‘House of the Dragon’ trailer: moody white-haired people and their dragons

House of the Dragon doesn’t premiere on HBO until August 21. Ahead of the premiere, HBO has been doing a lowkey Game of Thrones marathon, which I’ve been watching here and there. I’ve only seen some of the episodes once or twice, and I forgot huge chunks of various storylines, especially in the early seasons. There was one part where Daenerys has taken Meereen where she chains up her three dragons because they’ve been gallivanting through the city, burning children. I remember that was played as a huge sacrifice at the time, but watching it now, after the show is over and we know what happened to the dragons and to Dany, it just felt so painful and stupid. I got mad all over again about how GOT ended and I turned off the marathon.

My point is, for loyal GOT watchers, will House of the Dragon be a huge bummer? We know what happens at the end… (spoiler): Dany and Jon Snow, the end of the Targaryen line, one assassinated by the other. The effective end of the Targaryen line. Will people care about Dany’s relatives from, what? Five generations before the activities of Game of Thrones? That’s the question HBO has and they’re spending a lot of money to find out the answer. The promotion has begun in earnest. House of the Dragons covers the current issue of the Hollywood Reporter, with a detailed and interesting cover story. THR also got “exclusive” photos, all ahead of the full-length trailer drop on Wednesday. I find this… kind of meh??

Paddy Considine (for real!) plays King Viserys Targaryen. Emma D’Arcy plays the king’s daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king’s first-born, pure-Valyrian-blood child. Matt Smith plays the king’s brother, Daemon, who expected to ascend to the Iron Throne and be named king when Viserys stepped down. Chaos ensues. That’s it in a nutshell? Rhaenyra seems to be making eyes at a good-looking dark-haired guy. A Stark, maybe? Stark-adjacent?? I don’t know, will you watch any of this? I will probably give it a chance, but I’m not sure if I see a good hook.

Photos courtesy of HBO and THR.

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59 Responses to “‘House of the Dragon’ trailer: moody white-haired people and their dragons”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I’ll probably watch it just bc I’m not invested in any other particular show at this moment and I need something to hook me, and this could do it. But, similar to Persuasion, I’m going to keep my expectations super low.

    After GoT ended, I went back and watched the first few episodes – I was planning on a full rewatch, but decided there were some things I did not want to watch again.

  2. Leslie says:

    I’m here for this show. The GoT ending was stupid but I’ve not had a problem rewatching the seasons I liked, even knowing how it ended. So I won’t have a problem connecting to this show even knowing how the Targaryen line ends. Im excited for this and the LOTR show.

  3. Margaret says:

    I don’t like the trailer

  4. Silver Charm says:

    I may give it an ep or two bc I have *some* faith left in Miguel Sapochnick. But I’m not hyped about any of this promo. They really burned that bridge (pun not intended). Curious about the reviews.

  5. Kiera says:

    I’ll watch. It’s not this shows fault they shat the bed with the ending of the last one.

    I’m actually pretty hopeful because this story already has an ending that they have to follow because it affects the history of the whole thing. That was one of GOT problems was the lack of story after a certain point. They made the first seasons so long to let Martin have time to finish the series and then when he hadn’t they were f**ked

    Let’s be honest here Martin caused some of these issues because he didn’t finish the books in the very generous amount of time he was allotted and then the show scrambled. Also Benihiff and what’s his face got bored.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Martin has admitted that he killed off a character he later realized he needed alive to have the ending he envisioned for the books. Sigh.

    • Colby says:

      They got bored for sure- but to your point about GRRM not finishing the series – they didnt sign up to write GOT fanfic, ya know? They had a clear strength in streamlining GRRM’s story lines and making the content great for TV. Unfortunately, when they were left to have to do things themselves, they didnt have the chops to create story to justify the plot points they needed to hit. Frankly, I lay that entirely at GRRM’s feet at the end of the day.

      Also, I dont think he will ever finish the books at this point. Such a bummer.

    • The Recluse says:

      I doubt that I’m ever going to watch it. The ending of the Game of Thrones series burned me pretty good. I was so angry with what they did to Daeny. Tolkien understood the ‘hero’s journey’ so much better.

  6. Moderatelywealthy says:

    HBO going the marvel route. I am tired of super heroes and Star Wars. But they bring numbers. And it is content.
    So, from this perspective,it makes sense. GRRM posting about GoT not being his ending and saying people who got killed there will not die in the books? Sounds to me they know how bad it was to kill Daenerys abd Kay all the blame at her feet. They should have made EVERYONE look bas at the end, go all shades of grey like un the first seasons, but edgelords HAD to make a woman go nad about a breakup.

