House of the Dragon must avoid squandering its most valuable asset. While it won’t be able to repair most of its predecessor’s flaws, the next Game of Thrones prequel series will provide HBO a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of fans and show that they can handle the franchise. With that much pressure on its heads, House of the Dragon will have to succeed well above expectations, which it will if it capitalizes on what will ultimately prove to be its most valuable asset: dragons.
House of the Dragon is set around 170 years in the past of Game of Thrones, with an emphasis on House Targaryen at the start of the noble family’s fall from power. The series will focus on the two-year civil conflict known as The Dance of Dragons, drawing on George R.R Martin’s Targaryen history text Fire and Blood along with novellas The Princess and the Queen and The Rogue Prince. Following King Viserys I’s death, the Queen and the Small Council conspire to defy his final wishes by electing his eldest son Prince Aegon II to the king instead of his chosen successor, Princess Rhaenyra, setting off a disastrous succession battle between the single – phase half that would engulf the continent. Martin serves as an executive producer on the project, which is directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who has previously worked on Game of Thrones.
With its strong themes of power and betrayal, the fascinating House of the Dragon risks duplicating some of Game of Thrones’ faults. The HBO series anticipated dragon action early on but failed to deliver for more than half of its length, and when the dragons were finally given time on screen, it was frequently disappointing or difficult to see. Although House of the Dragon is about Targaryen struggle, the use of the word “dragon” in the title suggests that the beasts play a role in the plot, therefore it would be a mistake to be as sparse with creatures as Game of Thrones was. Dragons were undoubtedly more plentiful during the time period shown in the prequel, but the number of dragons in the prequel is less relevant than how show decides to use them.
Martin has stated that House of the Dragon will feature roughly 17 dragons, expressing his excitement at the prospect of seeing a larger number of the creatures doing action. Martin’s enthusiasm, though, revealed a love for the series that had before been a source of anxiety. “…ideally, they’ll each have their own personalities, be instantly recognizable when you see them, the colors and everything of that, because the dragons in the novels do have personalities, and it’ll be fantastic to see that come life.” With each dragon’s character being in some way related to that of their rider in The Dance of Dragons conflict upon which spinoff is based, portraying the dragons as comprehensive characters in the tale rather than tertiary set pieces is crucial to the show’s success. While the three dragons in Game of Thrones were distinguished by their color, little attention was paid to their personalities. For the sake of time, the original series also changed the Starks’ six direwolves, stripping them of its individual features and importance, and with approximately three times that many dragons to grow, House of the Dragon risks compounding Game of Thrones’ blunder.
With the franchise’s future riding on its shoulders, the prequel must be more loyal to the original source than its predecessor, and the development of the Targaryens’ bond with their dragons is probably the most important component of doing so. While it’s unlikely that all 17 dragons will feature in the first season, House of the Dragon has the ability to revive the series and usher in an era of ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ material if it delivers on the promise of spectacular dragon battle that Game of Thrones generally failed to deliver. Lets waiting the Game of Throne’s spinoff at 123Movies soon.