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The Crown Inspired How House Of The Dragon Approaches Time Jumps

"House of the Dragon" — the HBO prequel series to "Game of Thrones" — is making its way through its inaugural season after premiering on August 21, 2022. And within the eight episodes that have premiered thus far, a whole lot of time has been covered thanks, in no small part, to multiple time jumps and even some casting changes. There's a three-year time jump between Episodes 2 and 3, then a ten-year time jump between Episodes 5 and 6, and, finally, there is a six-year time jump between Episodes 7 and 8. As for the casting changes, the most notable ones are for the characters Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. Milly Alcock and Emily Carey play the teenage versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent for the first five episodes, then Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke take over the characters from there.

While the amount of time jumps and casting changes is certainly notable, "House of the Dragon" is not the first show to employ such a narrative trick. In fact, there's another notable drama series about a royal family currently on a streaming service that is known for exactly that: Netflix's "The Crown." Created by Peter Morgan, the series follows the reign and personal life of Queen Elizabeth II, beginning shortly before her coronation and working its way to the 2000s. Naturally, multiple actors have been needed for all roles.

"The Crown" has remained consistently praised by critics over the years — despite of, or even, because of their casting changes and time jumps. Thus, it makes sense that "The Crown" provided some inspiration for "House of the Dragon."

House of the Dragon's showrunner used The Crown as a reference point

Co-creator and showrunner Ryan J. Condal recently sat down with The Wrap to discuss all things "House of the Dragon" — including the pressure of covering so much ground in terms of the timeline. While working on how he and the other writers would address the scope of the story, he looked to other shows to see how they made it work, namely "The Crown."

Condal said, "We looked at what 'The Crown' did and really admired it. And I think it's one of the shows that certainly I, as the showrunner and lead writer, when we're in the room pointed to 'The Crown' as one of our references in terms of the kind of drama that we were aspiring to create." He then remarked on the success that the royal drama has had in terms of recasting its characters as the narrative progresses. 

However, while "The Crown" does their recastings in between seasons, "House of the Dragon," notably, did their recastings midseason. Condal ultimately thought it was the right move for the show. The showrunner continued, "I think that was the big thing is just doing it midseason with a brand new show and trusting that the audience would sink their teeth into the characters and then stay with you as you swap them out. And so far, I think it's paid off."