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House Of The Dragon Release Date, Cast, Plot, And Trailer - What We Know So Far

Ever since the beloved and wildly popular HBO series "Game of Thrones" — with its spectacular visual artistry, compelling world-building, and complex inter- (and intra-) familial drama — wrapped up in 2019, fans of the show, as well as the George R. R. Martin books on which it was based, have been clamoring for more stories like it. The keen interest in returning to Westeros has only grown more fervent in the wake of the poorly-received series finale that left viewers wanting better. HBO has teased viewers for more than two and a half years with the promise of a prequel series that follows the Targaryen family's grip on the Iron Throne and the power plays by the family to control that dynasty.

For a long time, concrete details about "House of the Dragon" were hard to come by. A July 2020 report from Insider offered fans essential "House of the Dragon" production details. At the time, we learned the "Game of Thrones" prequel would be based on Martin's novel "Fire and Blood," and it was originally to intended be set 300 years before its parent series. We also knew Martin would be involved as an executive producer and that Ryan Condal ("Rampage") and director Miguel Sapochnik ("Game of Thrones") would join him as co-showrunners. Additionally, Insider reported Sara Hess ("Orange is the New Black") would serve as the series' writer.

In late March 2022, curious fans got a much-anticipated update about "House of the Dragon." The update included new information about the prequel's cast and crew, as well as the release date.

What is the premiere date for House of the Dragon?

On March 30, HBO Max announced the most important piece of news about "House of the Dragon" on Twitter: The "Game of Thrones" prequel will release its first episode on Sunday, August 21. Following its HBO debut, the episode will be available to stream on HBO Max. We can safely bet HBO will follow this release plan for each of the 10 episodes that comprise Season 1 of "House of the Dragon."

In February, George R. R. Martin announced on his blog that filming on "House of the Dragon" was finished. "I have seen rough cuts of a few of them," he wrote. " The writing, the directing, the acting all look terrific." Martin then tipped his cap to co-showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, as well as the cast and crew, for all of their hard work.

Sapochnik told The Hollywood Reporter in October 2021 that, although they were "standing on the shoulders" of "Game of Thrones" and needed to maintain a respect for the original, the prequel "has its own tone that will evolve and emerge over the course of the show." He continued, "We'll be lucky if we ever come close to what the original show was, so we're just putting our heads down and getting on with it. Hopefully, it will be seen as something else. But it will have to earn that — it won't happen overnight." At least viewers now know exactly when they'll have the chance to decide that for themselves.

Who is in the cast of House of the Dragon?

Warner Media's March 30 press release confirming the "House of the Dragon" release date also provided a comprehensive list of characters and the actors who will play them, including Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, plus Eve Best and Emma D'Arcy as Princesses Rhaenys and Rhaenyra Targaryen. The series apparently won't feature any Starks, Snows, or Baratheons, but there will be at least two Lannisters in the mix: twins Tyland and Lord Jason (Jefferson Hall). 

"House of the Dragon" will also introduce some new families. King Viserys' Hand, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), and his daughter, Alicent (Cooke), will join the fold, as will the Velaryons. The Velaryon clan includes Lord Corlys (Toussaint), his son Ser Laenor (John Macmillan and Theo Nate), his daughter Lady Laena (Savannah Steyn), younger brother Ser Vaemond (Wil Johnson), and nephew Jacaerys (Harry Collett).

Fabian Frankel ("The Serpent") will play swordsman Ser Criston Cole, and Sonoya Mizuno ("Ex Machina") is Mysaria, a sex worker who becomes a trusted friend to Prince Daemon Targaryen ("Doctor Who" alum Matt Smith). Milly Alcock from "Upright Meg" and Emily Carey ("Wonder Woman") will appear as the younger versions of D'Arcy's Rhaenyra and Cooke's Alicent. Rounding out the cast is "Outlander" alum Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling, an honorable member of the Kingsguard, and Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin "Breakbones" Strong, "the strongest man in the seven kingdoms."

What is the plot of House of the Dragon?

Although no concrete plot details about the series have been made public, in George R.R. Martin's own words, "Fire and Blood" covers the seven "Targaryen kings from Aegon I ("The Conquerer") to the regency of Aegon III ("The Dragonbane"), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters ... Oh, and there are dragons too." Warner Media's March 30 press release includes an equally simple logline for the prequel series' first season: "Based on George R.R. Martin's 'Fire and Blood,' the series, set 200 years before the events of 'Game of Thrones,' tells the story of House Targaryen."

Critical reviews of the source material are mixed, with The Times calling it "a masterpiece of popular historical fiction," but Publisher's Weekly saying the novel was "dramatic" and "salacious" before concluding that "there are entertaining snatches of dialogue and detailed depictions of battles, but they only last a few pages before a return to brisk summary." However, drama, salaciousness, brilliant writing, and battle scenes were the key elements in making "Game of Thrones" so popular and successful, so we can probably expect them to follow from "Fire and Blood" to "House of the Dragon" with similar success. 

Is there a trailer for House of the Dragon?

HBO Max released a teaser trailer for "House of the Dragon" in October 2021, revealing that the series will not take place 300 years before "Game of Thrones," as originally intended, but 200 years, instead. The teaser, with a runtime of just over one minute long, also offers a quick glimpse of the Hand of the King (Rhys Ifans), a shot of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) on the Iron Throne holding the sword known as Blackfyre, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) moving worriedly through a crowd holding a dagger, and Rhaenyra and Daemon (Emma D'Arcy and Matt Smith) standing on a beach. 

We also get a quick flash of Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon looking pensively off into the distance, and we see his entire family making a grand entrance into some high-profile occasion. There are also shots of sword fights and a jousting tournament, and we see one of the Targaryen princesses walking slowly towards a much bigger and scarier Iron Throne.

Smith's voice is the only actor's heard in the teaser, rasping out "Gods, kings, fire, and blood. Dreams didn't make us kings — dragons did." We don't get any dialogue between characters or other exposition, but the quick visuals show enough intense and beautifully shot moments to take viewers through Season 1 – and hopefully beyond.