Get ready for everyone to be talking about the Targaryens. The Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, is all about the rise and fall of House Targaryen. The series is set about 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and who will sit on the Iron Throne remains a constant battle.
Adapted from author George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, which explains the history of the Targaryen family, House of the Dragon is going to shed light on one of the most powerful families in the history of Westeros. Just a heads up, there will be even more dragons than in Game of Thrones. HollywoodLife has all the latest updates about House of the Dragon.
Release Date & Where To Watch
House of the Dragon will premiere August 21 on HBO at 9 p.m. ET and will be available to stream on HBO Max. The prequel is not an HBO Max Original, so it won’t be available at 3:00 a.m. ET on August 21. The new episodes will be available simultaneously as they air on the HBO channel. The first season will consist of 10 episodes.
HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys told Deadline in January 2020 that he believed the show would air “sometime in 2022.” This was before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most productions around the globe for a period of time. HBO didn’t confirm the show’s official release date until March 2022.
House of the Dragon Cast & Crew
- Paddy Considine is King Viserys I Targaryen. Viserys is currently sitting on the Iron Throne. He is one of Daenerys Targaryen’s ancestors. Viserys was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys I Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather’s legacy, according to HBO. He is also a dragonrider. Paddy has appeared in numerous films and TV shows over the years, including Peaky Blinders and The Outsider.
- Emmy D’Arcy is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen: Rhaenyra is King Viserys’ 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. Emma, who goes by they/them pronouns, previously starred in the Amazon Original series Truth Seekers. Milly Alcock plays young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. This is Milly’s first project outside of Australian television.
- Matt Smith is Prince Daemon Targaryen: Daemon is the younger brother of King Viserys and 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. Matt is best known for his roles in Doctor Who and The Crown.
- Olivia Cooke is Lady Alicent Hightower. Alicent is 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. The actress is best known for her roles in Bates Motel and Vanity Fair. Emily Carey portrays the younger version of Alicent Hightower.
- Rhys Ifans is Ser Otto Hightower: Ser Otto is the Hand of the King. He 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. Rhys is known for his roles as Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 and Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
- Steve Toussaint is Lord Corlys Velaryon: Lord Corlys is the lord of House Velaryon and is known as “The Sea Snake.” He has built one of the richest houses in the Seven Kingdoms and claims the largest navy in the world. Steve, who is known for roles in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Judge Dredd, revealed he received racial abuse after his casting was announced in February 2021. “I didn’t realize it was a bigger deal until I was racially abused on social media when it was announced. Yeah, that sh*t happened,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
- Eve Best is Princess Rhaenys Velaryon: Rhaenys is a dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys. She has been dubbed “The Queen Who Never Was” because she was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favored her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male. Eve is a two-time Tony nominee and was a series regular in the first 5 seasons of Nurse Jackie.
- Fabien Frankel is Ser Criston Cole: 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. He is of Dornish descent. Fabien co-starred alongside Game of Thrones alum Emilia Clarke in Last Christmas.
- Sonoya Mizuno is Mysaria: Mysaria came to Westeros with nothing and has been sold more times than she can recall. She has risen to become the most trusted – and most unlikely – ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, an heir to the Iron Throne. Sonoya is known for her collaborations with Alex Garland in Ex Machina, Annihilation, and Devs.
Outlander alum Graham McTavish has also been cast as Ser Harrold Westerling. “I’m enjoying that, yes,” Graham told Stylist when asked about House of the Dragon. “I’m really having a lot of fun. We’ve just started. It’s a very big project, so we’re getting to know each other. They’re lovely people. It’s great, but I can’t tell you too much. I can’t tell you really anything about the story! But it involves a lot of dragons.”
Additional cast members include Sian Brooke as Aemma Targaryen, Jefferson Hall as twins Lord Jason Lannister and Ser Tyland Lannister, David Horovitch as Grand Maester Mellos, Bethany Antonia as Lady Baela Targaryen, and Harry Collett as Prince Jacaerys Velaryon. Since House of the Dragon takes place centuries before the events of Game of Thrones, characters from the flagship series will not be making an appearance in the prequel. However, there is a Jon Snow spinoff in development.
The prequel is in very good hands. George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal serve as co-creators. Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan are the House of the Dragon showrunners. They are also executive producers alongside George and Vince Gerardis.
Miguel notably directed 6 Game of Thrones episodes, including “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Long Night.” He was part of the executive producing team when the show won the Emmy for Best Drama Series in 2019.
George revealed in a blog post that he had seen all 10 episodes of House of the Dragon and praised the series. “I love what I’ve seen. Ryan and Miguel and their amazing cast and crew have done some magnificent work. HotD is all I hoped it would be; dark, powerful, visceral, disturbing, stunning to look at, peopled with complex and very human characters brought to life by some truly amazing actors,” he wrote.
The first teaser for House of the Dragon was unveiled on October 5. The show takes place 200 years before Game of Thrones when the Targaryen dynasty reigned. Fire & Blood, the book on which the show is based, encompasses Targaryen history from Aegon the Conqueror to Aegon III. The show will prominently feature The Dance of the Dragons, a civil war that nearly destroyed Westeros.
The official trailer was released in July 2022. The subject of succession is at the heart of the series. While Princess Rhaenyra should be the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, her legitimacy is questioned because she is a woman. Prince Daemon Targaryen, the king’s brother, is also a major candidate. “I will not be made to choose between my brother and my daughter,” King Viserys I says.
“When I am queen, I will create a new order,” Rhaenyra vows. As the battle for the Iron Throne becomes more precarious as the years go on, people will have to choose sides. Alicent Hightower, the king’s second wife, believes that if Rhaenyra comes into power she can “cut off any challenge to her succession.” To make things even dicier, there are lots and lots of dragons.
Just days before the show’s premiere, HBO released a final “Fire Will Reign” promo. The threat of war looms over everyone in Westeros. “We are better defended… by whomever may dare to challenge us,” Viserys says. The quest for power clearly runs in the Targaryen family.