“Game of Thrones is very much about multiple families fighting for justice and decency. There’s murder and betrayal, all of that is there [on House of the ]but it’s really about the dissolution of a family that happens to be the most powerful in the history of Westeros,” said Ryan Condal, co-creator and co-producer of “House of the Dragon,” in August. It will premiere later on Disney+ on in India and available on HBO Max. Known for writing the sci-fi Colony, Kondar has known A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin for nearly 20 , The first meeting was at a book signing when Kondar was still working as an accountant.

In “House of the Dragon” — the first Game of Thrones spinoff, and HBO has more in the works — Kondar finds himself working with Miguel Sapochnik’s Game of Thrones veteran. Sapochnik directed some notable Game of Thrones , two of which are considered the best episodes of the series. He was behind the Wildling in season 5 of “Hardhome,” the final two episodes of “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter” in season 6, and the longest (and darkest) of the series, “The Long Night,” part of the eighth and final season that was rightfully maligned.

The two had earlier developed a project together that didn’t make it to the screen. When Kondar first approached Sapochnik for ‘Dragon House’, “He was shooting the final season of Hell. I think he shot night scenes for ‘The Long Night’ for 11 weeks straight and told me, ‘I’ll never do it again’ Anything to do with Game of Thrones, thank you so much.'”

Sapochnik noted that while each season of Game of Thrones was challenging, eight were “relatively traumatic.” But after he got some much-needed rest, Sapocnik accepted Kondar’s offer. He’s another co-showrunner on “House of the Dragon” — and, of course, has directed multiple episodes as well.

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Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

Dragon House is about the dangers of patriarchy

“Our story begins with the Targaryens in a safe place because they have dragons – they have weapons of mass destruction – and as long as they do, it’s hard to imagine anyone standing in front of them. They know it, but this hubris could be their downfall,” Sapochnik said of the beginning of “House of the Dragon.” The first episode, titled “The Dragon’s Heir,” is directed by Sapochnik and takes place in Westeros two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones.

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The seriously ill King Jaehaerys Targaryen, who outlived his two sons, convened the council at Harrenhal to vote for a successor. The head of the ruling family must choose between his grandchildren: his eldest son’s daughter Rhaenys (Eve Best) and her cousin Viserys (Paddy Considine) . Despite Rhaenys’ stronger claims, the council for Viserys. Just because he is a man, there is no precedent for a woman on the Iron Throne.

Nineteen years later, a similar story plays out, as King Viserys, who lacks a male heir, must decide on his successor. His choices are his daughter Rhineira (Millie Alcock) or his younger brother Damon (Matt Smith). Naturally, because he was a man, Dimon was considered the presumptive heir. But Dimon is also reckless and moody. Viserys makes a bold choice to nominate Rhaenyra as his heir, which sparks a feud between House Targaryens that culminates in Game of Thrones’ famous civil war – The Rage of Dragons dance.

“Our story, in many ways, is about overthrowing a very, very old patriarchy, and that’s one of the main things that appealed to me [House of the Dragon] Because it’s a story that’s very resonant and very important today,” said Eve Best, who plays Rhaenys, also known as the Queen Who Never Was. House of the Dragon consulting producer Jocelyn Diaz added Road: “There is a key line of dialogue when Rhaenys says to Rhaenyra ‘A man would rather put the kingdom under the torch than see a woman on the Iron Throne. ‘” It turned out to be predictive.”

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Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Valerian in ‘Dragon House’
Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

“I think this is [House of the Dragon] It’s so compelling that even though it’s fantasy and takes place in a completely different , the theme is still so strong in today’s world,” says Emily Kelly, who plays Alison Hightower, Rhaenyra’s red face Confidant and daughter of Sir Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), Hand of the King. “How many women are prime ministers or presidents? How many women’s rights issues do men raise? We can go on to discuss how it relates to our current modern politics. “

Dragon House will use time jumping

“Miguel, Ryan and I describe Alice as a product of the patriarchy. She is acutely aware of where she fits in the world. She knows Game of Thrones very well,” Kelly continued, describing her role How to fit into the universe of Dragon House. “In this world that is explored throughout the series, how clear is her relationship to those around her. But I believe she understands it better than Rhaenyra.”

