John Oliver took a shot at HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon in his latest big story. The comedian did a comprehensive segment on SLAPP lawsuits last weekend on Last Week Tonight, culminating in one of the biggest stunts in the show's history. Along the way, however, he flung an insult at the Westerosi royal house.
Oliver often makes jokes at the expense of the companies he works for, including HBO, WarnerMedia and their new parent company, AT&T. This week, he kept it closer to home by joking about network's attempt to fill the void left by Game of Thrones with various spinoffs.
The joke came during an explanation of the larger segment, where Oliver summarized the correspondence between his show, HBO's legal department and Bob Murray, a coal executive who was suing him for alleged defamation. Murray reportedly warned that "Home Box Office is in for the fight of its existence."
"Which, look, might actually be true, but not because of his lawsuit," Oliver joked. "It's because Game of Thrones prequels, including Game of Thrones: The College Years, Game of Thrones: Winterfell Valley High and Throne Babies: Battle for the Rattle won't be out for at least a year."
"HBO's gonna be fine, it's gonna be fine," he added with mock pessimism.
Oliver was of course joking about the five spinoff shows HBO reportedly put into development as Game of Thrones itself came to a close this year. Just one of the shows — Bloodmoon — got as far as a pilot order, but it was canceled before going to series. The other four were dropped as well, but HBO did order a sixth spinoff, House of the Dragon, straight to series.
All of this is prime material for Oliver, regardless of how he feels about the shows themselves. The comedian has a running bit where he mocks AT&T, going all the way back to when the company purchased WarnerMedia back in 2017. He addresses the company as "business daddy," daring it to ask him to tone his message down.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver launched on HBO in 2014, three years after Game of Thrones. The two shows have been linked over the years, sharing similar time slots and doing promotions together for the network. However, Oliver is an unrepentant satirist first and foremost, and must therefore poke fun at the show's worldwide success.
The only Game of Thrones spinoff going to series, House of the Dragon, was announced during and HBO Max presentation last month, but it will still air on HBO itself as well. The show is based on material from author George R. R. Martin's book Fire and Blood, which is a fictional history of the Seven Kingdoms written from the perspective of a maester. So far, there are no details on casting, filming or a project release date for the series.
Last Week Tonight airs on Sundays at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.