It is back in all its glory, and how!
Ever since the big announcement, the entire world awaited a word on House of the Dragon. The wait was over when HBO premiered the first ever episode on the 22nd of August, 2022. After two episodes, the fans around the world are elated with the fact that, unlike its predecessor’s last season, House of the Dragon didn’t disappoint them. Both the episodes have raised the bar, and the expectations of the audience remain high as ever.
House of the Dragon unfolds the Targaryen family’s history. It is a prequel to HBO’s Game of Thrones and is based on Fire and Blood, written by George R.R. Martin in terms of the history of the Targaryen dynasty.
Both the episodes of the series have made the fans hungry. HBO has even released a Weeks Ahead trailer spotlighting the journey of the series and all its upcoming episodes. Here’s everything to know about House of the Dragon.
It Dates back 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones
Wondering if you will catch a glimpse of your favorite characters from Game of Thrones? Let us tell you – you will not.
The prequel dates back 200 years before the actual events in Game of Thrones happened. The series is based on one of the most powerful houses, House Targaryen, which is thriving under the reign of King Viserys I.
The fans aren’t disappointed at all. The characters and the storyline of the first two episodes were enough for them to be joyful. Some of them have already chosen their favorite characters in the series.
What is the Plot of House of the Dragon?
As stated, House of the Dragon talks about the Targaryen Dynasty and all the events related to succession.
If you thought that Danny was an interesting character, believe us when we say that her ancestors are many steps ahead of her. The Targaryen tree is extremely large and knotty, and this show unveils the same.
King Viserys has been named the current ruler of Westeros. He is the great x7 grandfather of Daenerys Targaryen. The whole show revolves around the events about who will succeed him on the Iron Throne as other characters eye on it and want to take the throne by hook or crook.
Following his wife’s and infant’s death, the King names her daughter as the heir to his throne. However, the decision is challenged by the aunt, who was once the rightful contender for the throne but lost to Viserys as she was a female! The throne is also challenged by the King’s brother who is ordered to vacate the town following his unsuited approach and behavior.
On the other hand, the Hand of the King urges her daughter (who is also good friends with the princess) to woo the King and marry him. She marries the King and becomes power-hungry. She also births his child, a male, now a strong contender to the throne. All these events result in clashes, gore, and the perfect dose of politics to keep you on the edge of your seats.
The Entry of New Showrunners
Back in 2019, the finale of Game of Thrones disappointed a legion of its fan base. The story was so loose and harried, and the showrunners, Benioff and Weiss, received flak from the people. A beautifully-written epic series met a big disaster.
After it, the production house decided to replace the showrunners with new ones. As a result, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik are directing the new series. George R.R. Martin, who took the back seat for the previous seasons, is now the co-creator and executive producer of House of the Dragon. It is not the first time Sapochnik is directing the season. He had been associated with the series in the earlier seasons and received immense appreciation for directing the most popular episodes of Game of Thrones, including Season 5’s Hardhome and Season 6’s Battle of the Bastards.
It is said that George R.R. Martin is a lot more involved in House of the Dragon than in Game of Thrones.
Who All are the Cast Members of the Show?
You will see a diverse cast on the show. These talented actors are bringing their characters to life.
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen
The king is chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council of Harrenhal. He is shown as a warm, kind, and noble man who only wishes to carry their legacy. However, good men barely make for great kings.
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen
Daemon is the younger brother of the King and heir to the throne. He is a peerless warrior and a dragon rider. He has the true blood of a dragon. He is fierce and has his own way of dealing with matters, which the council doesn’t appreciate.
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower
Alicent is the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. She is considered the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. Alicent was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle. She is blessed with both – courtly grace and keen political acumen. The young Alicent is played by Emily Carey.
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhenyra Targaryen
Rhaenyra is the first-born child of the King. She has pure Valyrian blood and is a fierce dragon rider. According to many in Westeros, Rhaenyra was born with everything, but she was not born a man. Only fate will tell if she will sit on the throne or not. The young princess is played by Milly Allcock.
Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon
Also known as The Sea Snake, he is the Lord of House Velaryon. Lord Corlys has a Valyrian bloodline as old as the ruler-house. He built his house into a powerful seat richer than the Lannisters. They have the largest navy in the world.
Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
She was once a strong contender to the Iron Throne. She is referred to as ‘The Queen Who Never Was’. Rhaneys is a dragon rider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon. She passed over as heir to the throne only because she was a female.
Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
He is one of the best-looking characters in the show. Ser Criston Cole has a Dornish descent. He is the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. He has no claim to land or titles but the honor to his name. He has a preternatural skill with a sword.
Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower
Otto Hightower is the Hand of the King. He serves his King, and the realm loyally and faithfully. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is King’s brother, Daemon, and his position as the heir to the throne.
Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
She came to Westeros with nothing and sold more items than she could recall. She could have wilted; however, she rose to become the most trusted and unlikely ally of Prince Daemon.
Besides this, other cast members include Ryan Corr, David Horovitch, Jefferson Hall, Graham McTavish, Bill Paterson, Matthew Needham, Ewan Mitchell, and Gavin Spokes.
How Did The First Two Episodes Fare?
Episode 1 – Heirs of the Dragon
The first episode’s reception was phenomenal. The episode showed that House of the Dragon does have the potential to offer some good, especially after the potboiler, which the audience watched in 2019.
The first episode starts 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. All the characters are full of caliber, and things also seem saveable when it comes to the drama about succession. You will also spot some gory elements laid by Prince Daemon.
