Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon that changed the world for eight seasons on HBO. Watching the different families and legacies vie for control over Westeros, and the Iron Throne became the talk of the watercooler at every office and on every social media outlet as the episodes dropped each week. When you have a TV series that makes such a big splash on society, it is only a matter of time before prequels, sequels, and spin-offs happen. The team over at HBO elected to go with the prequel first, and the first three episodes of House of the Dragon have hit streaming to largely positive reviews, scoring an 85% with both audiences and critics. Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow for all eight seasons, has given his opinion on the series, and he has nothing but nice things to say.
House of the Dragon is set a full two centuries before Game of Thrones and follows the last powerful days of House Targaryen and the beginning of their end. Set 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen (Emile Clark), the series will cover the events leading up to the Dance of the Dragons, which is the Targaryen war of succession. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada, Harington gave his thoughts on the series by saying it is difficult to start a new series in the same realm as another one and making it your own. He praised his friend and showrunner, Miguel Sapochnik, by saying he has succeeded in doing just that. The Jon Snow actor is still entrenched in the franchise as the third series based on the book will be centered directly on Snow, starring Harington in his return.
Everyone doesn’t share his praise and the praise from critics and audiences of House of the Dragon. Sarah Marrs of Lainey Gossip believes the series has fallen into the trap of most prequels by answering questions that no one is asking by hinging the entire series on a prophecy that does nothing for the plot. She goes on to say that the series is justifying its own existence without the need to justify it. Jeff Ewing of Forbes and Jonathan Wright of We Got This Covered disagree, saying that as early as the first 20 minutes of the first episode, fans believe they are watching Game of Thrones, back in the early episodes when it changed the world. Lead actor Milly Alcock certainly agrees with the latter, as she has strong feelings about the series as well.
There are only a few episodes out at the moment, but the initial reactions seem to be almost exclusively positive. While other prequels like Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are facing intense backlash to the point of Amazon needing to take steps to fight review bombing, House of the Dragon shows that prequels can work with the right team, the right cast, and the goal of staying faithful to the source material while simultaneously making it unique. House of the Dragon has the potential to be something extraordinary, and Kit Harington has an opportunity to keep the streak running with his spin-off.