HBO’s ‘House of The Dragon’ showrunner confirms working on Season 3

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
HBO�s �House of The Dragon� showrunner confirms working on Season 3
Showrunner Ryan Condal on creating ‘House of the Dragon’: I always approach my job by trying to honor the narrative of ‘Fire & Blood’ as best I can, and trusting my knowledge and tastes as a fan to hopefully guide me through all that.
Photo courtesy of HBO GO

MANILA, Philippines — Ahead of “House of the Dragon” Season 2’s arrival on Monday, June 17, showrunner Ryan Condal revealed that they are now working on Season 3.

HBO also officially confirmed that the historical fantasy-action series, based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood” novel, has been renewed for a third season.

“George, Ryan, and the rest of our incredible executive producers, cast, and crew, have reached new heights with the phenomenal second season of ‘House of the Dragon,’” Francesca Orsi, executive vice president for HBO Programming and head of HBO Drama Series and Films, said in a statement.

“We are in awe of the dragon-sized effort the entire team has put into the creation of a spectacular Season 2, with a scope and scale that is only rivaled by its heart. We could not be more thrilled to continue the story of House Targaryen and watch this team burn bright again for Season 3.”

“House of the Dragon” tells the story of the House Targaryen 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones.” According to Warner Bros. Discovery, the inaugural season of “House of the Dragon” lit up screens upon its 2022 release. It debuted to record-breaking viewership, capturing the largest audience for any new original series in HBO’s history during its premiere. It then culminated in the most-watched finale night for an HBO show since the conclusion of “Game of Thrones” in 2019. It equally fired up viewership numbers beyond the US, surpassing “Game of Thrones” Season 8 and becoming the most-watched HBO title in Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia on an HBO streaming service.

HBO has officially confirmed that the historical fantasy-action series, which is based on George R.R. Martin’s ‘Fire & Blood’ novel, has been renewed for a third season. Season 2 premieres on June 17 via HBO GO and HBO Asia.

Amid these achievements, The Philippine STAR asked the showrunner during a recent virtual interview about what he was most proud of accomplishing in the debut run and how it was setting the stage for the upcoming season.

Condal said, “The thing that I’m most proud of on a writer level in Season 1 is the structure of it, which was a very tricky thing to create and to hold together. And I think it speaks to the quality of the storytelling, the production, and of course, the wonderful actors that inhabit our show that the audience came along for it.

“And they accepted us recasting half of the cast in the midpoint of the season. All that stuff was kind of a logistical challenge, let’s say, to not only write but to produce and put together. I think the fact that it works, that we found our audience and that we have this eager group of millions of fans that are ready for Season 2, speaks to the hard work that we did in Season 1 being worth it.

“So now, we get to pay that off and reward them with a narrative that starts snowballing down the hill rather quickly.”

Also during the interview with the international press via Zoom, Condal teased the new worlds and characters in Season 2, and opened up about what it was like working with George R.R. Martin, the brains of the epic stories that led to the “Thrones” franchise. Below are excerpts: 

On “House of the Dragon’s” long hiatus and its impact on fan engagement:

“It’s tricky. You know, I wish we had a way of bringing out the show every year. It’s just not possible. It takes between prep and filming, it takes a year just to make the show, just to film the show. And then post production is another six months. And that brings you around right there at 18 months, and there are only certain parts of the process that you can fold over and do at the same time.

“Obviously, while we’re in posts, we can start writing the next season, which we always do, we are doing right now, working on Season 3. But for me, my hope is just that this show is an event show the way a big movie release is an event. And I always say that nobody complains when it takes two or three years for a ‘Dune’ movie to come out. And look, I’m one of the biggest ‘Dune’ fans in the world and I understand why it takes that amount of time.

“Not to compare ourselves to that. But making the show is like making a number of big feature films all at once. It just takes a long time. So my hope is that in the intervening time that fans will refresh themselves with the previous story, rewatch Season 1 to get ready for Season 2, and make an event out of it. It’s something that’s not going to come around every year, but hopefully when it does, it’s special enough to earn the long wait that it takes to get there.”

On new worlds and characters in Season 2: 

“I think the show is opening up in a big way. And I think you’re gonna see a lot more worlds, locations, places in the show that are both visited by the characters that you already know, and then are inhabited by characters that we have yet to meet.

“Certainly the small folk of this world are going to feature in a more sort of story facing way than they did in Season 1, which as you said, was very claustrophobic. I would call it insular in its storytelling. It was really all about this one family, King Aerys (Targaryen’s) family…

“And now the world has expanded and it’s going to bring new characters and worlds into the narrative, but you can certainly expect to see a broader form of point-of-view storytelling.”

On the biggest challenge of filming the show:

“This is just a very complex show to make. I think it gets more complex, as we go on. It gets bigger and broader, as you introduce more locations and sets. And it’s just more stuff for me and for the producing team and the directors to chase around and for the casts to travel and perform. It’s a big complicated show.

“I think as complicated as it was in Season 1, it was more shoot days, more locations, more tandem days, which is the days that we shoot two things at the same time, we run two sets at the same time. And it’s a lot to keep all in your head because you’re doing it all out of order. So I have to have very good people around me to remind me where we are in the story, what we’re doing today, where I’m supposed to be. But that’s part of the fun and excitement of making the show.”

On working with author George R.R. Martin as series co-creator and co-executive producer:

“Look, I’ve been a fan of George for a long time, for 25 years. I’ve known him for a long time. We did a lot of work early conceptually in the crafting of what the show is going to be and where we were starting in this period of history. And I wrote a series bible that he weighed in on and participated in so that we could kind of march off and do the job in making the show.

“He’s very busy. He’s always torn in 1,000 different directions. He’s writing his books, there’s a lot of these spin-offs that are happening and he has lots of engagement. So, I don’t engage him on a day-to-day level but certainly he’s aware of everything that’s going on. We send him scripts, we let him know what’s happening. He visited the set right before the start and the end of Season 2 and before we started to create Season 3.

“So yeah, I always approached my job by trying to, you know, honor the narrative of ‘Fire & Blood’ as best I can, and trusting my knowledge and tastes as a fan to hopefully guide me through all that.”

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