‘House of the Dragon’ preview: First pics from new ‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off

HBO has released the first official promotional photos for House of the Dragon.

A spin-off from the hugely successful Game of Thrones, the upcoming fantasy drama began filming in the UK this spring.

Game of Thrones launched in 2011 and ran for eight seasons, concluding in 2019.

Set 300 years before the events of that series, House of the Dragon is based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood,

The core cast and detailed descriptions of their characters were announced last year, including The Crown star Matt Smith, Peaky Blinders actor Paddy Considine, and Olivia Cooke from ITV’s Vanity Fair.

Considine is playing King Viserys Targaryen, chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal.

Cooke plays Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms.

The cast also includes Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill), Eve Best (The King’s Speech), and Sonoya Mizuno (La La Land).

Here’s a look at Steve Toussaint (It’s a Sin) as Lord Corlys Velaryon, also known as The Sea Snake, the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros:

Matt Smith previously commented before filming began: “I think it’ll be a really exciting cast, I think it’s a wonderful legacy to be part of and it’s a great part. And without saying too much, I’m just sort of looking forward to riding a few dragons…if I get to.”

The former Doctor Who star added: “Who knows what goes on in this role, but yeah look – I’m just looking forward to getting started and I think, hopefully, with the people involved, it could be really exciting.”

You can take a look at Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys and heir to the throne, seen here with Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers) as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king’s first-born child:

The official synopsis for George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood reads: “Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone.

Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

“What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies?

“These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley.

“Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.”

Featuring 10 hour-long episodes, the first season will launch in 2022 on HBO and HBO Max in the US.

House of the Dragon is expected to premiere simultaneously in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.

The complete Game of Thrones box set is available on DVD on Amazon.