It only took airing a single episode before HBO renewed, for a second season, the highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon.
Sources reported that the number of viewers who watched the #HOTD premier reached the 20 million mark.
On top of craving the #GOT lore and hoping to grasp a connection to beloved (and behated) storylines from the original series, one reason fans flocked back to the #GOT franchise is #HOTD’s immensely strong production values.
And when it comes to production values, as a modern dragon, I certainly appreciate quality work. But, as I’ve observed, the main focus of my observations in this forum tends to focus less around the quality of the work and more around the dragons themselves.
Still, I love seeing thoughtful production design as much as the next dragon. And House of the Dragon does a really great job. So, here below are a few highlights showing how #HOTD is absolutely slaying it.
With an emphasis on dragons. (But not slaying dragons, I hope!)
Have we met? I’m a modern dragon, just trying to explore life being both modern and, also, a dragon.
1. Prince Daemon’s dragon armor
The first thing is the wings. Flying off the helm itself.
And in the intensity of the scenes where Daemon wears his armor, it’s easy to focus on the wings and overlook the rest of the armor.
Viewing the still image, however, we get to see even more details that are a bit too hard to catch when watching the show itself. Let’s enjoy:
- The dragon’s snout on top of the helmet
- The dragon’s tail on the back of the helmet
- Wait a minute. The helmet — it IS a dragon.
- The side of the helmet are also styled as wings (would that mean the dragon has four wings?!)
- The shoulder armor plating also resembles wings.
- And, of course, the Targaryen crest on the breastplate.
These are some pretty fantastic details. I predict an Emmy nomination.
Now, as a dragon, I have to say this is all amazing. But the lance in Prince Daemon’s hand just makes me a little nervous. As a rule, we dragons don’t like those pointy things.
2. Princess Rhaenyra’s collar
No spoilers here; for context, I’ll only say that the scene where Princess Rhaenyra wears this ornate collar is significant.
And as the diagram above shows, the links in the chain each represent some of the great houses that have pledged fealty to House Targaryen: Lannister, Arryn, Martell, and Stark. (Stark!)
Little details like these have enormous symbolic value and create a highly satisfying viewing experience.
3. The Targaryen crest
No image is more iconic of House Targaryen than its sigil, or crest.
House Targaryen’s three-headed dragon sigil appears countless times in #HOTD S1E1 alone. We see it as the standalone image pictured above, and then again on banners, armor, and even possibly King Viserys’s chair at the tourney.
And with all the dragon sigils in House of the Dragon, it is very good to see that the dragon is definitely in the house. That’s right. DRAGON IN DA HOUSE!
4. The iron throne then and now
Last time we saw the Iron Throne, back in #GOT season eight, it was . . . not in good shape.
In fairness, almost nothing was in good shape then.
Or better said, almost nothing will be in good shape then. Game of Thrones is set nearly 200 years after House of the Dragon. So the Iron Throne we saw in #HOTD season one episode one is the Iron Throne that was, not the ruins as we know them now to be. Ruins courtesy of a certain dragonrider urging her faithful dragon to do a very dragonful thing.
But why not push all that to the back of our minds and enjoy this foray into the past?
The past is a magical place.
And as #HOTD will no doubt show us time and time again, a dangerous place.
5. Caraxes’s wing claws and tail spikes
I’m big into wing claws. I’ve written about them a bit already. For present purposes, suffice it to say that they are a fantastic feature for climbing and even fighting. And they just look amazing.
For example, in the image above we see outstanding wing claw definition. And enormous size: the wing claws are almost as big as the Targaryen rider pictured in the foreground.
And let’s not overlook another excellent dragon feature: tail spikes. There are plenty of reasons to watch out for the tail. In the best of circumstances it may thwack you. And you definitely do not want to experience a tail thwacking when the tail in question bears the gift of tail spikes.
It is enormously satisfying, as a dragon, to see such great attention to detail when depicting dragons.
So, there you have it, folks, some fantastic details, both dragon and non, that we got to see early on in House of the Dragon.
No doubt the next episodes will bring more greatness. I, for one, cannot wait to see what’s next.
What were your favorite details?