‘Home of the Dragon’ Showrunner on Finale Ending, Darkness Complaints and Season 2 Plan


[This story contains spoilers for the House of the Dragon season one finale.]

Home of the Dragon concluded its debut season with a dramatic tragedy that can spark the Targaryen Civil Warfare.

The HBO fantasy hit’s tenth episode depicted a sequence that was extremely anticipated by readers of writer George R.R. Martin’s Hearth & Blood, the place the younger princes Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) met at Storm’s Finish, each looking for to acquire Home Baratheon’s assist for his or her respective rapid household’s’ Iron Throne claims. A dragon-mounted chase although a lightning storm ensued, and Lucerys was tragically killed after their hot-blooded dragons attacked one another – all-but-ensuring Lucerys’ mom Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) will go to struggle towards Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cook dinner) and plunge Westeros into chaos.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to showrunner Ryan Condal about a couple of of the important thing moments within the episode, the “gloom” debate, the present’s long-term plan and about a few of the backlash to feedback that had been made final week concerning Daemon Targaryen.

Sooo, how did issues go along with Jace at The Eyrie?

(Laughs). Hopefully higher!

Simply how severe was Aemond throughout his pursuit of Lucerys?

Aemond is certainly not innocent in what occurred to Luke. However Aemond was additionally a child who was bullied and was made a mockery for a part of his life for not having a dragon. Now he does, and he rides the largest dragon on the earth. I believe he was displaying his rival that he is not going to be intimidated and trifled with might be extra in play there than attempting to change into a kinslayer – that may be very un-calculated and silly of Aemond to do on the outset when the items are transferring concerning the board and loyalties are being set and determining who’s going to make marriage pact to ensure whose military … for Aemond to launch nukes proper out of the gate and go for an all-out dragon struggle could be very silly, however that’s precisely what he finally ends up doing as a result of issues get out of hand and uncontrolled. It’s a fancy scene. Aemond just isn’t innocent, however he’s additionally not a psychopath with no logical line of considering.

The Track of Ice and Hearth prophecy was introduced up once more [where Aegon the Conquerer proclaimed the Targaryen line must remain on the Iron Throne to eventually fight against the forces of darkness]. I is likely to be lacking one thing right here, however given Rhaenyra and Aegon’s claims would each lead to a Targaryen on the Iron Throne, why does this weigh on Rhaenyra and appear so pressing to her? Particularly when it’s not like Jace is extra of a full-blooded Targaryen than Alicent’s Aegon is.

All good questions. Rhaenyra is concentrated on the truth that she sees herself as uniquely able to ruling with out stoking struggle and maintain maintaining the realm united. It’s the factor her father raised her her whole life to know and pursue as a sovereign. And he or she doesn’t suppose that Aegon is able to that. And on a extra private stage, that is her birthright that her father gave her. That’s the factor you see her battling all through the finale. She doesn’t simply instantly flip round and say, “You realize what? I’m going to struggle.” As a result of her father entrusted her maintain the realm united in a peace. However on the identical time, this factor that my father gave me, my birthright, was stolen. So what am I to do? How do I serve each of those ends? The reply is a little bit of a paradox. And Daemon’s pissed off along with her as a result of she received’t simply instantly go to struggle. She thinks she will be able to collect sufficient assist from the opposite kingdoms the place she will be able to make them give up with out launching nukes.

Why wouldn’t she let her handmaidens close to her when giving beginning? Was she fascinated by what occurred to her mom in childbirth [in the premiere]?

That’s very astute. There’s so much occurring in that scene; she’s going by way of an emotional hurricane. A giant a part of it’s that Rhaenyra swore she was not going to go the way in which of her mom. That’s the rationale that she didn’t need to get married should you return to her resisting all of the suitors. She’s additionally coping with the information her father has handed away and her prolonged household has seized the chance to steal her throne from her. That information collectively has brought on such stress that it has brought on her to primarily have a miscarriage. The infant has not come far sufficient to time period the place, on this world, that she could be hopeful of giving a viable beginning.

And within the second this occurs, Daemon takes the primary alternative to stalk off and attempt to begin a struggle as an alternative of claiming at her aspect and serving to her. So I simply suppose at a quite simple human stage in that scene, she merely doesn’t need to be touched by anyone.

Talking of Daemon, final week we interviewed government producer and author Sara Hess and requested about all of the fan thirst for Daemon. I took her “Web boyfriend” feedback as moderately humorous and playful – kind of making use of fashionable courting requirements to a fantasy TV character. However I’ve since heard she’s obtained actually horrifying messages on-line amid some backlash.

