A slew of new images for House of the Dragon reveal the first look at King Viserys Targaryan, as well as other characters from the Game of Thrones prequel show. Based on the book “Fire & Blood” by author George R.R. Martin, House of the Dragon takes place 200 years before the events of A Song of Ice & Fire, which encapsulated the original Game of Thrones series, focusing on House Targaryen’s downfall as the ruling family of Westeros, while at the height of their power.
Martin created the House of the Dragon alongside Colony’s Ryan J. Condal, who serves as co-showrunner with director Miguel Sapochnik. The 10-episode House of the Dragon season 1 was just announced to debut on August 21st, with Martin recently saying that he’s watched rough cuts of House of the Dragon thus far and loves what he’s seen. The release date means that the Game of Thrones spinoff will release just ahead of the competing fantasy series, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings, which is set to debut on September 2nd.
Along with the release date announcement, HBO Max has shared a number of new images from House of the Dragon, including a first look at Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen, as well as several other main players from the show. Viserys is expected to be the focus of the show, with a supporting cast that includes Emmy D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra, Viserys’ first child and heir, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon, Viserys’ younger brother, Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, Olivia Cooke as Lady Alicent Hightower, Otto’s daughter, Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, and Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria. Milly Alcock will play Young Rhaenyra, while Emily Carey will play Young Alicent in the show. You can see images of all of these cast members below:
House of the Dragon has only been greenlit for the first season thus far, with the expectation that it will continue with more depending on how it performs initially. Matt Smith recently commented on the pressure of living up to the hype of Game of Thrones, saying he hopes that House of the Dragon “evolves into something different” that will set it apart and allow it to succeed on its own merits. Meanwhile, there are multiple other spinoffs in development from Martin and HBO Max, including The Sea Snake, the Ten Thousand Ships series, the Dunk & Egg series, now called The Hedge Knight, and a number of animated shows, including one called The Golden Empire.
Viserys I is a key player in Game of Thrones lore, so seeing Considine in full regalia as the character is an exciting peek at things to come in House of the Dragon. The events that unfold from his reign lead to many significant events, including the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, which will likely play out if the show continues for multiple seasons. While it’s unclear at this point if House of the Dragon can capture the same cultural zeitgeist as Game of Thrones, anticipation is still high for a return to Westeros that keeps viewers guessing, gasping, and eagerly awaiting the next episode (and season).