Game of Thrones Spinoff: Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, and Emma D'Arcy Join Targaryen Dynasty in House of the Dragon

Work continues to move forward on the upcoming Game of Thrones spinoff series House of the Dragon, which recently cast multiple recognizable actors to help fill out the Targaryen dynasty. A new report from Entertainment Weekly confirms Doctor Who actor Matt Smith, Ready Player One star Olivia Cooke, and Truth Seekers star Emma D'Arcy have all been cast in the upcoming HBO TV series; the casting news was first reported by The Illuminerdi. Smith and D'Arcy will both play members of the Targaryen dynasty, while Cooke will play a character close to the family who is also daughter to the Hand of the King.

Character details describe Smith's role of Prince Daemon Targaryen as 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..."

D'Arcy will play Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, "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." So gender politics continue to play a role in Westeros, which shouldn't be surprising considering House of the Dragon takes place in the past.

Cooke's role as Alicent Hightower is intriguing as she will be "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."

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The Targaryen dynasty's impact is intricately tied to the legacy of the entire fictional continent of Westeros, as the family's arrival defined centuries of history. When the Targaryens first came to Westeros from the Esos country of Valyria, they immediately established dominance and took over all of the seven kingdoms. While Game of Thrones showed the aftermath of the Targaryen's fall, the chaos of other families attempting to rule, and the rise of Daenerys Targaryen, this new series will show how the family ruled earlier in their dynasty.

There is no word yet on when House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO, but the show is reportedly on track to meet its target to release in 2022.