'Game of Thrones' Prequel 'House of the Dragon' Just Became Your Most Anticipated Show of 2022

HBO has just released three images from the new series, which is set 300 years before its predecessor and explores the story of House Targaryen.
Sarah Ward
May 06, 2021

Whether it's a television series or a movie, when a beloved pop culture entity comes to an end these days, fans rarely have to say goodbye forever. We live in a time of remakes, reboots, revivals, sequels and prequels, after all — and stage adaptations and film-to-TV leaps, too — so usually we're just pressing pause on our favourites, rather than farewelling them permanently.

Given how successful Game of Thrones proved for HBO — even after its eighth and final season caused plenty of uproar — the on-screen world inspired by George RR Martin's books was never going to simply disappear. Indeed, before GoT even finished, there was chatter about what would come next, with the network first announcing that it was considering five different prequel ideas. It then green-lit one to pilot stage, scrapped it and later decided to adapt Martin's House Targaryen-focused Fire & Blood for the small screen as a show called House of the Dragon. Next, it opted to give novella series Tales of Dunk and Egg the TV treatment, too, and to work on an animated GoT show. And, it's been reported that another three prequels are also under consideration.

Of course, all of the above announcements have been happening for so long that it's easy to forget that new GoT-related shows will eventually grace the small screen — and that we won't just merely be talking about them. In House of the Dragon's case, it's actually due to release its ten-episode first season in 2022, so you now know what to look forward to watching next year.

Expect to spend more time with flame-breathing scaly creatures and the family that adores them. If you thought the Targaryens were chaotic already, delving into their history — and their love of using dragons to wage wars and claim power — is certain to cement that idea. We all know what happened to the last surviving members of the family in GoT, including Daenerys and her boyfriend/nephew Jon Snow; however, House of the Dragon, like Fire & Blood, jumps back 300 years earlier.

Cast- and character-wise, House of the Dragon stars Emma D'Arcy (Misbehaviour) as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the first-born child of King Viserys; Matt Smith (His House) as Prince Daemon Targaryen, the King's brother; Rhys Ifans (Official Secrets) as Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King; Olivia Cooke (Pixie) as Alicent Hightower, Otto's daughter; and Steve Toussaint (It's a Sin) as Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka 'The Sea Snake', a nautical adventurer from a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. And if you're wondering how they all look, HBO has also just released its first official images from the series.

These Westerosi folk will all grace a tale that harks back to Aegon I Targaryen's conquest of the Seven Kingdoms — which is what started the hefty 738-page first volume in Fire & Blood's planned two-book series — and then works through the family's history from there. Aegon I created the Iron Throne, so you'll probably get to see one returning favourite. And you don't have to be the Three-Eyed Raven to know that this tale involves plenty of GoT's staples: fighting, battles for supremacy and bloodshed.

Also set to pop up on-camera: Paddy Considine (The Third Day) as King Viserys, Eve Best (Nurse Jackie) as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon and Sonoya Mizuno (Devs) as Mysaria, Prince Daemon's paramour.

Behind the scenes, Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal are acting as the series' showrunners. Sapochnik has a hefty GoT history, winning an Emmy and a Directors Guild Award for directing 'Battle of The Bastards', helming season eight's 'The Long Night', and doing the same on four other episodes. As for Condal, he co-created and oversaw recent sci-fi series Colony, and co-wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film Rampage.

House of the Dragon is due to start airing on HBO sometime in 2022. When and where it'll be available to watch Down Under hasn't yet been revealed — we'll update you with further details when they're announced.

Images: Ollie Upton/HBO.

Published on May 06, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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