How House Of The Dragon Tackles Unique Perspectives In Westeros History

Dragon House Showrunner Ryan J. Condal explains how the HBO adaptation addressed the multiple unique perspectives of its source material. Dragon House is primarily based on parts of author George R. R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood, which tells the story of House Targaryen. The prequel series begins over 200 years before the events of game of thrones and chronicles the events leading up to the Targaryen Civil War, known as the Dance of the Dragons, as well as the ensuing conflict.


Paddy Considine directs the Dragon House cast as King Viserys I Targaryen, the current occupant of the Iron Throne preparing to name his successor. Audiences will also be introduced to other main characters, including Prince Daemon Targaryen, played by Doctor Who Matt Smith, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Milly Alcock/Emma D’Arcy, and Lady Alicent Hightower, played by Emily Carey/Olivia Cooke. With Dragon House Premiering on August 21, the show’s huge cast and creative team have taken the rounds to reveal how they brought this pivotal time in Westeros history to life.

Related: House Of The Dragon Has Already Secretly Confirmed A Major Book Twist

At a recent roundtable, Screen Rant and other media had the opportunity to speak to showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Condal about the adaptation process Dragon House on the screen. They faced a unique challenge as the source material, Fire & Blood, chronicles this period of history from a few radically different angles. Read what Condal said below:

As fun as this Rashomon style of storytelling is, we left that up to the book and decided to try instead to define what we thought was the objective truth of this actual story, as we saw it. Some historians are right and some historians are wrong; sometimes they’re all right, sometimes they’re all wrong. I think that was the fun of the adaptation; get to really interact with the book as a companion piece. I think people who have read the book and watched the series will hopefully be enthralled. “It’s interesting how they shot this event”, or “George wrote this seemingly disposable little line, but there’s this big thing that happened, because historians didn’t see it or didn’t know what really happened.

Martin’s A song of ice and fire saga is told directly through the perspective of a few point-of-view characters, but Fire & Blood employs a completely different narrative device. The latter is essentially a fictionalized history book written by an in-universe historian named Archmaester Gyldayn who wrote the narrative years after the events. Thus, Gyldayn relies on multiple first-hand accounts of the Dance of the Dragons which often contradict each other. Two of Gyldayn’s sources for the main story are Septon Eustace, who tends to be simpler, and Mushroom the Mad, whose narrative tends to be more outrageous.

Without using a Rashomon storytelling style, like The last duel did, Dragon House can only present a singular version of events. Therefore, Condal and the other writers had to decide what the “objective truthof this story was and simplifying these multiple narratives into a single timeline, which was probably a wise move given the inherent complexity of this story spanning decades. Dragon House will likely eventually pique viewers’ interest in this period of Targaryen history, which can be enriched by reading the multiple stories featured in Fire & Blood.

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