Home Acting How HBO Can Save (Or Trash) Game Of Thrones With ‘House Of The Dragon’

How HBO Can Save (Or Trash) Game Of Thrones With ‘House Of The Dragon’

Darren September 2, 2022

HBO’s Game of Thrones remains one of the most influential shows in television history. It changed the scope of what is possible on the small screen. But it also served as lessons on what not to do as it concluded. The show lost many fans who hated the ending. Three years after what many fans declared a colossal failure, there is now a new series in the same universe called House of the Dragon.

HBO believes this will bring back viewers and earn them a fortune, and they may just be right about it. However, there are many reasons why it could save or trash the Game of Thrones universe. Today, we’ll look at how they can make or break George R.R. Martin’s creation. Please note that there are many spoilers from both series throughout this article, so be forewarned before you read on ahead.


Martin Sold Out

These days, GOT source material creator George R.R. Martin isn’t the fan darling that he once was. Many of them resent the fact that the 70-year-old failed to finish his books. They understood that the TV show would overtake him but his productivity is lower than a college dropout.


Martin appears to be very happy doing everything except finishing A Song of Ice and Fire. It infuriated fans when Fire and Blood emerged because they wanted him to focus on the main saga. They think that he wrote himself into a hole and is happy to take the studio money (via Paste Magazine).

Tech Radar

Weak Marketing

HBO allegedly spent $100 million on marketing for the new series but it remains to be seen if was effective. Remember, that decreasing numbers of people are tuning into cable TV so they won’t advertisements. If somebody spends their life watching Netflix or Amazon Prime, they won’t see HBO’s new projects.


That’s one of the reasons why Succession failed to attract a massive audience despite becoming a critical darling. There are questions over whether HBO used that $100 million in the right way to attract a new audience. They can’t rely on the people they betrayed by failing to end Game of Thrones on a high note (via Hype Note).

Hollywood Insider

Event TV

Fear of missing out syndrome is another big reason why people won’t skip House of the Dragon. It may not be as big of a moment as the original Game of Thrones series because this changed the scope of fantasy. However, it remains event TV and fans won’t be able to help themselves.

Hollywood Reporter

The question is whether or not they will pay to watch the show. We’ll talk more about that later but the reality is that viewers will tune in and discuss it. But they must secure their loyalty quickly and make them believe that it’s worth committing to (via Inverse).


HBO Is Heavily Invested

One of the main reasons why the new show should be a success is that HBO believes in its product. TV executives are extremely greedy but they’re not stupid. They know that it’s a bad idea to pour millions of dollars into a show that won’t yield a profit (via E-News).


This isn’t the most glamorous or fun reason on this list but it’s a crucial point. At the end of the day, business is the name of the game and HBO is risking a lot. They’ve had critical successes including Succession over the past couple of years. But they need a statement show to compete with their rivals.


Promising Signs

There are promising signs that the show will be an entertaining success. The Guardian gave the pilot episode a positive review as they described it as “opulent and gorgeous.” Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly said that the acting performances are strong and stand out.


This is crucial if they want to make fans feel as though this is unmissable TV. But many of the problems for Game of Thrones came in the critically-panned later seasons. They must gain the trust of fans who worry that they’re wasting their time watching a show that will fall flat.

Times of India

Creative Differences

House of the Dragon’s source material is very different from Game of Thrones. The latter came from a series of conventional novels with fully-fledged characters and dialogue. However, the new series draws from Fire & Blood, a fictional history of Westeros (via Market Watch).


The writing style is very different from that of A Song of Ice and Fire. It remains to be seen how well this translates to a TV series and if fans appreciate the final product. This format gives the showrunners a lot of creative flexibility but it comes with some challenges too.

Global Times

Smarter Show

Critics are calling House of the Dragon a smarter show than its precursor. The problem with Game of Thrones is that it became ridiculous to many fans in the later seasons. Characters traveled vast distances in minutes and the less said about some storylines, the better.


However, the writing appears to be a lot tighter in this new series. The showrunners want to create a Shakespearian vibe as they have intense drama and powerful acting. This is very ambitious but many fans loved these traits in the original Game of Thrones (via Ranker).

