I was a very big fan of Game of Thrones when the television series was still new. Years later, and that unsatisfying ending is so bitter in my memory. HBO decided to give the series another chance with this prequel story called House of the Dragon. I have to admit, it’s good to be back in Westeros.
The show begins with the last years of King Jaehaerys I of the House Targaryen. The old king outlived all of his children, so he asked the Houses of Westeros to help him choose the successor. But the choices were his eldest granddaughter or his eldest grandson, who happened to be younger than his female cousin.
So the great houses of Westeros choose Viserys Targaryen to rule the Seven Kingdoms. He’s had trouble producing a male heir to succeed him, which gives him the same crisis as his grandfather. But he has more time to get it straightened out as he’s still is fairly young and healthy.
His brother Daemon Targaryen has a strong claim to the throne. But he’s a brutal maverick who does almost everything he wants, which terrifies most of the lords serving his brother.
King Viserys I Targaryen puts most of his hope in his oldest daughter Princess Rhaenyra. But could the great houses of Westeros accept a queen instead of a king?
One of the best things about House of the Dragon is the incredible performances. Rhys Ifans is very good as Hand of the King Otto Hightower. And Matt Smith definitely kills it as Prince Daemon Targaryen.
Milly Alcock was amazing as the younger incarnation of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. I wasn’t sold on Emma D’Arcy (who replaced her) at first but she did grow on me.
And of course the CGI budget is much higher this time because there are a lot of dragons. Some are big, some are small, but there are more than you can remember off the top of your head. Not to spoil anything but right before season 1 ends, we see a very memorable scene involving dragons.
While HBO’s House the Dragon isn’t as universally loved as it should be, it was one of my favorite things to watch every week. The show has its flaws like time skipping that can be hard to follow but I’m definitely excited for season 2.