Is the world ready for more Game of Thrones? After a disappointing finale, HBO has taken its time rolling out the next entry in its fantasy franchise, but now, we’re on the verge of a new series from the mind of George R.R. Martin. Prepare yourself, for House of the Dragon.
As the show’s title suggests, House of the Dragon is all about the Targaryen family, which means by definition it needs to take place before Game of Thrones. Specifically, it seems the HBO Max show will focus on the Targaryen civil war, which marked the beginning of the end for the family’s rule over Westeros and took place about 300 years before Game of Thrones.
But can House of the Dragon win over scorned GoT fans? Can it revive the franchise? Will we ever get the Arya sequel spinoff we deserve? Here are the answers to all those questions and more (except for the Arya bit, no news on that front, I’m afraid.)
Grab your Valerian steel sword. Let’s dive in.
When is the House of the Dragon release date?
HBO finally revealed the show’s release date, announcing in a new poster that House of the Dragon will premiere on August 21, 2022. (For anyone keeping score at home, that’s just two weeks before Amazon rolls out its highly anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings of Power, but we’re sure that’s just a coincidence.)
Is there a House of the Dragon trailer?
Yes, sort of. HBO Max released a teaser back in October 2021 promoting the Game of Thrones prequel series, which reveals the new cast of mostly pale, blonde Targaryens.
Who’s writing, directing, and showrunning House of the Dragon?
The creative team for House of the Dragon features a notable familiar face in director Miguel Sapochnik. Sapochnik is responsible for a number of Thrones’ most memorable episodes, including ‘Battle of the Bastards’ and ‘Hardhome’. He became the show’s go-to “battle guy” and largely contributed to creating the most notable example of a TV show feeling cinematic, though his Season 8 episodes weren’t always well-received.
Sapochnik will be directing the pilot as well as other episodes throughout the series. Joining him is Ryan Condal, longtime showrunner of the USA sci-fi series Colony.
Who’s in the House of the Dragon cast?
Here’s the entire cast as we know it so far:
Paddy Considine — King Viserys I Targaryen, fifth king of the Seven Kingdoms
Emma D'Arcy — Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Viserys's firstborn child and a dragonrider
Milly Alcock — young Rhaenyra
Olivia Cooke — Lady Alicent Hightower, daughter of Ser Otto Hightower
Emily Carey — young Alicent
Matt Smith — Prince Daemon Targaryen, presumptive heir to the Iron Throne, legendary warrior, and skilled dragonrider
Rhys Ifans — Ser Otto Hightower, father of Alicent, Hand of the King, and a rival to Prince Daemon
Steve Toussaint — Lord Corlys Velaryon (aka, "Sea Snake")
Eve Best — Princess Rhaenys Velaryon, wife of Corlys and a dragonrider
Sonoya Mizuno — Mysaria, a dancer from beyond Westeros who becomes Prince Daemon's ally
Fabien Frankel — Ser Criston Cole, a talented swordsman from Dorne
Graham McTavish — Ser Harrold Westerling, a member of the Kingsguard assigned to keep Princess Rhaenyra safe
Ryan Corr — Ser Harwin Strong, aka, “Breakbones,” known as the strongest man in Westeros and heir to Harrenhal
Jefferson Hall — Lord Jason Lannister/Tyland Lannister, a pair of identical twins, Jason rules Casterly Rock and Tyland is a politician
David Horovitch — Grand Maester Mellos, advisor to the king
Matthew Needham — Larys Strong
Bill Paterson — Lord Lyman Beesbury, the Lord of Honeyholt and Master of Coin
Gavin Spokes — Lord Lyonel Strong, Master of Laws and Lord of Harrenhal
Wil Johnson — Ser Vaemond Velaryon, Lord Corlys Velaryon’s younger brother and commander of their navy
John Macmillan — Ser Laenor Velaryon, the son of Lord Corlys Velaryo and Princess Rhaenys
Theo Nate — young Laenor Velaryon.
Savannah Steyn — Lady Laena Velaryon, the daughter of Corlys and Rhaenys
What’s the plot and story of House of the Dragon?
While hard details aren’t available quite yet, we know that House of the Dragon will take place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It will cover the Targaryen dynasty and its influence on Westeros. We’ve yet to discover if the approach it takes to telling their tale will be linear or not, so it could feature appearances from the Mad King, Rhaegar, Aegon the Conqueror, or even Jaehaerys the Old King. We’ll likely also get a look at the other Great House during this era, including the semi-independent Starks up north.
There’s a whole lot of Targaryen lore the show could cover, much of which is outlined in series scribe George R.R. Martin’s recent tome Fire & Blood. Until we have more information on how the series may approach telling the Targaryens’ tale, that book may be the best point of reference as to what the show might be like.
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