Slash Film

Confusing for Casuals

HBO has invested a lot of money in a TV show to bring back a devoted fanbase. But they can’t rely on them to maximize their profits and must also lure a casual audience. The problem is that the new show may be confusing for less-passionate fans of Martin’s world.

Game Spot

They may wonder where Jon Snow and Daenerys are because the show is set hundreds of years earlier. Another issue is that there are long-time lapses in the new series. These didn’t occur in Game of Thrones as it followed a conventional narrative path (via The Ringer).

CTIP Times

Smaller Scale

One of the most memorable aspects of the original Game of Thrones series was the opening credits. This took the form of a massive map that evolved throughout the seasons. However, House of the Dragon operates on a smaller scale than HBO’s previous project.

Trending News

This may be advantageous because there are fewer storylines. It’s easier for fans to follow what’s going on but there’s another benefit. Scriptwriters struggled to finish the previous story because so many things happened. It may not be so difficult with the new series (via TV Line).


Too Much TV

A glaring reason why House of the Dragon may not perform as well as the previous series is that there is so much TV. We’re not even talking about the streaming wars in this case. It’s a simple truth that there is an infinite number of TV shows available for people to watch.

Den Of Geek

These days viewers binge-watch series and struggle to catch up with everything. Ironically, Game of Thrones changed the game because it opened the door to cinematic television. If the new series doesn’t seize viewers’ imaginations it’s easy to find something else (via Hollywood Reporter).

Digital Spy

Character Actors

One of the best aspects of the new series is that it continues the trend of using character actors. The likes of Aidan Gillan and Conleth Hill stoles scenes in Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon will follow a similar model with Paddy Considine and Matt Smith on board (via Collider).


The latter is one of Britain’s most in-demand actors. He starred in The Crown, Dr. Who, and Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho. Meanwhile, Considine acts, directs, and writes with glowing reviews. These men instantly bring the show’s pedigree to a higher level.


Where is Book Two?

It’s wrong to say that Martin isn’t a productive writer. The problem is that he’s working on multiple projects at the same time rather than focusing on finishing one. For example, Martin is currently adapting his Wild Card series as well as writing The Winds of Winter (via Daily Express).


Fans doubt that he’ll ever finish the latter and some think that he doesn’t want to. Furthermore, Martin says he plans a sequel to Fire & Blood. But his publishers don’t want this until he finishes the original saga. This leaves the new series facing the same problems as the original Game of Thrones.

Daily Beast

Flexible Narrative

We’ve spoken about the historical aspect of the new series compared to the previous Game of Thrones adaptation. The best part of this is that it provides unique flexibility. They may choose to expand on specific characters and fill in the gaps. This could be one of the best parts of the story because fans learn more about them.

The Conversation

Sometimes the source material can be a poisoned chalice because not everything works well on TV. This book provides a more bare-bones narrative than the conventional dialogue-driven A Song of Ice and Fire. Fire & Blood isn’t as good as the original books but this may be better for the new series (via Entertainment Weekly).

USA Today

A Little Boring

Most of the immediate critical responses to the new series were positive but they weren’t unanimous. The Irish Independent described House of the Dragon as “bloated, charmless and dull.” The Daily Beast was even more damning as they called it a “dull Game of Thrones do-over.”


Meanwhile, some Redditors considered the show’s characters to be uninspiring and struggled to care about them. This is a polarizing show that has already split its audience. There is a lot of brutality in the show but many viewers don’t care enough about the affected characters.


Specific Storylines

The storylines in this new series are more streamlined and specific than in Game of Thrones. This is great because some of the latter’s dragged on and infuriated viewers. It’s better not to think about how long it took Dany to arrive in Westeros (via Vanity Fair).


Then there were appalling wastes of time like the Dorne saga and Bran’s journey. The only word to describe them was boring and this show can’t afford the same. Hopefully, they can be more specific about the storylines they choose to use instead of trying to include everything.


Inconsistent Timelines

House of the Dragon differs from Game of Thrones because it features multiple timelines. This didn’t happen in the latter as fans watched child actors grow to adulthood before their eyes. However, the story leaps forward in the new series and a new cast replaces the younger actors.


