“Gods, kings … fire and blood. Dreams didn’t make us kings … dragons did.”
These are the fateful words of Prince Daemon Targaryen at the end of the new teaser trailer for HBO Max‘s House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones prequel series that’s slated for release in 2022. The show, which went into production on April 26 of this year and only briefly stalled production due to the outbreak of COVID-19, has been slated for ten episodes, and was announced early Tuesday during a launch event for HBO Max in Europe.
House of the Dragon takes place 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and is based on the book Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin. The story of Fire & Blood covers the “Dance of the Dragons, a long period of civil war among the Targaryen clan that once ruled Westeros. While any civil war leaves casualties and collateral damage, it takes on an entirely new meaning when all the players have not just three, but an entire regiment of dragons at their disposal.
Peppered with images of fights, jousting, and of course, fire, the teaser trailer features these fragmented scenes under a voiceover of and ending with a shot of Daemon, also known as Matt Smith of Doctor Who and The Crown fame. However, there are glimpses of others that are visible in the montage, such as Rhys Ifans as Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower, Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen, Eve Best as Rhaneys Targaryen, and Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon.
In addition to the high profile cast, the teaser trailer also includes some familiar images that tie it back to the original series and the future of Westeros. One is, of course, an image of the Iron Throne near the end, but another near the beginning is the dragon’s skill, namely the skull of Balerion. The greatest of the Targaryen dragons, Balerion was the mount ridden into battle by Aegon the Conqueror when he defeated and united the seven kingdoms. The skull of this dragon was still located in the catacombs of the Red Keep during the events of Game of Thrones.
Co-showrunners, Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal, will serve as executive producers alongside A Song Of Ice And Fire author Martin and Vince Gerardis. Martin and Condal are co-creators of the show.
With its expansive star-studded cast and its focus on a portion of Westeros history of great interest to many fans, House of the Dragon is generating a great deal of buzz with its brief but punchy teaser. With the lackluster end of the main series that left fans almost universally upset and even angry, House of the Dragon has a lot riding on its shoulders. While it may not be able to make up for the way Game of Thrones crashed and burned in the end of its final season, another failure could put a permanent end to further visual adaptations of Martin’s work in the future. However, if the prequel can deliver a satisfying story with a solid conclusion, and lives up to the sizzle of this trailer, we could see a renaissance of Game of Thrones—or rather, a storm of fire and blood to go along with the song of ice and fire.
Liz Carlie, the Mad Woman with a Box, a regular book reviewer for SCIFI.radio and a regular guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. She has been in and around science fiction fandom for years, and works with the American Red Cross on blood drives at science fiction conventions all over Southern California.