Warning: This article contains spoilers for 'Game of Thrones.'
'House of the Dragon,' the highly anticipated TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin's prequel to 'The Game of Thrones,' set a record as the most watched premiere in HBO history with nearly 10 million views. The second episode surpassed that number, giving new life to what many believed to be a disgraced franchise. But viewership isn't everything. Viewers will always compare it to the original show, which means the series could easily fizzle out if it doesn't live up to its predecessor's glory. Will it manage to capture the old magic of Westeros, or will it flop? To answer that question, let's forget everything we think we know about this new chapter, the spoilers, and the events in the book, and talk about what really matters: execution. Regardless of what has been written before, 'House of the Dragon' will still need to execute the story well, and in order to do so, it will need certain traits that belonged to the original.
House of the Dragon | Official Trailer | HBO Max
Perhaps one of the most exciting scenes from the original series--and the books for that matter--was at the end of season 1 when Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) burned a witch for cursing her husband Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa). She enters the flames herself, and when she emerges, she is fully naked surrounded by dragons--an unimaginably powerful force, brought back from extinction by an extraordinarily powerful character. It was a shocker moment that still gets fans excited. As the saga of the Targaryen dynasty, the 'House of the Dragon' will have to reproduce that effect if it wants to live up to the original's glory.
Wine and Lemon Cakes
Wine and lemon cakes became symbols of 'The Game of Thrones' renowned verbal matches, all of which have become classic examples of the writers' extraordinary mastery of dialogue. Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) could tear a man to shreds with her icy reception and sharp tongue, and her brother Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) could outwit the finest, even after drinking an entire cellar of wine. The comedy, the thrills, and the chills, all built upon a few sentences was enough to keep entire countries glued to the screen. They produced some of the most memorable moments in television. But nobody, fictional or otherwise, could possibly top Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) whose glorious vulgarities and refreshingly vicious honesty could slay an entire army of dragons. She is the true, reigning queen of shade, and there will never be another character quite like her. 'House of the Dragon' won't live up to her performance, but they have to try. Anything less will seem like a waste of words, and we can't have the dialogue in the new show falling flat.