When does House of the Dragon air in the UK? Release date of Game of Thrones spin-off, cast - and how to watch

House of the Dragon is a fantasy series set long before the events of Game of Thrones and focusing on the Targaryen dynasty

House of the Dragon is a new HBO fantasy series and prequel to Game of Thrones, set nearly 200 years earlier and with focus on House Targaryen.

The season premiere has just landed in the US and UK, kicking off a new epic tale of fantasy, intrigue, violence, and graphic seuxal encounters.

Both fantasy series are adapted from the George R.R. Martin’s novels - House of the Dragon is primarily based on his 2018 tome Fire and Blood, with some elements also taken from the latest instalment in his Song of Ice and Fire series.

House of the Dragon is the first of a whole slate of TV projects set in the Game of Thrones universe, which included a Jon Snow spin-off, to make it out the gate.

Other projects include The Sea Snake, Ten Thousand Ships, The Tales of Dunk and Egg, and animated prequel series The Golden Empire.

Following the disastrous final season of Game of Thrones, which many fans considered a huge disappointment, House of the Dragon will provide an opportunity to rehabilitate the fantasy franchise.

Matt Smith in House of the Dragon
Matt Smith in House of the Dragon
Matt Smith in House of the Dragon

The series is set in Westeros, the fantastical continent where most of the action in Game of Thrones also took place, and will follow the civil war known as the Dance of Dragons.

When King Viserys I died of old age, it was expected that his daughter Rhaenyra would inherit the iron throne and become the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

However, Rhaenyra’s succession is challenged by Viserys’ brother, Daemon, who claims the throne for himself, and a bloody civil war begins.

Who is in the cast of House of the Dragon?

Paddy Considine plays King Viserys Targaryen, a benevolent ruler whose reign brought prosperity to the Seven Kingdoms. He spends his final years planning his succession but is unable to prevent the bloodshed that follows his death.

Considine is known for his roles in the drama film Dead Man’s Shoes, dark comedy Death of Stalin, and for playing Father John Hughes in Peaky Blinders.

Emma D’arcy will play Viserys’ daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. D’arcy will be recongised for her roles as Naomi Richards in Wanderlust and Astrid in Truth Seekers.

Paddy Considine as Viserys I
Paddy Considine as Viserys I
Paddy Considine as Viserys I

Matt Smith will play Prince Daemon Targaryen, the man who will launch the greatest contest to Rhaenyra’s rule. Smith is best known for playing the 11th Doctor in Doctor Who, as well as for playing Prince Philip in The Crown.

Other cast members include:

  • Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Viserys’ second wife
  • Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon 
  • Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon
  • Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Hand of the King
  • Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
  • Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
  • Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Young)
  • Emily Carey as Alicent Hightower (Young)
  • Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin ‘Breakbones’ Strong
  • Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister
  • David Horovitch as Grand Maester Mellos
  • Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling
  • Matthew Needham as Larys Strong
  • Bill Paterson as Lord Lyman Beesbury
  • Gavin Spokes asLord Lyonel Strong

When is House of the Dragon set?

The series is set more than 150 years before the events of Game of Thrones, during the reign of the Targaryen Dynasty.

The series takes place in the years before and after VIserys’ death in 129 AC - AC refers to Aegon’s Conquest, the year the first Targaryen ruler conquered the Seven Kingdoms.

Targaryen rule of the Seven Kingdoms ended in 283 AC following  Robert Baratheon’s rebellion, and the first season of Game of Thrones is set in 297 AC.

When is the release date of House of the Dragon?

The first episode of House of the Dragon was released on HBO in the US on 21 August, but becasue of the time difference, in the UK the episode landed on Sky in the early hours the following day.

Episodes are released in the on Sundays at 9pm Eastern Time (6pm Pacific Time ,and 2am on Monday British Standard Time).

Therefore, episodes air in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 2am. Episodes are repeated on Sky Atlantic at 9pm.

There are ten episodes in the series and they will be released weekly, and the season finale will air in the UK on Monday 24 October.

Is there a trailer for House of the Dragon?

Yes there is, and you can watch it right here:

Will there be a second season of House of the Dragon?

HBO has not officially given a second season the greenlight, however it is very likely that this will happen soon.

The Hollywood Reporter stated that HBO is prepared to commission a second season very quickly after the first season premiere.

House of the Dragon is set to replace Game of Thrones as one of HBO’s flagship shows, and if the viewing figures hold up, then a second season is all but certain.

Watch this space for updates on the fate of a second season.