This episode gave a lot of fodder to the viewers to feed on, ranging from the unruly Princes, high hopes for unborn sons, daughters feeling unloved and much more. The screenplay and visuals are worth admiring. Seeing a dragon after two years was a treat to sore eyes.
Episode 2 – Rogue Prince
The second episode fasts forward to six months after the first one with all its events as raw as ever. Viserys mourns her dead wife, but Princess Rhaenys and her husband urge him to remarry their daughter to strengthen his rule. However, their daughter is only 12 and too young for the King. In the meantime, Alicent is trying her best to charm him in a bid for marriage.
Like the first episode, the second one was well-received by the viewers and critics alike. You will see the princess riding on the dragon again while visiting her uncle to have a word with him. Viserys ponders over the decision to get married. But instead of the 12-year-old daughter of Lord Corlys, he chooses Alicent.
Episode 3 – Second of his Name
The third episode of the season has not aired as of now. However, you can catch a glimpse of its teaser released by HBO to excite you and keep you waiting for it.
Here’s the list of other episodes.
Episode 4 – King of the Narrow Sea
Episode 5 – We Light the Way
Episode 6 – The Princess and the Queen
Episode 7 – Driftmark
Episode 8 – The Lord of the Tides
Episode 9 – The Green Council
Episode 10 – The Black Queen
The run time of each episode is nearly an hour. The last episode will be aired on the 16th of October, 2022.
Interesting Facts About House of the Dragon
The audience is enjoying House of the Dragon to their heart’s content and waiting for the next episodes. While you do the same, we bring you some unknown facts both on-screen and behind-the-scenes.
Making House of the Dragon was not the First GOT Spin-off Idea
In 2018, the plans for the successor series of Game of Thrones began. However, it was not House of the Dragon but another series titled Bloodmoon.
It was set in the Age of Heroes and the Long Night and was created by Jane Goldman. The stars like Naomi Watts and Jamie Campbell Bower were in the cast, and the makers even filmed the pilot. But the author did not have much involvement in the series. After the pilot was finished, HBO opted not to make it into a show.
It is how they generated the idea of creating the House of the Dragon. According to Condal, “This was the successor show that George was most excited about. It dives into the story of the Targaryen dynasty. That’s something we hear about in Ice of Fire, the original book, but never get a real sense of it.”
The Show is Based on the True Story of the English Civil War
Not many people know this, but House of the Dragon is based on the true story of the English Civil War, The Anarchy. George R.R. Martin talked to his fans at Comic-Con 2022 and explained how it was inspired by the real events that took place in the 12th century.
“Game of Thrones was based very loosely on the War of the Roses. This show was based on an earlier period of English history, The Anarchy.”
The Author Thinks the Series has Made Improvements to His Book
Martin has already watched nine episodes out of ten from the House of the Dragon season one and has given a thumbs up to all of them.
He also states that the series has made some improvements to his book, especially with the character of King Viserys. He talked about it on his blog, “For years, as some of you may recall, I have been saying the TV version of Shae, as portrayed by Sivel Kekilli, was a deeper, richer, and more nuanced character than the Shae in my novels. In a similar vein, I am vastly impressed by the show’s version of King Viserys, played by Paddy Considine, who gives the character a tragic majesty that my book Viserys never quite achieved.”
The Show has 17 Dragons
If you were intrigued by watching the three dragons in Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon would fascinate you even more.
As the show is solely based on the Targaryen rule, it represents dragons galore. The makers have ensured not to spare any expense or effort on giving these creatures their own personalities and looks.
“There are 17 of them at the height of this. It’s important to differentiate them, and it was one of the earliest things we started concepting on. George, who writes very detailed books, gave us the gift of color, size, and age. We took those things and tried to extrapolate them and add personality. So Caraxes is very cantankerous and agitated, and he is always moving and flexing, much like his rider.”
The director further mentioned, “We built out from Syrax and Caraxes and Vhagar the biggest dragon alive right now. We have designed dragons you won’t even see in season 1. There’s much yet to come. Caraxes is the best dragon. He’s the most handsome.”
All About the Wigs and Costumes
Besides the wonderful cinematography and incredible acting of the talented actors, Game of Thrones was also known for the costumes and looks of all of them. House of the Dragon continues the legacy.
All the Targaryens on the show are seen donning their long white hair. But when discussed behind the scenes, pulling such wigs and costumes was not an easy task. A large number of the cast had to sport wigs during their time on the set. Actor Matt Smith even joked that it would be one of the things he would change if he had the power as the ruler of Westeros.
The costumes that looked regal as ever were also difficult to wear, and the actors faced their own challenges while putting them on. But it seems that every bit of their hard work and effort are paying well.
You will Listen to More of Ramin Djawadi
Talk about Game of Thrones, and the mention of its glorious background score and soundtrack is a must. The Emmy award winner, Ramin Djawadi, continues doing the same work for the prequel. He won the award for his phenomenal work.
Author Himself Picked the Creator of the Series
Reportedly, George R.R. Martin hand-picked Ryan Condal to create House of the Dragon. He revealed that he is a big fan of the director and his work and is highly impressed by him and Miguel.
“Ryan and Miguel and their cast and crew are doing great work. Those of you who like complex, conflicted, gray characters as I do will like the series, I think. There will be plenty of dragons and battles, to be sure, but the spine of the story is the human conflicts, the love, and the hate, character drama rather than action/adventure”.
Where Can I Watch House of the Dragon?
You can watch House of the Dragon on HBO Max.
The hype of this show is real, and the fans look forward to a lot more in the upcoming episodes. If you haven’t watched the first two episodes of the series, watch them now.