‘House of the Dragon’ Star Matt Smith Says ‘Obviously’ They Are ‘Never Going to Be Able to Recreate the Success’ of ‘Game of Thrones’

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • House of the Dragon is set nearly two centuries before the events that took place on Game of Thrones.
  • The GoT prequel will highlight the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.
  • Star Matt Smith reveals exactly where they stand when it comes to the expectations for the show.
House of the Dragon Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen and Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in a production still from the upcoming 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 spinoff to air on HBO Max. But that doesn’t mean the prequel will try to copy the original series set in Westeros. According to star Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen), it’s obvious that House of the Dragon is “never going to be able to recreate the success” of Game of Thrones.

‘House of the Dragon’ is set nearly two centuries before ‘Game of Thrones’

House of the Dragon is based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, which chronicles the rule of House Targaryen. The focus is on the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, which takes place almost 200 years before the events in the original series.

Series co-creator Miguel Sapochnik told The Hollywood Reporter that they have been “very respectful of what the original show is.” He says the show wasn’t broken, so they’re not “trying to reinvent the wheel.”

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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.

Matt Smith says the prequel isn’t a copy of the original

With Game of Thrones having such a large and passionate fanbase, it could be difficult to bring in something new and different to the franchise. Smith told CNet that you have to bring your own emotional makeup and your own spin to a project like House of the Dragon.

“I suppose you bring yourself and your own spin on it,” Smith said. “It’s like to a certain degree, what does anyone bring to a Shakespeare play or something that’s been done before? You have to bring your own emotional makeup and your own identity and your own spin and take on things and, you know… throw some paint at the wall and see what sticks.”

The ‘House of the Dragon’ star says they will never be able to recreate the success of ‘Game of Thrones’

Smith continued by saying the “paint” is the attitude you bring into a project with an established fanbase and see what sticks. But no matter what they bring to the prequel, he admits it’s pretty clear that House of the Dragon will never be as successful as Game of Thrones.

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“We’re trying to make a show that’s entertaining on lots of different levels and has a similar scope and ambition to the previous show, in many respects,” the Doctor Who alum explained. “But obviously, you’re never going to be able to recreate the success of Game of Thrones, because that was a very particular point in time. It was its own unique entity.”

Co-creator Miguel Sapochnik agrees with Matt Smith

Before co-creating House of the Dragon, Sapochnik directed multiple episodes of Game of Thrones. He says he didn’t start the prequel with a mindset of wanting to change everything from the original series. However, he agrees with Smith that House of the Dragon is its own show.

“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,” Sapochnik explained. “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,”

The expectations for ‘House of the Dragon’ are high

As the first follow-up to Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon definitely has some hefty expectations to live up to. It also has to deal with disappointed franchise fans who weren’t happy with the original series’ divisive ending.

With Smith’s suggestion that House of the Dragon will be entertaining on different levels. It also looks like fans could be pleasantly surprised by the new series. As his character explains in the first trailer, the prequel is about “Gods, kings, fire, and blood.”

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“Dreams didn’t make us kings, dragons did,” Prince Daemon Targaryen says.

House of the Dragon is expected to premiere in 2022 on HBO Max.