House of the Dragon Season 1 – TV Series

About House of the Dragon Season 1 – TV Series

House of the Dragon Season 1

House of the Dragon is an American fantasy drama television series created by George R. R. Martin and Ryan Condal for HBO. A prequel to Game of Thrones (2011–2019), it is the second television series in the A Song of Ice and Fire franchise. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik served as the showrunners for the first season. Based on parts of Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood, the series begins about 100 years after the Seven Kingdoms are united by the Targaryen Conquest, nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen. Featuring an ensemble cast, the show portrays the events leading up to the beginning of the decline of House Targaryen, a devastating war of succession known as the “Dance of the Dragons”.

House of the Dragon received a straight-to-series order in October 2019, with casting beginning in July 2020 and principal photography starting in April 2021 in the United Kingdom. The series premiered on August 21, 2022, with the first season consisting of ten episodes. Five days after its premiere, the series was renewed for a second season. Sapochnik departed as showrunner after the first season, leaving Condal to serve as the sole showrunner for the second season. The second season is set to premiere in mid-2024, consisting of 8 episodes.

The first season received highly positive reviews, with praise towards its character development, visual effects, writing, score by Ramin Djawadi, and performances. However, the pacing, specifically of the time jumps, and the dark lighting of some scenes were criticized. The series premiere was watched by over 10 million viewers across the linear channels and HBO Max on the first day, the biggest in HBO’s history. At the 80th Golden Globe Awards, House of the Dragon won Best Television Series – Drama and D’Arcy was nominated for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama. The series earned nine Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, and won three British Academy Television Craft Awards.

house of the dragon season 1 1

House of the Dragon Season 1


Episodes 01

“The Heirs of the Dragon”

With both his sons dead, old King Jaehaerys I Targaryen convenes a Great Council to choose an heir. The Westerosi lords select Jaehaerys’ eldest grandson, Prince Viserys, over Princess Rhaenys, the eldest grandchild. Nine years into his reign, King Viserys organizes a tournament to celebrate Queen Aemma Arryn’s pregnancy, confident she is carrying his long-awaited male heir. The Small Council disregards Master of Ships Lord Corlys Velaryon’s warning that the Triarchy, an alliance of Essos’ Free Cities, threatens to cripple Westerosi shipping lanes. Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower, criticizes Viserys’s brother and heir, Prince Daemon, for his brutality as the City Watch commander. At the tournament, the young, handsome Ser Criston Cole, a common-born knight, outcompetes Daemon. Meanwhile, Viserys sacrifices Aemma in childbirth, performing a C-section. Their newborn son, Baelon, dies shortly after. Viserys refuses the council’s pleas to appoint a new heir until Otto reveals that Daemon mockingly styled Baelon as, “The Heir for a Day.” Outraged, Viserys banishes Daemon from King’s Landing and appoints his only living child, Princess Rhaenyra, heir to the Iron Throne, revealing to her Aegon the Conqueror’s dream that inspired him to unify Westeros.

Episodes 02

“The Rogue Prince”

Six months later, Daemon has illegally occupied Castle Dragonstone. Prince-Admiral Craghas Drahar, known as the Crabfeeder, menaces the Stepstones archipelago at the Essos Triarchy’s behest. The Small Council dismisses Rhaenyra’s suggestion to show force and instead relegate her to appointing a new Kingsguard knight. Ignoring others’ advice, she chooses Ser Criston, the only knight with actual battle experience. Ser Otto sends his teen-aged daughter, Lady Alicent, to console the grieving king; she advises Viserys to discuss his kingly duty to remarry with Rhaenyra. Lord Corlys and his wife, Princess Rhaenys, propose that Viserys unite their Valyrian houses by marrying their twelve-year-old daughter, Laena. Meanwhile, the Small Council learns that Daemon, proclaiming himself the true heir, stole a dragon egg and intends to marry his mistress, Mysaria, as a secondary spouse. Otto and a small detachment sail to Dragonstone to retrieve the egg. Rhaenyra follows on her dragon, Syrax, and forces Daemon to renounce his false claims and return the egg. Viserys announces his intenion to wed Alicent, angering Corlys, who proposes an alliance to Daemon.

