George R. R. Martin has likened the impact of a scene in House of the Dragon to the famous Red Wedding episode in Game of Thrones. Due to premiere later this week, HBO’s new prequel series was co-developed by Martin and showrunner Ryan J. Condal. Set some 200 years before the events of its predecessor, House of the Dragon has already promised to deliver a similarly ruthless storyline whilst delivering an even more flawed line-up of characters.
Arguably one of the greatest scenes in television history, the Red Wedding catapulted HBO’s Game of Thrones into even loftier heights of acclaim across the world. Featured in the season 3 episode “The Rains of Castamere”, the scene forced fans to endure the heart-wrenching betrayal of Roose Bolton and Walder Frey, whose forces butcher the Stark army following Robb Stark’s decision to marry Talisa Westerling, thereby spurning a match with one of Walder’s daughters. A fan-favorite family throughout the series, the Red Wedding episode decimated House Stark after killing Catelyn, Talisa, Robb, and the latter’s unborn heir, allowing the Boltons to assert ownership over the North.
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Discussing House of the Dragon’s premiere episode with Vanity Fair, Martin and Condal have now teased one scene in the prequel which could rival the Red Wedding. Asked about the general reception towards the show’s premiere, Condal commented that a scene featuring the birth of Prince Baelon elicited the biggest reaction. Noting that it would “rip your heart out and throw it on the floor”, Martin likened its impact to the infamous Red Wedding in GOT. Check out their full comments below:
Martin: “That scene is… You don’t want to use the word “enjoyable” for a scene like that, but it’s incredibly powerful. It’s visceral and it’ll rip your heart out and throw it on the floor. It has the kind of impact that the Red Wedding had. It’s a beautifully done scene of something horrible.”
Based on Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood, the prequel will center on a war of succession triggered after the reigning King Viserys I names his daughter, Rhaenyra, heir to the Iron Throne. While it is unclear whether the series will deviate from any of the major plot points in the book, Martin and Condal’s comments appear to confirm that the birth of Rhaenyra’s younger brother, Baelon, will play a gut-wrenching role in the show. Technically the third child of Viserys I and his wife Aemma Arryn (who suffered the death of their first son in infancy), Prince Baelon was dubbed the Heir for a Day by Daemon after his death the following day. Enraged by his brother’s disregard of his grief, it was this loss that ultimately led Viserys I to declare Rhaenyra his successor in spite of Daemon.
With House of the Dragon less than a week away from making its debut, the suggestion that its premiere episode could rival the iconic Red Wedding episode certainly bodes well for the show. Though the Heir for a Day scene may be distinctly less gruesome than the all-out massacre that occurs in season 3 of Game of Thrones, the hope of many fans is that the prequel will be able to invoke the same emotional impact that hooked millions of viewers across the globe.
Source: Vanity Fair