HBO finally released the first episode of Game of Thrones prequel House of The Dragon, and it was worth the wait. The pilot episode sets up the field for a grim and dark future ahead, mined with uncertainty, fire and blood. There were several details that hinted at what’s to come in the episodes ahead, and also featured several callbacks to the original series.
While a lot of them are quite obvious, some of them might have slipped your attention, considering a lot of Game of Thrones fans awaiting the prequel series are unaware of the Fire & Blood book. Let’s have a look at some of these details that are easy to miss in the House of The Dragon pilot episode.
SPOILER ALERT: This episode has major spoilers for the House of the Dragon premiere. Proceed at your own risk.
Hall of Harrenhal
The episode begins with a prologue to the events of House of The Dragon, where King Jaehaerys (Michael Carter) holds the Great Council at Harrenhal to declare the heir to the Iron Throne. Notice how the Hall of Harrenhal here looks in a much better shape than in Game of Thrones.
Baratheon’s relation to the Targaryens
Ser Borros Baratheon (Roger Evans) asks Princess Rhaenys’ (Eve Best) favor right before his turn to joust in the Tourney, referring to her as his cousin. Rhaenys is half Baratheon herself, as her parents were Lady Jocelyn Baratheon and Aemon Targaryen.
Parallels with Game of Thrones
House of The Dragon shares several parallels with Game of Thrones, some of them were shown in the first episode. Graham McTavish’s Ser Harrold Westerling reminds you of Ser Barristan Selmy from the original show, while young Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) reminds you of a young Arya with a flair of Daenerys, with her line, “I’d rather serve as a knight and ride to battle and glory”.
Rhaenyra is also a cupbearer to her father King Viserys (Paddy Considine) in House of The Dragon, similar to how Arya was a cupbearer to Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.
The five knights at the Tourney
Of the five knights that jousted at the Tourney in the first episode, two were of House Baratheon, one of whom was Lord Borros Baratheon himself. One was Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) who defeated everyone he faced in the fight, including Prince Daemon Targaryen himself.
The first knight to feel Criston Cole’s wrath was a knight from House Tarly, whose motto, interestingly, is “First in Battle.” The last of the five knights was Otto Hightower’s son, Gwayne Hightower, who was gravely injured by Daemon out of spite.
King Viserys’ wound
The Iron Throne is the most dangerous seat in all of Westeros. That is shown and spelled out time over time in both Game of Thrones and House of The Dragon. We see two instances of King Viserys getting injured by the infamous throne, and for some reason, the Maesters of the Citadel are unable to heal the wounds, suggesting cauterization. These wounds will play a major role in the story of House of The Dragon.
Model of Valyria
King Viserys is a peace-loving person, and he prefers to spend his free time chipping away at rock sculptures. Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) sends his daughter Alicent (Emily Carey) to “comfort” the King. Here, we see a model of old Valyria in the King’s bed chamber. The King is busy sculpting the structure before turning over to his attendant.
Before announcing Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) as his heir, King Viserys talks to her. Viserys explains to her the perils of ruling the realm. He lets her in on the secret to the Targaryen’s powers.
Viserys also warns her about the existence of White Walkers. The dagger we see here is none other than Catspaw itself. This is the dagger that Arya used to kill the Night King at the end of Game of Thrones. It looks different in this episode, but it’s the same iconic weapon that is among the most important links between the two shows.
Were you able to catch all of them during your first watch? Tell us in the comments below!