First official House of the Dragon stills released!

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Well this was unexpected! Though production on House of the Dragon is still very much in progress, HBO has deigned to gift us with official images of the series’ main characters!

House of the Dragon‘s official twitter account has posted these glorious close-up shots of its leads.

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Here we have Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Rhys Ifans as Otto HightowerHOTD2

The Sea Snake himself, Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon! Lord, how I love those dreadlocks. HOTD3

And last but not least Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen! I hope everyone who thought Smith wouldn’t look the part is feeling foolish right now.

53 responses

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    1. Ooh, I am envying Corlys’ belt and Rhaenyra’s coat. Olivia is gorgeous. There’s that familiar “Hand” brooch! And I don’t feel foolish whatsoever. 😁

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    2. Looking good, all of them – Cornwall background too – shaping up well. Matt Smitt does look like a dead ringer of Viserys. Could have fooled me.

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    3. Jennifer arenskjold:
      Looking good, all of them – Cornwall background too – shaping up well. Matt Smitt does look like a dead ringer of Viserys. Could have fooled me.

      All we are missing now is Tom Hiddleson. 😂

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    4. OMG OMG OMG!!!

      Okay, keep calm Oberon, it’s happening, just enjoy the moment.

      So, after looking at these picture for way too long I decided to (over)analyse the costumes.

      But first of all, I just wanna say that I very much appreciate the labour, effort and RESEARCH that it went into this! Well done!

      So, let’s begin, as you can tell, each picture shows the characters who are basically gonna be the leader in their own faction: we have the blacks with Rhaenyra and Daemon, the greens with Alicent and Otto and then, Corlys, looking like the lord of the sees in that picture, truly a free spirit. LOVE IT.

      Another note is that the costumes are incredibly dark because they are mostly shooting the

      funeral of Laena Velaryon, which is a perfect occasion because most of the main characters will be required there and will see their dynamics and, you know, the Aemond becoming Armond one eye lol

      CORLYS: I personally love how Corlys is rocking the dreads, they look awesome and they make perfect sense given that he is the best captain of the seas, so there is representation bus also thought behind it.
      I like his clothing, it’s a very male medieval fantasy style of clothing (but layered which gives it an older medieval look) but if you look at it, he is the only character here who is providing caring his own House sigil embroidered, he is PROUD and fierce and I’m here for it.
      I also like that he is still wearing his house colours but I’m a much more somber way.

      DAEMON: Matt Smith looks amazing in this outfit, not gonna lie, I always knew he would be perfect for the role.
      At first, His style is quite plane, very medieval fantasy dude, however, if you look closely, his clasps have the shape of two dragons going head to head and the pattern in his sleeves perfectly mirrors that of Rhaenyra’s dress, which is a great touch!

      also marking a deep conection between them and foreshadowing their future together

      RHAENYRA: I’m so incredibly HAPPY that Jany Termine is playing homage to the books on this one! It’s exactly as they describe her in the book!

      “Rhaenyra had her family’s Valyrian looks, wearing her silver-gold hair in a long braid in the manner of Queen Visenya Targaryen”.
      “Rhaenyra always dressed richly, favoring purple and maroon velvets and golden Myrish lace in intricate patterns. Her bodice often glittered with pearls and diamonds, and there were always rings on her fingers. Whenever she was anxious, she would turn them compulsively, round and round.”

      This costumes says SO much about the character! I adore it, we know how proud she is of being a Targaryen, in fact, she is the only female character proudly showing off her house colours, braiding her style to remind everyone that she is just like Queen Visenya Targaryen, ironically enough, she’ll be known as

      Maegor with tits, Visenya’s son, not a good compliment

      I like how distinct her look is if you compare it with the one Alicent is wearing, showing the rivalry between the two women and their followers from the get go. Yay!

      I also would like to point out the jewels, Rhaenyra is wearing earrings! Which I don’t think we’ve seen in the show before.

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    5. Oh and I forgot! Rhaenyra’s bodice claps have the shape of dragons claws, nice touch!

      Okay, now let’s talk about my favs! The Hightowers!!

      OTTO: again, his style is very male medieval fantasy oriented, which, I expected, apparently there is this trope where male characters in fantasy/medieval media cannot be fabulously dressed for the ocassion, unless you are Thranduil, Dumbledore, Joffrey or any dornish male character lol.

      But still, there are two very interesting details about his costume:
      1. The (in)famous pin of the hand of the king, showing his high position at court.
      2. The chain around his neck, one of the most interesting things about Otto is that he was an outstandingly knowledgeable man, just like a maester from oldtown (his own city), and it mirrors her daughters massive golden necklace.

      ALICENT: I honestly had to pause to breathe because this is literally how I envisioned Alicent and I’m already in love with her.

