The new HBO show serves as a prequel to the beloved Thrones series, but when is it set?
House of the Dragon takes place 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones
House of the Dragon is set around 103 AC, approximately 200 years before the events of Thrones, when the Targaryens are at the height of their powers.
In A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series that Thrones is based on, author George RR Martin explains that, similar to real-life’s Before Christ and Anno Domini, dates in Westeros are described as “Before Conquest” (BC) or “After Conquest” (AC).
The conquest in question occurred when Aegon, Daenerys’s ancestor, conquered the whole of Westeros with his dragons, uniting all seven kingdoms under one ruler.
It’s been hinted that Ty Tennant, son of Doctor Who star David Tennant, may star as Aegon, meaning there could be some flashbacks in store for the series.
The official synopsis for House of the Dragon reads: “The prequel series finds the Targaryen dynasty at the absolute apex of its power, with more than 15 dragons under their yoke. Most empires – real and imagined – crumble from such heights.
“In the case of the Targaryens, their slow fall begins almost 193 years before the events of Game of Thrones, when King Viserys Targaryen breaks with a century of tradition by naming his daughter Rhaenyra heir to the Iron Throne.
“But when Viserys later fathers a son, the court is shocked when Rhaenyra retains her status as his heir, and seeds of division sow friction across the realm.”
How does it tie in with Game of Thrones?
The Targaryens ruled for 280 years until Robert Baratheon took the throne with the help of House Stark. Eighteen years later, the events featured in Game of Thrones kick off, though there is some discrepancy with timings to the book.
Robert, portrayed by Mark Addy in the series, rebelled against King Aerys II Targaryen AKA “The Mad King”, after his son Rhaegar allegedly abducted his betrothed, Lyanna Stark.
Following his victory and Lyanna’s death, Robert married Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) to secure an alliance with House Lannister.
Meanwhile, Aerys’s remaining heirs Viserys and Daenerys fled to Essos where they attempted to recruit followers and reclaim the Iron Throne.
Thus we join the first series and chaos unfolds.
House of the Dragon will begin on Sunday 21 August at 9pm on HBO. It will then be available to stream on HBO Max afterwards.
For UK viewers, it will premiere at 2am on Monday 22 August on Sky. The episode will then be repeated at 9pm on Monday, and will be available to stream on Sky and NOW after its initial airing.