House of the Dragon: Watch on YouTube now

HBO has produced the first episode of its Game of Thrones prequel succession House of the Dragon, available for free on YouTube.

It is a marketing move that amusingly coincides with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime on Friday last week.

Life is exemplary for lovers of epic fantasy, with House of the Dragon pulling in the biggest audience for a new HBO series (and bricking the streaming service in the approach). At the same time, The Rings of Power attracted 25 million global viewers the day it premiered, which also happens to be Amazon Prime’s biggest debut.

The success of Amazon’s Tolkien adaptation is likely partially why HBO is giving everyone a taste of its latest adventure into Westeros, tempting you into signing up for yet another streaming service. However, the freebie has many plausible explanations besides its fortunate timing. The Game of Thrones series finale, similarly to Rotten Tomatoes, acquired catastrophic reviews from critics and audiences. Ten million people tuned in for the House of the Dragon premiere. Some scorned franchise fans might need a little more compelling before bouncing back onto the George R.R. Martin hype train.

House of the Dragon is set almost 200 years before the Game of Thrones series’ events, detailing House Targaryen’s downfall and their rule over the Iron Throne. As anticipated, there’s an abundance of dragons, family disputes, and long, flowing wigs for those disappointed by the more trendy hairstyles featured in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

House of the Dragon is a pre-sequel series of Game of Thrones. HBO ordered it in October 2019. The prequel goes back roughly 200 years to center on the beginning and end of the once omnipotent dynasty that dominated the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik act as showrunners and executive producers. Sara Hess, George R.R. Martin, Vince Gerardis, and Ron Schmidt perform as executive producers, with Greg Yaitanes as co-executive producers. Season 1 premiered on August 21, 2022. In May 2022, Redanian Intelligence noted that HBO had quietly renewed the series for a second season and that writing had already started.

George R.R. Martin first pitched the concept for House of the Dragon in the summer of 2016. Then, finally, it had the working title – The Dance of the Dragons. It was initially helmed by Carly Wray, then by Bryan Cogman, and finally by Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik. The House of the Dragon prequel is established on Martin’s bestselling Fire & Blood, with the launch of HBO Max in May 2020. The first installment in the pre-sequel book series was printed in November 2018. It received a 10-episode straight-to-series order. Miguel Sapochnik orchestrated the pilot and additional episodes.

The show’s title emanates from a passage from A Game of Thrones Chapter 3, Daenerys I: The water was burning hot, but Daenerys did not jump or cry out. She liked the heat. It drove her to feel clean. “Ours is the house of the dragon,” he would convey. “The fire is in our blood.” Besides, her brother often suggested that it was never too sizzling for a Targaryen.

“The prequel series uncovers the Targaryen dynasty at the absolute peak of its power, with more than 15 dragons under their yoke. Of course, most kingdoms—real and imagined—crush from such heights. But, in the case of the Targaryens, their gradual fall begins almost 193 years before Game of Thrones, when King Viserys Targaryen ruins a century of tradition by quoting his daughter Rhaenyra heir to the Iron Throne. But when Viserys later fathers a son, the bench is shocked when Rhaenyra retains her rank as his heir, and seeds of separator sow friction across the realm.”

Unfortunately, the watch link is region-locked and unavailable outside of the US. However, UK fans can also watch the first episode for free thanks to an upload from Sky TV. Be wary that, as expected for a Game of Thrones spinoff, the series comes with a mature content warning.