"It goes off big time!" - The stars of House Of The Dragon tell us what to expect from the new show
Pretty much all of the main cast for the new Game of Thrones show can barely contain their excitement about what is to come.
We're closing in on the big return to Westeros, and all eyes are on House of the Dragon to see how it all fits into world of Game of Thrones as we already know it.
In the run-up to the release of the new series, JOE was lucky enough to check out the first episode - it is really, really good, just FYI - and also chat to the leading cast members about their roles in the show, and what we should all expect from the first season.
Up first, we spoke to Paddy Considine (who plays King Viserys Targaryen) and Matt Smith (who plays the King's brother, Prince Daemon Targaryen):
Smith tells us: "I think of it like a second album. You're trying to deliver the tonal context of the band's first album, but you're also trying to deliver your own original hits. I think this is a bit of both. While we're trying to deliver the hits of the first album, you're also trying to move the story forward. It is a different set of actors, it is set 200 years before, the fabric of this is inherently different. I don't know how that is going to play out."
To which Considine adds: "But it goes off. If that is what you mean. It goes off big time."
Up next, we chatted to Eve Best (the King's sister, Princess Rhaenys Velaryon) and Steve Toussaint (Lord Corlys Velaryon, husband to Rhaenys):
Toussaint reveals: "There is some warfare. A little skirmish. But for the most part, this season is more about - certainly for [my character] - the real drama for him is to manoeuvre either his wife on to the throne, or his family as close to the throne as possible. If people like this show, then we'll do more!"
Best joins in: "When I auditioned, they said the trajectory of the show is this line that I say in episode two: 'Men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne'. And I was like, well, snip the word 'Iron' out of that sentence and that is basically a lot of our reality."
Next you'll hear from Milly Alcock (who is playing Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the daughter to the King) and Emily Carey (playing Lady Alicent Hightower, best friend to Rhaenyra):
Carey told us: "We've only read the scripts for the episodes that we are in."
Alcock interjects: "So we're going to be watching this everyone else!"
Carey continues: "There is a whole portion of this storyline with our characters that we don't know anything about. So we're in the same boat as you guys for a lot of. But I can't wait! There are a few big moments, they're going to be so good! I can't wait."
And, finally, here are Emma D'Arcy (who, after a time jump in the show, will be playing Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen) and Olivia Cooke (after that same time jump, will play Lady Alicent Hightower):
D'Arcy informs us: "It is a story that really starts in the family home, which I think is a very generous introduction for a whole new cast of characters. Simultaneously, you've got Miguel Sapochnik directing, so you'd be mad not to use. I mean, he kind of finds scale in everything that he shoots, whether it is a small, two-person duologue, or it is [something epic]. But knowing what he's capable of, I think it would be crazy not to include some of that."
The first episode of House of the Dragon will be available to watch from 2am on Monday, 22 August with a NOW Entertainment Membership, as well as on Sky Atlantic.