‘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 Battle.

The HBO fantasy hit’s tenth episode depicted a sequence that was extremely anticipated by readers of creator 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 help for his or her respective speedy 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 conflict towards Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cook dinner) and plunge Westeros into chaos.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to showrunner Ryan Condal about a number of of the important thing moments within the episode, the “gloom” debate, the present’s long-term plan and about among the backlash to feedback that had been made final week relating to 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 unquestionably 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 planet. I feel he was exhibiting his rival that he is not going to be intimidated and trifled with might be extra in play there than making an attempt to grow to be a kinslayer – that will be very un-calculated and silly of Aemond to do on the outset when the items are shifting in regards to 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 conflict 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 posh scene. Aemond just isn’t innocent, however he’s additionally not a psychopath with out a logical line of pondering.

The Tune 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 may be lacking one thing right here, however given Rhaenyra and Aegon’s claims would each end in 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 targeted on the truth that she sees herself as uniquely able to ruling with out stoking conflict and hold preserving 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 assume 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 scuffling with all through the finale. She doesn’t simply instantly flip round and say, “ what? I’m going to conflict.” As a result of her father entrusted her hold 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 annoyed together with her as a result of she received’t simply instantly go to conflict. She thinks she will be able to collect sufficient help 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 start? Was she serious about what occurred to her mom in childbirth [in the premiere]?

That’s very astute. There’s lots happening in that scene; she’s going via an emotional hurricane. A giant a part of it’s that Rhaenyra swore she was not going to go the best way of her mom. That’s the rationale that she didn’t need to get married in case 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 about such stress that it has brought about her to primarily have a miscarriage. The newborn has not come far sufficient to time period the place, on this world, that she could be hopeful of giving a viable start.

And within the second this occurs, Daemon takes the primary alternative to stalk off and attempt to begin a conflict as a substitute of claiming at her facet and serving to her. So I simply assume 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 relatively humorous and playful – type of making use of trendy 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 means Sara has been handled. She was horribly attacked in a means 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 screen didn’t move via my filter – or hers, for that matter. Nothing is finished in a silo, all of it comes throughout my desk, that’s my job, that’s the way it works. And the concept simply since you don’t agree with one thing that occurs in a fictional tv present you may 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 guts 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 severely in the best way she was answering it. However I feel she made some legitimate factors in there. Individuals need to put white hats and black hats on characters. They’re searching for good guys and unhealthy guys. They’re searching for the Darkish Aspect and the Mild Aspect of The Drive. 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 may even do heroic issues – and that’s what makes Damon actually fascinating and, I feel, why all people’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 may challenge what you need onto this character and it’s going to be happy. It simply doesn’t work that means. So disagree with us. And in case you’re on social media, have an affordable 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 simply’re making use of to the second?

There’s one million little stuff you study 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 type of common ideas about making tv and extra about making this specific present – even for [crew members] who labored the unique Recreation 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 by way of the good 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 grievance was that the present regarded darkish – not simply in episode seven, however in a number of scenes. The phrase “gloomy” was used lots. Is the look that was established with the primary season going to be the identical shifting ahead? Or is that one thing that’s evolving?

The visible continuity of the present is actually one thing that we are going to have a look at. That stuff is all the time so tough as a result of we’re doing [post-production] on hundreds of thousands of {dollars} price of high-end gear, nearly as if we’re making a film. It regarded nice in put up and I regarded 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 all around the planet. You’re additionally releasing it via totally different distributors who’re going to distribute it in 4K or 1080p or 1080i or not that in any respect. So it’s exhausting to account for everyone’s all people’s televisions and their calibrations and generally 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 into consideration. These are one of many issues that you simply study within the making of a present – you are taking that information into consideration when making season two and say, “How can we do higher?” The suggestions was actually heard. I get it. And we would like the present to be an excellent viewing expertise for everyone.

Just lately George R. R. Martin affirmed the concept this story will final 4 seasons. Is that the plan?

I’m very centered on the ten episodes in entrance of me for the time being. There’s undoubtedly 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 Tune 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’ll come to an finish.

Interview edited for size and readability.

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