House of the Dragon Season 1 - Recap & Review

Article written by
Jack Denton
April 18, 2023

The season 1 finale of House of the Dragon airs this Sunday (23/10 US - 24/10 UK). The series focuses on the story of House Targaryen, and is set centuries before the events in Game of Thrones. Whilst the two shows are undoubtedly similar in many ways, the new characters, and the fresh fight for power, have helped to separate the two.

The show achieved HBO’s biggest-ever premiere, and even though this would have been largely due to the popularity of its predecessor, it is still an impressive feat to hold. Many viewers have felt that the show redeems what was for many an underwhelming end to the story of GoT, and there has been substantial praise for the show's visual and special effects, as well as the set design. The success of the show from a VFX perspective is especially pleasing for all of us here at motusVFX, given our involvement in placing some of the talent used for the show.

House of the Dragon hasn’t been without criticism though, something which is near on impossible to avoid when dealing with the notions of incest so regularly, whilst also showing graphic birth scenes. However, in the defence of the show this may not be far off the actions of people during those times, and in a strange way adds authenticity to what is a brilliantly written series so far. The time jumps between episodes can also be slightly strange, although they do swiftly become clearer after the first few scenes.

It feels only right to focus more on the great acting, cast and characters of the series. The story mostly takes place in one location, which gives the audience a more intimate take on the lives within the castle. Alongside the Targaryens, we are made familiar with the Velaryons, the Hightowers, and other key figures. The roles of the female characters, including Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen, are particularly strong and well-developed.

For now, many will be hoping for a successful last episode to build on the anticipation that already exists for where the story will go next. A second season has been confirmed, and the likelihood of two further seasons is also highly probable.