The first images from House of the Dragon introduce Targaryens, Hightowers, and more

Emma D’Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen" and Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen" in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO
Emma D’Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen" and Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen" in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

HBO has released the first set of images from its upcoming Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon and it feels like we’re right back in Westeros all over again.

The prequel is set about 300 years before the events we all watched in Game of Thrones. Based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire and Blood, the show will depict the events leading up to the infamous Targaryen civil war known as the “Dance of the Dragons” that tore Westeros apart.

And the initial images look great, showing off several major characters and big-name stars that are taking part in House of the Dragon. 

First up, we have Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy as Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen, clearly sporting the standard Targaryen white-blond hair. One might hope that doing an entire series full of Targaryens might have encouraged HBO to perhaps up their wig game a bit for this prequel, but I guess we can’t have everything. (Sigh.)

Daemon is the younger brother and heir of Viserys Targaryen (no, not the Mad King one, an earlier one) who is temperamental and quick to solve problems with his sword. But the two are quite close, despite their frequent arguments.

House of the Dragon
Dragonrider Rhaenyra is Viserys’ daughter, who will ultimately face off with her half-brother Aegon II and the bloody conflict will result in much destruction, loss of life, and dragon-on-dragon action. /

D’Arcy looks absolutely incredible as Rhaenyra (that coat!!!!), but – and maybe it’s the Doctor Who fan in me – Smith is…well, Smith looks like the Eleventh Doctor in Game of Thrones cosplay. So we’ll have to see how that goes. Smith is a great actor though, so here’s hoping he’ll pull this off.

Elsewhere, we also got our first look at Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans as Ailicent and Otto Hightower.  Alicent is the second wife to King Viserys and mother to the same Aegon II who will ultimately challenge Rhaenyra for the throne.  Otto is Alicent’s father and serves as Hand of the King to his son-in-law.

Given that the show seems to be starting fairly early in the timeline of the Targaryen civil war – though we don’t have a picture of him in character yet, Paddy Considine is playing Viserys, who is obviously still alive – this may be fairly early in his marriage to Alicent, and Aegon (who has not be cast yet) may still be quite young.

The final photo, interestingly enough, does not feature a Targaryen or a Hightower, but rather Lord Corlys Velaryon, the head of an ancient house with a powerful navy.

Known as “The Sea Snake”, he’s played by Steve Toussaint and will ultimately be an important ally of Rhaenyra’s. His presence in these photos, as well as this early in the show, indicates that House of the Dragon could begin by bringing the significant players together for his daughter Leana.

Now…where is our first look at Viserys, HBO? We’re waiting…

The ten-episode first season of House of the Dragon is currently in production and word on the street is that HBO is eyeing a 2022 premiere.

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Are you looking forward to this Game of Thrones prequel? Sound off in the comments.