George R.R. Martin: 'House Of The Dragon' Is A ‘Shakespearean Tragedy’

By John Popham

August 29, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

HBO’s newest show set in the Game of Thrones universe is now two episodes in to a season that is destined to be full of betrayal and heartbreak according to author and executive producer George R.R. Martin.

The creator of the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire was interviewed by Jason Concepcion at San Diego Comic Con for an episode of The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon. The author promised a new take on the fictional land of Westeros, one that deals less with the fantastical elements of its predecessor and focuses more on the human element of the universe.

“Yes, both shows involve issues of power and who will have the Iron Throne, but House of the Dragon is more like a Shakespearean tragedy,” said Martin. “It’s full of great characters that you can love, or you can hate.”

Much like Game of Thrones, the new show is based on a book written by Martin. Fire and Blood was released in 2018 and serves as a history of the legendary “Targaryen” family over the course of 300-years. However, the HBO show will mostly concern itself with what’s known as “The Dance of the Dragons” and will flush out the complicated characters of that era.

Martin explained to Concepcion that this story will show the good and the bad of Westeros's main players. The conflict in the show centers around people dealing with human experiences and problems. The characters in the show are forced to make decisions based on what’s best in the current situation without the benefit of hindsight.

A Song of Ice and Fire is in some way that, but in other ways it’s a more traditional fantasy,” he said. “House of the Dragon is very human grounded. It’s people who were once friends coming to not be friends. It’s lust and love and power and ambition.”

Despite the show being a bit more grounded and character facing, there is still plenty of dragon fire to cater to fantasy fans. Check out the full interview with Martin on The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon, “An Interview with George R.R Martin.” Conception and cohost Greta Johnsen release breakdowns of the newest House of the Dragon episodes right after they air on Sunday nights. Find them on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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