Game Of Thrones may be over but the sagas of Westeros are set to continue for a long time yet – starting with the upcoming prequel, House Of The Dragon.
House Of The Dragon will be the first in a number of planned spin-off series to arrive from HBO, offering a deeper dive into the history and mythology of Martin’s creation.
Casey Bloys, content chief for HBO and HBO Max, is certainly excited, hailing the footage he has seen of the show so far as ‘spectacular.’
But when will fans get to return to Westeros, and who will join the cast of the new show?
Here’s everything we know so far.
What will House Of The Dragon be about?
Set 300 years before the events of Game Of Thrones, House Of The Dragon will follow the Targaryen family history, starting right at the formation of Westeros.
According to Game Of Thrones mythology, the Targaryen clan are one of the former Royal houses that ruled an empire and united the Seven Kingdoms together.
Often followed by three dragons, their family declaration is ‘fire and blood’ – and they often left both in their wake as they attempted to take over the kingdoms and eventually the walls outside Westeros.
But the thirst for power often saw members of the family descend into madness as their behaviour became more erratic and violent – and at most posts would end in their death.
House Of The Dragon will be adapted from the events in author George RR Martin’s book Fire and Blood, which ends with a massive battle nicknamed The Dance of the Dragons – caused by an inter-family civil war.
Seeing as incest runs within their family, this is going to get very complicated.
Who is in the cast of the Game of Thrones prequel?
The new series is packed with faces both familiar and new to breathe fiery life into this latest chapter in the much-beloved show.
Paddy Considine plays King Viserys I Targaryen
Irish actor Paddy Considine was one of the first cast members announced and he is set to play Viserys I.
‘King Viserys Targaryen is chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal,’ the official announcement read.
‘A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather’s legacy. But good men do not necessarily make for great kings.’
Fans may recognise Considine, 48, from his mix of both comedic and dramatic roles in the likes of Hot Fuzz, Dead Man’s Shoes and Peaky Blinders, where he plays Father John Hughes.
Matt Smith plays Prince Daemon Targaryen
In December 2020, former Doctor Who star Matt Smith was announced to play Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of Viserys – a ‘peerless warrior’ who ‘possesses the true blood of the dragon’.
Smith, aged 38, is no stranger to worldwide phenomenons, having played The Doctor on the beloved BBC sci-fi show from 2010 to 2013.
He also portrayed Prince Philip alongside Claire Foy in the first two seasons of Netflix’s acclaimed royal drama The Crown.
Olivia Cooke plays Queen Alicent Hightower
English actress Olivia Cooke will play Alicent Hightower in the series, the daughter of Otto Hightower, a knight of House Hightower and the Hand of the King.
Cooke, 27, began her career at a young age, even appearing in a One Direction music video, before going on to success in TV with shows like Blackout and Bates Motel.
She also took on one of the lead roles in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One in 2018 and recently appeared aside an Oscar-nominated Riz Ahmed in Sound Of Metal.
Emma D’Arcy plays Princess Rhanyra Tagaryen
Truthseekers star Emma D’Arcy will portray Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, a fierce dragon rider.
The English actress, age 29, has also starred in the film Misbehaviour and appeared in the Amazon Prime series Hanna.
Rhys Ifans plays Otto Hightower
Welsh actor Rhys Ifans, 54, will be playing Otto Hightower, father of Alicent and the Hand of the King, who believes the greatest threat to the realm is the king’s brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.
Ifans has appeared in blockbusters such as the Harry Potter franchise and The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as British films like The Boa That Rocked and Enduring Love.
Steve Toussaint plays Lord Corlys Velaryon aka The Sea Snake
The lord of House Velaryon, ‘The Sea Snake’ is a famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros.
He built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.
He will be played by Steve Toussaint, a 56-year-old British actor who recently appeared on TV in the likes of It’s A Sin, Doctor Who and Our Girl.
Eve Best plays Princess Rhaenys Velaryon
A dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon, ‘The Queen Who Never Was’ was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favoured her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male.
Best, 50, won the 2005 Olivier Award for Best Actress for playing the title role in Hedda Gabler and also appeared in The King’s Speech and Stan Lee’s Lucky Man.
Fabrien Frankel plays Set Criston Cole
The Serpent star Fabien Frankel, 27, will portray Ser Criston Cole, who Martin described as only having ‘his honour and his skill with sword and lance’.
Fabien also had a role in Last Christmas, alongside previous Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke.
Graham McTavish plays Ser Harrold Westerling
After months of speculation, it was announced in September that Outlander actor Graham McTavish had also joined the cast along with his Outlander co-star Bill Paterson, Sanditon actor Matthew Needham and Hamilton star Gavin Spokes.
The 60-year-old Sottish will play Ser Harrold, who served in the Kingsguard since the days of King Jaehaerys; and is described as a ‘paragon of chivalry and honor.;
Other confirmed cast members include David Horovitch as Grand Maester Mellos, Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister and Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin ‘Breakbones’ Strong, brother to Larys.
Is there a trailer for House of the Dragon?
The first trailer arrived in October 2021, providing the first ominous look at Westeros’ past.
It offers plenty of glimpses at the cast and new characters, all the while demonstrating that the show will not be short of action, featuring scenes of jousting, and swordplay – although it was rather light on the dragon front.
Is there a release date?
House Of The Dragon will swoop onto TV screens in 2022, although an exact date has yet to be announced.
While it will premiere on HBO Max in the United States, it has already been confirmed that it will be shown in the UK on Sky Atlantic, as was the case throughout the eight seasons of Game Of Thrones.
It will also be available to stream for those that have a NOW subscription,
for any updates on the exact release date, watch this space.
House of the Dragon will premiere on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in 2022.Credit: Original article published here.