House of the Dragon: Release date, episodes, plot explained - everything you need to know about the Game of Thrones prequel

Watch the trailer and find out everything you need to know about the Game of Thrones prequel, coming to Sky Atlantic on NOW, starring Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Rhys Ifans.

By Alex Fletcher Updated: 24 October 2022 - 12.18pm
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Emma D'Arcy in House of the Dragon

Watch House of the Dragon on Sky Atlantic with NOW on Sky Atlantic on 22 August

Get ready to return to Westeros, for season one of House of the Dragon.

Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, this thrilling fantasy series has all the dragons, blood and backstabbing you loved in the classic HBO series, but with a whole new generation of characters. 

Beginning at the peak of the Targaryen dynasty's rule with King Viserys in the Iron Throne, the show has been described as "Succession meets Game of Thrones" as it follows the family's inner turmoil and deadly rivalries.

If you liked Game of Thrones, you will love House of the Dragon - every episode of season 1 is now available to stream on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

The series has already been a huge hit with viewers as over 4 million watched the first episode, making it the biggest ever US launch on Sky and the biggest ever premiere on Sky Atlantic.

And anticipation has already begun among fans for what may lay in store with store with season 2...

Here is everything you need to know about House of the Dragon...

House of the Dragon episode 10 trailer

House of the Dragon episode 10 is released in the UK at 2am on Monday, 24 October.

The explosive finale, titled The Black Queen, is going to focus on Rhaenyra and Daemon's response to the Green Council and their crowning of King Aegon II.

Rhaenyra faces a choice, declaring work on Aegon, Alicent and the Greens, or living under the constant fear of attack from the Greens.

Rhaenys kicks off the episode 10 trailer after her explosive dragon ride on Meleys in episode 9, warning Rhaenyra that her children will be killed by Aegon and the Greens if she doesn't act now.

Where to watch House of the Dragon in the UK

House of the Dragon releases new episodes weekly on Sky Atlantic and NOW.

NOW Membership is available on BT TV. With a NOW Membership - which comes as a part of many of our TV packages - you can get access to all of the Sky channels on BT TV, including Sky Atlantic.

When are new episodes of House of the Dragon released in the UK?

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon started in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW on Monday, 22 August.

New episodes air weekly at 2am on Monday - for superfans who want to tune in at the same time as the show airs in the US.

It also airs at 9pm on Monday.

You can watch when it suits you, on demand on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

How many House of the Dragon episodes are there?

House of the Dragon season 1 will have 10 episodes.

New episodes will be released weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

The season 1 finale will air on Monday, 24 October.

Season 2 has already been confirmed and it is expected to air in 2024.

TV shows to watch if you love House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon episode titles and runtimes

Steve Toussaint in House of the Dragon as Corlys Velaryon

House of the Dragon family trees and connections to Game of Thrones

House Targaryen and Lannister both feature prominently in House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones.

King Viserys, Prince Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra are all distantly connected to Emilia Clarke's Daenerys.

And Jefferson Hall's arrival in House of the Dragon, playing twin brothers Tyland and Jason Lannister, will intrigue fans of Cersei, Tyrion and Jaime from the original series.

To get a full picture of the characters and the complicated family trees, check out our cast guide and introduction to the Houses of House of the Dragon.

House of the Dragon trailer 

The full trailer for House of the Dragon (released on 20 July) reveals a first look at the main cast, some incredible special effects and showcases the sheer scale of the epic drama.

Set 200-300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the trailer introduces the main characters in the series and with glimpses of dragon eggs and familiar family names, there will be plenty to excite fans of the fantasy series.

House of the Dragon is inspired by George RR Martin's Fire and Blood novel, which focuses on the history of the House Targaryen.

Talking about the new series to the Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Miguel Sapochnik said that fans can expect something different to Game of Thrones.

"It’s a different crew, different people, different tone. Hopefully, it will be seen as something else," he said.

"But it will have to earn that - it won’t happen overnight. Hopefully, fans will enjoy it for the thing that it is."

Zai Bennett, managing director of  ontent, Sky UK, said: "If you loved Game of Thrones or are a first timer to the world of Westeros, this is going to be a must watch. Roll on Monday 22 August."

