Things are about to come to an end on HBO's House of the Dragon as we near the final few episodes. More than halfway through the series, we've seen plenty of the blood, carnage, and inappropriate relationships that the original Games of Thrones show was infamous for, and you can bet there will be more.
The new prequel series premiered Sunday, Aug. 21, bringing GOT back to our screens (HBO is even using the same theme music) by showing us an era of Westerosi history when dragon-riding Targaryens ruled the realm. House of the Dragon is bringing dragons, battles, and more as it gives viewers insight on what happened to the Targaryens ~200 years prior to the events of Games of Thrones. It's already been renewed for Season 2.
Check out everything we know about House of the Dragon, including the episode rollout schedule, trailers, the massive cast list, our recaps, and more.
If you need to catch up or just want a recap of what's already happened in the episodes so far, check out our weekly posts diving into all things House of the Dragon.
Episode 1, "The Heirs of the Dragon," airs Aug. 21.
Episode 2, "The Rogue Prince," airs Aug. 28.
Episode 3, "Second of His Name," airs Sept. 4.
Episode 4, "King of the Narrow Sea," airs Sept. 11.
Episode 5, "We Light the Way," airs Sept. 18.
Episode 6, "The Princess and the Queen," airs Sept. 25.
Episode 7, "Driftmark," airs Oct. 2.
Episode 8, "The Lord of the Tides," airs Oct. 9.
Episode 9, "The Green Council," airs Oct. 16.
Episode 10, "The Black Queen," airs Oct. 23.
Fire will reign. HBO dropped a new promo for the series on Aug. 18 that shows plenty of fire-breathing dragons wreaking terror as the threat of war looms.
The official trailer for House of the Dragon arrived on July 20. It teases the main conflict at the heart of the prequel series: Who will succeed Paddy Considine's King Viserys Targaryen? Matt Smith's Prince Daemon Targaryen — Viserys' brother — is an heir, but the king also names his first-born daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy), as a potential successor. "I will not be made to choose between my brother and my daughter," Viserys says.
Earlier, on May 5, HBO dropped the official teaser trailer for House of the Dragon. The clip gave us a closer look at a slew of characters, from Considine's King Viserys Targaryen and D'Arcy's Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen to Rhys Ifans's Otto Hightower and Olivia Cooke's Alicent Hightower. Steve Toussaint's Lord Corlys Velaryon delivers the punchy line in the trailer: "History does not remember blood. It remembers names."
A shorter teaser was released on Oct. 5, 2021. The video features voiceover from Smith's Prince Daemon Targaryen, who says, "Dreams didn't make us kings — dragons did." There may not be any dragons in the first footage, but there is a quick look at a new version of the Iron Throne.
House of the Dragon premiered Sunday, Aug. 21 on HBO, with new episodes dropping weekly. The season finale will air Sunday, Oct. 23.
The release date was announced with a poster of a glowing dragon egg.
It's all about the Targaryens. Set 200 years before the events in Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon is based on Martin's novel Fire & Blood, which chronicles the first 150 years of the white-haired family. A planned second book covering the remaining history leading up to Robert Baratheon's rebellion will offer up plenty of material for potential future seasons or spin-offs.
The series will revolve around the fight for the Iron Throne between King Viserys' daughter Rhaenyra and Viserys' brother Daemon. The debate over which of the two should rule Westeros will spark a civil war and inevitably lead to the downfall of the Targaryen family.
The cast and executive producers, including George R.R. Martin, took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con on July 23 to preview the show.
"[House of the Dragon] digs into the history of the Targaryen dynasty. They're at the height of their power, they have the most dragons they'll ever have. It's just before the bloom starts to come off the rose," producer Ryan Condal explained. And he wasn't joking about the dragons. The producers revealed that at the height of this series, the Targaryens will have 17 dragons. The creatures were the first thing that the producers began conceiving, and they have so many dragons in the works that not all of them will be seen in Season 1 because they aren't done being designed.
Martin, meanwhile, weighed in on why Westeros has such an atrocious attitude towards women, explaining that the inspiration for both A Song of Ice and Fire and this series is human history. "My books are fantasy, but I do take inspiration from history. Game of Thrones was based loosely on War of Roses, and this book is loosely on a period before that called The Anarchy, and I pilfered freely from that," he said. "I don't think Westeros is more anti-woman or more misogynist than history."
