OPINION | Why you should be watching HBO’s “House of the Dragon”

“House of the Dragon” is the new HBO phenomenon set as a prequel to one of the most-watched tv shows of all time: “Game of Thrones.”

GOT was one of the most talked about shows for almost a decade when it aired on HBO from 2011 to 2019. The show averaged a viewer count of about 44 million during all eight seasons. 

Unfortunately for “Game of Thrones,” it aired a universally hated finale that practically eradicated all of its hype from just one episode. 1.8 million fans signed a petition to completely rewrite season eight with “competent writers.” 

Even though the last two episodes were disappointing to the series, I have rewatched it from start to finish about five times and still love every minute of it.

So of course I was counting down the days until HOTD premiered and so far, I find it riveting. Every episode is filled with drama, betrayal and action that captivates my attention from start to finish. Spoilers ahead. 

Set 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen, “House of the Dragon” introduces viewers to the events that led to the demise of the Targaryen house. As we learn in GOT, their bloodline has a 50/50 shot of bearing an heir that will be either completely deranged or an exemplary leader. This series is based around the acts that ruined the house’s name and caused anyone with Targaryen blood to be sought out and murdered.

The show revolves around three main characters: Queen Alicent, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Prince Daemon Targaryen (Rhaenyra’s uncle.) Alicent is not a Targaryen by blood, but she is seeming to be just as problematic as the episodes go on.

Many characters have the same name as their ancestors and grandchildren, who are mentioned in “Game of Thrones,” so I recommend either just focusing on the characters currently in the show or looking up a Targaryen family tree, which is still confusing because their lineage contains a lot of incest.

The show has gotten some backlash for the romantic relationship between Rhaenyra and Daemon because she is his 17-year-old niece, but for GOT fans, we are aware that the world that George R.R. Martin has written knows no limits.

HBO Max has really upped the shock value with this series, making “Game of Thrones” seem tame. In the very first episode we see a woman practically cut in half during childbirth, and that’s just the beginning.

I believe HOTD has the opportunity and the structure to be as popular if not more popular than its predecessor. I think one of the reasons Game of Thrones is hard to follow is because it pursues so many different characters’ storylines, which makes it harder to pay attention and remember everything that is going on. Be that as it may, in “House of the Dragon,” all of the characters and their plotlines are connected, which makes everything much easier to follow and even more fast-paced.

And who doesn’t love a good dragon?

If you want to start watching this GOT prequel, now is your chance. There are currently eight episodes out and two more to come before the finale on Oct. 23. That’s plenty of time to marathon and catch up before the end. However, if you want to start with “Game of Thrones,” that marathon will last you over seventy hours and does contain spoilers for “House of the Dragon.”