With House of the Dragon having aired its season finale, speculation has begun about how the Dance of the Dragons will be adapted onto the screen in the second season and beyond. After spending a season chock full of time jumps to build to this moment, it was the murder of Lucerys “Luke” Valeryon at the hands of Aemond Targaryan that officially launched the war that will tear Westeros in half. This is something that has been confirmed by showrunner Ryan Condal to always be the climactic event of the first season’s finale, though the nature of the events which occurred changed significantly in relation to the original book by George R.R. Martin, specifically the culpability of Aemond in Luke’s death. The series adaptation showcased more regret and anguish over Aemond’s rash decision. While discussing the finale with Variety, this is what Condal had to say about the change.
Historians have told us that Aemond intended to kill Luke, but I don’t think any of them could purport to know what was going on in Aemond’s head at the time. And I would also dispute the word “accident” a bit. I mean, Aemond got on his giant dragon and chased his nephew on his much smaller dragon through the clouds screaming and yelling at him, incensing his dragon and starting a fight. He didn’t know how Arrax or Luke were going to respond, and it ended in tragedy. I don’t think that was what Aemond intended when he threw his leg over the saddle, but he did a horrible, dangerous thing. That is the point: This is a war of many cuts that lead to a really, really bloody wound. It adds complexity and nuance to the character that’s potentially interesting. There’s lots of runway to go on with Aemond as a character and the story of the Dance. This is his first act as a dragon rider and a warrior and it’s gone very wrong. Now what happens as a result, and how does he respond? Those are the questions I’m interested in as a dramatist.Ryan Condal
The change comes after the first season of House of the Dragon has taken some mild creative liberties from the original source material (with varied responses to them). A major component for the future of the series is the potential to travel to more realms of Westeros. After remaining relatively isolated into a select few locations, the showcase of the map in the finale certainly has illuminated interesting possibilities for fans to ponder. Ryan Condal had the following to say about what to expect from the show moving forward in terms of new locations.
The show definitely has to expand its scope in the second season. Just as the original “Game of Thrones” grew in scope and expanse as it went, so, too, will ours. We’ve lived a good bit in three different worlds through this show: King’s Landing, Dragonstone and Driftmark. I think those will continue to be the home bases for the show. But a war is coming that requires allegiances from different kingdoms and armies all over the map of Westeros. I don’t think we’re going to get quite as vast as the original “Game of Thrones” did in its final analysis. But there are definitely many more new worlds to come, and new worlds that you haven’t necessarily seen in the original show, either. Rest assured, plenty of scope to come.Ryan Condal
The finale of the first season of House of the Dragon is available to watch on HBO and HBO Max. Production for the second season is said to begin at the start of 2023, though no official word has been said as to when it will air.