Episodes 03

“Second of His Name”

For three years, Lord Corlys and Prince Daemon have battled the Crabfeeder and his forces in the Stepstones without the Iron Throne’s support. Meanwhile, King Viserys plans a great hunt to celebrate his and pregnant Queen Alicent’s son Aegon’s second birthday. Rhaenyra resents her father’s excessive attention towards her half-brother, Aegon. The ailing king insists that Rhaenyra, now seventeen, must marry to form a strong alliance and protect their lineage. Many suitors are considered, including two-year old Prince Aegon. Lord Lyonel Strong recommends Ser Laenor Velaryon, Lord Corlys’ son, as a potential match to mend the rift between the two houses. Overcoming previous doubts, Viserys assures Rhaenyra she remains his heir and can choose her consort. Meanwhile, brothers Hobert and Otto Hightower secretly scheme to make Aegon the successor, furthering their family’s power and prestige. After Ser Vaemond Velaryon pleads for the king’s help, Viserys sends aid to the Stepstones. Seeing his brother’s support as ending his chance to prove himself, Daemon acts as bait to ambush the Crabfeeder, winning the ensuing battle before the crown’s forces arrive.

Episodes 04

“King of the Narrow Sea”

After an unsuccessful months-long tour to choose a consort, Rhaenyra returns to King’s Landing. Daemon also returns after conquering most of the Stepstones. Now called “King of the Narrow Sea”, Daemon swears allegiance to Viserys and hands over his crown. As the reunited brothers celebrate, Alicent and Rhaenyra reconcile. After dark, Daemon and Rhaenyra sneak out to explore King’s Landing, attend a bawdy play, and visit a brothel. Daemon seduces a willing Rhaenyra, but unable to consummate their affair, he abandons her there. Returning to the Red Keep, Rhaenyra seduces Ser Criston. Informed by the White Worm’s spy, Ser Otto informs the king about Daemon and Rhaenyra’s carousing. Alicent overhears and privately questions Rhaenyra, who swears she is still a maid. Viserys confronts Daemon who, hungover and disheveled, seemingly confirms the rumors and proposes he wed Rhaenyra. Viserys claims Daemon only wants the crown and exiles him to the Vale. To avoid scandal and strengthen the throne, Viserys orders Rhaenyra to marry Ser Laenor Velaryon. Viserys dismisses Otto as his Hand after Rhaenyra accuses Otto of manipulating him for his personal gain. Grand Maester Mellos gives Rhaenyra a precautionary abortifacient tea at Viserys’ request.

Episodes 05

“We Light the Way”

In the Vale, Daemon murders his wife, Lady Rhea Royce. Before departing King’s Landing, Ser Otto warns Queen Alicent that Rhaenyra becoming queen would make Alicent’s two sons a threat to the crown. Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor Velaryon are betrothed, mollifying Lord Corlys. Understanding Laenor’s homosexuality, Rhaenyra proposes fulfilling their royal duties to produce heirs, then pursue their own lovers. Ser Criston is humiliated when Rhaenyra declines his proposal to elope to Essos and assume new identities; she prefers their current sexual liaison. Alicent questions Criston about Rhaenyra and Daemon, but misunderstanding, he confesses to being Rhaenyra’s lover. During Rhaenyra and Laenor’s betrothal celebration, Alicent enters, interrupting Viserys’ speech, wearing a green gown, the signal color for House Hightower’s call to arms. Daemon also unexpectedly attends. Confronted by Rhea’s cousin, Daemon denies murdering her and wishes to assert his claim to inherit her lands. Laenor’s lover, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, surmises Criston is Rhaenyra’s paramour. When Criston believes Joffrey is threatening blackmail, he brutally kills him, devastating Laenor and horrifying guests. Rhaenyra and Laenor are privately wed late that night. Viserys collapses after the ceremony. Meanwhile, Alicent intervenes as a disgraced Criston is about to commit suicide.