This is slightly unfortunate because fans lose the connection they built up. It’s jarring to see somebody else play the same character. Furthermore, it may be slightly confusing to understand that several years have passed by. This is a major risk that HBO is taking but it may pay off (via Men’s Health).

Time Out

Stepping Stone

Success became the worst enemy of the original Game of Thrones series. That may seem ridiculous but several cast members became too big for the show. The likes of Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, and Richard Madden are all household names now (via The Guardian).

Slash Film

Even D.B. Weiss and David Benioff ran out of patience with the show. They signed a deal to create a new Star Wars trilogy and Game of Thrones instantly deteriorated. Ironically they lost their new gig as a result. But HBO must ensure this doesn’t happen with their new series and cast.


Too Much CGI

There are 17 dragons in the new series and this may appear to be a good thing. However, too much of something reduces the overall impact. The original Game of Thrones show had a tight budget and this influenced the different directors (via Looper).

Winter is Coming

They were very selective about the moments they used the three dragons or CGI set pieces. There’s a danger that fans won’t care as much about House of the Dragon because it looks more like a video game. The show won’t shock them as much because it’s more in their face.


Fewer Surprises

Viewers know what dragons look like in the Game of Thrones universe. Adding more won’t make it more exciting because less can be more. Fans rarely saw the dragons in the original series and this made it more special when they were featured (via Elite Daily).

Cinema Blend

They may feel the same about other elements of the new show including locations. There will be a sense of comfort and sentimental enjoyment because they see them again. But there is less scope for a fresh look at Westeros and this may be a problem for House of the Dragon.

The Verge

Illegal Downloads

Fans illegally downloaded Game of Thrones over one billion times through its entire run. Evidence revealed that they also used nefarious means to secure 54 million downloads of the new series. In short, this means that HBO is losing a staggering amount of money.

Scam Advisor

The problem is that there are so many streaming platforms that it’s impossible to pay for everything. Fans don’t want to miss out on a cultural moment so they’re going to obtain it illegally. It may not be right but it’s the reality of the world and HBO will pay the price (via Mashable).


Cultural Epoch

Some shows are too big to miss because they create a cultural moment. Game of Thrones brought more people together during parties than a bottle of liquor. Meanwhile, the likes of Stranger Things and Breaking Bad became must-watch television (via Indie Gala).

The Guardian

HBO hopes that House of the Dragon will feel too big to miss. The problem is that fans know what to expect now and have big demands. Game of Thrones came out of nowhere and became a cultural phenomenon. The new series must prove itself before it can become the same.


Murky Scenes

Later Game of Thrones episodes faced recurring complaints about being too dark. No, we’re not talking about the content but rather the visuals. The Battle of Winterfell in Season Eight bore most of the criticism because it wasn’t easy for fans to watch (via CNET).


House of the Dragon is enduring similar comments because some scenes have poor lighting. Show cinematographer Fabien Wagner threw shade at fans because he thinks they can’t tune their TVs. Surprisingly not everybody wants to stand up and change the settings every 10 minutes.

Den of Geek

Less Fun

Some critics say that the new series isn’t as fun or as enjoyable as GOT. The original show instantly seized the imaginations of fans but House of the Dragon isn’t the same. There is a positive to this because it allows the latter to stand apart. In hindsight, this may work in its favor.

The Scotsman

After all, Better Call Saul had a slower pace than Breaking Bad but remains a critical darling. The issue is that many people said that House of the Dragon isn’t fun and that’s a bigger problem. Nobody likes watching something that takes itself too seriously (via Wion News).



HBO has supreme confidence in its new series and believes that it will be a success. If there was any doubt, they quashed this after the first episode. The network instantly renewed the show for a second season after 20 million people tuned into Episode One (via Hollywood Reporter).

Vanity Fair

However, some people think that this is a step that they’ll regret. Many people were curious about the new show but it disappointed them. Nonetheless, HBO is backing its showrunners and committing to another season. They pray that it will be a financial success regardless of critical acclaim.


Civil War vs. World War

The scale of the conflict in House of the Dragon is smaller than in Game of Thrones. This may feel anti-climatic to some viewers because the stakes aren’t as high. The latter dealt with the potential end of the world as the Night King attempted to destroy humanity. It’s difficult to compete with that.


