The first episode of the new Game of Thrones series House of the Dragon began on Sunday, becoming the most viewed HBO premiere of all-time, with nearly 10 million viewers tuning in.
Following a much maligned final two seasons of the original show, fans were equal parts hopeful and skeptical that House of the Dragon could restore pride in the franchise.
What we got was a much more straightforward plot than the original series - not necessarily a bad thing - mixed with its usual over-the-top violence and of course an obligatory orgy scene.
However, the episode was generally well received, and looked upon as an exciting comeback for the show, with its main criticism being one that has long haunted the Game of Thrones franchise.
Fans Were Sucked Back In Immediately
Viewers had their reservations about House of the Dragon, and were probably looking to reserve judgement until we travelled further into the new series.
Judging by the reaction on Twitter however, fans were sucked right back in from episode one.
There's just something about the grimeyness of King's Landing, the gratuitous violence, the betrayals, the smut, and the theme tune that holds an irresistible pull.
house of the dragon sucked me back into got so fast im honestly embarassed for myself pic.twitter.com/uy6zFLTDPM
— i hate it here (@kencov_) August 22, 2022
Me when House of The Dragon end credits started playing. pic.twitter.com/Pq1wKfeaSJ
— Ankit Nemivant (@nemivant001) August 22, 2022
Is It Too Misogynistic?
Many think it is, and it is an opinion that has been held since the time of the show's beginning in 2011.
Is George R.R. Martin feeding some kind of strange fetish under the pretence of fiction, or are we, the viewers, at fault for lapping it all up, year after year, season after season?
The crucial point is that, when it is all argued out, it is just fiction after all.
“house of dragons is a show about misogyny” why do we need a bunch of men to write a fantasy show about misogyny for the 3728282947th time
— roslyn talusan (@roslyntalusan) August 23, 2022
i think it's very funny that the house of the dragon guys are like "we want to reflect the misogyny of the time period" the time period is the twelfth of makebelieve. it's the 149th year of sir gooby the dragonfoot. it's the eighth age of targabargabor. it's literally made up
— Thing Bad (@Merman_Melville) August 22, 2022
Magnificent Matt Smith
The former Doctor and Prince Philip actor was a resounding favourite after episode 1, playing the role of the King's brother Daemon Targaryen.
The character filled the Jaime Lannister sized hole in our lives, as an arrogant and beautiful man we hate to love, with very questionable morals.
While we wouldn't go as far as to say Smith carried the episode, he was certainly the stand out.
matt smith is such a good casting choice in house of the dragon bc he has that ‘handsome, but not in a way where you can rule out inbreeding’ type of look that's perfect for a targaryen
— yasmin (@ycsm1n) August 20, 2022
— ًً (@LakerFern) August 22, 2022
The Tournament Scene And The Cinematography
Naturally the budget for House of the Dragon was going to be a lot higher than the first season of the original series. Nothing displayed this fact more plainly than comparing the tournament scenes from both shows.
While the scene from the original series has an important place in the franchise, the scope of the new scene was the highlight of the episode, and an incredible display of editing, CGI, set design, and cinematography.
The cinematography overall was excellent, and brought a darker, more brooding and cinematic look to King's Landing.
Obviously House of the Dragon has way upgraded production value than Game of Thrones did and people are comparing scenes and I saw someone say "Robert Baratheon was broke as fuck" and I've been laughing for 20 minutes. pic.twitter.com/17ecfNg9gu
— 🖤 Tori 🖤 (@slaymysterio) August 22, 2022
— out of context house of the dragon (@oochotd) August 22, 2022