Coming three years after the infamous eighth season of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon is HBO’s big attempt to revive the franchise and restore honor to Westeros after GoT‘s final run widely disappointed fans. As you would expect, in their hopes of producing a winner, the premium network has thrown a ton of money at the project, with the spinoff proving to be even costlier than its forebear.
Variety is reporting that HBO coughed up an estimated $20 million per episode on the first season of the prequel series, meaning that the 10-part debut run came in at around $200 million in total. With GoT known to have put HBO back around $100 million per season by its later years, that means House of Dragon racked up double the budget.
Having said all that, the spinoff wasn’t actually as expensive to produce as it could’ve been. While pretty hefty on paper, HBO has done pretty well to keep the inflation of production costs at that level. Given the general rise in TV budgets since the end of Thrones, House of Dragon‘s price tag could’ve been much, much higher. For instance, Amazon spent a staggering $465 million on the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Variety notes that sources tell them the secret to HBO’s ability to keep House‘s budget relatively trim lies in their extensive experience in producing epic sci-fi/fantasy dramas. Making Thrones, not to mention Westworld and His Dark Materials, has apparently shown the HBO team how to “make a high-quality series as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
Starring Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, and Paddy Considine, among many others, House of the Dragon depicts how the House of Targaryen tore itself apart in a bloody civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, 200 years before the events of GoT. Don’t miss it when it premieres on HBO this Aug. 21.