Game Of Thrones fans have been holding their breath ever since it was announced that HBO was planning to do a prequel series centering around the Targaryen family in October 2019. It is based on George RR Martin‘s 2018 novel called Fire and Blood, which are the words of the House Targaryen. It’s set roughly 200 years prior to the events that took place in the Game Of Thrones HBO series and will focus primarily on the politics within the Targaryen family.
As viewers learned more about the history of the Targaryen family throughout Game Of Thrones, the remaining family members dwindled with each season. Viserys (Harry Lloyd) was the first to die when Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) poured molten gold over his head for threatening his “Khaleesi,” Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). We then learn that Maester Aemon (the late Peter Vaughan) of the Night’s Watch, was the brother of the “Mad King,” Aerys II (David Rintoul).
When Daenerys thinks she is the only living Targaryen left, it is revealed to us by Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), that Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is actually the son of Daenerys’ older brother, Aegon, and the younger sister of Ned Stark (Sean Bean), Lyanna Stark. This would have made him the next in line to ascend to the Iron Throne, as the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms.
While there were a lot of mixed reactions from fans (of both the novels and the television series) to the final season of Game Of Thronesall eyes have now turned to the Targaryens in eager anticipation for the new Westerosi content to rise from the ashes.
There is! HBO released a trailer for the highly anticipated series on May 5, 2022, giving fans a real good look at what the series will entail.
What is House of the Dragon About?
It’s no secret that the Targaryen family came to power because they had dragons. Their dynasty has ruled for generations. House of the Dragon will showcase the “beginning of the fall” for House Targaryen and the events leading up to the family’s civil war known as the “Dance of Dragons.”
The civil war is started over a disagreement about who will ascend to the throne after the death of King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine). His firstborn, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen expects to reign as the first Queen to sit on the Iron Throne. The younger version of Princess Rhaenyra will be played by Milly Alcock (upright) and the older version will be played by Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers). Her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is the heir presumptive, planning to become King until it is announced that the throne will go to Princess Rhaenyra instead because of her birthright.
Both Rhaenyra and Daemon are skilled Dragon riders, which we’ve seen Daenerys and Jon Snow learn to do in Game Of Thrones. This gave them a huge advantage until the Night King managed to kill one of the three dragonsViserion, and transform him into an undead ice dragon.
Without cheating and looking up the outcome of the “Dance of Dragons,” one thing is for certain: this civil war marks the beginning of the slow destruction of the Targaryen dynasty down to the “Mad King” and eventually the “Mad Queen,” Daenerys.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) from Game Of Throneswhen acting as the Queen Regent said:
“…whenever a Targaryen is born, the Gods flip a coin,”
This was in reference to the history of severe mental instability within the bloodline.
Who’s the Creative Team Behind House of The Dragon? Who’s In The Cast?
Ryan J. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik were chosen to be the showrunners of House of the Dragon in November 2019. Sapochnik, who will be directing the pilot and a few other episodes, received an Emmy Award for his directing of the famous “Battle of the Bastards” episode from Season 6 of Game Of Thrones. Additionally, returning from previous work on Game Of Thrones, Ramin Djawadi will be composing the score for the House of the Dragon series.
Paddy Considine, who played a prominent character in HBO’s recent Stephen King adaptation, The Outsider, was one of the first actors to officially join the cast in October 2020. Two months later, Olivia Cooke (as Lady Alicent Hightower), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), and Emma D’Arcy signed on as main characters.
In early 2021, Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man), Steve Toussaint (Prince of Persia), Eve Best (The King’s Speech), and Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina) joined the main cast. Milly Alcock and Emily Carey (wonder woman) were the last main characters cast to join the ensemble.
How Many Episodes of House of the Dragon Will There Be?
Similar to the first six seasons of the original Game Of Thrones series, this season will have ten episodes. Miguel Sapochnik will be directing the pilot episode, as well as additional episodes later in the season. In an interview with Variety HBO chief content officer, Casey Bloys hinted about the possibility of a Season 2.
“If you’re betting on whether we’re going to do a second season, I think it’s probably a pretty good bet,”
With any luck, this show might take fans all the way up to just before the events in Game Of Thronesallowing better detail into the fall of the “Mad King,” Robert’s Rebellion, and the Battle at the Trident.
Where Did House of the Dragon Movie?
Game Of Thrones boasted a wide assortment of exotic (and frozen) filming locations such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Malta, Croatia, Iceland, and Spain. The iconic exterior shots of King’s Landing were filmed in the city of Medina in Northern Malta.
The new prequel series, House of the Dragon has listed filming locations in Cornwall, England as well as Spain and Portugal. This is the first production to film at Warner Brothers’ Leavesden Studio’s newest virtual production stage and took proper precautions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
When is House of the Dragon Coming Out?
House of the Dragon is set to premiere on HBO Max on August 21, 2022, and will release episodes weekly on Sundays. They will most likely air during the same time slot as Game Of Throneswhich was at 9 p.m. EST/PST.
Seasons 1-8 of Game Of Thrones are available to stream on HBO Max if you wanted to brush up on your high Valyrian and Targaryen family history between now and August 21st.