Finally appearing before our eyes is the long-awaited fantasy series House of the Dragon, a feast for the Game of Thrones fans who were hopeless after the disappointing final season of their favorite show. Some people even thought that no one would be interested in a show in the same universe as Game of Thrones, but the viewership numbers for the new series’ pilot episode proved them wrong. Gaining almost 10 million viewers just on its premiere night, the spin-off made HBO’s history, becoming the biggest premiere for any HBO original series.
Not only that, the series is getting good reviews as well. It currently has an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 482 critic ratings, which is quite a success. Compared to the 1st season of Game of Thrones, which has a 90% rating on the same website, the spin-off could have done better, but still, mostly positive reviews show a hopeful beginning.
Now, with the 1st episode released and 9 left to go, we can look at some of the most asked questions about the new series, with a brief review of the show’s pilot episode.
Is House of the Dragon sequel or prequel?
The series is a prequel, taking place roughly 200 years before the events in our once-beloved favorite show, Game of Thrones. In fact, at the beginning of House of the Dragon episode 1, the exact date is given as a piece of information on the screen. The events of the prequel take place 172 before the birth of our Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen.
What is House of the dragon based on?
The prequel is based on what the original series was based on, the yet-to-be-finished book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. The spin-off especially takes its story from the book Fire & Blood, which tells the history of the House of Targaryen. The book is a companion book to the Ice and Fire book series and starts with Aegon I Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros. But the series is mainly interested in the material from the 2nd part of the book, which is about a famous event called the Dance of the Dragons, where a civil war takes place between Rhaenyra Targaryen and Aegon Targaryen for the Iron Throne.
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Is House of the Dragon connected to Game of Thrones?
House of the Dragon is connected to Game of Thrones only in that the former tells the history of some of the characters and families from the latter. For example, towards the end of House of the Dragon episode 1, the king mentions the prophecy of the song of ice and fire, in which the winter will arrive at Westeros, and all the houses must stand against it together. We see this prophecy turning out to be true in Game of Thrones, with white walkers arriving at Westeros and Jon Snow having similar arguments about the need to come together to fight the common enemy.
— out of context house of the dragon (@oochotd) August 24, 2022
That said, it should also be kept in mind that it is impossible to see the characters we saw in the original series since the spin-off takes place 200 years earlier. However, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones, made a cameo in the episode, of course, as a different character.
House of the Dragon Episode 1 Review
The 1st episode of the new series, titled “The Heirs of the Dragon,” currently has an 8.9 IMDb score (the same rating as the Game of Thrones pilot episode), rated by more than 30k users, with more than 50% of the reviewers giving a rating of 10/10. Most users think the pilot episode was a solid introduction to the series with actors, especially Matt Smith doing an incredible job. Users also seem to have a bit of nostalgia for the soundtrack, especially considering Ramin Djawadi is, again, the composer for the series. Another aspect that viewers loved seems to be the cinematography of the series, combined with great locations and successful set design.
Overall, for most fans who watched the 1st episode, the series started with a promising story, making us remember everything we loved about Game of Thrones, politics, violence, gore, and of course, dragons.