‘House of the Dragon’ Will Have to ‘Earn’ Being ‘Worthy of Having a ‘Game of Thrones’ Title’ Claims Co-Creator Miguel Sapochnik

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events in Game of Thrones.
  • Co-creator Miguel Sapochnik says House of the Dragon will have a ‘different tone’ than the original series.
  • Sapochnik knows the prequel will have to earn being in the realm of Game of Thrones.
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 of the Game of Thrones prequel
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen | Ollie Upton/HBO

House of the Dragon will be the first Game of Thrones-related content to hit HBO Max. But just because it’s connected to the same world of Westeros, House of the Dragon is not the same as the original series.

According to co-creator Miguel Sapochnik, the House of the Dragon cast and crew has a lot of work to do to be on the same level as Game of Thrones.

The ‘House of the Dragon’ co-creator directed highly-acclaimed episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’

Before he created House of the Dragon — a prequel set nearly 200 years before the original series — Sapochnik directed some of Game of Thrones’ most acclaimed episodes. They included “The Winds of Winter” and “Battle of the Bastards” in season 6, “Hardhome” in season 5, and “The Long Night” in season 8.

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Sapochnik — who co-created the series with Ryan Condal and author George R. R. Martin — is also directing some episodes of House of the Dragon. He says his work in the original series has been “useful” while filming season 1 of the prequel.

Honoring ‘Game of Thrones’ while doing things its own way

The co-creator says fans will see similarities between the two series, like his use of the same “color palette.” But, Sapochnik says it’s very important that his new show is a separate entity from Game of Thrones.

Sapochnik told The Hollywood Reporter that his new series made it a priority to be very respectful of the original show. But at the same time, House of the Dragon is doing things its own way.

The prequel has to earn being worthy of a ‘Game of thrones’ title

Just because House of the Dragon exists because of Game of Thrones, that doesn’t mean the prequel is on the same level as the original series. Sapochnik says that if they start every sentence with “Well, when we did Thrones, we did it this way…”, then they’ve already lost.

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“This is something else, and should be something else,” Sapochnik said. “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. We’ll be lucky if we ever come close to what the original show was, so we’re just putting our heads down and getting on with it and hoping what we come up with is worthy of having a Game of Thrones title.”

‘House of the Dragon’ will have a different tone

The director says they were very respectful of what the original show is. He explained that 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,” Sapochnik explained. “But first, it’s very important to pay respects and homage to the original series, which was pretty groundbreaking. We’re standing on the shoulders of that show and we’re only here because of that show.”

‘House of the Dragon’ is based on George R. R. Martin’s book ‘Fire & Blood’

House of the Dragon is based on Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, which chronicles the rule of House Targaryen. The focus is on a specific part of Targaryen history — the Dance of the Dragons. A bloody and brutal Targaryen civil war that took place at the height of the family’s power.

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Game of Thrones mentioned the Dance of the Dragons when Princess Shireen Baratheon reminded her father Stannis that “Brothers fought brothers, dragons fought dragons. By the time it was over, thousands were dead.”

House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO Max in 2022. Seasons 1 through 8 of Game of Thrones are available on HBO Max.