House of the Dragon has all the opulence, beauty, and character building of Game of Thrones and that is its strength. Unlike GoT, which focused on the quests of the noble houses of the Seven Kingdoms but the prequel is all House Targaryens. King Viserys (Paddy Considine) sits on the Iron Throne and soon it’ll be time to choose a successor.
The obvious choice seems to be his teenage daughter Rhaenyra, played by an incredible Milly Alcock, but there’s also a jealous brother (Viserys’) in the picture - Daemon (Matt Smith). Rhaenyra has all the makings of a good ruler - she’s determined, level-headed, and ambitious - but the Lords have made it amply clear that the Iron Throne needs a ‘King’.
As a prequel to an immensely successful show (barring a disastrous last season), House of the Dragon won’t be able to shed comparison. Whether it suffers from this inevitability or does it leave it behind to stand out on its own merit remains to be seen.
Currently, it seems to be leaning into the comparisons, trying to be even gorier and darker than its legacy even as it comes out looking paler. That is perhaps its only demerit so far because through all its nostalgia, it creates a story of betrayal, political webs, and much more.
House of the Dragon is going to be a treat for Game of Thrones fans and for those wishing for a better end to the latter, maybe the prequel based on George RR Martin’s Fire and Blood will be the closure they need.