Prepare to be transported to another world.
HBO is gearing up for the premiere of House of the Dragon, the long-awaited prequel to Game of Thrones. The series has been in the works since before GoT ended, and in the words of Lizzo, it's about damn time the people get what they want.
In fact, author George R.R. Martin advocated for the network to make this show instead of others. He knew that fans were still devoted to Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen, whose family history is rife with drama and intrigue. As George told The Hollywood Reporter, "I wasn't ready to give up on it."
Eventually, the author got his way and the rest is history—well, almost history. There's still a few weeks until the series premieres, giving fans of GoT plenty of time to brush up on the history of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know...
When does House of the Dragon premiere?
The series is set to premiere on Aug. 21 on HBO and HBO Max.
What is House of the Dragon about?
The prequel series takes place 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, when the House Targaryen rules over Westeros and King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) sits on the Iron Throne. This period of time sees a fight for the throne unfold between Rhaenyra, the King's first-born child and daughter, and Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), the King's son who is conceived after Rhaenyra is declared the heir.
This power struggle ignites a decades-long civil war, referred to as the Dance of the Dragons, between Rhaenyra and Aegon's supporters. And yes, dragons are also involved.
Who stars in House of the Dragon?
Since the series spans decades and centers on the two young royals, there are two actors playing Rhaenyra. Milly Alcock plays the younger Rhaenyra, while Emma D'Arcy plays the older. Same goes for Alicent Hightower, the daughter of the King's Hand Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). Emilia Carey plays the younger Alicent and Olivia Cooke the older.
As for the rest of the characters, well, there's a lot.
On the Targaryen side, there's Paddy Considine as King Viserys, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon and Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys.
Then, there are the other key players, like Steve Toussaint's Lord Corys Velaryon, a.k.a. "The Sea Snake." He's joined by Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria.
How is House of the Dragon connected to Game of Thrones?
Game of Thrones may be a fictional series, but George R.R. Martin thoroughly plotted its history. This is how we know that Daenerys is a distant niece of Rhaenyra and that, like the House Targaryen, most of the dragons were killed in the bloody battle for power.
And since the two shows take place in the same world, there will be a lot of familiar settings, namely the Throne Room. The Iron Throne continues to loom large over Westeros, though it's received a slight update. The showrunners shared that it's the same throne from the original series, but has the addition of misshapen swords and metal to enhance its appearance. As co-showrunner Ryan Condal told Entertainment Weekly, these changes were important because the throne "communicates this is a time of great influence and wealth for the people that built this thing."
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