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House of the Dragon, HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel, won’t premiere until 2022

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At least there’s a vague release date

Game of Thrones fans excited for House of the Dragon — the upcoming prequel series HBO announced late last year — should prepare to settle in for a bit of a wait. According to HBO’s president of programming Casey Bloys, the series likely won’t air until “sometime in 2022,” via Deadline.

Bloys wouldn’t offer any more details than that, save to say that writing for the series is underway, and that there were no casting details to announce yet. He also emphasized that despite the fact that HBO had several other Game of Thrones successors in the works, all focus right now is on House of the Dragon. “There are no other blinking green lights or anything like that,” Bloys told Deadline. “Sometime down the road who knows, but there are no immediate plans. We are all focusing on House of the Dragon.”

House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin’s 2019 book Fire and Blood. The book is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and relates the history of the Targaryens, beginning with Aegon the Conqueror’s initial conquest of Westeros and his bringing the Seven Kingdoms under his rule.

The book then jumps through the decades, touching on each successive Targaryen ruler and the politics, civil wars, and intrigue throughout history. (So far, Martin has just published the first of two planned Fire and Blood books, covering the first half of the Targaryen dynasty. A second book that will cover the remainder of the family’s history up until where A Song of Ice and Fire starts is planned for the future.)

Which aspects of Westeros’ history the show will adapt is as yet unknown — it’s possible House of the Dragon will simply focus on just one part of House Targaryen’s history, like Aegon’s conquest or the Dance of the Dragons (a Targaryen civil war that promises epic draconic battles). Or HBO may choose to emulate Martin’s book, and jump through history to chart multiple eras of the family.

Deadline’s report also features more information on why HBO ultimately passed on its other in-development Game of Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts and written by Jane Goldman that had been set 8,000 years before the events of the original show.

As Bloys explains, “In development, in pilots, sometimes things come together, some time they don’t. One of the things I think Jane took on beautifully, which was a challenge, there was a lot more role creation because she set hers 8,000 years before the (mothership) show, so it required a lot more. That is a big swing.”

Additionally, Bloys highlighted the fact that House of the Dragon had a key advantage: source material from George R.R. Martin, the lack of which ultimately had a huge impact on the later seasons of Game of Thrones. “One of the things about House of Dragons, there is a text, there is a book so that made it a little bit more of a road map for a series order.”

While the 2022 date may be a bit disappointing to fans hoping for more Game of Thrones on their TVs sooner, it’s not the biggest problem. After all, if there’s one thing fans of George R.R. Martin’s books are good at, it’s waiting for things to be released.