After months of build-up, the first episode of House of the Dragon was finally released this morning. It’s going to be screened at 9pm too, for those UK audiences that didn’t feel like waking up at 2am to dive into the Machiavellian Targaryen realm.
But in the 12 hours since the episode’s release, the Game of Thrones Twitter has been, predictably, busy, with thousands of people weighing in to share their thoughts on the new show. Here are some of the internet’s best reactions, and some of our favourite memes.
Game of Thrones fans know the phrase “Dracarys” all too well – it’s the High Valyrian word for Dragonfire and it’s used when a dragonrider (someone who has the ability to bond with and mount a dragon) is instructing a dragon to breathe fire – usually, obviously, with devastating effects.
Some Queen Daenerys fans were left reeling after Princess Rhaenyra, another ambitious female Targaryen, said the command so early on in the new series, and with such passion.
“SHE SAID THE THING !!!” Tweeted one fan.
“One of the best choices they made for #HOTD Episode 1 is to make the TV comeback of the word “Dracarys” emotional! Sapochnik you did it again, you mad man,” said another.
One of the best choices they made for #HOTD Episode 1 is to make the TV comeback of the word "Dracarys" emotional! Sapochnik you did it again, you mad man#HouseoftheDragon #HOTD pic.twitter.com/kjbmgI7gBn— 🐣 (@gonlyb) August 22, 2022
D.B. Weiss and David Benioff
Some Game of Thrones fans are still angry with showrunners Weiss and Benioff for what they felt was a heavy-handed conclusion to the blockbuster series – their main gripe was that they felt like the writers had really rushed it. What had been complicated character arcs abruptly ended, and winding narratives were simplified. When the series finished, large swathes of fans were unhappy, and some of these people still haven’t let it go.
“How I go to sleep knowing Dan Weiss and David Benioff had nothing to do with #HouseoftheDragon,” joked one fan alongside a picture of Homer Simpson sleeping heavily and happily.
“Watching #HouseoftheDragon just makes me even more mad at Dan Weiss and David Benioff. I hope they’re both still unemployed right now,” tweeted another.
Watching #HouseoftheDragon just makes me even more mad at Dan Weiss and David Benioff. I hope they’re both still unemployed right now.— Izza (@JoJoJacksonAZ) August 22, 2022
The new series is about the political allegiances and power shifts in the court in the run-up to the Targaryen civil war. So, as you can imagine, it’s all about to kick off, both in the show and online. Hundreds of fans wasted no time in pledging their allegiance to either Princess Rhaenys Velaryon (the Queen Who Never Was), Rhaenyra (the first-born daughter of King Viserys) and Prince Daemon (Viserys’ younger brother).
“I’m already team Princess Rhaenys! She should have been picked,” tweeted one fan.
“Nahhhh. Team Rhaenys all the way. Daemon is all pent-up toxic masculinity,” said another.
I'm already team Princess Rhaenys! She should have been picked ‼️ #HouseoftheDragon— Brice Izyah (@BriceIzyah) August 22, 2022
Nahhhh. Team Rhaenys all the way. Daemon is all pent up toxic masculinity.— Quinn (@Riversauvage) August 22, 2022
“In this house we’re very officially team Rhaenyra, hope they don’t kill her any time soon,” tweeted a third.
Huge on team Rhaenyra, until further notice my allegiance lies with her #HouseoftheDragon— Jimmy McNulty (@manontheMOON2st) August 22, 2022
In this house we're very officially team Rhaenyra, hope they don't kill her any time soon— ♡ (@kimjs_Love) August 21, 2022
“Daemon Targaryen bout to me have me STRESSED this season,” joked one fan.
“Idc dude is ruthless I’m team Daemon,” tweeted another.
Otto Hightower is Hand of the King but is already giving off serious Little Finger energy. The slippery, scheming, conniving Master of Coin caused trouble for most of the Game of Thrones seasons, so audiences of the new series are right to be suspicious of a similar character.
“Same vibes, no doubts,” tweeted one fan, alongside a photo of Little Finger.
“Otto Hightower is giving serious Randall snitch vibes #HOTD,” tweeted another.
“Yeah i reeeeally don’t like Otto Hightower,” said a third.
Game of Throne fans haven’t forgotten about House Stark. So even though House of the Dragon is all about the Targaryens, when there was a cameo of a member of House Stark in the episode, some fans became only too excited (and heartbroken that they weren’t going to see more of their favourite family).
“Watching #HouseoftheDragon & hearing the name stark,” tweeted one, alongside a photo of Florence Pugh character in the horror film Midsommar, screaming.
The Red Keep
Game of Throne fans know this King’s Landing castle oh so well. It’s the location of many a jaw-dropping moment in the original series, such as King Tommen’s death. But, most importantly, it’s the home of the highly coveted Iron Throne.
In the end, it is destroyed by Daenerys Targaryen when the Queen loses her marbles and burns the city to a crisp. This meme reflects how many fans felt watching the new show: the knowledge of the devastation that’s coming to the city, later on, is always lingering in the background.
“Watching them walk around the red keep in #HouseoftheDragon knowing what happens to it,” tweeted a fan.