George R.R. Martin wanted ‘House Of The Dragon’ to have a different beginning

The author's idea would have added an extra 40 years to the show's timeline

George R.R. Martin wanted House Of The Dragon, the HBO series based on his fantasy novels, to begin “much earlier” than the TV series actually does.

The Game Of Thrones author and creator explained that he would have started the show much earlier, by focusing on two characters who are dead at the start of the series, Aemon and Baelon Targaryen. Martin said his idea for season one’s timeline was turned down, because no one on the creative team liked it. He made the reveal during an interview with David Anthony Durham for publisher Penguin Random House.

“I would’ve begun it like 40 years earlier, with an episode I would’ve called ‘The Heir and the Spare,'” Martin said during a YouTube interview. “Jaehaerys’ two sons, Aemon and Baelon, are alive, and we see the friendship but also the rivalry between the two sides of the great house.


Paddy Considine in 'House Of The Dragon'
Paddy Considine in ‘House Of The Dragon’. CREDIT: LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo

“Then Aemon dies accidentally when a Myrish crossbowman shoots him by accident on Tarth, then Jaehaerys has to decide who becomes the new heir. Is it the daughter of the son who’s just died, or the second son who has children of his own and is a man where she’s a teenager?”

He added: “You could’ve presented all that stuff, but then you would’ve had 40 more years, and even more time jumps and re-castings. I was the only one who was really enthused about that.”

House Of The Dragon
Rhaenyra, played by Milly Alcock, and her father King Viserys (Paddy Considine). CREDIT: HBO/Sky

Martin said there was a lot of “spirited discussion” between himself and the other writers on the show. One thought the show should begin later with Aemma Arryn dying. Another wanted the show to kick-off with Viserys dying.

All the writers finally agreed on a starting point though. Hence the grand kick-off to House Of The Dragon which saw Jaehaerys gathering the Lords of Westeros to pick an heir.


Following the first season’s final episode The Black Queen, which aired on October 23, it’s been announced that season two is already in the works. However, showrunners have said it won’t be coming to our TV screens until “sometime” in 2024.

House Of The Dragon is available to stream through Sky or with a NOW subscription.