House of the Dragon review – this Game of Thrones prequel is gorgeous, opulent television

The opening episode of House of the Dragon (Sky Atlantic) is simply spectacular. For an hour, it rattles through everything that made its predecessor, Game of Thrones, such a titan of the small screen, especially when it was in its prime. It is a greatest hits playlist of Westeros at its meatiest. Family members make promises they cannot keep as they connive and betray each other, in secret and in plain sight. There is jousting, romping and fighting. There are dragons, of course. There is a drunken orgy, an axe to the face, a caesarean without anaesthetic, seeping wounds, severed limbs and severed organs, too. George RR Martin’s world struts its way back on to our screens with utter confidence and brio.

It is as captivating as it is gruesome. A prequel to Game of Thrones, it begins 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen, and it chronicles the fall of the Targaryen dynasty, though after watching the first six episodes of squabbling and scheming, the real question is how…

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This article was written by Rebecca Nicholson and originally published on www.theguardian.com