Spoiler alert: This article contains potential spoilers for the future of House of the Dragon.
We’re three episodes into House of the Dragon, and already, we can’t resist looking for spoilers. And because House of the Dragon is based on epic fantasy lore by George R.R. Martin, the spoilers exist in literary form. However, some House of the Dragon spoilers also exist within Game of Thrones, the original HBO series that introduced us to the inhabitants of Westeros and Essos.
However, House of the Dragon predates Game of Thrones by about 200 years, so it’s only natural that some of its legendary history was included in GOT. As GOT clips that reveal what happened to some of our favorite characters in HOTD go viral, many of us are wondering if these are true spoilers, or if it’s possible that House of the Dragon will stray from its source material.
‘Game of Thrones’ fans have been posting clips of the original series that spoil ‘House of the Dragon.’
After watching a few episodes of House of the Dragon, fans of the franchise have realized that we’ve heard many of the characters’ names before, even if we didn’t read its source material, Fire & Blood. In a few Game of Thrones scenes, we learn about House Targaryen’s past, which is what House of the Dragon is about.
In one Season 3 scene, Joffrey Baratheon (ick, we thought we were done with him) takes Margaery Tyrell around the castle, showing off some of the Iron Throne’s history. In the scene, he explains to her as they look down a crypt, “Rhaenyra Targaryen was murdered by her brother, or rather his dragon. It ate her while her son watched. What's left of her is buried in the crypts right down there.”
He continues, “Over there, in that urn, the ashes of Aerion Targaryen. Aerion Brightflame, they called him. He thought drinking wildfire would turn him into a dragon. He was wrong. And of course, there’s the mad king, killed by my uncle.” We learn quite a bit from Joffrey about House Targaryen’s bloody past, and how it led to Game of Thrones.
Many people expect that Rhaenyra getting murdered by her brother Aegon II will mark the end of the series, as sort of a parallel to the Game of Thrones finale in which Daenerys Targaryen gets murdered by Jon Snow, her nephew. So for fans who were unaware that House of Dragon would lead up to this, this could be a major spoiler.
Not only that, but in Season 5, Stannis Baratheon’s daughter, Shireen, reads up on Targaryen history and their in-fighting as Stannis betrays his own family. She reads: “It’s the story of the fight between Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother Aegon for control of the Seven Kingdoms. Both of them thought they belonged on the Iron Throne."
She continues: “When people started declaring for one of them or the other, their fight divided the kingdom in two. Brothers fought brothers. Dragons fought dragons. By the time it was over, thousands were dead. And it was a disaster for the Targaryens as well. They never truly recovered.”
The creators have discussed if the source material’s “spoilers” are what we should expect to see in ‘HOTD.’
The Targaryens bringing each other down is essentially what House of the Dragon is all about. The Dance of the Dragons, as the Targaryen civil war is often called in GOT history, led to the destruction of House Targaryen as it split the house in two factions.
Eventually, according to Fire & Blood, this all ended thanks to a marriage of the two sides (of course all problems “end” with incest), when Rhaenyra and Daemon’s son Aegon III ascends the throne and marries Aegon II’s daughter Jaehaera.
We don’t know exactly how much of this we’ll see in House of the Dragon, and readers of GRRM’s books aren’t necessarily watching to see what events unfold, but how they do so. Fire & Blood is more like a history text than a novel, so there’s plenty of creative space for the story to unfold. Still, producer (and now-ex-showrunner) Miguel Sapochnik revealed to The Wrap:
“Folks are always going to be calling us out, no matter what we do. So the best [thing] you can do is don’t make these things defensively, just try and make the best show, the best story, hope that people like it; be respectful of the old show; be respectful of the source material. And, you know, if an idea is a good idea, then it’s a good idea, no matter where it comes from.”
So it seems like House of the Dragon will likely respect the previously setup canon. But even if the finale ends with Rhaenyra’s violent death, we have no idea exactly how we’ll get there. And getting to see it come to life, literally watching the dragons dance, is the real magic of television.
Tune into new episodes of House of the Dragon every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.