"Dreams didn't make us kings... dragons did." The first trailer for Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon teases a look at the rise of the dragon-riding, sibling-marrying Targaryens 200 years before George R.R. Martin's fantasy hit. It's coming to HBO in 2022.
This, released Oct. 5, 2021, is filled with sumptuous sets and medieval violence as star Matt Smith promises gods, kings, fire -- and blood.
Not a lot has been revealed about the new show, but here's what we know so far.
In 2019, Martin published a gigantic Targaryen history, Fire & Blood Vol. 1, which delves into generation after generation of the dragon-riding family that eventually produced Daenerys, one of the major characters in the HBO Game of Thrones series.
With all that tangled Targaryen drama now available, the book naturally had to inspire a new show. And yes, the book blends in plenty of other Westeros families, including the Starks and Lannisters, long before Ned and Arya and Cersei and Tyrion came along.
The new series is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It may not be alone: Two other possible Game of Thrones successor shows are still being kicked around, The Hollywood Reporter says, though the most-talked-about one, focusing on , isn't one of them.
Cast and crew
Martin himself and producer-writer Ryan Condal are listed as co-creators of the series.
Condal will write the show and serve as co-showrunner along with Miguel Sapochnik. You may know Condal as the showrunner of the USA Network sci-fi show Colony, which ran from 2016-2018. "Working with Ryan on the development of House of the Dragon has been a dream," Martin wrote on his site.
Sapochnik will direct the pilot plus additional episodes. Fans might know Sapochnik's name -- he directed five Game of Thrones episodes, winning an Emmy and a Directors Guild Award for directing the impressive Battle of the Bastards episode.
Here's the cast:
- Paddy Considine as Viserys Targaryen, King of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, a dragonrider who expects to become the Seven Kingdoms' first ruling queen.
- Olivia Cooke as Lady Alicent Hightower, raised in the Red Keep and known as the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms.
- Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Viserys's younger brother.
- Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower, Hand of the King and rival of Prince Daemon.
- Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, the "Sea Snake."
- Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon, a dragonrider and wife of Lord Corlys known as the "Queen Who Never Was."
- Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Daemon's most trusted ally.
- Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, a skilled swordsman of Dornish descent.
- Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling, a soldier of the Kingsguard and bodyguard to Princess Rhaenyra.
- Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin Strong, known as "Breakbones" and said to be the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms.
- Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister/Ser Tyland Lannister, identical twins.
- Bill Paterson as Lord Lyman Beesbury: Lord of Honeyholt and Master of Coin on King Viserys's small council.
Release date, production info
HBO has placed a full-season order for 10 episodes of the new show. It will be released in 2022.
Back in 2019 when the show was announced Martin said on his site that Condal had already done "a considerable amount of writing," But he noted that as of the announcement in October 2019, there's no cast and crew, no full episodes, and no budgets or production details.
Martin also said he doesn't know where the new show will film, but the settings might look familiar. "I expect we will revisit at least some of the countries David (Benioff) & Dan (Weiss) used for Game of Thrones (Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, and Spain)," Martin wrote. And if he can get that pesky Winds of Winter book finished, the author said he.
Plot rumors and theories
Damn, Fire & Blood is a big book (over 700 pages long), covering 150 years of Targaryen history. And Martin has plans for a second volume someday. A 10-episode show, even if it's renewed for another season or more after that, can't possibly cover every event in the book.
But according to Entertainment Weekly, "the show will focus on a period that leads up to, then eventually includes, the most dramatic event during Targaryen rule: The Dance of Dragons, the Targaryen Civil War."