A blind ‘House of the Dragon’ review

Camille Gretter ’23 gives her insight on the new “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon.”

Spoilers Ahead

As someone who has never seen a single episode of “Game of Thrones,” I was told that starting with the prequel would be better than jumping straight into the series in order to avoid spoilers. So I started watching “House of the Dragon” every Sunday night on HBO Max. All in all, I loved it. However, I’ve heard that people who have already watched “Game of Thrones” have a hard time enjoying it because there is supposedly a gruesome ending that I am told I am not ready for, and that I should have my tissue box ready for use. My complaints about the show are very small, and overall I thought it was super well-written. 

First, let’s start with the good aspects: the casting was phenomenal. Paddy Considine, Matt Smith and Milly Alcock took control of the show straight from the get-go. The costumes, makeup and hair all perfectly elevated the characters. I have seen way too many poorly done wigs on television (I’m looking at you “Riverdale”), and luckily, this was not the case for this show. The platinum blonde locks perfectly embodied the Targaryen ‘do, and actually enhanced a lot of the drama that would play out later in the first season.

Next: the dragons. Obviously, when you see a show called “House of the Dragon,” you’re going to be expecting to see some. While there were many very cool action shots featuring the huge beasts, I was expecting a little bit more screen time for the dragons. From the few scenes they’re featured in, though, the CGI was spectacular. It really captured the size of the dragons compared to their riders, which really added to how powerful and how vital they are later in the story, which is something watchers do not see in the first season but is promised as the show adds more seasons.  

Now to the things I do not necessarily like— the time jumps. The show features so many different time jumps ranging from two to 10 years, to where it seems like there’s a new cast every single episode. While I know that the writers want to keep it speedy to get to the juicy drama and fighting, I would have liked to see a slower season. I really liked the first five episodes where we see the two main characters, Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, as childhood best friends. I feel like that would’ve made their falling out much more impactful to the watcher. 

One of the more disturbing, yet historically accurate, parts of the series I did not like was the incest. With uncles marrying nieces, cousins marrying cousins and siblings marrying siblings, it was truly a disturbing aspect of the show. I could partly understand the goal of keeping “the blood of the dragon” strong in all Targaryen family members, but the fact that all of the offspring produced from the incest was beautiful made the whole thing very unreasonable. Realistically, a child born from two siblings would not be a beautiful kid with shiny white hair, but I suppose not many things about this show are realistic at all, given it is a highly fantastical plot.

Overall, I enjoyed the show. IMDb ratings gave the show an overall 8.6/10-star rating, and I think that is lowballing it a little, but also pretty accurate. I would give it a 9/10, only because I thought the story itself was pretty solid. However, the “Game of Thrones” IMDb rating is 9.2, so I am interested to see what my rating of “House of the Dragon” would be after I watched that series. Overall, I loved the action and drama that the first season introduced, and will definitely tune into the second season, whenever it may premiere.