Take a close look and you'll see House of the Dragon's sigil for House Targaryen isn't the one that's long graced the franchise's official shot glasses and tees. Previously, the sigil depicted a three-headed dragon with two legs, but this one has a four-legged dragon. Co-showrunner Ryan Condal, who co-created the new drama with George R.R. Martin, confirms this alternate sigil isn't so new.
"I will say every choice we made on this show, down to even smaller minutia than that [sigil], was made with a reason," Condal told EW on the set of House of the Dragon in December. "I would say stay tuned. But I also say that the sigil that you're seeing in this show you did see in the original show, as well."
Ollie Upton/HBO Fabien Frankel plays Ser Criston Cole, a common-born warrior of Dornish descent, combats Prince Daemon during a tourney event.
Through season 5 of Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) had been using the two-legged dragon as her sigil on banners, armor, and the like. By season 6, viewers began noticing the four-legged dragon design popping up more. It notably adorned the flags of Dany's ships as she sailed from Meereen to Westeros in the season 6 finale, and it was seen draped over the ruins of King's Landing as Dany addressed her troops.
HBO The ships of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in 'Game of Thrones' season 8, episode 4.
Daenerys' forces after she stormed King's Landing in HBO's 'Game of Thrones' series finale.
In the seventh season, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) showed us a vision of the past in which Rhaegar Targaryen donned the four-legged sigil on the front of his clothing. (Granted, one only gets a clear shot of it in this promotional photo of actors Wilf Scolding and Aisling Franciosi).
Helen Sloan/HBO Wilf Scolding and Aisling Franciosi appear as Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark in HBO's 'Game of Thrones.'
There's a reason for these alternate designs, and Condal says it'll all make sense in due time.
"The truth of the matter is you think you've seen the Targaryen sigil a lot in the original Game of Thrones, but actually it's not in Game of Thrones that much," he explains. "You've seen it on books and Funko Pops and things like that. That was how far and high the Targaryen dynasty had fallen, that the sigil did not exist really anymore until Daenerys brought it back about. So we chose to go down a road that I think honored where Daenerys left us off versus where people think it all started. But I will say, stay tuned. Hopefully it will all make sense in due time."
House of the Dragon takes place during a time when House Targaryen was in full power in Westeros, roughly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) chooses his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, as his chosen heir to the throne. But when the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms conceives a son later in life, the dynastic House is split in two over succession, leading to a civil war. (Milly Alcock will play Rhaenyra as a teen, while Emma D'Arcy plays her as an adult.)
House of the Dragon premieres on HBO on Aug. 21.