House of the Dragon is a straight-up hit so far in viewership numbers for HBO/HBO Max. There’s substance to back up the spectacle of the House Of Targaryen and their fire-breathing beasts, and it’s wild to see the show humanize this house after all the Game of Thrones background information to the contrary. So far, viewers have enjoyed not only Dem Dragons but also the show’s choice callbacks, and the hope is that the momentum keeps building as this first season and the already-announced second season continue to unfold.
Challenges do exist, however. Not only has co-showrunner Miguell Sapochnik (who helmed multiple Game of Thrones episodes, including “Battle of the Bastards”) announced his departure from the prequel, but multiple major cast members will soon hit the road as well. Those latter departures were pre-planned, obviously, because House of the Dragon (which takes place 170+ years before the O.G. show) will soon do a slight time jump into the future.
This means that the characters in the above image ^^ will be replaced by older actresses following Episode 5. Rhaenera began in the hands of Milly Alcock, who will pass the baton to Emma D’Arcy. Likewise, Allicent will transform from Emily Carey to Olivia Cooke. One wonders if the younger counterparts could ever return at some point in flashback mode, but we’ll have to wait and see what those cards hold. Regardless, it’s clear that we are in epic fantasy heaven right now between this show and Amazon’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
HBO’s House of the Dragon airs on Sunday nights at 9:00pm EST.