The prequel series will likely debut in 2022, HBO Programming President Casey Bloys toldVariety on Wednesday at the network's Television Critics Association winter press tour. News broke of the show's series order in October, just hours after HBO had passed on its other GoT prequel, which had shot a pilot starring Naomi Watts.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s novel, Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen, the family of Thrones' Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Miguel Sapochnik, who directed iconic Game of Thrones episodes such as "Battle of the Bastards" and "The Long Night," will helm the new series' first episode, as well as additional episodes. He'll also executive produce, alongside Martin, Ryan Condal and Vince Gerardis.
As for why the other GoT prequel was axed, Bloys told Variety, "Pilots -- sometimes they come together, sometimes they don't. And I would say that was very much the case here. There’s nothing I would point to and say, 'Oh, this was the problem.'"
Bloys added that Jane Goldman, who co-created the project with Martin, "beautifully" took on the challenge of world-building.
"That [prequel] was 8,000 years before the current show, so it required a lot more invention," he said. "One of the benefits of House of the Dragon is there was a text from George and there was a little bit more of a roadmap. [The other prequel] did have more challenges in terms of establishing a world, but I think she handled that beautifully… there wasn't one glaring thing."