The Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has officially begun production, HBO announced on Monday afternoon. The show's original Twitter account posted a photo of a massive studio room with busy desks spaced out in consideration of the coronavirus pandemic. House of the Dragon is expected to premiere sometime in 2022 on HBO.
"Fire will reign," the post read. It showed the actors at a table read for the new series, since confirmed stars Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, Steve Toussaint, Olivia Cooke and Emma D'Arcy were recognizable. Their scripts were displayed on tablets in front of them and in scattered pages as well, with microphones to catch their lines. Those not reading wore face masks, and author George R.R. Martin was not in evidence in the one photo provided.
Follow-up posts on the newly-announced House of the Dragon Twitter account showed close-up shots of each actor in the room, along with the character they will portray. D'Arcy will play Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Toussaint will play Corlys "Sea Snake" Velaryon, Considine will play King Viserys Targaryen, Smith will play Prince Daemon Targaryen and Cooke will play Lady Alicent Hightower.
House of the Dragon is based on Martin's most recent book, Fire and Blood — a fictional history of House Targaryen's reign in Westeros written from the perspective of one of the "maesters." The book covered about 120 years' worth of history, though the show will focus on the last story arcs — the Targaryen civil war known as "the dance of the dragons."
This means the show will be set about 180 years before the events of Game of Thrones itself, and the Targaryens here are Daenerys' far-distant ancestors. However, there will still be familiar banners for the great houses of Westeros, and the contemporary Lannisters, Baratheons, Tyrells and Starks will play their parts.
House of the Dragon will come from showrunner Ryan Condal, and the showrunners of the previous series have no involvement at all. To date, Condal is best-known for writing movies like Rampage and Hercules, as well as the TV show Colony. It was for the latter that Martin praised him the most highly when he was selected for this job.
While Martin is listed as a writer and executive producer on House of the Dragon, he has said that his involvement will be minimal until he can finish his book series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has reported enormous progress on The Winds of Winter in the last year, though no release date has been announced yet. In the meantime, fans can look forward to House of the Dragon sometime next year.