Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon begins production – first photo released

hbo game of thrones prequel
(Image credit: HBO)

Game of Thrones prequel show House of the Dragon has finally begun production, HBO has revealed. Announced all the way back in October 2019, the series is all about House Targaryen, 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. 

HBO announced the news by sharing a photo of the cast having a socially-distanced table read for the show. Honestly, it's hard to make out who anyone is, though you can spot The Crown and Doctor Who's Matt Smith off to the right. Here's the announcement:

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The series' cast includes Smith, Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Steve Toussaint, Rhys Ifans, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno and Emma D'Arcy. Considine, D'Arcy and Smith all play members of the Targaryen family – Considine plays the king of Westeros, and is described as a "warm, kind and decent man" by HBO, which points out that it always ends well for them in the world of Game of Thrones. 

Author George RR Martin is one of the show's creators, along with writer Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik, who directed numerous key episodes of the show including 'Battle of the Bastards', is a showrunner on the series – so it should look and feel like the Westeros you're used to. Original Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi is working on the show, too. 

House of the Dragon has a tentative release set for 2022, when it'll launch on HBO Max. UK viewers will be able to watch it on Sky and Now. 

Should you care about House of the Dragon?

By the time House of the Dragon comes around, it will have been three whole years since Game of Thrones' controversial finale. By then, we might actually have the appetite to step back into that world – even if, on paper, it feels like a prequel series might struggle to create the same drama that the original Game of Thrones did. 

After all, we basically know how Westeros turns out a few hundred years down the line, and what happens to the Targaryen bloodline before the main series begins. 

Still, we're always happy to have another big fantasy drama in our lives – and the cast certainly seems promising. 

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.