Martin also added that he doesn't believe he'll cameo in the series because, as people may have heard, he's working on the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
On July 13, Entertainment Weekly dropped nine exclusive photos from House of the Dragon. In one of them, the young Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) stands in front of King Viserys Targaryan (Paddy Considine), who is sitting on the Iron Throne. In another image, the Great Council of Harrenhal poses in a room. This was the council formed to choose a successor to the throne back when King Jaehaerys Targaryen ruled the land.
House of the Dragon previously dropped new photos of some of the show's major characters on March 30. They include teasers of King Viserys Targaryen, Prince Daemon Targaryen, and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. More images can be seen on the show's official Twitter account.
The cast is stacked. Paddy Considine will play the noble King Viserys Targaryen. He is described as "a warm, kind, and decent man" who succeeds the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, as the series begins. Unfortunately for him, good men seldom make great kings.
Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, and Emma D'Arcy also lead the cast. Smith plays Prince Daemon Targaryen, younger brother of King Viserys. A masterful warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon "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." Cooke has been cast as Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. Raised in the Red Keep, Alicent is described as beautiful and regal, with a sharp political mind. And D'Arcy will play Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king's first-born child and a dragonrider.
The main cast will also include Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, and Sonoya Mizuno. As reported by Deadline, Ifans plays Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, who serves both his ruler and his realm, while Toussaint plays Lord Corlys Velaryon, who comes from a bloodline as old as the Targaryens and a house richer than the Lannisters. Best has been cast as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon, a dragonrider and Lord Velaryon's wife. Mizuno will play Mysaria, a close ally to Smith's Daemon.
The Serpent star Fabien Frankel will play Ser Criston Cole, a commoner from Dorne, according to Variety. He is a steward of Lord Blackhaven and has no lands or title of his own, but he's very deadly with a sword.
Milly Alcock and Emily Carey will play recurring roles in Season 1. Alcock is playing young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, per Variety. Carey will be playing the younger version of Olivia Cooke's Alicent Hightower, the politically savvy daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King.
Ryan Corr, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, Gavin Spokes, and Outlander's Graham McTavish have also been confirmed as cast members. Per Deadline, Corr plays Ser Harwin "Breakbones" Strong, reputedly the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms. Hall is Lord Jason Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and twin of the calculating Ser Tyland Lannister, also played by Hall. Horovitch is Grand Maester Mellos, King Viserys' trusted advisor. Needham will play Larys Strong, younger son of Master of Laws Lyonel Strong, who is played by Spokes. Paterson plays Lord Lyman Beesbury, the Lord of Honeyholt and Master of Coin on King Viserys' small council. And McTavish is Ser Harrold Westerling, a chivalrous man who has served in the Kingsguard since the days of King Jaehaerys.
HBO has also announced cast members Wil Johnson as Ser Vaemond Velaryon, John Macmillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon, Savannah Steyn as Lady Laena Velayron, and Theo Nate as Ser Laenor Velaryon, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Production began in April 2021. The official House of the Dragon Twitter account shared the news that production had kicked off on April 26, 2021. The announcement was accompanied by a photo of the cast doing a socially distanced table read.
The project has enlisted some Game of Thrones greats behind the scenes. The series was co-created by George R. R. Martin and Colony's Ryan Condal, the latter whom penned the script and served as co-showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik. Sapochnik, who directed major Game of Thrones episodes like "Battle of the Bastards" and "The Long Night," helmed several House of the Dragon Season 1 episodes, including the pilot. Sapochnik departed the series shortly after Season 1 premiered, leaving Condal the sole showrunner. Another Game of Thrones veteran, director Alan Taylor, joined the series as an executive producer and will direct multiple episodes in Season 2, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Clare Kilner (The Alienist: Angel of Darkness), Geeta V. Patel (The Witcher), and Greg Yaitanes (Banshee) round out the team of directors, Deadline reports.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are not involved. The Game of Thrones showrunners will not be involved in House of the Dragon. It's probably for the best.
Martin won't be writing episodes any time soon. The author announced that he won't script any episodes for the show until he has finished Winds of Winter, the next installment of his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
"I expect to be involved in all of this to some extent... and, who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of Game of Thrones," Martin wrote in a blog post. "But... let me make this perfectly clear... I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered Winds of Winter. Winter is still coming, and Winds remains my priority, as much as I'd love to write an episode of House."
The series is available to stream. In addition to airing on HBO, House of the Dragon is also available to stream on HBO Max.
The first season will be 10 episodes. Much like most seasons of Game of Thrones, Season 1 of House of the Dragon will consist of 10 episodes.
House of the Dragon premiered Sunday, Aug. 21 on HBO.