      Firstly, once again, it looks like Jany has taken inspiration from the source material, however, not from the books but from the “Dance of the dragons: history and lore” video from Game of thrones.

      Interestingly enough, Alicent has a very historically inspired look about her, she is wearing what it looks to be a “capigliara” a turban-like Tiara that was very fashionable during the early 1500s in Italy (see Isabella D’Este portrait), however, the costume department brilliantly put a veil behind it to make it much more medieval looking, which I thing it’s a great idea!

      I wouldn’t worry about them looking too modern because last week we saw a woman wearing what it looked like a loosely inspired double henin, which already was out of fashion in the 1450s. In fact, I like how human they look, because they Hightower’s are the schemers amongs sea captains and dragon riders, it grounds them.

      If you look closely to her headpiece, you’ll see lots of flowery details, showing where she comes from, the reach, the richest kingdom in Westeros, she really doesn’t want you to forget that she has money.

      And then we have a beautiful set of gold earring and a necklace with emeralds…

      Alicent might be putting a respectfully somber look here but make no mistake, she is already plotting behind the scenes to put her son on the throne.

      And, lastly we have a huge gold chain, this is quite significant, why you may ask? Well, because it really does resemble a livery collar or chain of office, that was a very important symbol of political power from the medieval ages onwards, it was a visual testament that the MEN who wore it had power, wealth and influence.

      I think it’s quite telling because only men wore them because society thought women were only able to produce children and liotle more, but here, we have a woman, Alicent, who is proudly wearing it, showing that she is the one in control, that she is the real power behind the throne, even her fathers little chain pales in comparison to that of Alicent.

      it’s also a very cheeky way of foreshadowing, given that she’ll be known as the queen in chains because of, you know, basically destroying Westeros because of her ambition

      .

      All and all, I adored the costumes and I think we are in really really good hands, so excited it!!

      And hopefully I didn’t bore you with this!

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    6. OberonYronwood,

      Not boring at all, it’s amazing how much you know about Medieval costumes! And you had what to analyze, the actors look great and fit for their characters.
      For me, although I know her costume is not similar, Alicent’s look had strong Anne Boleyn vibes.

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    7. Love these photos!
      Random question but does anyone know who has been cast as

      Aegon or Aemond?

      Was just wondering if it had been announced. Maybe that whole generation will be child actors this season and they won’t cast adults until a future season?

      If this is set ~120 AC then Aegon would be 13ish and Aemond 10ish?

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    8. Thanks so much for posting this. Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith look stunning together and edgy. I love the “Green” hue on Olivia Cooke’s and Rhys Ifans’ wardrobe. The costumes give you no doubt what team you are on. Others pointed out Steve Toussaint has his sigil on his chest. He looks the part of the sea snake. It reminds me of the way the Blackfish wore his sigil proudly across the chest of his armor.

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    9. Bronagh:
      Pigeon,

      I’ve got one of those brooches! Seven hells this is making me catch GOT fever again 😀

      It’s a nice “link” to the original series, to my cold dead heart. ❤ I was going to get that one at one point, but ended up getting Littlefinger’s mockingbird one instead. 😊

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    10. And the dragon takes flight 😉

      I’ve said this here before, but Rhys Ifans really is a huge catch for HotD. I’m mostly familiar with him from “Berlin Station”; he’s a really good actor and charismatic as hell. Hopefully he’ll be great on HotD too — and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s now on the brink of becoming an even bigger international star because of it (assuming the show is good, of course).

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    11. I have to admit, I still think Matt Smith doesn’t look the part. I guess I’ve seen too many illustrations and too much fanart, now expecting someone more physically imposing, but alas, we’ll see if his acting can cure me of that expectation.

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    12. I hope everyone who thought Smith wouldn’t look the part is feeling foolish right now.

      Where did anyone get the idea Matt Smith could possibly play a prince on a high-end television series?!?

      😉

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    13. Honestly, the more I look at these stills (of course these are just limited publicity shots) the more bland and unremarkable they look. This also points to a lot of the limitations these type of prequel/sequel/ spin-off type of shows run into, in this case, the visual language. “House Of The Dragon” will walk a creative tightrope (at least at the outset) in so far as it cannot be too alien and different from GOT so as to confuse audiences, but also not too familiar so as create impression in those same audiences that they are watching a carbon copy

      When GOT came out, it was in many ways, a visual and stylistic trendsetter. “House Of The Dragon” won’t have that advantage/luxury. Case in point:

