Max - House of the Dragon : An European Premiere in Paris

By Mulder, Paris, Théâtre du Chatelet, 06 june 2024

Paris witnessed an extraordinary event yesterday as the dragons made a grand appearance to celebrate the launch of the new streaming platform Max and to unveil the first episode of the eagerly awaited second season of House of the Dragon, which will start airing on June 17.

The cast of the series, including Olivia Cooke (Queen Alicent Hightower), Eve Best (Princess Rhaenys Targaryen), Steve Toussaint (Lord Corlys Velaryon), Fabien Frankel (Ser Criston Cole), Ewan Mitchell (Prince Aemond Targaryen), Tom Glynn Carney (King Aegon II Targaryen), Rhys Ifans (Ser Otto Hightower), Harry Collett (Prince Jacaerys 'Jace' Velaryon), Phia Saban (Queen Helaena Targaryen), and Matthew Needham (Lord Larys), along with the showrunner and executive producer Ryan Condal, made a spectacular appearance. They posed for photos on the iconic rooftops of Paris before heading to the prestigious Théâtre du Châtelet for an exclusive premiere followed by a memorable launch party.

The event saw over 700 guests eagerly flocking to the unique venue. Among the notable attendees were DJ Cut Killer, director Noémie Lefort, actors Axelle Laffont, Renan Pacheco, Penelope Mitchell, Kevin Dias, Donald Reignoux, and Maxime Musqua, as well as rugby player Cameron Woki. The gathering also included more than 80 prominent content creators such as Natacha Oakley, Devin Brugman, EnjoyPhoenix, Rita Pereira, Sora, Sparkdise, and Léa Camilleri, who made their grand entrance into the enchanting world of Westeros. As the first episode concluded to thunderous applause, the screen lifted to reveal the authentic Iron Throne on stage. Guests were treated to an unparalleled experience, posing on the coveted throne and enjoying a cocktail party brimming with unique activities themed around the series, truly becoming part of the Max universe. Throughout the evening, attendees used advanced artificial intelligence technology to transform themselves into characters from the series and, most excitingly, to ride a dragon. This exclusive immersive experience allowed guests to pledge allegiance to their team by choosing #TeamBlack or #TeamGreen and soar over Westeros, hair blowing in the wind, atop a dragon.

Max is the new streaming platform from Warner Bros. Discovery, offering extraordinary stories for every member of the household. With a diverse range of high-quality programs across all genres and formats, sourced from Warner Bros. Discovery's extensive brand portfolio, Max features HBO Originals and Max Originals, Warner Bros. films, the DC Universe, the Harry Potter universe, children's content, and top-tier programming in sports, lifestyle, investigation, and documentaries from Eurosport, Discovery, TLC, ID, and many more. The platform was launched in the United States, aiming to bring a comprehensive entertainment experience to viewers.

House of the Dragon is an American fantasy drama television series created by George R. R. Martin and Ryan Condal for HBO. As a prequel to Game of Thrones (2011–2019), it is the second television series in the A Song of Ice and Fire franchise. The series, based on parts of Martin's 2018 book Fire & Blood, begins about 100 years after the Targaryen conquest united the Seven Kingdoms, nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen. Featuring an ensemble cast, the show portrays the events leading up to the decline of House Targaryen and the devastating war of succession known as the Dance of the Dragons.

House of the Dragon received a straight-to-series order in October 2019, with casting beginning in July 2020 and principal photography starting in April 2021 in the United Kingdom. The series premiered on August 21, 2022, with the first season consisting of ten episodes. Just five days after its premiere, the series was renewed for a second season. Showrunner Miguel Sapochnik departed after the first season, leaving Ryan Condal to serve as the sole showrunner for the second season, which is set to premiere on June 16, 2024, and will consist of eight episodes.

The first season garnered positive reviews, praised for its character development, visual effects, writing, score by Ramin Djawadi, and performances. However, the pacing, specifically the time jumps, and the dark lighting of some scenes received criticism. Despite these criticisms, the series premiere was watched by over 10 million viewers across linear channels and HBO Max on its first day, marking the biggest debut in HBO's history. At the 80th Golden Globe Awards, House of the Dragon won Best Television Series – Drama, and D'Arcy was nominated for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama. The series earned nine Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, and won three British Academy Television Craft Awards.

