'Game of Thrones' Spinoff 'House of the Dragon' Set Photos Offer First Look at HBO Series

Less than two days after HBO announced that Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon was in [...]

Less than two days after HBO announced that Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon was in production, the first set photos from the show have leaked. Candid pictures published by The Daily Mail (and shown below) show Matt Smith and Emma D'Arcy in costume as Prince Daemon Targaryen and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen respectively. So far, fans have been relatively positive on this glimpse.

The pictures show Smith and D'Arcy outside on a barren, sandy beach in Cornwall, England where the show is reportedly filming. D'Arcy wears a scarlet dress with long sleeves and a high collar, with her silver-blonde hair wound into an elaborate pile of braids on top of her head. Smith wears a dark blue doublet that falls to his knees with high leather boots underneath, and his own silver-blonde hair in a half-ponytail. The two characters seem to be engaged in a serious discussion, likely reminiscent of the ominous political debates between Cersei, Varys, Littlefinger and others in the original series.

It is unclear how the set photos leaked, as security will likely be tight on House of the Dragon. The series is a prequel to Game of Thrones, set about 170 years before the original series. It will be about "the dance of the dragons," a civil war in Westeros waged between two opposing sides of House Targaryen to decide who will ascend to the Iron Throne. Unlike the original series, this one takes place in a time when there are at least a dozen full-grown dragons in the land, so the war is sure to be fiery.

Fans have met these characters in George R.R. Martin's most recent book, Fire and Blood, but only at arm's length. It's written as a fictional history book from the perspective of a Westerosi maester, and describes about 130 years' worth of events. Rather than a traditional narrative, it gives a bird's eye view of its subjects with the benefit of hindsight.

Still, that means many fans have a clear idea of who Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen are, and how they should look and act on screen. So far, responses on social media have been generally positive, with some fans saying it may take them a while to get used to all the silver-blonde wigs. Many are also still hoping that this show — unlike its predecessor — will give all the Targaryens purple eyes as they have in the books.

House of the Dragon is filming now in the U.K. under the guidance of showrunner Ryan Condal. It is expected to premiere sometime in 2022 on HBO.