House of the Dragon is a treat for Game of Thrones fans. It is the perfect combination of political drama and awe-striking fantasy, perfect for fans of the franchise as well as newbies. In its heyday, Game of Thrones was often referred to as the best show in the world – that is, until its disastrous final season. Season 8 of Game of Thrones ruined the show for even the most dedicated fans. The bad writing and break-neck pace meant that fans no longer recognized the characters they saw on screen. After waiting a decade for the series’ epic conclusion, fans were so disappointed with the ending that petitions asking HBO to remake the final season gained millions of signatures.
After season 8, it seemed like there was no hope for Game of Thrones. But House of the Dragon is on a mission to make people fall back in love with the franchise. Daenerys Targaryen was one of the most popular characters in Game of Thrones, and her character’s ending was one of the most disappointing aspects of the main series. However, fans were very fascinated by the legacy of the Targaryen dynasty, and HBO saw an opportunity to win back its audience.
House of the Dragon is centered around Dany’s ancestors and gives fans a glimpse of the Targaryen rule at its most powerful. It is simultaneously a political drama exploring the power dynamics within the Targaryen family, as well as an epic fantasy series that pulls viewers back into Westeros, with more dragons than ever.
House of the Dragon began airing one episode a week in August and has recently concluded its first season, with a second season already on the way. It has been met with positive reception from fans and critics alike and has even spurred rumors of another spin-off series featuring House Stark. Here are 5 reasons why House of the Dragon could revive the success of the Game of Thrones franchise and pave the way for more spin-off series in the world of Ice and Fire.
1️⃣ There Is Ample Source Material
One of the biggest problems faced by the original Game of Thrones series is the lack of source material towards the end. When David Benioff and D.B Weiss first began production for Game of Thrones, they were very faithful to the source material, George R.R. Martin’s book series The Song of Ice and Fire. However, from the 6th season of Game of Thrones, the show had surpassed the plot of the books. George R.R. Martin essentially stopped writing the series, with the most recent book published all the way back in 2011.
With no source material to rely on, the burden of writing the rest of the series fell largely on the creators, who were not able to maintain the quality of the previous seasons. Game of Thrones was well-liked for its intricate but well-crafted plot, sophisticated dialogue, and realism, all of which suffered without source material to adapt.
However, House of the Dragon is based on the spin-off book Fire and Blood, which details major events in the 300 years of Targaryen rule. Although Fire and Blood is written to resemble a history book, it gives the show’s creators a complete outline to work with. Since they know exactly how the arcs of its major characters end, the creators can slowly build towards that ending over the seasons.
2️⃣ The Creators Have Learnt From Their Mistakes
Although very popular, the original Game of Thrones series was not without its flaws. The show was often said to be hard to follow due to its large cast of characters. House of the Dragon, by choosing to focus on the Targaryen family, has relatively fewer characters than the original series, making it easier to follow.
Game of Thrones was also criticized for including gratuitous violence and nudity. The creators were also criticized for adding rape scenes in the show, like Dany’s first night with Khal Drogo, that was actually consensual in the books. The House of the Dragon writers are committed to exploring the nuances of gender in this medieval world, especially since two of the show’s key players are women.
3️⃣ George R.R. Martin Is Involved
When Game of Thrones first started airing, fans were delighted to find that season 1 was very faithful to the books. However, as the show progressed, the creators began taking a different direction with the series. They chose to omit many prominent characters in the books, like Lady Stoneheart and Young Griff. By Season 5, it became clear that the show could not have the same ending as the books due to these major changes.
The many changes the creators made eventually snowballed into the disaster of the final season we all love to hate. HBO has learned its lesson from this ordeal and made George a much more prominent member of House of the Dragon production. George is credited as the creator of the new series, while he was only an executive producer in the original Game of Thrones. George’s involvement can ensure that the show stays on track with his vision.
4️⃣ Everyone Loves Targaryens
There’s no denying that the Targaryens are a very fascinating family. From their incest, to their dragons, the Targaryen family has captured the interest of fans even though they were only mentioned in passing. Seeing Daenerys fight to restore the glory of Targaryen rule naturally makes us curious about the times when the Targaryens were in power.
House of the Dragon’s first season already featured 9 stunning dragons on the show, with more to come in the following season. The creators of House of the Dragon have also stated that once the Dance of the Dragons is covered in the show, the show will move on to covering the realms of kings that followed Rhaenyra and Aegon. There is no shortage of content for Targaryen lovers here!
5️⃣ It’s A Well-Written Show
Although the biggest downfall of Game of Thrones was the bad writing in season 8, House of the Dragon has proved that there are no shortcuts to telling a good story. Although the show deals with several time jumps from episode to episode, with the actors playing major characters changing midway through the season, the pace still feels reasonable and exciting at once.
Capturing the witty charm of the original Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon is a political drama at its core. Yes, the Targaryens have dragons, but the majority of the conflict is derived from internal politics and family dynamics. This is what keeps the show interesting and worth staying tuned in for.
If you haven’t seen House of the Dragon yet, we hope this article convinced you to give it a shot! It’s just as good as the original Game of Thrones – maybe even better.