“GAME OF THRONES” PREQUEL “HOUSE OF THE DRAGON” Starts Production APRIL

One of the factors which made George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books, and their HBO series adaptation “Game of Thrones,” so memorable and alive to readers/viewers was the amount of world-building backstory for the ongoing present-day events. Much like J.R.R. Tolkien did with Middle-earth in “The Lord of the Rings,” Martin wrote detailed lore and historical events in the past that shaped the setting of his story as it happened. Sometimes the extra books he wrote for this even got in the way of finishing “ASOIAF.” At least however, his side-story book “Fire and Blood” is being turned into a new HBO series, starting production soon.

According to Deadline, HBO will commence production of “House of the Dragon,” a prequel series to “Game of Thrones,” this coming April. The month recently was pegged down by HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys. The 10-episode prequel story to “GOT” was ordered direct to series back in late 2019, with casting ongoing in 2020 during the worst of the COVID pandemic. Original author George R.R. Martin is again on board as executive producer alongside Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, the new show-runners. As with its predecessor, much shooting will necessarily be done overseas.

Bloys, who is waiting for a COVID vaccination before setting out to examine the set for “Dragon,” says the whole production team is excited for Condal and Sapochnik to oversee the show adding, “That’s all moving ahead and we are excited about that.” He also reassures fans of “GOT,” who were disappointed that the show-runners Dave Benioff and D.B. Weiss wrote an original ending rather than wait for Martin to complete his books, by saying that the prequel nature of the new series ensures that its entire story is already told, as in the source book written by Martin, “Fire and Blood” published in 2018.

Not much is known yet about how “House of the Dragon” will go, but confirmed character castings shed light on which parts of Westeros history it will cover. The general plot follows the history of the Royal House of Targaryen, which created the Iron Throne after conquering the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros nearly three centuries before the start of “Game of Thrones.” Paddy Constantine plays King Viserys I, whose reign sowed the seeds for a civil war between Targaryen family members; Olivia Cooke is Queen Alicent Hightower, Viserys’ second wife; Emma D’Arcy is Viserys’ daughter Princess Rhaenyra; and Matt Smith portrays Viserys’ brother Daemon. The series will premiere on HBO and HBO Max in 2022.

Image from The Verge

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