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The Game of Thrones Prequel Will Have Its Own Unique Tone

Miguel Sapochnik says House of the Dragon will respect but also stand apart from the series it's spun off from.

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King Viserys gripping the hilt of his sword as he sits on the Iron Throne.
King Viserys shows off his sword and Targaryen sigil ring while sitting on the Iron Throne.
Screenshot: HBO

While HBO might be betting on House of the Dragon becoming the (actual) next Game of Thrones in terms of its possible ratings success, one of the more promising things about the show from an audience perspective has been its potential to explore the history of George R.R. Martin’s Westeros with a story distinct from its predecessor.

Though House of the Dragon is a canonical Game of Thrones prequel, showrunner Miguel Sapochnik and the rest of the show’s creative team very much wanted their series to have its own identity that, while complimentary to Game of Thrones, could also stand on its own. In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Sapochnik went into detail about how much respect for Game of Thrones the team came to the new project with, and how everyone felt that there was no need to reinvent the wheel regarding certain elements of the show’s storytelling.


House of the Dragon has its own tone that will evolve and emerge over the course of the show,” Sapochnik said. “But first, it’s very important to pay respects and homage to the original series, which was pretty groundbreaking. We’re standing on the shoulders of that show and we’re only here because of that show.”

Sapochnik, who directed six episodes of the original Game of Thrones, explained how his previous experience with the franchise made taking on his new role as showrunner smooth in certain regards, but more complicated in others. Rather than putting energy into things like drastically differentiating House of the Dragons’ color palettes from Game of Thrones’, Sapochnik said he’s found himself prioritizing working with people he knows. He hopes that Game of Thrones fans will be able to appreciate House of the Dragon as its own thing, but he believes the show “will have to earn that—it won’t happen overnight.”


“Hopefully fans will enjoy it for the thing that it is,” Sapochnik said. “We’ll be lucky if we ever come close to what the original show was, so we’re just putting our heads down and getting on with it and hoping what we come up with is worthy of having a Game of Thrones title.”

House of the Dragon hits HBO and HBO Max in 2022.

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