(Pocket-lint) - Fire will reign! But not for another year.

HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones spin-off series, House of the Dragon, is set to arrive in 2022. Some of us are still licking our wounds over the disappointing final season of the original show, but a 12-month wait should give us the extra time we need to process things and get over King Bran.

To help you prepare, let's go over everything we know - based on what HBO has said and, of course, author George RR Martin's own source material. 

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House of the Dragon: Rumours

  • Based on the novel Fire and Blood
  • Set during the 300-year rule of the Targaryen Kings
  • Likely focuses on The Dance of Dragons civil war

The House of the Dragon is an upcoming HBO show headed to the HBO Max streaming service. It is based on some of the events from George RR Martin's novel Fire and Blood. It's separate from the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series and is set up as a history book on the Game of Thrones Universe. It specifically focuses on the 300-year rule of the Targaryen Kings. The House of the Dragon, therefore, will also be set in this era.

One of the main conflicts in Fire and Blood is a civil war known as The Dance of Dragons. It's the aftermath of King Viserys Targaryen naming his eldest daughter Rhaenyra as heir to his throne, breaking Westeros' misogynistic rules of inheritance and causing a war between Rhaenyra and her half-brother Aegon II for the throne. Both sides have dragons and all the major houses of Westeros get dragged into the war.

If you want to learn more about the Dance of the Dragons, HBO produced an animated short that's included in the Histories and Lore section of the Game of Thrones's fifth-season DVD. It's narrated by Michelle Fairley, Pedro Pascal, and Mark Addy. (You can watch it above, via a third-party source on YouTube.) 

House of the Dragon: Release date

  • Headed to HBO Max in 2022
  • Production has started 26 April 2021
  • 10 episodes have been ordered

HBO's president of programming, Casey Bloys, recently revealed in an interview with Deadline that House of the Dragon will release on the HBO Max streaming service "sometime around 2022". HBO has ordered 10 episodes for the first season, according to Variety.

House of the Dragon production started on 26 April, with the official Twitter feed sharing images of script readings.

House of the Dragon: Cast and Crew

  • George RR Martin is co-writing with Ryan Condal
  • Condol is a co-showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik
  • Several cast members have been confirmed 

George RR Martin is working on the TV script with a co-writer, Ryan Condal. Condal is the co-showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik. They're executive producers, as well. George RR Martin and Vince Gerardis will be billed as executive producers, too.

Sapochnik, who has experience directing six Game of Thrones episodes, including Hardhome, The Long Night, and The Battle of the Bastards, is supposed to direct the pilot as well as additional episodes. House of the Dragon is Sapochnik's first project as part of an overarching deal where he is expected to develop and produce a range of content for both HBO and the HBO Max streaming service.

HBO has also announced some of the show's cast. Suspiciously missing from the list is who will be playing Aegon II. Aegon, along with Emma D'Arcy's Rhaenyra, should be one of the primary characters for the series. Here's a look at confirmed actors and the characters they're playing so far:

  • Paddy Considine - King Viserys Targaryen 
  • Emma D’Arcy - Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen daughter of Viserys
  • Rhys Ifans - Otto Hightower, Hand of the King
  • Olivia Cooke - Alicent Hightower, Daughter of Otto Hightower
  • Matt Smith - Prince Daemon Targaryen, brother of Viserys Targaryen
  • Steve Toussaint - Corlys Velaryon, or the Sea Snake, the greatest explorer in Westeros and head of the richest house
  • Eve Best - Rhaenys Targaryen, Corlys Valaryon's wife and sister to King Viserys and Daemon Targaryen.
  • Sonoyo Mizuno - Mysaria, a slave who rises the ranks of Westeros

With most of Game of Thrones filmed in Northern Ireland, film crews have been spotted in Cornwall, believed to be filming House of the Dragon. HBO also recently revealed the first photos from the set of the series (below), giving us an up-close look at some of the new characters. 

HBOHBOs House of the Dragon GoT spinoff gallery photo 3

Corlys Velaryon

Steve Toussaint will play Corlys Velaryon, aka the Sea Snake.

He's the greatest explorer in the history of Westeros, and the riches he brought back from his adventures turned House Velaryon into one of the wealthiest families in the Seven Kingdoms. The Velaryons have been one of the Targaryen's oldest allies, dating back to before the destruction of Valyria.

HBOHBOs House of the Dragon GoT spinoff gallery photo 1

Otto Hightower and Alicent Hightower

Rhys Ifans is playing Otto Hightower, while Olivia Cooke will play his daughter, Alicent.

Otto serves as Hand to the King and is one of the more powerful figures in the Seven Kingdoms when The House of the Dragon takes place. His daughter Alicent is considered one of the great beauties of the Seven Kingdoms and eventually marries King Viserys after the death of his first wife. 

HBOHBOs House of the Dragon GoT spinoff gallery photo 2

Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen

Emma D'Arcy and Matt Smith will be playing two of the Targaryens critical to the story. D'Arcy will play the firstborn daughter to King Viserys Targaryen, Rhaenyra. Viserys names her as his heir despite Westeros rules of succession excluding women. 

Matt Smith will play Viserys' brother Daemon. Daemon has his own dragon, Ceraxes, and is a formidable warrior in his own right. Eventually, Rhaenyra and Daemon marry as a part of the Dance of Dragons. 

HBOHBOs House of the Dragon GoT spinoff Release date cast rumours and theories photo 4

House of the Dragon: Are there other prequel series?

  • Currently, only House of the Dragon has been green-lit
  • A prequel series starring Naomi Watts has been shelved
  • House of Dragons is a go because it has source material

HBO decided not to pick up a pilot for a Game of Thrones prequel series that was supposed to star Naomi Watts, according to HBO's president of programming, Casey Bloys. The show, which was written and developed by Jane Goldman, was set to take place 8,000 years before the Game of Thrones series, focusing on humanity's first encounter with the White Walkers and the army of the dead.

Bloys suggested to Deadline that the problem with the prequel series is it lacks source material: "One of the things about House of Dragons, there is a text, there is a book so that made it a little bit more of a road map for a series order".

House of the Dragon: What's the latest?

5 May 2021: Set photos revealed

HBO has released the first look at House of the Dragon with three photos.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.
Sections TV