HBO posted seven photos of House of the Dragon cast at the table read on Monday, alongside a straightforward caption: “Fire will reign. The HBO original series #HouseoftheDragon is officially in production. Coming soon to HBO Max in 2022.” The photos feature cast members we’ve all known previously about, including Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Steve Toussaint as The Sea Snake, Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, and Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower.
Those who have read Fire & Blood will realise that the HBO series isn’t going for a line-to-line adaptation. While the book begins with Aegon I Targaryen’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, House of the Dragon is starting off with his great-great-grandson Viserys I. That means House of the Dragon will lead us very soon into the famed civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons — mentioned on Game of Thrones and in A Song of Ice and Fire book with a similar title — though it’s unclear whether it will leave out the rest of the Targaryen tale or depict it via flashbacks.
Behind the scenes, Emmy-winner Sapochnik will direct the House of the Dragon pilot and additional episodes. Fellow Emmy-winner Greg Yaitanes (House), Clare Kilner (The Alienist), and Geeta V. Patel (Meet the Patels) will helm the remaining episodes of the 10-episode season 1. Martin, Condal, and Sapochnik also serve as executive producers on the Game of Thrones prequel alongside writer Sara Lee Hess (House), Vince Gerardis (Game of Thrones), and Ron Schmidt (Watchmen). Yaitanes is a co-executive producer.
HBO is reportedly developing several other Thrones spin-offs in addition to House of the Dragon. In January, we heard of a Dunk & Egg prequel that would follow the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall and Aegon V Targaryen; and an animated HBO Max series in very early stages. And then in March, reports filtered in of three more prequels in the works: “9 Voyages” that would follow the aforementioned Sea Snake, “10,000 Ships” about Dorne’s warrior queen founder Princess Nymeria, and “Flea Bottom” set in the eponymous slum district of King’s Landing.
House of the Dragon will be the first Game of Thrones prequel when it arrives in 2022.