Before winter came dragons. And before everyone’s favorite blonde Daenerys started raining fire on the world, a whole host of Targaryns flew high in the skies of Westeros. So, when the multiple Emmy award-winning—and highly profitable—Game of Thrones series came to an end, it’s not surprising that HBO wanted to figure out a way to keep the success going.
The result is the much-anticipated prequel, House of the Dragon, which is in pre-production right now. The whole series is still being developed, but here’s what we know so far:
What’s the series going to look like?
The 10-episode series will be based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, which tells the tale of House Targaryn’s rise and fall. The saga begins centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, and tells how the dragonlords survived the Doom of Valyria, took up residence on Dragonstone, created the Iron Throne, and eventually found themselves in the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.
We’re guessing you can expect plenty of sex and violence, just like you got in Game of Thrones. Plus, a lot more dragons.
Who’s working on the show?
As it stands right now, there are some cool and promising developments happening behind the scenes.
Showrunner Ryan Condal and director Miguel Sapochnik are expected to be part of the production. The two have worked on some fan-favorite episodes of Game of Thrones, notably the “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter” episodes.
The writers room currently includes a diverse mix of creatives with solid SFF underneath their belts—Wes Tooke (Colony), Claire Kiechel (Watchmen), Ti Mikkel (a former writing assistant of Martin’s), Charmaine DeGraté (The 100), and possibly David Anthony Durham (the Acacia trilogy).
Who’s starring in it?
Casting has begun, but the only official announcement right now is that Paddy Considine (The Outsider) is slated to play King Viserys Targaryen. He’s an ancestor of Dany’s evil brother (his namesake), but this particular Viserys is known for his wise, benevolent, peace-loving ways. So, yeah, he’s probably getting beheaded at some point, but we can hope that happens later rather than sooner.
Other characters still to be cast include major players in the Targaryen civil war, such as Princess Rhaenyra, King Viserys’ chosen heir; Queen Alicent Hightower, Viserys’ ambitious second wife and Rhaenyra’s stepmother; and Aegon II, who is Princess Rhaenyra’s younger half-brother.
What are plans for filming right now?
Filming of the series won’t begin until sometime in 2021, but the location has been chosen— Leavesden Studios in Watford, UK. You might recognize the name, because it’s been home to productions like The Phantom Menace, Harry Potter, The Dark Knight, and Wonder Woman.
When’s the show going to air?
Fans are going to have to wait a while, because episodes won’t start showing on HBO until 2022.
What about that other pilot HBO shot?
Back in 2018, after Game of Thrones wrapped up, HBO started taking pitches and pursuing different options to capitalize on the GoT fandom. One of those ideas was House of the Dragon, which got shelved in favor of a different pitch—Blood Moon, by writer Jane Goldman (Kingsman, X-Men: First Class). A pilot was even reportedly filmed, but the series was nixed (for unspecified reasons) and HBO went a different direction, resurrecting House of the Dragon.
Fans can reasonably expect to see more casting news made official in the coming months, especially as it becomes more feasible to start filming on set again. And if all goes well, maybe we’ll have a series in 2022 to watch. And maybe we’ll have the next book in the GoT series on shelves too.
For now, we’ll have to wait.