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Game of Thrones’ next spinoff really shouldn’t be an Aegon the Conqueror series

HBO has far better options than another Aegon

Syrax, a giant yellow dragon, flies through the skies of King’s Landing toward the Red Keep in House of the Dragon Image: HBO
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

The world of Ice and Fire just keeps getting bigger. Alongside the other shows already airing or in development, like House of the Dragon or the Jon Snow sequel series, HBO is now considering a new show in the Game of Thrones universe that would tell the story of Aegon’s Conquest on Westeros, according to a report from Variety. The story serves as a sort of origin point for the world of Westeros we know, but it’s also a terribly boring idea.

For those who aren’t up to speed (or are just a little overwhelmed by the number of Aegons in this universe already), the Aegon’s Conquest story would be a House of the Dragon prequel — in other words, a prequel to a prequel. It would likely take place about 130 years before most of the events in House of the Dragon, putting it almost 300 years before the events of the original Game of Thrones series.

Aegon was not the first Targaryen to settle in Westeros after the Doom of Valyria, when the area’s ancient volcano erupted and covered the world’s most advanced city in ash and brought it to ruin, but he was the most ambitious. He, along with his two sisters and the trio’s three dragons, brought all of Westeros under one crown, turning the Seven Kingdoms into one.

The problem with these events as the basis for a show is that it doesn’t have much room for the kind of interpersonal drama and politicking that HBO’s Game of Thrones shows are best at. The current version of Aegon’s Conquest is more of an overview than a full story. The events come mostly from Fire and Blood, the first part of author George R.R. Martin’s fictional history of the Targaryen dynasty, which is also the source material for House of the Dragon. Much like House of the Dragon is doing with The Dance of Dragons, the story could easily be expanded, but Aegon’s conquest succeeds due to his military prowess and the fierce dragons, rather than through the shrewdness of their political maneuvering.

There isn’t anything wrong with Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon’s massive battles, but a series that’s so completely pinned to those moments lacks the kind of surprising character moments that has made Martin’s world sing on TV. In fact, in Martin’s version of the Conquest, Aegon’s dominance is so assured that the battles themselves wouldn’t even be all that exciting to watch, and would likely feel lacking after the later seasons of House of the Dragon deliver us some more good dragon-on-dragon melees.

While all of this may be true on paper, House of the Dragon has at least earned HBO a bit of benefit of the doubt. Recapturing the magic of Game of Thrones, with its balance of character drama, palace intrigue, and grueling battles seemed nearly impossible, but the final product was an excellent first season.

It is also important to note is HBO hasn’t greenlit this series, and is only in talks to produce it for the moment. That means that there’s no showrunner, writers, cast, or director — just a vague idea at this point. No matter what happens with this, we’ll continue to await HBO’s word of what series is next to arrive in the Game of Thrones universe, whether it’s season 2 of House of the Dragon, the Dunk and Egg series, or even one of the animated series supposedly in the works.

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