‘House Of The Dragon’ Trailer Breakdown: A Shadow Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Or Something Novel?


Three years after the end of its parent show, “House of the Dragon” is here to take us back to the most loved series of the previous decade. We have so many thoughts regarding this. From the look and feel, we can decipher that there are going to be visually stunning moments, despite the fact that the chunk of the story seems to be more domestic, being set in a castle. But it was said by a member of the cast that while the story follows the theme of the pursuit of power, it is rooted in the interrelationships of a complex family. We definitely don’t mind that because, as anybody would remember from “Game of Thrones,” the Targaryens’ downfall was known to be due to the madness borne of ‘keeping the lineage pure.’ While GOT was about the war between different families, “House of the Dragon” would be about the war within a family.

What Happens In The ‘House Of The Dragon’ Trailer?

The trailer for “House Of The Dragon” starts with Laenor Velaryon saying, in a deep gravelly voice, “War is afoot.” That sets our expectations for battle scenes like what we saw in “Battle of the Bastards” and “Battle of Blackwater.” And it looks like there will be a war for control of the iron throne.

Viserys Targaryen must choose an heir, and he is torn between his daughter Rhaenyra Targaryen and his brother, Daemon Targaryen. Viserys seems hesitant to make the choice. He struggles with the idea of power itself and believes that their family should never have formed an alliance with dragons. On the other hand, Rhaenyra has misgivings about whether the kingdom would accept a queen for a ruler. There is a struggle for power, with Rhaenyra deciding that by becoming the next ruler, she would change the order of things. This line has an eerie resemblance to Danaerys Targaryen saying that she would “break the wheel.”

While it is not new for shows set in this universe to unabashedly kill off their main characters, the “House Of The Dragon” trailer might have just given a spoiler. At one point, somebody is telling Viserys that it is his duty to get a new wife. That might mean that Rhaenys Velaryon dies in one of the episodes, predictably in one of the initial ones. She seems to have a character arc of her own, though, as she believes that she should be the next successor, but is unable to, because of her being a woman. Maybe that’s the reason we did not see her encouraging her daughter-because her own ambitions had been crushed due to her gender.

The other prominent character in the show is Daemon Targaryen, who believes that he should be the king and goes to war for his birthright. There is a particular clip in the trailer where his hands are on a fully grown dragon’s mouth. Maybe the makers should have reserved this clip for the actual show, to deliver the required shock value.

Otto Hightower is the Hand of the King, and his daughter, Alicent, is Rhaenyra’s best friend. The actor who plays her describes the character as a rule follower compared to her best friend’s more mischievous self. We originally compared her to Missandei, but it looks like she might be more. She is questioned by Rhaenys in one scene, whether she had ever imagined herself on the Iron throne. The actor who plays her father describes Otto as a “high-functioning political creature.” In that case, his actions are bound to affect her life in court. We predict a conflict because when he says that their hearts are one, Alicent tells him that it was never the case.

The “House Of The Dragon” trailer ends with Rhaenyra being held with a knife against her throat, and her saying the words, “Now they see you as you are.” If this is going to be the final scene of the season as well, maybe we will see the second season with Daemon as the king. But we can’t shake off the similarity between the names  ‘Rhaenyra’ and ‘Rhaegar,’ who we know from GOT. That might mean that Rhaenyra survives, and we see her take the Iron Throne? Is that a move by the makers to avoid similar damage like what was caused to the reputation of GOT due to Danaerys’s arc as the “mad queen” in the finale?

Thoughts and Expectations

A few of the actors mentioned that they want “House of the Dragon” to be judged independently, free from the shadow of the original show. This feels like a red flag because why would anybody do that, especially when the makers themselves are capitalizing on an existing fanbase to make the storyline work? 

“Game of Thrones,” when it came out in 2011, revolutionized the content that we were used to watching and, despite lagging in the later seasons, set a standard that people are still trying to replicate. The show created a fandom that the world had never seen before. There were fan theories and conspiracies centered around each and every episode. There was an expectation of surprise and shock and of seeing something on the screen that was truly novel. People were obsessed with the characters to the point that they made them a part of their personalities.

Isn’t this the reason that a prequel seemed like a good idea, to expand on that universe and capitalize on people’s love for the show? There is absolutely no good reason to not compare the two. And let’s say, for some reason, it is a valid point that a show like GOT cannot be made in the current TV climate. But that’s because the standards are higher and the audience has a sharper eye. Imagine the possibilities of making a show set in the world of Targaryens and dragons, now. “House of the Dragon” might become the most epic thing ever, provided the makers have learned from the mistakes of the last few seasons of GOT.

But the actors are different, the writers are different, and even the story is said to have a different perspective from the book. In that case, will we really get to watch something that is unique and hard-hitting, or should we just re-watch the initial seasons of “Game of Thrones”? Our hearts hope for the former despite glaring doubts that we will get the latter. We will just hold on to our patience and keep our fingers crossed till August 22nd.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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