House of the Dragon: Matt Smith & Olivia Cooke Join GOT Prequel
According to Deadline, Emmy-nominated actor Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown), Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel, Ready Player One) and Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers) have officially been tapped for the leading roles in HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon. In addition, Danny Sapani (Penny Dreadful) is reportedly in talks for a key role with Clare Kilner, Geeta V. Patel and Greg Yaitanes set as directors.They will be joining previously announced cast member Paddy Considine.
Smith will be portraying the role of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother of Considine’s King Viserys. He is described as 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. Meanwhile, D’Arcy is set to portray Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king’s first-born child who is of pure Valyrian blood and is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything — but she was not born a man.
As for Cooke, she will be taking on the role of Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, the 10-episode series will chronicle the rise and the downfall of the Targaryens, who is the only family of dragon lords to survive the Doom of Valyria. It will take place 300 years before the events of the award-winning series adaptation of Game of Thrones which aired its final episode last May 2019.
In the House of the Dragon, BAFTA winner Paddy Considine (Tyrannosaur, Dog Altogether, The Outsider) will star in the leading role of King Viserys I, the father of Rhaenyra and Aegon II. He is described as a “warm, kind, and decent man,” who “only wishes to carry forward his grandfather’s legacy.” However, “good men do not necessarily make for great kings.”
House of the Dragon is created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal (Colony). Miguel Sapochnik has also signed on to direct the pilot and additional episodes of the series. Sapochnik and Condal are also set as co-showrunners of the prequel. Martin, Sapochnik, Condal, Vince Gerardis, and Sara Lee Hess will executive produce. The series is eyeing a 2022 debut.
Principal photography is expected begin “in a few months.” The series will shoot primarily in England, moving from Game of Thrones’ main-based location in Belfast, Northern Ireland.