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With House of the Dragon based on George R. R. Martin's 2018 novel Fire and Blood, a wealth of source material is still available to adapt for the small screen. So would the team behind the series explore an anthology model to tackle different parts of Targaryen history?
"Absolutely. I think that's one of the interesting things about the Targaryens," says Sapochnik, who co-wrote the Game of Thrones prequel. "We've chosen a story that's almost like Star Wars: Episode IV. It's the New Hope. We can go backwards, we can go forwards. There's a lot of opportunities there. I hope we've been given the opportunity to set up something."
Ollie Upton/HBO Emily Carey and Milly Alcock in 'House of the Dragon'
The epic fantasy franchise had to contend with the fate of another GoT prequel that was scrapped altogether after its pilot was shot. And there's always the ghost of the unaired Game of Thrones pilot, which was reshot before the series debuted.
But Sapochnik and the crew behind House of the Dragon had clear ideas on how to make its first episode differ from other, less embraced journeys to Westeros.
"Generally speaking, pilots tend to be a lot to setup, and I was really, really keen on the idea of doing a pilot that was actually a story and moved you forward and got you engaged," he says. "We worked really hard on trying to make it exciting and not just one of exposition."
And while its straight-to-series order seems to show HBO's confidence in the show, Sapochnik is unable to offer confirmation as to whether or not season 2 is already in development. Though his fellow series writer Ryan Condal openly addressed being in the preparation phase of its sophomore outing during its Comic-Con panel, no official announcement has been made.
House of the Dragon premieres Aug. 21 on HBO.
Additional reporting by Nick Romano