House of the Dragon: Release date and where to watch first episode of Game of Thrones prequel in UK

The first episode of Game of Thrones prequel show House of the Dragon is out now.

House of the Dragon, the multimillion pound Game of Thrones prequel show, is finally here.

Set during the ‘Dance of Dragons’ – a bloody civil war which nearly wiped out all Targaryens and their dragons – the series will take place around 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

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It will explore the fiery history of Daenerys Targaryen’s ancestors, as chronicled by George R.R. Martin in his book Fire & Blood.

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Here’s what we know about the show so far, including release date, cast, and what it’s about.

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House of the Dragon release date and how to watch in the UK

House of the Dragon will premiere in the US on Sunday, August 21, 2022.

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Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) with Ser Harold Westerling (Graham McTavish) in Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon (HBO)

However, due to time zones, it won’t be available to UK viewers until the early hours of Monday morning (August 22).

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The show will be aired on HBO in the United States and Sky Atlantic in the UK. It will be available to watch on NOWTV, where new episodes will be streamed weekly.

You can subscribe to a NOW TV Entertainment Pass for £9.99 a month, with a seven day free trial. You can also stream every episode of Game of Thrones, from Season 1-8, on NOWTV.

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Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) face off in the trailer for House of the Dragon (HBO)
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Who has been cast in Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon?

The House of the Dragon cast includes former Doctor Who and The Crown actor Matt Smith, who will play Daemon Targaryen. Emma D’Arcy will be Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Milly Alcok will play a younger version of her.

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Paddy Considine (Peaky Blinders) has been cast as King Viserys Targaryen and Rhys Ifans (Harry Potter) will play Otto Hightower.

Steve Toussaint will play Lord Corlys Velaryon (AKA the Sea Snake), Olivia Cooke will be Alicent Hightower, and Eve Best is Rhaenys Velaryon.

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Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) in Game of Thrones prequel show House of the Dragon (HBO)

Outlander star Graham McTavish has also joined the cast as Ser Harrold Westerling, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

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No stranger to period costumes, the Scottish actor played Dougal Mackenzie in Outlander, Dwalin in The Hobbit trilogy, and Sigismund Dijkstra in The Witcher.

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What is House of the Dragon about? Plot and will Game of Thrones characters return?

House of the Dragon is based on A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, which documents the rise and fall of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros.

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It is set more than two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones, during the reign of Targaryen King Viserys I (Paddy Considine). So, no, sadly, that means we won’t see Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, or Tyrion Lannister in the series.

A dragon's face - thought to be legendary dragon Vhagar - appears at the end of the House of the Dragon trailer (HBO)
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House of the Dragon will centre around the war over who will succeed Viserys as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, which is known as the ‘Dance of Dragons’.

The powerful houses split into two factions over who should sit on the Iron Throne – named the greens and the blacks. The blacks support Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), the first born child of Viserys who he names as his chosen heir.

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While the greens support the claim of Aegon Targaryen, King Viserys’ eldest son with Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke).

Key players include Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), the “rogue prince” and younger brother of King Viserys, who believes he has a claim to the Iron Throne.

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Otto Hightower and his daughter Alicent Hightower are also significant characters, part of one of Westeros’ most ancient and powerful houses.

And House Velaryon, led by the ‘Sea Snake’ Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) and Rhaenys Velaryon (Eve Best), is another major contender in the events that unfold.

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Who are the showrunners for House of the Dragon?

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David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who were showrunners for Game of Thrones, will not be returning to the helm of House of the Dragon.

But there will be some familiar faces from Game of Thrones. Miguel Sapochnik – who directed fan favourite episodes like Hardhome and Battle of the Bastards – will be showrunner alongside writer Ryan Condal (Hercules, Colony) who is good friends with George R.R. Martin.

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Ramin Djawadi, who was the composer for Game of Thrones and Westworld, will return to score the series.

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