12:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Borys Kit
'Game of Thrones' Prequel: Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy and Matt Smith to Star
HBO's Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon is beginning to take shape.
Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), Emma D'Arcy (Wanderlust) and Matt Smith (The Crown, Dr. Who) have been tapped to star in the straight-to-series drama. Additionally, Greg Yaitanes (Banshee) has boarded as a director and co-exec producer, with Clare Kilner (Snowpiercer) and Geeta V. Patel (The Witcher) also set to helm episodes of the fantasy series.
Based on Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the events of the recently concluded fantasy drama and tells the story of House Targaryen.
Cooke will play Alicent Hightower, who is described by HBO as "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 is set as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, described as "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 will portray Prince Daemon Targaryen, who is the "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."
Cooke, D'Arcy and Smith join the previously cast Paddy Considine (The Outsider) as King Viserys Targaryen, who, per HBO, was "chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy. But good men do not necessarily make for great kings."
Picked up straight to series in October 2019, the 10-episode series is co-created by Martin and Ryan Condal (USA Network's Colony). Condal will pen the script alongside Sara Lee Hess and serve as co-showrunner alongside Game of Thrones veteran Miguel Sapochnik. The latter will direct the pilot and additional episodes. Exec producers include Martin, Condal, Sapochnik, Vince Gerardis, Ron Schmidt and Hess. Yaitanes is a co-EP.
Cooke's credits include Amazon's Sound of Metal and in the upcoming feature Pixie. She also has IFC's Little Fish due in 2021. After breaking out in A&E's Psycho prequel Bates Motel, her credits have included The Quiet Ones, The Signal, Ouija, Me Earl and the Dying Girl and Ready Player One. She's repped by CAA, Grandview, the Artists Partnership and attorneys Gretchen Rusch and Huy Nguyen.
D'Arcy's credits include Amazon's Truth Seekers and Hannah II, BBC/Netflix's Wanderlust and they recently completed shooting on the feature take on Mothering Sunday, opposite Olivia Coleman and Colin Firth. They are repped by Vacca Management and Schreck Rose.
Smith earned an Emmy for his role as Prince Philip in The Crown and counts time as the 11th Doctor in Dr. Who. He next will be seen in Marvel's Morbius and Edgar Wright's Last in Soho. He's with UTA, B-Side Management and attorneys Darren Trattner and Karl Austen.
Kilner is with Paradigm and Ragna Nervik Management; Patel is with UTA and Mosaic; and Yaitanes is with CAA.
A premiere timeframe for House of the Dragon has not yet been determined.