House of the Dragon: The new trailer, plot, director and who is House Hightower?


new comprehensive trailer for House of the Dragon has dropped – and this time the people behind it have done a brilliant job of explaining the plot.

The first two trailers introduced audiences to the world of Westeros pre-Game of Thrones, where House Targaryen rules the Seven Kingdoms, but it was still all a bit confusing. Hundreds of fans had to take to the internet to find out what the new HBO series was going to be about.

However, the new nearly three-minute trailer lays it all out, really turning up the heat in anticipation of the August 21 series release date.

The story of the forthcoming series is introduced with a council meeting: A conversation is taking place between the King and his advisors about his succession. Will it be his volatile brother Daemon, or his daughter Rhaenyra? The King says he doesn’t want to choose, plus no woman has ever sat on the throne before.

Then there are some majorly dramatic scenes: bones strewn across a beach, battle scenes, a lid is lifted to reveal a dragon egg warming in some sort of pot, dragons soar across the sky and a candlelit room shows two women sitting next to each other, one of whom – Alicent Hightower – is shown in several second-long clips to also have eyes on the Iron Throne.

The trailer ends with Rhaenyra, with tears running down her face, saying to someone out of shot, “Now they see you as you are.”

If that wasn’t enough to get you excited about the forthcoming show, nothing will. And, hopefully, the storyline is all a bit clearer now – even for people only just joining the Game of Thrones.

Simply, it’s a battle for the Iron Throne again, just this time pretty much everyone is blonde.

But to help out, here is our quick breakdown of absolutely we know so far:

When is it set?

It’s set 200 years before all the Game of Thrones shenanigans.

Where is it set?

It’s still set in Westeros, the continent where most of the events of Game of Thrones also took place. For those just joining the saga, the land is broken down into nine main regions: the North, the Iron Islands, the Riverlands, the Vale, the Westerlands, the Stormlands, the Reach, the Crownlands, and Dorne.

The name Seven Kingdoms comes from the seven realms that existed before being united by Aegon Targaryen during the War of Conquest aka the Targaryen Conquest.

In House of the Dragon, we join the storyline when King Viserys I is sat on the throne – the fifth Targaryen king to do so. For an idea of a time frame, the first Targaryen king rules between 1 AC – 37 AC, with King Viserys I ruling from 103 AC onwards.

What’s going on?

So, as was shown in the trailer, the forthcoming series is all about the battle for the succession of the Iron Throne.

Daemon, the King’s brother, is the rightful male heir, but he’s also a volatile and unstable character – think Sonny from The Godfather, but set in the Middle Ages and with dragons – and so the King decides to pass the Kingdom, plus the responsibility of not screwing up his lineage, on to his daughter.

Obviously, the decision causes huge rifts between the family and subsequent allies and opportunists. And so the series follows all the drama. It’s very loosely based on the War of the Roses – the 15th-century 30-year war between House Lancaster and York.

Who is House Hightower?

This is a new house that we didn’t meet in Game of Thrones. They are from the Reach and have strong ties to the Tyrells, an important family that was a major player in the Game of Throne series.

Judging by the trailer, they’re going to be massively important in the upcoming series.

Ser Otto Hightower is the Hand of the King (his right-hand man) and Alicent Hightower, his daughter, features prominently in the trailer. Apparently, over the years, a rivalry grows between Alicent and Rhaenyra, and this will surely all be playing out on our screens very soon.

Is George R.R Martin still behind the storyline?

Yes, the story is based on Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood.

Who is the writer now?

David Benioff and D. B. Weiss famously wrote the screenplay for Game of Thrones but they’re not on board for the new series.

Instead, the prequel has Ryan Condal listed as co-creator, writer and executive producer of the show, and he has reportedly been working alongside George R. R. Martin. Condal is American and wrote the screenplays for 2014’s Hercules and 2018’s Rampage.

Who is directing?

Miguel Sapochnik, who directed some of the Game of Thrones episodes – including everyone’s favourites Hardhome, The Battle of the Bastards, The Winds of Winter and The Bells – is reported to be the showrunner and executive producer. He has also been listed as the director for the first episode of the series. The details about subsequent episodes are still unknown.

Has Ramin Djawadi made the music?

Yes, the German-Iranian composer is back, creating the music for the new series. Djawadi’s music came to be one of the most important elements of Game of Thrones, so it’s thrilling news for fans that those ominous and brilliant melodies will continue to tie all the drama together.

Who is playing who?

With so many new characters and actors, we broke down all the main roles here.

How can I watch it?

In the UK, the series will be available on Sky Atlantic, and the series will also be out on Now TV.

When is it being released?

The series is coming out on August 21. Which is exactly one month from today – we’re on tenterhooks.

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