Matt Smith, star of the upcoming Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon, hopes the series can evolve the franchise. Showrunner Ryan Condal and co-showrunner Miguel Sapcochnik’s House of the Dragon will serve as a prequel to HBO’s game-changing fantasy Game of Thrones, which is based on George R.R. Martin’s series of unfinished novels, A Song of Ice and Fire. House of the Dragon is inspired by Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood, detailing the history of the Targaryen dynasty.
After Game of Thrones’ divisive finale in 2019, and the canceled The Long Night spinoff, HBO made a straight-to-series order for House of the Dragon. The series is set in Westeros 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and follows House Targaryen during a civil war known as the Dance of Dragons. In addition to Smith, House of the Dragon stars Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Rhys Ifans, Graham McTavish, Steve Toussaint, Sonoya Mizuno, Ryan Corr, Jefferson Hall, Bill Paterson, and Eve Best. Filming for the 10-episode first season began in April 2021 in the United Kingdom, with some elements shot in Spain, California, and Portugal, and wrapped in February 2022.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Smith spoke on continuing the Game of Thrones franchise. He touched on what it’s like being part of that universe, around all of those blonde wigs, and his hopes for House of the Dragon. Initially, the 39-year-old actor was asked whether blondes do have more fun. Read what he had to say below:
“Well, apparently not, actually. They just go to war a lot and fight and ride around on dragons. Who knows? I’ve not seen anything. It’s a big challenge for all of us that have taken it on. There’s such a huge fandom that surrounds it, and rightly so. It left a footprint, really, in many ways and it will be hard to repeat that. So, let’s hope it sort of evolves into something different.”
Since taking over for David Tennant in Doctor Who, Smith has become one of the most popular actors in the UK. He’s gone on to star in films and TV shows including Netflix’s The Crown and Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho (2021). Following in the Targaryen footsteps of Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys and Kit Harington’s Jon, Smith takes on the role of Daemon, the heir presumptive to the Iron Throne and younger brother of King Viserys (Considine). While Smith hasn’t seen a single frame of footage for the upcoming series, Martin himself has put his stamp of approval on all 10 episodes.
The almost universally adverse reaction to Game of Thrones’ final season has both soured enthusiasm and raised expectations for any of the several spinoffs in development at HBO. These shows include the working-titled Tales of Dunk and Egg, 9 Voyages, Flea Bottom, and 10,000 Ships. House of the Dragon’s success will determine the future of Westeros on HBO Max. The series will need to reinvigorate the franchise, avoiding being a copycat of Game of Thrones, and contend with the other big fantasy prequel Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Thankfully, Martin appears to be heavily involved with the series, which also has the advantage of completed source material—something that can’t be said for the later seasons of the flagship series. House of the Dragon does not have a release date yet, but it is confirmed to premiere later this year.