The raven that flew in earlier today carrying news of Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon’s August premiere date was swiftly followed by another bird laden with new images from the much-anticipated HBO Max series. We’ve had a few glimpses of a handful of characters before, but this is our best look yet, at least until we get a trailer.
Scroll through for new peeks of the show’s ensemble cast, starting with the concerned-looking woman you see here. She’s Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, (played by Emma D’Arcy), a dragon rider who’s one of House of the Dragon’s royal characters vying to sit on the Iron Throne.
Hail to the King
Here’s Paddy Considine as the kind-hearted King Viserys Targaryen, father of Rhaenyra Targaryen. Rhaenyra is his first-born daughter and Viserys has chosen her as his successor, even though she’s not technically next in line (and even though she’s, y’know, a woman). Alas, not everybody respects the king’s decision — and as we’ve seen before, it’s never easy for kind-hearted people in Westeros, especially when the Iron Throne is involved.
Here’s Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, daughter of Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. (We’ll get a look at him next.) A legendary beauty, Alicent later becomes Viserys’ second wife. On a related note, Game of Thrones may have had its flaws but the costumes were always stunning — and based on Alicent’s gleaming ensemble here, House of the Dragon looks to be taking up the mantle in style.
Hail to the Hand
Speaking of adornments, there’s the Hand of the King emblem we all recognise from its many wearers on Game of Thrones. This is Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Alicent’s father and a close ally of King Viserys as his official right hand man.
The Way We Were
I hope you like flashbacks, because this image of Milly Alcock as “Young Rhaenyra” and Emily Carey as “Young Alicent” promises we’ll be getting some backstory on what looks like an adolescent friendship (or a “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” situation) between these two key characters.
Hail to the Doctor
Erstwhile Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith is Prince Daemon Targaryen, King Viserys’ younger brother. Westeros custom means he’s the heir to the throne, but he ends up siding with his niece, Rhaenyra, when civil war looms.
Bending the Knee
This armour-clad fellow is Ser Criston Cole (played by Fabien Frankel), Lord Commander of the Kingsguard for King Viserys. At first a Rhaenyra ally, he eventually shifts loyalties to Prince Aegon (Rhaenyra’s younger half-brother) during the Dance of Dragons civil war, thus earning the nickname “Criston the Kingmaker.” (Hey, it beats being called “Kingslayer” like our old pal Jaime Lannister…)
Cloak and Dagger
Sonoya Mizuno (Devs, Ex Machina) plays Mysaria, a dancer from Lys — one of the Free Cities of Essos — who’s kind of a Varys the Spider figure for Rhaenyra. She also romances Prince Daemon, sometimes goes by the name “Lady Misery,” and knows how to rock a hooded cloak, all factors that have made her our early-odds pick for coolest character on House of the Dragon.
Yes, Another Targaryen
Just when you thought you’d seen all the blonde wigs, here’s Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen with her husband, Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka “the Sea Snake” (played by Steve Toussaint). His nickname is more robust than hers, “The Queen Who Never Was,” given after she was passed over for Iron Throne duties in favour of Viserys, her cousin. (Side note: remember when Game of Thrones changed Asha Greyjoy’s name to “Yara” so viewers wouldn’t get her confused with the wildling character named Osha? Seems House of the Dragon, which has a brain-twister in the making between Rhaenyra and Rhaenys here, isn’t too concerned about that.)
House of the Dragon — which has many more yet-to-be-glimpsed characters, including but not limited to the dragons of its title — premieres August 22 on Binge.