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House of the Dragon: Production on HBO's fiery Game of Thrones prequel officially takes flight

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Apr 26, 2021, 2:04 PM EDT

Someone call the Westeros fire department because House of the Dragon is now in production and about to set television screens ablaze. Hailing from co-creators George R.R. Martin and Colony's Ryan Condal, the fiery Game of Thrones prequel is set about three centuries before the murder of Jon Arryn and the start of the flagship series.

As its title suggests, Dragon — based on Martin's 2018 fictional history, Fire & Blood — will focus on House Targaryen, the dragon-riding (and slightly unhinged) royals who forged the Iron Throne and ruled all of Westeros until Robert's Rebellion. HBO broke the news of production kicking off with a collection of images from a table read with principal cast members: Emma D’Arcy (Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen), Steve Toussaint (The Sea Snake), and Paddy Considine (King Viserys Targaryen), Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen), Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower), and Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower).

The stills were posted to the show's Twitter account, which is so new, it wasn't verified until today. We can also verify that House of the Dragon is set to premiere sometime next year. Condal shares showrunning duties with veteran Thrones director, Miguel Sapochnik. Both serve as executive producers alongside Martin, Vince Gerardis, Sara Lee Hess, and Rom Schmidt. In addition, Sapochnik is on board to direct and several more episodes. Clare Kilner, Geeta V. Patel, and co-executive producer Greg Yaitanes will helm the rest.

“The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories,” HBO's President of Programming Casey Bloys said in October 2019. “We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan, and George.”

While many agree that Game of Thrones stumbled in its final season, there is no denying that the show was one of the biggest television phenomenons of the last decade. As such, HBO would be crazy not to milk the dragon for all its worth (do dragons even produce milk?).

Right now, the Targaryen-centric project is the only spinoff to move past the development stage — an "Age of Heroes" pilot from Martin and Goldman wasn't so lucky — but HBO is said to be working on several new spinoffs, all of which are set before the events of the main series. As far as we can tell, the premium cable network isn't interested in exploring what happened after the OG show's final season... at least not yet.

The Tales of Dunk and Egg; an exploration of Robert's Rebellion; an animated program; Bruno Heller's 9 Voyages, a Sea Snake spinoff set around House of the Dragon; a deep dive into King's Landing's poorest area, Flea Bottom; 10,000 Ships, a Princess Nymeria project set 1,000 years before GoT; and a stage show are all in the works right now.

HBO is currently celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Game of Thrones with its month-long "Iron Anniversary" campaign, which encourages viewers to revisit all eight seasons, which are currently streaming on HBO Max.