      Matt Smith looks like a cheap knockoff of Lucius Malfoy from “Harry Potter”…well here is Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy

      https://images.app.goo.gl/Zqh9xhxqEDEnVyqTA

      https://images.app.goo.gl/mEGfx9p7U82Lu4Bx6

      Emma D’Arcy reminds me of Kathrin Winnick as Queen Lagertha in “Vikings”

      https://images.app.goo.gl/B3hpb8Wo5bJygXa86

      https://images.app.goo.gl/8KqbeS6oPhEATjXr7

      Olivia Cooke recalls for me Holiday Granger as Lucrezia Borgia in “The Borgias” (actually in many ways I wish she had been cast in “House Of The Dragon” more so than Cooke)

      https://images.app.goo.gl/X2fKDsdpVXA9CzKw5

      https://images.app.goo.gl/u7zRYKqzf6vwaX5y5

      As for Rhys Ifyns, well let’s say this isn’t his first medieval go-around, here is in “Anonymous”

      https://images.app.goo.gl/EUaqHPE8XyKck4ax5

      https://images.app.goo.gl/2f3sjAk2P9uiH6ft5

        Quote  Reply

    14. Honestly, the more I look at these stills (of course these are just limited publicity shots) the more bland and unremarkable they look. This also points to a lot of the limitations these type of prequel/sequel/ spin-off type of shows run into, in this case, the visual language. “House Of The Dragon” will walk a creative tightrope (at least at the outset) in so far as it cannot be too alien and different from GOT so as to confuse audiences, but also not too familiar so as create the impression in those same audiences that they are watching a carbon copy

      When GOT came out, it was in many ways, a visual and stylistic trendsetter. “House Of The Dragon” won’t have that advantage/luxury. Case in point:

      Matt Smith looks like a cheap knockoff of Lucius Malfoy from “Harry Potter”…well here is Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy

      https://images.app.goo.gl/Zqh9xhxqEDEnVyqTA

      https://images.app.goo.gl/mEGfx9p7U82Lu4Bx6

        Quote  Reply

    15. OberonYronwood,

      Amazing posts, Oberon!! 🙂 I especially like the little style details and like Shy Lady Dragon said, I’m getting Anne Boleyn vibes from Alicent’s costuming. I think it’s the square neckline and headwear especially (which I think you termed a “‘capigliara’ a turban-like Tiara that was very fashionable during the early 1500s in Italy”). I think it’d be really cool to see some fashion changes and trends within this fictional universe to reflect how fashion and style changes in the real-world throughout the ages 🙂

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    16. dora,

      Have you seen The Crown? I hadn’t known Matt Smith before, but I liked him a lot as Prince Philip in his youth, he was both royal and charming.

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    17. Shy Lady Dragon:
      dora,

      Have you seen The Crown? I hadn’t known Matt Smith before, but I liked him a lot as Prince Philip in his youth, he was both royal and charming.

      He also nailed the “smug asshole” aspect that will be so badly needed for Daemon.

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    18. BeardedOnion: He also nailed the “smug asshole” aspect that will be so badly needed for Daemon.

      I thought Matt Smith did a great job with a nuanced character, and doubly so, given the real-life human being he’d depicted was still very much alive at the time! The Crown‘s portrait of Prince Phillip was not always flattering, but Matt Smith always brought a dignity and humanity to his portrayal of the private life of a character whose real-life counterpart had a well-known public persona.

      As we’ve seen already in this thread, Matt Smith’s current performance will be judged, at least in part, against predetermined expectations of the character he plays. His time on The Crown may well provide valuable experience for him here.

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    19. I can only hope this turns out more like Better Call Saul and less like the Star Wars or Hobbit prequel trilogies.

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    20. The one picture that gives me pause is that of Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen).

      I’ve been wondering how they’ll handle the timeline. Maybe condense it as to the backstory?

      In the books, Daemon is her father’s younger brother by a couple of years. So old enough to be Rhaenyra’s father.

      Rhaenyra and Daemon actors look to be roughly the same age. So probably some timeline compression going on.

      This means that the background of the Dance will be treated much like Robert’s Rebellion in GoT, some stuff that happened in the past, hinted at but never properly spelled out or explained.

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    21. talvikorppi,

      I think it’s still possible they’ll film some of the earlier parts of this story but perhaps not spend as much time on those parts if Rhaenyra is already an adult in these shots. I think that’s possibly due to the season being filmed out-of-order. My thinking on this is that there’s so much that happens before the Dance, important events I believe, and these earlier parts also deal with major characters in HoTD who are around for the majority of this story

      (Rhaenyra, Alicent, Otto Hightower, Daemon, Viserys, etc.)

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    22. Adrianacandle,

      Yes, I can see that, and I don’t mind.

      What I meant with my comment about the timeline and Rhaenyra and Daemon actors being much the same age, was that tHotD will play around the book-established timeline.

      I don’t mind that, a tv-show is a tv-show, and a completely different medium than books.

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    23. talvikorppi: What I meant with my comment about the timeline and Rhaenyra and Daemon actors being much the same age, was that tHotD will play around the book-established timeline.

      I don’t mind that, a tv-show is a tv-show, and a completely different medium than books.

