‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Keeps Dragons, Adds Diversity | Entertainment

The “Game of Thrones” prequel is set to forge its own storytelling path with a new set of characters and a more diverse team behind the scenes.

“House of the Dragon” takes place two centuries before the events of the original series, which ended in May 2019 after eight seasons of hits. The 10-episode prequel begins Sunday on HBO and can be streamed on HBO Max.

The story focuses on the Targaryen family made famous in ‘Game of Thrones’ by Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys and her fearsome dragons. But don’t think ‘House of the Dragon’ is a remake of ‘Game of Thrones,'” said cast member Steve Toussaint.

“It was done and they did very well,” said Toussaint, who plays the very wealthy Sir Corris Bellarion. Character, I see another motive.”

Among the new faces of the clan is Prince Damon Targaryen, played by Matt Smith. His villainy is far more complex than it first appeared, the actor said.

“I think the reason I enjoyed it is because he’s not just a villain,” he said. “I think there’s actually a huge amount of fragility and depth and inner madness there…. It’s not black and white. He can always go either way with his Daemon.”

Based on George RR Martin’s “Fire and Blood,” the drama was co-produced by Martin and Ryan Condal, best known for the 2016-2019 sci-fi drama “Colony.” Condal is executive producer and co-showrunner for director Miguel Sapochnik, who will bring his experience with “Game of Thrones” to the prequel.

“House of the Dragon,” like its predecessor, focuses on lineage inheritance where female heirs are overlooked. However, Sapochnik points out an important difference between his two series. The team creating the prequel is more diverse, with male and female directors split 50/50 for him, including Sapochnik, Clare Kilner, Geeta Vasant Patel, and Greg Yaitanes.

According to Sapochnik, there was a conscious push behind the scenes to be inclusive.

“We really tried to get as many female crew members as possible because it’s a very important change that needs to be recognized, recognized, acted upon and given opportunities to those who probably don’t get it. Because I think it’s an opportunity,” he explained.

The team producing “Dragon” is equally diverse, with the fantasy genre boasting a relatively large number of women in the writer’s room. According to some female cast members, gender balance influences the show’s story and tone.

The series opens with the Council of Lords appointing Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) as heir to the Iron Throne, bypassing his old cousin Princess Reynis Velarion (Eve Best). But Viserys needs an heir of his own, and his dreams of power are held by his younger brother Daemon and Viserys’ daughter Princess Laenira (Emma Darcy plays the adult version, Milly Alcock plays the play a young man).

“You definitely don’t feel like a device or a prop, or like a sexy country girl or mother,” says Olivia Cooke, who plays Rhaenyra’s longtime friend, adult Alicent Hightower. I feel like I’ve got a character with a high stat, and it’s really nourishing to play with.”

The ensemble cast also includes Emily Carey, Graham McTavish, Fabian Frankel, Rhys Ifans, and Sonoya Mizuno.

Carey, who plays the young Aricent, says that including women in all aspects of production is a step “in the right direction” for the fantasy genre.

Nearly all female characters face misogyny, but each is “still a full-fledged three-dimensional female character,” said Carey. “They still have multiple story lines and a whole life apart from that misogynistic story line. They don’t just come into the show to serve a purpose. I think they are doing it.”

“House of the Dragon” screenwriter Charmaine Degrate said, “It was important for George (R.R. Martin, executive producer of the prequels) to do it this way: a female-led character, A female-led show, a female-led writer’s room, elevates the story a bit. It’s a great way to expand the universe.”

Lefferts reported from New York and Lennox from Los Angeles.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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