Game of Thrones, HBO’s TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire became one of the biggest shows of all time following its debut in 2011.
The journey may have ended in 2019, but HBO quickly announced that it was looking into a number of spin-off shows to fill the void left by Thrones. It was later confirmed that a new show, called House of the Dragon, was in production, and would return us to the gritty, fantasy land of Game of Thrones.
If you can’t wait to return to Westeros, then you’ll be pleased to learn that HBO has released lots of new info on the show, as well as some official promotional images.
HBO has announced that the show will air in 2022, though an exact release date is yet to be confirmed. Set roughly 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the show will follow the material explored in George R.R. Martin’s recent book Fire & Blood, which details the events of the Dance of the Dragons, a bloody civil war spearheaded by the Targaryen siblings Aegon II and Rhaenyra, who fight for the throne following the death of their father, King Viserys I.
The war marked the decline of house Targaryen and saw their dragons start to die out due to battle, neglect, and murder. Many of the great houses featured in Game of Thrones were involved in the war, including the Starks and Lannisters.
As Variety reports, the show will star Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king’s first-born child who, as HBO states: “was born with everything… but she was not born a man.” Matt Smith has been cast as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Viserys’ younger brother and the true heir to the Iron Throne. HBO describes him as a “peerless warrior and a dragonrider.” They can be seen together in the first picture.
Featured in the second picture is the Hand of the King to Viserys, Otto Hightower, who will be played by Rhys Ifans. Ifan’s character sees Prince Daemon as a serious threat to the realm which he serves with great loyalty. His daughter, Alicent Hightower, will be portrayed by Olivia Cooke. Having grown up in court, and now a member of the king’s inner circle, she is described as possessing “both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.”
Last but not least, we get a look at Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka The Sea Snake, who is played by Steve Toussaint. He is the most famous nautical explorer in Westeros, with HBO saying: “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.”
It has also been confirmed that Paddy Considine portray King Viserys I, and Eve Best has been cast as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon. The character of Criston Cole will be played by Fabien Frankel. In Fire & Blood, Criston is a knight who becomes Lord Commander of the Kingsguard under Viserys I and played a significant role in setting the stage for the civil war. Sonoya Mizuno will portray Mysaria, A paramour to Prince Daemon and the unofficial mistress of whisperers to Princess Rhaenyra.
Those of you who enjoyed watching the dragons take wing in Game of Thrones will be pleased to learn that there will be plenty more dragons in the new show. While dragons were all but extinct in the period Game of Thrones was set in, they are still very much alive in the history House of the Dragon covers, and play a large part in the battles that unfold. One famous dragon from Westeros’ history, Balerion the Black Dread, has been confirmed to feature in the show. Balerion is known as one of the mightiest dragons ever to have lived and helped forge the Iron Throne with his dragon fire.
George R.R. Martin will serve as an executive producer for the show, along with Vince Gerardis and showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal. Sapochnik previously directed six episodes of Game of Thrones and won an Emmy for his direction of the episode Battle of the Bastards. Ramin Djawadi, who composed the music for Thrones will return to score House of the Dragon, something that will no doubt please many fans given the excellent, award-winning music featured in Thrones.
So far, House of the Dragon is the only confirmed spin-off series to be going ahead, but it’s not the only one that has been explored by HBO. A show called Bloodmoon was originally in the works, and would have been set 8,000 years before Game of Thrones, during The Age of Heroes, and would have explored The Long Night, a terrible winter that lasted a generation and saw the White Walkers almost conquer Westeros. Naomi Watts was attached to star, but the show was cancelled shortly after the pilot episode wrapped. Several other ideas are being explored, including an adaptation of Martin’s Dunk and Egg short stories, as well as Flea Bottom, a show that would focus on the peasants living in the poorest quarters of King’s Landing, Flea Bottom. Rumours of an animated series have also been circulating though nothing official has been confirmed.