      I think it’s possible that there is still an age gap — there are 10 years between the actors — and considering the young age Westerosi characters are considered adults at and ready to marry & procreate (13+ it seems for girls or whenever they get their period, 14-15 for guys?), I think Daemon doesn’t necessarily need to look that much older than Rhaenyra if they make Daemon a little younger and Rhaenyra a little older. There are 16 years between the characters themselves which isn’t the biggest stretch from Smith and D’arcy’s 10 🙂

      I think it’s also hard to tell exactly from this still. When the show airs, I think we’ll have a better idea of how old each character looks. But personally, I think having events taking place in Rhaenyra’s childhood as they did in Fire & Blood would be a fairly important aspect. I don’t say that to be a book purist! But that these events took place during Rhaenyra’s formative years.

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    24. Shy Lady Dragon:
      Tensor the Mage, Enjoying All The New Material,

      Imo Matt Smith is a great actor, but the character he played was not meant to be presented in a sympathetic light. Only when Tobias Menzies took over I could feel empathy for the character.

      While Prince Philip did wind up as an “apposite” (ha!) character to his royal wife, The Crown showed us his miserable childhood, and Matt Smith did have a few scenes where the audience could sympathize. My favorite scenes of his are in “Vergangenheit,” when Elizabeth asks him a theoretical question about “forgiveness,” having her uncle in mind, and he responds with something like, “Oh, what have I done this time?” I believe it’s at the end of this episode he appears to Elizabeth in her bed-chamber, drunk, and rambling about how he’d just got that way with (among other participants) her mother.

      I believe Tobias Menzies’ very first line in The Crown has him saying that the newly-elected Labor PM, Harold Wilson, will want to put the royals’ heads on spikes. I laughed so hard, imagining the actor thinking, “OK, I’m in another period setting, not working for the Americans this time, and yet, here I am, still reading lines about heads on spikes.” My spouse remains convinced this introductory line was an intentional joke about Game of Thrones. 🙂

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    25. talvikorppi:
      The one picture that gives me pause is that of Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen).

      I’ve been wondering how they’ll handle the timeline. Maybe condense it as to the backstory?

      In the books, Daemon is her father’s younger brother by a couple of years. So old enough to be Rhaenyra’s father.

      Rhaenyra and Daemon actors look to be roughly the same age. So probably some timeline compression going on.

      This means that the background of the Dance will be treated much like Robert’s Rebellion in GoT, some stuff that happened in the past, hinted at but never properly spelled out or explained.

      I think this is very much the case. Robert’s Rebellion is crucial to GOT story unfolding outside White Walkers story and the whole Baratheon/Stark/Lannister/Targaryen dynamics is directly influenced from it. But we don’t actually get to see the Rebellion itself. Its major events are just acknowledged by the characters. I feel the Great Council and majority of VIserys’s reign will be covered in similar manner and the story would likely start when tensions are already high. Also if we’re dealing with 10-episode season, some big stuff needs to start happening in second half of the season at latest, just like in every season of GoT. I don’t know where HotD story would start but I kind of don’t see child Rhaenyra.

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    26. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I know we’ve discussed this before but for me, the issue is is that, unlike Robert’s Rebellion, the events in the first half of the story dealing with Viserys/Rhaenyra/Alicent/Otto/etc. involve major characters that are around

      for nearly the entirety of the story. Even Viserys doesn’t die until 129 AC, after which the Dance starts.

      If the story starts with the tourney in which various factions declare for either Alicent and Rhaenyra, events like Rhaenyra being declared Viserys’s heir not only deal with HotD characters who are directly involved but events that have taken place fairly recently, far more recently than 20 years. For example, Viserys had Rhaenyra named as his heir in 107 AC. Team Green/Team Black happens in 111 AC.

      I can see the Great Council of 101 being acknowledged as a past event, yes. However, things like

      Otto’s arrival with Alicent in tow, Otto pushing Viserys to name Rhaenyra as his heir, how the rift between Daemon and Viserys starts following Aemma’s death, what pushes Viserys to declare Rhaenyra his heir, Viserys marrying Alicent and Alicent having a son, Otto deciding he now wants his grandson to be Viserys’s heir, etc.

      all involve the stories of

      major characters in HotD and establish how they enter the story/why they’re there/their motivations/purposes/why/etc.

      . For that reason, I think they would be fairly important to include on-screen. This doesn’t mean these events need to take up an entire season, maybe just a few episodes.

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    27. This will teach me to wait for the real thing. I was extremely skeptical of the creep shots and afraid the white dreadlock wig was going to look stupid, but Steve Toussaint look frickin’ awesome here.

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    28. These pics give me a really different vibe to Game of Thrones. I keep thinking Pirates of the Carribean and victorian England. I suspect the show is going to really stand alone but hopefully have a few nods to being in the same universe to GOT.

        Quote  Reply

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