House of the Dragon: Release date, cast, trailers and news for Game of Thrones spin-off
George RR Martin and Ryan Condal are dragon us back to Westeros, with a new series about the Targaryens starring Paddy Considine and Matt Smith.
House of the Dragon is officially winging its way towards us, with a release date finally confirmed for August this year.
The Game of Thrones prequel also unveiled its first-look trailer last year, revealing the look and feel of the show including a different design for the iconic Iron Throne.
Now a second trailer for House of the Dragon has arrived which teased the bloody Targaryen civil war that is on the way.
King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) sits on the Iron Throne but there are various figures vying to control who should succeed him, including his wicked brother Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), his daughter Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy), Hand of the King Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) and his daughter Lady Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke).
With dragons, violence, swords and dark conspiracies, House of the Dragon looks set to be a worthy successor to Game of Thrones.
Here's everything you need to know about House of the Dragon.
House of the Dragon release date
House of the Dragon will premiere on 21st August 2022.
Fans will be excited to know it's now only a matter of months until we're back in the world created by George RR Martin.
We also already know where the 10-episode series will air in the UK. Sky Atlantic, the same channel that aired Game of Thrones, has extended its deal with HBO after House of the Dragon's announcement. Of course you'll also be able to find the show on NOW.
House of the Dragon cast
The following main House of the Dragon cast members have been confirmed for the Game of Thrones prequel.
- Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen
- Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen
- Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
- Olivia Cooke as Lady Alicent Hightower
- Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon
- Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon
- Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
- Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
- Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower
Character descriptions for each of these can be found below.
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen
Viserys was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy. But good men do not necessarily make for great kings.
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen
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…
Olivia Cooke as Lady Alicent Hightower
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.
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
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.
Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon/"The Sea Snake"
Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As “The Sea Snake,” the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.
Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
A dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon, "The Queen Who Never Was" was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favoured her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male.
Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
Ser Criston is of Dornish descent, the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. Cole has no claim to land or titles; all he has to his name is his honor and his preternatural skill with a sword.
Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
Mysaria came to Westeros with nothing, sold more times than she can recall. She could have wilted... but instead she rose to become the most trusted -- and most unlikely -- ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne.
Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower
The Hand of the King, Ser Otto 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.
Milly Alcock as Young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
She's the king’s first-born child, 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.
Bethany Antonia as Baela Targaryen
The eldest daughter of Laena Velaryon and rider of the young dragon Moondancer.
Phoebe Campbell as Rhaena Targaryen
The second daughter of Lady Laena and sister to Baela.
Emily Carey as Young Alicent Hightower
The daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. Alicent 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.
Harry Collett as Jacaerys Velaryon
The eldest son of Rhaenyra Targaryen.
Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin "Breakbones" Strong
'Breakbones', Harwin is said to be the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms. Ser Harwin is the eldest son to Master of Laws Lyonel Strong and heir to Harrenhal.
Tom Glynn-Carney as Prince Aegon Targaryen
The first-born son of King Viserys.
Jefferson Hall as Ser Tyland Lannister
The crafty and calculating politician, twin to Lord Jason Lannister.
Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister
The Lord of Casterly Rock and twin to Ser Tyland Lannister.
David Horovitch as Grand Maester Mellos
The voice of reason and trusted advisor to King Viserys.
Wil Johnson as Ser Vaemond Velaryon
The younger brother to Coryls Velaryon and commander in the Velaryon navy.
John Macmillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon
The son of Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen.
Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling
Westerling has served in the Kingsguard since the days of King Jaehaerys; he is a paragon of chivalry and honour.
Ewan Mitchell as Prince Aemond Targaryen
The second-born son of Viserys, nephew to Daemon, and half-brother to Rhaenyra.
Theo Nate as Ser Laenor Velaryon
The son of Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen.
Matthew Needham as Larys Strong
The younger son of Master of Laws Lyonel Strong, brought to court by his father.
Bill Paterson as Lord Lyman Beesbury
The Lord of Honeyholt and Master of Coin on King Viserys's small council.
