House of the Dragon is the latest addition to HBO’s Game of Thrones franchise, and fans have been anticipating its release since the original series ended in 2019. The new series serves as a prequel to the original series, telling the story of the beginning of the end of House Targaryen, set 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones.
House of the Dragon boasts an impressive cast including Matt Smith, Milly Alcock, Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, and Steve Toussaint, all of whom play different Tagaryen (or Tagaryen-related) characters vying for the Iron Throne. Just like Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon was actually based on a book by George RR Martin, which many fans are happy about, making them hopeful that the showrunners won’t stray too far from the source material. Here’s a look at the book House of the Dragon is based on.
Who Wrote the Game of Thrones Series?
The Game of Thrones series was a huge success when it aired on HBO from 2011 to 2019. It was one of the most-viewed television series in history, per No Film School, and built up a legion of devoted fans who adored the show. The series introduced us to many major Westerosi Houses, all trying to reign supreme, and we learned of the politics, rivalries, and history that existed within it, as well as the risk of the White Walkers that was constantly on the horizon.
Game of Thrones was developed from the series of novels written by Martin named A Song of Ice and Fire. Indeed, the first novel in the series was titled Game of Thrones, published in 1996. The series was initially envisioned as a trilogy, however, it developed further than this and five out of a planned-seven books have currently been released. The novels were extremely popular and have become some of the best-selling books of all time.
Fire & Blood
House of the Dragon is also based on a Martin book, this time called Fire & Blood. The book was written to tell the history of House Targaryen, a major family that we’ve seen in A Song of Ice and Fire and thus Game of Thrones. Martin wanted to tell the story in two volumes, per EW, as the material became too large, and the first of these was released in 2018.
Fire & Blood begins with the tale of Aegon the Conqueror, and leads to the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold the Iron Throne, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart. The novels received mixed reviews from critics, however, were popular with fans and served as the basis for the new series focusing on the Targaryen family.
Fans Were Upset With Game of Thrones’ Finale
The original Game of Thrones series was a massive success, and the show quickly started to move in its own direction due to running out of material from Martin’s published novels to use. In the tail-end of the series, some of these decisions proved to be controversial among audiences.
The ending in particular proved to be a controversial and sore subject for fans of the series, when Daenerys is unable to halt her path of destruction in an effort to take the Iron Throne, which results in her being killed by Jon. Tyrion proposes that all future monarchs be chosen by Westerosi leaders, rather than familial succession. Bran Stark also proclaimed King Bran the Broken. Fans were very critical of this ending, which felt rushed and unearned, and which likely prompted showrunners to stick to the source material for any future additions to the franchise.
How Will House of the Dragon Differ?
Due to the problems with the ending of Game of Thronesthere was a lot of pressure on House of the DRagon producers to not make the same mistake again. They have a completed book series for reference, and were strongly encouraged by fans to stick to the source material and not make the same mistake of making their own creative assumptions / decisions again.
There are some differences between House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood that have been noted by fans already, but they are small by comparison, such as Ser Vaemond Velaryon being Corlys Velaryon’s nephew in the books, not his younger brother. Vaemond and half a dozen other younger Velaryon cousins are involved in a subplot in the books, but they’ve apparently been condensed into one character as Corlys’s younger brother Vaemond. If the source material is followed, fans will hopefully be much happier this time around.