House of the Dragon 's Gavin Spokes Says GoT Fandom Will Either 'Love' or 'Hate' the New Prequel Series

·4 min read
English actor Gavin Spokes attends the World premiere of the HBO original drama series "House of the Dragon" at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, July 27, 2022.
English actor Gavin Spokes attends the World premiere of the HBO original drama series "House of the Dragon" at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, July 27, 2022.

CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty

One House of the Dragon actor is predicting that Game of Thrones fans may find themselves divided on the new prequel series from HBO when it finally airs.

Gavin Spokes, who plays Lyonel Strong in the series, told PEOPLE: "Some are going to love, and some are going to hate" the new show, which follows the Targaryen dynasty as it plunges into civil war 200 years before Game of Thrones begins.

"You can't please all the people all the time," Spokes said at Wednesday's Los Angeles premiere for the new series. "I think we have just tried to put as much work and love into it as we can. If people aren't gonna like it then that's their opinion."

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house of the dragon
house of the dragon

Ollie Upton/HBO

Spokes explained that his character serves on King Viserys Targaryen's (Paddy Considine) small council as the Master of Laws, a position held by Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) only in the first season of Game of Thrones. At the new series' outset, Strong is also the Lord of Harrenhal, a significant location in the original show, according to HBO.

"[Strong] always believes that he is trying to do the right thing," Spokes told PEOPLE of his character. "Whether he is or not is for us to judge but he's quite a decent person."

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At the premiere, Spokes told PEOPLE that the scale of production on House of the Dragon "was even bigger" than he expected when he first walked on to the set.

"It's not a green screen. They built a full castle," he said. "[Series co-creator Ryan Condal] was showing me around, like this is the chamber, and I said, 'Wouldn't it have been cheaper to buy a castle?' They built a whole castle north of London, and it's extraordinary. And then extras arrive in beautiful costumes and amazing props, and you are sitting in Westeros."

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower

Ollie Upton/HBO

While Spokes told PEOPLE that the new series may prove divisive for Game of Thrones fans, he also said "they're gonna get a little bit more meat on the bones" with the prequel show.

"I don't want to sound derogatory to Thrones at all because I thought it was an incredible series," Spokes told PEOPLE. "But there's a slow build in the show. And it's deliberate. Particularly to find out about who those characters really are."

RELATED: House of the Dragon Comic-Con Panel Talks About Dragon Riding, the Lack of Female Rulers and More

Last Saturday, House of the Dragon cast members and George R. R. Martin, who co-created the series based on his 2018 book Fire & Blood, appeared at San Diego Comic-Con for an hour-long panel that kicked off with a screening of the series' official trailer, followed by a Q&A that featured Martin and Condal, plus Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey.

"I was nervous at the beginning because these characters are like my kids and when you give your kids to people for adoption you wonder how they will be treated," Martin, 73, told the 6,000 enthusiastic fans gathered for the panel about having his source material adapted again.

"But I've been very very fortunate here," Martin said. "Our cast is amazing, I hadn't had a chance to meet them with COVID, I didn't have a chance to visit the set but I've seen nine of 10 episodes and it's pretty amazing. I'm really very happy."

Emma D’Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen" and Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen"
Emma D’Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen" and Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen"

Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO Emma D’Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen" and Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen"

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What fans know about the plot of House of Dragons so far is that King Viserys I Targaryen (Considine) named his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra (Alcock), his sole heir to the Iron Throne. But, when Rhaenyra's childhood best friend Alicent Hightower (Cooke) marries her father in later years and conceives a son, Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), the dynasty is split in two.

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House of the Dragon premieres Aug. 21 on HBO.