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What is House of the Dragon about? Is the book different from the show?




House of the Dragon is based on one of the many fantasy books written by George R. R. Martin, Fire & Blood. The intriguing questions are “Is it a faithful adaptation” or “How different is the book from the show” or even “What is this show about”. Here is the answer to all your questions!

What is House of the Dragon about?

House of the Dragon

Credits: HBO

It is a fantasy drama series, a prequel to the Game of Thrones, set 100 years after the unification of the Seven Kingdoms by the Targaryen Conquest. The events of House of the Dragon take place 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen. It is primarily the story of House Targaryen and the war of succession within the family for the true heir to the Iron Throne.

King Viserys’s decision to make her daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, the heir to the Iron Throne before the birth of his son, Aegon II, led to the epic battle between the two called Dance of the Dragons. This was the beginning of the downfall of House Targaryen.

So, it has a huge ensemble cast of critically acclaimed actors. To name a few, Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Emma D’ Arcy, etc. are part of this show.

Read moreAll you need to know about George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood

What are the key differences between House of the Dragon and the books?

Fire and Blood

Credits: HBO

Here are some of the arguments and disagreements between the bibliophiles and cinephiles of the show-

Contrary to popular opinion, only the second half of the first volume has been adapted into the show for creative liberties, format change and to make the story crisp and impactful. Might have been the reason behind the characters and timeline seeming inconsistent.

Coming to the story, one major difference between the story and the book was the alternate or different endings for the characters. In the show, Laenor Valeryon and his lover Qarl mysteriously disappear, rowing off in a boat whereas in the book Qarl kills Laenor at the fair unlike the charade staged by Daemon in the show.

Daemon didn’t kill his first wife Rhea. According to the book, Daemon wasn’t even present during her death as he was away fighting in the Stepstones and she fell off the horse on her own. And, it took nine days for her to die because of her wounds, however, in the show, Daemon is shown as this despicable man who brutally murders her wife.

One place where the show got the upper hand has to be the relationship dynamics of Rhaenyra and Alicent. In Fire & Blood, Martin does not show Rhaenyra and Alicent as childhood friends, whereas, in the show, the childhood bond between them adds more weight to the conflict of the Iron Throne and makes it more evolved and menacing because of their past emotional baggage.

Read moreHouse of The Dragon Episode 7 twist changes Laenor Velaryon’s fate from the books

More differences between the Fire & Blood and House of the Dragon

Game of Thrones

Credits: HBO

  • In shows and films, creators incorporate multiple characters into a single character. Ser Vaemond Valeryon is a result of the same since his character has traits of half a dozen of his siblings, as written in the book.
  • In House of the Dragon, Laena surrenders herself to the Vhagar to burn her, however, in the book, she wants to ride Vhagar one last time, and in the attempt to do it she collapses and dies.
  • Larys Strong is responsible for the death of Harwin and Lyonel Strong at Harenhall but in the book it is unclear. In the book, the fire at the castle is credited to the “Ghost of Harrenhal” unlike the show.
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The makers have creatively adapted the long-spanning history of House Targaryen from Fire & Blood by adding their own sensibilities. These differences make the show compelling and provide different interpretations where some may work and others don’t.

Read moreAll the characters in House of the Dragon explained


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Pranav is a writer, actor, videographer who loves all things films, TV shows and of course the Game of Thrones universe. He is intrigued by the process of filmmaking and seeks to create engaging content.