A Game of Thrones Prequel Show, House of the Dragon, Is Coming

Here's what you need to know about the Targaryen-focused spin-off.

Dragon lovers, rejoice. HBO has officially confirmed that it’s working on a Game of Thrones prequel show revolving around the Targaryens, called House of the Dragon.

The network first made the announcement in 2019, shortly after reports broke that another potential prequel show, which focused on the Age of Heroes and starred Naomi Watts, would no longer be produced.

Now, we have a clearer idea of what’s in store for the fiery series. Here’s everything we know about House of the Dragon so far.

It will debut in 2022.

At the 2020 Television Critics Association press tour, HBO programming president Casey Bloys estimated that House of the Dragon would arrive in two years. “My guess is sometime in 2022,” he said, according to Deadline. The creative team has already started writing, Bloys added.

The official GoT Twitter also confirmed that production would officially begin in 2021. The account even shared a glimpse of what the dragons would look like. “Dragons are coming,” it tweeted.

It will be based on the George R. R. Martin book Fire & Blood.

Martin’s book about the history of House Targaryen, originally released in November 2018, will serve as the source material for the upcoming series. The story begins 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and, according to its synopsis, it covers major battles like the Dance of Dragons (the Targaryen civil war) and the aftermath of the Doom of Valyria.

A part of the synopsis on Martin’s website reads:

“Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.”

Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) (A Song of Ice and Fire)

Paddy Considine stars as Viserys Targaryen.

Considine, who is known for The Outsider, Peaky Blinders, Hot Fuzz, and more, will play King Viserys Targaryen, making him the first cast member announced for House of the DragonEntertainment Weekly obtained a new description for the character, teasing potential plot points for the series.

“King Viserys Targaryen is 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 good men do not necessarily make for great kings.”

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Olivia Cooke stars as Alicent Hightower.

The Ready Player One and Sound of Metal star plays Alicent, daughter of Ser Otto Hightower, the hand of the king. Alicent is said to be “the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms,” according to an HBO description. “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,” the network added.

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Matt Smith plays Prince Daemon Targaryen.

From The Crown and Doctor Who, Smith will play the younger brother of Viserys and the heir to the throne.

“Daemon is a peerless warrior and a dragonrider who 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,” HBO teases.

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Meet the rest of the cast below.

  • Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers) plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Viserys’s daughter
  • Steve Toussaint (Doctor Who) plays Lord Corlys Velaryon, the Sea Snake
  • Eve Best (Nurse Jackie) plays Princess Rhaenys Velaryon
  • Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) plays Otto Hightower
  • Sonoya Mizuno (Devs, Ex-Machina) Mysaria
  • Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) as Ser Criston Cole
  • Emily Carey (Wonder Woman) as young Alicent Hightower

There will be 10 episodes.

HBO has ordered a full, 10-episode series of House of the Dragon. Martin and screenwriter Ryan Condal (Rampage, Colony), who is writing the series, are co-creators.

Condal is also a co-showrunner and executive producer with Miguel Sapochnik, who directed some of GoT‘s biggest and most famous episodes. (Does “Battle of the Bastards” ring a bell?) Martin, Vince Gerardis (Jumper), Sara Lee Hess (Orange Is the New Black), and Ron Schmidt are executive producers too.

Additional directors include Clare Kilner (The Alienist: Angel of Darkness), Geeta V. Patel (The Great), and Greg Yaitanes (House), who is a co-executive producer as well. The pilot will be directed by Sapochnik, Game of Thrones previously announced.

Bloys explained at the TCAs that the decision to make the show had to do with the source material. “[When] we looked at House of the Dragon, one of the advantages it had, was it had text from George R.R. Martin and had the Targaryen history,” he said, per The Hollywood Reporter. “There was a bit more of a roadmap. It was an easier decision to say, ‘Alright, let’s go straight to series.’ It wasn’t like there was anything glaringly wrong about the pilot; it’s just sometimes these things click and sometimes they don’t.”This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Production began in April.

HBO shared on April 26 that production on House of the Dragon has already begun. The network also released a photo of the cast gathered for a socially distanced table read.

On May 5, the network shared the first stills from the upcoming series.

house of the dragon
Emma D’arcy and Matt Smith
Steve Toussaint
Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans

Daenerys Targaryen knows nothing.

Emilia Clarke, who portrayed the Mother of Dragons herself for eight seasons on Game of Thrones, admitted that she doesn’t know anything about the Targaryen-centered spin-off. “I genuinely don’t know anything about it,” the actress told Jimmy Fallon in October 2019.

She and her costars, however, did discuss the show in their cast WhatsApp group chat, but it wasn’t a very exciting conversation. “Someone popped it on today and was like, ‘Look at that.’ We were like, ‘Ooh.’ And that’s pretty much it,” Clarke explained.

When Fallon brought up the possibility of a Daenerys cameo in the forthcoming series (perhaps as a peek into the future of the Targaryen lineage), Clarke didn’t seem so down. “What else am I going to do?” she asked.

A new teaser offers the first glimpse of the ancient Targaryens.

HBO has released the first footage of House of the Dragon. Dimly lit and ambiguous as it is, it doesn’t reveal too many plot details, but the clip does include close-ups of the new characters, including Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), as well as some jousting and sword fighting.

There’s also narration, courtesy of Prince Daemon, who says, “Gods, kings, fire, and blood. Dreams didn’t make us kings—dragons did.”

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