Game of Thrones Prequel Casts Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke & Emma D’Arcy

House of the Dragon, HBO’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel, has officially cast Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, and Emma D’Arcy. The prequel was announced in October 2019, several months after Thrones aired its controversial series finale. The series will take place roughly 300 years before the start of GoT, and will revolve around House Targaryen in the days before their downfall. Miguel Sapochnik, who directed beloved Thrones episodes like “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” will serve as showrunner, along with Ryan Condal.

While there had been some hints about casting earlier in the year, the first official cast announcement came in October 2020, when it was revealed that Paddy Considine will be portraying King Viserys Targaryen. Viserys is set to be one of the leads of House of the Dragon and is said to be generally kind-hearted and good-natured. It was also announced that the show was actively casting for Daemon Targaryen, younger brother to King Viserys and the subject of the novella The Rogue Prince. 

Related: What Went Wrong With Game Of Thrones Season 8

Now, via the official Game of Thrones Twitter account, House of the Dragon has officially cast Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers). Smith will play Prince Daemon Targaryen, Cooke will play Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, who is the current Hand of the King, and D’Arcy will play Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, King Viserys’ first-born daughter. Check out the full character breakdowns below:

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower. She’s the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.

Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. The king’s first-born child. She is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything…but she was not born a man.

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen. The younger brother of King Viserys and heir to the throne, Daemon is a peerless warrior and a dragonrider who possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…

Given the details of the casting, and the specific characters that will play key roles in the series, the overall trajectory of the series becomes a little clearer. We know that the core of the story will revolve around Viserys and his attempt to rule Westeros after the death of King Jaehaerys Targaryen. Even though Viserys is a good man, as Game of Thrones has proven time and time again, being good is not always enough to be a successful leader.

House of the Dragon is set to be released in 2022, and despite the fact that few concrete details are known about its story, there is enough ancillary A Song of Ice and Fire material to get a pretty good idea of where the show is heading. Based on George R.R. Martin’s novella The Princess and the Queen, we know that Viserys’ rule sows the seeds for a Targaryen civil war, and, presumably, the show will actually explore what happened during this time that led to the destructive conflict. The casting of Smith, Cooke, and D’Arcy as those specific characters (who all play key roles in The Princess and the Queen) hints at House of the Dragon exploring the beginnings of a conflict within the Targaryen family.

Next: Game Of Thrones: The History Of House Targaryen Explained

Source: Game of Thrones

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