It’s now official: HBO’s upcoming Game Of Thrones prequel House Of The Dragon has entered production!

The official Game Of Thrones Twitter account made the announcement amid a flurry of social media posts designed to push traffic over to their dedicated House Of The Dragon account:

The newly-minted House Of The Dragon account immediately served up some juicy photos of the cast in their spiffy table read environs – first up is actress Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Expect Rhaenyra to be a fan-favorite early on – her character is a firebrand and a badass:

Next we have HBO veteran Paddy Considine (The Others), who will portray Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys I Targaryen:

Olivia Cook of Ready Player One fame stars as Alicent Hightower, Viserys’ (latest) wife and daughter of the Hand of the King:

And of course, in perhaps the most perfect bit of casting ever, Matt Smith will play the fiery brother of the King, Daemon Targaryen:

Stir The Waters

One interesting casting note that is worth keeping an eye on: there seems to be some controversy already swirling around one casting decision. House Of The Dragon producers elected to cast industry veteran Steve Toussaint as The Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon.

So what’s the issue? There isn’t one, really, except that many would note that the Velaryon line is closely related to the Targaryens, right down to their silver hair, purple eyes, and light skin. Toxic commentary is already springing up on social media – some see Toussaint’s casting as a bold stroke, some see it as “diversity pandering,” while other just flat-out can’t buy that this character could be related to the Valyrians of old. Never mind the fact that George R.R. Martin himself spoke of this interesting possibility not long ago:

Speaking of Valyria… right from the start I wanted the Targaryens, and by extension the Valryians from whom they were descended, to be a race apart, with distinctive features that set them apart from the rest of Westeros, and helped explain their obsession with the purity of their blood. To do this, I made a conventional ‘high fantasy’ choice, and gave them silver-gold hair, purple and violet eyes, fine chiseled aristocratic features. That worked well enough, at least in the books (on the show, less so).

But in recent years, it has occured to me from time to time that it might have made for an interesting twist if instead I had made the dragonlords of Valyria… and therefore the Targaryens… black. Maybe I could have kept the silver hair too, though… no, that comes too close to ‘dark elf’ territory, but still… if I’d had dark-skinned dragonlords invade and conquer and dominate a largely white Westeros… though that choice would have brought its own perils. The Targaryens have not all been heroic, after all… some of them have been monsters, madmen, so…

Well, it’s all moot. The idea came to me about twenty years too late.

We here at Nerd Nexus endorse this casting, and would be able to submit numerous in-universe explanations for why The Sea Snake is perhaps a bit darker than most other Valyrian-descended folks, but at the end of the day, is it necessary to explain it? Nah, not really. Let it be, man. Hopefully this non-issue doesn’t become a full-blown Thing, like when cretins complained about Idris Elba’s casting as Heimdall. 🙄

House Of The Dragon Production Underway

With the the marketing machine for House Of The Dragon confirming that production is underway, eyes now turn to speculation about the shooting schedule. There seems to be some level of truth in the recent reports that physical sets have been spotted near Cornwall, U.K. House Of The Dragon will primarily be set in the more southerly realms of Westeros, with lots of traffic going back and forth between King’s Landing, Dragonstone, and the never-before-seen island of Driftmark, home of House Velaryon. The show will presumably feature a heavy dose of beachfront locales, ships sailing the high seas, and dragon-vs-dragon battles over open water – since we won’t see a lot of The North (maybe in the later seasons), fans should expect that lots of the production gets done in the south of England, rather than Northern Ireland as before.

House Of The Dragon will cover the events of author George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood. Set some 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the story will follow the oft-mentioned Dance of the Dragons, a period of civil war amongst the Targaryens. The lines of Targaryen succession come into question as the inter-married family lineages become too convoluted to follow; events come to a head when previously-friendly family members attack one another for the right sit on the Iron Throne. The show promises to have all of the politics, sex, dragons, and yes, fire & blood, that fans of GoT would expect.

Stay tuned to this spot for more coverage of House Of The Dragon – we’re definitely reviewing the literature to get prepped:

George RR Martin
Just some light reading.

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