Movies & TV

The Second Game of Thrones Prequel Series Will Have All the Dragons Fans Crave

It'll reportedly take place during the Targaryen civil war.

HBO’s Game of Prequels has already taken a few twists and turns as the field that began with five Game of Thrones precursor series in development has been whittled down to the few strongest contenders. The first prequel, from Kingsman and Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman, is already in production, and will take place during Westeros’s Long Night. Another one of the potential prequels bit the dust in April without making it past the script stage. And now, a second project seems poised to shoot a pilot. Here’s everything we know about it.

What’s the second Game of Thrones prequel about?

Deadline reported Thursday that HBO is closing in on ordering a pilot for a series focused on House Targaryen, one that takes place 300 years before Game of Thrones. They’re not hurting for source material—Martin published an entire book on Targaryen history, the first volume of a two-part history, last year. The book, titled Fire and Blood after the words of House Targaryen, received mixed reviews from critics, some of whom made it sound like a medieval history textbook sprinkled with dragons and incest.

"At its most tedious, the book lists names for paragraphs on end," wrote reviewer Alexander Larman for The Guardian. "Reading it sometimes has the feel of studying for an especially exacting exam, in preparation for questions such as: 'Who belonged to Aegon II’s small council?' or: 'Who was the first child of Queen Rhaenyra?'"

Luckily, the TV adaptation would likely be a bit narrower in scope. Entertainment Weekly reports that the series plans to hone in on the Dance of the Dragons, the civil war that occurred within House Targaryen. If that name sounds familiar, it could be because it’s pretty close to the title of the most recently released novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Dance with Dragons.


The Dance of the Dragons is also the title of the ninth episode of Thrones’s Season Five. In it, Shireen Baratheon discusses reading a book of history book of the same name with her father, Stannis, and her friend Ser Davos Seaworth. Shireen gives her dad a helpful rundown of the book—and maybe a hint of what we can expect to see in the show.

"It’s the story of the fight between Rhaenyra Targaryen and her halfbrother Aegon for control over the Seven Kingdoms,” she said. "Both of them thought they belonged on the Iron Throne. When people started declaring for one of them or the other, their fight divided the kingdoms in two. Brothers fought brothers, dragons fought dragons. By the time it was over, thousands were dead. And it was a disaster for the Targaryens as well. They never truly recovered."

Who’s attached to the series so far?

George R.R. Martin is onboard, and will serves as an executive producer of the series. The pilot script is being written by Ryan Condal, who was one of the creators of the USA series Colony. And at the moment, that’s all we know.

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When will it debut?

For now, the important question is if the series will debut, not when. According to Entertainment Weekly, shooting for the pilot only recently ended, and HBO has not announced whether it will give the project a series run.

But it seems likely that, if it lands a series order, the show would debut after the Long Night prequel, which already has a head start. And that show doesn’t even have a release date or trailer, which likely means we’re in for a long wait before the battle of the Targaryens sees the light of day.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.comMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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