House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel series, will bring fire and blood to HBO
The House of the Dragon is preparing to take off after a while. HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel about the Targaryen dynasty is currently in production, but filming had to be put on hold for a few days due to a recent positive COVID-19 test.
Once filming resumes, House of the Dragon will be back on track for a 2022 premiere. The cast has already been spotted on set and HBO has released official photos — featuring Matt Smith as the Targaryen prince (looking very different from his other royal role, Prince Philip on The Crown).
Winter has already come and gone on Game of Thrones, which concluded its eight-season run in May 2019. HBO wanted to follow up with the biggest show in its history, so the network began developing five potential Game of Thrones spinoffs. They went ahead with one: House of the Dragon.
The House of the Dragon had a winding road to its existence. HBO first selected an entirely different project for a spinoff, set during the time of Age of Heroes. But after filming a pilot starring Naomi Watts, that project was cancelled.
Then, HBO made a surprise announcement that it had gone ahead and ordered 10 episodes of House of the Dragon. The series is based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel “Fire and Blood”, which chronicles the rule of the House of Targaryens, beginning with Aegon I Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros, nearly 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones.
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Writer Ryan Condal (Colony) and Game of Thrones veteran director Miguel Sapochnik will serve as co-showrunners. Sapochnik directed blockbuster Game of Thrones episodes, which include Hardhome, The Long Night, and the Emmy-winning Battle of the Bastards.
Everything we know so far about House of the Dragon.
House of the Dragon Latest News (Updated: July 21)
- Filming on House of the Dragon was put on hold for a few days due to a positive COVID-19 test between the cast and crew. Production will resume after isolation and quarantine.
- Graham McTavish (Outlander, The Hobbit) has confirmed that he will appear in House of the Dragon after being seen in leaked set photos.
- HBO released official character photos of cast members as their characters, including Princess Renera Targaryen and Sea Snake.
House of the Dragon release date rumors
House of the Dragon doesn’t have a release date, but HBO has an idea of when the show will air.
HBO announced the order for the series in October 2019. At the end of July 2020, the first round of casting began. But that still leaves a lot of steps: filming, editing, visual effects. The latter could take a long time, as the Targaryen-focused series would have to include dragons.
“My guess is sometime in 2022,” HBO president of programming Casey Bloys told Deadline in January 2020. “Obviously it’s a big, complicated show.”
Production is scheduled to begin in April, according to Casey Bloys, chief content officer for HBO and HBO Max.
If it’s anywhere as complicated as Game of Thrones, consider this: Season 8 required nine months of filming, then took nine months until its premiere. If House of the Dragon follows a similar timeline, we’re looking at a release date around March or April 2022. It really meant a lot, because almost every season of GOT premiered in those months.
house of the dragon photo sets
HBO released the first set photos from House of the Dragon, marking the start of production on the show. One of the photos, shared on Twitter, offers a look at the cast members who read at the socially distant table.
HBO also tweeted separate images of House of Dragon cast members, which a fan on Instagram helped put together in a collage. These include Considine, Smith, Cook, Toussaint, D’Arcy and Ifans.
Photos from the cast’s first set of filming scenes have surfaced. Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy were seen filming on a beach in Cornwall, England. They both sport wigs to contain the Targaryens’ white-blonde hair. Smith is Prince Demon, while D’Arcy is Princess Rainera. More on the characters below.
First look at Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy on the set of #GameofThrones prequel series #HouseoftheDragon pic.twitter.com/55dlag2xeMApril 28, 2021
HBO just released official photos of the cast in costume as their characters. The photos show Matt Smith as Prince Damon Targaryen and Emma D’Arcy as Princess Renera Targaryen; Steve Toussaint as Lord Corliss Valerian (aka The Sea Snake); and Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower.
House of the Dragon Cast and Characters
According to Entertainment Weekly, the House of Dragon cast is headed by Paddy Considine, who will play King Viserys. He is described as “selected by the Lords of Westeros at the Great Council at Herrenhaal to succeed the Old King, Jahrys Targaryen. A warm, kind and gentle man, Viserys only aspires to carry on his grandfather’s legacy. But good people.” They do so. They are not necessarily meant for great kings.”
