HBO releases first photos of ‘Game of Thrones’ spinoff

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Winter is coming — and it’s bringing more incest and silver wigs.

HBO has released the first images of the first “Game of Thrones” spinoff series — and so far in the images, it looks like life’s a beach. Called “House of the Dragon,” the series will be set around 300 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” and it will follow members of House Targaryen.

So, expect lots of dragons, silver wigs and dalliances that keep it in the family.

The show’s stars are Emma D’Arcy, who plays the king’s firstborn child Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen; “The Crown’s” Matt Smith, who’s playing Prince Daemon Targaryen — King Viserys’ younger brother and the heir to the throne; Rhys Ifans as Hand of the King Otto Hightower, who is at odds with Daemon; Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower (Otto’s daughter); and Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon (also known as the Sea Snake), a nautical adventurer and the lord of House Velaryon. 

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, left, and Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, right, in "House of the Dragon"
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, left, and Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower.
HBO

So, if you’re looking for that classic “Game of Thrones” feel, the Hightower duo will provide the political intrigue that Varys and Tyrion got up to in the early seasons. Meanwhile, the Sea Snake will provide the swaggering presence from characters like Bronn, the Hound, and Jaime Lannister, and there will be Targaryens aplenty. If your favorite part of the original series was the Starks, you’re out of luck for now — as another potential prequel series centering on the Starks is as dead as Ned. But there are other spinoffs in the works, including a Broadway play that will feature characters such as Lyanna Stark.

Even though Rhaenyra and Daemon are niece and uncle, since they’re Targaryens, there will be incest. (Would it really be “Game of Thrones” if there wasn’t?) Just like their descendants Jon Snow and his aunt Daenerys Targaryen, their relationship is messy and complicated and more than platonic.

Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon aka “The Sea Snake” in "House of the Dragon"
Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon a k a “The Sea Snake” in “House of the Dragon”
HBO

In the source material book “Fire & Blood” by George R.R. Martin, Rhaenyra and Daemon secretly marry, causing a scandal. She’s his third wife, and he isn’t faithful to her. She’s also a fierce dragon-riding warrior in her own right.

The series does not yet have an announced premiere date, but it’s expected to air in 2022. 

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