See photos of the cast in character for the Targaryen-focused series.

Welcome to a new age of House Targaryen.

HBO dropped the first official photos of House of the Dragon, the highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel starring Matt Smith, Emma D'Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Olivia Cooke, and Rhys Ifans.

Paparazzi snapped photos of the set as the cast began filming the fantasy-drama, which is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. But the Home Box Office network gave a closer look at some of the characters coming to the small screen in 2022.

House of the Dragon goes back to the heyday of the Targaryen empire, as chronicled in George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood book.

House of the Dragon
Emma D'Arcy and Matt Smith in 'House of the Dragon'
| Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

D'Arcy is seen opposite Smith as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the first-born child of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) who's a dragonrider and of pure Valyrian blood. "Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man," reads an official character description.

Smith transforms into Prince Daemon Targaryen, the king's younger brother and heir to the throne. He's described as "a peerless warrior and a dragonrider" who "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
Steve Toussaint in 'House of the Dragon.'
| Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

Toussaint debuts as Lord Corlys Velaryon, a.k.a. The Sea Snake. He's the Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. He's also the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros who "built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world."

House of the Dragon
Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans in 'House of the Dragon'
| Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

Ifans joined the cast as Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King who loyally and faithfully serves both Viserys and his realm. "As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king's brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne."

Cooke plays Otto's daughter, Alicent Hightower. She's "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."

Filming on House of the Dragon began in late April with HBO releasing photos of the table read.

Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal showrun the series, which was created by Martin and Condal. Martin serves as executive producer.

Related content:

House of the Dragon

A Game of Thrones prequel focusing on the dragon-riding Targaryens.

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