HBO has set a date for our return to Westeros. The first Game of Thrones spinoff (of potentially many) to hit the air, House of the Dragon, premieres August 21st—a hot summer debut date for the story of the dragon-riding Targaryens.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s fictional history Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon is set hundreds of years before the events of Game of Thrones, in a tumultuous time. (Is there any other kind of time where Martin’s world is concerned?) The plot concerns a Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, which finds various players vying for the throne.
Matt Smith (above) plays Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and heir to his throne. But Viserys also has a grown child, the dragon-riding Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), and eventually a second wife, and there’s just a lot of drama with these folks. Drama and wigs. And also dragons and dubious marriages and war and—as the book title promises—fire and blood.
The series also has among its sprawling cast Rhys Ifans (as Ser Otto Hightower), Olivia Cooke (Otto’s daughter, Lady Alicent Hightower), Fabien Frankel (Ser Criston Cole), Sonoya Mizuno (Mysaria), and Steve Toussaint (Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka the Sea Snake).
House of the Dragon was created by Martin and Ryan J. Condal (Colony); Condal and director Miguel Sapochnik serve as co-showrunners. The first season’s ten episodes will air weekly on HBO and HBO Max beginning August 21st—giving it a li’l head start on that other prequel fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which begins in September.