House of the Dragon: George R.R. Martin "Loved" E01 Rough Cut & More

If you're a fan of HBO's Game of Thrones, then 2022 is going to be a pretty good year for you. Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and telling the story of House Targaryen, to say that HBO, Miguel Sapochnik & Ryan Condal's upcoming drama series prequel House of the Dragon is one of next year's most highly-anticipated series- and one that also comes with a ton of expectations (translation: "pressure") with it. On Wednesday, GOT universe mastermind & author George R.R. Martin took to his blog to show some appreciation for some love the upcoming series received while also dropping a quick update. First, Martin has seen a rough cut of the first episode and he "loved it," describing it as "dark," "powerful," and "visceral" adding that is "just the way" he likes his epic fantasy. From there, he complimented Sapochnik & Condal for their work as well as the cast, which he says viewers "are going to fall in love with" before cautioning that might lead to some heartbreak and wrapping things up with his feeling that viewers will not be disappointed what makes their screens.

House of the Dragon (Image: HBO/WarnerMedia)
House of the Dragon (Image: HBO/WarnerMedia)

I am anticipating HOUSE OF THE DRAGON pretty eagerly myself, for what it's worth. Okay, I am hardly objective. And I know a lot of what you will be seeing. (I, um, wrote the book). Also … mum's the word now, don't tell anyone… I've seen a rough cut of the first episode. And loved it. It's dark, it's powerful, it's visceral… just the way I like my epic fantasy.

Ryan and Miguel have done an amazing job, and the cast… just as with GAME OF THRONES, most viewers will only have heard of a few of the actors, but I think you are going to fall in love with a lot of them. (Only to have your heart broken later when… but no, that would be telling).

I think the Targaryens are in very good hands.

Anticipate away. I do not think you will be disappointed.

HBO's "Game of Thrones" prequel House of the Dragon also stars Emma D'Arcy (Truth Seekers), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One, Sound of Metal), Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill), Steve Toussaint (It's A Sin), Eve Best (Hedda Gabler), Sonoya Mizuno (Devs), Paddy Considine (The Outsider, The Third Day),  Fabien Frankel (The Serpent), Graham McTavish (Outlander), Milly Alcock (Reckoning), Emily Carey (Get Even), Ryan Corr (Mary Magdalene), Jefferson Hall (Halloween, Vikings), David Horovitch (Miss Marple), Matthew Needham (Chernobyl), Bill Patterson (Fleabag, Good Omens), Gavin Spokes (Brexit, Hamilton), Wil Johnson (Outlander), John Macmillan (Back), Savannah Steyn (Intergalactic), and Theo Nate (Time).

D'Arcy's Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is the king's firstborn, a pure Valyrian-blooded child who is a dragonrider. Some say Rhaenyra was "born with everything… but she was not born a man." Smith's Prince Daemon Targaryen is King Viserys' (Considine) younger brother and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air… Cooke's Alicent Hightower is the daughter of Hand of the King Otto Hightower, raised in the Red Keep and close to the king and his inner circle. Described as 'the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms,' Hightower has both 'courtly grace and a keen political acumen.' Previously cast Considine plays King Viserys Targaryen, chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy. But good men do not necessarily make for great kings.

house of the dragon
House of the Dragon (Image: HBO/WarnerMedia)

Toussaint's Lord of House Velaryon comes from a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As "The Sea Snake," the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world. Danny Sapani was previously in talks for the role. Ifans's Otto Hightower is The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king's brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne. Best's Princess Rhaenys Velaryon. A dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon, "The Queen Who Never Was" was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favored her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male. Mizuno's Mysaria came to Westeros with nothing and has been sold more times than she can recall. She could have wilted… but instead, she rose to become the most trusted — and most unlikely — ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne. Frankel's Ser Criston Cole is of Dornish descent, the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. Cole has no claim to land or titles- all he has to his name is his honor and his preternatural skill with a sword. Alcock and Carey star as younger versions of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, respectively.

House of the Dragon: George R.R. Martin "Loved" E01 Rough Cut & More
House of the Dragon (Image: HBO/WarnerMedia)

Corr's Ser Harwin 'Breakbones' Strong is said to be the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms. Ser Harwin is the eldest son to Master of Laws Lyonel Strong and heir to Harrenhal. Hall's Lord Jason Lannister is the Lord of Casterly Rock and twin to Ser Tyland Lannister. Hall will also play Tyland Lannister, the crafty and calculating politician, twin to Lord Jason Lannister. Horovitch's Grand Maester Mellos is a voice of reason and trusted advisor to King Viserys. McTavish's Ser Harrold Westerling has served in the Kingsguard since the days of King Jaehaerys; he is a paragon of chivalry and honor. Needham's Larys Strong is the younger son of Master of Laws Lyonel Strong, brought to court by his father. Paterson's Lord Lyman Beesbury is the Lord of Honeyholt and Master of Coin on King Viserys's small council. Spokes' Lord Lyonel Strong is the Master of Laws to King Viserys and Lord of Harrenhal. Johnson is Ser Vaemond Velaryon, younger brother to Coryls Velaryon & commander in the Velaryon navy; Macmillan is Ser Laenor Velaryon, son of Corlys Velaryon & Rhaenys Targaryen; Steyn is Lady Laena Velayron, daughter of Corlys Velaryon & Rhaenys Targaryen; and Nate is Ser Laenor Velaryon, son of Corlys Velaryon & Rhaenys Targaryen.

House of the Dragon: George R.R. Martin "Loved" E01 Rough Cut & More
Game of Thrones spinoff series, House of the Dragon (Image: HBO)

Written by a writing team headed by Condal and including Sara Lee Hess and based on George R.R. Martin's "Fire & Blood novels and set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the 10-episode series has Game of Thrones director Sapochnik ("The Battle of the Bastards," "The Winds of Winter") directing the pilot and additional episodes, and partnering with Condal as co-showrunners. Martin, Condal, and Sapochnik executive produce alongside Hess and Vince Gerardis. In addition, Clare Kilner, Geeta V. Patel, and Greg Yaitanes round at the directing team, with Yaitanes also co-executive producing.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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