The New Stars of the Game of Thrones Prequel House of Dragons Include a Crown Alum

Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy have officially been cast in HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel, House of Dragons. Here are the roles they’re set to play.

By Jonathan Borge Dec 11, 2020 9:30 PMTags
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Khaleesi's House of Targaryen is legendary—and we're about to get its complete backstory.

HBO has confirmed three additional actors cast in House of Dragons, the highly-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel that'll consist of 10 episodes in the first season. Based on George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood, the new series will unpack the story of the House of Targaryen and will take place 300 years before all the action that went down in GoT begins. The newly announced leads are Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith and Emma D'Arcy, joining Paddy Considine, who was previously confirmed. 

So what roles are they set to take on? Cooke (Ready Player One, Bates Motel) will play Alicent Hightower. According to HBO, she's the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, "and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen." 

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D'Arcy (Truth Seekers) will step into the role of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. She's described as "the king's first-born child. She is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything…but she was not born a man."

In addition, Smith (The Crown, Doctor Who) will play Prince Daemon Targaryen, King Viserys' younger brother and the heir to the throne. Per HBO, "Daemon is a peerless warrior and a dragonrider who possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air."  

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And Considine will play King Viserys Targaryen. "Viserys was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal," his character bio reads. "A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy, but as we've learned from Game of Thrones, good men do not necessarily make for great kings."

Outside of casting news, HBO also provided more intel about what's happening behind the scenes. Martin and Ryan Condal have joined as co-creators while Condal and Miguel Sapochnik will both be showrunners and executive producers. The EPs also include Martin, Vince GerardisSara Lee Harris and Ron Schmidt. Sapochnik will direct the pilot. And newly announced directors include Clare KilnerGeeta Patel and Greg Yaitanes, who will also serve as co-executive producer.

Though House of Dragons will tell a completely separate story, now's the perfect time to revisit (or become acquainted with) all eight seasons of the 59-time Emmy winning series. 

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