Game of Thrones' finale aired on May 19, 2019, bringing to a close a saga that lasted a full decade on HBO. But even as the show's controversial ending drove social media around the bend, fans knew it wasn't over. HBO had openly worked towards creating a prequel, commissioning no less than five scripts. One of them was already cast and actively filming a pilot. In the end, the network announced it was going with a different, Targaryen-based series. These details about House of the Dragon give fans an idea of what to expect when the new show finally airs.
HBO and George R.R. Martin (who is involved with producing the prequel) have kept things close to the vest when it comes to these series. The Age of Legends pilot only revealed it was set far in Westeros's past, during the first war against the Night King. It was set so far in the past, Targaryens and Dragons weren't part of the continent yet, leaving fans to understand this to be a Stark and Lannister-focused show.
Unfortunately, the pilot for that show didn't work, and it was shelved in favor of a different prequel. House of the Dragon is much closer to the era of the original Game of Thrones series. Unlike the other series, it also has a book to adapt from, Fire & Blood, Martin's history of the Targaryen dynasty. But Martin's book covers more than 150 years of Targaryen rule. It begins with the arrival of the dragonlords to Westeros and takes readers through the Civil War period, known as The Dance of Dragons.
Fans weren't sure what the show wanted to cover. Would it start with the Targaryen conquest and the creation of the Iron Throne? Or would it pick up closer to the Civil War era?
According to Bryan Cogman, who was a writer on the original Game of Thrones, the answer is the latter.
Cogman, who won an Emmy for his work of Game of Thrones, was invited to write one of those pilot scripts for HBO. He also was looking to develop a Targaryen-based show, but was ultimately passed over, first for the Age of Legends series and now for the current House of the Dragon project. As he notes in his tweet, he's moved on, working at Amazon on the Lord of the Rings TV series. But as someone who was involved in the process, he's in a position to know when the other competing pilots were set. As far as he understands it, House of the Dragon will be a series focused directly on the Targaryen Civil War, which killed off most of the dragons still alive.
As for when the show will arrive, fans still have a while to wait. The series is in the script stage, with no cast announced yet. According to HBO president of programming Casey Bloys, the plan is for the show to arrive in 2022.