‘House of the Dragon’ Creator Explains Exactly What Makes It Different From ‘Game of Thrones’

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • House of the Dragon is the first Game of Thrones prequel that HBO will unveil.
  • The prequel will follow a specific part of Targaryen history — the Dance of the Dragons.
  • House of the Dragon co-creator Miguel Sapochnik reveals what makes the prequel different than the HBO hit.
House of the Dragon stars Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in a production still from the upcoming season
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen | Ollie Upton/HBO

House of the Dragon is the highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel that is coming soon to HBO Max. With the new series being so closely related to one of TV’s most successful dramas, co-creator Miguel Sapochnik knows the bar has been set extremely high.

But fans shouldn’t expect the new series to be a carbon copy of the original. As Sapochnik puts it, House of the Dragon is quite different from Game of Thrones.

‘House of the Dragon’ takes place two centuries before ‘Game of Thrones’

The new sequel is based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, which chronicles the rule of House Targaryen. However, fans won’t see any of their favorite characters from Game of Thrones. That’s because House of the Dragon takes place almost 200 years before the events in the original series.

The focus of the prequel is on a specific part of Targaryen history — the Dance of the Dragons. This bloody and brutal Targaryen civil war took place at the height of the family’s power. And by the time it’s over, thousands are dead.

The prequel is ‘very respectful’ of ‘Game of Thrones’

During a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Sapochnik talked about the differences between House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones. The series co-creator — who directed several episodes of Game of Thrones during its eight-season run — says they have been “very respectful of what the original show is.”

“It wasn’t broken, so we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. House of the Dragon has its own tone that will evolve and emerge over the course of the show. But first, it’s very important to pay respects and homage to the original series, which was pretty groundbreaking,” Sapochnik explained.

“We’re standing on the shoulders of that show and we’re only here because of that show. So the most important thing for us to do is to respect that show as much as possible and try and complement it rather than reinvent it.”

The ‘House of the Dragon’ creator explains the differences

Sapochnik said that being involved in making the original show has been very useful, and he didn’t start the prequel with a mindset of wanting to change everything. However, the Emmy winner made it clear that if you start every sentence with “when we did Thrones, we did it this way,” then you’ve lost.

“This is something else, and should be something else. It’s a different crew, different people, different tone. Hopefully, it will be seen as something else. But it will have to earn that — it won’t happen overnight. Hopefully, fans will enjoy it for the thing that it is,” Sapochnik said.

Hoping for that ‘Game of Thrones’ luck

The House of the Dragon co-creator noted that his series would “be lucky” if they ever come close to what the original show was. He says the plan is to just put their heads down and get on with it, then hope that what they come up with is “worthy of having a Game of Thrones title.”

As a first-time showrunner, Sapochnik admits that making House of the Dragon is “a lot of work.” But he’s fortunate to be working with people he likes.

“The journey is the destination and if you can’t enjoy the journey, then the destination has so much less meaning. I’ve got a group of filmmakers on House of the Dragon I have a lot of fun working with,” Sapochnik said.

Filming for ‘House of the Dragon’ season 1 is currently underway

Earlier this year, filming began for season 1 of House of the Dragon at Leavesden Studios in the UK. The freshman season is still in production, but filming should be wrapping in the coming weeks. Rumor has it that the target for the premiere is the spring of 2022.

In February 2022, HBO will be holding an official Game of Thrones fan convention. Many believe this will be when the premium cable network will announce the premiere date. And it’s very possible they will even share a new trailer.

All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available on HBO Max. House of the Dragon will premiere in 2022.

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