‘House of the Dragon’ Showrunners Compare the Targaryens to the Jedi

The Hollywood Reporter has released the first part of its piece chronicling the behind-the-scenes story and development of the upcoming prequel series to HBO’s highly successful Game of Thrones series exploring the history and the civil war of House Targaryen, House of the Dragon. This new article involved interviews with many members of the teams behind the upcoming series and its source material as it explores the history of the series, from its inception and pitches to discussing the pressure of having to step up and not only create what would have been HBO’s first ever spin-off series, but also a series that is filling the hole left by something as huge as Game of Thrones. Two very interesting tidbits from this article, however, came when some of the people behind House of the Dragon made a few comparisons to Star Wars, both in reference to the characters of the upcoming series, but also in the series’ importance to HBO.

The Reporter’s piece opens with a conversation between the two House of the Dragon showrunners Ryan Condal, who also will serve as a writer on the series, and one of the series’ directors Miguel Sapochnik about the naming of the dragons. Sapochnik made the suggestion that a few of the names be changed, to which Condal vehemently refused, solidifying the production’s stance on being extremely loyal to the source material. Condal explains why taking this stance was so important, explaining both his love for the series by George R.R. Martin and the importance of the Targaryens in the history of the universe. He compares them to the Jedi of Star Wars, this group of people that, in the original trilogy prior to the prequels, were super powerful, yet the audience only got the smallest look at masters from the time of their height of power before the Empire. Similar to going back and showing the Jedi, Condal expresses how much people want to see House Targaryen:

“I’ve been a fan of these books for 20 years. I was a fan of Game of Thrones — I watched the pilot the night it aired on HBO and every episode after. You can’t follow Thrones, it’s the Beatles. I’m setting out as a fan to make the thing I want to see, and I’m happy with what we’ve achieved. The Targaryens are like the Jedi in Star Wars, where you heard about this time when they were plentiful and powerful and always wanted to see that. And now you get to.”

Robert Greenblatt, then chairman of HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia, also made reference to the space opera from a galaxy far, far, away, more specifically, the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. This was not a comparison made in terms of the series’ plot, characters, or overall story, but rather in their importance to their respective streaming services. When House of the Dragon was first given the greenlight in 2019, it was ordered straight to series as HBO wanted a series that could serve as The Mandalorian equivalent for their then-upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.

“I put a lot of pressure on everybody for this to happen as soon as humanly possible,” says Greenblatt. “We all knew Disney+ launched with The Mandalorian. We didn’t have any big piece of IP that would be ready, but at least we’d have Dragon coming down the pipe and that would be important to the world at large. And I couldn’t think of a better piece of IP almost anywhere that deserved to be developed and multiplied.”

House of the Dragon is based on Martin’s 2018 prequel novel Fire & Blood. Condal, Sapochnik, and Martin also serve as executive producers on the series alongside writer Sara Hess, director Greg Yaitanes, Jocelyn Diaz, Vince Gerardis, and Ron Schmidt. Other directors that will serve on the show include Clare Kilner and Geeta V. Patel. The stars of the upcoming series’ ensemble cast include Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Olivia Cooke as Otto’s daughter, Allicent; Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole; and Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria. Additional cast members include Milly Alcock, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Emily Carey, Harry Collett, Ryan Corr, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Wil Johnson, John Macmillan, Graham McTavish, Ewan Mitchell, Theo Nate, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, Phia Saban, Gavin Spokes, and Savannah Steyn.

House of the Dragon is set to premiere on HBO and HBO Max on August 21. Check out the trailer below:

Leave a Comment