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How House Of The Dragon Differ From Game Of Thrones?

By Umer Javed
August 24,2022

It has been a really long wait for the prequel to Game of Thrones. Fans were mostly unsure about what to expect from the HBO show following the disaster the last season of GOT was, but that didn’t kill the hype for this show. The series has already broken the GOT record by amassing 10 million views on the first episode. However, the season premiere also left us wondering: Is it going to be the same story under a different name? Let’s dig a little deeper and find out.

Different Timelines

HOTD: Princess Rhaenyra the new heir

HOTD: Princess Rhaenyra the new heir

This one is a little too obvious but it’s one of the main differences between the two shows. Game of Thrones made us wonder what Westeros would’ve been like under the reign of the Targaryens. Luckily, HBO and George R. R. Martin listened to our prayers and presented us with the House of the Dragon. The show is set roughly 200 years before the events of GOT but it feels like not much has changed throughout the years. Of course we have dragons flying around, and a Targaryen on the Iron Throne, yet it somehow felt the same old story of blood, betrayals and deceit. 

A Different Power Struggle (sort of)

The Iron Throne in Game of Thrones

The Iron Throne in Game of Thrones

The show starts 172 years before the death of the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen. In the first episode, it became obvious that the struggle for the Iron Throne was not something new, but also persisted during the era of Targaryens. However, the power struggle in the spin-off is different. It’s more personal. It’s a deadly conflict between Targaryen’s, all laying claim on the Throne. The makers have already made it obvious that they’re not going to shy away from blood and gore, and by the looks of it, the violence in HOTD can get more brutal and ruthless than GOT.

Different Pace

While Game of Thrones was set in a wider setting encompassing the different houses in Westeros over almost a decade. House of the Dragon has taken a different approach. From the very first episode we start witnessing time jumps. The show has it’s focus on a single house. It focuses only on the Targaryens over a long period of time. This helps the show to set a different pace than GOT.

A Different Battle

HOTD: Prince Damon

HOTD: Prince Damon

Game of Thrones has given us a lot of memorable battles during its run, but the main hype from the very first season was for the war against the Night King. House of the Dragon on the other hand, though knowing about the threat that resides in the North, has taken a different approach. The first episode has made it quite clear that the show is headed towards the Dying of the Dragons – a Targaryen civil war. 

After watching the first episode of the prequel, it feels that both the shows are similar yet different. The faster pacing of the House of the Dragon does help it look different from Game of Thrones, but the comparisons are generally unfair. Even though both the shows may have similar themes and style, they’re trying to tell us two entirely different stories.

Halfway through the first episode, I found myself more invested in the Targaryens than wondering about the parallels between the two shows. House of the Dragon might not become the next Game of Thrones, but the HBO show has had a great start and has been well received by the fans. Also, considering that we do not have an unfinished book as the source material for the series, I am pretty optimistic and excited about the tale of the Targaryens.