For eight years Game Of Thrones was one of the most successful and popular television shows in the world. Over its run, the show amassed a dedicated fanbase, critical acclaim and universal recognition, and for a while, it seemed like GOT would forever reign supreme. However, the show would eventually decline in quality, resulting in a final season that left both fans and critics disappointed and bereaved.
Following the failure of its final season, many assumed that HBO would simply sweep the show under the rug and move onto other projects. But it seems the company was not finished with the land of Westeros and in 2019 it was announced that a GOT prequel show was in the works. And with the show now slowly approaching its 2022 release, here’s everything you need to know about HBO’s House Of The Dragon.
10 The Show Is Not The First ‘GOT’ Spin-Off
Technically, House Of The Dragon is not the first, or even the second, spin-off to be commissioned for GOT. Back in 2017, HBO commissioned several writers to pitch their own individual ideas for a potential spin-off, with George R.R. Martin supervising each project. In the end, a pilot for a show called Bloodmoon was sent into production, with Naomi Watts being cast in the main role. However, HBO later announced that they would not be moving forward with the series, favoring House Of The Dragon instead.
9 It Will Be Set 200 Years In The Past
Unlike most prequels, House Of The Dragon will not focus on any established GOT characters. Instead, the show will be set 200 years in the past and will explore a politically tumultuous time in the history of Westeros. In 2021, it was announced that Rhys Ifans had been cast as Otto Hightower, a key political figure and unsuccessful Hand to three Targaryen kings. Ifans will also be joined by Eve Best and Steve Toussaint, who will play Rhaenys and Corlys Velaryon, respectively.
8 The Show Will Be Written By A Newcomer
House Of The Dragon will be written by Westeros newcomer, Ryan J. Condal, who will also act as showrunner and producer on the upcoming series. Condal, a writer known for his work on the science-fiction show Colony, first met George R.R. Martin during a television shoot in New Mexico.
The two writers struck up a professional relationship and Condal was eventually approached to head the new show. As a showrunner, Condal will also be assisted by Miguel Sapochnik, a director and GOT veteran known for his award-winning work on ‘The Battle Of The Bastards’.
7 It Will Be All About The Targaryens
Set during the height of the Targaryen Dynasty, House Of The Dragon will explore the events that led to ‘The Dance of the Dragons’, a civil war that raged between two rival factions of the Targaryen family. With Game Of Thrones being known for its violence and fight scenes, ‘The Dance of the Dragons’ will provide ample opportunity for another big-budget battle sequence. And with Sapochnik attached to direct, fans can rest assured knowing the material is in the right hands.
6 The Show Will Star Paddy Considine
Paddy Considine is a British actor and director known for his roles in Submarine, The World’s End, Pride and The Girl With All The Gifts. In October 2020, it was announced that Considine had been cast as Viserys I, a Targaryen king who broke centuries of tradition when he named his eldest daughter as heir and successor to the Iron Throne. A decision that would fracture the Targaryen family and incite ‘The Dance of the Dragons’. Considine will be joined by Emma D’Arcy, who will play his on-screen daughter, Rhaenyra Targaryen.
5 It Has Nothing To Do With D&D
Following the failure of GOT‘s final season, some fans might be cautious when it comes to committing to a new show. After all, who’s to say this new show will be any good? Or that it won’t decline in quality like its predecessor? Although these questions can’t be outrightly answered, it can be confirmed that House Of The Dragon will have no creative connection to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the original showrunners on GOT. Now seen as the two men who destroyed a once-beloved show, D&D have decided to leave the land of Westeros behind and will have no further influence on the franchise’s future.
4 The Show Will Star Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke is a British actress who is known for her roles in Bates Motel, Ready Player One and Vanity Fair. In December 2020, it was announced that Cooke had been cast as Queen Alicent Hightower, Otto Hightower’s daughter and King Viserys’s second wife. Although Cooke has been unable to divulge any information regarding the show’s story, the actress has stated that the spin-off will not feature any graphic violence against women, a common criticism of the original show.
3 It Will Not Feature Any ‘GOT’ Cameos
If you’re planning on watching the show to see some of your GOT favourites, then you may be greatly disappointed. Being set 200 years in the past, the show will feature no major GOT characters or cameos. Instead, the show will focus on an entirely new cast of characters and will be set primarily in and around King’s Landing. The show will even feature noble houses left unseen in GOT, such as the Hightowers and the Westerlings.
2 The Show Will Star Matt Smith
Matt Smith is a British actor who first rose to prominence as the eleventh incarnation of The Doctor on the science-fiction show, Doctor Who. Since then the dashing actor has gone on to star in a number of high-profile productions, from Terminator: Genisys to Netflix’s The Crown. In December 2020, it was announced that Smith had been cast as Daemon Targaryen. A prince and warlord who would aid his niece, Rhaenyra, in her claim for the Iron Throne. The two would later marry and fight side-by-side during ‘The Dance of the Dragons’. Smith has stated that he is excited about the role as well as the chance to ride some CGI dragons.
1 It Will Have Dragons
As the name would suggest, House Of The Dragon will see its fair share of fire-breathing reptiles. During the events of Game Of Thrones, dragons were practically extinct, with some people not even believing in their existence.
In House Of The Dragon, things will be very different, with dragons being an integral part of the Targaryen Dynasty. In fact, the show will see fifteen different dragons, each one a loyal companion to a member of the Targaryen family. So if you love dragons you’re in for a treat.