House of the Dragon at SDCC: Q&A panel and immersive fan experience

HOTD

For the first time since 2019, San Diego Comic Con has come alive with the music of dragons. After being cancelled two years in a row due to Covid, SDCC is back from July 21 – July 24 in a joyous return to some semblance of normality.

House of the Dragon has enjoyed a strong presence at the convention so far, with a Q&A panel held on Saturday and a new interactive exhibit called House of the Dragon: The Dragon’s Den in which fans can, among other things, hatch their own dragon eggs.

The panel was held in Hall H, attended by creator Ryan Condal (co-creator Miguel Sapochnik had to cancel due to catching Covid, but sent a message expressing his excitement for the show), George R.R. Martin and cast members Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Graham McTavish, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey.

Unfortunately, the panel was not filmed in its entirety but thanks to the hive mind of Twitter, we can still enjoy the highlights.

Like Paddy Considine speaking High Valyrian.

On the topic of Paddy Considine … 

Without context, I can’t tell if Condal is saying that Considine tries to bring everyone on set together or if his character, Viserys, tries to bring his family together. If it’s the former, aww. If it’s the latter, lol.

Considine also really wanted to take one particular prop home with him.

Matt Smith and Eve Best agreed that Meleys is the best dragon, which sort of makes sense, since Meleys is ridden by Best’s character … get it?

Eve Best expressed her excitement for the show and discussed her character, Rhaenys’ interiority.

Steve Toussaint talked about playing Corlys Velaryon and briefly addressed “certain people’s” reactions to his casting.

Ryan Condal acknowledged the creative challenges that come with making a television drama based on, essentially, a history book.

Condal also promised us lots of dragons and lots of Driftmark.

“There are 17 dragons at the heart of this.” – Ryan Condal #HouseoftheDragon#HOTDSDCC

This sounds like fun.

Emma D’Arcy talked about what drives their character, Rhaenyra.

Emily Carey set the record straight: Alicent is not the villain.

— House of the Dragon (@HouseofDragon) July 23, 2022

Emma D’Arcy talked about their feels while watching episode 1

Matt Smith hinted at the complexities of Daemon and Viserys’ relationship.

George R.R. Martin spoke about the tumultuous emotions of handing over “his children” for adaptation.

“I was nervous at the beginning because, you know, these books, these characters are like my kids and when you give your kid to people for adoption you wonder how they will be treated. Will you recognize them when they come back to you and all that but I‘ve been very, very fortunate, here, and I think Ryan has done a great job of adapting the books – so far,” he added, to knowing laughter from Ryan Condal and the audience. “And our cast here is amazing. I haven’t had a chance to meet them. Unfortunately, with Covid I didn’t get to visit the set and hang around as I did on a certain other show in the past. I’ve seen nine of the ten episodes and it’s pretty amazing. Pretty amazing. I’m really very happy.”

He also discussed how Covid and … a certain side project have kept him from being as involved on the House of the Dragon set as he was for Game of Thrones.

“For the last couple years since Covid hit I’ve hardly left my house. I’ve been, you know, trying to stay away from Covid and also, you may not know, but there’s this book that I’m writing. It’s a little late.” Pause for audience laughter and applause. “I don’t see [myself] visiting the set or doing anything until I finish and deliver that book and then if the show’s still going, who knows, maybe I’ll show up. I did do a cameo in the original pilot of Game of Thrones but they reshot most of that pilot so I was left on the cutting room floor and I was supposed to be, at a certain point, I was supposed to be a severed head in that scene where Joffrey makes Sansa look at all the severed heads on the wall. I was going to be one of them but then they found out how expensive it was to make a severed head and they just bought a box of used severed heads, one of whom was George W. Bush, which got us in a lot of trouble when people noticed that and I don’t think he’s there any longer but if you get one of the old DVDs you can see that. Now, who knows maybe I can yet become a severed head at some point.”


In addition to the panel, SDCC attendees can participate in House of the Dragon: The Dragon’s Den, an immersive experience in which fans can walk through King’s Landing, sit the Iron Throne, select their own dragon egg and take part in a dragon hatching ceremony.

Of course such an exhibit would be fundamentally incomplete if the cast of House of the Dragon didn’t participate.

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Finally, also shown at the panel: an extended version of the latest trailer, which will be released later today!

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