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As for Rhaenyla, Alcock noted that she “has been talking about her mother needing a son all her life. She was born into this world knowing she wasn’t enough. She was born a very strong person, with a A palpable power resides within her, which is why she is committed to proving that she is as good as a man. She rides dragons, she pulls pranks, she speaks out. Everything her father desperately sees and hears When that happens, that’s enough. And then once that happens, the relationship with her father becomes really interesting.”

Unlike Game of Thrones, which follows all characters in a linear fashion as they grow, House of the Dragon will use time jumps to tell its story spanning a decade. While Alcock and Kelly played Rhaenyra and Allison at the start of the season, Emma Darcy and Olivia Cooke will take over as House of Dragons moves forward some 10 years. After said time jump, all other main (adult) roles are played by the same actors.

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Dragon House Millie Alcock Emily Kelly Dragon House

Millie Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Emily Kelly as Allison Hightower of Dragon House
Image credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

Carey sees this as a crucial move. “It seems to me that people expect Alicent to be [House of the Dragon], but there’s more,” she said. “I’m not ashamed as a villain — in a sense, if you hate Alice and have a strong opinion of her, then ‘of course, great! ‘ That means I’ve done my job well. But there’s more to these two women, and I think that’s why making them younger to show how they can be the women they aspire to be. “

Surprisingly, the two sets of actors — Alcock and Carey, and Darcy and Cook — didn’t work together, Alcock notes: “It was Miguel and Ryan’s suggestion, but it It also just naturally, like we are each figuring out our own roles. It’s almost like different people. It’s a huge time jump. It’s 10 years. I mean, I even Haven’t lived two 10 years. It’s such an important part of a person’s life to be missed.”

Dragons abound in Game of Thrones spinoffs

Of course, as the title says, there are dragons. If you thought three of Game of Thrones weren’t enough, House of the Dragon is the show for you. “At the height of our story, there will be 17 dragons,” Kondar noted. They come in all shapes and sizes – each with its own characteristics. Condal added: “There is a humanity in the dragons, they form a bond with the rider, they bond with the rider, and each one has a unique personality.”

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Raenyra’s Syrax dives like a golden eagle, Daemon’s Caraxes is moody and unpredictable like him, Arrax is a very rudimentary animal, and Vhagar – 130 years old – is a grumpy old woman the size of a Boeing 747 aircraft. Dragon House also defines different roles for dragons. There are working horses, more canine-like dragons, and even dinosaur-like dragons.

Age and traits influenced dragon design, and Condal and Sapochnik set new rules. “We came up with the idea that dragons continue to grow they die, and they die because they get too ,” Sapochnik said.

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Angus Bickerton, Visual Effects Supervisor at House of the Dragon, added: “And older dragons are heavier and looser, and they are struggling to carry their own weight. They have plants growing on them, and these symbiotic parasites live on them. […] Obviously we reference a lot of creatures, especially various types of lizards. We looked at the symbionts that live on them, and the growths you see when whales have barnacles. All of these things are incorporated into the design of our dragons. “

Oh, and unlike Game of Thrones, the dragons in House of Dragons are also more colorful, thanks to author GRRM.”We had an important conversation with George,” Saponick said. [R.R. Martin] And about dragons, he said, ‘Please, please, can we make dragons colorful? Because that’s how I’ve always imagined them. You can see them from a distance, in the sky, and know exactly which dragon it is. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do. “

Dragon House release date

Over the course of the series, many of the 17 dragons will have their (hot) endings as the Targaryens fight each other. (If you want to know what happened, read Fire and Blood, the GRRM book that House of Dragons is based on.) Now, it’s the start of a whole new for the House of Dragons cast. .

“We’re just our whole little lives, and now all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re on the most anticipated show in the world,'” Alcock said. “You’re going to say, ‘Me? To everyone’s surprise? It’s me? It’s me.’ It’s very tricky, and I don’t think any of us got it right. And I don’t think it’s going to happen a year later. the whole show was over. Then we could look back at it with fresh eyes.”

The 10-episode “House of the Dragon” will premiere on HBO Max on August 21 and on Disney+ Hotstar in India on August 22.