HBO is a veteran of the fantasy genre, crafting one of the most popular series to hit the air with Game of Thrones. The first season, which starred Sean Bean, Mark Addy, and Harry Lloyd alongside the series regulars, took time to set up the stakes, characters, and motives that would continue for the next seven seasons.
The spinoff, House of the Dragon, was released earlier this year and took the same approach toward its first season. Through the first nine episodes, audiences have been introduced to the Blacks and Greens, the two sides of a family headed toward inevitable war. Showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik knew they needed to spend time looking at characters such as Alicent Hightower, Rhaenyra Targaryen, Daemon Targaryen, and their children. However, per Deadline, Condal recently spoke with The Times in London, saying producers intentionally wanted a slow pace in the first season so audiences would be invested in the characters.
“We will get to the spectacle. But you have to understand these people’s complexities before they’re thrown into war,” Condal explains. “Series two will hit rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of Game of Thrones, but it will have been earned, and viewers will feel the tragedies because we put the work in.”
The first season of House of the Dragon could be confusing for some, as the constant time jumps and recasting required attention to detail from fans as they learn who is who in the royal families. Condal acknowledged the difficulty of getting audiences to stick with the series, though he believes it was worth it “It is a challenging series because we live in a world where people are torn between multiple screens and channels, and we are requiring you to pay attention through crazy timeline shifting and actor recasting,” he says. “But it’s made an impact.”
House of the Dragon is Ready to Debut the Finale
The tenth and final episode of House of the Dragon is ready for its premiere, debuting Oct. 23. Although the episode was leaked earlier this week, fans eagerly anticipate the official release from HBO. The finale, titled The Black Queen, will see the younger generation take a more prominent role in the series.
Harry Collett, Ewan Mitchell, Elliot Grihault, Tom Glynn-Carney, and Bethany Antonia will see more screen time as the series progresses, acting as the children of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. They should be important in the coming war, known as the Dance of the Dragons, as they would be the future heirs to the Iron Throne, depending on which side wins. Fans can tune into the finale of House of the Dragon, premiering on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 9 pm E.T. on HBO and HBO Max.