Meanwhile, the new series has the Targaryen Civil War that almost destroyed the family. The main positive is that there will be a lot of dragon-related violence. This promises to be spectacular on-screen but the overall sense of dread won’t be there. Unfortunately, it can’t achieve the same levels of fear (via Looper).

Daily Beast

Star Wars Hangover

It’s very difficult to make a successful prequel series but not impossible. Netflix pulled it off with Better Call Saul. This show’s events went down before those of Breaking Bad but it remained brilliant. However, it had a different tone from its predecessor and went in another direction (via Variety).


Unfortunately, many prequels suffer from Star Wars syndrome. Yes, TV and movies are contrasting mediums but they share some similarities. It’s not easy to go back to a world and make fans care in the same way. Sometimes writers become lost in the lore instead of telling an entertaining story.


More Grown-Up

HBO hoped to create a more grown-up show when they made House of the Dragon. Game of Thrones had significantly younger cast members in key roles. Fans watched them grow up before their eyes for over a decade. This won’t happen in the new series.

Your Next Shoe

Meanwhile, dialogue drives this show more than the latter GOT seasons. We’ll talk later about how this may not always work. But it feels as though they want to create an atmosphere of court intrigue. This is a more grown-up style than the wildness of Game of Thrones (via Rolling Stone).

The Take

Long Decline

HBO has a problem when it comes to consistency. Game of Thrones is a case in point because it was brilliant for the first three seasons. Then the long decline began until it culminated in a disaster of a finale. However, it’s not the only sci-fi show that plummeted in quality.

Men’s Health

Westworld received acclaim when it first came out but recent seasons tested the commitment of its most loyal fans. It remains to be seen if they can keep it together for a whole run or if the new series will decline too. Let’s hope that it remains brilliant to the end (via Collider).

Roger Egbert

Cinematic Television

These days there is a developing trend where showrunners describe their new series as longer movies. While we should hold film and TV in separate regard it’s clear where they are coming from. Increasing numbers of high-level Hollywood stars are stepping back to the small screen.

The Mary Sue

TV has never been more cinematic than today because of the increasing budgets. Developers know that fans don’t commit to watching a movie in one sitting. But they’ll binge-watch a series over a day or two. That’s why it must be of the highest quality possible (via The Guardian).


Moment Has Past

Whenever something is successful there’s a clamor to find the next one. We’ve seen it with Harry Potter, Twilight, Stranger Things, and many other franchises. Now HBO hopes to share the next Game of Thrones by committing to a new series in this universe.

NBC News

However, the problem is that knock-offs are rarely successful because the moment passes. There was a reason why it worked at a moment in time and became a phenomenon. It’s very difficult to replicate this and grab the attention of fans again (via Vox).


Poor Character Development

At times it felt as though a child wrote the first episode of House of the Dragon. HBO poured millions of dollars into the episode because of the effects and the costumes. But the dialogue left a lot to be desired and the character development was poor.

Vox Media

Daemon Targaryen will be one of the most important characters but his development was bleak. He went from brutally decapitating a criminal to ridiculously competing in a tourney. Time will tell if the character development improves but many critics despaired (via Mic).

Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Martin’s Worst Book

Many literary critics consider Fire & Blood to be Martin’s worst book from a technical perspective. They recognize that the author had fun when he was writing it because it expanded the history of his fictional universe. But they also thought that it wasn’t very good.


This may have consequences when it comes to the TV show too. It remains to be seen how well HBO can adapt a book that isn’t brilliant. Fans love the lore and overlook the stylistic aspects of the text. But that doesn’t mean that HBO can bring it to life (via Polygon).

Hindustan Times

Predictable Plot

Game of Thrones was brilliant because it regularly shocked its audiences. Book readers indeed knew what would happen but Ned Stark’s death stunned TV audiences. There were numerous moments including the Red and Purple weddings when key characters died en masse.


This ruthlessness meant that everybody was safe. On the other hand, the new series feels far more predictable. Daemon will kill his brother the king while there will be incestuous relationships galore. This may make it less enjoyable than the original product (via Indian Express).

