While some fans are very excited about a Targaryen spin-off, others not so much
Obviously, if you loved Daenerys and thought she got the short of the stick, or just find the history of House Targaryen fascinating, this show is good news for you. A lot of fans are tweeting memes celebrating the House, almost as a consolation prize for Daenerys’ bad fate in Game of Thrones.
But other Game of Thrones fans don’t see it that way. There are some that think it’s the same story over again, with Rhaenyra in the same spot as Daenerys. One user, @liesandarbor, set the scene of a similar death and outrage surrounding Rhaenyra. Another user, @YennVenderberg noted that not only will the half-siblings make similar decisions to Dany, but Aegon II will be praised for it, showing the audience’s double-standard when it comes to female and male rulers.
What has George R.R. Martin said about ‘House of the Dragon’?
Martin, of course, wrote the book and the series, plus he’ll be executive producer. On his website on Sep. 16, he also sounded very excited about the prospective series. “It has a script and a bible, and both of them are terrific, first rate, exciting,” he wrote, going on about how much Condal loves Westeros. “I’ve loved working with him, and if the Seven Gods and HBO are kind, I hope to keep on working with him for years to come on this new successor show.”
Whether you’re a fan of the Targaryens or not, the idea of a show with so many more dragons, battles, and drama is more than just a little intriguing.