After years of anticipation, the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon is finally here, ushering in a new reign for HBO’s hit fantasy franchise over the realm of television.
Based on George R. R. Martin’s tome Fire & Blood, the spin-off focuses on House Targaryen roughly 200 years before the events in GoT. Although Daenerys and Jon Snow aren’t slated to appear, their silver-haired ancestors will take center stage, including King Viserys (Paddy Considine), Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock, later Emma D’Arcy), and Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). Considering the contents of its source material, House of the Dragon is expected to cover a great Targaryen civil war called the Dance of the Dragons, so we can expect more GoT-style political sabotage, battles, betrayals, and power struggles.
As with all things GoT, HBO remains tight-lipped about which plot points will ultimately jump to the screen, but a deeper look at Fire & Blood and a few HotD episode titles (the ones that have already surfaced on TV Guide) lend a few hints on their own.
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For example, the premiere episode, “Heirs of the Dragon,” mirrors a chapter title in Fire & Blood: “Heirs of the Dragon – A Question of Succession.” As its name suggests, this chapter covers the naming of a successor for King Jaeherys (his nephew Viserys was chosen over Jaeherys’ own daughter, Princess Rhaenys). And the second episode’s title, “The Rogue Prince,” refers to Prince Daemon. It’s the title of a novelette Martin wrote—that focuses on Daemon and his brother Viserys’ relationship—which is found in the 2014 Rogues anthology.
Of course, these just offer vague clues of where the incoming episodes are headed; and considering how A Song of Ice and Fire was adapted for TV, pieces of the story, or entire characters, can be changed for the screen. Martin is still listed as an executive producer, though, while Ryan Condal (Rampage, Colony) and Miguel Sapochnik (who directed famous GoT episodes like “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards”) are showrunning.
New episodes drop Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on both television (HBO) and streaming (HBO Max). Take a look at the schedule below and plan your weekends accordingly.
- Episode 1, “Heirs of the Dragon”: Sunday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. ET Watch Now
- Episode 2, “The Rogue Prince”: Sunday, Aug. 28 at 9 p.m. ET Watch Now
- Episode 3, “Second of His Name”: Sunday, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. ET Watch Now
- Episode 4: “King of the Narrow Sea”: Sunday, Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. ET Watch Now
- Episode 5: Sunday, Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. ET
- Episode 6: Sunday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. ET
- Episode 7: Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET
- Episode 8: Sunday, Oct. 9 at 9 p.m. ET
- Episode 9: Sunday, Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. ET
- Episode 10: Sunday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. ET
HBO Max subscriptions are $9.99 a month with ads or $14.99 a month without ads.
To get your dragon fix throughout the week, you could always revisit episodes of Game of Thrones on HBO Max. All eight seasons are streaming on the platform.
This story will be updated.
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers news and culture.