Do you need to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ to understand ‘House of the Dragon?’

Milly Alcock as young Rhaenyra Targaryen and Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen
Image via Warner Media

Warning: This article contains massive spoilers for House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon is the new HBO series that’s a prequel to the long-running mega success, Game of Thrones. The series is set to take place 200 years before the events of the original show and will introduce new characters who rule King’s Landing. Season one is set to have 10 1-hour long episodes produced, and will air on HBO Max.

However, there will be those who will be entering this show with zero knowledge of the original series due to either inaccessibility or being born at the wrong time. House of the Dragon will be these people’s first exposure to the fantasy world created by George R. R. Martin. So it is fair to assume for one who is new to the series if they needed to watch the original show to understand what House of the Dragon is about.

But with this show being set years before the events of Game of Thornes, does one need to watch the original series just to understand House of the Dragon?

Do you need to watch Game of Thrones to understand House of the Dragon?

House of the Dragon takes place 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. And based on what’s seen in episode one, watching Game of Thrones doesn’t seem to be mandatory if you want to understand the prequel series. The show starts with a prologue, introducing the main family — the Targaryens, and how the old king had to choose a new heir to the throne. Afterward, text appears on the screen which says “172 years before Daenerys Targaryen”.

“It is now the ninth year of King Viserys I Targaryen’s reign.

172 years before the death of the mad king, Aerys, and the birth of his daughter, Princess Daenerys Targaryen”

So far in episode one, the show has not directly referenced the original show outside of small callbacks. However, there are some things that viewers may benefit from knowing, such as the significance of the Iron Throne which the king sits upon within King’s Landing and the Targaryen family, their influence in Westeros, and their connection to dragons. These are things that are covered in the original show and while they aren’t integral to know when watching House of the Dragon, they will provide further insight.

It is currently safe to say that anyone who is new to Game of Thrones or hasn’t seen the original series can watch House of the Dragon without worrying about the original series. The show has a different plot and new characters that currently focus on one family that are centuries apart from the main series. So if you’re keen to watch this epic new fantasy series, episode one is now available to stream on HBO Max.