House of the Dragon
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Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

House of the Dragon: Matt Smith goes full Targaryen in first look at HBO's Game of Thrones spinoff

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May 5, 2021, 11:44 AM EDT

While HBO's Game of Thrones Targaryen-centric spinoff, House of the Dragon, only kicked off production last Monday, the upcoming series has already dropped three first look images that'll help keep the flames of excitement crackling until a trailer eventually hatches online.

Set 300 years before the flagship series, House is based on George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, a fictional 2018 history about the original rulers of Westeros and the forebears of Daenerys and her brother, Viserys.

No dragons are featured in the initial trio of production stills (all that fancy VFX work of course comes during post-production), but we now know what Doctor Who vet Matt Smith looks like as the silver-haired Prince Daemon Targaryen, younger brother to King Viserys (The Outsider's Paddy Considine) and heir to the throne. Smith's Daemon shares the frame with Emma D'Arcy's Rhaenyra Targaryen, Viserys's first-born and a natural dragon-rider. The other two stills shows off Otto Hightower (Harry Potter's Rhys Ifans), Hand of the King, and his daughter, Alicent Hightower (Ready Player One's Olivia Cooke); and Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), a famed sea adventurer sometimes known as "The Sea Snake."

The remaining cast members — Considine, Eve Best (Princess Rhaenys Velaryon), and Sonoya Mizuno (Mysaria) — are not pictured.

Take a look for yourself:

Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

 

Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

 

Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

Despite the fact that they're from a prequel, these images definitely feel like a natural continuation of the Thrones universe, which established an iconic fantasy aesthetic evocative of medieval Europe. 

Martin co-created the show alongside Colony's Ryan Condal. The latter is co-showrunner with Miguel Sapochnik. Sapochnik, who directed six episodes of GoT (including two installments of the final season) is helming the pilot and several more episodes. Clare Kilner, Geeta V. Patel, and Greg Yaitanes round out the rest of the directing crew.

Writing on his blog in October of 2019, Martin revealed that the project "has been in development for several years (though the title has changed a couple of times during that process). It was actually the first concept I pitched to HBO when we started talking about a successor show, way back in the summer of 2016."

He added that he wouldn't pen any scripts for House of the Dragon until he was done with the next novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter. "Winter is still coming, and Winds remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episodes of House," the author explained.

House of the Dragon is expected to hit HBO sometime next year.