The Targaryens are back. House of the Dragon, the prequel series to HBO’s worldwide hit, Game of Thrones, will air its series premiere on August 21, 2022, according to the television network.
HBO’s announcement came with a new set of characters and set promos, as well as a brand new poster celebrating the spinoff’s arrival.
The series will tell the story of Westeros’ powerful House Targaryen, a royal family on the cusp of a dynasty-ending civil war. Inspired by George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones companion novel, Fire & Blood, the show is set 200 years before the events of the first series, detailing the fate of Daenerys Targaryen’s bloodline.
The new promo stills showcase Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, Milly Alcock as Young Rhaenyra, Emily Carey as Young Alicent, Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, and Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria.
Here’s a few things fans of the fantasy franchise should look out for:
- Stellar writing and direction from Ryan J. Condal, Miguel Sapochnik, AND George R.R. Martin himself – Ridiculously epic as it was, Game of Thrones’ downfall began when showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss took the reins in the writing department for the last few seasons of the award-winning show. This was due in part to the source material’s incomplete story, which forced them to write a treatment to the end of Martin’s opus.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the series’ loyal fans found their storytelling to be rushed, incoherent, and disrespectful to the character arcs that spanned for seasons, a feature of Game of Thrones that many fell in love with up until the sixth season.
With story treatments from newcomer Ryan J. Condal (Colony) and series creator himself, George R.R. Martin, the new show, which will benefit from a complete and finished source material, will also see Miguel Sapochnik as director, so expect to see drama and action akin to the Emmy-winning GoT episode, The Battle of the Bastards.
- The series’ iconic settings–including a few familiar locations – The Targaryens’ conquest of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros will feature settings never before seen on the silver screen. From the isles of Stepstones to the God’s Eye River, a slew of new key locations historically important in the eons-long tale of the known world of Game of Thrones will be introduced.
Still, expect to see other historic places we’ve seen during GoT’s telling of the events after Robert’s Rebellion, including King’s Landing and Dragonstone, home of the titular family.
- Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen – Equal parts loved and reviled, the enigmatic heir presumptive to the throne is played by none other than Doctor Who’s Matt Smith. Prince Daemon Targaryen is the younger brother to Paddy Considine’s King Viserys, and will serve as one of the series’ biggest anti-heroes.
- The beginning of the end of House Targaryen – With a rulership that lasted almost 300 years, House Targaryen had more than a fair share of hiccups while trying to keep the peace in Westeros (and in their family). Political mind games that included treachery, adultery, and parricides all contribute to a climactic civil war that you wouldn’t want to miss.
- Dragons! – Duh.
In Game of Thrones, Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion graced the skies as Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon-children, hatched from the fires of the queen’s sorrow and anger (literally), these flying terrors brought fear to whoever tried to stop Emilia Clarke’s ambitious and charismatic character in her tracks.
Their tragic fate left a bitter taste in most of Game of Thrones’ fans, so it’s great we’ll see more of these mystical creatures on our screens in the near future. Look forward to their return as they fight side-by-side with the most feared family in all of Westeros.
Mark your calendars and get ready for more fire and blood. House of the Dragon premieres on August 21, 2022 on HBO.
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