The first season of HBO’s House of the Dragon came to an end with a climatic tenth episode. Now that the show is over, we can finally review it and say what we liked and didn’t like about the show.
What is House of the Dragon?
House of the Dragon is the prequel to the Game of Thrones series that aired on HBO for seven seasons. Both of them are based off of books George R.R. Martin has written. The final two seasons of Game of Thrones is popular for surpassing the books and rushing the ending which was met was a lot of disdain.
This time around, Martin had a lot more say in the direction of the show. It also helps that the book the show is based on is finished. Well, sort of. The source material for the show is Martin’s book Fire and Blood but it is supposed to read like a history book. Martin goes on to say that history doesn’t get all the details right and that leads to the show diverging from the book sometimes.
House of the Dragon Summary
Now let’s focus on the show itself. With ten episodes, House of the Dragon focuses on setting up the stage where the civil war between the Targaryens called the Dance of the Dragons takes place. That is a nice way of saying dragons are fighting dragons. We see how the Green and the Black factions come to be and how they both have a claim and desire for the throne.
Rhaenyra Targaryen has been named heir but she is a woman and that already makes her unfit to rule in many people’s eyes. Her father Viserys Targaryen’s wife and Rhaenyra’s mother passes away and Viserys is forced to remarry. He marries Alicent Hightower who is also Rhaenyra’s best friend. She births a boy and Alicent and her father plot to seat him on the throne.
House of the Dragon Review
The show does an amazing job with its choice of actors. They are all brilliant and make the show a lot better than it is. The pacing is a bit slow as there is a lot of politics but the cast makes every scene worth watching. Even Martin was praising the cast and he believed Paddy Considine made Viserys come to life much better than Martin did in his books. That is high praise and one I agree with.
Besides the amazing acting, I also loved the CGI as well as the beautiful shots of Westeros and the dragons. HBO is one of the best at creating the best shows possible and that is very true with House of the Dragon. Speaking of the dragons, they look amazing and every shot of them is breathtaking. They feel real and if only we got to see them fight each other in season one.
There were some issues for me with the show which made it hard to watch at times. There were too many scenes with childbirth and stillborn babies. It felt like one every other episode and that seemed like a big theme for season one. Besides that, the incest could have been cut down but this is a Game of Thrones spinoff so that comes as a bundle unfortunately.
Lastly, I would have loved to have seen the point of view of the common people more. There is too much focus on the Targaryens and sometimes you need a break. It would have been nice to see what the residents of Westeros thought.
When I first started watching the show, I expected a bunch of dragon versus dragon scenes and that was not the case. That will happen in season two and even then, not as often as I would like it to. Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon are more about politics and wits. The Targaryens just happened to have dragons once upon a time. Now we get to see the dragons and they aren’t really used much.
That is not to say that the show hasn’t been successful. It has told an amazing story and has set up an epic season two. Everyone will be eager for the upcoming battles and the aftermath of the climax of season one. If you enjoyed Game of Thrones, then you will love this is it is much of the same. The show has learned a lot from the Game of Thrones episodes and doesn’t make the same mistakes and instead offers a masterpiece that is much better than it has any right being.