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The whole lot that you must know to observe ‘House of the Dragon’


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So, you’re able to return to Westeros, but that you must get your bearings. 

Don’t fear, we’re here to assist. The “Game of Thrones” spinoff series, “House of the Dragon,” premieres Sunday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max. Set around 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” it follows the Targaryen family (Daenerys and Jon Snow’s ancestors) through a civil war. The prequel also sheds some light on why Dany and Jon find yourself because the last Targaryens left standing, and why Dany’s trio of dragons were the ultimate three in a world that was once filled with them. 

Here’s every little thing that you must learn about “House of the Dragon.” 

The plot

This show is predicated on George R.R. Martin’s book “Fire & Blood,” which chronicles the (fictional) history of the Targaryens. This offers the show more leeway to fill in some character motivations which can be bare bones on the page. It also signifies that since these events are within the “past” of this world, if you would like to learn the way these characters will each eventually die (or in some cases, vanish to be presumed dead) we won’t spoil their fates — but that information is on the market for those who decide to seek it out. 

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King Viserys (Paddy Considine) in “House of the Dragon.” AP

Emma D'Arcy as an older version of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen after a time jump in Emma D’Arcy as an older version of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen after a time jump within the show.Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

The fundamental story is a civil war between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her half-brother, Aegon II, over which considered one of them will succeed their father, Viserys I, to the throne. So, once more, similar to “GoT,” it is a conflict over who will sit on the uncomfortable pointy chair. But this pits sister against brother, and dragon against dragon.

Remember how messy the war got on “GoT” when Daenerys brought in her dragons? On this one, either side have the beasts. However the show won’t throw the war at us immediately, it is going to trace the events leading as much as it. It should start with Viserys (Paddy Considine) on the throne musing about his line of succession, before Aegon II is even born, when Rhaenyra is only a young teen (played by Milly Alcock in the primary few episodes and Emma D’Arcy after a time jump). Expect a variety of palace intrigue and political scheming. And expect it to cover an even bigger span of time than “GoT” did, with more time jumps than the previous show had.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), one of the main characters in Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), considered one of the foremost characters in “House of the Dragon.” Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Matt Smith wearing a helmet holding a sword. Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, a foremost character in “House of the Dragon.” AP

The world

That is the world of Westeros with many familiar visuals from “Game of Thrones,” but as a substitute of jumping around to all corners of it, we’re focused on King’s Landing (and a few Dragonstone) and the silver-haired, incestuous Targaryen family. It’s also possible to expect to see many more dragons. Daenerys’ three dragons were a novelty in “Game of Thrones” that everybody oohed and ahhhed over. On this era of Westeros, dragons are a dime a dozen. 

The foremost players

The important thing figures are King Viserys I (Considine); his scheming brother Daemon (Matt Smith) and the king’s daughter, Rhaenyra (Alcock and D’Arcy), who’s a bit of too close together with her Uncle Daemon, and who’s attempting to be the primary woman on the Iron Throne long before her descendent, Daenerys.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) in the throne room with her father, King Viserys (Paddy Considine).Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) within the throne room together with her father, King Viserys (Paddy Considine).Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) in Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) in “House of the Dragon.” Courtesy of HBO

Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) standing on a cliff by the sea in Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) in “House of the Dragon.”

Outside of their immediate family, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) is the Hand of the King — he’s the king’s closest advisor and hates Daemon. His daughter — Alicent (played by Emily Carey young, and Olivia Cooke after a time jump), who begins as Rhaenyra’s friend — can be an important character within the developing civil war. And Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) can also be a robust ally to a few of these characters. 

“House of the Dragon” premieres Sunday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max. 

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