House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon: dark, powerful, visceral, disturbing, stunning

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So says George R. R. Martin who has seen the whole of the Game of Thrones spinoff show. 

The Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, covering the events of the Targaryen civil war is just days away. It premieres on Sunday 21nd August on HBO, which translates to a 2 am simulcast on Sky Atlantic for insomniacs. Alternately, you should be able to stream it during the day or watch at the more civilised time of 10 pm on Monday.

The show is set nearly two centuries before Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood. The story deals with the thorny issue of succession to the Iron Throne when King Viserys Targaryen breaks with tradition and names his daughter as heir, rather than his brother.

Early reactions to House of the Dragon have called it a “worthy successor” to the original series, but in a recent blog post George RR Martin has gone further:

“I’ve seen all ten episodes now (albeit in rough cuts), and I love what I’ve seen.   Ryan and Miguel and their amazing cast and crew have done some magnificent work.   Hot D is all I hoped it would be; dark, powerful, visceral, disturbing, stunning to look at, peopled with complex and very human characters brought to life by some truly amazing actors.

“Hot D”

While we’d expect plenty of positivity from the author, this is effusive praise contrasting against recent comments in which he seemed to distance himself from the final years of GoT.  Most amusingly is the reference to the show as “Hot D” – we wonder if it will catch on?

House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon’s first season runs for 10 episodes, starring Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Rhys Ifans, Olivia Cooke, Fabien Frankel, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno and Paddy Considine.

If you’re not quite ready to launch back into the world of dragons, there’s a handy video explainer from Martin himself, setting up the world of Westeros in this earlier era.