Now that House of the Dragon has begun production for HBO, the first set photos of the Game of Thrones spin-off are doing the rounds. If you've ever wanted to see what Doctor Who and The Crown's Matt Smith looked like as a Targaryen, white-blonde hair and all, this is your lucky day.
As shared on Twitter (and spotted by GamesRadar (opens in new tab)), the shots show Smith's Prince Daemon Targaryen and Emma D'Arcy's Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in conversation. This doesn't give anything away about the plot, but does essentially show the characters as they'll appear in the show.
FIRST LOOK at Matt Smith and Emma D'Arcy on the set of #GameofThrones prequel series #HouseoftheDragon pic.twitter.com/55dlag2xeMApril 28, 2021
"Is that George Washington?" is one of the funnier responses on Twitter.
We'd recommend not looking into the characters' place in Thrones lore too deeply, so you don't spoil the potential events of the show for yourself. While it's set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the whole is about this particular House, and you'll know how the Targaryen bloodline ends up if you've seen the show, it's worth preserving the surprise of exactly how this will pan out.
Here's some spoiler-free character info we know about House of the Dragon, though. D'Arcy plays Rhaenyra Targaryen, a princess who's the first-born of King Viserys Targaryen (played by Paddy Considine) – and who likes to ride dragons. Her disadvantage in this world, though, despite all her privileges, is that she wasn't born a prince. Meanwhile, Smith plays Viserys' brother, Daemon.
Again, if you don't want to know too much about where the show's going, don't look them up – as anyone who searched for 'Red Wedding' in 2011 when Game of Thrones began taking off learned the hard way.
House of the Dragon lands on HBO Max in the US and Sky in the UK in 2022.
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Game of Thrones: will you still care in 2022?
HBO is taking a gamble on interest in Game of Thrones still being high when its next show in that universe arrives next year. While the series might've ended with a thud – making revisiting it in 2021 an unappealing prospect – there still aren't enough epic fantasy shows on TV. This one boasts a pretty great cast, and some good behind-the-scenes talent, so we're keen to see how it turns out.
This is just one of six reported Game of Thrones spin-offs in the works, but it is the one that's closest to reality. One of those series could even be a spin-off of House of the Dragon – The Sea Snake is a potential show about seafaring adventurer Lord Corlys Velaryon, played in this series by Steve Toussaint. Bruno Heller, who created Game of Thrones predecessor Rome for HBO, is apparently working on that one.
So, Game of Thrones is basically going nowhere.