The New Reign Begins- House of the Dragon Summary+Review


Kenzie Herrick, Contributing Writer

From the gaudy capital of King’s Landing to the frigid North, fans of the famous fantasy drama series, Game of Thrones, are given more Westeros content with the new prequel series- House of the Dragon 

House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin’s stand-alone novel, Fire & Blood. Written from the fictional viewpoint of Maester Yandel, Fire & Blood records hundreds of accounts from 0 A.C. (during the first rule of Aegon the Conqueror) to 136 A.C. (after the Dance of Dragons- aka the Targaryen civil war).  

The series itself begins in Westeros around 172 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Fans follow the Targaryen family as they approach the dawn of a new rule.  

Season one has 10 episodes rated TV-MA as it features blood, war, and other sensitive scenes. The rich history of George R.R. Martin’s world does get a bit heavy, so let’s break it down. 

Game of Thrones Recap  

Released in 2011 by HBO, Game of Thrones tells the story of a bloodthirsty succession. The dueling houses of Targaryen, Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Arryn, Greyjoy, Tully, Tyrell, and Martell battle for the infamous Iron Throne.  

Although it may function like a tetanus death trap, this notable throne is where the king/queen of the Seven Kingdoms (Westeros) presides.  

Made by Aegon the Conqueror, the throne would lead to a Targaryen rule that would last for centuries. Not only is the throne said to be made from the swords of Aegon’s enemies, but those swords were also melted together by the flame of his dragon, Balerion.  

In Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen is the sole survivor of the Targaryen lineage and is one of the many to fight for her place on the throne as she believes it’s her birthright- regardless of Lannister jewels, Baratheon military, or Stark nobility. 

House of the Dragon Begins 

This is where House of the Dragon comes in. Fans get an in-depth look into the brutal and fiery Targaryen history surrounding the Iron Throne.  

Season one follows a few key plots while jumping through time. The current Targaryen house consists of King Viserys (Paddy Considine), his brother Daemon (Matt Smith), Viserys’ firstborn daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy), and his new wife Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke)- along with their own children.  

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is the main focus as most of the show follows her gut-wrenching loss of innocence as she’s forced into marriage, announced heir to the Iron Throne, and is pushed to the front of a Targaryen civil war as her succession is questioned. 

The main player to question the rightful heir, is Viserys’ wife (and Rhaenyra’s childhood friend), Alicent Hightower. Coming from a historically rich and respected house, the Hightower’s want their lineage to appear on the throne- in the form of Viserys’ and Alicent’s firstborn son, Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney). 

House of the Dragon as a Whole 

As many heartbroken fans remember…Game of Thrones had a slight fall from grace. Without clear direction and unfinished books, directors were basically left to write okay fanfiction.  

However, House of the Dragon is not only based on a completed novel, but it managed to top Game of Thrones in premier numbers almost immediately (hitting 10 million streams its debut night). 

Despite it being a new series, many will agree that House of the Dragon was able to pick up where Game of Thrones fell off. The incredibly complex characters paired with exciting pacing and tension-filled conflicts, proves the show deserves its hype from fans and newcomers alike.  

Season two is rumored to be released on HBO sometime in 2024 and will finally feature the North and some new faces.  

House of the Dragon is out now and available for streaming on HBO.