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House of the Dragon Exemplifies How to Successfully Reset a Franchise

Key Points:

  • Game of Thrones divisive finale left the franchise in a precarious position
  • House of the Dragon faced skepticism but found ways to appeal to audiences anew
  • The series doubled down on the strengths of the franchise while introducing its own nuances

House of the Dragon, HBO’s prequel series to Game of Thrones, has proven to be a masterclass in how to successfully reset and rejuvenate a franchise. Despite initial concerns and doubts from fans, the show has managed to reignite interest in the Westeros universe while learning from the missteps of its predecessor.

How Did House of the Dragon Overcome the Game of Thrones Finale Backlash?

Daenerys Targaryen Played by Emilia Clarke Via GameofThrones
Daenerys Targaryen Played by Emilia Clarke Via GameofThrones

Game of Thrones highly criticized finale left the franchise in a state of uncertainty, with fans expressing fatigue and doubts about the direction of any potential spinoffs. The decision to explore the earlier history of the Targaryen family in House of the Dragon defied the logical path forward, leading to mixed expectations among viewers.

However, House of the Dragon took several strategic steps to win back audiences and reestablish the Westeros brand. The show’s casting choices, blending veterans with newcomers, helped create a sense of immersion and stardom, while the incorporation of a time jump allowed for character growth and continuity.

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How Did House of the Dragon Rejuvenate the Franchise’s Storytelling?

Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon
House of the Dragon

From its pilot episode, House of the Dragon made a conscious effort to remind fans of the early, beloved seasons of Game of Thrones. The show’s impressive visuals, familiar locations, and intricate political maneuverings evoked a sense of nostalgia while maintaining the shocking storytelling that made the original series a hit.

As the season progressed, House of the Dragon doubled down on the franchise’s strengths, focusing on character development and creating entertaining moments that appealed to both longtime fans and new viewers alike. The series avoided clear-cut heroes or villains, instead presenting complex personalities with their own strengths and flaws, further solidifying its connection to the morally ambiguous world of Game of Thrones.

READ MORE: Director of ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ Shares Original Title

House of the Dragon Season 2 is expected to premiere in 2024, continuing the Targaryen civil war storyline.

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