Just hours after news broke that Naomi Watts' Game of Thrones prequel series (opens in new tab) had been cancelled (opens in new tab), HBO announced that a second, separate spin-off has been given a full season commission. Titled House of the Dragon, the new series will take place hundreds, not thousands, of years before Game of Thrones and depict how House Targaryen fell from ruling Westeros into ruin.
HBO made the announcement first at the HBO Max investors presentation. A short while later, the network confirmed the announcement on Twitter and debuted a fiery new poster with the slogan "Fire Will Reign."
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin co-created the series alongside Ryan Condal, who will also serve as co-showrunner. Miguel Sapochnik – who directed some of Game of Thrones' most pivotal episodes, including "Hardhome" and "Battle of the Bastards" – will direct the pilot and serve as House of the Dragon's co-showrunner.
We've known for a while that one of four Game of Thrones prequel series in development would center around the Targaryens and take place 300 years before the events of the main Game of Thrones series. House of the Dragon is based on Martin's supplementary novel Fire & Blood, which details the rise of House Targaryen through Aegon's Conquest and extends to the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.
The news comes swiftly on the heels of less-exciting news that another Game of Thrones prequel, which was to star Naomi Watts and had already filmed its pilot episode, has been axed after a pilot was filmed. In the words of the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands, "What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger."
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