Though a great number of prequels have risen and died in the three years since Game of Thrones came to an uneasy conclusion, only one has survived the long night of HBO pre-production. And now, House of the Dragon has begun filming in Penzance, Cornwall, England. On May 5, the network released the first official images of the new series.
House of the Dragon comes from co-creators George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik, who directed a number of Game of Thrones episodes, including The Battle of the Bastards, serves as showrunner alongside Condal. Buckle up for everything we know about the show thus far.
When Is the House of the Dragon Release Date?
Though there is no official release date, HBO has said that the show’s ten episodes will debut sometime in 2022. Considering filming only just began, it seems most likely that we’ll see a debut in the second half of 2022. That said, the show remains vulnerable to pandemic production woes; just this week, the show shut down production in the UK following a positive Covid-19 test among the crew. Production is set to resume within mere days, but with the Delta variant ramping around around the globe, House of the Dragon‘s release date may very well be pushed back.
Who Is in the House of the Dragon Cast?
In the first initial photos, the network revealed five new characters. As HBO describes them in its official press materials:
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
The king’s first-born child, she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen
The younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…
Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, “The Sea Snake”
Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As “The Sea Snake,” the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower
The daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.
Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower
The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king’s brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.
The cast also includes Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen, and Eve Best as Princess Rhaenya Velaryon.
What Is House of the Dragon About?
Adapted from Martin’s Targaryen history book Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. The show will focus on an infamous event in Westeros history known as the Dance of the Dragons. This is a civil war that took place between siblings Aegon II and Rhaenyra over the throne after the death of their father Viserys I. The war pit all of Westeros against itself, with other houses such as the Starks and Lannisters joining either side. Many of House Targaryen’s powerful dragons perished—and soon afterward would go extinct until Daenerys Targaryen would hatch three eggs hundreds of years later.
What’s Going On with the Other Game of Thrones Spin-Offs?
After Game of Thrones ended, HBO went all-in on a number of spin-offs. An untitled prequel starring Naomi Watts was killed in development in late 2019, while numerous other spin-offs circulated in the development ether, including 9 Voyages aka Sea Snake, Flea Bottom, 10,000 Ships, as well as three potential animated series at HBOMax. However, none of these shows have received an official production order.
New details about these spin-offs have come to light at The Hollywood Reporter. One of the animated series will take place in a landscape we never visited during the original television series: the Golden Empire of Yi Ti, also known as simply Yi Ti. Located on the continent of Essos, near the south-eastern limits of the known world, Yi Ti is considered one of the oldest and most advanced realms in Martin’s fantasy sandbox. Inspired by imperial China, the region had only a brief reference in the television show, when Lord Varys famously sailed to Yi Ti.
Flea Bottom, meanwhile, has been killed. Set in the infamous King’s Landing slum, the series will not move forward; insiders say it was the most nascent of the spin-offs circulating at HBO. A basic story architecture has also emerged about 10,000 Ships, which will follow the warrior queen Nymeria, a cherished ancestor of House Martell who founded the kingdom of Dorne (and gave her name to Arya’s direwolf). 9 Voyages, from Rome creator Bruno Heller, will follow House of the Dragon‘s Velaryon.
Game of Thrones hive, we have a lot to look forward to. Watch this space for updates as we continue to learn more.
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