George R. R. Martin Wanted ‘House of the Dragon’ to Begin 40 Years Earlier

House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon would have started much earlier if George R.R. Martin had his way. However, none of the show’s other writers was on the same page with what he wanted to do.

Martin, 74, wanted to focus on an earlier phase of time in the Targaryen’s history, roughly 40 years earlier to be exact.

Martin’s Ideal Timeline for House of the Dragon

“I would’ve begun it like 40 years earlier, with an episode I would’ve called ‘The Heir and the Spare.” Martin revealed to fellow fantasy writer David Anthony Durham.

“Jaehaerys’ two sons, Aemon and Baelon, are alive, and we see the friendship but also the rivalry between the two sides of the great house,” Martin adds. “Then Aemon dies accidentally when a Myrish crossbowman shoots him by accident on Tarth, then Jaehaerys has to decide who becomes the new heir.”

“Is it the daughter of the son who’s just died, or the second son who has children of his own and is a man where she’s a teenager?” Martin continues. “You could’ve presented all that stuff, but then you would’ve had 40 more years, and even more time jumps and recastings. I was the only one who was really enthused about that.”

George R.R. Martin
Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

The Game of Thrones author presented the idea to the House of the Dragon writing room, and some of the writers wanted to start with a “later” starting point.

“One of the writers wanted to begin it later, with Aemma dying. Skip the Great Council, skip the tournament, a scream sounds out, Aemma is dead, that’s where you begin. That was one possibility.” Martin reveals. 

“Another of the writers wanted to begin even later than that, with Viserys dying. But what happens there?” Martin continues. “Then you have to present all that material in flashbacks or dialogue, that becomes challenging too. But we discussed all these possibilities.”

House of the Dragon Is a Success for HBO

HBO’s prequel series, which is based on Martin’s novel “Fire and Blood”, concluded its first season on October 23, 2022. The season finale, “The Black Queen”, saw the biggest HBO finale audience since Game of Thrones aired its finale in 2019. 9.3 million viewers tuned in across all platforms for the episode.

“We’re so thrilled to see House of the Dragon catch fire with Game of Thrones fans around the world, as well as new viewers who are discovering the world of Westeros for the first time,” Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO, HBO and HBO Max, said in a statement. “Congrats to George, Ryan, Miguel and the whole House of the Dragon team on an incredible first season.”

No confirmation yet on when the House of the Dragon Season 2 will return. However, the series is set to go back into production in early 2023.


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