Entertainment TV 'House of the Dragon' First Look! HBO Unveils 'Game of Thrones' Prequel Photos House of the Dragon began production in April and is expected to premiere in 2022 By Dory Jackson Dory Jackson Instagram Twitter Website Dory Jackson is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE's digital TV team. While at the brand, she's had the opportunity to interview a long list of celebrities, from Kate Hudson to Pierce Brosnan to Billy Porter. She also recaps popular TV shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules.The New York-based Maryland native graduated from Randolph-Macon College in May 2016 with a focus in Communication Studies and Journalism. She came to PEOPLE in March 2021 after working at a number of major news companies, including Newsweek and Us Weekly. She also previously co-hosted a podcast called "Idol Nation." People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 5, 2021 01:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Emma D’Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen" and Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen". Photo: Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO HBO just provided Game of Thrones fans with the ultimate treat: the first photos of the acclaimed show's anticipated prequel series, House of the Dragon. The network unveiled three images on Wednesday of the cast in character and on set. Emma D'Arcy is seen as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, and Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon. The cast also includes Eve Best, Paddy Considine, Fabien Frankel and Sonoya Mizuno. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO D'Arcy's character Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is the king's first-born child and a dragonrider of pure Valyrian blood. Smith's Prince Daemon Targaryen, the younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne, is a warrior and dragonrider who possesses the true blood of the dragon. Meanwhile, Toussaint's Lord Corlys Velaryon — a.k.a the Sea Snake — is Lord of House Velaryon. "As the Sea Snake, the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world," a description from HBO reads. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Ifans' Otto Hightower "loyally and faithfully" serves the king and his realm. As the hand of the king, he sees the king's brother, Daemon, as "the greatest threat to the realm" and "his position as heir to the throne." Additionally, Cooke's Alicent Hightower is the daughter of Otto Hightower and is described as "the most comely woman in the seven kingdoms." Alicent, who was raised close to the king and his inner circle in the Red Keep, has "a courtly grace and a keen political acumen." Last month, HBO confirmed via the House of the Dragon's Twitter account that production on the HBO Max series had begun. "Fire will reign," read the tweet, which featured a photo of the cast during a table read. "The @HBO original series #HouseoftheDragon is officially in production. Coming soon to @HBOMax in 2022." Game of Thrones: All the Spinoffs in the Works and What We Know So Far HBO additionally shared individual photos of cast members Smith, 38, Cooke, 27, Ifans, 53, Considine, 47, Toussaint, 56, and D'Arcy, 28, partaking in the socially-distanced table reading session. House of the Dragon is a prequel series to Game of Thrones, which ran for eight seasons on HBO from 2011 to 2019. Set 300 years before the events that transpired in the award-winning drama, House of the Dragon follows the history of House Targaryen as the family goes through a civil war. House of the Dragon is slated to debut in 2022.