The Targaryens are returning to HBO.
“House of the Dragon,” HBO’s first spin-off series of its record-breaking juggernaut “Game of Thrones,” will premiere on Aug. 21, the network announced Wednesday.
Set two centuries before the events of “Game of Thrones,” the ten-episode prequel series will depict how the House of Targaryen fell into a bitter and brutal civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons — presaging the beginning of the end of the ruling family of Westeros.
The series was created by author George R. R. Martin and Ryan J. Condal (“Colony”), based on Martin’s novel “Fire & Blood.” Condal and director Miguel Sapochnik are executive producers and co-showrunners on the series; Martin and Vince Gerardis are executive producing as well.
Much like the original series, “House of the Dragon” boasts a sprawling cast, with a smaller core set of characters including Paddy Considine (as King Viserys I), Emmy D’Arcy (as Princess Rhaenrya, Viserys’ first child and his heir apparent), Matt Smith (as Prince Daemon, Viserys’ younger brother), Rhys Ifans (as Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King), Olivia Cooke (as Lady Alicent Hightower, Otto’s daughter) and Fabien Frankel (as Ser Criston Cole, a knight with eyes for Rhaenrya).
The show will also costar Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, Ryan Corr, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Graham McTavish, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson and Gavin Spokes.
The premiere date means “House of the Dragon” has a bit of a head start on the year’s other massive fantasy series that serves as a prequel to a widely popular and acclaimed original adaptation: “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” Amazon Prime Video announced in August 2021 that “The Rings of Power” will debut on the streamer on Sept. 2.
In February, Martin announced on his personal blog that shooting on Season 1 of “House of the Dragon” had wrapped. “I have seen rough cuts of a few of them, and I’m loving them,” Martin wrote. “Of course, a lot more work needs to be done. Special effects, color timing, score, all the post production work. But the writing, the directing, the acting all look terrific. I hope you will like them as much as I do.”
The same month, HBO and HBO Max chief Casey Bloys told Variety that “it’s probably a pretty good bet” that the network will order a second season of the show. “Generally speaking, we usually let something air and see how it does, but obviously, we’ll make preparations ahead of time to make sure we’re ahead of the game,” he said.
Jennifer Maas and Michael Schneider contributed to this story.
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