HBO releases first pictures of Matt Smith in Game of Thrones spin off 'House of the Dragon'

·3 min read
Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

Good news, Game of Thrones gang. It looks like the rough release date (read: year) for House of the Dragon has been confirmed. Not only that, we've also got more exciting casting news as HBO continues to move forward with the prequel series. Here's everything else we know about House of the Dragon:

Who will star in House of the Dragon?

The casting process for the 10-episode season started over summer 2020, and we now have some information on who will be filling the coveted roles. Bates Motel's Olivia Cooke, Truth Seekers star Emma D’Arcy and Doctor Who actor Matt Smith are the latest stars to join the series. And finally, after months of waiting, we have our first look pictures of the cast in full costume on set.

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

Olivia will play Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower who will be played by Rhys Ifans, while Emma is set to star as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Meanwhile, Matt will play Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys Targaryen. We also know Peaky Blinders and The Third Day's Paddy Considine will be playing King Viserys Targaryen, successor to Jaehaerys Targaryen, and It's a Sin star Steve Toussaint will play Lord Corlys Velaryon aka 'The Sea Snake', a nautical adventurer and lord of House Velaryon.

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

What will House of the Dragon be about?

The new HBO show is based on George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood and is set 300 years before GoT as it charts the reign of the Targaryen family in the Seven Kingdoms. Ryan Condal will act as showrunner alongside veteran GoT director Miguel Sapochnik, who was behind The Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter episodes.

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

Giving some insight into why House of the Dragon will succeed where the last spin-off starring Naomi Watts didn't, HBO programming president Casey Bloys shared with Deadline: "In development, in pilots, sometimes things come together, sometimes they don’t. One of the things I think Jane [Goldman] took on beautifully, which was a challenge, there was a lot more world creation because she set hers 8,000 years before the show, so it required a lot more.

"That is a big swing. One of the things about House of Dragons, there is a text, there is a book so that made it a little bit more of a road map for a series order.”

When will House of the Dragon be released?

Bloys estimated that House of the Dragon would arrive "sometime in 2022", and that was confirmed in December 2020 when HBO released a new promotional video detailing their upcoming slate.

Per Deadline, Bloys also said the creative team has already started writing. 2022 at least gives you plenty of time to read the book if you haven't already...

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