Casting calls for HBO's new Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragon, have leaked, revealing or confirming details about the show and its plot. The NSFW movie blog Recapped acquired casting calls for two female lead roles in the upcoming series: Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. This confirms the plot and setting of the show, and also includes the hopeful note that filming is scheduled to begin next year.
Recapped claims that producers for House of the Dragon are currently seeking two young women to play the lead roles in the series. They are looking for a woman in her late 20s with the Targaryen look to play Rhaenyra, and a slightly older woman to play Alicent. Applicants should be prepared to film next year in the U.K. and in Spain — a hopeful not for fans who can't wait for this show to air. If true, this casting call confirms that the series will begin with the Targaryen family's civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, which ravaged Westeros about 170 years before the events of the main series.
Fans were already relatively certain that House of the Dragon would tell the tale of the Dance of the Dragons. Series author George R.R. Martin all but confirmed the news himself in a blog post back in November, when he advised fans "to pick up a copy of two anthologies I did with Gardner Dozois, DANGEROUS WOMEN and ROGUES, and then move on to Archmaester Gyldayn's history, FIRE & BLOOD."
As it turns out, Dangerous Women contains Martin's novella The Princess and the Queen, or, the Blacks and the Greens, while Rogues contains The Rogue Prince, or, a King's Brother. These two stories set up the events leading to the Dance of the Dragons, and were later revised for a complete retelling in Fire & Blood — which is written from the perspective of one of Martin's fictional Maesters, or scholars.
This helped fans immensely in narrowing down the plot details, as HBO had previously said that House of the Dragon would be based on Fire & Blood. The book covers about 150 years' worth of history within Westeros, however, beginning with the Targaryen conquest and leading up to the end of the Dance of the Dragons.
For those that have not read it, the account of the Dance of the Dragons in Fire & Blood is one of the book's most compelling sections, and is likely the best choice for a TV show adaptation. It concerns a Targaryen princess named Rhaenyra, who has been raised to take the throne after her father, King Viserys I, only to find herself challenged by her stepmother upon the king's untimely death.
The war is perfect for pleasing both deep-cut fans of Martin's books and casual viewers of the HBO TV series, Game of Thrones. The story has the immense benefit of containing more dragons than perhaps any other saga in Westerosi history, so far as we know. House of the Dragons is expected to premiere on HBO sometime in 2022.