Other major House of Dragon cast members are:
– Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, which is “the daughter of Otto Hightower, the hand of the king, and the most beautiful woman of the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she has both a submissive grace and a deeply political Sharpness.”
Cook told Metro.UK that Alicent is “very different” from her recent role in the film Pixie, which she described as “really manipulative and sly and selfish”. Perhaps Alicent is one of the best eggs in this world.
– Matt Smith as Prince Damon Targaryen, “is described as the younger brother of King Viserys and heir to the throne. A unique warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon has the true blood of a dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the god wind I toss a coin…”
– Emma D’Arcy as Princess Renera Targaryen, “The first child of the king, she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rainera was born with everything … but she was not born a male.”
In February, four more artists were announced:
– Steve Toussaint as Lord Corliss Valerian aka “The Sea Snake” Who will be the owner of House Valerian? His bloodline is as old as House Targaryen, and Valerian earned his nickname for being the “most infamous” marine adventurer in the history of Westeros.
– Eve Best as Princess Raines Valerian, a Dragonrider who is the wife of Lord Corliss Valerian. He didn’t get the throne at the Great Council because – hold his surprise – “the realm favored his cousin, Viserys, just for being male.”
– Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower. As the king’s hand, Hightower is loyally guarding the throne, and sees the king’s brother Damon (Matt Smith) as the greatest threat to Monach.
– Sonoya Mizuno as Massaria. Massaria had nothing when he reached Westeros. Now, after she’s “sold out more times than she can remember,” she’s actually found the trust and confidence of Damon, heir to the throne.
– Fabian Frankel as Ser Kristen Cole, a member of King Viserys I Targaryen’s Kingsguard. On his blog, George R.R. Martin wrote that Ser Kristen is “the common-born son of the Steward of the Lord of Blackhaven. He has no claim to land or title, all he has is his honor and his skill with the sword and lance.” He is a challenger, a champion, who is pleased by the commons, a darling of women. He is a lover (or is he?), a traitor (or is he?), a betrayer (or is he?), Heartbreaker and the creator of kings…Welcome to Westeros, Fabian. And keep that sword sharp.”
And after being seen in the leaked photos, actor Graham McTavish has confirmed that he is part of the cast of House of the Dragon.
I’m really having fun,” he told UK fashion magazine Stylist. “We’ve just started. It’s a huge project, so we’re getting to know each other. They are lovely people. That’s great, but I can’t tell you much more. I can’t really tell you anything about the story! But there are a lot of dragons involved. ”
Sadly, that doesn’t include McTwish’s Outlander co-star Sam Heughan. In the same interview, Heughan joked, “Am I in? [House of the Dragon]?” He also revealed that he auditioned for Game of Thrones seven times, including Renly Baratheon and Ser Loras Tyrell.
House of the Dragon Plot
House of the Dragon is set several hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones. It is based on Martin’s novel “Fire and Blood”, which describes the reign of House Targaryen from the very beginning. The story begins with Aegon I Targaryen’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
House of the Dragon will focus on a particular part of Targaryen history: The Dance of Dragons. It was a bloody and brutal Targaryen Civil War that took place 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. (This is a little over a century after the conquest of Aegon I.)
Star Olivia Cooke has revealed that House of the Dragon will not feature the unnecessary graphic violence against women that was common on Thrones. She told The Telegraph that “I wouldn’t feel comfortable being a part of anything that only had serious graphic violence against women for no reason, just because they wanted it to appeal to the audience.”
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The death of King Viserys I triggered a struggle for succession between his daughter from his first marriage, Princess Rainera, and his son from his second marriage, Aegon II. Princess Shireen Baratheon told this story in an episode of the fifth season of Game of Thrones.
“Brothers fight brothers, dragons fight dragons,” he reminded his father, Stannis. “By the time it was over, thousands of people were dead.”
As Shirin noted, the conflict took its toll on the Targaryens, as did almost all of their…