game of thrones adapted from George RR Martin (sigh… still unfinished) A song of ice and fire series. But HBO’s prequel spinoff isn’t based on those novels. Dragon House begins two centuries before Robert Baratheon asks Ned Stark to serve as Hand of the King. Unlike the original hit series, we already know a lot about the Dance of the Dragons set in Dragon House thanks to the book 2018 Fire & Blood. This is the first part of Martin’s story (expected in two parts) of House Targaryen.

However, that’s not the only source we have for the civil war that pitted dragon against dragon. Even this prequel has prequels.

What is Fire & Blood About?

Bantam Books

For millennia, ancient Valyria ruled over much of Essos. House Targaryen was only a minor family of dragonlords from the 40 ruling noble houses of the empire. But things changed twelve years before the “Doom of Valyria” killed all the other dragonlords in 114 BAC (before Aegon’s conquest). Fire & Blood Targaryen’s story in Westeros begins with these events.

Lord Aenar Targaryen, to the bewilderment and defiance of the other Valyrian rulers, moved his family to the empire’s westernmost outpost, Dragonstone. His daughter Daenys had a prophetic dream about the end of Valyria. When this came true a dozen years later, the Targaryens were the only remaining dragonlords in the world. But they didn’t use “fire made flesh” to take over Westeros for another century. It was then that Aegon and his two sisters brought fire and blood to the Kingdom. The book that takes its name from the words of House Targaryen covers the first half of the family’s centuries-old dynasty in the Seven Kingdoms.

An illustration of Rhaenyra Targaryen on her dragon

The book covers the history of the family from the reign of Aegon and the five kings who followed him. It then ends with Civil War Targaryen’s Dance of the Dragons, which Dragon House will bring to life. Fire & Blood ends halfway through the reign of the seventh Targaryen ruler in Westeros, the one who ascended the throne at the end of the war. We won’t name this person for those hoping to avoid spoilers for the show. But this monarch’s reign marked the last time anyone saw a dragon until Daenerys Stormborn.

East Dragon House Based on other books?

Fire & Blood– billed as Archmaester Gyldayn’s World History – is the most comprehensive source we have for both Dragon House and the first half of House Targaryen’s reign in Westeros.

But before its release, fans of A song and ice and fire learned about this civil war and its main participants from other official sources. The most important is the 2014 compendium The world of ice and fire. It covers tens of thousands of years of Westeros history. This includes a large section on the reign of House Targaryen covering all rulers of Aegon up to Aerys II, the Mad King. However, this section is only a fraction of what Fire & Blood revealed.

The cover of George RR Martin's book The World of Ice & Fire
Bantam Books

Written by Martin with Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, The world of ice cream & Fire is also presented as an in-world story by Maester Yandel. The Maester wrote it for the benefit of the newly crowned king Joffrey Tommen. (Joffrey’s name is actually written out.) However, readers were already familiar with some aspects of the dragon dance before the release of this book. Martin has previously shared stories about some of the major figures of the war in short story collections to which the author has contributed.

And as if that weren’t enough, A wiki of ice and fire covers all known traditions and history on A song of ice and fire. The website is part of Westeros.orgexecuted by The world of ice and fire co-authors Garcia and Antonsson.


All of Martin’s companion books are canon. And A wiki of ice and fire is an invaluable and meticulously preserved source. But sometimes the “writing” of these stories by the maesters has contradictory sources. In some cases, all we know officially is that no one in Westeros officially knows what happened. Dragon House will apparently give us answers to the greatest mysteries of war, however. Martin said the show would not tell all three versions of events from major Civil War historical sources.

Are there white walkers in Fire & Blood?

Daenerys sits on her dragon beyond the wall in Game of Thrones

The original Long Night ended in Westeros before dragons were born halfway around the world in Valyria. The forces of ice and fire never intersected during the reign of House Targaryen on both continents. For thousands of years, most people believed the White Walkers were just an old wives’ tale. It wasn’t until Daenerys Stormborn flew beyond the wall on game of thrones that a dragonlord has seen the dead.

Dragon HouseThe story of White Walkers in no way involves the White Walkers. But considering how many dragons will die roughly 170 years before the Night King returns, the Ice Lord’s presence will dominate everything. More dragons would have helped deal with the wights, even if they couldn’t harm the Night King himself.

Do Dragon House have something to do with The Winds of Winter?

Jon Snow Returns to The Night King at Hardhome on Game of Thrones

Not at all. Well, at least from a story perspective, that’s not the case. The prequel show is yet another project requiring time and focus from George RR Martin. Which means it’s one more project that keeps him from finishing a book that’s long, long, long late.

And since he intends to release the second part of Fire & Bloodwhich could one day lead to another HBO series, technically everything he does is related to The Winds of Winter. But we will try to enjoy Dragon House anyway and see how it lines up with the Fire & Blood book. At least we don’t have to worry about running out of source material.


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