    Jon Snow gets s prequel because HBO wants to milk it.

    Again, I am tired but there us money to be made? People like dragons so…

  7. Digital Unicorn says:

    I’m looking forward to this primarily as it doesn’t have the 2 twits at the helm to ruin it like they did with the later seasons of GoT plus Matt Smith in a blonde wig gadding about on a horse with a dragon (that’s the hook right there).

  8. North of Boston says:

    HBO and the GOT team showed they can’t be trusted to tell a story well, Will go for the cheap, twisty plot turn that flies in the face of prior facts, storytelling and character development and won’t do it in a satisfying way. See also Lost and HIMYM. Yeah some of the team changed, but I don’t trust that new boss won’t be the same as the old boss.

    Show runners are free to tell the story they want to tell. But if they like to create complex, interwoven storylines spanning years and weaving together characters, character development built on the history of in-show events, and then toss all that overboard for some cool or twisty or surprising or showy ha-ha! Got you! moment , I choose to nope out. I’m not riding that disappointing story train again.
    GOT was already on notice with their seasons long torture porn fetish (yeah, we get it, Ramsey was a cruel unrelenting AH. We got it like 23 episodes ago, but sure, let’s demean and harm Sansa 5 more times just because you think it’s cool to film). But the last season was just a let down … and sometimes really badly made, not just badly written (eg the Great Battle of Wait What’s Happening Why is the Screen Completely Black for Minutes at a Time? )

    • Flowerlake says:

      I’m being (too?) optimistic as the source material is finished. It will probably be fleshed out a lot more, but there is no ending.

      Plus, I hope they have writers that don’t want to rush through it because they want to do other projects.

    • Colby says:

      To be fair, the original show runners/creators are not involved in this – Im giving it a chance because my hope is that HBO learned a lesson from the end of GOT, and if D&D aren’t involved, it may be better

  9. Mads says:

    I still cannot bring myself to rewatch GOT; I’m 62 and a tv programme has never caused me to suffer levels of disbelief, anger and residual loathing to the imbeciles that are Benioff and Weiss – “subvert expectations” should be carved on their tombstones (I could write a dissertation lol). I’ve read “Fire and Blood” and found it interesting so I will watch and hope for spectacular dragon CGI with better lighting in any battle scenes.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Benioff and Weiss shouldn’t have the excuse “subverting expectations” because that’s not what they did. Their last seasons were dumb, rushed, and made no sense within the world of the series. All that time setting up John Snow’s true parentage? Doesn’t matter. Which god(s) brought Snow back and why? Doesn’t matter. Why did Danerys go from saving enslaved people to killing innocents and wanting to punish the remaining realms? Doesn’t matter. Why did the faceless men go from wanting to kill Arya for breaking their rules only to immediately let her walk away? Doesn’t matter. Why do the people accept Bran as their king when they probably never heard of him and his family are still considered traitors? Doesn’t matter. Why do the people of King’s Landing support Cersei after she killed so many by blowing up the church (when they hated Joffrey for less)? Doesn’t matter. Why is there suddenly a Dorne prince in the group choosing Bran as King, and where did he come from? Doesn’t matter. Why did Yara demand freedom from Danerys but freely accepts Bran as king *even while Bran allows the North to be free right in front of her*? Doesn’t matter. There are a hundred more of these. The showrunners “ran” that show right into the ground. I cannot bear to re-watch any of the episodes when I remember how badly the show went off the rails, and I don’t think I can bear to watch House of Dragons for the same reason.

      • Doublesteff says:

        You are our inner voices on this topic! I’m angry just reading this. I’m still mad about the Daario Naharis recast. And the whole “gods” thing was such a dud. I really wanted more story about the night kings motives. Never understood that in the context of the series. Remember in season one when the white walkers were making these incredible designs in the snow with body parts? I guess those people popsicles died and nobody carried on with that? So many opportunities to bring interesting stories to the small screen. At least we have fully fleshed wikis to show us what should have been.

  10. Emme says:

    All I got from this advert was Matt Smith trying to look mean and moody in a wig. Can’t get past that so not sure if I’ll give it a go or not.

  11. C says:

    I’m here for it. I’ve missed dragons if nothing else.

