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Is "House of the Dragon" Better Than "Game of Thrones"?

"I heard the sound of thundering hooves, splintering shields, and ringing swords, and I placed our son upon the Iron Throne."

"I heard the sound of thundering hooves, splintering shields, and ringing swords, and I placed our son upon the Iron Throne."

With the conclusion of the first season of House of the Dragon, fans have rushed to social media to debate whether the show is better than Game of Thrones. The answer is—and this might disappoint many—no, and the main reason is, only one season has aired.

While House of the Dragon has had a great start, it would take more than 10 episodes to eclipse Game of Thrones. I know the bad blood between us and the eighth season of GoT will never fade, but the show gave us some of the best moments in TV history.

Reasons why House of the Dragon is NOT better than Game of Thrones

Aside from only having one season, here are other reasons why I believe House of the Dragon may not be better than Game of Thrones.

1. Time Jumps

Many people were not pleased with the time jumps. While different actors can depict the attributes of a fictional character, it’s important to note that fans tend to form a bond with these actors.

For example, Milly Alcock was already becoming popular among the fans. As Rhaenyra gets older, she’s portrayed by Emma D’Arcy. Emma does an incredible job, but it takes some time for fans to adjust as most of them were already fond of Milly Alcock.

I am, however, happy that this was done in the first season before such bonds became difficult to let go. Others, I know, would have preferred the time jump be done at the beginning of Season 2.

All in all, we could say that the Game of Thrones directors knew where to begin their story so as to avoid constant time jumps. We watched the same actors and their character grow on screen, and that was amazing.

George R. R. Martin points out on Penguin Random House’s YouTube channel that the directors had some great ideas. The problem was where to start given the depth and breadth of the source material.

2. Political Emphasis

I love the scheming and politicking going on in House of the Dragon. However, the White Walkers arc gave Game of Thrones an edge. The Night King was a mysterious enemy who neither knew boundaries nor politics. He was sort of an escape, when the politics became too much. We wanted to understand him more, and that curiosity kept many watching.

While The Song of Ice and Fire is teased in House of the Dragon, the White Walkers will not be a major menace for at least another 100 years or more.

Reasons why House of the Dragon may become better than Game of Thrones

Despite believing that this show is not yet superior to Game of Thrones, here are some reasons we think it may eventually surpass it.

1. More Dragons

Game of Thrones was set after the fall of the Targaryen dynasty. So, not many dragons were left. The only ones featured were Viserion, Drogon and Rhaegal.

House of the Dragon on the other hand, is set when the Targaryens were at their peak. The very first episode began with a dragon soaring through the air with a young Rhaenyra on its back. We used to wait a couple of episodes in Game of Thrones to get such action.

It is called "House of the Dragon," after all

It is called "House of the Dragon," after all

The dragons we’ve seen so far are:

  • Vhagar, ridden by Aemond Targaryen
  • Caraxes, ridden by Prince Daemon
  • Vermithor, which belonged to Jaehaerys I Targaryen
  • Syrax, ridden by Princess Rhaenyra
  • Meleys, ridden by Princess Rhaenys
  • Seasmoke, ridden by Ser Laenor Velaryon
  • Arrax, belonging to Prince Lucerys
  • Vermax, ridden by Prince Jacaerys
  • Sunfyre, belonging to Aegon II and Dreamfyre

Those are 10 already, and many are yet to come. What I love about these dragons is how unique some of them are. For example, Vhagar is humongous and the largest of them all, Meleys has stunningly beautiful red scales, Caraxes has a surprisingly long yet tantalizing neck and Syrax’s yellow skin is magnificent.

A scene from "Driftmark," Season 1, Episode 7 of "House of the Dragon."

A scene from "Driftmark," Season 1, Episode 7 of "House of the Dragon."

2. Complete Source Material

House of the Dragon is adapted from the novel Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin. Game of Thrones was based on the A Song of Ice and Fire series which, by the time we reached the fifth season, had been depleted.

From then onwards, Benioff and Weiss had to finish the story. Season 6 wasn’t bad for me. Season 7, although rushed, was also not that bad. Now, Season 8 was just a disaster.

The sudden turn of events that saw Daenerys Targaryen torch Kings Landing was just poor writing. I know it was supposed to be the huge surprise Game of Thrones always pulled, but it just didn’t feel right.

That aside, Jon Snow was cast away and Bran Stark made King of the Seven Kingdoms. I could go on and on about how terrible it was, but I think this has already been exhausted by fans worldwide.

House of the Dragon, being set before these events, is based on complete source material. What’s more, George R. R. Martin is heavily involved in the show.

Rhys Ifans is Ser Otto Hightower in "House of the Dragon."

Rhys Ifans is Ser Otto Hightower in "House of the Dragon."

3. Feeds on the Success of Game of Thrones

Let’s face it, House of the Dragon’s first season would not have been that popular had it aired before Game of Thrones. Its predecessor was one of the most watched TV shows of all time. It created a dedicated fanbase who wouldn’t hesitate to watch anything based on the series.

House of the Dragon managed to get nearly 10 million viewers in its first episode alone. Game of Thrones premiered with approximately 2.2 million, but increased its viewership tremendously over the years with Season 8 averaging 46 million.

It seems like an impossible number to beat, but with such a start, House of the Dragon could definitely do it. Even better for the series, it can also learn from the mistakes made by Game of Thrones.