'House of the Dragon': first pictures as production starts on 'Game of Thrones' prequel

HBO shared a number of pictures from the first read throughs with some of the stars of the series, including Matt Smith and Rhys Ifans

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in 'Game of Thrones'. Courtesy OSN 
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in 'Game of Thrones'. Courtesy OSN 

The highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, has started production.

The news was confirmed by network HBO, which marked the occasion by sharing a picture from a table read with some of the stars of the series, including Matt Smith and Paddy Considine.

Set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series will tell the story of the Targaryen family, based on George R R Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood.

House of the Dragon is created by Martin, alongside showrunners Ryan J Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, and is scheduled for release on streaming service HBO Max in 2022.

Doctor Who star Smith will play Prince Daemon Targaryen in the series, while Considine will star as King Viserys Targaryen.

Also set to star are Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower), Emma D'Arcy (Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen), Steve Toussaint (The Sea Snake), and Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower).

Game of Thrones fans will recognise the Targaryen name. One of the family’s descendants Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, was a major character in all eight seasons of the show, which aired its final season in 2019.

Producers will be hoping House of the Dragon mirrors the success of the original series, which was one of the most successful series in the history of television, scooping close to 60 Emmy awards.

The prequel is one of a number of Game of Thrones spin-offs in the works. As well as a number of other television series, a stage show is also set to hit Broadway and London’s West End in the coming years.

The performance will bring some of the novels' and TV series' well-known characters to the stage, though no casting decisions have been announced.

Author Martin is working with award-winning playwright Duncan Macmillan and director Dominic Cooke to create the theatrical production, with the first show expected to launch in 2023.

The play will take place during "a pivotal moment in the history of the series", Martin revealed, and will be set more than a decade before the events in his novels.

Updated: April 28, 2021 05:23 PM

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