Why Emilia Clarke Hasn’t Watched House of the Dragon – And Maybe Never Will
After playing Daenerys on Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke finds it too strange to watch House of the Dragon follow the Targaryen ancestors.
After eight seasons of playing Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke doesn’t plan to watch her character’s ancestors in House of the Dragon.
In an interview with Variety, Clarke was asked about her thoughts on the Golden Globe-winning prequel series, which has many subtle and non-subtle nods to her character throughout the show. Clarke jokingly asked for forgiveness, as she hasn’t watched any of the show. “It’s too weird,” Clarke said. “I’m so happy it’s happening. I’m over the moon about all the awards… I just can’t do it. It’s so weird. It’s so strange. It’s kind of like someone saying, ‘You want to go to this school reunion that’s not your year? Want to go to that school reunion?’ That’s how it feels. I’m avoiding it.”
The story from House of the Dragon is adapted from George R. R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood, a history of the Targaryen family and their eventual decline after an enormous civil war called the Dance of the Dragons. Since the show focuses on Daenerys’ ancestors, much of the ensemble cast’s visual styles and personalities are modeled on her. The show establishes its setting in the first episode with the phrase “172 years before Daenerys Targaryen.” And much like Dany, series protagonist Rhaenyra (played by Milly Alcock pre-timeskip and Emma D’Arcy post-timeskip) struggles with a strong sense of justice and the more sinister desire for power which begins to unravel Dany toward the end of Game of Thrones.
While Clarke may not be among the show’s viewers, House of the Dragon has seen high viewership numbers since its debut. The premiere episode attracted almost 10 million viewers in August of last year, while its finale, “The Black Queen,” brought in 9.3 million viewers. For comparison, the original season of Game of Thrones averaged about four million views for both its premiere and finale, although the show’s eventual popularity certainly helped House of the Dragon gain those numbers.
House of the Dragon Is Returning for Season 2A second season of House of the Dragon is currently in development, but due to the high production values, the wait time is expected to be lengthy. HBO executives predict Season 2 might be ready by 2024, but have declined to set an official release date at the time beyond insisting that a 2023 release date would be unrealistic. Based on the finale of Season 1, the next season is poised to depict some brutally violent events from Fire & Blood.
Season 1 of House of the Dragon is currently streaming on HBO Max.