House of the Dragon, the prequel that wants to dethrone Game of Thrones

For almost two weeks, the House of the Dragon television series has been mobilizing several million viewers around the world. The work, which is broadcast weekly for an episode of approximately one hour every Sunday on the American television channel HBO, has not only conquered the public in the United States.

Almost everyone is talking about it on social media and beyond. And the late hour of the broadcast for people outside the American continent in particular (9 p.m. on the East Coast, ie in the middle of the night in Africa and Europe) does not seem to be an obstacle for its audience.

Wonderful saga

The first two episodes have amassed 20 million viewers in the United States, according to HBO’s announcement just hours after the second aired. The latter seen by 10.2 million people even achieves a 2% increase in audience compared to the inaugural episode, the figures of which already represented the launch record in the history of the encrypted television channel. Added to this are illegal downloads, the extent of which remains unsuspected.

Such enthusiasm is reminiscent of Game of Thrones (GOT) or Le Trône de fer in French, of which the series is the spin-off. Adaptation of the mythical book “Fire and Blood” by George RR Martin, House of the Dragon indeed tells the backstage of the loss of influence of the Targaryens, a dynasty which reigned for a long time on the iron throne thanks to its dragons among others, before being dispossessed of it against a backdrop of family rivalry. The estate of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) being the subject of a struggle for influence between his brother Daemon (Matt Smith) and his daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) who was effectively disqualified from birth because of her sex .

In the footsteps of GoT

“Here is the truth that no one has ever had the courage to tell you: they would rather put the kingdom to fire and sword than see a woman sit on the iron throne”notably launches Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), called “queen that never was”to the princess in episode 2.

House of the Dragon is a magnificent saga, like Game of Thrones. Visually stunningly realistic, the fiction lifts the veil on the patriarchy surrounding royalty. The production has also provided the means, at the rate of 200 million dollars planned for the ten episodes of this first season.

It remains to be seen whether this initial excitement will ultimately translate into a success comparable to that of GOT. The latter broadcast between April 2011 and May 2019 – eight in total seasons – is indeed crowned with several awards including Emmy Awards in the drama series category. It is also in the top 100 best-written series in television history, according to the American Screenwriters Union.

HBO has in any case already announced the renewal of House of the Dragon for a second season. And it may not be the last.


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