By David T. Valentin
Ever since HBO announced there would be a Game of Thrones spinoff, every fan has been holding their breath in anticipation. After the disaster that was the final season, Season eight, many fans were unsure if they would give House of the Dragon a chance. Lo and behold, many Game of Thrones including myself decided to tune in and I have to say I was not disappointed.
The plot of the spinoff, House of the Dragon follows the Targaryen family 200 years before our Dragon Queen Daenerys Targaryen and the civil war amongst the families known as The Dance of the Dragons; a bloody war that will leave many Targaryens, and their dragons, dead by the hands of their own family members and their fellow countrymen.
That’s about as much as the plot I can summarize, because it does get a bit complicated explaining the whole thing. Fans of only the show, unfamiliar with the book Fire & Blood (a textbook history of the Targaryen family), may be a bit confused at during the first episode especially considering the large cast of pretty important people in Westeros during that time. Still, despite many of the names being easily forgotten at first, the show takes a moment to slow down for more intimate scenes between smaller groups of people or just a couple or two. The change in pacing, I think, allows us to quickly become familiar with this new, past era of Game of Thrones better, I think, than even Game of Thrones did. I mean, I didn’t learn most of the characters names until the end of season one.
Fans of the darker tones of Game of Thrones may feel a bit confused at the more fantastical and peaceful times we’re witnessing during the beginning of House of the Dragon, but believe me it is only to lull you into a sense of safety and comfort before the war to come. After getting acquintated with the new cast of characters, the show immediately shifts into the darker elements of Game of Thrones that we’ve become accustomed to.
With a promising start to an epic moment in history for Westeros, it may put The Song of Ice and Fire series back on the map after the treacherous Season eight ending that was the series finale of Game of Thrones. And perhaps with the eventual success of House of the Dragon, perhaps we’ll get even more well written spinoffs that take the time and effort to make sure they get the plot and characters right.