House of the Dragon trailer breakdown, Metro UK

Robert Oliver
3 min readApr 28, 2022

Originally published by Metro UK on 5th October 2021:

The fantasy fandom universe shook this morning when HBO released a surprise teaser trailer for the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon.

Set for release in 2022, HOTD will follow Daenerys Targaryen’s ancestors during the most powerful days of their dynasty in Westeros, over 100 years before the days of Ned Stark, Jon Snow, and Cersei Lannister.

Adapted from George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, which chronicles the history of the Targaryen family, the series is helmed by Ryan J. Condal and Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik.

The teaser contains only a minute of brand new footage, but it burns hot with evocative imagery and teases intriguing Easter eggs for eagle-eyed viewers. As expected, we’re already investigating every inch of it.

First things first: fire will rule this series. As daggers are wielded and swords clash, flames roar in every backdrop from beginning to end, reflecting in a range of precious metals, be it silver, gold, or Valryian steel.

And every piece of fabric designed by the costume department shines and smoulders with fiery hues.

Game of Thrones used its cinematic might to display the horrific consequences of using dragon-fire as a weapon of war, and it seems HOTD will be serve us weekly reminders of how dangerous it is to wield such a volatile element: “Dreams didn’t make us kings,” Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen says, “Dragons did.”

We also receive the biggest clue yet that HOTD will use flashbacks or time-jumps: Rhaenyra Targaryen first appears as an adult, portrayed by Emma D’Arcy, standing alongside co-star Smith. Later, we see a young Rhaenyra, played this time by 19-year-old Milly Alcock.

Another character to be cast twice is Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto (donning the Hand of the King badge in the teaser). Emily Carey will stand in as a young Alicent, while Olivia Cooke will play her as an adult. Teaser shots reveal adult Alicent to be holding a dagger that might be familiar to Game of Thrones fans.

Of course, we will have to wait for the series to air to confirm whether that dagger is in fact the same one used by Arya Stark to kill the Night King and end the Long Night, but the resemblance is uncanny.

As expected, fans are already speculating over how that infamous dagger found its way into the hands of Westerosi nobility 200 years before the Catspaw assassin ever held it.

The teaser also introduces us to House Velaryon — among them Steve Toussaint’s Corlys — and, most immediately intriguing for Game of Thrones fans, a new-look (or rather, old-look) Iron Throne.

The famous chair is identical to the one melted by Drogon’s flames in the Thrones series finale, but a hazardous sea of upright swords cover the steps leading up to it.

The absence of such a lethal decoration during the reign of King Robert Baratheon is a symbol for how House Targaryen eventually fell into ruin and exile, and it enhances HOTD’s parent show right off the bat: a hall once decorated with totems of Targaryen dominance was eventually emptied by those who overthrew their reign, then reduced to rubble by their descendant Daenerys.

It may end in tragedy, but for now we are excited and eager to return to Westeros.