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House of the Dragon: Everything we know about the Game of Thrones prequel

The incestuous, dragon-riding Targaryens are the focus of the upcoming HBO show.

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The dragons are coming.

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The fire's not out yet, Game of Thrones fans. HBO has announced the first successor series to the huge fantasy hit. House of the Dragon will explore the history of one of the most dramatic families of George R.R. Martin's saga, the dragon-riding, sibling-marrying Targaryens.

Not a lot has been revealed about the new show, but here's what we know so far. 

The basics

In 2019, Martin published a gigantic Targaryen history, Fire & Blood Vol. 1, which delves into generation after generation of the dragon-riding family that eventually produced Daenerys, one of the major characters in the HBO Game of Thrones series. 

With all that tangled Targaryen drama now available, the book naturally had to inspire a new show. And yes, the book blends in plenty of other Westeros families, including the Starks and Lannisters, long before Ned and Arya and Cersei and Tyrion came along.

The new series is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It may not be alone: Two other possible Game of Thrones successor shows are still being kicked around, The Hollywood Reporter says, though the most-talked-about one, focusing on humanity's first battles with the White Walkers, isn't one of them.

Cast and crew

Martin himself and producer-writer Ryan Condal are listed as co-creators of the series. 

Condal will write the show and serve as co-showrunner along with Miguel Sapochnik. You may know Condal as the showrunner of the USA Network sci-fi show Colony, which ran from 2016-2018. "Working with Ryan on the development of House of the Dragon has been a dream," Martin wrote on his site.

Sapochnik will direct the pilot plus additional episodes. Fans might know Sapochnik's name -- he directed five Game of Thrones episodes, winning an Emmy and a Directors Guild Award for directing the impressive Battle of the Bastards episode.

Release date, production info

HBO has placed a full-season order for 10 episodes of the new show.

There's no date for a release yet, but sometime in 2021 seems possible, Entertainment Weekly notes. Martin said on his site that Condal has already done "a considerable amount of writing," But he noted that as of the announcement in October 2019, there's no cast and crew, no full episodes, and no budgets or production details.

Martin also said he doesn't know where the new show will film, but the settings might look familiar. "I expect we will revisit at least some of the countries David (Benioff) & Dan (Weiss) used for Game of Thrones (Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, and Spain)," Martin wrote. And if he can get that pesky Winds of Winter book finished, the author said he might even write some episodes himself.

Plot rumors and theories

Damn, Fire & Blood is a big book (700+ pages), covering 150 years of Targaryen history. And Martin has plans for a second volume someday. A 10-episode show, even if it's renewed for another season or more after that, can't possibly cover every event in the book.

But according to Entertainment Weekly, "the show will focus on a period that leads up to, then eventually includes, the most dramatic event during Targaryen rule: The Dance of Dragons, the Targaryen Civil War."

This story was first published on Oct. 31, 2019, and will be updated as events warrant.