George R.R. Martin talks Game of Thrones prequel – and what you need to read before watching

Game of Thrones prequel
(Image credit: Getty)

George R.R. Martin has spoken openly for the first time about the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon – including possible settings, what you should read before watching, and whether he’ll be putting pen to paper for the new HBO series.

“House of the Dragon has been in development for several years (though the title has changed a couple of times during that process). It was actually the first concept I pitched to HBO when we started talking about a successor show, way back in the summer of 2016,” Martin revealed on his personal blog.

But the Song of Ice and Fire author may not be taking on any writing duties. While he “[expects] to be involved in all of this to some extent” and “may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of Game of Thrones,” he won’t be attached as writer until after his next book, Winds of Winter, is complete.

In terms of actual plot details, we know very little other than the premise: it’ll revolve around the Targaryen family and take place centuries before the events of Game of Thrones. It may revisit some old locales, though, as Martin believes, “I expect we will revisit at least some of the countries David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss, Game of Thrones showrunners] used for Game of Thrones (Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, and Spain).”

If you do want a sneak peek, however, you could do a lot worse than Martin’s two recommended reads. He states: “If you’d like to know a bit more of what the show will be about… you might want to pick up a copy of two anthologies I did with Gardner Dozois, Dangerous Women and Rogues, and then move on to Archmaester Gyldayn’s history, Fire & Blood.”

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.