Episodes 06

“The Princess and the Queen”

Ten years later, Rhaenyra has three sons—Jacaerys, Lucerys, and newborn Joffrey. All lack the Valyrian platinum hair, but King Viserys rejects Queen Alicent’s assertion that Ser Laenor is not their father. Alicent tells Aegon he must prepare to one day dispute Rhaenyra’s claim for the Iron Throne. As Viserys’s firstborn son, he will always be a threat to Rhaenyra’s claim and his life will be threatened. Daemon and his wife, Laena Velaryon, visit Pentos with daughters Baela and Rhaena. The prince offers them a lordship in exchange for an alliance against a resurgent Triarchy. Unable to give birth after an agonizing labor, Laena commands her dragon Vhagar to incinerate her. Ser Criston, now serving Alicent, goads Ser Harwin into attacking him by implying that Harwin fathered Rhaenyra’s children. To ease family strife, Rhaenyra proposes Jacaerys marry Helaena, Alicent’s daughter, which Alicent rejects since she believes Jacaerys is a bastard. Shortly after, a disgraced Ser Harwin bids Rhaenyra and her sons farewell before his father, Hand of the King Ser Lyonel Strong escorts him to Harrenhal castle. It is implied that Ser Harwin fathered Rhaenyra’s three sons. Alicent confides to Ser Lyonel’s younger son, Larys, that she wishes her father, Ser Otto, was still the king’s Hand. Larys recruits three criminals to set a fire at Harrenhal, killing Lyonel and Harwin. Rhaenyra moves her household to Dragonstone, also bringing Laenor’s lover, Ser Qarl Correy.

Episodes 07


King Viserys and his court attend Lady Laena’s funeral in Driftmark. Rhaenyra and Daemon reunite and are physically intimate. Meanwhile, Viserys fails to reconcile with Daemon. Prince Aemond claims Vhagar as his dragon, causing an altercation with his cousins and nephews in which Lucerys slashes Aemond’s eye with a knife. As revenge, Queen Alicent lunges at Lucerys with Viserys’ Valyrian steel dagger. Rhaenyra blocks Alicent, but injures herself. After claims that Rhaenyra’s sons are bastards, Viserys decrees anyone questioning their legitimacy will be punished. Later, former Hand of the King, Otto Hightower, assures Alicent they will prevail, while Rhaenyra and Daemon unite against Alicent and her family. To continue the true Velaryon lineage, Princess Rhaenys suggests that Lord Corlys pass his title through his granddaughter, Baela, by marriage to Prince Lucerys, as Laenor has not sired any children. Ser Qarl appears to murder Laenor, leaving behind a charred body. Daemon and Rhaenyra privately marry in the old Valyrian Dragonlord tradition to perpetuate the Targaryen bloodline. Meanwhile, Laenor, having faked his death, escapes Driftmark with Qarl.

Episodes 08

“The Lord of the Tides”

Six years later, Lord Corlys Velaryon is wounded fighting in the Stepstones. His brother, Ser Vaemond, petitions King’s Landing to name him Corlys’ heir, proclaiming Rhaenyra’s son, Lucerys, illegitimate. Rhaenyra and Daemon return to the capital to defend Lucerys’ claim. King Viserys is now bedridden, disfigured, and mentally muddled. Queen Alicent and the king’s Hand, Otto Hightower, oversee all royal matters. Alicent covers-up Prince Aegon raping a handmaiden. Rhaenyra proposes two marriage arrangements with House Velaryon to gain Princess Rhaenys’ support. She implores Viserys to defend her succession, quoting Aegon the Conqueror’s dream about the Prince That Was Promised. As Vaemond’s petition is presented at court, Viserys declares Lucerys the Driftmark heir. Daemon beheads Vaemond when he denounces Rhaenyra as a whore and her children bastards. The family appears to reconcile during a feast, but Aemond later incites a fight, insinuating Rhaenyra’s three sons are bastards. Meanwhile, Alicent’s lady-in-waiting, Talya, regularly provides Daemon’s former mistress, Mysaria, with information. Viserys, near death, mutters parts of Aegon the Conqueror’s dream, which Alicent mistakenly believes refers to Prince Aegon.