The Wrap

Money Talks

In the end, executives care about their profit margin more than anything else. It doesn’t matter how critically successful a show is if it doesn’t pull in viewers. That’s why it feels like Netflix cancels more shows than it releases in a ruthless market (via Cosmopolitan).

The Verge

House of the Dragon already received confirmation of renewal for a second season. HBO crashed when fans attempted to tune in and watch the first episode. If they keep making big bucks then they’ll continue to invest in this fictional universe. But let’s hope the quality remains high.

Fox News

Fan Reaction

Fan opinion is worth more than critical consensus because they are the people spending money. Many viewers appeared to love the show and already care about the characters. This is crucial because it must maintain a dedicated audience to succeed or they’ll lose a lot of money.

Hello Giggles

Some audience members described it as perfect and said that it was perfectly in sync with the book’s events. Others delighted in the performance of the younger cast members like Milly Alcock. HBO hopes that it can keep its viewers throughout the entire run (via Slate).

News Weekly

Iconic Characters

Game of Thrones has a ludicrous number of characters but some are very memorable. We’re not just talking about the main cast either. Many side characters have brilliant storylines including The Hound, Tywin Lannister, and Brienne of Tarth. It appears as though the new series will continue this trend.


The Hightowers are a fascinating family and will have a significant impact on the show’s events. There are many other rich and interesting cast members. This could also give room for spin-offs and marketing opportunities. The possibilities are endless if they do this right (via New Arena).

Eton Line

Clean Slate

It’s crucial that HBO treats their new series as a clean slate and doesn’t harken back to Game of Thrones too often. However, this is easier said than done. Viewers are already comparing the two shows side-by-side but the new one must have the power to stand alone (via The Beau Life).

Lifestyle Asia

This may not be feasible but they shouldn’t unnecessarily hint at future events or leave Easter eggs. That was a massive failing of The Hobbit movie series because it was too insecure to move away from The Lord of The Rings series. House of the Dragon must be its own beast to stand the test of time.


No White Walkers

The White Walkers provided ice-cold malice to the original series. They won’t feature at all in House of the Dragon because it has a very different storyline. While the Wall exists in this timeline, it’s unlikely to feature very often if we see it at all (via CNET).

Pop Buzz

This is a shame because these elements of Westeros’s far-north enhanced the world. Fans will deal with a more contained series than the vast scale of Game of Thrones. This may suit the storytelling but it removes some of the grandeur of the original show. It has a lot to live up to.

Glamour Magazine

Female Friendships

One of the nicest elements of the new series is the friendship between Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower. This is lovely because it gives a sense of empowerment that GOT often lacked. Many of their scenes take place in floral, brightly-lit settings (via House of the Dragon).

Empire Online

This is in stark contrast to many of the masculine scenes. These often take place in dark rooms with tense atmospheres. The women provide a sense of hope and respite that their male counterparts don’t. This could also draw fans to the characters and make them more popular.


We Know What Happens

One problem is that we know what happens 170 years later. This removes the mystique from some of the events of the show. It also makes it difficult to invest in the possibility that the world is in peril from the events of the day. This is a big problem for showrunners and writers to overcome.

TV Insider

Game of Thrones deals with ‘The Long Winter’ and the impending end of the world. It will be challenging for House of the Dragon to achieve the same effect because it’s less significant. HBO knows this so it will be fascinating to see how they deal with it (via Men’s Health).

The Verge

More Dragons

There were three dragons in the original Game of Thrones series. Furthermore, fans didn’t see them very often because it cost HBO a fortune to use them. But there is good news for dragon lovers because there will be over five times that number in the new series (via Nerdist).


Sources report that there are 17 dragons in the prequel show. This requires an incredible amount of CGI and technical work. However, it promises to be enjoyable and spectacular if they do it well. Nobody wants to watch a show that looks like a video game, so let’s hope they pull it off.


Female Violence

Game of Thrones received a lot of criticism for the amount of female violence in the show. There were multiple rape scenes and these jarred with a lot of people. Some fans and reviewers questioned whether they were all necessary or if they contained a gratuitous element.

