House of the Dragon: 5 things we've learned about the Game of Thrones prequel
The big-budget prequel to GoT is coming soon - here's what we know so far
House of the Dragon will officially be the first spin-off to Game of Thrones when it hits screens this August. Based on the Targaryen civil war, which takes place some 200 years before GoT, the show has a stellar cast with Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke all starring.
The show has been created by GoT author George RR Martin, with Ryan J. Condal and Miguel Sapochnikas co-showrunners.
Condal is best known for his work on the Rock-starring Hercules movie and the Rock-starring Rampage movie. Alas, Mr Dwayne Johnson isn't in House of the Dragon.
Miguel Sapochnik is also co-running and he directed some of the best Game of Thrones episodes, including The Winds Of Winter and Battle of the Bastards.
Given it's just weeks until it airs, we thought it would be good to run down the five things you need to know about House Of The Dragon, and just how it connects into Game of Thrones lore...
1 The show is about the rule of Targaryen
While Game of Thrones shows the aftermath of a Westeros torn apart by warring factions, House of the Dragon is set to show off the Targaryens at the height of their wealth and power. While we saw some of this in the first season of GoT, here the family are yet to be divided but a civil war is coming. What's that civil war about? Well, only the bloody Iron Throne, that's what.
Oh, and there are other 'houses' ready to pounce for power, including House Hightower which is lead by hand of the king Rhys Ifans' Otto Hightower; House Velaryon, which includes Steve Toussaint's Sea Snake; House Strong and House Lannister.
2 It's based on George RR Martin's Fire and Blood
Released in 2018, Fire And Blood was a weighty tome about what happened in Westeros some 200 years before Game of Thrones. This book acts as inspiration for what is going on in the series.
The show has King Viserys (Paddy Considine) choosing his first-born Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) as the heir to the Iron Throne. That is until he has another child Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) which starts to mess up his initial plans.
3 The civil war twas dubbed Dance of the Dragons in the books
Although Fire And Blood charts just what happened in the civil war, it is also mentioned throughout the A Song of Ice and Fire books. It's first mentioned by Bran in book one and there are also mentions of it in the third and fourth book.
It's ancient history for those characters in Game of Thrones but it is a key event, though, as the civil war is what leads to the supposed extinction of dragons in Westeros (so expect lots of dragon-based battles in the show). This is what makes Daenerys Targaryen's arriving with three dragon eggs in Game of Thrones all the more symbolic.
4 Rhaenyra Targaryen is the key character in the show
In an interview with EW, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) is seen as a key character. She's married to her Uncle (in true GoT fashion), who is Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and the oldest child of King Viserys I (Paddy Considine). She is seen as the next leader of the seven kingdoms, but when Aegon comes along things get complicated.
"She is someone who's pushing at the edges of womanhood and has a really decisive, interrogative eye for how gender affects power, affects how one may occupy space, affects even the right to construct one's life," notes D'Arcy.
5 There is an ending written for House of the Dragon
Given this show is based on Westeros ancient history, there is indeed an ending to House of the Dragon which has massive repercussions which lead into Game of Thrones. This is good news for those who felt GoT's ending was made up on the spot (not that we would ever say that).
The issue with this is, there are massive spoilers out there for those who want to know just what is going to happen in House of the Dragon.
Although, in the recent EW interview co-showrunner Condal does note that Fire And Blood is not the whole story, explaining the show will be a "companion" piece to the book and that it's an "objective account" of what took place.
House of the Dragon will be released on HBO 21 August. In the UK, House of the Dragon will be available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW from August 22nd (with an Entertainment Membership). All episodes of Game of Thrones are also available to stream on NOW.
- These are the best Game of Thrones episodes of all time.