Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, House of the Dragon, Game of Thrones

Although Game of Thrones may not have ended to everyone’s satisfaction, I’m still excited to see what HBO has planned for the future of Westeros. Just last year, the network gave a straight-to-series order to House of the Dragon, a prequel series set 300 years before Game of Thrones based upon George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, a Targaryen history book which chronicles the history of House Targaryen, starting off with “Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and [going on] to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold the throne, all the way up to the civil war, known as the Dance of the Dragons, that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

The cast of House of the Dragon is starting to come together as it’s been announced that Matt Smith (The Crown), Olivia Cooke (Sound of Metal), and Emma D’Arcy (Wanderlust) have joined the series. Smith will play Prince Daemon Targaryen, who is the “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.” Cooke will play Alicent Hightower, who is “the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.” D’Arcy will play Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, who is “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.”  Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, and Emma D’Arcy join the already cast Paddy Considine (The Outsider), who will star as King Viserys Targaryen, who has been chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen. A warm, kind and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandather’s legacy, but good men do not necessarily make for great kings.

The ten-episode series was co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal, with Condal slated to pen the script alongside Sara Lee Hess as well as serve as co-showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik. Additionally, it’s also been announced that Greg Yaitanes (Banshee) has signed on as a director and co-executive producer, with Clare Kilner (Snowpiercer) and Geeta Patel (The Witcher) also set to helm episodes. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar recently revealed that principal photography on House of the Dragon will kick off early next year.

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