Mini Tokyo

The new series also carries on the theme of female violence. A key character suffers a savage Cesarean section without anesthetic. Then she dies after losing excessive amounts of blood. It’s a horrendous scene that disgusted a lot of viewers (via Slate).


Respect the Lore

If there’s one thing that fantasy fans hate, it’s when book adaptations overlook the lore. It may seem obvious that following the original text closely is the best option. However, sometimes, a novel may contain elements that don’t work on screen or too many characters.


A show may condense these or leave them out entirely. This is forgivable but it’s never a good idea to completely change the setting of a place or to make big changes to a storyline. HBO must respect the lore because fans expect it (via Den of Geek).


Devoted Fanbase

Another reason why the show may succeed is that this fantasy universe has so many fans. Even if they hate the adaptation they remain determined to watch it. They want to be at the center of the conversation and know what they’re talking about with their friends.


It doesn’t matter how good or bad it is because people will still tune in. These may seem ridiculous but many of them don’t care about the overall quality. All they want to know is that there are swords, dragons, and maidens. It’s just the reality of the situation (via Decider).

The Verge

Poor Opening Credits

Many fans couldn’t believe it when they watched the opening credits of the new series. HBO reused the same music from the original series. But the opening lacked the award-winning intricacy of the first show. Many disappointed fans expected more creativity but they didn’t experience it.


Strangely, HBO didn’t think that this was worth more effort. After all, they had a big budget and enough talent to do something more inventive. It’s safe to say that they won’t receive any Emmies for this particular element of the new series (via N.Y. Post). Let’s hope this doesn’t seep into the rest of the show.


Horrible Pacing

Many critics had a major problem with the pacing of the first episode. Nothing happened for the first 20 minutes and then there was a major lag in the middle. Compare this to the pilot episode of Game of Thrones. Remember the White Walkers in the first scene?


Then Ned Stark chopped a deserter’s head off in the second while there was also an outrageous ending. This show suffers from a slow pace that doesn’t make it more enjoyable. They could have condensed it into 45 minutes and it would have been more entertaining (via Cinema Blend).

Buzzfeed News

More Diversity

Game of Thrones received a lot of criticism for the lack of diversity within its cast. Furthermore, non-white actors often starred in subservient roles and suffered brutal fates. Steve Toussaint has a leading part as Corlys Velaryon in the new series and is receiving plaudits.

Hello Magazine

The actor has the charisma to pull off the role and cuts a distinctive figure with his blonde dreadlocks. This is a fantasy universe and a TV adaptation so there’s nothing wrong with this. It should be more believable than a swarm of dragons but some people disagree (via Elle).

Pursue News

Poor Dialogue

The problem with the new series is that the source material doesn’t provide a lot of dialogue to draw from. This means that the screenwriters created new dialogue for the show. However, it feels stilted and at times ridiculous as though they’re attempting a medieval reenactment.


While they are attempting to maintain consistency with the rest of the GOT universe, it doesn’t come across well. Few of the characters have the chops to maintain the viewer’s interest. A scene between Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra came across as forced and awkward (via Marie Claire).

New York Post

Needless Gore

One of the most disturbing scenes in the first episode of the new series saw Daemon Targaryen crack down on the people of King’s Landing. He ordered the brutal punishment of many criminals with dismembered limbs and decapitations (via The Wrap).

Irish Mirror

Smith plays the character well and the casting department deserves credit because he fits the role. But the scene itself desperately seeks a shock factor. It feels unnecessary to watch this amount of gore and they could have been more subtle. Hopefully, the show becomes smarter with its violence.


Too Much Competition

There are so many shows out there at the moment it’s not a given that House of the Dragon will succeed. The streaming wars are in full flight now with Netflix and Amazon Prime at loggerheads. The latter are obvious competitors with the new Rings of Power series.

Eton Line

Meanwhile, a bunch of other streaming platforms are constantly offering new shows. The Sandman is one of the most expensive that Netflix ever made. It’s not a given that they’ll renew it because of the high costs. This is the world that HBO finds itself in now (via Manassa Web).


So Much Money

Surely HBO has poured too much money into its investment for it to fail. They increased the GOT budget from $15 million per episode to a cool $20 million. However, this remains less than some of their competitors for a very good reason (via Screenrant).


