Since the conclusion of “Game of Thrones,” many prequels have been proposed but only one has made it to production: “House of the Dragon.” This series is co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal, with Miguel Sapochnik, known for directing notable “Game of Thrones” episodes, serving as the showrunner alongside Condal.
Since the announcement in October 2019, fans of “Game of Thrones” have eagerly awaited the prequel series, “House of the Dragon.” The series is based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel, “Fire and Blood,” which explores the history of the Targaryen family. Set 200 years before the events of the original series, “House of the Dragon” delves into the politics and dynamics within the Targaryen dynasty.
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 released a teaser for “House of the Dragon” on October 5, 2021. The teaser confirmed that the story will be set 200 years prior to the events of “Game of Thrones” and provided a glimpse of the main characters in the series.
On May 5, 2022, a second teaser for “House of the Dragon” was released. This teaser provided a first look at the dragons, which played a significant role in making House Targaryen the most influential family in Westeros.
What is House of the Dragon About?
The Targaryen family’s power and dominance can be attributed to their possession of dragons. “House of the Dragon” will depict the early stages of House Targaryen’s decline and the events that precede the civil war within the family known as the “Dance of Dragons.” The Dance of the Dragons was a conflict over the succession of power that took place from 129 to 131 AC, after Aegon I’s conquest of Westeros. The series is rumored to begin in the year 111 AC.
The civil war erupts due to a disagreement over the succession to the throne following the death of King Viserys I Targaryen. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, his eldest daughter, believes she should be the rightful Queen to sit on the Iron Throne. Milly Alcock portrays the younger version of Princess Rhaenyra, while Emma D’Arcy takes on the role of the older version. On the other hand, Prince Daemon Targaryen, played by Matt Smith, is the next in line for the throne but is disappointed to learn that Princess Rhaenyra will be the one to inherit the throne due to her birthright.
The civil war in House of the Dragon caused Westeros to divide, with houses like the Starks and Lannisters choosing sides. The Targaryens lost many of their mighty dragons during the war, eventually leading to their extinction until Daenerys Targaryen hatches three dragon eggs centuries later. The first teaser of House of the Dragon gives us glimpses of the intense action, including sword-fighting, jousting, and characters running through grand hallways. We also catch a glimpse of Matt Smith’s prince deep in thought on the shoreline.
What makes House of the Dragon unique is that it will introduce a lot more dragons compared to Game of Thrones. While we only witnessed three dragons in the original series, George R.R. Martin has stated that House of the Dragon will feature a total of 17 dragons. The main dragons in the series will include Vhagar, Caraxes, Syrax, and Sunfyre. It is worth noting that without spoiling the outcome of the “Dance of Dragons,” it is clear that this civil war marks the start of the Targaryen dynasty’s gradual decline, leading to characters like the “Mad King” and eventually the “Mad Queen,” Daenerys.
Paddy Considine plays the role of King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon. Viserys was selected by the lords of Westeros to become the next ruler after his grandfather, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council held in Harrenhal. He is portrayed as a warm, kind, and honorable man who aims to continue his grandfather’s legacy. However, as Game of Thrones has shown us, being a good man doesn’t guarantee being a great king.
Emma D’Arcy portrays the character of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon. Rhaenyra is the eldest daughter of the king and possesses pure Valyrian blood. She is a dragon rider, with her dragon named Syrax. Despite being born with many privileges, Rhaenyra faces challenges because she was not born a man, which creates obstacles in her pursuit of power and inheritance.
Matt Smith portrays the character of Prince Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon. Daemon is the younger brother of King Viserys and is next in line to the throne. He is a highly skilled warrior and also a dragon rider, with his dragon named Caraxes the Blood Wyrm. However, there is a saying that when a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin, suggesting that there is a potential for both greatness and madness in their bloodline.
Rhys Ifans portrays the character of Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon. Otto serves as the Hand of the King and is dedicated to the welfare of both the king and the realm. In his role as Hand, he believes that the greatest threat to the realm is King Viserys’ brother, Daemon, and his claim to the throne. Otto Hightower is committed to protecting the stability and order of the kingdom, even if it means opposing certain members of the royal family.
In addition to the main cast, the ensemble of House of the Dragon includes Milly Alcock portraying the young version of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Emily Carey taking on the role of young Alicent Hightower. Ryan Corr joins the cast as Ser Harwin ‘Breakbones’ Strong, while David Horovitch portrays Grand Maester Mellos. Graham McTavish plays Ser Harrold Westerling, and Matthew Needham is cast as Larys Strong. Bill Paterson portrays Lord Lyman Beesbury, and Gavin Spokes takes on the role of Lord Lyonel Strong. These actors contribute to the diverse and talented ensemble of House of the Dragon.
House of the Dragon is scheduled to make its debut on HBO Max on August 21, 2022. The episodes will be released on a weekly basis, airing on Sundays. It is expected that the show will follow a similar time slot as Game of Thrones, which aired at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time/Pacific Standard Time. Fans can anticipate tuning in for the new series during this time slot.
Similar to the initial six seasons of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon’s first season will consist of ten episodes. The renowned director Miguel Sapochnik will helm the pilot episode, as well as several others throughout the season. In an interview with Variety, HBO’s chief content officer, Casey Bloys, hinted at the potential for a second season of the series.