House of the Dragon, the highly anticipated prequel to the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones, will be available to watch in the UK from Monday. The Guardian has spoken to three fans of the original series about what they’re most looking forward to about the spin-off – and what they’re apprehensive about.
Joe Brookes, a 28-year-old council worker from Stourbridge, has high hopes for the new series and thinks that although the first season may start slowly, it’s necessary to thoroughly develop the characters and plot.
“I think it would be quite a slow burn, but in a good way, similar to the first season of Game of Thrones,” Brookes says. “I think it will be introducing us to the characters, and you’ll see some minor backstabbing, but I don’t really think it will get into the meat and potatoes of it. It would be good to see them start to explore the political themes which made the original programme so big.”
But one of Brookes’s biggest fears is that they may rush the ending, which he feels happened in the original series.
“This time, I hope that they’ll give the series a little more time to breathe, so we can get to know the characters more. My big worry is that they rush things and they don’t explore them enough in depth.”
He adds: “I really hope it’s good enough, and it brings people back to what they liked about the original series in the first place, as it was unique in the sense of how big it was.”
Despite being a big fan of Game of Thrones, having re-read the book series last year, Robert Terry, a 33-year-old systems engineer from West Yorkshire, says his initial hopes for the new series aren’t “sky high”.
“The book [that House of the Dragon is based on] doesn’t have the same lasting impact on me as a reader or as a viewer that Games of Thrones does,” Terry says.
Terry says that as the source material is more straightforward than that of the original series, this one may be more of a “spectacle” rather than being as intricately plotted as the original.
“I just think with the amount of money they’ve pumped into it and the hype, they’re not going to be able to build it up slowly like they did with Game of Thrones,” Terry adds. “I hope I’m wrong, but I get the distinct impression that we’re not going to be waiting two seasons for a very expensive battle scene.”
Anthony Flintshire, in his 50s, said he hoped House of the Dragon would have a well-structured storyline, something he felt the last series of Game of Thrones lacked once the plot deviated from the books.
“I fear that the storytelling won’t be that cohesive. And if it isn’t, and you’re sitting there thinking that certain things couldn’t have logically happened at that time, that would be a big fear,” Flintshire says.
“It’s so complex and character-driven that we need to be happy with the arc of those characters. But overall, I’m optimistic.”
What Flintshire is looking forward to in the series is seeing Rhys Ifans, who plays Otto Hightower, as he says they went to secondary school together in Wales.
“I did a few theatre productions with him at school, and he was always such a big character,” he says.