Matt Smith has promised that his Game of Thrones prequel series “House of the Dragon” will not be a carbon replica of the original. George R.R. Martin’s world, as depicted in his Song of Ice and Fire book series, is vast in scope and history. It’s no wonder that HBO, which brought the main series to television with Game of Thrones, would want to create a slew of spin-offs centered in Westeros and its environs. “House of the Dragon” will be the first to move past the development stage; filming began earlier this year, and the first season will broadcast on HBO next year.
“House of the Dragon” will have a different focus than Game of Thrones, which focused on the warring houses of Westeros as they fought for possession of the Iron Throne. The prequel opens during the reign of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) and explores the history of House Targaryen long before Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) took her first steps, hundreds of years before the flagship series. “House of the Dragon” also stars Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, and Sonoya Mizuno, in addition to Smith, who plays Prince Daemon Targaryen.
Smith discussed the problems of a show like “House of the Dragon” arriving in the shadow of an international phenomenon like Game of Thrones during an interview with CNET to promote his new film Last Night in Soho. Smith compared approaching a beloved property from a different perspective to “throwing paint at the wall and seeing what sticks,” implying that newcomers must bring their own style and plans to the IP. When it comes to “House of the Dragon”, the Doctor Who alum says it won’t strive to be a literal imitation of Game of Thrones. Smith elaborated:
I suppose that paint is your sort of attitude you bring in and see what sticks. We’re trying to make a show that’s entertaining on lots of different levels and has a similar scope and ambition to the previous show, in many respects. But obviously, you’re never going to be able to re-create the success of Game of Thrones, because that was a very particular point in time. It was its own unique entity.
Though Game of Thrones viewers may recognize features from “House of the Dragon”, such as Lannisters and an Iron Throne, there will undoubtedly be significant variations between the two shows. Given that they are set in completely different eras of time and feature distinct characters, “House of the Dragon” should be able to stand on its own. “House of the Dragon” co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik, who previously helmed episodes of Game of Thrones, recently hinted that it will aim to honor its predecessor while also trying something new, basically reflecting Smith’s own statements.
“House of the Dragon” has a lot to live up to, and it’s not just because it’s the first Game of Thrones prequel. The first series had a very polarizing ending, which has left fans with varied sentiments about the entire franchise. However, Smith’s claim that “House of the Dragon” will endeavor to offer a variety of entertainment options suggests that viewers who were disappointed by Game of Thrones’ conclusion may enjoy the new show. Next year, audiences will be able to find out for themselves.