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‘House of the Dragon’ Creator Addresses Season Two Time Jumps and ‘Bury Your Gays’ Backlash

Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra is embraced by Emily Carey as Alicent on House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon is the biggest show on HBO, and co-creator and showrunner Ryan Condal has been one of the two writers spearheading this series. In speaking with Variety following the big casting switch in episode 6, Condal clarified some things coming into this prequel series.

Spoilers for all episodes of House of the Dragon so far.

In episode six of House of the Dragon, we find ourselves with a ten-year jump that sees Princess Rhaenyra and Queen Alicent more at odds than ever, with their children carrying on that blood feud. It is a jump that Condal saw as an organic way to go with this story:

Then jumping forward to this new time period felt like the right thing to do. A lot of the storytelling that happens in 6 — which is done brilliantly by Sara Hess, who wrote the script, and Miguel, who directed it — is being told in the things that you’re not seeing happen and the characters who are now there and the characters who are missing. All of these things imply the passage of time, and I think a smart audience who is leaning forward and paying attention will pick up on those things and understand quite a bit has changed since last we left these characters.

(via Variety)

He does say that in season two of the series and going forward, it will be less jumping and more “fairly in the rhythms of the original ‘Game of Thrones’ series.”

One of the most frustrating pieces of the interview is Condal’s response when asked about the murder of Joffrey and how it fits into the “Bury Your Gays” trope. He first deflects by saying that his death happens in the books (which it does, but in a very different context) and says, “It’s a brutal world. It’s a violent world.”

Variety: Were you aware of that “Bury Your Gays” pitfall — that that’s a thing that people are aware of and concerned about?

Condal: Probably vaguely. I mean, I try not to read the internet. I live in my own storytelling world so that I’m not affected by these things, so I feel free to tell the story. But look, there are lots of interesting characters in the show. People come in and come out of this world all the time. There’s more interesting characters to come. So I would just say, stay tuned.

This response is bizarre to me. “Bury Your Gays” is not “an internet thing.” It is part of the discussion we have about media. It is a term directly related to the experience of LGBTQ characters in the media and the detrimental impact it has on LGBTQ people. If you care about film, fantasy, and storytelling, how is not being aware of the discourse surrounding your medium helpful in building that storytelling world?

It feels like a deflection of the deeper issue. And don’t get me wrong, not all online criticism is valid or worth acknowledging, but to not be aware of one of the most prominent anti-gay media tropes as someone with fifteen years in the industry is certainly an oversight.

(via Variety, featured image: Ollie Upton/HBO)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.