The upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series titled The Long Night may not include dragons. In HBO's hit show, the mythical creatures have been featured heavily, mostly due to Daenerys Targaryen's character. Daenerys raised three dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion since they were babies. Over the last seven seasons, fans have gotten to watch the dragons grow and become immensely powerful beasts.
It was once believed that multiple Game of Thrones spinoffs were coming from HBO, but for now, The Long Night is the only one in active development. There isn't a lot known about the prequel, but the series will take place thousands of years before Game of Thrones and is officially titled The Long Night, as recently confirmed by author George R.R. Martin. Given the title and the brief description that was released for the show, The Long Night will heavily feature the White Walkers, giving more details about their origins leading into the winter that lasted a generation. None of the current Game of Thrones cast are expected to return, but Josh Whitehouse and Naomi Watts will star, with the latter rumored to be playing the first Lannister.
The cast of the original Game of Thrones aren't the only characters not expected to return, as EW revealed that The Long Night might not be including dragons. When commenting on the vastly different version of Westeros fans will be seeing, Martin commented, " There’s no King’s Landing. There’s no Iron Throne. There are no Targaryens. Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built. We’re dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series". Since the show will take place before the Targaryens, who were the only dragonriders after the destruction of Valyria, it's safe to say that the series won't be including dragons for a while, if ever.
Fans may be disappointed to hear that The Long Night probably won't include dragons, but Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion will most definitely be returning for the final season of Game of Thrones. Just like all of the other characters, the dragons have developed as the series went on. They were initially seen as babies in season 1, but have grown to become a lethal weapon in Daenerys' conquest of Westeros. While Drogon and Rhaegal are still loyal to Daenerys, Viserion unfortunately got turned by the leader of the White Walkers, The Night King, in season 7.
Given the history presented in Martin's Game of Thrones books, it makes sense to not include dragons in this prequel series, at least not right away. Also, dragons have been a symbol for the current Game of Thrones series, and HBO might be wanting to give The Long Night its own iconic image. That being said, some may consider it a missed opportunity to not include dragons at all, since they have given Game of Thrones some visually spectacular scenes. All that considered, since Game of Thrones became a massive hit for HBO, The Long Night will also probably do well for the network, even if dragons don't show up.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres in April 2019 on HBO.