The newly released teaser has enough interesting images in it of characters, scenes, and costumes and props that we thought we should comment on a selection of them. Images, and our thoughts, follow!
Our first look at King Viserys I... and at the sword of kings, Blackfyre. A very interesting design, with a hint of the dragon heads at the end of the hilts that have featured in some past renditions of the sword by artists like Amok and even in our own The World of Ice and Fire. The seven-pointed star on the pommel is a nice touch, a sign that the sword’s pommel was changed at some point to strengthen the image of the Targaryen kings as defenders of the Faith.
Prince Daemon Targaryen entering a cavern, presumably on the volcanic island of Dragonstone where the Targaryens have lived for generations at this point.
We are going to guess that this is the skull of Balerion, the Black Dread. Its last rider was the future King Viserys I, but the dragon died (of old age) within a year of its being claimed. The many candles burning suggest that Viserys has ordered them lit in the dragon’s memory.
Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, wearing green. Very appropriate.
A young Princess Rhaenyra dressed in black and gold, standing in front of the Iron Throne. Is it her wedding day and she’s nervously waiting for Ser Laenor? Or is this a recollection of the moment when her father made the lords of the realm swear to support her right to the throne? If so, they have aged Rhaenyra up somewhat from when it actually happened.
Princess Rhaenyra and Prince Daemon in what seems to be the scene that HBO first gave us a peek at in its initial cast photos. At a guess, this could be following the death of Laena Velaryon.
Prince Daemon Targaryen in a melee, revealing our first look at Dark Sister, his Valyrian steel sword; the dragon wings as the hilt, the dragon’s head between at the ricasso, and the dragon’s egg pommel are terrific. We should also draw attention to his armor, which has clearly signs of being closely based on past representations of armored Targaryens who often favored black armor with scales incorporated into them. The styling of the armor is very much in the Gothic style—notice the scalloping of the back and the fluting at the gauntlets—which happens to be a feature we’ve personally nudged artists towards over the years when advising them.
His opponent, given the morning star that is his weapon and the fact that this seems to be at the same tourney as the jousting, is almost certainly Ser Criston Cole. Assuming this is the 104 AC tourney, Cole will disarm and defeat Daemon. One curious detail are the shields with the Targaryen dragon—they all feature a fiery bordure, which is not a part of the traditional Targaryen sigil. Could these shields all be personal arms of Prince Daemon, revealing that he added the border as a mark of difference from his brother’s arms?
Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen leading the Velaryon family into the throne room. At Corlys’s right shoulder is his brother Vaemond, which may or may not be a change; Corlys had two unnamed brothers, and a nephew named Vaemond, but it’s possibly the show decided that one of the brothers was in fact named Vaemond as well. We also see Laenor Velaryon and Laena Velaryon, as well as other, unnamed Velaryon men and women.
A feast scene at the throne room, with the Velaryon clan drawing everyone’s eyes. We can see King Viserys at the high table, and what looks like Princess Rhaenyra. The white she’s wearing might indicate that her marriage is near, but regardless, it’s interesting to see her character to through a diverse range of colors.
Our first look at the show’s Mysaria, Lysene lover of Prince Daemon. She is played by Sonoya Mizuno.
Alicent Hightower flourishing a dagger, raging. Behind her can be seen Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and Ser Criston Cole. This scene is almost certainly her demanding that Lucerys’s eye be put out due to her son Aemond losing his eye. If that’s correct, they’ve either changed the timeframe or (more likely) have decided to have Ser Harrold live longer, as he died in 112 AC and Aemond’s eye being put out took place in 120 AC.
As many fans noted, the show has decided to give the catspaw’s dagger from Game of Thrones a role in events. Ryan Condal, show runner and head writer, mentioned on his podcast The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of that he had already gotten a particular dagger prop from filming to add to his collection.
Young Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower watch the jousting at what appears to be at the seat of House Tarly, Horn Hill. The jousters appear to be a Tarly knight on the left and Criston Cole on the right, given the shield with ten black pellets on scarlet. Given the earlier scene in the teaser, it seems they moved the tourney of 104 AC from Maidenpool to Horn Hill. Also of note: the various banners, which include some curious ones for a tourney deep in the Reach (namely those of Stark and Bolton, and possibly Manderly next to them.) Besides those, the arms of Lannister, probably Lefford, and possibly Staedmon or perhaps Corbray can be seen in the teaser.
Laenor Velaryon under attack by someone unknown, in what appears to be High Tide or Driftmark. The giant tapestry in back appears to show a ship with a curved, carved prow. Is it a serpent (for the Sea Snake) or a wolf’s head (for the Ice Wolf), memorializing a ship from Corlys Velaryon’s famous voyages? Or is it a dragon head prow? Or even a swan, hinting at ties to the Summer Islands?
A closer-look at Laenor’s attacker. Is this Qarl Correy?
An interesting detail here is the signs that work is going on on the throne room, as witnessed by the column being wrapped in cloth and a ladder. Are the columns being painted at this point? The nearer column is very dark but there does seem to be some sort of geometric pattern towards the base…
Someone—perhaps Rhaenyra—approaching the Iron Throne, which now has an extensive spread of twisted blades all down the dais on either side. This brings the throne a deal closer to GRRM’s intentions—something much more massive and imposing—while still maintaining the TV show’s central throne.
The new logo for House of the Dragon, seemingly firmly-settling that the show has decided to once-and-for-all stick with the four-legged, two-winged Targaryen dragon.