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House of the Dragon: Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith & Emma D’Arcy added to cast

Following the announcement that production will begin in 2021 for HBO’s hotly-awaited House of the Dragon prequel, three new cast members have recently been unveiled.

Joining the already announced Paddy Considine, who will be playing King Viserys Targaryen, are Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers) and Matt Smith (The CrownDoctor Who).

According to HBO, Olivia Cooke will be playing Alicent Hightower – “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.”

Emma D’Arcy will be playing 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.”

Lastly, Matt Smith will be playing Prince Daemon Targaryen – “The younger brother of King Viserys and heir to the throne, Daemon is a peerless warrior and a dragonrider who 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.”

Based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, the series will tell the story of House Targaryen (a.k.a. the House that gave us the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen) and take place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

Miguel Sapochnik and Condal will be the showrunners for House of the Dragon, and the pair will also serve as executive producers along with Martin, Vince Gerardis, Sara Lee Hess and Ron Schmidt.

Clare Kilner (The Alienist: Angel of DarknessThe Wedding Date) and Geeta V. Patel (Meet the PatelsThe Witcher) will also direct the series. Greg Yaitanes (BansheeHouse) is director and co-executive producer.