HBO's Game of Thrones was one of the channel's most-watched shows when it was broadcast from 2011 to 2019, however the finale was met with criticism as fans expressed their disappointment at how the series ended.
Now, another George R R Martin-adapted series is coming to HBO. Called House of the Dragon, based on Martin's 2018 novel Fire & Blood, the prequel takes place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of the beginning of the end of House Targaryen after a civil war called the Dance of Dragons breaks out.
Here's everything you need to know about the coming show.
When will ‘House of the Dragon’ be released?
The first episode will be broadcast on August 21 on HBO Max. There are 10 episodes in the first season.
Who is in the cast?
Paddy Considine stars as King Viserys Targaryen with Emma D’Arcy as his firstborn daughter Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, the king’s younger brother and heir to the throne. Olivia Cooke stars as Alicent Hightower, while Rhys Ifans plays Otto Hightower, her father and the Hand of the King.
Meanwhile, Milly Alcock plays the young Rhaenyra, while Emily Carey appears as the young Alicent.
The cast also includes Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole.
What is the series about?
The highly anticipated prequel tells the story of the Targaryen family. It begins with the story of King Viserys sitting on the Iron Throne with his daughter, Rhaenyra, next in line. However, this leads to dissension in Westeros as not everyone is happy with the decision.
"I saw rough cuts of a couple more episodes of House of the Dragon, and was just as pleased as I was with the earlier episodes," said Martin in a blog post. "[Producers] Ryan [Condal] and Miguel [Sapochnik] and their cast and crew are doing great work."
"Those of you who like complex, conflicted, grey characters [as I do] will like this series, I think. There will be plenty of dragons and battles, to be sure, but the spine of the story is the human conflicts, the love and the hate, character drama rather than action/adventure."
Will any ‘Game of Thrones’ stars appear in the show?
It is unlikely that any familiar faces from Game of Thrones will appear in House of the Dragon as the prequel takes place much earlier. However, there are references to other houses with connections to Game of Thrones, such as the Starks, Lannisters and Baratheons.
What do we learn from the latest trailer?
The newest trailer for House of the Dragon was released on May 5. In the clip, which is about a minute-and-a-half long, viewers are shown King Viserys presenting his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, as his heir, but not all the residents in Westeros are seemingly willing to accept her as their leader.
In typical fashion, violence ensues. In the final moments, we’re also given a first look at the fire-breathing dragon from the House of Targaryen.