HBO reveals release date for ‘House of the Dragon’ and some new characters

It’s official: Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon is coming to HBO August 21.

House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and delves deep into the history of the Targaryen civil war, also known as the Dance of the Dragons. Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, the show promises a new cast of schemers, political intrigue, and, of course, dragons.

Who can you expect to meet in House of the Dragon? Let’s take a look at some of the new faces we’ll be seeing in our return journey to Westeros.

King Viserys Targaryen

The head honcho.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

All hail the King of Westeros, Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine), first of his name. He’s the fifth king of the Targaryen dynasty. All he wants is to uphold his family’s legacy and foster a sense of peace and prosperity in the kingdom. Essentially, he’s an all-around good guy — but we’ve seen what can happen to good guys in Westeros before.

Princess Rhaenyra and Prince Daemon

A man and a woman with platinum blonde hair face each other on a beach.

There’s that classic Targaryen hair.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

Pictured above, likely plotting a power play, are Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and her uncle Daemon (Matt Smith). Rhaenyra is the eldest daughter of King Viserys, in theory making her his successor, and Daemon is Viserys’s brother. They’re both fierce dragonriders, so fingers crossed we’ll see some solid dragon action with them early on.

Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys

A man with white locs and a woman with long, straight blonde hair stand facing each other in a dark room, holding each other's shoulders.

Behold, the Sea Snake.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

House of the Dragon introduces a house we didn’t meet in Game of Thrones: House Velaryon. They’re the second most powerful house in Westeros, behind the Targaryens. They’re incredibly rich, and since they share the Targaryens’ Valyrian heritage, they can marry into the royal family. Above, we see Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and his wife Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). Lord Corlys is a formidable sailor, earning him the title of Sea Snake, while Rhaenys is known The Queen Who Never Was. The Great Council passed her up as heir to the throne in favor of her cousin Viserys.

The Hightowers

A young woman and a man, both in regal clothing, stand on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea.

Say hello to the Hightowers.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and her father Otto (Rhys Ifans) may not be Targaryens, but they are important players in the battles to come. Alicent is Viserys’s second wife, and Otto is his Hand. They fight not with dragons, but with their keen intelligence and political knowledge.

Ser Criston Cole

A kneeling man in ornate armor.

Presenting a knight of the Kingsguard.
Credit: Gary Moyes / HBO

Hailing from Dorne, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) is a skilled fighter without a title or land to his name. His gift with a sword will lead him to become a knight of the Kingsguard.


Closeup of woman wearing a white hooded cloak.

The White Worm.
Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), also known as Lady Misery of the White Worm, is a dancer from Lys who became Prince Daemon’s most trusted ally.

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