Episodes 09

“The Green Council”

After Viserys’ death, Ser Otto and the Small Council plot to crown Prince Aegon. Ser Criston kills Lord Beesbury, who opposed the scheme. Kingsguard Lord Commander Harrold Westerling resigns in protest. Otto keeps Viserys’s death a secret to fortify the council’s position, then coerces the noble houses to switch their allegiance to Aegon. Those resisting are imprisoned or hanged. Otto and Alicent discuss on whether to kill or exile Rhaenyra and separately rush to find and influence the missing Prince Aegon: Otto sends Kingsguard brothers Ser Erryk and Ser Arryk Cargyll, while Alicent tasks Criston and Prince Aemond. The Cargylls find Aegon first, but Criston and Aemond forcibly take him. Lord Larys tells Alicent that spies, including lady-in-waiting, Talya, are within the Red Keep. Alicent approves eliminating the head spy. Alicent persuades a resistant Aegon to claim his birthright. King’s Landing citizens are herded into the Dragonpit to witness Aegon’s coronation. Princess Rhaenys, refusing to support Aegon’s claim, is held captive. Erryk frees her and she enters the Dragonpit caverns. Astride her dragon, Meleys, she violently breaches the grand hall, causing mayhem, death, and threatening the royals; Rhaenys then flees King’s Landing on Melyes.

Episodes 10

“The Black Queen”

Princess Rhaenys arrives on Dragonstone to announce King Viserys’s death and Prince Aegon ascending the throne; the news shocks Rhaenyra into a premature stillbirth. Daemon pressures Rhaenyra to go to war. When Ser Erryk brings Viserys’ crown, Rhaenyra is declared queen. Ser Otto Hightower presents King Aegon II’s terms for Rhaenyra’s concession, including retaining her royal title and Dragonstone, and her sons’ rights to inherit Driftmark; Daemon is angered when Rhaenyra considers conceding to unify the realm against the Northern threat foretold by Aegon the Conqueror’s dream. Lord Corlys pledges House Velaryon’s allegiance to Rhaenyra’s “Black” faction; Daemon plans to recruit more dragonriders and awakens a large dragon hibernating in a cave. Princes Jacaerys and Lucerys are sent as envoys to secure Houses Arryn, Stark, and Baratheon as allies. Lucerys meets with Lord Borros Baratheon and discovers Prince Aemond is also there to secure the Baratheons as allies for Aegon II. King Aegon II has offered Borros a political alliance through marriage between his daughter and Aemond while Rhaenyra has offered nothing. Lucerys leaves on his dragon, Arrax, but Aemond pursues him on Vhagar. The fractious dragons defy their riders; Arrax burns Vhagar; Vhagar then devours Lucerys and Arrax, stunning Aemond. Rhaenyra is devastated and enraged upon receiving the news.


  • Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen (season 1): The fifth king of the Seven Kingdoms. Known as “a warm, kind, and decent man”, Viserys was chosen by a council of lords to succeed his grandfather, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, as king. Viserys is the firstborn son of King Jaehaerys’ second son Prince Baelon Targaryen and his sister-wife Princess Alyssa Targaryen. Viserys is a former dragonrider who rode the dragon Balerion, also known as the “Black Dread”, and was Balerion’s last rider before its death before Viserys’ succession.
  • Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen: The younger brother of King Viserys I Targaryen and uncle / husband of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Known as the “Rogue Prince” for his unpredictable behavior, Daemon is a fierce warrior and wields the Valyrian steel sword Dark Sister. He is an experienced dragonrider who rides the dragon Caraxes, also known as the “Blood Wyrm”.
  • Emma D’Arcy as Princess / Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen: King Viserys I Targaryen’s daughter and heir apparent, the firstborn and only surviving child of Viserys and his first wife, Queen Aemma Arryn. She was praised as the “Realm’s Delight” during her youth. She is crowned queen by her supporters, the “Blacks”, after her half-brother usurped the throne. She is a dragonrider who rides the dragon Syrax.
    • Milly Alcock portrays young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (season 1).
  • Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower: Queen Alicent’s father and the Hand of the King to King Viserys I Targaryen’s small council and continues to hold his position under King Aegon II Targaryen. When his daughter Alicent became queen, he began plotting to put her eldest son Aegon on the Iron Throne, instead of Rhaenyra.
  • Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon: The Lord of Driftmark and head of House Velaryon, one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the Seven Kingdoms. Known as “the Sea Snake”, he is the most famous seafarer in Westerosi history.
  • Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen: King Viserys and Daemon’s older cousin and the wife of Lord Corlys Velaryon. Rhaenys is the only child of Prince Aemon Targaryen, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen’s late heir apparent and oldest son, and Jocelyn Baratheon, Jaehaerys’ half-sister. Known as the “Queen Who Never Was”, she was once a candidate to succeed her grandfather as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, but was passed over in favor of her younger cousin Viserys due to her gender. She is a formidable dragonrider who rides the dragon Meleys, also known as the “Red Queen”.
  • Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria: A foreign-born brothel dancer who rose to become Prince Daemon Targaryen’s paramour and most trusted confidante until they eventually parted ways. She is later known as the “White Worm” and leads a network of spies throughout King’s Landing.
  • Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole: A skilled swordsman from the Dornish Marches and the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven, who is hand-picked by Princess Rhaenyra to become a member of King Viserys I Targaryen’s Kingsguard. He later replaces Ser Harrold Westerling as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard following the ascension of King Aegon II Targaryen.
  • Olivia Cooke as Queen / Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower: Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s childhood companion and best friend, and later the second wife and queen consort of King Viserys I Targaryen. She is raised in the Red Keep as part of the King’s inner circle and is known as the most comely woman in the court.
    • Emily Carey portrays young Lady / Queen Alicent Hightower (season 1).
  • Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling: A seasoned knight of the Kingsguard who has served the Crown since King Jaehaerys I Targaryen. He was tasked with watching over and protecting Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. He later replaces Ser Ryam Redwyne as the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
  • Matthew Needham as Lord Larys Strong: The younger son of Lord Lyonel Strong, he is known as “Clubfoot” due to a birth abnormality that causes him to walk with a limp. He is Queen Alicent’s trusted confidant and later serves as the Lord Confessor.
  • Jefferson Hall as identical twins
    • Lord Jason Lannister: The Lord of Casterly Rock, head of House Lannister and Warden of the West. An arrogant hunter and a warrior, he unsuccessfully vies for the hand of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen.
    • Ser Tyland Lannister: Lord Jason Lannister’s younger twin brother and a cunning politician. He replaces Lord Corlys Velaryon as Master of Ships on King Viserys I Targaryen’s small council and continues to hold his position under King Aegon II Targaryen.
  • Harry Collett as Prince Jacaerys “Jace” Velaryon: The firstborn son of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Ser Laenor Velaryon. He is a dragonrider who rides the young dragon Vermax.
    • Leo Hart portrays young Jacaerys Velaryon (recurring season 1).
  • Tom Glynn-Carney as Prince / King Aegon II Targaryen: The sixth king of the Seven Kingdoms. He is the firstborn son of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower, half-brother to Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, husband of his sister-wife Helaena Targaryen, and father to her children Jaehaerys, Jaehaera and Maelor. Despite the best efforts of his mother, his hedonism and depravity is legendary in King’s Landing’s Street of Silk. He is a dragonrider who rides the young dragon Sunfyre.
    • Ty Tennant portrays young Prince Aegon Targaryen (recurring season 1).
  • Ewan Mitchell as Prince Aemond Targaryen: The third child and second son of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower. He is known as “Aemond One-Eye” after losing his left eye in a brawl with his nephews and has grown to become a fearsome and aggressive warrior. He aspires to be a dragonrider and later claims the old dragon Vhagar.
    • Leo Ashton portrays young Prince Aemond Targaryen (recurring season 1).
  • Phia Saban as Princess / Queen Helaena Targaryen: The secondborn child and only daughter of King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower, sister-wife of King Aegon II Targaryen, and mother to his children. She has a unique interest in bugs and often speaks in cryptic prophetic language. She is a dragonrider who rides the dragon Dreamfyre.
    • Evie Allen portrays young Princess Helaena Targaryen (recurring season 1).
  • Bethany Antonia as Lady Baela Targaryen: The elder daughter of Prince Daemon Targaryen and Lady Laena Velaryon. She is a dragonrider who rides the young dragon Moondancer.
    • Shani Smethurst portrays young Baela Targaryen (recurring season 1).
  • Phoebe Campbell as Lady Rhaena Targaryen: The younger daughter of Prince Daemon Targaryen and Lady Laena Velaryon. She is in possession of a dragon egg, although it has yet to hatch.
    • Eva Ossei-Gerning portrays a young Rhaena Targaryen (recurring season 1).

