HBO announces the launch date for House of the Dragon

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Expect some heat this summer: The Game of Thrones prequel series will begin in August. 

The much-anticipated new series set in the world of Game of Thrones is coming soon. HBO have announced that the prequel show House of the Dragon will premiere on Sunday, 21st of August.

The news came on a poster bearing a familiar looking type of egg…

Here’s the synopsis for House of the Dragon – which George R R Martin has described as “dark, powerful and visceral”:

The prequel series finds the Targaryen dynasty at the absolute apex of its power, with more than 15 dragons under their yoke.

Most empires-real and imagined-crumble from such heights. In the case of the Targaryens, their slow fall begins almost 193 years before the events of Game of Thrones, when King Viserys Targaryen breaks with a century of tradition by naming his daughter Rhaenyra heir to the Iron Throne.

But when Viserys later fathers a son, the court is shocked when Rhaenyra retains her status as his heir, and seeds of division sow friction across the realm.

The show features a stellar cast, including Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, Steve Toussaint, Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans. While we’ve seen snaps of many of them before, the HBO twitter feed and official show site has plenty of new images.

One offers our first looks at Milly Alcock and Emily Carey in character; the pair play younger versions of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower.

The show is based on George RR Martin’s Fire & Blood and he co-created the show with Ryan Condal. Condal serves as co-showrunner with GoT’s Miguel Sapochnik, who is directing the pilot and further episodes.

Really Different

Elsewhere, star Matt Smith has been talking about House of the Dragon. He’s currently out on the promo trail for the Marvel/Sony vampire flick Morbius, but spoke to ComicBook.com about the show. We think he was asked to compare it with Game of Thrones? Perhaps?

“I think it’s really different to the original series, to be honest with you. I mean it has to be. The original series was its own thing and it was, it was so brilliant and, and sort of left a mark in a way that it would be impossible to repeat. So, I don’t know. The truth is I haven’t seen any so it’s difficult for me. Essentially it’s in the same world, it has to take on a slightly different identity. But who knows? I have no idea.”

Slightly more clearly, he also talked about keeping the show’s secrets, saying it was easy compared to his Doctor Who casting:

“I got the part for that nearly six to seven months before it was announced so I had to keep it a secret for like seven months that I was going to be in it; people going like, ‘What are you gonna do next?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know,’ but I knew I was going to play the Doctor.”

It sounds to us as though the show’s secrets are safe with Matt!

House of the Dragon will air on Sky Atlantic in the UK.

As with GoT, the show will air at the same time as the US, so in the early hours of Monday, and be available on demand immediately after.