The Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon premiered on 21st August, 2022, on the HBO Channel and is available on the streaming service HBO Max. The show is set around two hundred years before the events in Game of Thrones. Based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire and Blood, the prequel tells the story of the House of the Targaryens. Given the complexity of Game of Thrones, potential viewers of the prequel are bound to have their questions. Below, we dive into some of the most important (as well as the not-so-important).
Do I Need to Watch Game of Thrones First?
The prequel takes place long before the events of Game of Thrones, so don’t fret – you can still enjoy House of the Dragon if you haven’t seen the main series.
With that said, the characters are the ancestors of key players in Game of Thrones, which naturally references some of the events that take place in House of the Dragon. The prequel is much easier to follow as it focuses mainly on the Targaryen family rather than several families and storylines like Game of Thrones. Or, if you’re so inclined, you could read the House Targaryen book Fire and Blood.
Perhaps the most important character is Daenerys’s ancestor, Rhaenyra Targaryen. Emma D’Arcy plays the dragon rider, Princess. As the King’s only child, she is the youngest in line for the throne. King Viserys himself is played by Paddy Considine, who portrays the kind and fair king of the seven kingdoms.
Matt Smith, renowned for his role as the eleventh Doctor, plays the unpredictable Prince Daemon, the king’s younger brother. Also, a dragon rider, Daemon, is heir to the throne. Otto Hightower, Hand of the King and hence his greatest advisor, is portrayed by Rhys Ifans. Ever loyal to King Viserys, Otto keeps an eye on Daemon. Otto’s daughter, Alicent Hightower, is played by Olivia Cooke. Raised in the court, she is quick-witted and politically informed.
Steve Toussaint portrays Corlys Velaryon, a Lord of House Velaryon. Also known as ‘The Sea Snake’, Corlys is head of the world’s largest navy. His wife and cousin to the king, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, is played by Eve Best, a dragon rider.
Fabien Frankel plays the knight Ser Criston Cole, the son of Lord Blackhaven’s steward. His skill with a sword is largely unmatched. Finally, there is Mysaria, who is hired as a spy and is a trusted ally of Prince Daemon. Played by Sonoya Mizuno, she is full of mystery and intrigue.
How Many Episodes Are There?
Since Game of Thrones was a sprawling series epic, potential viewers might be glad (or saddened) to know that House of the Dragon is just ten episodes, each around 50 minutes long.
There Will Be a Lot of Blonde Wigs
Daenerys’s iconic white blonde wig was a hallmark of Game of Thrones and is a common feature among the Targaryen family. The wigs have received a ton of criticism, both good and bad. The online reception to Smith’s wig, in particular, has been interesting. We don’t know what those wigs are about, but platinum blonde has the fantasy genre in a chokehold. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if House of the Dragon does it better than Game of Thrones and The Witcher.