  12. LadyMTL says:

    The story that the show appears to be based on is actually quite interesting (MINOR SPOILER – a war starts because one sib takes the throne and another wants it – it was called the Dance of the Dragons) but who knows if it’ll work.

    Based on the trailer alone I’m curious, but not like…frothing at the mouth eager to see it, lol.

  13. Flowerlake says:

    Anyone interested in what likely inspired the main intrigue of the show, look up “the Anarchy” in England.

    This was a time period in the 12th century when Matilda, the daughter of Henry I, and her cousin Stephen fought over the English throne. No dragons were involved though, as far as I’m aware.

    And if you’re at it, please look up “Matilda of Boulonge”, Stephen’s wife and Countess of Boulogne in her own right. She might be the most kickass Queen consort in English history, but is grossly overlooked.

    • SarahCS says:

      She was AMAZING. I love hearing about Matilda. I recently read The White Ship which tells the story of the sinking of the ship that kicked all this off and what happened through the Anarchy. I absolutely recommend it.

    • mia girl says:

      @flowerlake – Thanks for the tip on The Anarchy!

      But to clarify, both Stephen’s cousin (whom he battled with) and his wife were named Matilda?

      • Becks1 says:


        I’m currently reading two books about this period (roughly, and yes I have a book/reading problem. I have 4 books going currently) – the Plantagenets by Dan Jones and Queens of the Conquest from Alison Weir.

        both are super interesting just because I feel like its a period that we hear so little about in general. We hear about the Wars of the Roses, the Tudors, but besides Henry and Eleanor of Aquitaine, I feel the period between the Norman conquest and the Wars of the Roses gets overlooked a lot.

      • Flowerlake says:

        Yes, I know it’s confusing that there were two that were strongly involved in the conflict 😀

        To clarify the family relationships, see below. I will call the two who were involved in the anarchy Matilda 1 and 2.

        William the Conqueror was married to Matilda of Flanders in the 11th century.

        -Henry I was one of their sons. He named his daughter Matilda (1) heir to England after his one legitimate son died. She shares similarities with the Rhaenyra we will see in the House of the Dragon.

        -They also had a daughter named Adela, who was the mother of Stephen. Stephen then married Matilda (2) of Boulogne, who strongly supported her (often somewhat weak) husband when he claimed the throne after Henry I’s death.


        To expand on this and add another Matilda to the mix: Henry I’s first wife was named Edith, but took the name Matilda later. She was a Scottish princess, but also descended from the Anglo-Saxon royal line, which was helpful to strengthen the Norman line’s claim to the throne. Edith/Matilda was often called the Good Queen. She wasn’t involved in the anarchy, because she had died before Henry I died. This Matilda was the mother of Matilda 1.

        There were more noble Matilda’s around this time, often probably named after each other. After the 12th century, it seemed to have become less popular as a royal/noble name.

      • Flowerlake says:


        I totally agree with you.
        Imagine a lavish series about Edward III, starting with all the drama of the reign of his father, Isabella’s invasion of England, the execution of Mortimer, the Hundred Years War and the plague.

        Or a mini-series about Simon de Montfort. That would work well for drama, including a lot of intrigue, a secret marriage, wild escape plans (that actually worked, hello prince Edward) and battles etc.

        It would be so interesting. I like Tudor series as well, but there have been so many already.

      • mia girl says:

        Flowerlake & Becks1
        Super interesting! I’m definitely going to read up on this… will look for those books.

        Love your shared excitement for this part of history. Maybe you two should team up and write a series treatment or a screenplay!

      • Flowerlake says:

        mia girl, that would be fun to do 🙂

        Hope you will enjoy learning more about the English Queens and other people of those times.

        If there had been a Celebitchy in their times, I would have loved to read the comments!

    • Emme says:

      Flowerlake, nah……look up Eleanor of Aquitaine for a truly magnificent woman and Queen of England!,

      • Flowerlake says:

        @Emme, I have known about Eleanor of Aquitaime for at least 3 decades, thank you.

        Yes, she is interesting and did a lot of kickass things, but she made big mistakes as well. When it came to martial matters and making the right decisions, Matilda of Boulogne outperformed her.

        If you don’t know one of the people you are comparing to another, best do some research first.

        People not knowing about Matilda of Boulogne was exactly my point.

