House of the Dragon creator reveals one big change from Game of Thrones books

Fantasy spin-off debuts in August

Louis Chilton
Thursday 14 July 2022 12:04 BST
House of the Dragon teaser trailer

The creator of HBO’s forthcoming Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon has explained a key change from George RR Martin’s source material.

House of the Dragon is set to air on HBO Max later this year, and will be set before the time of its hit fantasy GoT.

The new series will introduce a new dynasty into the TV universe: the ancient House Velaryon.

In Martin’s book series, the Velaryons are described as having pale skin, silver hair and purple eyes. In the new series, though, their origins have been altered to allow for more diverse casting.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, series co-creator Ryan Condal revealed: “The world is very different now than it was 10 years ago when [Game of Thrones] all started. It’s different than 20 years ago when Peter Jackson made The Lord of the Rings. These types of stories need to be more inclusive than they traditionally have been.

“It was very important for [co-creator Miguel Sapochnik] and I to create a show that was not another bunch of white people on the screen, just to put it very bluntly.”

Thrones did face criticism during its time on air for a lack of Black and non-white characters.

In House of the Dragon, the Velaryons will be reimagined as noble Black seafarers, who are also the wealthiest family in Westeros (aside from the crown).

Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon, AKA ‘The Sea Snake'
Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon, AKA ‘The Sea Snake' (HBO)

Condal also claimed that Martin had orginally considered the idea when writing his books.

“Long, long ago when he was conceiving of this world, [Martin] himself had considered the idea of making Velaryons a race of Black people with silver hair that essentially came from the other side of the ocean and conquered Westeros,” he said.

“That’s a fascinating idea and that always really stuck with me because it’s such a stark image. I just thought, ‘Well, why couldn’t we do a version of that now?’”

House of the Dragon debuts on 21 August 2022. In the UK, the series will air on Sky Atlantic.

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