One Game of Thrones prequel may be dead, but another one has been given the gift of life by HBO. House of the Dragon is coming to the premium cable network, it was announced Tuesday at WarnerMedia’s news-heavy HBO Max investors presentation. Foregoing a pilot, the House Targaryen story from George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal has received a 10-episode straight-to-series order.
GoT veteran Miguel Sapochnik and Condal will partner as showrunners and will also serve as executive producers along with GoT co-executive producer Martin and Vince Gerardis, HBO Programming President Casey Bloys announced at WarnerMedia Day.
House of the Dragon marks Sapochnik’s first project as part of an HBO overall deal where he will develop and produce content for both HBO and HBO Max.
Written by Condal based on Martin’s Fire & Blood, the series, which is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, tells the story of House Targaryen. Sapochnik will direct the pilot and additional episodes.
“The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories,” says Bloys. “We look forward to exploring the origins of HouseTargaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan and George.”
While narrative specifics on the project based on Martin’s Fire & Blood book are scarce, House of the Dragon will certainly be rich in the dragonlord ancestors of Daenerys. We also hear that the Dance of Dragons civil war alluded to in the blockbuster GoT TV series that just ended its Emmy-winning eighth season earlier this year, and in the books, may make up a significant part of this prequel’s storyline.
House of the Dragon was one of the remaining four GoT spinoffs in the works at various stages for HBO and its corporate overlords at AT&T. In the works with Martin and Condal since fall 2018, the House Targaryen project from old pals Martin and Condal takes on material originally explored by Bryan Cogman in one of the five GoT prequel scripts commissioned by the then Richard Plepler-run HBO two years ago.
With HBO Max set to launch next spring, the House of the Dragon project comes from the first installment in the pre-GoT book series was published in November 2018. Further chronicling the long-ruling house’s reign, the second Fire & Blood book is expected in the next year or so, we hear.
The unveiling of this latest GoT project moving ahead comes just hours after Deadline revealed exclusively that the Naomi Watts-led prequel pilot being showrun by Jane Goldman had its plug pulled by the premium cabler. Back in September, Deadline revealed that the Martin and Condal offering was nearing a green light. The project had been gaining momentum as rumors about problems behind the scenes of the Goldman pilots started to surface.
Sapochnik won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series as well as the DGA Award for the Game of Thrones episode, Battle of The Bastards. He was nominated for another Emmy in 2019 for directing the episode The Long Night and shared the Emmy for Best Drama Series as an Executive Producer for the final season. In total, Sapochnik has directed six episodes of Game of Thrones. He also directed the film, Bios for Amblin Studios starring Tom Hanks which debuts in the fall of 2020. Previously, Sapochnik directed episodes of True Detective for HBO and Banshee for Cinemax.
Ryan Condal was the co-creator and showrunner of USA’s Colony for three seasons. He was the writer of MGM’s Hercules and is currently adapting the graphic novel Analog as a feature for Lionsgate.
Sapochnik is repped by WME. Condal is repped by Grandview and McKuin Frankel. Martin is with manager Vince Gerardis. Both Condal and Martin also were repped in the original deal for the project, which was made last fall, by WME.