The European premiere in Paris represents a significant milestone for both the series and the Max streaming platform, promising fans an exhilarating continuation of the Targaryen saga with the new season. The event was not only a celebration of the series' success but also a showcase of the immersive and innovative experiences that Max aims to offer its audience. As fans eagerly await the premiere of the second season, the Paris event has set the stage for what promises to be an epic continuation of the Targaryen legacy.

In addition to the festivities, the premiere highlighted the inclusive and diverse approach taken by the show's creators. The casting of House Velaryon as a black family, for instance, reflects the show's commitment to diversity and representation. This decision, supported by George R. R. Martin, helps to distinguish the characters and enrich the series' narrative, adding depth to the complex world of Westeros.

The production quality of House of the Dragon remains top-notch, with a substantial budget allocated to ensure high-caliber visuals and compelling storytelling. The series is filmed primarily in the United Kingdom, utilizing state-of-the-art virtual production stages and picturesque locations that bring the world of Westeros to life. The meticulous attention to detail, from the intricate costumes to the grandiose sets, underscores the show's dedication to creating an immersive viewing experience.

The musical score, composed by Ramin Djawadi, who also scored Game of Thrones, continues to captivate audiences. Djawadi's ability to blend haunting melodies with dramatic themes enhances the series' emotional depth and grandeur, making the music an integral part of the storytelling.

As anticipation builds for the second season, the Paris premiere has undoubtedly set a high bar for future events. The combination of a star-studded cast, an iconic venue, and innovative fan experiences exemplifies the show's ability to engage and enthrall its audience. With its rich narrative and dynamic characters, House of the Dragon continues to solidify its place as a beloved and influential series in the fantasy genre.

In conclusion, the European premiere of House of the Dragon in Paris was a resounding success, offering fans an unforgettable glimpse into the new season while celebrating the launch of Max. This event not only highlighted the series' achievements but also underscored the potential of Max as a premier streaming platform delivering quality entertainment to a global audience. As the dragons prepare to take flight once more, fans can look forward to an epic continuation of the Targaryen saga, filled with intrigue, drama, and breathtaking visuals.

You can found our selection of photos in our Flickr page here and also the official photos of the Paris Photocall, the photocall at the event and of the private party.

Synopsis : 
The history of the Targaryen family, nearly 200 years before the events of Game Of Thrones. Now that King Viserys reigns over Westeros, the question of his succession is causing concern. With no male offspring, who will take over? With no fewer than 10 adult dragons under their control, the Targaryens have long dominated the Kingdom of the Seven Crowns. The only power capable of overthrowing them is House Targaryen itself. Will the tensions, betrayals and jealousies that rock the clan internally prove fatal?

House of the Dragon
Created by Ryan Condal, George R. R. Martin
Based on Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin
Showrunners : Ryan Condal, Miguel Sapochnik (season 1)
Starring  Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Emma D'Arcy, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint,Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, Fabien Frankel, Milly Alcock, Emily Carey, Graham McTavish, Matthew Needham, Jefferson Hall, Olivia Cooke, Harry Collett, Tom Glynn-Carney, Ewan Mitchell, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Phia Saban
Theme music composer : Ramin Djawadi
Composer : Ramin Djawadi
Executive producers : Miguel Sapochnik, Ryan Condal, George R. R. Martin, Ron Schmidt, Jocelyn Diaz, Sara Hess, Vince Gerardis
Producers : Karen Wacker, Angus More Gordon, Alexis Raben, Kevin Lau
Cinematography : Fabian Wagner, Pepe Avila del Pino, Alejandro Martínez, Catherine Goldschmidt
Editors : Tim Porter, Selina MacArthur, Crispin Green, Chris Hunter
Running time : 54–68 minutes
Production companies : GRRM, Bastard Sword, 1:26 Pictures Inc., HBO Entertainment
Network : HBO (Season 01), Max (Season 02)
Release August 21, 2022 – present

Photos and video : Boris Colletier / Mulderville