Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau reacts to the trailer for the show’s upcoming prequel spin-off House of the Dragon. The Danish actor starred as Ser Jaime Lannister, AKA the Kingslayer, for eight seasons in HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Coster-Waldau’s portrayal of the morally conflicted Knight received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, earning him two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Following the monumental success of Game of Thrones, the network has committed to expanding Westeros with numerous spin-offs beginning with House of the Dragon.
Based on Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of the flagship series and focuses on a civil war known as the Dance of Dragons, sparked by King Viserys Targaryen breaking from tradition and naming his daughter heir to the Iron Throne. It stars Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Rhys Ifans, Graham McTavish, Steve Toussaint, Sonoya Mizuno, Ryan Corr, Jefferson Hall, Bill Paterson, and Eve Best. Filming for the 10-episode first season began in April 2021 in the United Kingdom, with some elements shot in Spain, California, and Portugal, and wrapped in February 2022. House of the Dragon’s first official trailer dropped earlier this month, showing off its King’s Landing, political intrigue, and, of course, dragons—all of which are familiar to Game of Thrones vets.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE during the Cannes Film Festival, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau opened up about House of the Dragon. The Game of Thrones star shared his reaction to the show’s trailer and revealed it’s “going to be quite surreal to watch.” Read the full quote below:
“I know it’s probably going to be weird. Well, I’ve seen the trailer. It seems very familiar. Miguel [Sapochnik], who’s the showrunner, directed some of the big episodes in Game of Thrones. So, I have a feeling it’s going to be quite surreal to watch it.
Coster-Waldau’s sentiments echo comments made by Kit Harrington late last year. While sending his love and support to the team behind House of the Dragon, the Jon Snow actor admitted that the story is “so close to [his] heart” and that might make it difficult to watch. As mentioned by both actors, the series showrunner is Miguel Sapochnik, who helmed some of Game of Thrones’ most celebrated episodes, including “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards.” On top of that, Martin himself and Ryan Condal serve as the series’ co-creators, adding an aspect of credibility to House of the Dragon—which benefits from the completed source material, as opposed to the original series.
House of the Dragon’s trailer would seem very familiar to Coster-Waldau as it takes place primarily in King’s Landing and deals in political intrigue, which mirrors much of Jaime’s journey in Game of Thrones. Of course, many were disappointed with how the character’s arc, and the series at large, ended. The almost universally adverse reaction to season 8 soured enthusiasm and raised expectations for the several spinoffs in development at HBO. That said, Coster-Waldau’s feelings on the forthcoming House of the Dragon are understandable not only because of his role in the original series. The prequel aims to reinvigorate the franchise and avoid being a copycat of Game of Thrones devoid of White Walkers. Only time will tell how surreal House of the Dragon is to watch when it premieres on HBO Max on August 21st.