The new Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon explores a family feud that escalates into a civil war, as King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) opts to remove his rogue brother Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) from the royal line of succession, promising the Iron Throne instead to his daughter Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock).


The series opener, The Heirs of the Dragon, begins with a prologue that establishes how Viserys came to power and why his own ascension to the throne was questioned by certain factions, with an unseen narrator detailing what took place prior to the main events of the spin-off.

The narration in full goes like this:

"As the first century of the Targaryen dynasty came to a close, the health of the Old King, Jaehaerys, was failing.

"In those days, House Targaryen stood at the height of its strength, with 10 adult dragons under its yoke. No power in the world could stand against it.

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"King Jaehaerys reigned for nearly 60 years of peace and prosperity but tragedy had claimed both of his sons, leaving his succession in doubt.

"So, in the year 101, the Old King called a Great Council to choose an heir. Over 1,000 lords made the journey to Harrenhal.

"14 succession claims were heard but only two were truly considered: Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the King’s eldest descendant and her younger cousin, Prince Viserys Targaryen, the King’s eldest male descendant.

"Rhaenys, a woman, would not inherit the Iron Throne. The lords instead chose Viserys, my father.

"Jaehaerys called the Great Council to prevent a war being fought over his succession, for he knew the cold truth: the only thing that could tear down the House of the Dragon was itself."

House of the Dragon cast
Paddy Considine as King Viserys in House of the Dragon. HBO

In short, Viserys (Paddy Considine) became ruler, winning out over his elder cousin Rhaenys (Eve Best) since the stodgy old lords of the Great Council could not bear to see a woman on the Iron Throne.

The story then jumps forward almost a decade, with an on-screen caption confirming that the rest of House of the Dragon takes place nine years in to King Viserys I Targaryen’s reign, 172 years "before the death of Mad King, Aerys, and the birth of his daughter, Princess Daenerys Targaryen".

But who actually delivers the opening narration that explains how Viserys became King and why Rhaenys became known as the 'Queen That Never Was'?

Who is the opening voiceover in House of the Dragon episode 1?

There's a pretty big clue in the narration itself, with the speaker identifying King Viserys as "my father".

However, it is not Milly Alcock, who plays Princess Rhaenyra in The Heirs of the Dragon, delivering the account of the Targaryen family history.

Instead, the speech is delivered by Emma D'Arcy, who is set to replace Alcock as Rhaenyra when House of the Dragon again jumps forward in time midway through its first season. (Olivia Cooke will likewise replace Emily Carey as Alicent Hightower.)

Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon. HBO

This is D'Arcy's only contribution to the first episode, as she does not appear on-screen, though is listed in the end credits for providing the voiceover.

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House of the Dragon is available from 22nd August exclusively on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.

Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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