TV & Movies

House Of The Dragon Takes Place In A New Era Of Westeros

The fiery spinoff is all about the Targaryens.

Milly Alcock and Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon
Ollie Upton/HBO

After the divisive Game of Thrones series finale saw Daenerys Targaryen’s demise, HBO has drummed up a new storyline from the saga to explore. House of the Dragon is expected to be the network's next big thing. Based on Fire & Blood, the 2018 novel from George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones fans shouldn’t expect to see any recognizable faces. There won’t be any appearances from Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), or any of the remaining Stark children. Instead, the new series, created by Ryan Condal, takes place about two centuries before the events depicted in Game of Thrones’ eight seasons.

Game of Thrones first introduced a world where the Targaryen name had lost its shine; the family’s legacy burned to embers due to the caustic rule they led over the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros in the past. The original HBO series takes place years after King Robert Baratheon led the rebellion against Aerys “the Mad King” Targaryen. And for most of that series, Daenerys’ storyline exists on the outliers of the main plot. While we may all recall Emilia Clarke’s performance as the Targaryen who brought destruction upon many innocent lives in the final season, she starts as a naive young woman, stuck in an arranged marriage with Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) by her cruel older brother Viserys.

Throughout Game of Thrones, Daenerys must go against her family’s tarnished history. But she ends up being one of the more tragic examples of how the lust for power can warp even the most compassionate leader. It’s a version of a story fans will see again in an earlier era of Westeros, courtesy of House of the Dragon.

When Does House Of The Dragon Take Place?

Fire & Blood sees a much different timeline for this world of inconsistent seasons and power struggles. While the novel begins almost 300 years before the events of the original HBO series, House of the Dragon starts around 129 AC (AC stands for Years After Aegon’s Conquest), about 172 years before Daenerys’ birth.

The show looks to expand on the history of the Targaryens, but it’s less about their triumphs and more about their ultimate demise. The prequel begins with the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine). This king would cause the great Targaryen civil war, known as the “Dance of the Dragons.” The series will depict this “war of succession,” taking inspiration from “The Dying of the Dragons” from Fire & Blood, which focuses on the civil war between Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and her half-brother Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) for their father’s throne.

What’s interesting, however, is how much the trailers for House of the Dragon seem to be focused on the tension between Rhaenyra, who becomes the kingdom’s first queen regnant, and Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen, heir presumptive to the Iron Throne. Based on Fire & Blood and the Targaryen lore, Daemon and his niece Rhaenyra keep the Targaryen inbreeding tradition alive by marrying. Perhaps the show will not only diverge from the book’s timeline but also change the nature of its characters’ relationships.