Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) with Dark Sister on House of the Dragon set

Emma D’Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen" and Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen" in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO
Emma D’Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen" and Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen" in House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

After months of mostly indoor shooting, HBO is taking in the fresh air and filming scenes for its upcoming Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon on the beaches of Cornwall, England, where it shot before.

This particular shoot involves cast member Matt Smith, who is playing Daemon Targaryen. Leaked images show Smith in in his full Targaryen finery, including his long white-blonde wig, walking around the beach with a sword at his hip. That sword is undoubtedly Dark Sister, a Valyrian steel blade originally used by Visenya Targaryen during Aegon’s Targaryen’s Conquest of Westeros and passed down through the family over the years until it’s wielded by Daemon. It’s one of several Valyrian steel blades we’ll see on the show.

For reference, Aegon’s Conquest happens about 300 years before the events of Game of ThronesHouse of the Dragon, which is about a brutal Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, happens around 180 years before Game of Thrones.

House of the Dragon films the War for the Stepstones

So what is Daemon Targaryen doing during this shoot? Well, leaked video shows the beach littered with broken, smoking ships, some of which fly the flag of House Velaryon, whose sigil is a seahorse. We can’t be sure, but fans think we’re looking at the aftermath of a battle during the War for the Stepstones.

Some background: Daemon Targaryen is the younger brother of King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine). The brothers are very different sorts of people and don’t really get along, and after a while in King’s Landing the hot-headed Daemon gets fed up with court life and decides to go warring. He teams up with Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) to conquer the Stepstones, a string of islands between Dorne and Essos

When Daemon and Corlys begin their campaign, the Stepstones are controlled by the Triarchy, an alliance of the Free Cities of Myr, Lys and Tyrosh who together are imposing high tolls on doing trade in the Narrow Sea. Corlys provides the navy and Daemon rides his dragon Caraxes, and together they defeat the Triarchy. On the set, we also see some actors dressed in colorful costumes that look nothing like what Westerosi usually wear — are these members of the Triarchy?

And that’s what we think is happening in these new images. What do you make of it?

House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO and HBO Max sometime in 2022.

Next. Matt Smith wants House of the Dragon costar to be the next Doctor Who. dark

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h/t Los Siete Reinos