As excited as you may be for a new show from the Game of Thrones universe, it is daunting to start from scratch. After all, none of the characters will be the ones you’re used to in GOT, plus the history is so vast and the interactions equally complicated.
Fortunately for you, I have the answers to any and all queries, so that when House of the Dragon premieres, you have no chance of losing the plot.
Curious about what book the show is based on or which famous Houses you should keep a lookout for? Read on:
1. What is House of the Dragon based on?
House of the Dragon is an adaption of the events portrayed in George R R Martin’s Fire & Blood. This novel focuses on the House Targaryen, covering its long and vast history spanning from them leaving the Valyrian Freehold and conquering the seven kingdoms of Westeros.
House of the Dragon, however, does not adapt the first half of the book. Instead, it skips past a century to depict the Dance of the Dragons arc which is part of the “The Dying of the Dragons” chapter.
So what are we going to see on screen? At the time the show starts, Viserys I Targaryen is king, with only one legitimate heir, his daughter Rhaenyra.
Although she is promised to be the ruler on the Iron throne, when she comes of age she faces opposition from her uncle Daemon, and her step-brother Aegon. This internal war will bring about the Targaryens’ doom.
2. Is House of the Dragon a prequel to GOT?
Yes, House of the Dragon is a prequel to everything that happens in Game of Thrones. As you may remember, both Targaryens and dragons are practically extinct in GOT, and the House of the Dragon will do very well to explain how that exactly happened.
If you love to geek out about GOT’s history or any Targaryen tales or conquests, in particular, this show should definitely be on your list.
While the book didn’t get the greatest reviews, the production does look stunning and may bring back the GOT thrill we felt for eight seasons.
3. What year does House of the Dragon take place?
Now some of you may miss GOT (irrespective of that controversial ending) and may want to see your favorite characters back on screen. Sadly that won’t be happening as House of the Dragon is set to begin sometime in 110s AC.
For reference, GOT began in 298 AC, a good century and a half after House of the Dragon.
The main Dance of the Dragon arc during which the Targaryen civil war happens takes place in 129 AC.
4. How long did the Targaryens rule?
The Targaryens were so powerful, that Westeros’ history was divided into before Aegon I Targaryens’ conquest (BC) and after this conquest (AC). As such, the Targaryens ruled for approximately 283 years.
You cannot be a GOT fan if you don’t know that Robert Baratheon brought an end to the Targaryen rule by leading the rebellion and killing Rhaegar Targaryen. Jaime Lannister did his part in the rebellion by plunging his sword through the Mad King’s (Aerys Targaryen) back, earning him the name Kingslayer.
5. Who are the characters in House of the Dragon?
Let’s preface it with there are a lot of characters in House of the Dragon. But as a GOT fan, you should already know the drill. Here are some important characters to get you started with:
- King Viserys I Targaryen: The fifth and current king of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen: King Viserys’s firstborn child, who is promised the Iron throne. But as the prospective first female ruler, she meets a lot of opposition.
- Prince Daemon Targaryen: He’s Viserys’ younger brother and Rhaenyra’s uncle. If Viserys had no children, Daemon would be next in line for throne. As such he’s the Iron Throne’s heir presumptive.
- Ser Otto Hightower: He’s the Hand of the King under Viserys’ rule. He also happens to vehemently hate Daemon.
- Lady Alicent Hightower: She is Ser Otto Hightower’s daughter and Rhaenyra’s dear childhood friend. However, things turn sour when Alicent marries King Viserys and claims her son to be the next king instead of Rhaenyra.
- Lord Corlys Velaryon: Infamously called the “Sea Snake” for all this seafarer adventures, he is the head of House Velaryon. His son will go on to marry Rhaenyra.
- Princess Rhaenys Velaryon: She is Lord Corlys’ wife, but before marrying she was a Targaryen with the nickname “Queen Who Never Was.” This is because she too was considered for the Iron Throne, but lost the opportunity to the current King (and her cousin) Viserys.
- Ser Criston Cole: He is common-born accomplished swordsman from the Dornish Marches, who is also speculated to be an important character’s secret lover — but I’ll keep that under wraps for now.
6. Are the Starks in House of the Dragon?
Now S1’s story doesn’t really call for any Starks, but the show has decided to bless us with some fan service. So yes, there will be Starks present in House of the Dragon.
But they won’t be like the Starks who we remember to be honorable, merciful and virtuous. At this point of time, the Starks and their Northerners were known to be unyielding and quite ruthless.
The new Stark that you should get familiar with is Cregan Start!
7. Who is Cregan Stark?
Good question! Cregan Stark is the current Lord of Winterfell, who would also go on to become the Hand of the King in the future.
Cregan’s main story begins in the midst of the civil war, so he might only be present in minor appearances in S1. But fear not, we’ll see a lot more of him since a whole arc of the war is dedicated to him, called the “Hour of the Wolf.” This may take place in S2 or S3.
8. What other houses will be in House of the Dragon?
Besides Houses Targaryen and Stark, the other main houses appearing in HOTD will be House Hightower, House Velaryon, House Strong, House Lannister, and House Baratheon.
You may hear a mention of the other famous houses here and there, but most either don’t get themselves involved in the Targaryen civil war or step in later, in a storyline reserved for S2.
9. About House Of The Dragon
House of the Dragon is the prequel series to HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood.
Set three hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon will show Westeros under the Targaryen family’s rule before the dragons went extinct. It will follow the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war between siblings Aegon II and Rhaenyra, who fought for the throne after the death of their father, Viserys I.
Directed by Ryan Condall and Miguel Sapochnik, the show stars Paddy Considine as Viserys I Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Tom Glynn-Craney as Aegon II Targaryen, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Rhaenys Velaryon, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole, and Graham McTavish.