Monday, July 18, 2022

House Of The Dragon Swoops Into SDCC With Interactive Experience, Panel And Launch Of New Niantic Game App


For those who have not gotten enough of Westeros, and still feeling unsatisfied about the finale of HBO original series' GAME OF THRONES, keep your hearts burning for a little while longer. HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, the prequel of the award-winning historical drama, will premiere 22 August on HBO GO, same time as the U.S. telecast.

Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood”, the ten-episode series is set 200 years before the events of GAME OF THRONES, and spills the fiery-fueled tea of the story of House Targaryen, their dragons, and their liaisons with the other Houses. The series stars Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans, as well as additional cast members including Milly Alcock, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Emily Carey, Harry Collett, Ryan Corr, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Wil Johnson, John Macmillan, Graham McTavish, Ewan Mitchell, Theo Nate, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, Phia Saban, Gavin Spokes and Savannah Steyn.

Leading up to the debut of the new series, HBO Max is set to offer fans an immersive experience called “House of the Dragon: The Dragon’s Den" during San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) from July 21 (Thursday) to July 24 (Sunday). Get ready to be transported to Westeros, where you will be guided through a ceremonial dragon hatching experience as a member of House Targaryen.

As you walk through King’s Landing during the time of Targaryen rule, you will interact with the people as well as take in the sights and sounds of the bustling city. You will then get to select your own dragon egg, and go through a test to demonstrate that you are worthy to bond with a dragon, as you get ushered by a designated Dragonkeeper through seven sensory and interactive phases. The experience will culminate in the Throne Room, where, for the first time, fans will be able to admire and also, sit on the glorious Targaryen-era Iron Throne for a photo opportunity.

Before the exit the reign of “Fire & Blood”, each person will be able to hatch their personalized, virtual dragon egg in a new augmented reality app, called House of the Dragon: DracARys, enabling them to “raise” their dragon at home. The app, which is powered by Niantic Inc. and produced by The Mill, will be available for download in the Apple and Google Play app stores starting July 20 for participants of the interactive event at SDCC.

If you are not able to attend SDCC this year (like Red Dot Diva, so sad!), don't worry. The game app will be rolled out globally for fans with full functionality starting July 25. Remember the date! That is when you can start raising your own brood of dragons!

In addition to the interactive area, there will be a HOUSE OF THE DRAGON panel moderated by podcast host Jason Concepcion in the famed Hall H, that includes George R.R. Martin himself and co-creator/ co-showrunner/ executive producer/ writer Ryan Condal, co-showrunner/ executive producer/ director Miguel Sapochnik, Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Graham McTavish, Milly Alcock, and Emily Carey.

GET TO KNOW THE CHARACTERS

In preparation for your impending journey into the HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, here is a run down of some of the characters of the new series.

HOUSE TARGARYEN

King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) is a good and decent man who has been chosen by the lordsto succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen. His name may sound familiar to you, but no, he is not the same vile Viserys of the original series. This King Viserys is actually the great (x7) grandfather of the Daenerys aka Mother Of Dragons whom we know. However, in the world of Westeros, kindness and warmth are qualities that may not be so favourable when you are in power.

Viserys' first-born child is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), who is also a dragonrider. However, as she is born a woman, not everyone supports her claim to the throne. Many of the lords would prefer that Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), her uncle and younger brother to King Viserys be heir to the throne. Daemon is a reknown warrior and dragonrider, but he is also unpredictable. In the books, he married Rhaenyra as his third wife, and you can probably guess what kind of power struggles is going to happen regarding the Iron Throne.


HOUSE HIGHTOWER

House Hightower is one of oldest and influential noble houses in the Reach. Their homeland is called Oldtown, an ancient part of Westeros, where The Citadel, headquarters of the Order of Maesters, is located. You might remember that in the original series, The Citadel is the place where Sam Tarley stayed to garner as much archival information as he could to help save the realm.

In HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, The Hand of the King, is the loyal and scholarly Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). He is aware that Prince Daemon is a threat to the King, and the two men will become bitter political rivals.

His daughter Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) is not only known for her beauty and grace, she is also politically astute. She later marries the King and becomes his second wife, and will be vying for her son Aegon for his claim to the throne.


HOUSE VELARYON

The main players from the ancient and powerful House of Velaryon are Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) aka “The Sea Snake” and his wife, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). “The Sea Snake” is a reknowned seafarer and adventurer, and his ambition has build his House's riches to be even more than the Lannisters. The Velaryons also claim to own the largest navy in the world.

Rhaenys is also a dragonrider and is known as "The Queen Who Never Was". As in the case of Princess Rhaenyra, she was also passed over as heir to the throne when the realm favored her cousin Viserys, just because he is a male.

OTHER NOTABLE CHARACTERS

Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), is a dancing girl with no royal lineage. Despite coming to Westeros with nothing, she rose in power to become Prince Daemon Targaryen's paramour, and an adept master of whisperers. In other words, she was a spymaster for the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms.

Of Dornish decent, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) is the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. An exceptionally skilled warrior and swordsman, he is the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and personal protector of Rhaenyra. However, due to his political allegiance to Rhaenyra's step brother Aegon as heir to the throne, their relationship turned for the worse.


Who is your favourite character, and which house would you support to sit on the Iron Throne? Red Dot Diva cannot wait to dive deep into all the retro-Westeros political games and machinations in the upcoming HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. Not only is the Game Of Thrones highly entertaining, it is also an interesting study into modern day power games, leadership and global politics.

Want to have a better idea who you might be rooting for? Check out the trailer below:






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Stream or download HOUSE OF THE DRAGON from August 22 on HBO GO. The previous three seasons of Westworld are also available on HBO GO. Subscribe to HBO GO online at https://www.hbogoasia.sg/ or the mobile app via the App Store or Play Store for as low as S$9.99/month. Or access HBO GO via StarHub, Singtel and meWatch. HBO GO is also available on Android TV, Apple TV, LG TV and Samsung Smart TV - and comes with AirPlay and Google Cast functionality.

Photo credits: Ollie Upton/ HBO





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