HBO has revealed the cast for its new Game of Thrones prequel as it announced that the long-awaited show is finally in production.
The new series, entitled House of the Dragon, takes place 300 years before the original Thrones series and tells the story of House Targaryen, the final descendant of whom (Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys) was a major player in the original series. It’s also an adaptation of George RR Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, though it’s unclear as yet how faithful it will be to the source material.
With the new show comes a totally new cast and mostly new crew: Ryan Condal (Rampage) will serve as co-creator with Martin, while Condal and Miguel Sapochnik (who directed several episodes of the original series, including the Emmy-winning ‘Battle of the Bastards’) will be the showrunners. Thrones and Westworld composer Ramin Djawadi will be back to score the new series.
The main cast is about as sprawling as you’d expect from a show based in Westeros: at its core are Paddy Considine (The World’s End), Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers), and Matt Smith (Doctor Who). Steve Toussaint, Rhys Ifans, Eve Best, and Sonoya Mizuno have also signed on for the series.
Considine will play King Viserys Targaryen, who appears at this point to be the show’s main character – but as we saw with Ned Stark all the way back in 2011, we definitely shouldn’t trust anyone to stay alive that long. Unless they’re Jon Snow or Arya Stark and need to be kept alive for plot reasons.
Cooke will play the daughter of the Hand of the king, D’Arcy the king’s daughter, and Smith his younger brother. Toussaint is set to play Lord Velaryon, a new house we haven’t yet seen in live-action. Might that be because the Targaryens wiped them out? We’ll have to wait and see, but don’t expect the whole lot to be killed off immediately – HBO, we imagine, wants this to be an epic on par with Game of Thrones, and to do that they’ve a lot of trust to win back from their audiences.
As we all remember, Thrones went out with something of a whimper in 2019. Expectations were high for the final season of the show that had taken the world by storm, but they were… not met. That’s about all we can say without being nasty.
The choice of new showrunners is interesting, especially as Condal’s previous efforts (including two big but not well-loved Dwayne Johnson movies) haven’t exactly been awe-inspiring. Still, everyone has room for growth! And honestly, we’re just glad David Benioff and DB Weiss aren’t involved with this one.
House of the Dragon is currently in pre-production and will debut on HBO in 2022.