First official House of the Dragon images reveal Matt Smith's Targaryen prince and more

hbo game of thrones prequel
(Image credit: HBO)

A week after set photos emerged of HBO's Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon during filming, the first official images of the show have been revealed. They show Matt Smith's Prince Daemon Targaryen and Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in conversation, as we saw previously, and offer a first look at some of the other characters coming to the series.

Since the show is officially scheduled to release in 2022 and production only just began in April 2021, this is a super early look at what's to come. Take a look below at Smith and D'Arcy:

House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Now, a cursory glance at a Game of Thrones-related Wiki could give away a lot of what House of the Dragon co-creators George RR Martin and Ryan Condal have planned for these two characters, but the broad strokes of the two characters are pretty easy to grasp. 

D'Arcy's Rhaenyra Targaryen is a princess, and the first-born child of King Viserys Targaryen (played in the show by Paddy Considine) – she's a dab hand at riding dragons, apparently, but faces the disadvantage in this world of not being a prince. Viserys' brother is Daemon – that's who Matt Smith plays in the show.

Next up, we have our first look at the Sea Snake, played by Steve Touissant in House of the Dragon:

House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Also known as Lord Corlys Velaryon, the Sea Snake is the most famous seafaring adventurer to travel Westeros, and oversees the biggest naval armada across this world. He's richer than the Lannisters, apparently. 

Finally, HBO also revealed a first look at Rhys Ifans' Otto Hightower and his daughter, Olivia Cooke's Alicent Hightower:

House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Otto Hightower is known as the Hand of the King in the show – he's wary of Daemon Targaryen's status of being next in line for the throne, and regards him as a danger to the world. Alicent is close to the king and his house generally, and is politically savvy.

That's it, so far, but it's not a bad way to drum up hype for the show, which is set 300 years before Game of Thrones – and to maybe make people think twice about judging the series on paparazzi photos. House of the Dragon launches on HBO and Sky in 2022. 

Why so early?

This show is a big deal to HBO, as its first step back into Westeros since Game of Thrones ended in 2019. It makes sense that the premium cable network wants to get people excited about what's to come, but it's possible there's another reason.

Set photo leaks don't offer an idealized version of what the show is meant to look like – heading them off at the pass by offering an early look means people can form their first impressions on something that actually resembles the show's look. 

Since House of the Dragon is shooting on-location, that means it's easier for photographers to snap scenes while they're in the middle of filming. This seems like a pretty sensible compromise. 

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.