HBO has developed significant experience in making fantasy and sci-fi TV series. As well as GOT they’ve filmed the likes of Westworld and His Dark Materials. This gives them the edge over their rivals because there is less of a learning curve. Nonetheless, it’s still a massive investment and a risk.

The Atlantic

Too Many Comparisons

Fans are adamant that they don’t want to see a remake of the original show. They want HBO to respect them by making an appropriate adaptation with a fresh story. This means they shouldn’t recycle the same character tropes or storylines that worked in Game of Thrones.


Yes, Tyrion was brilliant in GOT but this doesn’t mean there should be another wise-cracking dwarf. Showrunners face the problem that viewers will keep comparing the new series. This will be in both positive and negative aspects because GOT has a massive shadow (via CBR).

The New York Times

Fans Love Fantasy

One crucial point is that there has never been a better time for the fantasy genre. Fans love shows like Stranger Things and The Witcher. Studios are constantly trying to find the next Game of Thrones but very few stick to the pace (via CNET).

The New Yorker

But HBO has an advantage because they are dealing with the real Game of Thrones universe. They believe that fans love the world and the genre enough to watch the new series. It’s a calculated and expensive risk but one that they believe will pay off.


Stupid Wigs

There are more Targaryens in this show and that also means more platinum blonde hair. Emilia Clarke carried it off in Game of Thrones but the new series takes it to the next level. Suddenly, everybody has ridiculous hair and it’s not easy to take them seriously (via Hollywood Reporter).

USA Today

We know that blonde hair is a trait of the Targaryen family but it is jarring on camera. It doesn’t appear natural and this jerks people away from the show. It’s challenging to know what else they could have done because their hair is a big part of the story. But that doesn’t make it better.

Slash Film

George R.R. Martin’s Influence

Martin claimed that he didn’t like the direction that Game of Thrones went after they ran out of source material. This was partly his fault because he didn’t finish writing the books. However, the showrunners didn’t carry out his vision in the later stages because they wanted to complete the show.

The Verge

Fortunately, this appears to be less of a difficulty with House of the Dragon. That’s because Martin says that he has more creative control over the new series. It’s good that the author and the producers are on the same page because it will make the fans happier too (via IGN).

N.Y. Daily News

Racist Fans

A black British actor plays a member of the Targaryen’s household. We’re talking about Steve Toussaint who also starred in Judge Dredd and Prince of Persia. Ethnic diversity is the most unbelievable aspect of a show with 17 dragons (via SBS).

Mumbai Times

It’s bizarre they forget that Westeros is a fictional world and that TV is a different creative medium. Martin has no issue with these additions because it creates a sense of inclusivity. It’s not like they’re changing the entire background of the family. These horrible people should shut up and watch something else.

Vanity Fair

Finished Text

A massive positive is that the House of the Dragon screenwriters is dealing with a finished text. Martin completed this history up to the point. Furthermore, the historical nature of Fire and Bloods means that there is more flexibility when it comes to ending it.

Total Film

They have a barebones outline and can fill in the blanks themselves. It’s fascinating that the new Lord of the Rings series will also use a similar model. The danger is that the writers move away from the heart of Westeros and leave the fans feeling out of place (via Esquire).


No Tyrion Lannister

One of the most challenging tasks that the new series faces is the loss of beloved characters. The likes of Tyrion and Arya brought a magnetism to Game of Thrones that will be difficult to replace. Furthermore, fans may negatively compare new characters to the ones they miss.

Marie Claire

Peter Dinklage made Tyrion into one of the most iconic TV characters ever. He combined bawdy wit with moments of powerful poignancy on his way to multiple Emmy wins. The new cast has a lot to live up to with Dinklage’s small shadow hanging over them (via Variety).

South China Morning Post

Good Cast

The new series may not have the old characters that we all love. But it does have a brilliant cast with some massive names. We spoke earlier about the character actors but there are also huge stars like Olivia Wilde and Steve Toussaint. These actors bring a sense of prestige to House of the Dragon.


