In Review: House of The Dragon (S1 – EP1) The Heirs of the Dragon

King Viserys Targaryen holds a tournament to honor the arrival of his newborn son.

Synopsis: In The Heirs of the Dragon King Viserys Targaryen holds a tournament to honor the arrival of his newborn son. While his ambitious younger brother plots against him. 


The Story

Set about 172 years before the events seen in Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon tells the tail of the Targaryen dynasty and the events that lead up to its eventual downfall. The Heirs of the Dragon sets out the world and the characters as we see a King desperate for a male heir so he can carry on the traditions of the dynasty. Meanwhile, his firstborn daughter Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen wants nothing more than to be a man so she can eventually ascend the throne. While her Uncle, the Kings brother Daemon Targaryen plots to one day take the throne from his older brother, who he considers to be weak. 

Both Rhaenyra and Daemon have reasons to not want the king’s newborn child to be a boy, but out of the two Daemon is the most likely to take bold action. Which is something that the King’s Hand Otto Hightower is all too aware of.


The Acting

As you’d expect. The acting in this series is of the highest quality and every bit as equal to what we saw in Game of Thrones. Paddy Considine is the perfect casting for the role of King Viserys Targaryen who seems very much to be about trying to keep the peace and keeping the family together. Likewise, Matt Smith’s portrayal of Viserys’s younger brother Daemon is the polar opposite. In fact, Daemon gets to show his cruel credentials early in the episode when he takes the king’s watch out on a mission to mete out his cruel form of justice on the thieves and criminals of Kings Landing. Something that he duly gets chastised for by his older brother during a Council meeting.

Emma D’Arcy has an interesting role as the King’s firstborn daughter Rharnyre Targaryen who pretty much has everything with the exception that she is not male and cannot ascend the throne in the traditional sense, which is something that is about to change as she is named the Kings successor, which will likely be the trigger point for all the events we’ll likely see as this series develops. Rharnyre feels like a similar character to Arya Stark, but somewhat more refined, but with the same kind of interest in becoming a good fighter and leader. She has no interest in entertaining the thought of taking on the traditional role that the court expects from her. She wants to be on the front lines where the action is.


This opening episode does a fine job of setting out the proverbial table and introduces us to the characters and the world that they inhabit. At present, it is a Kingdom that has had many years of peace, which is something that gets commented on during the tournament in which the Knights of the Realm fight it out to win favor. It’s also pretty apparent that there are quite a few resentments that are at the cusp of boiling over at the slightest provocation. The most obvious is that of Daemon who thinks he should be king. But another one is coming from Princess Rhaenys Targaryen who is known as The Queen Who Never Was.

Quite how all of this will turn out is yet to be revealed. But if the original Game of Thrones was anything to go by. It will be fun finding out.

House of The Dragon (S1 - EP1) The Heirs of the Dragon
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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