TV Review: ‘House Of The Dragon’ Starts Strong

by Frank Martin

Game of Thrones is notorious for having left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths. Unlike other popular franchises like Star Wars or Harry Potter, Game of Thrones was a cultural icon that largely wasn’t talked about after it ended. So obviously, news of the spin-off was met with mixed opinions. Fans were eager to revisit the universe, but they were also hesitant and fearful of being disappointed again. It’s still very early as there has only been one episode, but so far it seems as if House of the Dragon may revive fan excitement for the future of the franchise.

The story takes place roughly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It follows a Targaryen king (Paddy Considine) who is in the midst of finding an heir to his throne. After the death of his wife and newborn son, he is forced to choose between his violent, hot-headed brother (Matt Smith) and his only child (Milly Alcock). Unfortunately, that child is a daughter and a queen has yet to sit the Iron Throne. Choosing her would set a new precedent, so of course that’s what he does in order to increase the show’s drama as much as possible.

In Game of Thrones there were essentially two classification of fans. There are those who read the books and are intricately immersed in the characters and the world. For those fans, there’s probably tons of little tidbits to enjoy. For more casual fans who have only seen the show, there are also little hints and recognizable names. The problem with Game of Thrones was that it started off so wide and expansive that there were very high expectations for how it would all tie together. By the end, the conclusion was so rushed that it never felt satisfying. House of the Dragon starts this clock anew with fresh drama that still feels familiar. It’s also tremendously smaller in scope, so hopefully as the story unfolds it will not become too bloated like its predecessor and succeed where it failed.

House of the Dragon airs Sundays on HBO.

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