House of the Dragon: What You Need to Know Before Watching the Game of Thrones Prequel

The long-awaited prequel to Game of Thrones, House of the Dragons, is coming up more than three years after the original series finale.

It promises to hit many of the same beats: big fights, political intrigue, sex (most of it incest), fire-breathing dragons, a bit of high-fantasy gobbledygook, and, of course, something to remember. A bunch of very similar names..

If you find yourself having trouble distinguishing Daemons from Daerons and Rhaenyses from Rhaenyras, read this article.

We must stress that even if you haven’t seen it, you can absolutely go into the series blind and expect it to make sense. game of thronesBut a little background knowledge might make the complex and dense world of Westeros easier to understand.

Then it’s a must.

What is “House of the Dragon”?

First, a quick history lesson.

About 300 years before the incident game of thronesthe continent of Westeros was invaded by Aegon Targaryen, later known as Aegon the Conqueror.

The Targaryens were aliens from a land called Valyria, which was destroyed in a mysterious natural disaster. They were distinguished by their platinum blond hair, their penchant for inbreeding, and most of all, their ability to tame and ride dragons.

The normal human armies of Westeros had no chance against the Dragonriders, so Aegon successfully united six of the continent’s seven different kingdoms under his rule, with the seventh following suit.

From the sword upon which his enemies surrendered, he created the iconic Iron Throne.

House Targaryen ruled Westeros uninterrupted for nearly three centuries until the so-called “Mad King” Aerys Targaryen was overthrown in a rebellion. Aerys’ two surviving children, Viserys and Daenerys, dreamed of crossing the ocean and reclaiming their family’s crown. Daenerys’ quest to do so game of thrones’ Key plot thread.

End of history lesson.

As you know, House Targaryen is only in name House of the DragonThe prequel takes place about 200 years ago game of thronesrevolves around a time when the Targaryens were at the absolute height of their power, and a bloody civil war.

The protagonist of the story is Daenerys’ ancestor.

brand new character

Good news for those who haven’t seen it game of thrones, or if your memory of the characters and plot of that show is hazy, that it doesn’t matter. The series is set quite early in the timeline, so there are no returning characters to track down. Members of the original series cast have yet to be born.

Well, there are no familiar faces. But seasoned viewers will recognize plenty of names.The Starks, Lannisters, Arryns, Freys, Tullys, and other powerful families are all out there.

With King’s Landing and Dragonstone serving as the Targaryen’s primary seat of power, the setting should also evoke nostalgia.

Expect some important differences from game of thrones, but. Most importantly, the dragon is still very close and riding the battle. There are about 20 different dragons in the prequel series, most of them tied to another rider.

There are also some important family members who didn’t make an appearance throne.

House Hightower, located in Oldtown, is one of the most powerful houses in the kingdom. Sir Otto Hightower, Hand of the King, plays a key role. House of the Dragonas well as his daughter Aricent.

(If you missed throne, The Hand of the King, as the title suggests, is the ruler’s right hand. Throughout the original series, different hands tended to do most of the control, with the kings concentrating on less burdensome pursuits.)

Another new family to watch is House Velaryon, which is based on an island called Driftmark. Like Targaryen, Velarion is descended from Valyria. You’ll notice that many of them have the same characteristic platinum hair.

Velarion is known for the power and wealth of the seas, giving them immense influence. His Lord Corlys Velaryon, nicknamed the Sea Snake, House of the Dragon.

Stream HOUSE OF THE DRAGON EXPRESS from the US at Binge on August 22nd, or watch it on FOXTEL. New BINGE customers are eligible for a 14-day free trial.sign up binge.com.au

Raw material difference

game of thrones Based on an unfinished series of novels by George R.R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire.

The show began as an adaptation, but strayed further from the book as it progressed, eventually running out of source material for showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

By the last few seasons, the pair were creating their own plots rather than adapting Martin’s work (he has yet to finish the novel). We outlined the intended ending, but they were forced to map their way there.

This awkward situation is detrimental to the show, thrones The final season ultimately disappointed so many viewers.

There are reasons for optimism and pessimism House of the Dragon.

On the positive side, the sauce material is complete this time.The base of the first part is fire and blooda spin-off book from Martin that tells the history of House Targaryen.

On the downside, fire and blood written much drier than Song of Ice and Fire A novel like a history textbook. What that means is that it lacks the brilliant prose, especially the dialogue, found in the early seasons. throne Often lifted directly from the page.

So showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik have a rough outline of the entire story. House of the Dragonthey don’t have to improvise the ending. But they need to turn a relatively insipid book into something compelling on screen.

Spoiler alert: what to expect from the plot

We’ve already covered a simple out-of-the-box premise House of the Dragon: The story of the brutal Targaryen Civil War known in space as the Dance of the Dragons.

If you want a more concrete overview, read on.However If you want to be in the show blind, stop nowBy delving into the details, it undermines some important early plot points and character motivations that seem to form the basis for most of season one.

Also: If you don’t want to go into season one with a pretty good idea of ​​how the plot will play out, stop now.

At that time.

As the show begins, King Viserys Targaryen sits on the Iron Throne, but the identity of his rightful successor is unknown.

The king has one surviving child, Princess Laenira, and no sons. Viserys’ younger brother, Prince Damon, considers himself the rightful heir, as men have historically had an advantage over women as heirs.

Tension rises. Viserys puts an end to it by officially naming Rhaenyra his successor.

Things get complicated again when Viserys remarries after the death of his first wife. His new, much younger bride is Aricent Hightower, daughter of the King’s Hand, Ser Otto Hightower.

Viserys and Alicent have four children, including three sons. The eldest son was named Aegon II after the conqueror.

Two Targaryen factions have emerged, each with followers in their respective kingdoms. They are nicknamed Green and Black. These colors are derived from gowns famously worn by Queen Aricent and Princess Laenira respectively at grand banquets.

The Greens favor placing Aigon, Aricent’s son, on the Iron Throne after Viserys’ death. Blacks support Laenira’s claims.

A dastardly political intrigue takes place, and when Viserys finally dies, Rhaenyra is still his nominated heir, and the two factions begin a bloody war for the throne. Dance of the Dragons.

If House of the Dragon follow a similar pace as game of thronesthe events mentioned above, and so many others we didn’t mention, took up most of the show’s first season, and we’d expect later episodes to bring us the exciting case of Viserys’ death. But that’s just speculation.

Of course, it’s all just a setting, and the war that follows is the lynchpin of the story.

If you want to know everything unfolding in advance, you can always checkout fire and bloodBut that’s where we leave it.

Excited for House of the Dragons? Send us your thoughts! @Sam Clench | | samuel.clench@news.com.au

first published as House of the Dragon: What You Need to Know Before Watching the Game of Thrones Prequel

House of the Dragon: What You Need to Know Before Watching the Game of Thrones Prequel

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