'Game of Thrones' Prequel 'House of the Dragon' Resumes Filming Following COVID-19 Shutdown

The Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon has resumed filming less than a week after shutting down over COVID-19 concerns. The HBO series is filming in London, England, where a major coronavirus outbreak forced the cast and crew to take some time off for their safety. On Monday, HBO's chief content officer Casey Bloys told Variety that things are back on track.

"It looks spectacular," Bloys said. "The cast that [director Miguel Sapochnik] and [writer Ryan Condal] have put together looks good." House of the Dragon has been seen filming all over the U.K. in recent months with relatively few interruptions by the pandemic so far. The show is expected to premiere sometime in 2022, an author George R.R. Martin hinted that it will likely come in the spring.

House of the Dragon is based on Martin's book Fire & Blood — available here in print, digital and audiobook format for those interested. The book is not so much a novel as a fictional history book, covering several generations' worth of Targaryen rule in Westeros. The show will focus on a storyline that takes up about a third of that book: the civil war known as "The Dance of the Dragons."

This saga starts about 180 years before the main events of Game of Thrones itself, at a time when House Targaryen has many members and many dragons. It is about a war for the Iron Throne the likes of which fans have never seen, with a total of a dozen dragons between the two sides scorching the Seven Kingdoms with reckless abandon.

The show is well-situated to avoid the problems fans had with Game of Thrones itself. Unlike the original series, House of the Dragon is not based on an incomplete, ongoing story — the tale it will tell is complete in its own way in Fire & Blood, but there is far more room to flesh it out in a standard narrative form on TV. In some ways that make it one of the most interesting fantasy book adaptions in the works right now.

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Thankfully, the premiere is coming up fast and this latest COVID-19 outbreak does not seem to have slowed it down much. House of the Dragon is expected to hit HBO in the spring of 2022. Game of Thrones is still streaming on HBO Max, and other spinoffs are in the early stages of development as well.

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