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SYFY WIRE House of the Dragon

'House of the Dragon': George R.R. Martin hails 'Game of Thrones' spinoff series as 'dark' and 'visceral'

The fiery Game of Thrones prequel series will premiere on HBO sometime in 2022.

By Josh Weiss
House of the Dragon

HBO's first Game of Thrones spinoff project — House of the Dragon — just got a fiery stamp of approval from George R.R. Martin himself. Posting on his blog, the acclaimed author praised the upcoming prequel series hailing from co-showrunners/executive producers, Ryan Condal (Colony) and veteran Thrones director, Miguel Sapochnik, who helmed the pilot and several other episodes.

"I know a lot of what you will be seeing. (I, um, wrote the book)," wrote Martin, who developed the show for television along with Condal and serves as an executive producer. "Also … mum’s the word now, don’t tell anyone… I’ve seen a rough cut of the first episode. And loved it. It’s dark, it’s powerful, it’s visceral… just the way I like my epic fantasy."

The blog post was made in response to IMDb naming House of the Dragon as one of the most-anticipated shows of the new year (Amazon's Lord of the Rings prequel and Lucasfilm's Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff are also among the Top 3).

Based on Fire & Blood — Martin's published history of the dragon-loving, Iron Throne-creating, and sometimes madness-prone Targaryen family — House of the Dragon takes place 200 years before the events of the flagship series. The ensemble cast includes: Paddy Considine (King Viserys Targaryen), Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen), Emma D'Arcy's (Rhaenyra Targaryen), Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower), Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower), Steve Toussaint (Lord Corlys Velaryon), Wil Johnson (Ser Vaemond Velaryon), John Macmillan (Ser Laenor Velaryon), Savannah Steyn (Lady Laena Velayron), and Theo Nate (Ser Laenor Velaryon).

The players are set, but as is the way of the world of Westeros, not everyone will be left standing when the dragon smoke clears. Martin, who is notorious for killing off fan favorite characters in shockingly brutal ways, confirmed as much.

"Ryan and Miguel have done an amazing job, and the cast… just as with Game of Thrones, most viewers will only have heard of a few of the actors, but I think you are going to fall in love with a lot of them (Only to have your heart broken later when… but no, that would be telling)," the writer concluded. "I think the Targaryens are in very good hands. Anticipate away.  I do not think you will be disappointed."

House of the Dragon is expected to premiere on HBO sometime in 2022. Vince Gerardis, Ron Schmid, and Sara Hess (a writer as well) are also executive producers. Clare Kilner, Geeta V. Patel, and Greg Yaitanes (a co-executive producer) round out the directing crew.