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House of the Dragon: Release Date, Cast, Trailer and Everything You Need To Know

It’s been a long few years since Daenerys Targaryen met her end at the foot of the Iron Throne, but soon, we’ll be back in Westeros. The highly-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon is almost here, and with it comes all the politicking, backstabbing, murder and warfare we’ve come to associate with the works of George R.R. Martin. Oh, and dragons. Lots and lots of dragons.

Let’s go over everything we know about House of the Dragon before the bells toll over King’s Landing and a new age dawns for Westeros.

House of the Dragon/HBO

House of the Dragon release date

First, let’s start with the best news of all: House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on August 21. We’re about to return to King’s Landing, Storm’s End, Dragonstone, and all the other iconic locations from Game of Thrones, though many of them will look a bit different. House of the Dragon is set nearly 200 years before the original series, so this will be a Westeros that is familiar and breathtakingly different all at once.

Related

House of the Dragon Official Trailer Brings ‘Games of Thrones’ Violence and War Back to HBO

Following the premiere of the first episode on August 21, House of the Dragon will air new episodes every Sunday on HBO and HBO Max at 9:00 p.m. ET. There are 10 episodes total in season 1. As of this writing, that would mean that the season finale is set to air on October 23.

HBO is keeping many of the details for the upcoming episodes under wraps, but here are the run times that we know:

– Episode 1: one hour and six minutes
– Episode 2: 54 minutes
– Episode 3: 58 minutes
– Episode 4: one hour and three minutes

House of the Dragon

What is House of the Dragon about

House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin’s fake history book Fire & Blood, which sets down the rise of House Targaryen to become the ruling dynasty of Westeros. More particularly, House of the Dragon is based on the last third or so of the book, which covers a horrific civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, where Targaryen fought Targaryen and dragons battled in the sky. While the timeline was fairly straightforward on Game  of Thrones, this new prequel series will feature time jumps. House of the Dragon begins roughly 200 years before the original series, and will span several decades before the dust has settled.

At its heart, House of the Dragon is about how the Targaryen dynasty fell into decline. At the start of the show they will be at the height of their power. But after King Viserys I Targaryen names his daughter Rhaenyra as his heir, various forces throughout the realm move to either support the young princess or make plans to see power passed on to someone else instead. The idea that “men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne” will be on full display in this series, as Rhaenyra and her childhood friend Alicent Hightower find themselves on opposing sides of the Dance of the Dragons.

House of the Dragon/HBO

House of the Dragon cast & crew

Like Game of ThronesHouse of the Dragon will feature a large ensemble cast. Unlike the original series, however, pretty much every character will be compromised; don’t expect any heroes like Arya or Jon Snow to pop up amidst this complex political morass. True to its name, House of the Dragon will feature an awful lot of Targaryens as well.

House of the Dragon will feature several time jumps, and as such we’ll be seeing younger and older versions of a few characters. The show stars Emma D’Arcy (Rhaenyra Targaryen), Milly Alcock (young Rhaenyra), Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower), Emily Carey (young Alicent), Matt Smith (Daemon Targaryen), Paddy Considine (Viserys Targaryen), Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower), Steve Toussaint (Corlys Velaryon), Eve Best (Rhaenys Targaryen), Fabien Frankel (Criston Cole), and Sonoya Mizuno (Mysaria).

Additional cast include Bethany Antonia (Baela Targaryen), Phoebe Campbell (Rhaena Targaryen), Harry Collett (Jacaerys Velaryon), Ryan Corr (Harwin ‘Breakbones’ Strong), Tom Glynn-Carney (Aegon Targaryen), Jefferson Hall (Tyland Lannister and his twin brother Jason Lannister), David Horovitch (Grand Maester Mellos), Will Johnson (Vaemond Velaryon), Graham McTavish (Harrold Westerling), Ewan Mitchell (Aemond Targaryen), Matthew Needham (Larys Strong), Bill Paterson (Lyman Beesbury), Phia Saban (Helaena Targaryen), Gavin Spokes (Lyonel Strong), and Savannah Steyn (Laena Velaryon).

House of the Dragon was co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal. Condal serves as a showrunner for the series, with influential Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik serving as co-showrunner. Ramin Djawadi, the composer behind Game of Thrones and Westworld, will be returning to score House of the Dragon.

House of the Dragon trailer

There have been a few trailers since House of the Dragon was first announced back in 2020, but the most detailed by far was debuted at San Diego Comic-Con in late July 2022. You can watch that trailer above, and feast your eyes on the sights and sounds of King’s Landing, dragons like Caraxes and Syrax, and hints of the battles to come.

Fortunately, we won’t have to sit with those hints for too much longer. House of the Dragon premieres August 21 on HBO and HBO Max.

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