The Game of Thrones series finale aired May 19th, 2019, though given all that’s happened since it probably feels either much more recent or many years farther back. (For me it’s somehow both of those things at once.)
The reception that finale received upon airing may have taken a bit of shine off of the franchise, a trajectory that seemed borne out when HBO passed on a prequel pilot that featured, among others, Naomi Watts.
The network gave the greenlight to another GoT prequel, though: House of the Dragon, set 200 years before the events of the original series and featuring former Dr. Who star Matt Smith. It’s not premiering until next year, but this morning HBO gave us a teaser trailer for a Tuesday treat.
First impressions: it looks dark. In, like, every way, including lighting; most of the trailer is shrouded in dusk. The images we do get are striking, though, and undeniably feel part of the same world that Game of Thrones built up so painstakingly for years before burning a lot of that work down in the final season.
The only quibble here is with the subject matter; focusing on the Targaryen dynasty certainly offers an easy link to viewers of the show, but we also know a lot about how their story ends. That can be a risk for prequel material, and considering the vast and layered history of George R.R. Martin’s world, there may have been other avenues to take. That said, HBO literally had another option and went with this one instead (well, they may not have been in direct competition, but when one GoT prequel gets a series order and one doesn’t, clearly the network made some kind of relative judgment.)
Assuming House of the Dragon (god it’s going to be HotD all over the place, isn’t it?) comes out in the first half of 2022, that will be about three years between one Game of Thrones series ending and another one starting up for HBO.