The Dragons In House Of The Dragon Are An 'Everyday Thing'

At first glance, it might be disappointing to many "Game of Thrones" fans that the show's first big spin-off takes place so far back in the world's past. Set hundreds of years before the original show, it's clear no fan-favorite characters will make any appearances. If you want to see what sort of adventures Jon or Arya get up to, you're won't get that here. 

But there's a big reason for setting a spin-off so far back in the past. 17 big reasons to be exact: the dragons. In the time period when "House of the Dragon" takes place, there are far more dragons in Westeros. "There are 17 of them at the height of this," co-showrunner Ryan J. Condal has explained. He credited the source material, Martin's 2018 book "Fire and Blood," for giving them so many details to work with: "George, who writes very detailed books, gave us the gift of specifying color and size, and age."

That may seem like a lot of spectacle, but the existence of dragons isn't treated like anything particularly mind-blowing in this world. The citizens of King's Landing in aren't fazed much by the sight of them. "In King's Landing, dragons are pretty much an everyday thing," George R. R. Martin told Vanity Fair in a new interview. "The same would be true in Dragonstone, where a lot of dragons come and go." He clarified that citizens of places like Winterfell would likely be more awed by the sight, but King's Landing residents would just be sort of bored by it. 

A time of unprecedented wealth

As impressive as the castles and landmarks of "Game of Thrones" looked, "House of the Dragons" will remind us just how much of what we've seen so far is a shadow of a once far more glamorous society. "It's a moment of high wealth and greatness," Condal explained. "Targaryens have been in high power for a hundred years, and they're really beyond reproach." It's a setting that really hammers home just how fragile the world order of Westeros is in the original show: the Targaryens, who'd ruled Westeros for hundreds of years, had been toppled less than 20 years before the start of the original series. And as untouchable as the Lannisters seem throughout most of "Game of Thrones," they have nothing compared to the sheer scale of power the Targaryens once had over the other houses.

Beyond the question of wealth and power, "House of the Dragon" will really highlight just how much the world's magic has been wiped out by the time "Game of Thrones" begins. The first season of "Game of Thrones" almost feels like it could be set in a real medieval period, which makes the sight of those baby dragons in the season 1 finale all the more exciting. With this new show being set in a time where those baby dragons won't be a huge deal at all, it sets up a big question: where does the magic go? How does this world fall apart so much that 200 years later, Daenerys's three dragons make her nearly unstoppable?

"House of the Dragon" might take place at a time of unprecedented peace and luxury, but it's a time we know is coming to an end. How exactly do all these dragons go extinct? It looks like we're about to find out.