‘House of the Dragon’ Showrunners Explain Why They Chose to Adapt ‘Blood and Fire’ After ‘Game of Thrones’

While Game of Thrones may have gone out with a bit of a whimper, it doesn’t seem to have put a damper on fan expectations for the next show set in George R.R. Martin’s fictional Westeros. Season one of House of the Dragon is set to premiere on HBO Max and fans are hopeful that the GoT prequel series, which is adapted from Martin’s novel Fire & Blood which told the history of the House Targaryen. In an interview with Comic Book, showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik explained why they felt now was the right time to bring that story into live-action.

The question that I’m left with at the end of Thrones, of the original season, when you start to look at, ‘What do I want to know more about?’ is I’m fascinated by the idea of like, ‘What are Dany’s origins?’ Like, ‘Where does you know, where do these people come from? Why are they so crazy?’ You know, ‘Where did they get that white hair from?’, Saponchik told Comic Book.

For Saponchik, that meant Fire & Blood, which details two opposing sides of what he calls “Targaryen exceptionalism”, provided the perfect answer to those questions.

I mean, those are, I think that this answers those questions and gives you a real sense of Targaryenism. We’ve got a thing in this show which we call Targaryen exceptionalism, which is an argument, a kind of a philosophical argument that often happens between Viserys and his brother, where one sees the future of Targaryens belongs to the dreamers, who are the people, the occasional characters, the occasional Targaryens who have prescient vision and see the future as they did see the end of Valyria. And then there’s the old school, Fire & Blood Targaryens like our character Daemon, who really think that everything should be conquered and conquest is everything.

Miguel Saponchik

To Condal, going from a world where Targaryens were a rarity to one where they ruled everything made for a more compelling story.

If you really think about it this is the most obvious successor show to pursue. “I mean, the minute George pitched it to me, a million years ago is, ‘Oh, this is the one that I want to do the most.’ It made the most sense because it’s, we didn’t get to know anything about the Targaryens in the original series, not really. I mean, we got to know Daenerys very well and Viserys a little bit, until he was melted. And so it’s fascinating to go from that world where there were no Targaryens and they were trying to reclaim the scraps of this empire to a time when, the height of their power and decadence and glory and see what it was actually like when they were in power with dragons.

Ryan Condal

As for the disappointing ending of Game of Thrones, much of which fans tie to Martin never completing his novels, Saponchik doesn’t believe that’s a concern for House of the Dragon. Not only are Saponchik and Condal dealing with a complete story, but they also have a definitive end point in mind. “We have a very, very precise idea of where we wanna go with it, but we can’t tell you.” As for whether there are more stories on either side of House of the Dragon, Saponchik calls upon another expansive mythology for comparison saying, “I think that the important thing is that this is a… Think of this as an Episode IV, the Star Wars Episode IV. So it’s kind of, we’re in the middle of a history that is rich and full of stories to tell and it’s a good place to start.” 

For fans of Martin’s novels or those who fell in love with the World of a Song of Ice and Fire by watching Game of Thrones, this is a surprising comparison, to be sure, but a welcome one.

Source: Comic Book

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