After months (if not years) of waiting, fans finally have their first look at the next chapter in the Game of Thrones story – a first-look teaser for House of the Dragon.
Or should that be earlier chapter? Because of course, this prequel series is set around 200 years before the events of the main series, when House Targaryen had dragons to spare and were firmly in place in King’s Landing.
As Matt Smith’s Prince Daemon puts it in the footage, “Dreams didn’t make us Kings… dragons did,” and while the dragons themselves are absent in the teaser footage, there’s plenty more to unpick.
We get glimpses of a great tournament apparently involving the Tarlys (see their sigil in the background?), the family that would later spawn John Bradley’s Sam Tarly, deadly duels, several key characters (including Paddy Considine’s King Viserys) and plenty of key figures angrily staring into middle distance as they plot for power.
But most interesting of all? Despite other bits of world-building from Game of Thrones remaining intact (the Hand of the King badge, the various House sigils) there is a key change to an iconic piece of set design – The Iron Throne itself. Unlike the neat, spiky seat from the earlier HBO series, this time the King is sitting amidst a mass of broken, melted swords all down the steps, with a more jagged back to the Throne glimpsed as well.
It’s an intriguing departure for this prequel series, and a bit of set design that bears closer resemblance to author George RR Martin’s original vision for his novels. Does this suggest that somebody made the Throne a bit less forbidding sometime between this series and the time of Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon et al? Or is it a bit of artistic license we should all just get over?
Either way, we doubt fans will mind too much. Overall the connection to the parent series is clear in this teaser – a remixed version of the iconic Game of Thrones theme tune plays in the background, for goodness’ sake – but evidently, this series is also looking to stand on its own two feet.
At least now the wait is getting shorter to see what other tricks are hidden up House of the Dragon’s sleeves…