The creator behind the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon has given his verdict on the first two episodes of season two.
Writing on his Not a Blog website, George R.R. Martin related how he visited the set of what he termed “Hot D” for three days while it was being shot.
“All I have to say about that is… ohmigod! I am no stranger to film sets. I have worked off and on in television and film since 1986, where I joined the staff of the TWILIGHT ZONE revival at CBS. I still recall the rush where I saw them building Stonehenge on the sound stage behind my office, for an episode I’d written. And of course I visited the GAME OF THRONES shoots in Belfast, Scotland, Morocco, and Malta. Those were incredible too.
“But nothing I have ever seen can compare with the Red Keep and Dragonstone sets they have built at Leavesden Studios in London. HUGE, stunning, and so damned real that I felt as if I had gone through a time portal to medieval Westeros. I love castles and have visited dozens of actual medieval castles, keeps, and towers in my time, and none of the real castles I’ve ever seen can hold a candle… or a torch… to our Red Keep.”
Beyond visiting the sets, Martin said he also “spent two days locked in a room with Ryan Condal and his writing staff (Sara Hess, Ti Mikkel, David Hancock, and Philippa Goslett) talking about the third and fourth seasons of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. They were lively, fun discussions, and we got some good work done… though two days was not nearly enough. There is so much ground to cover that I am not sure twenty days would have been enough.”
The two rough cut episodes he previewed were a particular highlight.
“Of course, I am hardly objective when talking about anything based on my own work… but I have to say, I thought both episodes were just great. (And they are not even finished yet). Dark, mind you. Very dark. They may make you cry. (I did not cry myself, but one of my friends did). Powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching, heart rending. Just the sort of thing I like. (What can I say? I was weaned on Shakespeare, and love the tragedies and history plays best of all).”
House of the Dragon’s second season is anticipated to air on HBO in summer 2024.