Will House of the Dragon be a success? Is Game of Thrones still relevant?

Grace Piercy voices her opinions on the newly casting spin-off series

Grace Piercy
2nd August 2020
Credit: IMDb
Casting calls have gone out for two roles in the new Game of Thrones spin-off show, House of the Dragon. The show is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and is based on George R.R. Martin’s faux-history companion book Fire & Blood, which covers the history of House Targaryen.
Credit: IMDb

For the duration of it’s run, Game of Thrones was constantly winning awards and praise alike, with the first seven seasons getting over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, we all know it all ended in flames...literally. The much anticipated final season has a 55% score on Rotten Tomatoes, with the last ever episode ‘The Iron Throne’ getting just 48%. The dreaded final season is so widely disliked (some even hated) that Game of Thrones has almost entirely dropped off the pop culture conscious.

When for years Primark was filled with shirts that said ‘Winter is Coming’, it is now as though the show never existed at all. This is not to say that the fanbase is not still there, just disheartened, with book fans praying for a more satisfying end to the A Song of Ice and Fire series. With the right marketing, House of the Dragon could start with a huge and engaged audience. Fans have assumed from the names of announced new characters and the 300 years-previous timeline that the new show will be about the kingdom-wide civil war between two rival branches of the Targaryen House, the Dance of the Dragons. 

Showrunners will have to really impress audiences if this show is to achieve an inch of the success Game of Thrones enjoyed

I fear this new show might go on to suffer from Fantastic Beasts syndrome; merely existing to as a cash-grab and to pander to audiences with fan service and not-so-subtle nods to its more famous counterpart. I dread to see us meet characters with family names we know for no other reason than so we can say ‘Oh! Like that other guy from the last show!’ This new show will be up against a lot, we all watched and loved characters for a decade only to see them destroyed in just 3 hours. Showrunners will have to really impress audiences if this show is to achieve an inch of the success Game of Thrones enjoyed.

Credit: IMDb, 2015 Home Box Office, Inc.

Keeping the show separate but distantly related to Game of Thrones will be a real feat. The showrunners will need a flawless plot, the same clever writing, incredible casting to make a believable family, and beautiful special effects- considering how many dragons there are likely to be in House of the Dragon. Should this new show fail to meet expectations it may mean the more permanent death of George R.R. Martin’s masterpiece, with fans giving up on the world entirely.

I will almost certainly be watching it, like so many others will, if only to test the waters. I hope they succeed in their endeavour to recreate the TV-changing, era-defining, Game of Thrones, if only so we can get some final satisfaction from the world. 

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