Game of Thrones may have left some fans with mixed feelings following its final episode in 2019. Regardless, it was easily the most influential fantasy TV series of the last decade. And this summer, HBO Max is revisiting George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire with a new prequel series, House of the Dragon. HBO Max has finally set a premiere date for the show of August 21. But considering that this an all-new cast of characters, some introductions need to be made.
That’s why HBO Max has released several new pictures from the series, with background information about the pictured characters. Some of the names may seem familiar, since they were legends by the time of GoT. But in House of the Dragon, they are living people with flaws and insatiable appetites for power.
It all starts at the top with King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine). By all accounts, King Viserys is “a warm, kind, and decent man.” Unfortunately, we know what happens to good men in this world.
As the star of Doctor Who, Matt Smith charmed audiences with his take on the Doctor. But don’t let your affection for that character lead to any assumptions about Smith’s new role as Prince Daemon Targaryen. He is the younger brother of King Viserys, and the rightful heir to the throne. And if anyone gets in the way of his ambitions, Daemon won’t hesitate to unleash the might of his dragon.
Daemon’s biggest challenger may be the king’s daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy). If women were fully valued in this world, she would be the next queen. After all, she is the king’s first-born child. But she isn’t a man, which means she will have to fight for her birthright, even if it means battling her uncle.
All we know about Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) is that he comes from Dorne, and he is “the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven.” He comes from neither noble blood nor wealth, but Cole’s skill with a sword is unmatched.
Every king needs a Hand to help him rule the Seven Kingdoms. In this era, the Hand of the King is Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). Otto is widely respected and renowned for his loyalty to the king. But he is also one of the few who realizes that Prince Daemon may be a true threat to the throne.
Otto’s daughter, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), is somewhat inelegantly described as “the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms.” They didn’t lie about her beauty, but they underestimated her intelligence. Alicent takes after her father with “a keen political acumen,” and she has close ties to the king and his court.
Prince Daemon isn’t without allies of his own. BHis most trusted advisor is Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), a woman who arrived in Westeros as a slave before raising herself up to become one of the most influential women in the kingdom.
From left, we see Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) embracing Princess Rhaenyra, which may suggest a romance between the two. Lord Corlys is another mythic figure from this era, and he is better known by his nickname: The Sea Snake. He is “the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros,” and his family may be even richer than the Lannisters.
Apparently there will be some flashbacks on this series, since the picture above features Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra and Emily Carey as young Alicent. Their embrace also suggests an intimate connection between them.
Finally, we have the teaser poster announcing the August 21 premiere date for House of the Dragon. And it looks like a dragon egg is about to hatch.
House of the Dragon was created by Martin and Ryan J. Condal.
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