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(Pocket-lint) – Fire will reign later this year!

HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones spin-off series, House of the Dragon, is set to arrive this August, and to help you prepare, let’s go over everything we know.

Here’s the latest based on what HBO has said and author George RR Martin’s own source material.

House of the Dragon: What you need to know

  • Based on the novel Fire and Blood
  • Set 170 years before the events of the original show
  • Focuses on the Targaryen civil war

The House of the Dragon is an upcoming HBO show headed to the HBO Max streaming service. It is based on some of the events from George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones universe, specifically his companion novel Fire and Blood. It’s separate from the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, which is the basis for the original series. Fire and Blood is instead set up as a history book on the Game of Thrones Universe. It specifically focuses on the 300-year rule of the Targaryen Kings, with a large portion dedicated to the history of the great Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.

That civil war is the aftermath of King Viserys Targaryen naming his eldest daughter Rhaenyra as heir to his throne, breaking Westeros’ misogynistic rules of inheritance. Two years after naming his Rhaenyra his heir, the king takes a new bride, hath a son, and dies still wanting his daughter to succeed him, which is where the game for the Iron Throne begins. However, both sides have dragons this time.

If you want to learn more about the Dance of the Dragons, HBO produced an animated short that’s included in the Histories and Lore section of the Game of Thrones’s fifth-season DVD. It’s narrated by Michelle Fairley, Pedro Pascal, and Mark Addy. (You can watch it above, via a third-party source on YouTube.)

House of the Dragon: release date

  • Release date: 21 August 2022
  • Number of episodes: 10 episodes in season 1

House of the Dragon will premiere on August 21, 2022. The first season will consist of 10 episodes.

House of the Dragon: Where to stream

U.S

HBO’s new show will release in the US on its own streaming service, of course: HBO Max. It costs $14.99 a month for the premium, ad-free plan or $9.99 a month for the ad-supported plan.

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UK

House of the Dragon will be shown in the UK, Ireland, Italy, and Germany by Sky from Monday 22 August 2022. The Now streaming service will also provide live and on demand access.

House of the Dragon: Trailers

In July 2022, HBO dropped a newer and longer trailer for its Game of Thrones prequel. You can watch it at the top of this page. HBO also recently released a three-minute teaser that includes behind-the-scenes footage of the series as well as commentary from George RR Martin. You can watch that spectacle below.

HBO released the first trailer for its huge new show in early May 2022, and it’s a pretty good look at what you can expect. Watch it below.

In the first trailer, there are looks at a range of Targaryen characters and the seeds of a succession battle, along with glimpses of other major houses including the Starks.

House of the Dragon: Cast and Crew

  • George RR Martin is co-writing with Ryan Condal
  • Condol is a co-showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik
  • Several cast members have been confirmed

George RR Martin created the TV script with co-writer Ryan Condal. Condal is the co-showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik. They’re executive producers, as well. George RR Martin and Vince Gerardis will be billed as executive producers, too.

Sapochnik, who has experience directing six Game of Thrones episodes, including Hardhome, The Long Night, and The Battle of the Bastards, has reportedly directed the pilot as well as additional episodes. House of the Dragon is Sapochnik’s first project as part of an overarching deal where he is expected to develop and produce a range of content for both HBO and the HBO Max streaming service.

The story of the largest Targaryen civil war is pretty simple. The King, Viserys (Paddy Consodine), names his daughter Rhaenyra as his heir when his first wife dies. Two years later, Viserys marries Alicent Hightower, who is the daughter of the Hand of the King. Soon Alicent gives birth to a son, Viserys dies, and the rest of Westeros has to decide who they back as the new ruler.

This brings us to Rhaenyra Targaryen who should be one of the primary characters for the series. Interestingly, she will be portrayed by two actresses. Milly Alcock will play a younger version of Rhaenyra, presumably around the time she is first named heir to the throne, while Emma D’Arcy will play an older version who’s waging a war for what was promised to her. This suggests the story will take place with flashbacks or a time jump, which is a big departure from the original series.

