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House Of The Dragon: 6 Things We Know About The Game Of Thrones Prequel Series

Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon.
(Image credit: HBO)

It’s hard to believe that it has already been three years since the divisive final season of Game of Thrones wrapped up on HBO, concluding one of the most epic TV sagas in recent memory. And even though George R.R. Martin has yet to complete the series of books on which the show was based; another show is right around the corner. In not much time, we’ll all be going back to familiar territory with House of the Dragon, a highly-anticipated prequel series set in Westeros years before the destruction of King’s Landing.

If you are looking forward to returning to one of the TV’s most enchanting and deadly lands but don’t yet know a lot about the show, worry not for we are about to break down a few quick things about House of the Dragon, including its release date, cast, story, and so much more.

House of the Dragon logo title card screenshot from trailer

(Image credit: HBO)

House Of The Dragon Premieres August 21 On HBO

There isn’t much time before you can watch one of the biggest 2022 TV shows as House of the Dragon is set to premiere at 9 p.m. ET, Sunday, August 21 on HBO. The prequel series focusing on the beginning of the end of House Targaryen will also be streaming for anyone with an HBO Max subscription.

matt smith emma d'arcy house of the dragon hbo

(Image credit: HBO)

The House Of The Dragon Cast Includes Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke And Rhys Ifans

While actors playing some key figures like Aegon II Targaryen have yet to be revealed, much of the House of the Dragon cast has been announced, and it’s stacked to say the very least. Included in the list of actors set to appear on the Game of Thrones prequel are Matt Smith (The Crown) as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers) as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Paddy Considine (The Outsider) as Viserys I Targaryen, Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) as Alicent Hightower, and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) as Otto Hightower.

Other members of the House of the Dragon cast include Steve Toussaint (It’s a Sin) as Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka The Sea Snake, Eve Best (The King’s Speech) as Rhaenys Velaryon, Sonoya Mizuno (Crazy Rich Asians) as Mysaria, Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) as Criston Cole, and many, many more.

Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen house of the dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

The House Of The Dragon Will Tell The Story Of House Targaryen And Other Major Players In Westeros

House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel Fire and Blood, which is set 300 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones and focuses on the history of House Targaryen. The prequel series will chronicle the beginning of the end of House Targaryen’s reign as the head of Westeros before the kingdom, and family, are thrown into civil war. Featured throughout the series will be Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine), the king of Westeros who was chosen by a council of lords to take over for Jaehaerys Targaryen as king. Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is the younger brother of the king and heir to his throne, who is described as being a fearless warrior and dragonrider. Also a dragonrider is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), the king’s first-born child of pure Valyrian blood.

Outside of House Targaryen, there are other prominent houses who will play major roles throughout House of the Dragon, including the Velaryons, who are led by Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint). Also known as The Sea Snake, Lord Corlys is the most famed nautical adventurer in all of Westeros who is said to have a fortune and influence larger even than the Lannisters.

And then there are the Hightowers, led by Otto (Rhys Ifans), the Hand of the King. Extremely loyal to King Viserys and his kingdom, Ser Otto will do anything and everything in his power to preserve the throne and protect it from everyone, including other Targaryens. Ser Otto’s daughter, Alicent (Olivia Cooke) eventually becomes the second wife of the king and gives birth to the most infamous of all the Targaryen’s, Aegon II.

Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon

(Image credit: HBO)

House Of The Dragon Wrapped Production In February 2022

Production on House of the Dragon got underway in April 2021, right around 18 months after HBO gave George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal the greenlight to proceed with the Game of Thrones prequel series. It all kicked off with a table read including the major players in the House of the Dragon cast and made for a pretty epic photo on the official Game of Thrones twitter account. Not long after that, HBO released a series of photos of some of the characters.

In February 2022, HBO confirmed in a Deadline article that production on the first season of House of the Dragon had concluded after several months of shooting and a brief pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

house of the dragon cast

(Image credit: HBO)

House Of The Dragon Was Given A Full 10-Episode Season Order In October 2019

Oftentimes, shows will shoot a pilot before receiving a full series order, but that wasn't the case for House of the Dragon, which received a full 10-episode straight-to-series order in October 2019. All 10 of those episodes were written by co-showrunner Ryan Condal, with the first episode being directed by the other co-showrunner, Miguel Sapochnik, according to The Hollywood Reporter

Fans of the original series will probably best remember Miguel Sapochnik as the director of the Emmy Award-winning "Battle of the Bastards" and its follow up, the Season 6 finale, "The Winds of Winter." The accomplished television director was also responsible for two episodes in the show's final season, "The Long Night," and "The Bells." Clare Kilner and Geeta V. Patel will also direct episodes throughout House of the Dragon.

The Night King Game of Thrones

(Image credit: HBO)

The House Of The Dragon Score Is Composed By Game Of Thrones’ Ramin Djawadi

House of the Dragon is going to introduce Game of Thrones fans to all sorts of new characters, locations, and situations, but there is another part of the original series coming over to the upcoming prequel in addition to Miguel Sapochnik directing the pilot. In February 2021, it was revealed that composer Ramin Djawadi, who won two consecutive Grammys for his work on the HBO epic in 2018 and 2019, would be scoring the House of the Dragon pilot. Later on, Djawadi would tell EW that the prequel series would keep the “original DNA alive” when it came to the music, though he didn’t offer many details.

There isn’t much time before House of the Dragon takes us back to Westeros once more. If you want to get a taste of the action that is to come, now would be a good time to check out the show’s official trailer.  

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.