Phia Saban as Princess Helaena Targaryen
The second-born daughter of Viserys, sister to Aegon and Aemond, half-sister to Rhaenyra.
Gavin Spokes as Lord Lyonel Strong
The Master of Laws to King Viserys and Lord of Harrenhal.
Savannah Steyn as Lady Laena Velayron
The daughter of Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen.
House of the Dragon trailer
A first-look trailer was finally released in October 2021, soundtracked to a slow version of the classic Game of Thrones theme but introducing a host of new characters and story ideas, including a different design of the Iron Throne. You could say it's looking pretty sharp...
The following teaser trailer was released on 5th May 2022, which showed off more from the dragons and teased the beginning of the bloody Targaryen civil war otherwise known as The Dance of Dragons.
Looks like fans have lots of action scenes, fire and political scheming to come.
Will any Game of Thrones characters return in House of the Dragon?
Probably not – unless the Night King or some Children of the Forest make a cameo.
The series is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, meaning that none of the characters we’ve grown to know and love would appear.
However, it is possible that we'll see the ancestors of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons and other families that we’re more familiar with. Depending on exactly how much ground is covered we could also see original Westerosi conquerors Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys Targaryen, as hinted by early casting announcements, though this hasn't been confirmed.
And there is one familiar face that we might seen again – that of famously large dragon Balerion the Black Dread, Aegon’s mount whose skull resided in the dungeon’s of King’s Landing throughout most of Game of Thrones, and who was "historically" ridden by King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) at one point. Though he might have a little bit more skin on his bones this time.
The first concept art released for the show seemed to suggest that it will indeed live up to its name.
What is House of the Dragon about?
It's been confirmed that the Targaryen Civil War – known as the Dance of Dragons – will be the focus of the prequel. This conflict took place after two rival claimants for the Iron Throne rose up (sound familiar?) from different branches of the Targaryen family, leading to a bloody clash of men, women and dragons.
Thrones author George RR Martin said: "For what it's worth, those who have read Fire & Blood will realise it contains enough materials for a dozen shows.
"I can say that there will be dragons. Everyone else has said that, so why not me?"
While the specific plot details are yet to be nailed down, we do know that the Targaryen family will be front and centre throughout.
Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming, said after the show's announcement: “The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories. We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan and George.”
Meanwhile, Olivia Cooke says the current script is different from the first draft she saw years ago, after writers toned down scenes featuring violence towards women.
Writers and directors experienced backlash over Game of Thrones scenes featuring Emilia Clarke's dragon queen character Daenerys Targaryen, after she was brutally raped by Jason Momoa's Khal Drogo.
Cooke told The Telegraph: "I wouldn’t feel comfortable in being a part of anything that has just egregious graphic violence towards women for no reason whatsoever, just because they want it to be tantalising in a way that gets viewers.
"I was lucky enough to read the script before, and it has changed a lot from the first few seasons (of Game of Thrones). I don’t think they’d be in their right minds to include any of that any more"
We’ve gone into a bit more depth here on Game of Thrones spin-off potential storylines…
Who’s making House of the Dragon?
George RR Martin, who wrote the original A Song of Ice and Fire book series that Game of Thrones is based on, has been working on the series with Ryan Condal, the creator of sci-fi TV series Colony.
"[The series] has a script and a bible, and both of them are terrific, first rate, exciting," Martin said. "They’re the work of Ryan Condal."
"He’s a helluva strong writer, and a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, Dunk & Egg, and Westeros in general. I’ve loved working with him, and if the Seven Gods and HBO are kind, I hope to keep on working with him for years to come on this new successor show."
Director Miguel Sapochnik will also serve as co-showrunner with Condal, and has been tapped to direct the first episode as well as several others, having previously helmed prolific Game of Thrones chapters including Battle of the Bastards and Winds of Winter.
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Regular Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman reportedly worked on an earlier version of the idea that has now been shelved.