This story contains details from the premiere of HBO’s House of the Dragon. 

It’s a prequel to Game of Thrones, but it could also double as a medieval spinoff of Succession. The phrase much-anticipated is a well-worn phrase in  Hollywood, but there really isn’t any other way to describe the latest  dispatch from Westeros, based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood

The 700-page saga chronicles the history of House Targaryen — or as the  TV series goes on to explain, 172 years before the death of the Mad  King and the birth of Daenerys Targaryen (played in GOT by Emilia Clarke). The episode begins with the question of succession, who is most deserving of the title, and how no woman will ever sit on the Iron Throne.

For a second, it seemed as if we were treated to Dany’s ghost in the  premiere. After a brief history lesson about the House Targaryen, a  diminutive blonde is seen having a joy ride on her dragon while the  dispassionate residents of King’s Landing go about their day (it seems  fire-breathing creatures are a dime a dozen in those days).

When the young woman dismounts the creature with her back to the camera,  it appears as if the producers dropped a Dany scene from the later  seasons of GOT. Instead, it’s Rhaenyra (a marvelous Milly  Alcock), the spunky (what else?) daughter of Paddy Considine’s King  Viserys. Waiting for her on solid ground is Ser Harrold Westerling (Outlander‘s Graham McTavish) — who seems like HOTD’s version of GOT’s  Jorah Mormont — and the beguiling Alicent (Emily Carey)

Viserys has plenty of love for his only daughter, but his attention is  largely focused on his wife (Sian Brooke), who carries the son that he  hopes will someday inherit his title. It’s a difficult pregnancy, which  the queen rationalizes by saying “the discomfort is how we serve the  realm.” Talk about a major sacrifice; since her baby is breech, she  undergoes a primitive (and very bloody) C-section that ultimately takes  her life

We also meet the other main character in the saga — Prince Daemon  Targaryen (Matt Smith), Viserys’ brother-cum-city watch commander who  seems to enjoy watching his soldiers castrate and behead criminals on  the streets of King’s Landing

What did you think? Was House of the Dragon worth the wait? Did it make you miss Game of Thrones even more?