'House of the Dragon' Episode 1 Review: Well-crafted and visually stunning, this 'GOT' prequel series is a thrilling watch
It’s been more than three years since the series finale of ‘Game of Thrones’ aired on HBO. Even though the final season did not satisfy viewers, there’s no doubt that ‘GOT’ is one of the best TV shows of all time. However, fans didn’t shy away from showing their disappointment for an underwhelming finale and when HBO announced that a prequel series on House Targaryen, titled ‘House of the Dragon’, will be released in 2022, everyone was excited and nervous at the same time.
But fans can relax now because the first episode for ‘House of the Dragon’ is finally out and we can say that it’s a thrilling start to a series that promises to be one of the most astounding chapters in the ‘Game of Thrones’ universe. The prequel series starts 172 years before the death of the Mad King (Aerys Targaryen) and the birth of Daenerys Targaryen. It uses George RR Martin’s 2018 novel ‘Fire & Blood’ as its source material to give the viewers an idea of how House Targaryen ruled Westeros and what brought them down to their knees even when they were the strongest dynasty ever. In the first 5 minutes of the premiere, we see how King Jaeherys’ failing health forces him to choose a new heir. So, he decides to choose Viserys as the new ruler instead of Princess Rhaenys.
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Just like ‘Game of Thrones’, the first episode is all about establishing the characters rather than stuffing it with gruesome action. That said, there is enough action for viewers to feast on. If you have been a fan of ‘GOT’, then you know that everyone wanted to sit on the Iron Throne and rule the world. But ‘HOTD’ is all about the conflicts in the family and how they get even worse when Viserys decides to choose Princess Rhaenerys as his new heir. The best part of the show is that it dives deeper into the politics of just one dynasty and we don’t get to know what’s happening outside the walls of King’s Landing. The first episode of the latest HBO fantasy series is different from ‘Game of Thrones’ and as the episode reaches its conclusion, the makers do not shy away from throwing gruesome killing sequences, politics, betrayals, sex, and of course, Dragons.
A gut-wrenching birth scene will make you feel really uncomfortable and you’d wish that it would end sooner. Another thing worth mentioning here is the visual effects and how amazing the Dragons look.
Matt Smith and Paddy Considine are superb in their respective roles of Prince Daemon Targaryen and King Viserys I Targaryen. Smith is undoubtedly the MVP of the premiere episode and has a stronger screen presence than any other character. On the other hand, Milly Alcock (Princess Rahenyra Targaryen), Emily Carey (Alicent Hightower, and Rhys Ifans (Ser Otto Hightower) are extremely brilliant as well.
All in all, ‘House of the Dragon’ is a strong return to the ‘Game of Thrones’ universe and brings back all the finest aspects of the original series in a spellbinding way. You don’t need to worry about anything because ‘HOTD’ is everything you hoped for.
'House of the Dragon' returns to HBO with a new episode every Sunday at 9 pm EST.