This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon season one
House of the Dragon co-showrunner Ryan Condal has gone on record to explain the purpose of season one, as well as tease what’s to come in future seasons.
Condal spoke with Entertainment Weekly and shared why the inaugural season was necessary to set up future events in the series.
“Season 1 was setting the table for a very bloody feast to come. The reason that I wanted to really spend our time doing this is because I wanted everybody to understand who all of these characters were and the long history they had behind them — behind their fathers and their grandfathers — that led us to this point where they end up fighting a civil war against each other.”
The Game of Thrones prequel series had the arduous task of adapting George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood. The book isn’t a fully detailed account of the Dance of Dragons, and many parts had to be filled in to make it a full narrative. Martin even praised Paddy Considine’s portrayal of Viserys Targaryen, saying that the show’s version was better than the book version.
Season one focused heavily on the relationship between Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Milly Alcock in her youth, and Emma D’Arcy in adulthood, and Alicent Hightower, played by Emily Carey in her youth and Olivia Cooke in her adulthood. Over the course of the season, their relationship dissolves as a result of manipulations and schemes by those who have Iron Throne ambitions.
Condal shared that this was the plan all along, and now that the stage is set, things are going to get even more chaotic.
“I’m really interested in picking up with all of those characters that we spent all of this time introducing, particularly Rhaenyra and Alicent’s families, and seeing what happens now that we’ve flipped the chessboard over and spilled the pieces on the ground. How do all those react? That’s the story that we tell in season 2 and beyond.”
The season one finale episode, “The Black Queen,” showed Rhaenyra deciding how to move forward after learning of her father’s death and Aegon’s confirmation as the King of the Iron Throne. It ended with a major character death, and it’s safe to assume that Rhaenyra will never be the same from this point forward.
House of the Dragon season one is available to stream on HBO Max.