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'House of the Dragon': Here's Why the Iron Throne Looks Different

The Iron Throne has a new look.

Meara Isenberg Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
2 min read
house of the dragon

The Iron Throne got a revamp this season.

Ollie Upton/HBO

Sunday's House of the Dragon premiere presented a version of King's Landing that differs from the one viewers may remember from Game of Thrones. Among the city's fresh elements is the Iron Throne, a Game of Thrones staple that now appears grander and more dangerous to the occupier. (Slight spoiler from the premiere: King Viserys sustained a few cuts from sitting on it.)

HBO's House of the Dragon is a fantasy series set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and stars Milly Alcock, Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and others as members of the dragon-riding House Targaryen. In a Vanity Fair interview published last week, House of the Dragon co-showrunner Ryan J. Condal tackled the revamped throne, which serves a period when the Targaryens are flourishing.

"We went into the series knowing that this was a time of high decadence," Condal told Vanity Fair. "We consider this the apex of the Targaryen empire, so we really wanted to communicate this idea of wealth and prosperity and the fact that there had been six years of peace. The Targaryens really were able to develop all the nice things that happened: peacetime, statues and art, and roads and fountains."

House of the Dragon contrasts from Game of Thrones, where the Targaryens are no longer around (for the most part) and have been replaced by Robert Baratheon, who isn't known to put "coin back into the betterment of the kingdom," Condal said. He also noted that the creators of Game of Thrones had "a fifth" of the prequel's resources.

"I think (original Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) created this very iconic thing," Condal said. "...What we wanted to do is honor that, but also tell the story of a more decadent time, and also communicate that 200 years has passed. If you look very closely, you'll see that the original throne is there. It's just added to and augmented, which suggests that history changes things at some point in the intervening time."

Both House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones are based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy novels. Martin, who also took part in the Vanity Fair interview, said the House of the Dragon creators developed an Iron Throne that more closely resembles the one described in his books. Specifically, it's more like artist Marc Simonetti's depiction of the throne, which Martin calls the best out there. (Though, to be production-friendly, it's not as tall as it should be.)