Emily Carey and Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon.

Having never really gotten into Game of Thrones, I pledged to watch prequel House of the Dragon from the beginning—and see it through until the end. Then, I plan to finally start the original series and watch the whole damn thing. (I viewed sporadic episodes of GoT, but never got fully engaged.)

I’m not saying this will actually happen, for I have made GoT pledges before. But I’m trying. Honestly … I’m trying.

So far, I’m impressed with House of the Dragon. While nobody in the cast has really emerged as relatable and fun à la Peter Dinklage in the original, there’s a certain grace to the way this one is filmed. The dragons look great, and the cast is solid, if not completely inspirational.

The ever-reliable Paddy Considine has some nice dimensions as King Viserys Targaryen, as does Milly Alcock as Young Princess Rhaenyra. Both bring a nice sense of gravitas to their roles. (Alcock will give way to Emma D’Arcy as the season progresses and the princess ages, but Alcock has capably handled the role in the two episodes screened as of this writing.)

The show retains the brutal violence of the original, along with some funky wigs and orgies. While I am not a GoT diehard, I remember enough to know that there are some rather cool things in this show, set 200 years before GoT, that tie together nicely with the original series.

House of the Dragon is a prequel that certainly honors the legacy of the original, which should make diehards proud. Folks like me who were only mildly exposed to the realm of the original should find plenty to like—and might find themselves finally clicking on the original show. Or, at least, that’s what I hope will happen for me.

I’m trying … really, I am.

Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon is now airing on HBO and HBO Max, with new episodes every Sunday through Oct. 23.

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