House of the Dragon Showrunners on Season 2 and Targaryen’s Story

co-showrunners Ryan Condal (Colony) and Miguel Sapochnik (game of thrones), who are also executive producers with author George RR Martin, the HBO series Dragon House explores the Targaryen family with all the power, danger, rivalry, jealousy, betrayal, murder and love that could either make them invincible or tear them apart. When you cast mighty dragons, it becomes impossible to know who to trust or where loyalties lie, and the Iron Throne they all fight for isn’t kind in its embrace of whoever sits on it.

During this interview with Collider, Condal and Sapochnik talked about how they came to work on Dragon House together, the meeting that Condal had with Martin almost 10 years ago, the importance of knowing what not to change in relation to what had been established with game of thronestelling a unique story, and how this rich landscape lends itself to more story in possible future seasons.

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Collider: How did this couple between you two come about? Miguel, you were EP and director on game of thronesbut how did you end up working together on this project?

MIGUEL SAPOCHNIK: We were introduced to each other. Actually, Ryan said he wanted to meet me to do an episode of Colony, but this meeting never took place. And then we met and got along. I had read one of his feature film scripts, titled infinite horizon, which I really liked, and I wanted to do it, but the producers didn’t want me to do it. And then we ended up working together on Conan, like a TV show. I had offered a feature version of it, and he said, “Why don’t we do it as a TV show?” This was put in place, then the infinite horizon people said, “Oh, now we want to do it with you,” as is often the case. We’ve been working on projects together for a while, and it was this one that actually went into production.


RYAN CONDAL: It actually came together, yeah.

Ryan, I heard you contacted George RR Martin in 2013, to buy him dinner when you were in Santa Fe. Were you thinking at that time of finding a way to collaborate with him on something? , or did you just want to meet him? What was going through your mind at the time, and what does this meeting look like now?

CONDAL: No, it was very innocent. I was really just a fan. I was someone who, if I was lucky enough to meet someone who had an influence on me as a writer or just as a fan, I would always try to sit down and talk with them – writers, scriptwriters and directors whom I admired and respected. If there was an organic opportunity that presented itself, I always sought it out, and George was one of those opportunities. It was, as I said, very innocent. game of thrones was already very successful, at that time, and it was at the start of its run. That was almost 10 years ago now. I didn’t feel like George needed anything from me. I just wanted to get to know him. Obviously that led to things later on, but I never expected anything from it.


How do you think you back then would react to what is happening now, with this show?

CONDAL: I think he would think that’s pretty crazy. I do not know. It was before my marriage. It was before the children. Life changes so fast. At that time, I was directing my very first television pilot, which did not make it into the series. But I did a whole TV show after that, with three seasons of Colony. My career really changed a lot after that experience in Santa Fe. At that time, I was really much more focused on trying to find work. Now, later in my career, I’m more established and trying to find good work and professional projects that I would be proud and proud to have created on. Any Ryan of the past 20 years would have been blown away by this experience.


When you sat down to figure out what it would be like, knowing the success of game of thrones and that there were so many people trying so many different forms to continue this story, was there a moment or something that you really knew what this show was supposed to be about?

CONDAL: I think it was our combined experience, me as a fan of the original books and the original series, and Miguel having directed some of the most successful episodes of the original series. First, we see the creative landscape and the world on a very similar spectrum, just like us. That’s why we agreed on these other projects that we discussed. But I think we both also had a personal idea of ​​what made game of thrones work. I don’t think we ever really talked about it in verbatim detail, but we both had a feel for it, walking in. Our first challenge was figuring out what not to change and what we should continue with, in terms of the tone, the voice, the look of the show, the spectacle and the elegance of it. And then, once we settled that, it was like, “Okay, what makes this particular story unique? Let’s not just do a prequel because there’s a desire to make more money out of it. game of thrones. Let’s make it a prequel because there’s a story to tell here.


SAPOCHNIK: For example, The Sixth Cannon, which was the pilot that Ryan did in New Mexico when he went to meet George, was up for grabs, the first year I started doing pilots. I remember really wanting to do this pilot, but it was taken by the guy called Jeffrey Reiner. And then when we’re done game of thrones, I remember going to see Francesca Orsi at HBO and saying, “You should really consider Ryan Condal writing something.” Ryan has read the books and is an encyclopedia of worldly knowledge. I didn’t, and probably on purpose. It creates a different perspective that is valuable to both of us, objective and subjective.

When you’re doing a show of this size and scale, you can’t really do things on a whim. You’ve already talked about how you’re already planning season 2, so how much do you have planned for a possible second season? How far have you planned, overall?

CONDAL: I think we have a pretty good plan. Shots like this should always be pretty wide, but you have an idea of ​​landmarks and places you want to go, and an idea of ​​an endpoint, which I think is really important, in especially with this story. There’s 170 years of history ahead of us, so you have to understand, at what point do you pull the curtain down on that particular story? We’ve always had a good idea of ​​that. I think we have a good plan for Season 2, if HBO is willing and willing to continue telling the story with us. There are truly 300 years of Targaryen history to explore, and there are plenty of truly compelling stories. There’s the story of the conquest, the story before the conquest, the Targaryens leaving ancient Valyria. You have a tale like this, where the Targaryens have dragons and are in power. And then there are also stories where the Targaryens no longer have dragons, but are still in power. What is changing there, and how is it different? It is a very rich tapestry. It is a rich landscape. I think the fan base is willful and impatient. There’s a lot of storytelling left in this world, if people want it.


Dragon House airs Sunday nights on HBO and is available to stream on HBO Max.

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