House of dragon poster featuring a dragon egg.

Is ‘House of the Dragon’ Based on a Book?

Where are my dragons?

HBO’s Game of Thrones was a pop culture staple for years. However, when the show ended, fans and critics had mixed feelings about the end of the story. Now, HBO hopes to recapture the magic of Thrones with the prequel series, House of the Dragon (hopefully without the over the top violence towards the female characters).

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Set to premiere in August of this year, anticipation is building. With new teaser posters and longer trailers, we are finally getting to see more of the new show. The white-haired, dragon-obsessed Targaryen clan is back to show us some of their complicated history on the Iron Throne.

As many people know, Game of Thrones was based on the dense (and incomplete) A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. But does that mean House of the Dragon is also based on a book?

Westeros History Textbook

A Song of Ice and Fire began in 1996, with the publishing of the first book—Game of Thrones. Sprinkled through the first novel, and the proceeding sequels, Westeros’s fictional history unfolds. Many of the characters tell the winding, violent past as they see it—or framed in a way that benefits them.

In 2018, Martin published Fire & Blood, which finally gave a comprehensive history of the Targaryen family in one place. The book contains six “short” stories that move through the reign of several Targaryen rulers. The new show focuses on the longest tale (60,000 words making it closer to a novel than a short story), The Dying of the Dragons.

Dragons documented the great civil war between members of the Targaryen family. The books commonly referred the war to as the Dance of the Dragons. After the death of King Viserys I Targaryen, his second wife (and current queen) made his second child the next ruler of Westeros. However, Viserys’s older child from his first marriage took a bit of an issue with that. Rhaenyra Targaryen knew she was the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. The clash between Rhaenyra and her half-brother, Aegon, and their dragons, broke out across the kingdom.

If the show is anything like the book (and judging by the trailer it is), we can look forward to more white wigs, more epic battles, more dramatic families, names with a lot of vowels, and a ton more dragons.

(feature image: HBO)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.