Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) attends the premiere of 'Suicide Tourist' during the 15th Zurich Film Festival, in Zurich, Switzerland, on October 05 2019. Photo by Francois Glories/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: This Is The Most Difficult Challenge For “House Of The Dragon”

Like winter in “Game of Thrones,” HBO’s prequel series “House of the Dragon” is approaching, and many are hoping that it would redeem the original’s dismal ending while revealing a new corner of the epic fantasy universe. It’s a tall order for any sequel, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, one of the show’s actors, recently revealed his opinion on what the show’s biggest challenge would be.

In the original season, Coster-Waldau played Jaime Lannister, a pivotal protagonist whose meticulously crafted arc was undone in one of the worst character endings in “Game of Thrones,” according to some. Jaime began his mission in the service of his twin sister Cersei (Lena Headey) and his Lannister family, but he finally chose to support his brother Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who intended to restore the Targaryens to the throne under Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Unfortunately, a last-minute return to Cersei shattered that evolving loyalties.

House of the Dragon” is set 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” and it depicts the Targaryens’ rule. While the prequel series’ timeframe may be far distant from the events of the original, the actor believes that some of the world-building that took place in the original will certainly influence how fans react to the new characters. The main hurdle for “House of the Dragon,” according to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, will be:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that while he was impressed by what he saw in the initial “House of the Dragon” teaser trailer, he realized the show needed to stand apart from “Game of Thrones.”

“But it is a very different show. It’s its own show,”” Coster-Waldau stated, wishing the production luck but also expressing his hope that “the success of ‘Game of Thrones’ won’t get in the way for people when they experience this new show.”

The problem, according to Coster-Waldau, is that while “Game of Thrones” had some flexibility in its early seasons to build characters and set up broader stories storylines, “House of Dragons” may not have the same luxury.

“I don’t think they have the luxury we had,” the actor explained. “They have to start with where we were in like season four or five, because that’s what they will be compared to.”

Comparisons are unavoidable as the first substantial follow-up to what is widely regarded as one of the best TV shows of the decade. Still, Coster-Waldau has a point: if the show can’t capture viewers right away, it won’t succeed. The actor, on the other hand, remained upbeat and ended his remarks on a positive note, saying, “But I really hope that it’s a massive hit for them.”