Game of Thrones is back in the form of prequel House of the Dragon with an all-new cast who turned out on Wednesday to launch the show at a premiere in Los Angeles.
The new showrunners, who took over from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, are Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik.
“There’s more wealth, there’s been a half century of peace and really the big thing about this is it’s a story about a house divided. It’s about a single house tearing itself apart from within,” said Condal.
The show begins with King Viserys Targaryen played by Paddy Considine deliberating who should be his next heir – his brother Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) or his daughter Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy).
However, a third challenger for the throne arises. Olivia Cooke plays Alicent Hightower, Princess Rhaenyra’s lifelong friend, who marries the king after his wife dies in childbirth.
Cooke said she enjoyed the strained scenes between her and D’Arcy featured in the trailer. “It’s so fun for me because acting opposite Emma is like going toe-to-toe with (boxer) Mike Tyson. I love them so dearly and … on screen it looks like we hate each other but I absolutely adore them.”
For D’Arcy, this is her biggest role to date, and she is bracing herself for sudden fame.
“I’m really excited for the show to have an audience. What that does for me in my day-to-day, I can’t speak for but I’m really excited to see what people make of it,” D’Arcy said.
Rhys Ifans, who plays Alicent’s father, Ser Otto Hightower and is also the Hand of the King, said he feels positive about the show’s future.
“The performances from everyone are nothing short of exquisite and now it’s just a case of waiting and seeing if it resonates with the many millions of fans and new audiences”
“House of the Dragon” begins streaming on HBO on Aug. 21.