Though a great number of prequels have risen and died in the three years since Game of Thrones came to an uneasy conclusion, only one has survived the long night of HBO pre-production: House of the Dragon, from co-creators George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal. (Miguel Sapochnik, who directed a number of Game of Thrones episodes, including the fan-favorite “The Battle of the Bastards,” serves as show-runner alongside Condal.)
Game of Thrones fans has been holding their breath ever since it was announced that HBO was planning to do a prequel series centering around the Targaryen family in October 2019. It is based on George R. R. Martin’s 2018 novel called Fire and Blood, which are the words of the House Targaryen. House of the Dragon is a Game of Thrones prequel set 200 years before the events of the blockbuster HBO series and inspired by the Targaryen dynasty. And also, it will focus primarily on the politics within the Targaryen family.
Below, we’ve detailed everything we know about the show so far – from its confirmed release date, the main cast of characters, and everything you should know.
Is there a trailer for House of the Dragon?
HBO shared the first teaser for House of the Dragon on October 5, 2021, confirming that the plot will take place 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and offering a glimpse of the series’s leads in action.
A second teaser followed on May 5, 2022, complete with a first glimpse of the dragons that made House Targaryen into the most powerful family in Westeros.
What is House of the Dragon About?
It’s no secret that the Targaryen family came to power because they had dragons. Their dynasty has ruled for generations. House of the Dragon will showcase the “beginning of the fall” for House Targaryen and the events leading up to the family’s civil war known as the “Dance of Dragons”. The Dance of the Dragons was a war of succession fought from 129 to 131 AC — that is, after Aegon I’s conquest of Westeros. According to some reports, the series starts at 111AC.
The civil war is started over a disagreement about who will ascend to the throne after the death of King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine). His firstborn, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen expects to reign as the first Queen to sit on the Iron Throne. The younger version of Princess Rhaenyra will be played by Milly Alcock (Upright) and the older version will be played by Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers). Her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is the heir presumptive, planning to become King until it is announced that the throne will go to Princess Rhaenyra instead because of her birthright.
The war pit all of Westeros against itself, with other houses such as the Starks and Lannisters joining either side. Many of House Targaryen’s powerful dragons perished—and soon afterward would go extinct until Daenerys Targaryen would hatch three eggs hundreds of years later. We glimpse bits and pieces from the action in House of the Dragon‘s first teaser, with some classic, GOT-style sword-fighting, jousting, and dramatically running down long hallways. Plus, we glimpse Matt Smith’s prince having some thoughts on the shoreline.
The special thing is that we only saw 3 dragons in the Game of Thrones series, but George R.R. Martin said we can see 17 dragons in this series. The main dragons are Vhagar, Caraxes, Syrax, and Sunfyre.
Without cheating and looking up the outcome of the “Dance of Dragons,” one thing is for certain: this civil war marks the beginning of the slow destruction of the Targaryen dynasty down to the “Mad King” and eventually the “Mad Queen,” Daenerys.
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen. Viserys was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather’s legacy, but as we’ve learned from Game of Thrones, good men do not necessarily make for great kings.
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. The king’s first-born child. And she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragon rider. Her dragon is Syrax. However, many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen. The younger brother of King Viserys and heir to the throne. Daemon is a peerless warrior and a dragon rider who possesses the true blood of the dragon. His dragon is Caraxes the Blood Wyrm. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…
Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, who loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king’s brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower. She’s the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.
Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon. A dragon rider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon. “The Queen Who Never Was” was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favored her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male. Her dragon is Meleys the Red Queen.
Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon aka “The Sea Snake.” The lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen, “The Sea Snake,” is the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros. He built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.”
Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria. She came to Westeros with nothing, sold more times than she can recall, and could have wilted…but instead, she rose to become the most trusted — and most unlikely — ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne.
Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole. Of Dornish descent, Ser Criston is the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. He has no claim to land or titles; all he has to his name in his honor and his preternatural skill with a sword.
The cast also includes Milly Alcock as Young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Emily Carey will play Young Alicent Hightower. Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin ‘Breakbones’ Strong. David Horovitch as Grand Maester Mellos. Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling. Matthew Needham as Larys Strong. Bill Paterson plays Lord Lyman Beesbury and Gavin Spokes will play Lord Lyonel Strong.
House of the Dragon is set to premiere on HBO Max on August 21, 2022, and will release episodes weekly on Sundays. They will most likely air during the same time slot as Game of Thrones, which was at 9 p.m. EST/PST.
Also, similar to the first six seasons of the original Game of Thrones series, this season will have ten episodes. Miguel Sapochnik will be directing the pilot episode, as well as additional episodes later in the season. In an interview with Variety HBO chief content officer, Casey Bloys hinted about the possibility of a Season 2.