We knew fire and blood were coming to HBO. Now we know exactly when they’ll arrive. HBO has announced the release date for its Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon. The show will debut this August. And the network celebrated its premiere date announcement with new House of the Dragon images showing some of the major players in the civil war that put House Targaryen on a path to ruin.
House of the Dragon Release Date
The 10-episode first season of House of the Dragon will debut on Sunday, August 21. That coveted Sunday night HBO slot was the same one the original Game of Thrones series occupied. Set roughly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the show will follow the first Targaryen civil war. That infamous, catastrophic event is known as The Dance of the Dragons. If you like seeing fire-breathing monsters take to the sky, this series is for you. Especially because they’ll be fighting each other.
But the newly released batch of House of the Dragon photos focuses on the people who went to war with one another. As we celebrate its release date, let’s meet those who live in House of the Dragon‘s world.
House of the Dragon New Character Images and Descriptions
Alicent Hightower and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
First up, we see a chilling shot of the two young women who will grow up to lead the opposing factions. It shows Young Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey), second wife to King Viserys I, giving her stepdaughter Young Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) a hug from behind. If either knew at that moment what awaited them, this would have been a strangling and not an embrace.
The war all began when King Viserys I (played by Paddy Considine and seen above) failed to foresee the inevitable succession issue that would follow his death. He wanted his eldest child Rhaenyra to follow him. Alicent wanted their son, Aegon, to rule instead.
Olivia Cooke plays the older (though still young) Alicent. She’s seen in a new photo wearing a signature green dress. Her side of the war became known as the “Greens.”
Emma D’Arcy plays the adult Princess-Who-Would-Be-Queen, Rhaenyra Targaryen. She too leads a faction in the war. The official description for this character shares, “the king’s first-born child, she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.”
These new photos also include looks at some of the most important players in the schism that split the Seven Kingdoms. That includes Alicent’s father and Hand of the King, Ottow Hightower (Rhys Ifans).
His official description reads, “The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king’s brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.”
“The Rogue Prince” Daemon Targaryen
Standing in the throne room of the Red Keep is Rhaenyra’s notorious uncle and brother of the king, “The Rogue Prince” Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). If he looks untrustworthy and/or dangerous, well, that’s exactly right.
HBO shares this about the character: “Younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…”
HBO also provided a glimpse at his paramour, the “Lady Misery” from across the Narrow Sea in Lys, Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno).
A release shares that Mysaria “came to Westeros with nothing, sold more times than she can recall. She could have wilted… but instead, she rose to become the most trusted — and most unlikely — ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne”
Ser Criston Cole
Another image shows the man who could have ended the war before it even started. Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and former personal protector to Rhaenyra, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), kneels before royalty in this image from the Game of Thrones prequel.
Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
And the final photo features Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) in a tender moment with Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). She was known as The Queen Who Never Was. But she’ll still be an important character on the series. These are two of the most important members of Rhaenyra’s war council.
Here are their descriptions:
Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, “The Sea Snake.” Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As “The Sea Snake,” the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.
Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, a dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon, “The Queen Who Never Was” was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favored her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male.
The only major omission from this batch of photos is that of Alicent’s son and the other claimant to the throne, Aegon. But we know he’s out there lurking, waiting to do his part in weakening House Targaryen forever… But perhaps we’ll see him soon, at least before House of the Dragons release date arrives.
All in all, it’s only fitting that none of these images show any happy people. These photos capture the tense time before the war. Death and destruction await everyone in House of the Dragon. And now we know we only have to wait until August, when this Game of Thrones prequel releases, to see why. For now, we’re going to study these new House of the Dragon images very carefully. Who knows what clues they may hide.