House of the Dragon, a prequel to HBO’s Game of Thrones, is set for its massive release on the platform. And while the latter failed to deliver a spectacle in its final season, the former will hopefully use its most significant assets to avoid any risks.
House of the Dragon needs to use its best feature to its full potential to be a great hit. While the prequel cannot single-handedly mend the mistakes made by its predecessor, the upcoming HBO series still has a tiny chance to save face and show the audiences that there is still hope for the franchise.
There are a lot of expectations and hopes riding on House of the Dragon, and while the show is full of opportunities for redemption, it would need a lot more than just a solid plot to do so. House of the Dragon could redeem the franchise if the series commercializes its most significant and most spectacular feature, dragons.
Plot setting for Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon
House of the Dragon is set in a time that is around 170 years before all that we saw in Game Of Thrones. The show’s primary focus is on House Targaryen, and it tells the story of the decline of their power from the throne. The show uses its source material for the Targaryen house’s history, which is George R.R Martin’s free text Fire and Blood, as well as novellas The Princess and the Queen and The Rogue Prince. Following the timelines in these pieces of text, the story will feature the two-year-long Civil War, also popularly known as The Dance of Dragons.
The Civil War took place after the death of King Viserys I. in the event of his demise, the Queen and the Small Council refused to honor his final wishes of appointing his chosen successor and eldest daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, to the throne and instead announced Viserys’ eldest son Prince Aegon II as the King. This act of defiance infuriated many, and a catastrophic battle for succession broke between the two half-siblings. The battle involved over half the continent and went on for two whole years. It is known that George R.R Martin is an executive producer for the prequel, alongside the well-acclaimed showrunner Miguel Sapochnik, who is a recurring Game of Thrones director.
The Game of Thrones prequel would follow in the footsteps of its predecessor and revolve around intriguing themes of politics and betrayal, which is why House of the Dragon could have the potential for a similar peril. While the former made a massive deal about dragon action, in the beginning, the HBO series failed to deliver much on the mystical creatures for over half of its course. And when the dragons eventually did appear on screen, their iteration was clumsy and vague, making the overall experience quite disappointing.
While House of the Dragon revolves around the fall of House Targaryen, and the word ‘dragon’ is already included in the title itself, it is not a stretch for the audience to expect the creatures’ better portrayal in the show, which is why it would be a massive setback if the show is not liberal with dragons. Compared to when Game of Thrones took place, dragons are hoped to be a common occurrence in the prequel. However, the number of dragons to be featured in the prequel is not as significant as seeing how the show portrays them.
Creator George R.R Martin has revealed that House of the Dragon will feature as many as 17 dragons. Martin was very thrilled to see how these many creatures will be utilized in action. But amidst all the anticipation, Martin also expressed how this desire for the franchise has been posing a plausible risk for around a decade now. He said, “…hopefully, they’ll each have their own personalities, they’ll be instantly recognizable when you see them, the colors and all of that, because the dragons do have personalities in the books, and it’ll be great to see that come alive.”
The dragons have been a massive part of The Dance of Dragons conflict. Since the prequel is primarily based on this epic battle, and the show has already depicted how every Dragon’s personality is somehow connected to the person riding them, the show’s pertinent fame needs to flesh out these dragons as main characters with certain mannerisms instead of using them as props on the set like they did with its predecessor. The three dragons featured in Game of Thrones were identified by their color, but little attention was paid to developing their personalities.
The show did something similar with Stark’s six dire wolves by altering them with time. This not only made the creatures shallow but failed to show them as significant to the story. House of the Dragon has on its shoulders the responsibility of making almost three times this number of dragons and bringing them all to life. We hope the series does not make the same mistake as Game of Thrones, but instead, it rectifies it.
A lot of the franchise’s future rides on House of the Dragon’s success. It is now more necessary than ever for the story to do justice to its source material and redeem itself in the eyes of its devoted audiences. For things to work out in their favor, the showrunners need to have their primary focus on creating a relationship between the Targaryens and their dragons. We are still not sure if all the 17 dragons will be featured in the first season itself, but viewers will not be as disappointed if the prequel promises a good spectacle of dragon action. While Game of Thrones did not stay up to the mark in this area, House of the Dragon shows an excellent opportunity to breathe new life into the franchise and draw the audiences to a wholly unique experience of A Song of Ice and Fire.