‘House of the Dragon’ Showrunner Ryan Condal Calls Season 3 the ‘Biggest Challenge’ Yet

Hit HBO series “House of the Dragon” has already slayed ratings on streaming platform Max, and just after Season 3 was announced, showrunner Ryan Condal teased what he’s been toying with for a third installment of the show.

Condal told Games Radar that the “biggest challenge” is finding fresh storylines that still maintain the “narrative explosions” that the franchise has become famous for. Think: That devastating birthing sequence in the “House of the Dragon” pilot, or even the Red Wedding in its predecessor series “Game of Thrones.”

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“There’s a rhythm to all this, these kinds of stories as you tell them,” Condal said. “And we’re trying to find satisfying arcs within the season structure. So, hopefully you start with a bang, and then you build to another bang through the series, but you’re really trying to arc out the characters, so that each season is a different experience for all of them. And then you leave them off all in a place where you can pick up with them next year, and then take them in a new direction, because you don’t want to end up in that place where you’re doing the same thing again and again.”

Condal continued, “So, that’s actually the biggest challenge, and then the narrative flare ups or the narrative explosions that come along with that are part and parcel with telling those stories.”

Condal recently told IndieWire that “House of the Dragon” is an “enormously complicated show to make,” especially when it came to the narrative world-building required.

“The first season of any show, certainly one in a world as complicated as this, you have to cleverly disguise exposition all the time and hide the vegetables in the applesauce or whatever the right metaphor is,” Condal said. “But now that everybody has experienced this history as we’ve laid it out in Season 1, you can experience events much more in the reality and the real time of it, with less backfilling as to why we’re here. That creates a narrative [where] the momentum is moving, the ground is moving beneath your feet, you’re putting one foot in front of the other, the ball is rolling down the hill in a way that maybe it wasn’t in Season 1.”

He added, “I think the pressure in making a Season 2 is always less so than Season 1 — Season 1’s are so fraught because you have an entirely new thing, it’s all raw clay, and you’re trying to shape it into something. Season 2 you’re coming in with more stuff to work with. You know your cast, you have sets built… the season got a lot bigger so it was no easier to make, but we had this confidence going into it that we had won over an audience, and now we needed to outdo ourselves and try to do it again.”

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