Here’s a look at confirmed actors and the characters they’re playing so far:

  • Paddy Considine – King Viserys Targaryen
  • Emma D’Arcy – Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen daughter of Viserys (Older)
  • Milly Alcock – Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen daughter of Viserys (Younger)
  • Rhys Ifans – Otto Hightower, Hand of the King
  • Olivia Cooke – Alicent Hightower, Daughter of Otto Hightower, King Viserys’s second wife
  • MattSmith – Prince Daemon Targaryen, brother of Viserys Targaryen
  • Tom Glynn Carney -Prince Aegon Targaryen II,
  • Steve Toussaint – Corlys Velaryon, or the Sea Snake, the greatest explorer in Westeros and head of the richest house
  • Eve Best – Rhaenys Targaryen, Corlys Valaryon’s wife and sister to King Viserys and Daemon Targaryen.
  • Sonoyo Mizuno – Mysaria, a slave who rises the ranks of Westeros

With most of Game of Thrones filmed in Northern Ireland, film crews have been spotted in Cornwall, believed to be filming House of the Dragon. HBO also recently revealed the first photos from the set of the series (below), giving us an up-close look at some of the new characters.

HBO

Corlys Velaryon

Steve Toussaint wants to play Corlys Velaryon, aka the Sea Snake.

He’s the greatest explorer in the history of Westeros, and the riches he brought back from his adventures turned House Velaryon into one of the wealthiest families in the Seven Kingdoms. The Velaryons have been one of the Targaryen’s oldest allies, dating back to before the destruction of Valyria.

HBOHBO's House of the Dragon GoT spinoff gallery photo 1

Otto Hightower and Alicent Hightower

Rhys Ifans is playing Otto Hightower, while Olivia Cooke will play his daughter, Alicent.

Otto serves as Hand to the King and is one of the more powerful figures in the Seven Kingdoms when The House of the Dragon takes place. His daughter Alicent is considered one of the great beauties of the Seven Kingdoms and eventually marries King Viserys after the death of his first wife.

HBOHBO's House of the Dragon GoT spinoff gallery photo 2

Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen

Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith will be playing two of the Targaryens critical to the story. D’Arcy will play the firstborn daughter to King Viserys Targaryen, Rhaenyra. Viserys names her as his heir despite Westeros rules of succession excluding women.

Matt Smith wants to play Viserys’ brother Daemon. Daemon has his own dragon, Ceraxes, and is a formidable warrior in his own right. Eventually, Rhaenyra and Daemon marry as a part of the Dance of Dragons.

HBOHBO's House of the Dragon GoT spinoff release date cast rumors and theories photo 11

House of the Dragon: Are other shows in the works?

HBO is developing a Game of Thrones sequel series that will focus on the continued adventures of Jon Snow.

Read: Jon Snow ‘Game of Thrones’ sequel series: 5 wild things that could happen

Things are still in very early stages, according to the report, though actor Kit Harrington is in line to reprise his role from George RR Martin’s TV adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire if the sequel does go ahead.

Three years since the end of Game of Thrones, the unnamed Jon Snow sequel series would actually represent the second spinoff from HBO. The first – House of the Dragon – is set to land on screens in August. Details surrounding this latest offshoot don’t yet appear to be fleshed out, with no members of the creative team rumored at this point. Even the concept itself, however, is intriguing.

While House of the Dragon is a prequel focusing on the 300-year rule of the Targaryen family, a Jon Snow sequel would seem to be set not too far past the ending of Game of Thrones. It could, therefore, feature plenty of the same surviving characters and revive any outstanding plot lines left hanging in the air after Jon Snow – spoiler alert – was sent back to the Night’s Watch for killing Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). As we say, there’s no timeline for when we can expect a Snow-led sequel to arrive – and, at this stage, it’s certainly not a sure thing that it will even go into development at all.

House of the Dragon: What’s the latest news?

18 July 2022: A New Reign teaser trailer drops

George RR Martin, Ryan Conda,l and Miguel Sapochnik offer a look at what’s to come in Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon.

5 May 2022: First teaser trailer

HBO released the first proper teaser trailer for the show on its YouTube channel.

30 March 2022: Release date revealed

HBO confirmed the release date of the first episode on the official House of the Dragon Twitter feed.

5 May 2021: Set photos revealed

HBO has released the first look at House of the Dragon with three photos.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Britta O’Boyle.

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