House of the Dragon, HBO’s first-ever Game of Thrones spin-off series, has finally set a release date.
The new series, set two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones, will premiere August 21 on HBO and HBO Max. The series will have in the UK on August 22 on Sky and streaming service NOW. The ten-episode prequel is based on George R.R. Martin’s novel Fire & Blood and chronicle the rise and fall of the House of Targaryen’s as they fight in a grisly civil war known as the Dance of Dragons. Doctor Who’s Matt Smith will star as Daemon Targaryen, prince of the Targaryen dynasty.
In an interesting turn of fate, Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set to premiere just less than two weeks after, on the 2 September – meaning that both fantasy giants will be airing at the same time as the episode are released weekly.
Much like House of the Dragon, The Rings of Power serves as a prequel. The show is set in the Second Age of Middle Earth, a long long time before Frodo and the gang began their journey to Mordor. Galadriel and Elrond will make an appearance, but are played by different actors than in the Peter Jackson movies – as they’re meant to be younger in the show.
The Rings of Power paves the way for Frodo and Sam’s journey in the Third Age, and House of the Dragon chronicles the history of the Targaryen dynasty and the events that precede Khaleesi’s eventual rise to power.
Smith recently spoke to Total Film about House of the Dragon, comparing the series to his new film, Morbius. “All of it tends to be quite similar in the end,” he says. “It’s big sets and big lights and cameras and all that sort of thing, and lots of bells and whistles. But ultimately, it comes down to two people having a scene trying to tell the truth to one another. The essence of it is the same.”
House of the Dragon is not the only Game of Thrones spin-off heading our way. A series based on Martin’s Dunk and Egg books is in the works, with HBO reportedly looking to expand the series similar to how Disney has expanded Star Wars on Disney Plus. There are another three other spinoffs: one focusing on Princess Nymeria named 100,000 ships, another centered on Flea Bottom, and another on Lord Corlys Velaryon. Get ready to spend a lot more time in Westeros.