HBO has set three more House of the Dragon leads as Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy have joined Paddy Considine in the straight-to-series Game of Thrones prequel from George R.R. Martin, Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik.
I hear the series has five lead characters: King Viserys Targaryen (Considine), Alicent Hightower (Cooke), Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (D’Arcy), Prince Daemon Targaryen (Smith) as well as Lord Corlys Velaryon, known as the Sea Snake, who becomes Hand to Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons.
That last key role is still being cast; I hear Danny Sapani (Penny Dreadful) is in currently in talks for it.
Additionally, HBO has tapped Clare Kilner, Geeta V. Patel and Greg Yaitanes to round out the series’ directing team.
Based on Martin’s Fire & Blood, the series, which is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, tells the story of House Targaryen.
In the 10-episode first season, Cooke plays Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.
D’Arcy’s Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is the king’s first-born child. She is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything — but she was not born a man.
Smith is Prince Daemon Targaryen, younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air.
House of the Dragon was co-created by Martin and Condal. The pilot script that landed the series order was written by Condal. He serves as co-showrunner alongside GoT veteran Miguel Sapochnik, who will direct the pilot and additional episodes.
Martin, Condal and Sapochnik executive produce alongside writer Sara Lee Hess, Vince Gerardis and Ron Schmidt. Yaitanes co-executive produces.
Cooke stars in Amazon’s Sound of Metal opposite Riz Ahmed and in the sci-fi thriller Little Fish, which IFC will release in February. She also appears opposite John Boyega in Scott Free’s Naked Singularity. Cooke is repped by The Artists Partnership, CAA, Grandview and attorneys Gretchen Rusch and Huy Nguyen
D’Arcy recently finished shooting on the feature film adaptation of Mothering Sunday, with Olivia Coleman and Colin Firth. D’Arcy is repped by Dane Millard at Roxane Vacca Management and James Adams and Scott Winston at Schreck Rose.
Smith starred in the first two seasons of The Crown, earning an Emmy nomination for his role as Prince Philip. He starred as Charles Manson in Charlie Says and in BBC’s Doctor Who for the BBC as the Eleventh Doctor. In 2021, Smith will be seen in Morbius opposite Jared Leto and will star in Edgar Wright’s Last in Soho. He also has John Michael McDonagh’s The Forgiven. Smith is repped by B-Side Management in the UK, UTA and Darren Trattner and Karl Austen
Kilner is repped by Paradigm and Ragna Nervik Management. Patel is repped by UTA and Mosaic. Yaitanes is represented by CAA.