House of the Dragon

George R.R. Martin Reveals ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 3 and 4 Prep Is Underway, Calls Season 2 Episodes ‘Powerful’ and ‘Gut-Wrenching’

Apparently still hard at work on the sixth “Song of Ice and Fire” novel “The Winds of Winter,” George R.R. Martin took to his blog to recap his recent trip to London, which included meeting his book publisher, the team behind his Westeros-set stage adaptation and the writers of “House of the Dragon,” who screened the first two episodes of Season 2 for the “Game of Thrones” author.

“The highlight of the trip … had to be the sneak preview that [showrunner] Ryan [Condal] gave me of the first two episodes of ‘House of the Dragon,’ Season 2. (Rough cuts, of course),” Martin wrote in a Dec. 6 blog post. “Of course, I am hardly objective when talking about anything based on my own work… but I have to say, I thought both episodes were just great. (And they are not even finished yet.) Dark, mind you. Very dark. They may make you cry. (I did not cry myself, but one of my friends did.) Powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching, heart rending. Just the sort of thing I like. (What can I say? I was weaned on Shakespeare, and love the tragedies and history plays best of all.)”

Martin didn’t just get to preview the first two episodes of Season 2, which released a trailer earlier this week and is dated for early summer 2024. The author also “spent two days locked in a room” with Condal and his writing staff, “talking about the third and fourth seasons of ‘House of the Dragon.’” While the “Game of Thrones” prequel series has yet to be officially renewed by HBO beyond Season 2, Martin has previously stated on his blog that “it is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish.”

On the early conversations about Season 3 and 4, Martin said, “They were lively, fun discussions, and we got some good work done… though two days was not nearly enough. There is so much ground to cover that I am not sure 20 days would have been enough.”

Martin also reveled in being able to tour the London set of “House of the Dragon,” a visit that was apparently delayed by the WGA strike.

“All I have to say about that is… ohmigod!” Martin wrote, adding, “Nothing I have ever seen can compare with the Red Keep and Dragonstone sets they have built at Leavesden Studios in London. HUGE, stunning, and so damned real that I felt as if I had gone through a time portal to medieval Westeros. I love castles and have visited dozens of actual medieval castles, keeps and towers in my time, and none of the real castles I’ve ever seen can hold a candle… or a torch… to our Red Keep.”

Season 2 of “House of the Dragon” will kick off the Targaryen civil war, known as the Dance of the Dragons. Based on the trailer, the season promises a violent battle for succession, family betrayal and lots of dragon fire. The series, set nearly two centuries before the events of “Game of Thrones,” stars Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Eve Best, Steve Toussaint, Fabien Frankel, Ewan Mitchell, Tom Glynn-Carney, Sonoya Mizuno and Rhys Ifans. Additional returning Season 1 cast members include Harry Collett, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Phia Saban, Jefferson Hall and Matthew Needham.

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