C0-showrunner, producer, and occasional director Miguel Sapochnik talks about how House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones are both tonally similar and different at the same time. House of the Dragon will be HBO’s big show of 2022 and you better believe they want House of the Dragon to be as big as Game of Thrones was. However at the same time, it cannot just be the same thing right? After all, this is hundreds of years prior to the events of Thrones and there’s no White Walkers in sight.
Speaking with THR recently Sapochnik talked about both the pressures of following up Thrones and the dangers of doing so.
“I think we were very respectful of what the original show is,” said Sapochnik, who directs multiple episodes of Dragon and also serves as showrunner along with series co-creator Ryan Condal. “It wasn’t broken, so we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel.”
“House of the Dragon has its own tone that will evolve and emerge over the course of the show. But first, it’s very important to pay respects and homage to the original series, which was pretty groundbreaking. We’re standing on the shoulders of that show and we’re only here because of that show. So the most important thing for us to do is to respect that show as much as possible and try and complement it rather than reinvent it. And I was involved in making the original show, so I feel like that’s been useful. Like, I’m not arriving going, ‘Let’s change everything! Let’s do a different color palette!’ No, I quite like the color palette.”
“That said, we can’t say, ‘Well, when we did Thrones, we did it this way …’” he added. “If you start every sentence with that, you’ve lost. This is something else, and should be something else. It’s a different crew, different people, different tone. Hopefully, it will be seen as something else. But it will have to earn that — it won’t happen overnight. Hopefully, fans will enjoy it for the thing that it is. We’ll be lucky if we ever come close to what the original show was, so we’re just putting our heads down and getting on with it and hoping what we come up with is worthy of having a Game of Thrones title.”
Fairly wise words. I think whilst House of Dragon has to look and feel a lot like Thrones did, it also has to be it’s own thing. As Sapochnik says, the audience isn’t going to appear right away necessarily, it takes time to get fans interested in the story being told. However, hopefully this period of time in Westeros history was chosen because it is chock full of drama. and internal familiar drama and gossip is very much at the heart of what fans loved about Thrones.
Hey, at least this story has an ending that was written by the author, even if not in detail? What differences/similarities do you want to see between House of Dragon and Game of Thrones? Thoughts below as always.