Even in the early days of George RR Martin’s book adaptation Fire & Blood in game of thrones prequel series, the creatives faced a big challenge. Fire & Blood apparently spread over far too long. The book spans 150 years and tells the story of the rise and fall of various Targaryen monarchs to power over Westeros. Even centering the show on the Targaryen Civil War presented challenges since the roots of the conflict go back decades into the characters’ lives.
The first attempt at adaptation began with the death of King Viserys Targaryen (played by Paddy Considine in the series). But doing that would have left out so many crucial stories that had a direct impact on everything that happened next. So when showrunner Ryan Condal came on board the project, he crafted a story that would span decades.
It was a bold move, but not entirely unprecedented: Netflix The crown has similar time jumps and cast changes…but not after just five episodes of the show’s first season.
“I’m excited about the pacing and structure of the story we’re telling in season one,” Condal said. The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s very complex. This happens over a long period of time because children have to get married, then grow up themselves, and then have children growing up to tell the story of this unfolding generational war. HBO gave [showrunner Miguel Sapochnik] the creative latitude to tell this incredibly complex story in a truly patient, character-driven way that sets up a first season to launch you into one of history’s most famous and bloody conflicts of Westeros – otherwise the more.”
“That’s what makes this HBO content premium compared to what we would have been forced to do at any other outlet,” he added. “Most other places would not have had the patience and the audacity to allow us to tell the story we are telling. But that’s how you tell this story properly. We tell the story of a generational war. We’ve got everything in place so that the moment the first sword strike lands, you understand all the players – where they are and why they are. The whole story is there instead of being told to you on display. This way you can see it all happen.
When asked if they were worried fans — or the network — might start to worry around Episode 4 given the amount of groundwork going on, the showrunners said they were confident. that their approach would ultimately reward the fans.
“Nobody ever said to us, ‘When is the drama going to start?'” Sapochnik said. “There is a real benefit in taking the time to get to know the characters because the investment is worth it. Dragon House season 1 is a slow burn. And it’s worth it because there’s enough in there to interest everyone, but we deliberately tried to get away from the show so that when we come back to the show, we can do it right.
The biggest time jump of the season happened on Sunday night, with the opening of episode 6 with Emma D’Arcy (30) and Olivia Cooke (28) taking over the female lead roles from Rhaenyra and Alicent by Milly Alcock (22) and Emily Carey (19), respectively. Several of the older male characters are still played by the same actors.
Some fans of Alcock and Carey’s performances have wondered why the younger performers couldn’t just play the characters throughout the show given that the age difference between the four actors is less than a decade.
Part of the reason for the change is that the series was meant to open with the protagonists as teenagers during certain key events in their lives (such as Alicent marrying her best friend’s father, the King, and Rhaenyra being named heiress to the iron Throne). But the latest 10-year jump won’t be the last in the series. Very quickly, for example, Alicent’s son, Aegon, becomes older than Alicent in the first episode of the series.
Once Civil War breaks out, however, it’s likely that the show’s rapid timeline sprint will slow down significantly. The war – titled The Dance of the Dragons – only lasted about two years.