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House of the Dragon hailed as ‘better than Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad’ in first reactions

Milly Alcock plays the young version of Rhaenyra Targaryen, the king’s daughter (Picture: HBO/Sky)

The first reactions to Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon are in – and it sounds as though audiences are going to be in for one hell of a fiery, exciting ride when they return to Westeros.

The new series, set 200 years before the events of the original show, will follow House Targaryen at the height of its power across the Seven Kingdoms, when King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) sat on the Iron Throne.

A game of thrones emerges within the family, as the king’s eldest child, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), wants the throne for herself, despite the fact that her fearsome uncle Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), the monarch’s younger brother, is technically next in line when the story begins.

When the eighth season of Game of Thrones was released in 2019, it sparked widespread disappointment across the fandom, with many viewers deeply unhappy by how various storylines were resolved – so how does House of the Dragon measure up?

Critics in the US recently had the chance to attend a screening of the pilot, and their reactions have made us even more excited to watch the show than we were before… if that was even possible.

A film journalist working for IndieWire didn’t hold back when showing the new fantasy tale with praise, sharing their awe on Twitter over how ‘violent’, ‘shocking’ and ‘epic’ it was.

‘Better than GoT & Breaking Bad. HBO does it again. This isn’t just another fantasy show, it’s the BEST series ever made! Great action & music too. A fitting end setting up what’s next,’ they wrote.

They added that the pilot was, in their opinion, ‘the single best episode of television ever’, continuing to say: ‘The rest will be just as good.’

Brandon Katz, senior TV reporter at The Wrap, said that the pilot ‘very efficiently explains its context in relation to GoT, introduces its core characters, and lays out the central conflict of the series’.

He said that the first episode was ‘easy to follow’ commending its ‘vibrant colors and detailed texture’ while dubbing it ‘absolutely a worthy successor so far’.

In a second tweet, the journalist admitted that Matt’s character Daemon was his ‘favourite’ from the cast in the pilot, explaining that he’s ‘violent, yet oddly caring’.

‘Arrogant and ambitious, yet honest and sincere. He’s a F**kboi with moments of substance. Matt Smith really delivers on the script’s early character nuance,’ he summarised.




Christina Radish, senior reporter at Collider, outlined how delighted she was that House of the Dragon ‘feels epic in scale and scope while telling a personal and intimate story about one family, showcasing both their love and dysfunction’.

Meanwhile, Steven Weintraub, editor-in-chief at Collider, prefaced his verdict by saying that he ‘did not like the last season of Game of Thrones at all’, before writing: ‘But I’ll admit the series premiere of #HouseOfTheDragonHBO is really well done and I’ll definitely continue watching.

‘After the episode ended they showed an extended preview of the season and looks cool.

He added that given the prequel is also set in the Game of Thrones universe, ‘expect plenty of sex, blood, violence, and dragons’.

Ahead of the House of the Dragon premiere, Matt teased what viewers can expect from his character Daemon, explaining that the brother of the king likes to ‘p*** people off’.

Speaking to Empire, the former Doctor Who star said: ‘Daemon is there to cause chaos and p*** people off because, simply, it entertains him.’

House Of The Dragon premieres on August 22 on Sky Atlantic and NOW.


Credit: Source

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