Besides the fact that it’ll be based on the history of House Targaryen, not much is known about the Game of Thrones spinoff (sorry, “successor show”), House of the Dragon. But this week brings our first whiff of news about the project in some time, as Insider reports that House of the Dragon has, somewhat optimistically, begun casting. An exciting development, particularly if you are a gruff British character actor who has no problem growing a beard.
However, dig into the fan blogs and you’ll find something even juicier (though as yet unconfirmed): The House of the Dragon roles being cast are none other than Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, the two main players in the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Some background: Rhaenyra was the eldest daughter of a Targaryen king, raised as the heir apparent; Alicent was the king’s much younger second wife, who coveted the crown for her own sons. The power struggle between them had all the things a premium cable network could love: morally complicated characters, frequent backstabbings (literal and metaphorical), and plenty of dragon-on-dragon violence. (You can read all about it in the novellas “The Princess and the Queen” and “The Rogue Prince,” plus the Westero history tome Fire and Blood.) The good news: The pilot’s being helmed by GOT battle-episode specialist Miguel Sapochnik. The better news: This is a story in which George R.R. Martin has already written the end.