House of the Dragon is the highly-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel that will be headed to a TV screen near you in 2022. HBO has released the first photos of the series, including glimpses of the new Targaryens. Matt Smith transforms into Prince Daemon Targaryen with his white-blonde hair. His transformation is pretty startling. He stands alongside Emma D’Arcy, who plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.
The Game of Thrones prequel will tell the story of House Targaryen long before Daenerys came into the picture. The series is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and is based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood. Have no fear, there was plenty of drama in the early days of House Targaryen.
The official description for Prince Daemon Targaryen reads: “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…” Daemon is the younger brother of King Viserys I, who is Rhaenyra’s father. Rhaenyra ends up coming become Daemon’s third wife. (Yes, he ends up marrying his own niece.)
As for Princess Rhaenyra, she is 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.”
The show also stars Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, a.k.a. the Sea Snake. He is the Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline that’s as old as House Targaryen. Olivia Cooke plays Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. Rhys Ifans stars as Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. Paddy Considine stars as King Viserys Targaryen.
House of the Dragon will dive deep into the Dance of the Dragons, a Targaryen civil war that nearly destroyed the realm. It was a war of succession between Princess Rhaenyra and her half-brother Prince Aegon II. The war didn’t end well for either of them. House of the Dragon is currently filming and will air on HBO and HBO Max in 2022.