Photo: ‘House of the Dragon’ vs ‘Game of Thrones’
‘Game of Thrones’ Before, Now ‘House of the Dragon’
Game of Thrones was first published on August 1, 1996, by master storyteller and author George R.R. Martin. He created the wonderful world of the Seven Kingdoms based loosely on our own, using history as an inspiration. Eventually, the novel was read by the showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, and after selling the idea for television, we got ‘Game of Thrones’ on HBO. There is no doubt that the show ended in some controversy, but this might just be the reason’ House of the Dragon succeeds.
At the beginning of ‘Game of Thrones’ development, George was heavily involved in the process. According to a Times interview, George was specifically involved when it came to the scripts, casting, and on-set consulting. What better than having the man who created this world be such a part of the process? Sometimes this can get in the way of the showrunner’s vision, but for the first four seasons, this was no apparent issue.
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Not As Involved
After the fourth season, George said that they just didn’t have him involved as much anymore. There are multiple reasons why this could have happened, nonetheless, during this time, the author finished a new work, Fire and Blood in November of 2018. HBO then came to George in 2015 to find another idea of his based in the same Seven Kingdoms. Three years later came a book, and a year after they were in pre-production for the new television series House of the Dragon.’ This tells me that maybe his departure from ‘Game of Thrones’ could have been because there was more content and money to be made.
During the last two seasons of ‘Game of Thrones’ there was massive fallout. Audiences felt disappointed with the rapid end of the show. Aside from the last two seasons, many people regard it as one of the best shows of all time.
It is the Politics
I tend to agree with people who say it was that good. The political play of Westeros is legendary. The characters drive ‘Game of Thrones’ plot just as it does in ‘House of the Dragon’. Even in our world, kings and queens fall to political scheming. The desire for the throne gives ambition to pride for everyone but those who happen to sit in it. . ‘House of the Dragon’ feels like George is refining what it means to desire power and for the characters to pave forward a fate that leads to tragedy for an earlier people.
The weaving of the storylines brings us right back to the early days of ‘Game of Thrones.’ ‘House of the Dragon’ uses all the same games we all know so well from its predecessor. The battle to keep power is of the utmost importance, and it shows within each episode. The way each person gets there can be downright dangerous or deadly. This is one of the main appeals of Westeros, even during the peaceful King Viserys Targaryen’s reign.
Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) in ‘Game of Thrones’ has a similar personality to Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) in “House of the Dragon.’ The same can be said about Daemon’s son Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell). Just as in our world, genetics pass traits down to our offspring. Some science has shown us that personality traits can tend to be passed down to your children. The show runs into this sort of reality quite often and it makes watching these characters even more interesting.
Each house has a presence that need not be explained but now only wandered. We know what happened years from now, and we met a multitude of houses in the Seven Kingdoms. ‘House of the Dragon’ can explore the Targaryen family in depth during their reign over all of Westeros without digging too deep into who they are simply because we know.
George chose his own writer and co-showrunner (Ryan Condal) to help him transfer this deadly age of dragons to television. They were friends before but eventually became the main creative force behind the show. Together they build the episodes for television based on his novel. This team has done some incredible work so far, bringing us back to an earlier time in Westeros when dragons were plentiful.
For now, we can only hope things continue this way between HBO and George. It is plain to see that when he is involved with his own content he can entertain. He is a master storyteller and any author should be. Who better to helm the storyline than the man who created it? His style of blending the plot and characters in between their own duties and desires is what makes him special. In each episode, we get more of it and soon people will crave more ‘House of the Dragon’
He Who Builds It
The point here is that the true power of the story comes from the one who crafts it; The same as a piece of jewelry or painting as a representation of its creator. Westeros was created by George, and we are blessed to have his storytelling power behind HBO’s prequel. The similarities are plentiful, and it is no wonder George and his partnership with Ryan Condal are finding success.
‘House of the Dragon’ is already picking up steam with every episode, logging more views as it continues. They have been in the top three of streaming view count for weeks. This is a good sign for the show considering they want at least four seasons. When it comes to Lord of the Rings, I would say J.R.R. Tolkien was the lore keeper. Just as J.R.R is the true storyteller behind Lord of the Rings, George is the keeper of records for Westeros. He is the ultimate historian of information on all things Seven Kingdoms.
Check out ‘House of the Dragon” on HBO now if you enjoyed ‘Game of Thrones.’ It is very reminiscent of the first several seasons of ‘GOT’ that we all fell in love with. While it is easy to distinguish the world they live in and the games they seek to play, the new show has its own feel. It’s a feeling I do not quite want to put down just yet. If this were a novel, I would be up all night.
Shows: House of Dragons and Game of Thrones
Creator: George R.R. Martin
Showrunners: George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal
First Season Finale: October 23rd, 2022
By Nathan Paul Pasquale
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