Not only has the summer premiere date been revealed, more pictures of the cast and characters in the series have revealed on social media, including Paddy Considine as King Viserys I.

What is House of the Dragon about?

Based on George RR Martin’s Fire & Blood, the series is set 200-300 years before Game of Thrones (so don’t expect any of those characters to reappear).

The Lannisters, Targaryens and Baratheons will all appear in the series, but he Targaryen Civil War will be its main focal point.

Showrunner Miguel Sapochnik told The Hollywood Reporter: "We’re standing on the shoulders of [Game of Thrones] and we’re only here because of that show. So the most important thing for us to do is to respect that show as much as possible and try and complement it rather than reinvent it.

"And I was involved in making the original show, so I feel like that’s been useful. Like, I'm not arriving going, 'Let's change everything! Let's do a different colour palette!' No, I quite like the colour palette."

Sapochnik was the director of Game of Thrones episodes Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter.

11 surprising facts about House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon is loosely based on a true events

Talking to fans at Comic Con 2022, George R.R Martin explained how House of the Dragon was inspired by real events that took place in the 12th Century.

“Game of Thrones was based very loosely on the War of the Roses. This show was based on an earlier period of English history, called The Anarchy,” said Martin.

"Henry I, the King of England, his only legitimate son drowned while trying to cross the English channel. That left him with only one legitimate child, his daughter Matilda. He named her his heir and made all the Lords of the Kingdom swear an oath to her. And when he died, most of the lords of the kingdom forgot about that oath or said, ‘No, it doesn’t apply’.

"Her cousin, Stephen, then crosses the channel and takes control. It begins this period, The Anarchy, where Matilda and Stephen fought. That was the inspiration.”

What book is House of the Dragon based on?

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood novel.

Released in 2018, Fire & Blood is an extension of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, exploring the history of House Targaryen.

House of the Dragon begins at the height of Targaryen power and focuses on the great civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.

Who is making the House of the Dragon music, theme tune and soundtrack

Game of Thrones fans can rejoice because the mastermind behind the show's iconic theme tune and breathtaking soundtrack Ramin Djawadi has returned for House of the Dragon.

The composer has promised that the music for House of the Dragon will have the same DNA as Game of Thrones - this is still Westeros and the same universe - but with some fresh twists.

Speaking at the US premiere, he told EW: "I looked at it as, we have a ton of new characters, it's obviously a completely different time, and that's why we need some new themes...

"I think what I love so much about this new show is that it's different but at the same time it feels like home.

"When I watched it for the first time, I felt immediately at home in Westeros again. It just has that vibe again, and so I wanted to make sure that, with the score, we have that familiarity but also bring some new instruments we haven't used before."

Are there going to be more Game of Thrones spin offs and TV shows?

Yes. Lots more.

HBO have started work on a series based on the adventures of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), set after Game of Thrones ends.

There are also plans for a series on seafarer Corlys Velaryon, titled The Sea Snake, a show following warrior queen Nymeria and an adaptation of The Dunk and Egg, a series of novels from George R.R Martin set before Game of Thrones.

And if that wasn’t enough, there are also three animated series currently being developed.

Will there be a House of the Dragon season 2?

Following the successful launch of House of the Dragon season 1, which has got record breaking audiences for HBO in the US, it has been confirmed that the show will return for season 2.

The series has received critical acclaim in the UK and multiple 5* reviews, being dubbed "Bigger, bolder and bloodier than Game of Thrones" (The Independent) and "visually sumptuous" (The Times).

Zai Bennett, MD of Content at Sky said: "House of the Dragon is already proving to be a ratings hit, and we predict it will go from strength to strength due to the captivating storytelling and incredible production values.”

Meanwhile, showrunner Miguel Sapochnik has suggested that he is open to the idea of making House of the Dragon an anthology series. Each new season would look at a different era of Targaryen rule and could potentially even move backwards in time to Aegon’s first conquest of Westeros.

"We've chosen a story that's almost like Star Wars: Episode IV. It's the New Hope. We can go backwards, we can go forwards," he told Entertainment Weekly.

"There's a lot of opportunities there. I hope we've been given the opportunity to set up something."

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