HBO's Game of Thrones prequel series, House of The Dragon, is now in casting mode, and fans have strong opinions on who they should pick. The series has a wealth of dragon-riding Targaryens, cold-hardened Starks and new heroes to introduce on-screen. With the success of Game of Thrones behind it, fans feel that some A-list cast members are in order.
House of The Dragon officially began the casting process in July, according to a report by Entertainment Weekly. Since then, three alleged casting calls have leaked on fan blogs, revealing what the producers are looking for in the main characters of Alicent Hightower, Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen. Fans familiar with the back story in the books know that more big names are coming soon, and they can hardly wait until the actors are announced. In the meantime, they have their own input to share.
Fan-casting is a time-honored tradition of online fandom, even if it is not always particularly accurate. Typically, fans put forth their best picks for the role based on who is already out there working, while producers fill out the role with many unpredictable newcomers to the entertainment industry.
That won't necessarily be the case for House of The Dragon, however, considering the global success of its predecessor. While fans widely despised the ending of Game of Thrones, the show is still an unstoppable force in Hollywood, and there are plenty of reasons to believe it will avoid the pitfalls that tore down the original series.
House of The Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood — a fictional history book that covers the first half of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros. Specifically, the show is expected to focus on a civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, which started about 170 years before the events of the main series. This aspect has been strongly hinted at in one of Martin's blog posts, as well as the three alleged casting calls we have seen so far.
While it is written as a history book, Fire & Blood gave fans a clear picture of the main characters who will inhabit House of The Dragon, and they are not shy with their casting expectations. As excitement for the series grows, more and more fan-cast lists are showing up online. Here are some of the top contenders among fans.
Emily Blunt - Alicent Hightower
Many fans online are hoping to see Emily Blunt play Lady Alicent Hightower — so much so that the idea has evolved into a dubious rumor that Blunt has already been contacted for the role by HBO. While that can't be confirmed, Blunt is a good fit for the character. Alicent is one of the two power-hungry characters that this new series will likely center around — the other being Rhaenyra Targaryen.
The second wife of King Viserys Targaryen I, Alicent fights hard to see her own children on the Iron Throne rather than Viserys' daughter from his previous marriage. The protective, cunning mother is a bit reminiscent of Cersei in the main series and is one of the most likely roles for a TV veteran to take over.
@HBO cast emily blunt as alicent hightower— gabriela (@twiceblunt) August 30, 2020
Florence Pugh - Rhaenyra Targaryen
Opposite Alicent will be Princess Rhaenyra, and fans have suggested rising star Florence Pugh for the role. Rhaenyra was publicly declared her father's heir before he died, but after his passing she finds herself fighting for her succession against male claimants nonetheless. She is a fierce dragon rider with quite a bit in common with Daenerys in the original series.
Pugh matches Martin's description for Rhaenyra perfectly, although she might be a hard sell for the series. most of her career success comes from acclaimed movies over the last few years, and that momentum could be hard to break.
yes i'm still thinking about holliday grainger as rhaenyra targaryen what about it pic.twitter.com/yXEUcEuS4s— j (@westworldxw) September 1, 2020
Fans have plenty of other suggestions for Rhaenyra though, including Underground's Jessica De Gouw, Vikings' Katheryn Winnick and Cinderella's Holliday Grainger, among others.prevnext
Alexander Skarsgaard - Daemon Targaryen
Daemon Targaryen may be the most controversial role for fans to cast in House of The Dragon, but the leading pick right now on Reddit and Twitter seems to be Alexander Skarsgaard. The True Blood alum is no stranger to serial dramas, and again, Daemon is a great character for a veteran to shine.
The problem with casting Daemon is that the entirety of his life is covered in Fire & Blood. While many fans think of him as the arrogant young man he is introduced as, he should be around 40 years old at the start of House of The Dragon. This has led to constant disagreements about how old the actor should be, with some suggesting actors like Patrick Wilson and others suggesting Ian Somerhalder. For some reason, Skarsgaard seems like the perfect compromise.prevnext
Timothee Chalamet - Aemond 'One-Eye' Targaryen
It's hard to imagine Timothee Chalamet being recommended for the gruff role of Aemond "One-Eye" Targaryen before his turn in Netflix's The King last year, but now the role seems to make sense for him. He is around the right age for Aemond in House of The Dragon, and with some hair dye or a wig, the silver-blonde Targaryen hair should suit his delicate features.
However, Chalamet may be too big of a star for the HBO series — especially by the time it airs. If he is busy shooting more Dune movies, fans would also like to see Dragonheart alum Tom Rhys Harries return to the fantasy world, among other top picks.
Aemond One-Eye pic.twitter.com/XWpBw4LxRn— NimbleDCrabb (@NimbleDCrabb) August 20, 2020
Zendaya - Nettles
Zendaya is one of the most famous performers suggested by fans to play Nettles — one of the few non-white characters expected to appear in the new series. While her box office fame might may Zendaya seem like a stretch for the show, she did just strike gold with HBO's Euphoria, and her relationship with the network might be enough to draw her back.
Nettles is one of the most highly-anticipated characters for House of The Dragon — a girl of apparently common birth who sets out to tame the wildest dragon alive at the time, known as Sheepstealer. Hopefully, producers make the role big enough within the series to tempt an actress like Zendaya to give it a shot.prevnext
Adam Driver - Criston Cole
One of the central storylines for House of The Dragon is Princess Rhaenyra's alleged love affairs with men of common birth — including one of her kingsguard knights, Ser Criston Cole. This ill-fated romance arguably set off the entire war in the first place, making Cole a big enough character to warrant an actor like Star Wars' Adam Driver.
Larys Strong pic.twitter.com/RNyAGUC70I— Steve (@StevesaNiceBoy) August 20, 2020
Fans know that Driver is a stretch for a TV series, though he is perfect for the role. His stature and build also make him a great choice for the role of Ser Harwin Strong. However, fans have back-up choices including Ben Lawson, James Purefoy or Goran Visnjic.prevnext
Justin Theroux - Cregan Stark
Finally, it wouldn't be a Game of Thrones spin-off without at least one Stark in the main cast, and Martin's contemporary character Cregan Stark delivers. This icy leader of the north plays a dramatic role in the Targaryen civil war, even if it is waged far to the south of his border. He even hosts Prince Jacaerys and his dragon, Vermax for a visit at Winterfell at one point.0comments
Fans have plenty of picks for Cregan, from Daniel Radcliffe to Justin Theroux. Some have even suggested that Kit Harington should return to the series to play his own ancestor — though producers are unlikely to take that route in any case on this series.
Whoever gets cast, it's clear that fans are dying for more updates on this series, and hopes are high that it will redeem Game of Thrones' lackluster ending. House of The Dragon is scheduled to begin filming in Europe in January of 2021 and is expected to premiere on HBO some time in 2022.prev