Good news, everyone, we finally have confirmation of when House of the Dragon, the prequel series to Game of Thrones, is hitting screens. The extra bit of good news is that we’ll be getting it at the same time as our friends in the U.S.. Hallelujah.
George R.R. Martin’s world of Westeros is rich with spin-off potential, and before Game of Thrones had even finished airing, HBO had five other series ideas in development.
One of these spin-offs, set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, even filmed its pilot episode, but was ultimately shelved.
No matter, there were plenty of other spin-off ideas to choose from and now a new GoT series, House of the Dragon, is nearly here.
Here’s what we know and what you can expect.
What is House of the Dragon about?
House of the Dragon is a prequel to the Game of Thrones series. It will largely be based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book, Fire and Blood, aka the book he wrote instead of finishing Game of Thrones.
The story will dive into the history of House Targaryen and is set about 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Casting news has revealed that one of the main characters will be Viserys I Targaryen, who succeeds Jahaerys I as King of Westeros.
The plot of the series will involve the Targaryen civil war that resulted in the event known as “The Dance of Dragons”. If you thought the War of the Five Kings was bad, it’s got nothing on this.
Naturally, there will also be dragons.
Is there a trailer?
The show began production in April 2021, so we’ve not seen much but the first teaser trailer for House of the Dragon was released on October 25, 2021. HBO has also released a handful of official photos from the show.
The trailer doesn’t give much away, but it does tease some pretty pivotal things in Westeros’ history.
If you look closely, you can see the giant skull of Balerion the Dread, a more accurate portrayal of the Iron Throne from the books and plenty of silver-haired Targaryen family members who look ready to stir up drama.
The voice in the trailer says, “Dreams didn’t make us kings. Dragons did.” So yep, expect plenty of dragon action from this series.
A second trailer gives us even more information.
This trailer sets the match underneath the Targaryen Civil War, that seemingly will occur between the King’s brother Daemon and his daughter Rhanyra, after Viserys names her his heir.
As always, everyone in King’s Landing wants a piece of the power and we see plenty of classic Game of Thrones scheming in this trailer. They’re also not skimping on the dragons with a straight-up shot of dragon-riding. Get keen.
Who is in the cast? Who do they play?
Here’s some information we have about our upcoming cast of lords, ladies and dragons.
- Paddy Considine plays 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.
- Matt Smith (yes, the Eleventh Doctor) is Prince Daemon Targaryen. The younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…
- Olivia Cooke (you might remember her from Ready Player One) is 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.
- Emma D’Arcy plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. The king’s first-born child. She is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.
- Steve Toussaint is Corlys Velaryon, the lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As “The Sea Snake,” the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.
- Eve Best is Princess Rhaenys Velaryon. A dragonrider 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.
- 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 is his honor and his preternatural skill with a sword.
- Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria. She came to Westeros with nothing, sold more times than she can recall, and she 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.
- Rhys Ifans is Otto Hightower. The Hand of the King, Ser Otto 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.
In alphabetical order, additional cast members include: Milly Alcock, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Emily Carey, Harry Collett, Ryan Corr, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Wil Johnson, John Macmillan, Graham McTavish, Ewan Mitchell, Theo Nate, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, Phia Saban, Gavin Spokes and Savannah Steyn.
Yep. Whip out your pen and paper because this family tree is getting complicated.
Who else is involved?
To the relief of many, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are not involved in House of the Dragon. House of the Dragon will be overseen by George R.R. Martin as executive producer. The series is co-created by Martin and Ryan Condal (Colony), and Miguel Sapochnik will also serve as an executive producer.
Sapochnik, whose name you may recognise as the director of GoT episodes like ‘Battle of the Bastards’, will direct the pilot and further episodes. Other directors onboard include Clare Kilner, Geeta V. Patel and Greg Yaitanes.
We’ll hopefully also get another iconic theme song, with Ramin Djawadi back to score the series.
The series is co-created by @GRRMSpeaking and Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik will partner with Condal as showrunner and will direct the pilot and additional episodes. Condal will be writing the series. pic.twitter.com/9ttMzElgXm
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) October 29, 2019
When can I watch House of the Dragon?
Soon, very soon. On August 22, 2022, House of Dragon will premiere on Binge at the same time as the U.S..
We don’t know what time exactly that will be, but for some context, at 7.30 pm PT (California), it is 1.30 pm the following day AEDT (Sydney). I can picture the mass sick days already. If you’re still burnt.
Every episode of House of the Dragon will also be available on Foxtel and all eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available to watch now on Foxtel on Demand and Binge.
What other Game of Thrones shows are in the works?
HBO Max is reportedly working on at least three animated shows set in Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” universe, including one focused on the Golden Empire of Yi Ti.
HBO was working on another prequel series, which was written by Jane Goldman, starred Naomi Watts, and set thousands of years before the first show. A pilot had been filmed and was in post-production when HBO cancelled the show. Several other rumoured Game of Thrones projects also appear to be cancelled or in limbo.
This article has been updated since it was first published and we’ll continue to make changes as we learn more.