by Thinus Ferreira
Production and principal photography has officially started on the first Game of Thrones prequel TV series, House of the Dragon, with HBO that revealed behind-the-scenes photos of the cast that gathered for the first, socially-distanced, table-read.
House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the events depicted in Game of Thrones and is based on George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood novel, chronicling the story of the rise and fall of the House of Targaryen in a time before dragons became "extinct" and passed into myth.
While House of the Dragon is the first Game of Thrones spinoff series out of the running blocks, HBO is planning several other spinoff series.
Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal are serving as the House of the Dragon showrunners with Ramin Djawadi who returns from Game of Thrones as the composer to score the series.
Paddy Considine has been cast as King Viserys Targaryen who is the successor to the Westeros throne, with Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) who is the Hand of the King.
Matt Smith will play Prince Daemon Targaryen (King Viserys' younger brother) who Otto believes is a threat to the new King Viserys' reign. Emma D'Arcy is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, a dragonrider.
Also part of the characters and cast are Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), the lord of the House of Valaryon and a seafarer-adventurer; Princess Rhaenys Velaryon (Eve Best) who is also a dragonrider; Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno); and Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) who is the son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven.
House of the Dragon, primarily filmed in the United Kingdom, will start its broadcast in 2022 and the first season will have 10 episodes. House of the Dragon will very likely be on M-Net (DStv 101).