'House of the Dragon,' is on HBO Max: Here's the release date and trailer

> 'House of the Dragon,' is on HBO Max: Here's the release date and trailer

“Game of Thrones” fans who have been waiting for a fresh dose of medieval fiction from George R.R. Martin couldn’t be happier. Nearly 10 million people tuned in to the series prequel, ‘House of the Dragon’ last Sunday, August 21, 2022, making it the most watched series premiere in HBO and HBO Max history. That’s equivalent to the entire population of Greece or Israel!

Read on for everything you need to know about ‘House of the Dragon.’

What’s the plot?

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the ‘House of the Dragon’ did not disappoint. More than a thousand people rated the first episode and gave it 4.5 stars out of a 5-star rating. It seems that GOT fans couldn’t get enough of the gothic series as it traced the rise and fall of House Targaryen. The prequel takes us back to a civil war brought about by the power struggle to rule Westeros. The battle was so epic that it became known to be ‘The Dance of Dragons’.

What happened in Episode 1 of House of the Dragon?

Set 172 years before Daenerys Targaryen was born, Episode 1 begins in a dramatic fashion. A black screen is all we see while a disembodied voice walks us through the history of the ruling house at the time- the Targaryens.

 The opening scene is overwrought with tension, as an obvious family rivalry is set in play over who gets to rule the kingdom. A foreboding mood ends the first sequence with the narrator declaring, “The only thing that could tear down the house of the dragon is itself.'

Who’s in ‘House of the Dragon’?

Who’s in ‘House of the Dragon’?

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy and Milly Alcock)

Despite the Targaryen family's patriarchal history, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen has been chosen as King Viserys' heir. Her pure Valyrian blood makes her a natural dragon rider, just like her uncle, Prince Daemon, but her gender makes her path to the throne less certain.

 Milly Alcock, an Australian actress, portrays Princess Rhaenyra as a child. While this is Alcock's first major role in American television, she has previously appeared in the Australian miniseries ‘The Gloaming’ and ‘Pine Gap’ (both of which are available on Starz and Netflix in the United States). Emma D'Arcy, who you may recognize from the short-lived Prime Video series ‘Truth Seekers’ plays the adult Princess Rhaenyra.

Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith)

Matt Smith, the eleventh Doctor, plays Prince Daemon Targaryen, King Viserys' younger brother. This warrior prince makes his intention clear- he wants the Iron Throne for himself. If you recognize him, that’s because he’s been on ‘The Crown,’ ‘Morbius,’ and ‘Doctor Who.’

Lord Corlys Velaryon a.k.a. “The Sea Snake” (Steve Toussaint)

Steve Toussaint plays the patriarch of House Velaryon, one of the richest families in the kingdom of Westeros. You may have seen him in the Australian Netflix series ‘Pine Gap’ and movies like ‘Judge Dredd,’ and ‘Prince of Persia.’

Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans)

The Hand of the King often ends up dead in the GOT series. Will Otto Hightower, played by Rhys Ifans, have better luck? He has starred in popular movies such as  ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.’

When can you watch Episode 2?

Fans can watch the 'House of the Dragon' on HBO at 9 pm PT/ET and on HBO Max at 9 pm ET. Fans from the United Kingdom and Ireland though will have to stay up til 2 am the next day to catch it. Australia airs it on Binge and Foxtel at 11am AEST.

For the rest of the world, here’s the full guide:

Austria and Germany- Sky Germany: 3 a.m., Aug. 29.

Canada-  Crave: 9 p.m., Aug. 28.

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden- HBO Max: 3 a.m., Aug. 29.

Israel- Cellcom: 4 a.m., Aug. 29.

Italy- Sky Italy: 3 a.m., Aug. 29.

Japan- U-Next: 10 a.m., Aug. 29.

Latin America- HBO Max: 9 p.m., Aug. 28.

Middle East- OSN: 5 a.m. Dubai Time, Aug. 29.

New Zealand- Sky SoHo: 1 p.m., Aug 29.

Portugal- HBO Max: 2 a.m., Aug. 29.

Singapore- HBO Asia: 9 a.m., Aug. 29.

Spain- HBO Max: 3 a.m., Aug. 29.

Switzerland- RTS: 3 a.m., Aug. 29.