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House of the Dragon will be the first Game of Thrones spinoff to premiere on HBO. And the focus will be on one of Westeros’ most important families — the Targaryens. Based on George R. R. Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon is set two centuries before the events of the original series. And it will tell the story of a war only referenced on Game of Thrones — the Dance of the Dragons.

House of the Dragon Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen | Ollie Upton/HBO

‘House of the Dragon’ has been in development for years

Thanks to the massive success of Game of Thrones, HBO is investing in more projects based on Martin’s literary catalog. The first one viewers will see is House of the Dragon, which happens to be the first idea Martin pitched.

House of the Dragon has been in development for several years (though the title has changed a couple of times during that process),” Martin wrote on his blog after HBO announced they were picking up the series, per Rotten Tomatoes.

“It was actually the first concept I pitched to HBO when we started talking about a successor show, way back in the summer of 2016.”

The prequel will tell the story of a war only referenced on ‘Game of Thrones’

In the beginning of Game of Thrones, House Targaryen was a fallen dynasty and dragons had gone extinct. But in House of the Dragon, the family is at the height of their power and in control of all the dragons in the world.

The prequel will tell the story of a bloody civil war known as Dance of the Dragons. Which was only referenced in Game of Thrones because the series avoided using too many flashbacks. Instead, the fall of House Targaryen was mostly talked about.

But the fact that the family went from being one of the most powerful in Westeros history to being nearly wiped out was an important part of Game of Thrones. And it’s what made Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) rise to power such a big deal. Now, fans will get to see the reason why. They will also get to see some dragon fights, which is something Game of Thrones never had.

‘House of the Dragon’ features a large ensemble cast

House of the Dragon was created by Martin and showrunner Ryan Condal. Just like the original series, the prequel will feature a large ensemble cast which will include a smaller core set of characters.

They include Paddy Considine as King Viserys I and Emmy D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenrya (Viserys’ first child and his heir apparent).

The Crown’s Matt Smith as Prince Daemon (Viserys’ younger brother), Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower (the Hand of the King), Olivia Cooke as Lady Alicent Hightower (Otto’s daughter), and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole.


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The show will also star Steve Toussaint, Graham McTavish, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, Ryan Corr, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, and Gavin Spokes.

House of the Dragon premieres August 21 on HBO.