House of the Dragon Kicks Off With an Epic First Episode

Fans of Game of Thrones have praised House of Dragon, calling it a redemption after GoT’s contentious eighth season

The first episode of House of the Dragon broke records last week. It was seen by nearly 10 million viewers across linear and HBO Max platforms, the largest audience of a premiere series in the history of HBO.

All corners of the Internet and social media were quickly flooded with memes, YouTube and TikTok video episode breakdowns, and tweets praising the writing, performance, and direction of HoTD Season 1 Episode 1.

The first episode introduced us to the cast and a brief prologue explaining the current situation of the Targaryen dynasty of Westeros, 142 years before the birth of GoT’s iconic Daenerys Targaryen.

House of the Dragon had big shoes to fill for two reasons. First, Game of Thrones was a worldwide hit that influenced pop culture during its eight-season run. Second, its eighth season was heavily criticized for ending the series on such a negative note that fans would rather forget it happened.

House of Dragon

House of Dragon @ HBO

House of the Dragon tells us the story of the Dance of the Dragons, a Targaryen civil war that triggered the extinction of dragons in Westeros until Daenerys came along. The prequel series is based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire and Blood, an entire compendium of the history of the Targaryens.

Fans are already speculating how things will play out during the course of the show. A prophecy not even available in the books was revealed at the end of episode one, providing context for Aegon I the Conqueror’s actions and the entire Targaryen Dynasty.

Reddit users have estimated an approximate four seasons if the books were to cover the entire Dance of the Dragons, possibly featuring the battle between the forces of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen.

Part of what caused the perceived decline in the quality of Game of Thrones was the showrunners finishing the source material for the show way before the books were finished. Martin is still writing the sixth book of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, The Winds of Winter.

An advantage of House of the Dragon is that Fire and Blood is a single book and describes other relevant events in the history of the Targaryen Dynasty, such as Aegon’s Conquest. That means no running out of source material, and there are plenty of things to cover in many seasons of the show.