The first episode of Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon was released on Disney+ Hotstar in India (and HBO Max worldwide) on Sunday 21st August. Devoted GoT fans flocked to the streaming platforms to watch the pilot. Just like its predecessor, House of the Dragon has plenty of violence, gore, and uncensored sex. In fact, some critics have said that the show goes a bit overboard there, even surpassing what GoT has done. And the fans had a lot of opinions on this topic. Also read: House of the Dragon Episode 1 Review: The Game of Thrones prequel takes on its worst qualities
Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon Episode 1!
If you haven’t seen the first episode of House of the Dragon, please stop reading. There are some spoilers for the upcoming show, ranging from mild to “dear God” on the exclamation scale. The show throws in some surprises, deaths, and graphic sequences, all in the first episode itself. And while viewers loved some of them, they’re a little unsure about the others.
Set nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon features a Westeros ruled by the Targaryen Dynasty at the height of their power. The show focuses on the reign of King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and the power struggles between his brother Daemon (Matt Smith) and daughter Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock).
A scene early in the episode shows Matt Smith’s character having quite graphic sex with a sex worker in a brothel. The suddenness of the scene and the awkwardness left many viewers amused and some giggles. “Matt Smith in an extremely awkward sex scene makes me see why he felt the show didn’t need it. Lol,” one fan wrote. What makes the scene funnier is that in an interview prior to the show’s release, Matt said he didn’t think the show needed that many sex scenes.
But what really got fans talking was an extremely violent and graphic birth scene. The king’s wife, Queen Aemma, dies in childbirth and the whole sequence felt too long, too bloody and too violent for many viewers. “Viserys is wasting no time telling people to cut up his wife and leave her for dead to have this baby,” one fan wrote on Twitter. Another tweeted: “Did they really need that much blood in that scene? And did it really have to go on and on? Christ Almighty!”
Several fans praised Matt Smith while others said they were Team Rhaenyra (Milly), which neatly divided the fandom between the two royals. House of the Dragon is a ten-part series, with each episode releasing every Monday. The show is based on George RR Martin’s Fire & Blood and was co-created by the writer with Ryan Condal.