Game of Thrones may be over, but Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms will not be forgotten. Despite the fact that HBO has canceled its untitled prequel series set during the mythical Age of Heroes, it is moving forward with another prequel.
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House of the Dragon, a series based on George R.R. Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, has been ordered with a 10-episode first season. And we now know that House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO on August 21, 2022.
But what exactly is House of the Dragon, and how does it relate to Game of Thrones? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the time period and the characters and events that will likely form the foundation of the new series.
When does House of the Dragon take place compared to Game of Thrones?
Daenerys Stormborn returned to Westeros with fire and blood. But that was all the Seven Kingdoms knew for many years. Her forefathers once ruled the Realm with the power of flesh-made fire. That includes the peak of House Targaryen’s power, which House of the Dragon will investigate. But when exactly was that?
The history of Westeros dates back millennia, but the Targaryen calendar only covers a short period of time. It is based on the conclusion of Aegon’s Conquest. The High Septon of Oldtown crowned Aegon king two years after he arrived in Westeros, on what became King’s Landing.
From then on, the Seven Kingdoms used a new calendar, with “AC” standing for “After Conquest” and “BAC” standing for “Before Conquest.”
Game of Thrones began in 298 AC, nearly three centuries after Aegon’s formal ascension. The show typically covered one calendar year per season, but this changed near the end. Game of Thrones lasted roughly seven years in total.
House of the Dragon will cover a longer time span overall, but a much shorter time span during its main event. It all starts in 103 AC with the Old King, Jaeherys I. The Targaryen king who ruled for the longest time had no obvious heir. Viserys, his grandson, ascended to the throne shortly before his grandfather died, after a Great Council named him an heir.
Viserys I wanted to avoid any questions about royal succession after his death. So, in 105 A.C., the King swore to accept his daughter Rhaenyra as Princess of Dragonstone and his heir. Viserys chose her after his wife died during childbirth. He had no surviving sons, and Rhaenrya was set to become Westeros’ first female ruler. However, this was not without controversy. Viserys prioritized her over his presumed successor, his brother Daemon.
But the real trouble began a year later. Viserys married Alicent Hightower, with whom he had a son, Aegon. Queen Alicent desired that her child succeed his older half-sister to the Iron Throne.
Despite the King’s efforts to keep the peace and his insistence that Rhaenrya remains his heir, during Viserys’ reign, Rhaenyra and her supporters clashed with Alicent and hers. Following the death of King Viserys in 129 AC, a cold war (with plenty of violence) became a civil war of fire and blood. The Dance of the Dragons lasted two lethal years, ending in 131 AC. All of this puts the show between 200 and 170 years before Game of Thrones.
Will familiar Game of Thrones characters return?
House of the Dragon may disappoint Game of Thrones fans hoping to see some familiar faces. Given that it takes place 200 years in the past, the cast of characters is bound to be diverse. However, it is unclear how much of the Westerosi timeline the show will eventually cover.
Certain characters, such as Maester Aemon, were old enough to remember the Targaryen reign and the bloodshed that ensued. If the setting jumps ahead 100 years or so in a future season, we might see much younger versions of characters like Aemon.
House of the Dragon could even delve deeper into the events of Robert’s Rebellion, especially if the series makes the downfall of the Mad King the focal point of its final season. This would be a way to incorporate well-known characters such as Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark.
However, given that Game of Thrones has already explored the conflict through multiple flashbacks, we doubt the entire series would be geared toward filling in the blanks of a story that fans are already familiar with.
Stream House of the Dragon on Sunday, August 21, 2022, on HBO Max.