We finally have the date of the return to the Game of Thrones universe: House of the Dragon will debut on HBO Max in the middle of this summer, on August 21st. The series is in fact the first spin-off of the hugely popular series a few years ago to arrive on the screen; many others are in the works. House of the Dragon will focus, as the name suggests, on the House of the Targaryen, but will be placed in time long before the events narrated in Game of Thrones.
House of the Dragon will also be based on a book by George RR Martin, the American writer who conceived the entire universe: Fire and Blood to be precise, published in 2019. Of course, the plot of the series does not necessarily follow that of the book. However, it is worth noting that Martin is directly involved in development as an executive producer, alongside showrunner Miguel Sapochnik who, among many other things, directed a total of six episodes of Game of Thrones – two from the fifth season, two of the sixth and two of the octave. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss are not involved in this new series.
Development on House of the Dragon began practically immediately after the book was published; filming started in April 2021. The first season will consist of 10 episodes. Like Game of Thrones, it will be an ensemble series: the cast is extremely large and varied, and we expect multiple settings and locations – even if most of the shooting took place in the UK. The cast includes Matt Smith, famous for playing the Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who and Prince Philip in The Crown, Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One, Sound of Metal) and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, Lizard in the films of Spider-Man).
We still have no details on how to release in Italy. HBO Max is expanding into Europe, but HBO has distribution agreements with Sky (which also broadcast Game of Thrones) which will not expire until next year, so it is likely that it is on Sky (and of course NOW) that it will be available. Probably the original language version will be released at the same time while the dubbed one will arrive a few days later.