Author George R.R. Martin recently revealed that House of the Dragon will not have any universally loved characters like Game of Thrones. With the global sensation that was Game of Thrones concluding in 2019, HBO and Martin capitalized on the show’s success and began work on various spinoff projects. The studio currently has three animated spinoff television series in development as well as four live-action shows on the slate. Their next Game of Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon, is set to premiere next month.
Set approximately 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the upcoming fantasy-drama series will center on the silver-haired dragon-riding Targaryen family. It will chronicle the events leading up to the familial civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. The series is set to spin a tale of backstabbing and political intrigue leading to a conflict unlike anything seen in Game of Thrones.
Martin recently sat down with THR to discuss the series. The author praised the upcoming show, likening it to a “Shakespearean tragedy,” while claiming that the series will feature no universally loved characters like Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) in Game of Thrones. Read what Martin said below.
“It’s powerful, it’s visceral, it’s dark, it’s like a Shakespearean tragedy. There’s no Arya — a character everybody’s going to love. They’re all flawed. They’re all human. They do good things. They do bad things. They’re driven by lust for power, jealousy, old wounds — just like human beings. Just like I wrote them.”
Martin lauded the writing for House of the Dragon, stating that the characters are as human as a human can be in a show featuring magic, dragons, and the undead. Calling the realization of his characters faithful is particularly encouraging since the final few seasons of Game of Thrones were heavily criticized by loyal fans who said the show deviated from what was established in Martin’s source material. The author also singled out Arya, a well-loved survivor, as a type of character that will not be featured in the upcoming series implying that all of the new characters will have something to dislike.
In Game of Thrones, a show filled with murderers, rapists, and perpetrators of every sin imaginable, it was refreshing to have a character like Arya who had a single goal based on reasons which she, and much of the audience, considered to be noble. Over the course of the first few seasons of the show, her friends and family were murdered by those that they trusted. Although Arya wished to kill them, thus committing a terrible deed, her actions could be seen as an act of justice. With House of the Dragon set to premiere next month, audiences can get their first look at the pantheon of new unscrupulous and manipulative characters on August 21.