You may recognize this Targaryen prince as a former Doctor.

Olivia Harvey
Oct 06, 2020 @ 10:44 am
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game of thrones prequel cast
Credit: Helen Sloan, HBO

Update, December 14th, 2020: Dr. Who fans—get ready to fully freak out. HBO's House of the Dragon, the upcoming prequel series to Game of Thrones, just cast three new lead roles, and former Doctor Matt Smith is set to play a Targaryen prince.

According to Deadline, Smith signed onto the project alongside Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One, Bates Motel) and Emma D'Arcy (Wanderlust, Truth Seekers). They join the already-casted Paddy Considine, who will play King Viserys Targaryen.

Smith will play Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of King Viserys and heir to the throne. Deadline reports Daemon is "a peerless warrior and a dragonrider," and possesses the "true blood of the dragon." But, as is true with every Targaryen, the gods toss a coin in the air when they are born.

Cooke signs on as Alicent Hightower, daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. Alicent is supposedly the "most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms" who possesses both "a courtly grace and a keen political acumen."

And finally, D'Arcy will play Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, first-born to King Viserys, and of pure Valyrian blood. "Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything," Deadline reports, "but she was not born a man."

As you can see by the character descriptions alone, tensions are already brewing.

The first season of House of the Dragon will consist of 10 episodes, and the series debut will be sometime in 2022. The concept art, casting, and source material from author George R.R. Martin is giving us a really good feeling about this new HBO masterpiece.

Update, December 4th, 2020: Those who have been following along with the development process of the Game of Thrones HBO prequel spinoff series House of the Dragon, based off George R.R. Martin's Targaryen-centric Fire & Blood book series, know that details have been scarce—so scarce, in fact, some have been worried that it may not actually come to fruition. Fear not, Thrones fans. HBO released concept art for the upcoming series, and we're all about to be obsessed with dragons once again.

Again, the preview is small—yet might, in our opinion. Of course, with the show centering on House Targaryen (known for their bond with dragons) 300 years before Thrones took place (the era prior to the dragons' near extinction), we were obviously going to get some good dragon content. And the mockups of the CGI reptiles do not disappoint.

According to CNET, HBO dropped the concept art preview via WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar's official blog, so it appears to be legit.

CNET also reports that HBO is setting itself up to release House of the Dragon in 2022, and as we previously reported (see below), Paddy Considine has been cast as King Viserys. So, things are moving forward—slowly, but surely.

The dragons of Westeros may be gone for now, but they certainly have not been forgotten. We're waiting patiently for the time when they'll grace our screens again in the near future.

Original Post, October 6th, 2020: Although the Targaryen name left a bad taste in our mouth by the final episode of Game of Thrones, the first Targaryen to be cast in the upcoming HBO prequel to the show, House of the Dragon, is supposedly "warm, kind, and decent," according to Deadline. And we hate to say it but, uh, that's what they all say.

King Viserys Targaryen, the man chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed his grandfather King Jaehaerys Targaryen, is the first lead role to be cast in House of the Dragon.

HBO alum Paddy Considine will play Viserys, the man whom Daenerys's ill-fated brother is named after.

You may know Considine from The Outsider, The Third Day, or How to Build a Girl, starring Beanie Feldstein and based off of Caitlin Moran's book.

So how will King Viserys be as a ruler? Well, Deadline notes that good men do not always make for good kings. (As we learned about the other Game of Thrones kings like Joffrey, bad people don't either.)

House of the Dragon is based off of George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood series, which chronicles the story of House Targaryen about 300 years before A Song of Ice and Fire books and the Game of Thrones TV series takes place.

The storyline in the book series covers about 150 years, so it's unclear how Martin and co-creators Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik will handle the time span. But, we know we'll be introduced to several influential Targaryens previously only mentioned in the Game of Thrones timeline.

Considine is the first cast member named to star in the upcoming HBO series, but word is that House of the Dragon is also currently looking to cast its lead female characters including Viserys's daughter Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and his second wife Alicent Hightower.

Based on the choice of casting Considine in one of the lead roles, it appears that House of the Dragon will be casting fairly unknown actors to play the large roles, which is a similar avenue Game of Thrones creators went down, thus allowing viewers to really immerse themselves in the fantasy of Westeros. And we're so ready to become obsessed with the Targaryens to-be.