House of the Dragon: Casting, Spoilers, Premiere Date, and More About the Game of Thrones Prequel

By | October 5, 2020

It’s been more than a year since Games of Thrones wrapped but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to George R. R. Martin‘s beloved A Song of Ice and Fire saga. HBO’s next dragon-fueled series will be a Targaryen-centric prequel called House of the Dragon, so it looks like we won’t be leaving Westeros anytime soon — not that we’d ever want to!

Though HBO’s other proposed prequel series starring Naomi Watts has been scrapped, fans will still get to dive back into Martin’s vivid world of dragons, mad kings, and epic betrayals with House of the Dragon, which has already been ordered to series. While details on the project remain scarce, here’s what we know so far about the forthcoming show. 

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It’s all about the Targaryens. Set 300 years before the events in Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon is based on Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, which chronicles the first 150 years of the white-haired family. A planned second book covering the remaining history leading up to Robert Baratheon’s rebellion will offer up plenty of material for potential future seasons or spin-offs.

The first season will be 10 episodes. Much like most seasons of Game of Thrones, Season 1 of House of the Dragon will consist of 10 episodes.

It won’t premiere for a long time. HBO’s head of programming Casey Bloys told Variety that 2022 is “his best guess” for when the show will debut. In late June, George R.R. Martin revealed that while the coronavirus pandemic has impacted much of Hollywood, the writing team on House of the Dragon was still hard at work on the series and things were “flying along wonderfully.” 

Production is “underway”: Bloys confirmed to Deadline after HBO’s fantastic night at the 2020 Emmy Awards that the series is “underway” and it is still on track to debut in 2022, despite production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

King Viserys Targaryen has been cast. TV Guide has confirmed that Paddy Considine will play the noble King Viserys Targaryen in the new series. He is described as “a warm, kind, and decent man” who succeeds the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, as the series begins. Unfortunately for him, good men seldom make great kings.

Four more Targaryens are on the wayEntertainment Weekly reports four more characters are currently in the process of being cast. Dragon rider Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen will be King Viserys’ firstborn and chosen heir, which will make her the first ruling Queen of Westeros. Queen Alicent Hightower will be Viserys’ second wife, who has three children of her own with the king. Viserys’ son with Alicent, Aegon II Targaryen, will apparently challenge Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne, igniting a civil war. And finally, Prince Daemon Targaryen is merely described as an experienced warrior and Rhaenyra’s uncle.

The project has enlisted some Game of Thrones greats behind the scenes. The series was co-created by George R. R. Martin and Colony‘s Ryan Condal, the latter whom will pen the script and serve as co-showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik. Sapochnik, who directed major Game of Thrones episodes like “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Long Night,” will helm several House of the Dragon episodes, including the pilot.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will not be involved. The Game of Thrones showrunners will not be involved in House of the Dragon. It’s probably for the best.

Martin won’t be writing episodes anytime soon. The author announced that he won’t script any episodes for the show until he has finished Winds of Winter, the next installment of his A Song of Ice and Fire series.

“I expect to be involved in all of this to some extent… and, who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of Game of Thrones,” Martin wrote in a blog post. “But… let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered Winds of Winter. Winter is still coming, and Winds remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episode of House.”

The series is headed to streaming. In addition to airing on HBO, it will also be able to stream on HBO Max, the network’s streaming service which launched on May 27.

HBO dropped the first poster for the series. Check it out below.

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No official premiere date has been set for House of the Dragon.

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