Everything you need to know about House of the Dragon regarding how it’s connected to Game of Thrones, plot, cast, upcoming seasons, trailer, and where to stream.

The ending of HBO’s Game of Thrones was mostly underwhelming for the fans of the series. Therefore, House of the Dragon, also created by HBO, not only had a high standard to keep up with but also had to fill the dissatisfied void that the series finale had left. Judging from the multiple Emmy nominations and a total of 9.3 million views, it is doing a pretty good job in following the steps of its series predecessor. Come with us as we find out everything that is known so far about House of the Dragon.

Princess Rhaenyra and Ser Criston Cole from House of the Dragon
Cr. Disney Plus

As some of the hardcore Game of Thrones fans may have already known, House of the Dragon is a prequel to Game of Thrones.

Both House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones are based on George R.R. Martin’s books. Game of Thrones is based on A Song of Ice and Fire series. Whereas House of the Dragon takes after Fire and Blood, more of a background history novel for A Song of Ice and Fire rather than a fantasy novel. Fire and Blood holds a chronicle of what happened during the Targaryen reign. Archmaester of Westeros recorded the events 172 years before Daenerys was born. So, House of the Dragon is set roughly 200 years before the Game of Thrones.

Martin also stepped up as an executive producer for both series. For House of the Dragon, Martin was joined by Ryan J. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik (who previously worked on Game of Thrones).

However, even though Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon plots are related since the latter is a prequel and based on a different book, it offers something new to entice the viewers.

Game of Thrones has multiple storylines that vine through the rich plot. They make the series extremely immersive, but challenging to keep up with everything. On the other hand, House of the Dragon – at least in the first season – offers a more paced plotline, telling the narrative of one family with its fill of betrayal, intrigue, drama, and – blood.

The first half of the season focuses greatly on three main characters – young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, who has just gone experienced her mother’s and unborn brother’s deaths. She also has to witness her best friend, Alicent Hightower, marry Rhaenyra’s father King Viserys. Rhaenyra is proclaimed an heir to the Throne – which is unheard of since Rhaenyra is a girl.

Rhaenyra and Alicent are standing before an Iron Throne from House of the Dragon
Image from House of the Dragon trailer via Max YouTube.

There is also Viserys’ brother, fierce Daemon Targaryen, dubbed the Rogue Prince. He was deemed no longer eligible for a throne, after allegedly bad-mouthing the King’s unborn son in a brothel. That did not stop him from getting close to the crown anyway – Daemon fell in love with Rhaenyra and has been her supporter for the entirety of the season. This led to more turmoils in the Targaryen family and more complications.

The second half of the season has a time jump, where Rhaenyra and Alicent are both with children, and both are anxious about the future that awaits the Throne’s successor. Viserys is stricken with a severe, debilitating illness. It makes it a matter of months before the crown has to be passed – and words about ‘Aegon’s dream’, slipped from the mouth of the dying king, were enough to turn the court’s world upside down. A fickle friendship that Rhaenyra was able to re-establish with now Queen Alicent has died along with Rhaenyra’s middle son Lucerys, who was killed by a dragon belonging to Alicent’s son. Now, nothing can stop the civil war that is about to break out.

Season two will likely cover the battle for the Iron Throne, a.k.a. the “Dance of the Dragons”. Rhaenyra and her now husband, Daemon Targaryen, will go against Alicent, her newly crowned son King Aegon II, and the whole of King’s Landing. Condal promises a faster pace, saying the next season “will hit the rhythms people came to expect from the middle run of Game of Thrones”.

House Of The Dragon cast

Names like Stark, Baratheon, and Lannister come up in House of the Dragon. However, they are not as crucial to the plot as they were in Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon keeps it all in the family. So, the main three houses are Targaryens – the royal family; Velaryons, rulers of the island of Driftmark and Targaryens’ closest allies; and Hightowers.

Take a look at the actors that play the key roles in the series.

Young Rhaenyra – Milly Alcock

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Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen was played by two actors to portray her younger and older versions in the show. “Realm’s Delight”, when she was still a 17-year-old girl, was played by an Australian actress Milly Alcock (Upright, The Familiars).

Alcock delivered a stunning performance, able to capture both the naivety of the youth and the fierceness that young Rhaenyra possessed. Although received warmly by viewers of the show, Alcock will most probably not return to her role of Rhaenyra in season two. The next season will not experience such severe time jumps as season one, so young Princess Rhaenyra will stay in season one of the show.

Adult Rhaenyra – Emma D’arcy

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Photo by Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

However, not to worry about the fate of adult Rhaenyra – Emma D’arcy (Truth Seekers, Mothering Sunday) is confirmed to reprise their role in season two. Judging from the season finale, D’arcy’s character will go through major changes, so expect to see a whole new Rhaenyra Targaryen. Especially await for the change from the “Realm’s delight” to a woman that was dubbed “King Maegor with Teats” – referring to Maegor the Cruel, a Targaryen ruler included in the Song of Ice and Fire.

Daemon Targaryen – Matt Smith

FYC Special Screening For HBO Max's "House Of The Dragon" - Arrivals
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Daemon is reckless, cruel, and morally corrupt – but he is also protective of Rhaenyra and loyal to his brother Viserys, and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) encompasses these qualities so well in his portrayal of Daemon. He also rocks the platinum blonde wigs and the nonchalant disposition of the Prince, securing him a place in sparkly TikTok edits as well as being a center of discourse about whether he really loves Rhaenyra or is just selfishly following his own goal. The second season will reveal more of his character, and viewers will be the judges of that.

Alicent Hightower – Olivia Cooke

FYC Special Screening For HBO Max's "House Of The Dragon" - Arrivals
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) plays Queen Alicent Hightower. She is the daughter of Otto Hightower, Hand of the King, and grew up as a “pawn in Game of Thrones”, as told by Condal. First, she was married off to a man twice her age. Second, she bore children to that man and had to fight for the well-being of these children, which led to a rivalry between Alicent and Rhaenyra – and everyone else in between the two women. Alicent has a tough fate, and season two will reveal more of that.

Viserys Targaryen – Paddy Considine

"House Of The Dragon" Sky Group Premiere – Arrivals
Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images

Paddy Considine (Peaky Blinders) played King Viserys, a character that the audience widely disliked. Before Viserys died – which marks Considine’s exit from the show – he made sure to secure a Throne for his beloved daughter Rhaenyra. During his reign, we were more focused on the well-being of the Princess rather than his authority. Considine himself said: “I don’t think that fans were used to a character like that in that world, a king who wasn’t corrupted by power or entitlement.”

Other actors in the cast are:

New additions to the cast include:

House of the Dragon season 2 production and potential release window

One thing to be sure about is that season two will be a thing. On April 11, HBO confirmed that the show is in production.

Concerns rose recently regarding the show’s production. With Hollywood’s Writers Strike that began in May 2023, it was expected that it would affect the series since HBO is an American company. However, the cast consists of mainly UK actors, whose working contracts are under the local union, Equity. Meaning that the actors still need to work since they are not allowed to strike alongside the US union.

George R.R. Martin, the author of Song of Ice and Fire and the show’s executive producer made it clear himself that House of the Dragon will not be affected by the strikes. In his blog, the writer said: “Across the ocean, the second season of House of the Dragon started filming on April 11 and will continue in London and Wales. The scripts for the eight s2 episodes were all finished months ago, long before the strike began. <…> There will be no further revisions.”

The exact date is still unknown, but reports say that HBO’s CEO Casey Bloys has said it is “a good guess” that the new season will be released in 2024.

The first season of House of the Dragon is available to watch on Max and NOW.

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