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Is ‘House of the Dragon’ better than ‘Game of Thrones’? Reviews are in; read feedback from top critics

Critics lauded House of the Dragon, while some thought it was less magical than its predecessor, Game of Thrones. The storyline is before the Game of Thrones.

Is House of the Dragon  better than Game of Thrones? Reviews are in  read feedback from top critics RBA
Bangalore, First Published Aug 22, 2022, 8:10 AM IST

Three years ago, the famous HBO series Game of Thrones ended controversially, disappointing some fans. The new franchise spin-off takes fans to George R.R. Martin's fantasy world for a series based on House Targaryen's violent civil war.

House of the Dragon, set around 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, pays homage to its chaotically successful successor in various ways, beginning with establishing a parallel between the unfolding events and the gorgeous Princess Daenerys Targaryen. 

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Because the first episode, The Heirs of the Dragons, is about introducing the many actors in the House Targaryen, there is less action and, sadly, less dragon. The drama is based on George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood (2018) and follows the demise of House Targaryen and the ensuing war of succession.

Most TV critics praised House of the Dragon, while some thought it was less magical than its predecessor, Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon, the highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel, garnered wonderful reviews from many television reviewers on Friday, but it still has a lot to prove to others.

House of the Dragon, which premieres on HBO Max on Sunday, August 21 has an 85% good Rotten Tomatoes rating, with 124 of 164 reviews praising the new series.

In the show, a civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons breaks out between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and her brother Aegon II Targaryen over who will win the kingdom when their father, Viserys l, dies.

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"It's best to brace now for the genealogy chatter around Houses Targaryen, Lannister, Velaryon and Hightower, for theories connecting the future with the past and for ghoulish discussions of which series featured more graphic displays of blood, gore and guts."

Lorraine Ali of the Los Angeles Times said the spin-off "recaptures the power, grandeur of the original."

"This fresh chapter in the saga of the Seven Kingdoms is reverse-engineered to feed into narratives and family trees that are familiar to 'GoT' devotees," Ali said.

By contrast, Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly explained the opening scene as "the blandest possible orientation, Epic Fantasy for Dummies" and said the good news is that "the beginning is the worst part."

Other TV critics have similar concerns about the series failing to live up to the original Game of Thrones in terms of characters, narrative, and general quality.

"There are dragons aplenty, but it doesn't produce the sort of character that defined and elevated its predecessor to prestige-TV royalty," Lowry wrote.

Brian Lowry of CNN saw the prequel as a "less-addictive game for an earlier throne" but said it was "not bad."

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