Why was 'House of the Dragon' George RR Martin's first apt choice for 'Game of Thrones' prequel?

Why was 'House of the Dragon' George RR Martin's first apt choice for 'Game of Thrones' prequel?
‘House of the Dragon’ is based on George RR Martin’s novel ‘Fire & Blood,’ the main plot of the series revolves around the events set before almost 200 years of ‘Game of Thrones’ (HBO Max/Youtube, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: ‘House of the Dragon’ is one of the most highly anticipated series of this year. It is scheduled to drop on August 21, 2022, on HBO Max. In an interview, the co-showrunner Ryan Condal spoke up about how ‘House of the Dragon’ had been the only theme idea approved by George RR Martin that seemed really worthy of being a ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel.

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In an interview with Den of Geek, co-creator and co-showrunner Ryan Condal said he had been hand-picked and brought onboard by Martin to officially head ‘House of the Dragon’, the prequel saga of the Westeros world.

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Condal said Martin always met him whenever he was in Los Angeles. Often it meant that when Martin was in town,’ he’d meet Condal for a beer, coffee or just a fond hello to fellow genre writer. The duo had been very friendly ever since Condal “stalked” Martin in his hometown of Santa Fe. But in reality, it is true that apparently Condal had invited him to dinner while shooting a pilot nearby and throughout the years, they then started exchanging their notes and trade barbs. But on one sunny day back in 2018, Martin had a lot on his mind more than just notes and usual.

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Opening up on his initially surprised and unexpected reaction of when Martin finally handpicked him to be the person that would officially take over and also write the pilot of what has now become the prequel series for ‘Game of Thrones,’ Condal shared, “I thought we were just getting together socially. But he said, ‘I need you to write a pilot for me. Would you be up for it?.’ Condal also said, “Fireworks were going off in my head.”

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‘House of the Dragon,’ which is a prequel based on the gore filled ‘Dance of the Dragons’ civil war, that made all the Targaryens compete against each other for gaining the iron throne alongside even dragons fighting dragons was the original idea that Martin had mentioned to HBO when they came to him several years back in 2015 for discussing a possible successor to their iconic series ‘Game of Thrones.’ But HBO would go on to take a gardening approach while creating its spinoffs by green-lighting several interesting pitches. They even let Condal, who was then busy in preparation of his sci-fi series ‘Colony,’ give in an idea he had based on Martin’s ‘Dunk and Egg’ novellas.

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Before those days, not many might know but Condal had been a huge avid fan of Martin’s work in the iconic 'A Song of Ice and Fire' book series on which ‘Game of Thrones’ is based and also got intrigued by the larger spectrum of the Westeros world that could be explored in the prequel. He had originally read the earliest books after the third novel ‘A Storm of Swords’ was published in 2000, discovering this historic period war saga while being fresh out of college. At that point of time, he was only starting to step towards his dreams of becoming a screenwriter. According to Condal, “I learned more from George’s prose writing than I was learning from reading screenplays.”

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An interesting scenario behind how Condal was the hand-picked one by Martin to take the reins of ‘GoT’ prequel series ahead officially is that Martin had been really keen and eager to get Condal onboard into Westeros since that moment. While HBO was particularly not interested in a Dunk and Egg show in the mid-2010s, it was only after they faced loads of setbacks and glitches to launch a prequel they were happy with which also included them not feeling intrigued by the previous ‘House of the Dragon’ treatment from a different creative team, all of this made Martin straightaway tell the network, “Please hire Condal, because he knows my books and he likes them.”

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‘House of the Dragon’ is based on Martin’s novel ‘Fire & Blood,’ the main plot of the series revolves around the events set before almost 200 years of ‘Game of Thrones.’ It tells a story of the ugliest blood and gore filled war for the iron throne which ensues within the House of Targaryen when the king Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) announces only daughter Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock / Emma D’arcy) as his successor and future heir which enrages the traditionalist and backward patriarchal Targaryen family. Then a war starts for gaining the power of being next successor in which loyalties are tested and also all sorts of lies, betrayal, deceit and misunderstandings are also carried out because the Westeros world fears seeing a woman ascend the throne.

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