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Small Details In The House Of The Dragon Trailer That Might Confuse Game Of Thrones Fans

The game of thrones never ends, it simply takes a water break every once in a while. HBO's upcoming prequel series, "House of the Dragon," delves deeper into the history of Westeros, and takes the viewer back to the days when the dragon-riding Targaryens ruled the roost. Still, don't expect the visuals change too much from your last live-action visit to this dreary and dangerous fantasy world. The new teaser trailer (via YouTube) for "House of the Dragon" confirms that things are looking pretty "Game of Thrones," despite the show's much earlier setting. "We play an ugly game," Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) says, rather pointedly referencing the original show in the trailer. It's fair to say the players this time around are equally caught between the diametric options of winning and dying.

Since the series is wearing its "Game of Thrones" colors so proudly, it's only natural that fans might dive in with a fair few memories and holdover assumptions from their last foray into Westeros. Still, while its events take place in the same universe, "House of the Dragon" is still very much its own thing, to the point that the new trailer alone has plenty of small details that might confuse "Game of Thrones" fans. Let's unpack some of these puzzling moments.

All Velaryons are Valyrians, but not all Valyrians are Velaryons

By the time "Game of Thrones" begins, there are no more folks of Old Valyrian blood left on Westeros. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and her brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd) are wandering Essos in exile after the events of Robert's Rebellion. The new "House of the Dragon" trailer presents a very different state of affairs, with more platinum-headed dragonriders skulking around than you can shake a flaming sword at. What gives?

In the deep Westerosi past, long before the time of the Mad King Aerys and Robert's fateful rebellion, there were a lot more Valyrians running around Westeros — and they weren't all Targaryens, either. In the mass exodus from Essos after the Doom of Valyria, two prominent Valyrian families actually settled (read: conquered) Westeros — the Targaryens and the Velaryons, the latter of which has died out by the time "Game of Thrones" begins. At the time of "House of the Dragon," however, the Velaryons are still very much on the scene, and will play a central role in the Targaryen civil war to come.

The trailer introduces us to the dreadlocked mariner Lord Corlys "Sea Snake" Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), Rhaenys Velaryon née Targaryen (Eve Best), Vaemond Velaryon (Wil Johnson), Laena Velaryon (Savannah Steyn), and Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan) (via IMDb). Marked by their silver hair, like their hometown frenemies the Targaryens, expect the Velaryons to play the Game of Thrones hard on the new series. Since there aren't any left by the time the flagship series starts, you can image how that turns out.

The Rickard Stark bowing to the Iron Throne isn't the one you're thinking of

In the new teaser trailer to "House of The Dragon," audiences witness some familiar names bending the knee to King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine), including one Rickard Stark. Any "Game of Thrones" fan should happily recognize the familiarity of the Stark name; after all, House Stark serves as one of the principal factions in the original story alongside House Targaryen and House Lannister. Westerosi history aficionados will additionally remember that Eddard Stark's (Sean Bean) father was named Rickard Stark, but the Rickard seen in this trailer bowing to King Viserys rides south to King's Landing some 200 years before "Game of Thrones" even starts (via HBO), so we're talking a totally different Rick here.

The Rickard Stark who lives closer to the events of "Game of Thrones" is burned to death by the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen, triggering the Ned Stark, Jon Arryn, and Robert Baratheon-led rebellion that ultimately removes the Targaryen dynasty from the Iron Throne and exiles Daenerys Targaryen as an infant. Based on the timeline provided — and the relatively short lives "Game of Thrones" characters often lead — the Rickard Stark who appears in the "House of the Dragon" teaser should be some five or six generation-removed ancestors of Ned Stark at the height of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros.

King Viserys' relationship to Daenerys' brother Viserys explained

Characters in the world of "Game of Thrones" tend to name their children after deceased family members, and though the Targaryens seem to think themselves better than other families, they're no different in that sense. King Viserys I Targaryen sits upon the Iron Throne at the start of "House of the Dragon" — again, fans who closely recall Season 1 of "Game of Thrones" will note that Daenarys' older brother Viserys shares the same distinguished moniker. Again, this makes King Viserys I Targaryen Dany and Viserys' distant ancestor, living some 200 years before any of the final generation of Targaryens are born.

HBO's brief notes on characters in "House of the Dragon" establish that Viserys I was chosen to succeed King Jaehaerys Targaryen at the Great Council at Harrenhal. Targaryen family members have a tendency to slip into some disturbing behavior, but it seems Viserys I doesn't fall into that specific category. The show's official page describes Viserys I as a kind and decent king before issuing a stark reminder: In the world of "Game of Thrones," good men don't necessarily make for good kings.

Based on the teaser trailer and what we know about Westerosi history already, "House of the Dragon" seems to dive into the conflict that arises as Viserys I grapples with his brother Daemon's (Matt Smith) ambition, even as he names his first-born child Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) the heir apparent to the Iron Throne.

What proper Westerosi war isn't planned around the Dragonstone gaming table?

In the new trailer for "House of the Dragon," a familiar and ornate war room in Dragonstone should have caught the attention of eagle-eyed "Game of Thrones" fans. This particular meeting spot in "Game of Thrones" hosts Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) and the Red Priestess Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) for several seasons, but the heavily fortified city is left vacant after Stannis' defeat, and is easily reoccupied by Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) after she makes her voyage from Essos.

Fans familiar with "Game of Thrones" lore will remember that — before Robert's Rebellion — the fortress of Dragonstone was part of the Crownlands under the paramount lordship of the Targaryen kings. By tradition, the fortress was held by the Targaryen crown prince, Rhaegar at the time of Robert's Rebellion. That's why Daenerys "Stormborn" is born on said stormy island. She's been secreted away to that stronghold, while her brother is out prosecuting Aerys' war (and fathering Jon Snow on Lyanna Stark). Stannis is actually the first (and the last) Baratheon to hold Dragonstone. 

So, what military mischief might the dragonriders be planning around the table this go-around? Notably, the island of Dragonstone is adjacent to the island of Driftmark, seat of House Velaryon. If a conflict is to break out between the two Old Valyrian houses, these two islands are likely to be at the center of it.