In this tipsy-topsy world of ours, it seems like nothing is set in stone—especially if it’s part of the Game of Thrones franchise. But fans can breathe at least one sigh of relief because HBO’s House of the Dragon, the TV series prequel that chronicles the civil war that engulfed House Targaryen, is officially in production—and there’s photo proof.
Okay, technically, it’s proof of people sitting in chairs, but HBO’s official House of the Dragon Twitter account still wanted to mark the occasion by showing the series’ main cast—Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans, and Steve Toussaint (the recently cast Fabien Frankel is not pictured, from what we can tell)—doing their first table read for the first episode, a year and a half after the show was officially greenlit:
Yep, people in chairs. But it’s nice to see Matt Smith with his Eleventh Doctor ‘do again since it’s almost certainly going to be dyed platinum blonde for the series—he’s playing a Targaryen, after all. Enjoy it while you can.
If you need a refresher, House of the Dragon takes place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, when the Targaryens sat firmly on the Iron Throne. Well, that is until King Viserys (Considine) named his daughter Rhaenyra (D’Arcy) to succeed him, only for one of his closest advisors and commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), to convince Aegon II, Viserys’ son by his second wife Alicent Hightower (Cooke), that he had the proper right to the throne. The Targaryen family and all the Houses of Westeros then go to war in what’s called the Dance of Dragons, either in support of Alicent and Aegon II or Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne.
I have a theory: Smith plays Rhaenyra’s uncle Daemon (he’s also the younger brother of Viserys) who is a terrible person in that classic Game of Thrones style, who supports his niece in the history of the novels… to an uncomfortable extent. But HBO’s official House of the Dragon site says Otto Hightower (Ifans), Alicent’s father and Viserys’ Hand of the King, believes “the greatest threat to the realm is the king’s brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.” If Daemon’s an official heir, this is a major shake-up and makes it sound like he’ll be facing off with Rhaenyra for the throne, which could make Aegon significantly less important. (He’ll probably still be a contender, but we all know royal kids don’t fare well in Game of Thrones, so he might not be around long enough to be a major character in the show.)
Finally, Toussaint plays Lord Corlys Velaryon, a.k.a. the Sea Snake, Westeros’ greatest sailor, commander of its largest navy. It’s worth noting that like the Targaryens, House Velaryon also came to Westeros from old Valyria, and did so first.
House of the Dragon is currently scheduled for 2022. Seems doable!
For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.