      • Emme says:

        @Flowerlake, only three decades 😂 at least five decades for me as I appear to be a considerably older historian then you 😉
        I will grant you that Matilda of B was certainly pretty awesome, but as the wife of a usurper I’m not as taken with her as with Eleanor of Aquitaine. Apart from being being a pretty shrewd political mover in a man’s world (the Kings of England and Europe as well as the Papacy) Eleanor has my respect for bearing ten living children in a time when pregnancy and birthing was very dangerous for mother and child. (Twice was enough for me!)
        Anyway, to each her own. 😀

    • AnneL says:

      Matilda and Eleanor were both awesome/

  14. AnneL says:

    After S2, Dany and her dragons were my least favorite part of the GoT universe (except Dorne). I was kind of excited when she came to Westeros and met Jon etc., but that ended up going sideways and…..basically ruining everything, IMO. So I haven’t really been interested in seeing her ancestors’ story.

    That said, this could very well be a fine show on its own merits. I’m just not sure I have the appetite for it.

  15. JustMe says:

    They had me at dragons…..

  16. SarahCS says:

    Were they short on budget for lighting?

  17. Sandra says:

    I’ll watch. But I’m prepared to be disappointed. Very few prequels or sequels live up to the original. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised.

    • North of Boston says:

      Sandra, if you enjoy British crime dramas at all Endeavor, the prequel to Inspector Morse is fantastic. It’s a good show in its own right even if you haven’t seen IM.

      • Deering24 says:

        North of Boston, Endeavor is terrific (though S7 and 8 show serious signs of creative exhaustion.☹️) But it’s been firing on all cylinders for most of its run. Heck, I wasn’t even a Morse watcher, but Endeavor drew me right in.

      • North of Boston says:

        It’s one of my favorite shows right now – Shaun Evans and Roger Allam are SO good, as is the supporting cast. And everything is just so gorgeous! I wasn’t an Inspector Morse watcher either before I started this show, and it sucked me in with the first episode.

        Agree a bit about the most recent two seasons/series, but it’s still better than most other shows IMO. This sounds crazy, but the music is SUCH a key element and they sadly lost composer Barrington Phelong a couple of years ago, so the newest episodes lost a little something special.

        I think it’s good they are only doing one more season, and already had in mind how they plan to land it. That way they can finish strong.

  18. Belli says:

    Maybe I’m too optimistic with how badly GOT ended, but I’m looking forward to this. This time, there’s actually a finished story to build the show around and the GOT showrunners who shat the bed so badly aren’t involved. There are some details in the trailer I recognised from the book that just by being included suggest that this is being made by people who know and love the source material.

    If nothing else, I’ll watch for the costumes and sets and soundtrack! That crew was always on point in GOT, even when the story went off the rails.

    • Colby says:

      Very interesting to me to see that the GOT creators/show runners are not involved here – not even a name-only producer credit. So I am more optimistic that this won’t flame out so terribly.

  19. CC says:

    I was interested in the other prequel with Naomi Watts. After the pilot was finished, it was rumored to be unwatchable, but I’ve also read that it was fine and some inner politics at HBO caused them to bury it.
    I still can’t imagine how they’ll make the Jon Snow sequel to work. Is he going to fall in love with the last of the Plant People and have a half-plant baby?

  20. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Yassssssssssss. Fantasy fiction with dragons. On a premium channel with premium investment. Hello people.

  21. AmelieOriginal says:

    So I think I may be one of the few people who actually read the Song of Ice and Fire books all the way through–I don’t recommend it as George RR Martin gets so bogged down in the details of feasts, describing banners, and such minutia etc. However, the one pro of his obsession with giving too much detail is that the history and universe of Game of Thrones is very fleshed out in the books. The books refer constantly to the conquering of Westeros by Aegon I Targaryen and his two sisters, the 300 year rule of the Targaryen reign, and Robert’s Rebellion like the show does. It was to the point that I wished the books were actually about the conquering of Westeros and the first Targaryens/Robert’s Rebellion/any character during the Targaryen reign (plus they had dragons!). So I will be watching this show because I was always interested in learning more about House Targaryen than House Stark or House Lannister.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Precisely. It’s hard to pinpoint his meandering but focused world development if that makes sense, and as always, I wished I had read before watched. The differences are palatable because of the format, but I want more of the world, and a history expansion is perfectly fine with me.

    • AnneL says:

      I also read all of the books, though I admit to skimming a lot in the later books when new characters were introduced and hustled through their stories. I wasn’t that interested in the Targaryens but I still think a show about them could be of interest to me, if really well done. They do have a strong cast and the production value and costumes look from the stills to be quite good too.

