Three years after HBO’s divisive finale of Game of Thrones, the land of Westeros finally returns to us. The Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon debuted a brand new look at the series earlier this week, giving us a glimpse at HBO’s grand return to the “Land of Ice and Fire.” While some would argue they fell flat in Game of Thrones’ final season, HBO looks to potentially return to glory with this much-anticipated prequel series.
The series will take a detour from the classic Game of Thrones model by focusing on one family this time around, the Targaryens. House of the Dragon will center around the Targaryen dynasty at its peak, focusing on characters like King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), and Doctor Who’s Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen.
The series will showcase a different age of Westeros as well, taking place over 200 years before the death of Daenerys Targaryen and the fall of the Iron Throne. Other supporting characters showcased throughout the trailer include Olivia Cooke’s Alicent Hightower, along with her father Otto Hightower, played by Rhys Ifans from Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Characters like Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen played by Steve Toussaint and Eve Best were shown as well. Younger versions of Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen will also be prominent throughout the first season via flashbacks.
While the teaser is a bit short, it packs a punch – clocking in at a short one minute and thirty-four seconds. We’re treated to breathtaking shots of King’s Landing and Dragonstone, while also showcasing our first look at the infamous dragons that everyone is excited to see.
The background score by Ramin Djawadi provides us with some nostalgia, playing a somber rendition of the classic Game of Thrones theme. We also get a fantastic look at King Viserys sitting on a much more book-accurate version of the Iron Throne, something that will make many fans happy.
Something worth noting is that House of the Dragon seems to take place during two time periods. One during the youth of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Lady Alicent Hightower, and one during the present day of the story. The trailer reveals that King Viserys has named a young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen as his heir, a feat that the land of Westeros had never seen at the time the series takes place. This teases a continuation of strong female characters ascending to power – a prevalent theme in Game of Thrones as well.
From the trailer itself, I get a strong sense that the series will center around these two characters and the struggle between them. It can be appreciated how the series seems to take the time to show the backstory of some of these characters while establishing them in the present day of the story. This is something I really thought Game of Thrones should have done.
While they’ve mainly been held back in trailers, HBO knows their audience well and I would fully expect the series to heavily feature the dragons in all their might and glory. The show will feature several dragon riders such as Rhaenyra Targaryen, Daemon Targaryen, Rhaenys Targaryen, Baela Targaryen, and more. The series itself will actually be a continuation of George R.R. Martin’s series Fire & Blood.
As some die-hard Game of Thrones fans might already know, the series will focus on the infamous “Dance of Dragons”, a famous term for the Targaryen civil war. House of the Dragon is likely to deliver some classic Thrones-style action sequences along with showcasing the true power of all the dragons.
While I expect to go into this show with reduced expectations, this trailer gave me hope that HBO can continue to deliver Game of Thrones magic on a grand scale. Bringing in more dragon madness will certainly make for more fun, but it will be intriguing to see if the series can balance the fantasy with real-world-style drama as the original series did.
Regardless of the series outcome, I will certainly be more than happy to see the return of Westeros, one of my favorite fantasy lands of all time. House of the Dragon will be released on HBO on August 21, 2022.
Are you excited for House of the Dragon as well? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below or on social media @mycosmiccircus!