House Of The Dragon's Showrunner Isn't Committing To George R.R. Martin's 'Four Season' Claim

A lot of people thought that HBO could never recapture the public goodwill that was lost after that questionable "Game of Thrones" ending. And a lot of people were wrong. "House of the Dragon" was a major ratings and critical success, one that basically guaranteed a renewal from the moment the viewership numbers for the premiere rolled in. 

The common wisdom lately has been that the show will go on for four seasons, covering the entirety of the war to come. "It is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish," author and series co-creator George R. R. Martin said on his blog. However, fans of his books will be the first to tell you that Martin's not always that great at predicting how long a story will take to tell. If showrunner Ryan Condal's recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter is anything to go on, the four-season plan is not quite as set in stone as it you might've assumed. 

"'I don't know yet' is the honest answer," Condal said. Although he certainly agrees that there'll be "more storytelling to come after season two," most of his current focus is just on the season ahead. "I'm very focused on the 10 episodes in front of me at the moment."

There probably won't be another D&D situation

At first glance, this is a little worrying. After all, one of the big reasons "Game of Thrones" fell apart at the end was because the showrunners rushed the ending. Although Martin believed that the show could've gone on for "11, 12, 13 seasons," series show runners David Benioff and David Weiss decided to end things at eight, with the lengths of the final two seasons shorter than usual. 

The key difference is that the story Condal's adapting is already finished. While there's a part two to "Fire & Blood" not yet written, the part that covers the Dance of the Dragons storyline is complete. Unlike Benioff and Weiss, Condal's got himself a full, published manuscript to work with. The reason he's not sure about the length of the show is not because he wants to rush to the end, but because he's not sure if he'll be adapting the story past the Dance. 

"The question is less where this story ends and more where does the curtain fall [on the show]," Condal said. "This is the end of a chapter in the story, and then another chapter begins." There are a good 150 years or so of Targaryen drama to tell between the season 1 finale of "House of the Dragon" and the premiere of "Game of Thrones," as well over a hundred years of history beforehand that could make for good TV. It makes sense that Condal would at least be strongly considering covering some of those other periods. 

But as for the Dance itself? Condal has a reassuring answer: "We will take the time that we need to tell this story and when it dramatically needs to come to an end, it will come to an end."