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Does House of the Dragon Follow the Books?

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A guide that explains whether or not House of the Dragon follows the source material.

Adapting George R. R. Martin’s incredibly dense and world-spanning A Game of Thrones series had to have been a nightmare. So many characters are at play, both small and large, that of the story was altered for the sake of simplification, like combining two characters. That means the HBO series diverged drastically in some areas from the book. But what of House of the Dragon? Does House of the Dragon follow the books?

Does House of the Dragon Follow the Books?

For the most part, yes, House of the Dragon follows the books but not the ones you might think. It’s honestly a little more nuanced than a yes or no answer.

Unlike the HBO series Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon doesn’t pull its story from a novel but rather from a history book called Fire & Blood. This book was also created by George R. R. Martin, but instead of a straightforward plot, it serves the purpose of worldbuilding, while also doubling as a living document in Westeros.

Fire & Blood chronicles House Targaryen, such as the days of Aegon the Conqueror and the Dance of the Dragons. The events that transpired throughout Targaryen history are written using sources from a myriad of fictional characters, though the legitimacy of some are called into question. For example, the court jester Mushroom. Even the opinions and testimonies of Archmaesters can be inconsistent.

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It’s through that lens that House of the Dragon may differ from the books. Even House of the Dragon co-creator Ryan Condal echoes this sentiment during an interview with IGN:

“We’re taking the approach that history in its telling changes the story. Because the historian only ever knows so much about what happened, which is why primary sources and eyewitness accounts are so important. But we didn’t have all of that in this.”

Ryan Condal, IGN

Though House of the Dragon does follow the books, there will be liberties taken with dialogue in addition to taking a definitive stance on some events that were left ambiguous. If you’d like to dive more into the history of House of the Dragon, there’s always Twinfinite’s guides on House Blackfyre and why the Iron Throne looks different.

Featured Image Source: HBO

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