House of the Dragon Episode 1 Review

House of the Dragon Episode 1 Review: Heir to the Throne

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The last season of "Game of Thrones" was a disaster. Turning one of the best shows into a menacing dash to its end. For a series that was known for its long games, it seemed out of touch and out of reality to what viewers actually loved about the material. But all of that is in the past as "House of the Dragon" starts on a decisively right and big first step. There's violence, there's intrigue, and there's an impending sense of epic that just had us giddy from first minute to last.
Set around two centuries before the events of "Game of Thrones",  the "House of the Dragon" revolves around the ruling House Targaryen who finds itself in the beginning of its end as the current King and Queen is unable to produce a male heir. This struggle will eventually lead to a civil war of succession known as the "Dance of the Dragons".   
There's always a perception that prequels just wouldn't and shouldn't work because we already know what's going to happen. But here's the beauty of "House of the Dragon", even if we know the end game and its connection to its predecessor, the 200 year difference means that there's going to be a lot of material, characters, and lore to work with that seeing a direct connection to "Game of Thrones" except for familiar surnames will be loose in terms of its episodic narrative. In fact, this is the best asset of the pilot episode of "House of the Dragon". By the time the 60-minute episode is done, we're already heavily-invested to key characters and we're already anticipating their possible motivations and decisions in the coming episodes.
"House of the Dragon" also knows what worked before and utilizes these elements well. There's sex, violence, gore, political and psychological intrigue, (and even the soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi) that on the onset, fans will feel familiar with its world even if its 200 years in the past. We also cannot deny that the film's production is once again top-notch and will easily transport viewers to the world of Westeros. We're just glad that "House of the Dragon" brings back so much to why we loved this series so much before. Here's hoping that this first step will be the first of many great ones.    
Rating: 4 and a half reels

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