George RR Martin shares first thoughts on House of the Dragon season two

Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin has given his verdict on the first two episodes of the second season of HBO prequel series House of the Dragon.

“Powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching, heart-rending,” the 75-year-old author wrote.

In a blog post titled A Visit to Old Blighty, Martin revealed that he was given an exclusive preview of the new episodes by showrunner Ryan Condal during a recent two-and-a-half-week visit to London.

“The highlight of the trip,” he wrote, “had to be the sneak preview that Ryan gave me of the first two episodes of House of the Dragon, season two. (Rough cuts, of course). Of course, I am hardly objective when talking about anything based on my own work… but I have to say, I thought both episodes were just great. (And they are not even finished yet).”

“Dark, mind you. Very dark,” he continued. “They may make you cry. (I did not cry myself, but one of my friends did). Powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching, heart-rending. Just the sort of thing I like. (What can I say? I was weaned on Shakespeare, and love the tragedies and history plays best of all).”

Matt Smith in season one of ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)
Matt Smith in season one of ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)

The author explained that he had spent a total of three days with the House of the Dragon team, which included a visit to the studio where the new series is being filmed.

“I am no stranger to film sets,” he wrote, “But nothing I have ever seen can compare with the Red Keep and Dragonstone sets they have built at Leavesden Studios in London. HUGE, stunning, and so damned real that I felt as if I had gone through a time portal to medieval Westeros.”

HBO has not yet announced a release date for the new season, although it is expected to air next summer.

Martin also revealed that he spent two days with Condal and his writing team discussing the planned third and fourth seasons of House of the Dragon. “They were lively, fun discussions, and we got some good work done… though two days was not nearly enough,” Martin wrote. “There is so much ground to cover that I am not sure twenty days would have been enough.”

Speaking to The Independent for an in-depth interview last year, Martin recalled his first visits to the set of Game of Thrones in 2010. “It was magical,” he remembered. “It was like: here are my characters, they’ve come to life. They’re saying the things they said. The scene is pretty much as I imagined it when I wrote it. There’s nothing like that.”