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Fire, Blood, Blonde Baddies, And Yep, Dragons

On Thursday, HBO released the first trailer for its upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series, which we’re happy to say does not skimp on the dragons. Which is fitting, considering the new show is literally called House of the Dragon. The nearly two-minute-long preview culminates in a fiery burst, with a screeching scaled beast setting the screen ablaze.

Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon tells the story of a civil war among the House of Targaryen, the family from which the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), would descend centuries later. It’s the first fully formed effort to expand the hit HBO series into an even more lucrative franchise, after an earlier spinoff starring Naomi Watts was axed.

It’s been seven long months since HBO first offered eager fans a glimpse of House of the Dragon in a brief teaser last October. Aside from the exciting addition of dragons, the new footage revealed on Thursday fills in some blanks about the show’s plot.

When King Viserys Targaryen (Peaky Blinders’ Paddy Considine) names his daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) as his heir, the leaders of the other houses pledge their support—though it’s not long before conflict arises. “Men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne,” says Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen. Swords clash, blood drips, enemies plot in hushed tones, a majestic dragon soars high above a medieval city, et cetera.

House of the Dragon also stars Olivia Cooke, Steve Toussaint, and an especially pouty Matt Smith. Last month, it was reported that HBO spent around $20 million to make each episode, a figure that was—amazingly—touted as thrifty in light of the costly special effects of this kind of project and the comparative expense of producing Game of Thrones years ago. After watching the trailer, however, we humbly suggest a few extra bucks be allotted for Smith’s wig budget next season—the Crown star’s platinum waves are giving cheap Lucius Malfoy cosplay.

Since HBO is still calling this lengthy new preview a teaser, there’s a good chance we’ll get to see even more of House of the Dragon ahead of its Aug. 21 premiere.

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