Disclaimer: This article contains plot spoilers from House of the Dragon episode 1 – The Heirs of the Dragon. House of the Dragon is decidedly not Game of Thrones. Set almost 200 years before the events of the fantasy TV series that had our collective attention for eight sprawling seasons, the new show is a prequel. The Westeros we see in this show which is based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood isn’t the same as the one we’re familiar with. Ruled by House Targaryen, the kingdom has a different set of characters and of course, dragons. While there are no familiar faces, it has a way of getting Game of Thrones fans hooked right back into the universe. There are several links that will have fans drawing parallels.
The show’s first episode sets up the history of the Targaryens with King Viserys on the Iron Throne poised to name his heir. The premiere is filled with fire and blood but more importantly, it has a bunch of Easter eggs with direct ties to the previous show. Here’s every Game of Thrones Easter egg featured in House of the Dragon episode 1:
Queen Aemma foreshadows Daenerys Targaryen hatching dragon eggs in Game of Thrones season 1
Speaking of eggs, in the premiere Queen Aemma has a difficult pregnancy leading up to the bloody birthing scene that ends in her and her newborn’s demise. In the days leading up to her labours, King Viserys and Aemma share a moment while she’s seen in a bathtub. She tells him, “I wouldn’t be surprised if I hatch an actual dragon.” The scene has a recall of Daenerys Targaryen hatching dragon eggs at Khal Drogo’s funeral fire in the finale episode of Game of Thrones season 1.
Valyrian steel swords Blackhyre and Dark Sister are owned by Viserys and Daemon Targaryen
We’re familiar with Valerian steel and its functions from Game of Thrones. In House of the Dragon, two Valyrian steel swords make an appearance – Blackfyre and Dark Sister owned by Viserys and Daemon Targaryen respectively. Blackfyre was previously owned by Aegon the Conqueror. Dark Sister’s former owner was Visenya Targaryen who was the sister and wife of Aegon the Conqueror. In GoT, Arya Stark (played by Maisie Willaims) talks about the sword with Tywin Lannister (played by Charles Dance). In the first episode, Daemon is seen giving Rhaenyra, his niece, a necklace made from Dark Sister.
Rhaenyra and Alicent Hightower talk about Princess Nymeria
A familiar name comes up when Rhaenyra and Alicent are going over their studies and they discuss Princess Nymeria. She was a warrior and pioneer female of House Martell. Game of Thrones fans will recognise the name as Arya Stark’s pet dire wolf. Apart from a fun throwback, Nymeria’s mention might also allude to one of the spin-offs planned around the character – 10,000 Ships. While it isn’t confirmation, it’s perhaps a nod towards what’s in store among the many spin-offs.
Rhaenyra uses the word “Dracarys” to command dragons
The High Valyrian word “Dracarys” has echoed through Game of Thrones. We have seen Daenerys use it as a command call in battle. We expectedly hear the word again in House of the Dragon given that it is a show about Targaryens but in a slightly different context. During the funeral of Queen Aemma and her son, we hear Rhaenyra command the dragon with “Dracarys” to light the funeral pyre. It touches upon the dynamic between the Targaryens and their dragons that goes beyond flying and fighting.
Aegon’s prophetic dream warns that “Winter is Coming” and so are the White Walkers
While there aren’t many shockers in the premiere of House of the Dragon, a heart-to-heart between Viserys and Rhaenyra has a major unveiling. He tells her about Aegon Targaryen’s prophetic dream that foretells the coming of the Winter and the Night King with Whitewalkers in tow. He called it “A Song of Ice and Fire”. This is a direct reference to the coming of Winter as seen in Game of Thrones. According to Aegon, a Targaryen must be on the throne to protect the Seven Kingdoms from the White Walkers.
Viserys has the dagger that Arya Stark eventually uses to kill the Night King
Speaking of White Walkers, another weapon from Game of Thrones that appears in the prequel show’s premiere is a Valyrian steel dagger. We see Viserys holding the dagger that fans will recognise as the same one Arya Stark used to kill the Night King in a sneak attack.
House of the Dragon is currently available to stream with new episodes dropping weekly on Mondays.