Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Fans of Game of Thrones who were left with a bad taste in their mouth after the divisive final season were in for some good news shortly after the series came to an end when HBO announced it had ordered another series from the works of fantasy writer George R.R. Martin. Titled House of the Dragon, the prequel series will serve as a Fire and Blood adaptation that will follow the rise of House Targaryen and take place centuries before the events of HBO’s award-winning epic.

For a while it seemed like not much was happening with the development of House of the Dragon in the year following its initial announcement, but the Game of Thrones prequel series is starting to build up some steam. In recent months, we’ve learned more about the show’s cast, plot, and when we can expect to see the origin story of House Targaryen on HBO and streaming on HBO Max. Let’s get into everything we know about House of the Dragon and what we can expect to see in 2022.

House of the Dragon title card

The House Of The Dragon Premiere Date Isn't Set, But HBO Says 2022

Even though House of the Dragon received a straight-to-series order in late 2019, Game of Thrones fans will have to wait a little while longer before they get to see Targaryens and dragons on the small screen again, as the show won't hit the airwaves until 2022. In a January 2020 conversation with Deadline, HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys stressed that it would be sometime in 2022 before the show was ready for television, adding that George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal were just getting started on getting everything written.

HBO doubled down on the 2022 release window in December 2020 when the premium cable channel released a slew of information about House of the Dragon, some of its cast, and information about the key players behind the scenes. As of May 2021, it looks like 2022 is still the plan for the series. And while a specific release date has yet to be set at this time, we should know more in due time.

Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith on House of the Dragon

The House Of The Dragon Cast Includes Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke And Rhys Ifans

While actors playing some key figures like Aegon II Targaryen have yet to be revealed, much of the House of the Dragon cast has been announced, and it’s stacked to say the very least. Included in the list of actors set to appear on the Game of Thrones prequel are Matt Smith (The Crown) as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers) as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Paddy Considine (The Outsider) as Viserys I Targaryen, Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) as Alicent Hightower, and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) as Otto Hightower.

Other members of the House of the Dragon cast include Steve Toussaint (It’s a Sin) as Lord Corlys Valaryon, aka The Sea Snake, Eve Best (The King’s Speech) as Rhaenys Velaryon, Sonoya Mizuno (Crazy Rich Asians) as Mysaria, and Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) as Criston Cole.

Olivia Cooke Rhys Ifans on House of the Dragon

The House Of The Dragon Will Tell The Story Of House Targaryen And Other Major Players In Westeros

House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 novel Fire and Blood, which is set 300 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones and focuses on the history of House Targaryen. The prequel series will chronicle the beginning of the end of House Targaryen’s reign as the head of Westeros before the kingdom, and family, are thrown into civil war. Featured throughout the series will be Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine), the king of Westeros who was chosen by a council of lords to take over for Jaehaerys Targaryen as king. Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) is the younger brother and of the king and heir to his throne, who is described as being a fearless warrior and dragonrider. Also a dragonrider is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), the king’s first-born child of pure Valyrian blood.

Outside of House Targaryen, there are other prominent houses who will play major roles throughout House of the Dragon, including the Velaryons, who are led by Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint). Also known as The Sea Snake, Lord Corlys is the most famed nautical adventurer in all of Westeros who is said to have a fortune and influence larger even than the Lannisters.

And then there are the Hightowers, led by Otto (Rhys Ifans), the Hand of the King. Extremely loyal to King Viserys and his kingdom, Ser Otto will do anything and everything in his power to preserve the throne and protect it from everyone, including other Targaryens. Ser Otto’s daughter, Alicent (Olivia Cooke) eventually becomes the second wife of the king and gives birth to the most infamous of all the Targaryen’s, Aegon II.

Steve Toussaint on House of the Dragon

The House Of The Dragon Is Already In Production

Production on House of the Dragon got underway in April 2021, right around 18 months after HBO gave creators George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal the greenlight to proceed with the Game of Thrones spinoff series. It all kicked off with a table read including the major players in the House of the Dragon cast and made for a pretty epic photo on the official Game of Thrones twitter account. Not long after that, HBO released a series of photos of some of the characters mentioned up above. And while it is not yet known how long it will take to complete production on the upcoming series, principal photography is currently underway in England before the cast and crew take to Spain and California to iron out the rest of the shoot.

Emilia Clark in Game of Thrones

House Of The Dragon Was Given A Full 10-Episode Season Order In October 2019

Oftentimes, shows will shoot a pilot before receiving a full series order, but that wasn't the case for House of the Dragon, which received a full 10-episode straight-to-series order in October 2019. All 10 of those episodes were written by co-showrunner Ryan Condal, with the first episode (as well as future episodes) being directed by the other co-showrunner, Miguel Sapochnik.

Fans of the original series will probably best remember Miguel Sapochnik as the director of the Emmy Award-winning "Battle of the Bastards" and its follow up, the Season 6 finale, "The Winds of Winter." The accomplished television director was also responsible for two episodes in the show's final season, "The Long Night," and "The Bells." Clare Kilner and Geeta V. Patel will also direct episodes throughout House of the Dragon.

Richard Brake on Game of Thrones

The House Of The Dragon Score Is Composed By Game Of Thrones’ Ramin Djawadi

House of the Dragon is going to introduce Game of Thrones fans to all sorts of new characters, locations, and situations, but there is one part of the original series coming over to the upcoming prequel. In February 2021, composer Ramin Djawadi, who won two consecutive Grammys for his work on the HBO epic in 2018 and 2019, revealed on his CV that he scored the House of the Dragon pilot. Now we just need to find out if Angus Wall is coming back to make a title sequence as epic as the one that opened every episode of Game of Thrones all those years.

There are still a lot of things about House of the Dragon we don’t yet know, but when we do, so will you. While we all wait, there are plenty of shows on the Summer 2021 TV schedule and 2021 movies to hold us over.

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