Furthermore, there are a host of intriguing newcomers or lesser-known thespians. Milly Alcock is winning rave reviews for her role in the show. She went from washing dishes to performing in one of the biggest franchises on the planet. Kudos to her because she has changed her life (via What to Watch).

Winter is Coming

Incest Taboo

Incest was a surprising feature of the original Game of Thrones. We saw the relationship between Jaime and Cersei Lannister in the first episode of the show. Then a connection developed between Jon Snow and Dany. It’s safe to say the directors weren’t squeamish about sharing this taboo subject.

Fan Pop

But the new show is all about the Targaryens and this means even more incest. A little bit is tolerable but it’s not something that anybody wants to normalize. It’s a touchy subject but one that fans are going to see a lot of in House of the Dragon (via The Atlantic).


Visual Splendor

House of the Dragon has a massive budget but it’s still significantly less than The Rings of Power. However, HBO is brilliant at streamlining shows and using its resources to produce beautiful products. People may complain about Game of Thrones and Westworld’s storylines, but not the visual appeal.

Culture Spot

The new show is no exception because it appears to have stunning visual effects. Meanwhile, the costumes are magnificent even if the platinum blonde wigs are jarring. It isn’t enough for a show to be pretty in 2022 because viewers expect a brilliant and consistent storyline (via Forbes).

Digital TV Europe

Falling Subscribers

HBO partnered with Duolingo as they tried to find innovative ways to promote their new show. The problem is that they’re facing an uphill battle to retain subscribers. There are so many streaming services out there today that it’s difficult to keep people invested in one. Who can afford to pay for everything?

Lifestyle & Culture

According to Screenrant, HBO’s key audience dropped by more than 50% after Game of Thrones ended. It’s clear why they’re desperate to make House of the Dragon a success. They want to bring these people back because they won’t be able to produce high-quality products without their money.

Games Radar

The Rings of Power

A massive reason why the show may fail is because of an immediate competitor. HBO made the fateful decision to go head-to-head with another mega-budget fantasy series. House of the Dragon has one-third of the budget for the new Amazon Prime show but HBO has more experience.

Android Authority

HBO decided to release their new series two weeks before The Rings of Power. This makes sense because they want invested fans before their rival kicks off. Nonetheless, if the Amazon behemoth is a hit it will make the lives of HBO’s executives more difficult (via Quartz).

CBS News

Great Showrunners

It will come as a relief to Game of Thrones fans that the new show has superb showrunners. The controversial duo of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have nothing to do with House of the Dragon. They ruined the original series so nobody wants them to touch it.

Cheat Sheet

This may seem harsh because they were also behind the original success. However, the dynamic Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik control the spin-off. The latterly famously directed one of the show’s greatest battle scenes in series six of Game of Thrones (via Entertainment Weekly).


No Bran Stark

Bran Stark almost made Game of Thrones unbearable by himself. We don’t blame Isaac Hempstead-Wright because he didn’t write the character. However, his dull storyline and the ridiculous ending made him one of the most hateful figures in TV history (via Den of Geek).


It’s funny that Game of Thrones had rotten villains including Prince Joffrey and Ramsey Snow. They committed horrendous crimes but fans still hate Bran more. House of the Dragon is instantly superior because it doesn’t try to make us care about this waste of oxygen.


Been There, Done That

The main reason why this show should succeed is that HBO has so much experience. They’ve made fantasy worlds including Westworld as well as Game of Thrones. Meanwhile, they made mistakes in the latter GOT series, which taught them many lessons (via Bloomberg).


They received a learning curve as they discovered what works and what fans won’t expect. This new series will have a significant influence on their credibility as a network moving forward. If they don’t succeed they may fall too far behind Amazon and Netflix to be viable in the future.


Fan Ambivalence

The main reason why the new show may fail is because of fan ambivalence. Game of Thrones had one of the worst endings in TV history. Fans resented everything about it because they committed to the journey and expected a great payoff. Instead, it felt as though a child wrote the final episode (via Collider).

The Times

That’s why many fans may not tune into the show. It’s difficult to invest in something that isn’t trustworthy; unfortunately, that’s how many of them feel right now. House of the Dragon has a lot to prove from the very beginning. However, it’s the ending that’s the problem and that’s what people worry about.