  22. amilu says:

    I’m not really swayed by the trailer, but I will watch Paddy Considine in anything. Love him!!!

  23. Rice says:

    I’m in the minority in that I liked GoT’s ending. So I will be watching the shit out of that series, right along with the LOTR series on Amazon.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I loved the ending. But I was rooting for Danny’s death lol. Anyone proclaiming kneel or die has their fate sealed eventually. It was a beautiful show all the way through, even with the truncated final two seasons.

      • Becks1 says:

        I loved the ending as well (I remember it was you and me Mabs defending it during the GOT heyday on here, lol). When I went back and started rewatching the series, even though I didn’t get very far, the ending made perfect sense.

      • C says:

        I hated the ending because it was rushed and clumsy. And frankly, not in keeping with how they began the series. They painted Dany as this hero from the beginning and left out how unstable she was in the books and then all of a sudden she’s this bloodthirsty demon? Needed at least another season for that to develop properly.
        Why wasn’t Brienne in Sansa’s Queensguard? Why did the Hound and the Mountain get such an unsatisfying ending? What specifically makes Bran the most suitable candidate for King despite Tyrion’s hackneyed speech about “stories and storytellers”? What was even the point of Melisandre’s arc and why would they tease her backstory without ever referencing it again? What was the point of Jaime’s arc? Varys’s arc? Why were the Starks all whiny losers by the end? Idk, I was so disappointed. The basic pieces of the puzzle weren’t bad but the execution was so horrible I can’t even rewatch.
        I have more hope for this series, not being helmed by the original showrunners and taking material from a narrative in Fire and Blood that is actually finished. And Ramin Djawadi is still the composer. I think it’ll be an improvement on the original. I definitely have more optimism for this than the proposed Jon Snow series.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        You’re right, it was rushed and clumsy. But it was far better than most in this category. I could tell they wanted conclusions. There were so many storylines I was interested in.

        But Danny’s destiny was hinted at throughout the show from season one. In fact, almost everything that happened in the show had been foreshadowed. Brienne’s purpose in the castle in the end was to ensure Jamie’s good deeds were recorded as part of history. I would’ve like a bit more drama with Cersei’s death. But all-in-all, the show was excellent. This genre is difficult to please. I’m simply ecstatic it exists lmao!

  24. nocturne says:

    Eh. I love fantasy but I’m not particularly interested in this. I just feel like this has already been done. How different will it actually be to the first Game of Thrones tv series? And I dislike prequels as a general rule (with a few rare exceptions), because you already know how it ends, so what’s the point?

    There are also a lot of issues within the text itself which I don’t find appealing. I tapped out during the Dany chapters in the first book, and it appears it only gets worse from there. GRR Martin also based the Dothraki on Native American tribes and Mongolian Steppe people, and considering that the Dothraki fall into all the worst stereotypes of ‘barbaric’ or ‘savage’ cultures it is not great.

    Martin also likes to state how the books are so dark because they are based on what was really going on in medieval times. Sure, there were instances of true brutality, but nowhere near the extent which he depicts. He said that he wanted to write about the ‘reality’ of that time. That it wasn’t all chivalrous knights and noble ladies, but ended up writing something that was just as unreal, just on the opposite end.

    And then when there were some valid criticisms about how he depicts women in the books, he took the rather tired route of – “LOTS OF WOMEN LIKE MY BOOKS SO THERE MUSTN’T BE ANYTHING WRONG WITH WHAT I WRITE.”

    Ugh. But anyway, this is pretty common for fantasy so it’s not particularly surprising.

    • AnneL says:

      Yes, it gets worse from there. I often felt after S2 that watching Dany scenes was like watching a different show altogether…..a show that was OK but not the great TV “Westoros World” was.

  25. Headintheclouds says:

    The good looking dark haired guy is Fabien Frankel who – if we’re talking fantasy book series – would be the prefect choice to play The Stormlight Archive’s Kaladin! Perfect I tell ya!

  26. Stacey Dresden says:

    So they allege viewers will actually be able to see what the hell is going on this time around?

  27. I do think it will be good. I think if you’re not super familiar with fire and blood the whole story line might be a bit confusing though. They did film flashbacks of the story so it will be interesting to see how its all edited and how many seasons they plan to do. I suspect most of the first season will be the backstory and build up to the actual war that breaks out.

    Be warned, don’t get attached to any dragons or any characters though. This is the story about Targ family civil war where they essentially wipe out their dragons and each other battling for the throne.