House of the Dragon: HBO teases thrilling season finale
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House of the Dragon wrapped up its first season last year with unanimous applause from Game of Thrones fans. Now George RR Martin’s popular fantasy franchise has been revived for the screen by HBO’s acclaimed new prequel series, director Greg Yaitanes has been filling viewers in on some of the biggest production from behind the scenes of House Targaryen.
Director Greg has revealed the last shots seen for House of the Dragon’s first season originally re-introduced a key part of Game of Thrones lore.
In the final minutes of the season, Daemon Targaryen (played by Matt Smith) reveals some shocking news to his niece and lover, Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy).
After an epic battle in the skies, Rhaenyra discovers her son, Prince Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) has been killed by Aemond’s (Ewan Mitchell) dragon, and the scorned Targaryen Queen gives a withering look.
The exchange sets up what will undoubtedly be a brutal war to come in future seasons.
However, one of the show’s key directors has now revealed they originally had other plans for arguably one of the most important shots of the series.
“We had the idea… originally that scene was scripted to be in the throne room at Dragonstone,” he explained.
“It was really going to take us into the throne room at Dragonstone for the first time since the original series, which I loved and was very attached to.”
Much like the Iron Throne at King’s Landing, the Dragonstone throne room at Blackwater Bay is a familiar and iconic location in the original Game of Thrones.
Unfortunately, the budget for the untested new prequel series couldn’t quite stretch to bringing back the set at this late stage of the first season.
“There was really not a solution going forward that made sense and we could afford,” Greg told GoldDerby.
“We thought about it in terms of virtual production. But we decided to leave it in the council chamber room.”
Given the episode was already packed full of dragon battles and the Targaryens’ usual family drama, Greg had to cut the scene down considerably for the finished product.
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“The shot is actually twice as long as when it aired,” he recalled. “It really began with Daemon getting the news and then following Daemon as you’re watching him process this. His expression changing.
“I’m fundamentally, as a director, really against doing anything that is highly technical mixed with something highly emotional.
“I find it’s usually a recipe for not getting one or not getting the other. But we decided to roll the dice.
“We spent the entire day on that shot, which was actually two shots that were connected.”
“The idea that it would be a crane gradually closing in was an idea I had from the moment I read that script. It was actually why I wanted to direct [episode] 10, for that final moment.”
Greg also revealed the finale almost used a different shot of Emma before the crew decided to give the scene one last attempt.
Emma had already given a stirring performance, but the director believed the shot needed some last-minute adjustments, and their final attempt made it into the finished episode.
House of the Dragon is available to stream on HBO Max in the USA and Sky Go and NOW in the UK.
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