house of the dragon season 1



In 2015, with Game of Thrones still in production, HBO executives approached A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R. R. Martin regarding possible successors or spin-offs to the series. In November 2018, Martin stated that a “potential spin-off series would be solidly based on material in Fire & Blood.” Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss stated they wanted to “move on” from the franchise and declined involvement in subsequent projects. By September 2019, a Game of Thrones prequel series from Martin and Ryan Condal that “tracks the beginning of the end for House Targaryen” was close to receiving a pilot order from HBO. The following month, House of the Dragon was given a straight-to-series order. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, who won an Emmy Award for directing the episode “Battle of the Bastards”, were selected to serve as showrunners. In 2016, Condal pitched the idea of a series based on Martin’s Tales of Dunk and Egg, however HBO initially passed on it. Sapochnik was also hired to direct the series premiere as well as additional episodes. The series begins 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, ultimately leading to the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. The project is a reworking of the rejected spin-off concept from Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman, on which HBO officially passed.

Inspiration for the series came from English medieval history and the Anarchy, a war of succession after the death of Henry I of England between his nephew Stephen of Blois and only surviving child, Empress Matilda, who had fled to Normandy in the 12th century. In January 2020, Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, stated that writing had begun. Writers for the show include Condal and Sara Hess, who previously wrote for Deadwood and Orange Is the New Black. Martin was also involved in the pre-production, providing input on storylines and reviewed scripts and rough cuts. On August 26, 2022, less than a week after its premiere, the series was renewed for a second season. On August 31, Miguel Sapochnik stepped down as director and co-showrunner for the second season, but remained an executive producer. Sapochnik stated, “It was incredibly tough to decide to move on, but I know that it is the right choice for me, personally and professionally.” Alan Taylor, who directed Game of Thrones episodes, will join in season two and serve as an executive producer and direct. Following the second season renewal, Bloys stated that it is expected to premiere in 2024. Hess told Variety in late December 2022 that most of season 2 had been written and will include a revenge plot against Alicent following the events of the first-season finale. The second season will consist of eight episodes and is set to premiere in mid-2024. On his personal blog in December 2023, Martin stated the third and fourth seasons are being written.


August 21, 2022


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