HBO just shared the first official look at House of the Dragon, a prequel series to the massively successful Game of Thrones franchise. The television network released pictures from the shooting set in the UK, which featured several cast members and offered the first official look at a blonde Matt Smith.
The images, shown below, were dropped on Wednesday, in light of the network’s month-long celebration of Game of Thrones’ 10th anniversary, and feature primary cast members, Matt Smith, and Emma D’Arcy, as Prince Daemon Targaryen and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, respectively. Despite being the firstborn, Rhaenyra can’t contend to the throne, as she’s not male. Still, she’s of pure Valyrian blood, and a dragon rider, like her brother Daemon, the heir to the throne, and a true dragon-blood.
Steve Toussaint poses as Lord Corlys Velaryon, the Sea Snake, in one of the pictures. His character is the Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as the House Targaryen. Lord Corlys is the most famed nautical adventurer in Westeros’ history, who built his House into a vibrant seat of power that rivals the Lannisters, and claims the world’s largest navy. Will he fall afoul of Matt Smith in the series?
Lastly, one of the pictures encaptures Rhys Ifans and Olivia Cooke as Ser Otto Hightower and his daughter Alicent Hightower. Ser Otto Hightower is The Hand of the King, who loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. He perceives the king’s brother, Prince Daemon, as the biggest threat to his king’s rule and the realm’s safety. Otto’s daughter, Alicent, is considered the most attractive woman in the Seven Kingdoms. But she’s more than a pretty lady; she has courtly grace paired with exceptionally keen political wit. It will be interesting to see if she crosses paths with Matt Smith.
Unfortunately, none of the pictures feature Paddy Considine as the warm, kind, and decent King Viserys Targaryen – a peaceful and open-handed ruler and dragon rider. Still, despite his kind nature, the seeds of civil war in which Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) dies were sown during his reign due to inheritance disputes between his children, which the series expands upon.
The House of the Dragon, based on George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen. The series is co-created with Martin and Ryan Condal, with Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik as director and showrunner for the House of the Dragon. HBO has given the show a 10-episode order, aiming to release it sometime in 2022, given Martin’s five-year contract with HBO, which obligates him to create content for the television network company.
This was just the first official glance at the cast of House of the Dragon; hopefully one of many more to come, given HBO’s development of three Game of Thrones prequel series, supposedly titled 9 Voyages, Flea Bottom, and 10,000 Ships. HBO declined any comment regarding the potential releases, driving attention towards the House of the Dragon series. The Game of Thrones prequel series will debut sometime in 2022, and we’ll have to wait until then to see blonde Matt Smith in action.