The Iron Throne, before its destruction in the Game of Thrones series finale. [credit:
YouTube/HBO Max ]
HBO has released the first teaser for House of the Dragon, giving us our first real look at this spinoff prequel series to Game of Thrones. Set 200 years before the events of its predecessor, the series will chronicle the the beginning of the end for the reign of House Targaryen, culminating in civil war. In addition to co-creators George R.R. Martin and Ryan J. Condal, Miguel Sapochnik—who filmed some of the most eye-popping, complicated battles on Game of Thrones—will serve as co-showrunner, directing the pilot and several other episodes. The series began filming in April.
This time around, the source material is Martin’s 2018 epic fantasy, Fire and Blood, a fictional history of the Targaryen kings. It begins with Aegon I’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, thanks to having advanced weaponry in the form of dragons, followed by a period of relative peace. Part three focuses on Aegon I’s sons, King Aenys I and King Maegor I. When the latter dies, the son of Aenys, Jaehaerys I, ascends to the Iron Throne. Jaehaerys I had two sons, but they both died before their regal father, thereby triggering a succession crisis.
The final two sections of Fire and Blood deal with the fallout of that crisis and seem to be the primary source material for this new series. Essentially, a council of lords selects King Viserys I Targaryen to succeed Jaehaerys I, passing over Princess Rhaenys Velaryon, a dragonrider known as “the Queen Who Never Was.” Viserys I has no sons by his first wife and decides his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, will succeed him. But this is Westeros, so there are others scheming for the Iron Throne, most notably Ser Otto Hightower, Hand of the King—whose daughter Alicent becomes the king’s second wife—and Prince Daemon Targaryen, the king’s younger brother.
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