I used to be really fairly horrified on the method Sara has been handled. She was horribly attacked in a method that’s fully unacceptable. She’s my proper hand on this. We wrote the primary season collectively – 85 p.c of the writing within the first season is Sara and I. Nothing that was placed on display didn’t move by way of my filter – or hers, for that matter. Nothing is completed in a silo, all of it comes throughout my desk, that’s my job, that’s the way it works. And the concept that simply since you don’t agree with one thing that occurs in a fictional tv present you’ll be able to go and assault actual folks on-line stays a weird, alien and, frankly, horrifying idea to me. It’s why I don’t exist on social media.

I learn what Sara mentioned. She’s one of many funniest folks I do know. She cuts proper to the center of the matter and can say something to anyone. She was perhaps being overly glib when answering a severe query. She wasn’t taking herself significantly in the way in which she was answering it. However I believe she made some legitimate factors in there. Folks need to put white hats and black hats on characters. They’re on the lookout for good guys and unhealthy guys. They’re on the lookout for the Darkish Facet and the Gentle Facet of The Pressure. And that is merely not that form of present. Daemon is a compelling character. He’s extremely charismatic. He’s performed by a really good-looking actor in Matt Smith. I perceive why he has an excellent fandom constructed up round him. I completely get it. However that doesn’t imply that Daemon is unimpeachably heroic. Damon has performed some actually horrendous issues. He’ll proceed to do actually horrendous issues. He can even do heroic issues – and that’s what makes Damon actually fascinating and, I believe, why everyone’s gravitated to him. Truthfully, it’s Matt Smith’s virtuosic efficiency that’s conspired to make this actually iconic tv character. However that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to mission what you need onto this character and it’s going to be glad. It simply doesn’t work that method. So disagree with us. And should you’re on social media, have an inexpensive dialogue. However don’t assault folks.

You’re now engaged on season 2, what classes have you ever discovered from the primary season that you just’re making use of to the second?

There’s one million little belongings you be taught within the course of of constructing any first season. We made 10 episodes. They had been terribly tough. I intend to place all these classes into use on season 2. They had been much less kind of common ideas about making tv and extra about making this specific present – even for [crew members] who labored the unique Sport of Thrones. They’re extra [producer oriented] than inventive; methods to do issues extra effectively.

The surprise of going into season two – for any present, however for this one specifically – is we have now such a humiliation of riches when it comes to the nice forged that we put collectively. The writing is a lot simpler since you’re now writing for a this nice forged [who we have now seen] embody these roles. They’re three-dimensional characters and it makes their story a lot simpler to inform as a result of they’re already embodied and there’s a pleasure within the writing due to that.

One frequent criticism was that the present appeared darkish – not simply in episode seven, however in quite a lot of scenes. The phrase “gloomy” was used so much. Is the look that was established with the primary season going to be the identical transferring ahead? Or is that one thing that’s evolving?

The visible continuity of the present is definitely one thing that we are going to have a look at. That stuff is at all times so tough as a result of we’re doing [post-production] on hundreds of thousands of {dollars} value of high-end gear, virtually as if we’re making a film. It appeared nice in put up and I appeared nice on my tv. However while you launch a Star Wars movie, you’re releasing it in theaters. For TV, you’re releasing it onto one million totally different tv screens and totally different setups and calibrations everywhere in the planet. You’re additionally releasing it by way of totally different distributors who’re going to distribute it in 4K or 1080p or 1080i or not that in any respect. So it’s arduous to account for everyone’s everyone’s televisions and their calibrations and typically the file can get compressed. So the present can look very totally different than the factor that we noticed and accredited and launched.

However look: It’s our job to take all that under consideration. These are one of many issues that you just be taught within the making of a present – you are taking that information under consideration when making season two and say, “How can we do higher?” The suggestions was definitely heard. I get it. And we wish the present to be a fantastic viewing expertise for everyone.

Not too long ago George R. R. Martin affirmed the concept that this story will final 4 seasons. Is that the plan?

I’m very centered on the ten episodes in entrance of me in the mean time. There’s positively extra storytelling to come back after season two. That is the story of a Targaryen dynasty that marches on for 150 years after the occasions within the season one finale. Kings and queens come and go because the historical past marches on. So the query is much less the place this story ends and extra the place does the curtain fall [on the show]. As a result of it’s an ongoing historical past being written George as we go. It’s not like The Track of Ice and Hearth books the place the tip is the tip of the story. That is the tip of a chapter within the story, after which one other chapter begins. So “I don’t know but” is the sincere reply. However we are going to take the time that we have to inform this story and when it dramatically wants to come back to an finish, it is going to come to an finish.

Interview edited for size and readability.

‘Home of the Dragon’ Showrunner on Finale Ending, Darkness Complaints and Season 2 Plan


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