House of the Dragon creator wasn’t impressed by Game of Thrones dragons: ‘They were all the same’

House of the Dragon Episode 10
House of the Dragon Episode 10 /

House of the Dragon’s creator, Ryan Condal, talks dragons and the making of the show.

Back in March of 2023, magic, dragons, and a regal panel descended upon the DGA Theater, pulling us back into the intricate web of George R.R. Martin’s universe. In the heart of this enchanted gathering, a special screening and discussion unfolded around HBO’s House of the Dragon. The illustrious creator of this installment to the Game of Thrones franchise, Ryan Condal, graced the stage, sharing his journey, fears, and triumphs.

He didn’t shy away from acknowledging the weight of the crown he wore as the show’s creator, “Fast forward 20 years and be put in this position to be in charge of the successor to the biggest television show in the history of the universe was a lot to take on.” This was met with a humorous quip from Martin, adding, “And one that won the most Emmys.” Condal responded to the jest with good humor, “Thank you for reminding me.”

Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon , Aegon's Conquest
House of the Dragon episode 5 /

Condal’s fan-born fervor drove his desire to deliver a series that would satisfy the appetites of even the most ravenous Game of Thrones fans. “As a fan, I just set out to make the show that I wanted to see. I think we have done that and I’m very proud of it.”

The panel, ignited by the witty Josh Gad as the moderator, included Matt Smith, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Rhys Ifans, Olivia Cooke, Paddy Considine, Emily Carey, Fabien Frankel, as well as Condal and Martin. Gad set the tone with his tongue-in-cheek summary of the HBO drama as “a cautionary tale of childbirth without healthcare.”

George R.R. Martin weighs in on House of the Dragon adaptation

George R.R. Martin, whose Song of Ice and Fire series forms the foundation for the Game of Thrones universe, confessed to the challenging process of adaptation. He lauded the creative process of Ryan Condal and his team, underlining the contrast between the expansive narrative of the original series and the historical sketch of Fire and Blood, the source material for House of the Dragon.

“It’s an adaptation, but it’s also a creation,” Martin stated, highlighting the compellingly horrid childbirth scene developed entirely by Condal and his team.

The show is indeed bathed in spontaneity, as Considine vividly described an improvised scene involving his disease-ravaged character’s crowning moment. The crown slipping off his head as he ascended the throne was an accidental flourish that made it into the final cut.

Condal remained tight-lipped about the second season, which is currently in production, but tantalized fans with the promise of five new dragons. Martin, once critical of the dragons in Game of Thrones for their lack of uniqueness. “They were like all the same,” he said. But he did express his satisfaction with these new draconian additions, emphasizing their distinct personalities. “They had personality,” he continued. “They came alive. It came as great satisfaction to me.”

As the evening concluded, it was clear that House of the Dragon is not merely riding on the coattails of its predecessor. The creators and cast are etching new narratives, breathing life into historical outlines, and infusing their creative essence into every corner of this legendary universe. As fans, we can only wait with bated breath to see how this new chapter in the story of ice and fire unfolds.

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