HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Reviews Suggest More Of The Same In HBO's First GAME OF THRONES Spinoff

The review embargo has lifted for House of the Dragon, and it sounds an awful lot like fans of Game of Thrones will be happy because they're in for more of the same with the upcoming prequel series...

The first episode of House of the Dragan arrives on HBO this Sunday, but what are critics saying about this long-awaited return to Westeros?

Well, there are a lot of positive verdicts thus far, though it does sound - for better or worse - that we can expect more of the same. It appears this prequel isn't the departure from Game of Thrones that many critics hoped for, but for a lot of fans, that will be welcomed as they obviously hope to continue exploring the same world introduced in that series. 

House of the Dragon certainly doesn't sound as underwhelming as its predecessor's final season, anyway, and that's definitely a bonus given how most viewed seemed to respond to those last episodes.

It's a shame that the first of many planned Game of Thrones spinoffs sounds a little middle of the road, but critics didn't get to see every episode so there's no doubt still room for improvement. We don't know if HBO is planning a second season, but that will come down to viewership numbers and not reviews. 

Check out a roundup of verdicts on House of the Dragon below:

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It's a fascinating situation, full of understandable motives and moral quandaries, and a ticking time bomb in the form of King Viserys's health. It's pure Games of Thrones – just not in the way you remember. [4/5] - BBC

This follow-up series is louder, more direct about what it wants to say and how it wants you to respond. It elicits that response, and it will keep you wondering what will happen next to a family about whom, it turns out, there was still more to say. But it’s a blunt object, not a honed sword. - Variety

In short, all is as it was in GoT’s heyday. Fun, propulsive, looking great and sounding passable. And that, after the bizarrely poor finale to what had been a roaring success of a show, is a relief. There are also signs that in the remaining eight episodes there will be much more of the magnificent Eve Best as Viserys’s cousin Rhaenys, known since her thwarted ascension to the Iron Throne as the Queen Who Never Was and I suspect to the writers as And One Who Might Be After All. Overall, a good time is coming. [4/5] - The Guardian

House Of The Dragon has a lot to prove, and it makes an admirable attempt in its first few episodes. But for better and for worse, it has not escaped the shadow of its predecessor — at least, not yet. [3/5] - Empire Online

In choosing to fixate on those sorts of aspects of Westerosi life during this time period, House of the Dragon often feels like it lacks the wild curiosity necessary to make a prequel like this really sing. That could very well change should HBO Max keep House of the Dragon going and push the show to be more of a thoughtful interpolation of the future we know. But for the time being, House of the Dragon’s yet another hyper-violent tale of swords and sorcery that you’ve undoubtedly heard before. - The Verge

Strong visuals and capable performances are hardly enough of a selling point for the show as a whole, however. House of the Dragon will likely find an audience but from here, it's difficult to see who, exactly, that audience will be. - Gamespot

House Of The Dragon’s premiere marks a strong, well-cast start to the Game Of Thrones spin-off. This feels very close to its predecessor in tone and content, but immediately establishes a struggle for power around an amiable, weak-willed king, and vivid new characters to fight those battles. We also have dragons, inbreeding, and resentment. It’s good to be back in backstabbing Westeros. [8/10] - IGN

It’s disconcerting to see House of the Dragon becoming less distinctive and more beholden to Game of Thrones as it goes along, when it ought to be the opposite. There’s a lot that’s impressive in the first six episodes, but it’s as safe as a show with incest, gore and horrifying depictions of childbirth could possibly be. It needs to find its own voice, though if that voice remains this Targaryen-y, winter may be coming for my once burning curiosity. - The Hollywood Reporter

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